Friday, June 12, 2015

Birthmother expenses state by state

      As a follow up my post earlier this week about choosing an ethical agency, I am going to write about another issue that I have been researching: Is it unethical to pay birthmother expenses*? Obviously we will assume the responsibility of medical bills that aren't covered by her insurance or medicaid, but what about those who are asking for help with living expenses such as rent, phone bills, groceries, maternity clothing, or gas money? What about those who are asking for a specific amount of money without giving specifics about what that money is needed for? Is that getting too close to baby buying? Is it coercive because now she feels indebted to the PAPs?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Choosing an ethical agency

      In the next few weeks, it's likely that I won't have very many updates on our adoption process. We are just waiting for a match, so nothing is really changing anywhere. So I wanted to go back and talk about something from the very beginning: how we chose our agency, and what made us comfortable with their ethics.
        Since deciding that we would begin the adoption process, I have actively sought out what many potential adoptive parents (PAPs) actively hide from: stories of bio-moms who regret the adoption (or the way the process unfolded), and reflections by adoptees who do not feel like their adoption was some amazing, beautiful, "best-life-you-could-possibly-have" situation. The first few weeks after our decision to move forward with adoption, I didn't want to go anywhere near any adoption story that wasn't totally positive. But after that initial period of trying to surround myself with blind optimism, I realize that "ignorance is bliss" isn't the perspective I want to take when living out a situation that will affect so many lives. When my husband found out I was reading these things, his first reaction was "WHY?! Why would you do this to yourself?!" To me, the answer had become simple: by knowing about situations that have gone wrong, we are better equipped to do everything in our power to help our situation be healthy. Without reading some of the heartbreaking accounts of bio-moms, it would have been easy for me to put my head in the sand and pretend that the practices of coercing and manipulating expectant mothers considering adoption was dead. I'd be able to have blind faith that any adoption agency, facilitator, or lawyer that claimed to be faith-based and included a few scriptures on their website would actually operate with Christian principles. It would be fine for me to just sit here in my privilege of "We are a happy couple, we are financially secure, we have a wonderful life," waiting and praying for someone not in a position of privilege to choose us as adoptive parents. But I can't do that. I want to make sure that we are not supporting any agency that would be coercive or manipulative towards pregnant women in difficult situations. If I use an organization that takes advantage of these women in such a way, am I any better than people who partake in baby-buying facilitated by trafficking? 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Recognizing my privelege: Adoption teminology and the idea of "God's will"

      This is a post about what I have learned about the language of adoption. In reading adoption message boards written by bioparents, adoptive parents, and adopted children, it becomes obvious that word choice is incredibly important. Different people will have different terms that they prefer, so I wanted to do a collection of some of these and discuss how we have come to choose what language we most prefer.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The adoption profile book

    During this period of waiting for the court system to get around to looking at our paperwork, I have been fine-tuning our adoption book. Now, obviously I am not really in a position to give advice on this, seeing as no expectant mothers have looked at our book or chosen us yet, so I can't tell you about how effective our decisions were. (Update: The second person who saw our book chose us!)  But, I am going to walk you through my thought process as I put together our book, and link to some of the websites that I found helpful.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Another step forward

          While on vacation last week, we received an email from our agency that said we are good to go and are now eligible to be presented to expectant moms!!!