Realities of the Adoption Industry
Three years ago, I started feeling a growing unease at work. I loved what I was doing — practicing adoption law — but was routinely frustrated by the way birthparents and adoptive parents were treated by those in the adoption industry (yes, it’s an industry) who were supposed to be offering expert guidance. While we were helping birthmothers find forever homes for their babies and adoptive parents fulfill their dreams of building a family, the aftermath was much less pretty than typically depicted on the Hallmark Channel.
Adoptive parents, while normally thrilled to be parenting their new bundle of joy, can feel beaten down, broken and resentful by the time baby is born. Birthmothers, who have lost the attention of adoptive parents and are grieving the loss of their baby, are often left without any support. They wonder if they made the right decision and whether the adoptive parents will disappear now that paperwork has been signed and baby, delivered.
I tried unsuccessfully to reassure myself that this is just the way it works. That adoption is complicated and has built-in limitations. But after two or so years of repeatedly having that conversation with myself, I came to the hard and fast conclusion that I may be better-suited for another line of work.