13 thoughts on “Overpopulation, Baby Commodification and Foster Care

  1. You make some valid points here Angela. It does give one something to ponder. To be honest, I have thought about this too. Although, I could never verbalize it the way you have and would feel guilty for even trying (being the biological mother of two sons-parent to first one, birthmother to second). It does seem that we could do a better job of supporting our communities. Supporting our foster care system would surely help and at the same time would reduce the demand for babies. We have so much room for change and growth in the adoption/foster care community as well as improving our overall parenting skills, whether biologically ours or otherwise. Thanks for sharing your voice.

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  2. Bravo. I struggle to find some online communities that offer support to parents of former fosters–so many groups are devoted to newborn adoption. I know we are out here but I fear that the outward, visible support is not there because our kids are not “cute and cuddly” infants. It’s a different path. I, too, have been shocked over the last couple of years how many folks have asked about my family planning thoughts or questioned why I didn’t pursue newborn/infant adoption so that I can “train” my child “properly” and avoid dealing with past traumas. Sigh…people are special. Thanks for this post.

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  3. When we were new foster parents, we were motivated by focusing on the kids who were currently living and needed safe homes rather than struggling to have one that looked just like us. I cannot assert that is the right decision for every couple, but for us it was. Moreover, I believe families should not feel selfish or guilty or irresponsible for having biological kids (if they can). Yet, now as an adoptive parent (and still a foster parent), I get that part of my daughter’s story is processing the loss of her first family and “what could have been” (even if it’s idealistic) if her birth mother would have chosen to parent. No child wants to hear that they are “plan b.” I could get on a rabbit trail about this so I’ll stop here.

    We, too, often hear friends’ / strangers’ plans for future adoption. Adoption is sometimes viewed as uncommon (or, probably, not normalized in many areas) that they feel an instant bond with an adoptive family. People feel pressured to “confess” their quiet considerations. Maybe they’re are seeking to relate? Or make me feel less different? I don’t know.

    Thanks for sharing, Angela. Your perspective is important, and I appreciate that you share your personal reflections publicly. I’ll be mulling over it today.

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  4. Rather than contribute to what you feel is an overpopulated planet why not you yourself set the example and adopt from Foster Care?

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  5. It wasn’t an assumption but merely an observation. If one feels that our planet is overpopulated that they wouldn’t take actions to further that overpopulation.

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  6. When two of our placements fell through (yes, newborn), I grieved hard and I raged. It’s a typical reaction and one that could be misconstrued especially when captured by cameras. But I haven’t watched the show and I know that my experience and reaction is different than most. I didn’t grieve “my baby” I grieved the idea of a baby and being done. I was also raging against the system of prebirth matching. It’s the wrong way to approach the situation, I think. Anyway, you’re comments about foster are spot on, and for us, it wasn’t something my husband I thought we would be great at handling. I’ll admit that. So, maybe we shouldn’t have adopted. I don’t think that’s something for someone else to decide just because we were struggling to have a family.

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  7. Angela, I just discovered Closure and your related work on Flipping the Script. I’m so excited for all the voices you’re drawing out. It’s interesting to me that there is still so much secrecy and shame around sharing stories as a member of the adoption “triad.” I’m an adoptive mom and also a daughter who was ‘relinquished’ by her biological father. My mom became a foster parent when I went to college and I have a much larger family as an adult, as a result. I am so ‘over’ all the negative press adoption and foster care receives. There are so many bittersweet stories out there that are never told. I hope we can see more media attention to that as opposed to the instances of deception, rejection, and other horrors.

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  8. We didn’t adopt from foster care because we wanted to be parents, not foster parents. Most foster children are reunified with birth family. Between the time that they are taken by the state and an adoption finalized, they are wards of the state. Foster parents must ask permission to do just about anything with a foster child, including, in my county, something as mundane as cutting their hair. There is little “attachment parenting” permitted, certainly no co-sleeping, which some parents believe is very important for bonding. The CDC vaccination schedule must be followed. Baby-sitters must be approved by the state. We didn’t want the uncertainty, and we didn’t want the state parenting our child. We chose private adoption, because our children could be *ours* from early on – not because they were malleable at that age, or because they were cute, and certainly not because they were blank slates. We knew, when we brought them home, that they were home forever. We also knew it was safe to have open relationships with their birth families – open adoption is very important to us, and it’s not always possible in foster adoption.

    We were scammed by one woman who forged her proof of pregnancy, and we had one failed match. That’s life. It’s one of the risks you take by choosing private adoption. With foster adoption, you take different risks is all. There is no one-size-fits-all way to building a family.

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