Monday, October 11, 2004

Let's Talk Adoption

The annual "Let's Talk Adoption" conference will be at Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ this year. If you live within reasonable drive of NJ and are interested in adoption - this is THE conference to attend. They cover all the bases.

I also read a really interesting article in a recent Wall Street Journal about domestic private adoption. (Here is a blurb from the article and some heated comments associated with it too...always the heated comments from the peanut gallery, eeesh.) Apparently at some agencies in certain states, they have TOO MANY babies and not enough couples waiting to adopt (believe me, I am checking which states)! This hasn't happened in decades! The article credits this up-tick in available healthy infants to the growing interest in open adoption.

Apparently open adoption is being embraced by pregnant women who may have otherwise been reluctant to consider giving up a baby if it meant no chance of contact later in life. That is good news, considering what a nose dive the number of adoptable infants took with the advent of the birth control pill and legalized abortions.

This makes total sense to me. Really, what IS appealing about giving a child up for adoption to nameless/faceless individuals with almost no hope of ever finding out about that child for the rest of your life? And yet many women were put in that hopeless position in the past.

I feel great sadness for women who gave up a child and never knew what became of the child thereafter.

I know there are still women who don't believe in abortion, who end up pregnant and don't want to or can't raise a child, AND would rather not know where that child ends up, and don't want to ever be contacted by that child. But I think that case is rare. I'm willing to bet most women who gave a child up for adoption back in the days before the open adoption option, still think about that child, wonder where they are and how they turned out. Perhaps they even wish to find that child. Is it any wonder that the wait to adopt a child used to be SO very long? It takes a very special person to make that ultimate sacrifice for the good of their child.

I hope my own birth mother finds me one day. I do want to find her, but I don't want to ruin her life (just in case she is one of those rare types who just wanted to move on with life and forget they ever had a child). I am very cautious in my feelings about my search. I know her last name (at the time of my birth). I know where to send for my original birth certificate. I just haven't done it yet. I know I shouldn't wait too long. Every year that passes increases the likelyhood that she won't be there when I finally go looking. But my fear of rejection, fear of confrontation, fear in general stops me from taking the process as far as I can.

Someday...

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