July 16th, 2007
Posted By:
Categories: Adoption Reform

If we ignore injustices that we discover in adoption, we allow the status quo to remain. In international adoptions, adoptive parents sometimes mention that at some point during their adoptions that something seemed amiss. Several brave bloggers have spoken up when they noticed; others worried about the fate of their adoptions and stayed mute.

Whether in domestic or international adoptions, if something seems “not quite right,” it is likely a valid indication that something in the adoption may not be as it should be. Ignoring those signals may ensure that your adoption is not disturbed, but, it also encourages and condones bad practices.

When a agency in a domestic adoption seems overly aggressive with a pregnant woman, any one who sees such behavior should speak up. Do not allow them to continue to get away with that type of behavior. As long as agencies go unchallenged, they have no incentive to change.


For potential adoptive parents who are choosing an agency, ask the important questions that can help you evaluate an agency’s sense of integrity. Ask how many of the pregnant women who come to them change their minds. If an agency says, “none,” pick another agency.

Logically, you might believe that it is a positive sign if an agency says few of the pregnant women who first explore adoption remain and place their babies. It could be a positive sign. However, it is far more likely that few women who walk in their doors change their minds due to aggressive and persistent pressure to place their babies or children for adoption.

Agencies that truly do not use coercive tactics realize that ethics are of utmost importance to many prospective adoptive parents. Highly ethical agencies will brag about the fact that pregnant women often change their minds. They are proud that they do not resort to pressure tactics.

For pregnant women considering adoption, speak up if you believe that someone – anyone – is trying to force your decision. Educate yourself about your rights and do not allow anyone to trample on those rights.

Further Reading:

One Birth Mother Voice

Hard Issues for Birth Parents – Telling the World

Adoptees Speak and we Should Listen

For Newbies, Why Speak Out.

Let’s Talk Solutions – Part 1- Open Records

Let’s Talk Solutions – Part 2 – Domestic Adoption

Photo by Jan Baker 2007

6 Responses to “Let’s Talk Solutions! – Part 3 – Speaking Up”

  1. BestLight says:

    I’ve often thought that the adoption community should come up with a benchmark document, “Best Practice in Ethical Adoption.” This list would need to meld both the “wish lists” from all parts of the triad, as well as practical realities that come with running a business (either for- or non-profit).

    What would you consider the 3 most important points?

    I’ll start blogging on this, too. Maybe we could find some sort of consensus on the big points.

  2. Jan Baker says:

    Let me think about this a bit. Sounds like a good place to start. Pre-birth matching might be a good place to start. It is so fraught with potential problems. However, many people want it too, so that makes it hard to agree.

    How about a packet for all pregnant women considering adoption with Heather Lowe’s booklet and some other checklists of items to know?

  3. Heather Lowe says:

    Best Light wrote: I’ve often thought that the adoption community should come up with a benchmark document, “Best Practice in Ethical Adoption.”

    Well, there is a book – Ethics in American Adoption, by L. Anne Babb. There is also a very good statement of what an ethical adoption would look like on the Ethica site under “what we believe.” But the more people who write about it, the better.

  4. BestLight says:

    Thanks. I included a link to Ethica in my blog entry. However,I noticed that many of their links are no longer valid.

  5. My-Sara says:

    In my case Adoption Assistance Agency from Albuquerque forced the adoption against fathers will. They decided to adjudge a father based on gossip they heard from mather in law and simply took and sold my child. A fact that they made good money while doing it helped their Christian souls to enjoy the moment. They definitely comited a crime, much less talking about any ethics. My five years old son, I’m raising missess his sister…

  6. [...] What do you consider “Best Practices”? By bestlight Jan Baker’s post on Adoption Reform got me thinking about what ethical adoptions look like. There are probably as many opinions as [...]

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