How has adoption changed your life?
Losing my son to an unnecessary adoption has been devastating. A part of me died, and my children have been traumatized by being unnecessarily separated. It has given me insight into the billion dollar industry of infant adoption. I have been driven to bring awareness to the injustice of coercive persuasion that exists today. There is no accountability and no cosequences when an adoption professional participates in coercion of a mother in crisis. Adoption so often is a permanent decision made by a resourceless, overwhelmed mother facing more often than not temporary crisis. This was my situation.
What is a lesson from your adoption experience that could be life-changing for all families?
All I needed was someone to tell me to take my son home from the hospital and to really sit down and eliminate and/or break down the obstacles I felt I was facing. If mothers are given support to not feel she has to make a decision before leaving the hospital is imperative to give the mother time to bond with her child and her hormones time to level off. I have done exactly this with over 50 mothers and showed them that what they were facing was temporary and did not warrant a permanent, lifelong, traumatic separation for both herself and her infant. It has been life-changing for all of them, and they are so very grateful.
What changes would you like to see made in adoption?
No mother should be in contact with any adoption professional prior to the birth of her child. Pre-birth anything creates obligation and focus is taken off the mother and her child and the very special experience of childbirth. Money needs to come out of adoption. It will eliminate adoption fraud, it will eliminate coercive persuasion that paying 'expenses' for a pregnant mother in crisis creates. No mother should be able to sign any relinquishment papers until she is 6-8 weeks post partum, and has been cleared of post partum depression. A mother is considered 'disabled' for weeks by insurance companies after having a child, yet a mother in crisis is expected to make a permanent lifelong decision hours after going through one of the most wonderfully beautiful and traumatic times in her life. This needs to change. Mother's need support and families need protection.