14 September 2013

Children are not commodities.

This week has worn me down. Recent revelations in the media on adoptee re-homing, underground swapping and billboard advertisements filled my inbox.

My initial response was shock and horror, then raw anger. Once again, children are seen as commodities. They are advertised, bought and sold.

What keeps reoccurring is this underlying assumption that children are objects. They are selected, placed, advertised, re-homed, swapped and trafficked. They are the subject of lawsuits where a winner-take-all attitude reigns. And all of this takes money. Those with the funds can do as they please. Forget the young life that is being molded and shaped by these disruptive experiences.

I’m a birth mother. Some may argue that as a birth mother it is easier to love, but I think that if a person wants to be a parent, she can do so regardless of how her parenthood evolved. My adoptive parents are the perfect examples, and I learned so much from them.

For me, motherhood is about loving my children despite what they might say or what they might act out. My mother heard my teen voice angrily say, “I wish you had never adopted me!” I knew it would hurt her, and at that age, that was my goal. When I expressed my regret at having said this, my husband revealed his simultaneous “I wish I had never been born!”

For me, motherhood is respecting my children as they become their own individuals … even if it is counter to my individuality. Motherhood is also about supporting them until they are adults and eventually letting them go.

I will leave you with this lovely New Yorker story of a couple who loved their son unconditionally. More simply put, they felt what their son felt. These parents understood to the point of setting their own desires aside. They loved enough to support (both emotionally and financially) their son’s desire to return to his birth country and his original father.

The Baby Veronica case, re-homing and underground swapping are flooding the media. I am hopeful that this media attention will open up more constructive dialogue and lead to more substantive change.

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