I don’t know the ins and outs of this case, and I can’t take the time it would take to investigate, and I’m not sure even then I’d be able to find enough reliable facts for me to make an accurate determination. I also don’t think that my opinion of the specifics is relevant.
But let’s assume, for the purpose of discussion, that the facts of this case are true as presented by this blogger (and I don’t mean to imply he’s dishonest, I just mean…. I grant that it’s complicated).
In our own adoption process there was a time when the birth mother said she didn’t want to go through with it. The social worker told us this, and then said she thought we should go to court to have the birth-mother’s parental rights revoked, because those girls would be better off with us.
Objectively, this is true. We were two parents. She was one. We were stable. She was not. We have more than average intelligence. She doesn’t. We had a breadwinner, a sahm, reliable income. She was a single mom who let the 3 year old decide when it was time to eat and what to eat (french fries and pizza, often. Vegetables, never). Etc. On any list of what makes for a safe and good family, we trumped her, hands down. Except for one, all important thing. She was their biological mother. And there was no indication the girls were abused, or even seriously neglected. Their diet was atrocious, but they were fed. They were not very clean, but they weren’t living in TB infested quarters.
I told our sweet, Christian caseworker we could not and would not be taking anybody to court over this. I was actually a little stunned. I told her we’d prayed about it, and prayed that if this was not what we were supposed to do, God would block this path. And so, I said, taking their mother to court would be like taking God to court. I don’t remember any more if I told her this, but I did tell others- this would be legalized kidnapping. You don’t get to take away somebody else’s child just because you make a ‘better’ parent. There are people who, by an objective scale, would be a better parent than me, too- they are smarter, richer, willing and able to drive the kids to more lessons, whatever. But it doesn’t matter. That is not the scale by which we determine parenthood.
Biology really is first. Second is when the first parents are truly unable or unwilling to parent by some more substantial measure than the flimsy ‘I’d be better.’ Leaving the kids where they are is always first, unless it’s actually dangerous to the children for them to stay, unless the first parent really doesn’t want to parent.
In our case, the birthmother called back the next day and said she’d changed her mind. We know what prompted both changes. Her momentary waver had less to do with her own desires and more to do with outside coercion. I’m not going to share more details here because there are limits to what I will share about my children on a blog. But the reasons were enough to convince us that, yes, the children actually were not just ‘better off’ with us, but safer, and the birth mother knew what she was doing and was making the right choice for everybody. In fact, she’d been trying to place the children fro two years, but nobody wanted the Cherub, and she was unwilling to have them separated.
From the blogger linked above:
Remember when adoption was supposed to about providing families for “orphan” children, or for children from abuse or neglect so severe that, after reasonable efforts to rehabilitate and preserve the family, there was no way to make the family a reasonably safe place? Unfortunately, adoption all too often has become about the desire of adoptive parents to parent, rather than the needs of a child for a home. There is nothing wrong with wanting to parent a child, but everything wrong with taking someone else’s child to do so.
I understand, a little, the pain of infertility, because I have had secondary infertility. I can only imagine how it would feel to have that pain multiplied, when I found it nearly unbearable to go five years without conceiving when I already had two children. I understand the desire for children and the pain of empty arms.
No amount of heart-ache, yearning, pain, and even love and stability that you can offer to another person’s child justifies taking that other person’s child- even under cover of law, unless the parents themselves are unwilling to be parents, or there is a truly tragic need for that child not to be in their first family’s home.