Some thoughts..

I’m part of quite a few different “adoption groups”. Groups that provide information and “support” to other adoptive families. These groups are where I have found answers to many questions about the process we are going through and where I have connected with other moms who share the same feelings and emotions I’m going through. They have been great. Mostly..

These groups also come with some members who are very opinionated. I’m usually all for everyone having their own opinion, but there is one that I have a very hard time understanding. It is the idea that it is always best for a child to stay in their native country regardless of any other factor.

Case in point: A woman gives birth to a child and makes the decision to have it adopted. She decides that she wants her child adopted by an American family.

This came up in a group and I was very surprised at the response. It was basically that the woman should not give her child for adoption unless there is absolutely NO way she can keep the child. So, as long as she can skimp by on 1GHC per day, she should not have the child adopted. 2nd, if she does have the child adopted, it should only be to a family in Ghana.

Here are my thoughts:

When a 16 year old gets knocked up in the states, we praise her for making a selfless decision if she chooses adoption giving her child a better life than she can provide. But, if a women in Ghana decides that she wants better for her newborn, Americans should not participate in this by adopting the child. How does this make sense? American women should have the freedom to make this choice, but a Ghanaian women shouldn’t?

Understand, I’m not referring to a woman who would keep the child if she had a steady income. I’m referring to a women who, even if given assistance, would prefer for her child to be adopted. This could be because the child is a result of rape or prostitution. Perhaps, she simply cannot fathom having what it takes to be a mother to a 5th child. Whatever the case, I’m referring to a woman making a choice when she potentially could make it work if she wanted to raise her child.

If she does go through with the adoption, she should be forced to give her child to someone in Ghana. This might be fine, but for some reason (true or not) some Ghanaians have the perception that children adopted in Ghana will be treated as 2nd rate and not really part of the family. Not to mention, they have the idea that a child in the US will receive a superior education. Whether or not there is any sort of truth to this, I don’t understand why she can’t make the decision for herself: Ghana, Spain, UK, US, wherever.

I cannot imagine making the decision to give my child to someone else to raise. If I had to do this, I would pray that I had some say in who would raise him. I feel fortunate to live in the US and would be fine with my child living here if I could not raise him, but would I be OK if I was told that he would be taken to a 3rd world country where medical care is scare, access to clean water scarce as well, and malaria is a constant concern? Honestly, probably not.

So, I can understand a woman’s thoughts if she lives in a country like this and is considering the choice of international adoption.

All of this said, I think it is extremely important for an internationally adopted child to understand their native culture and know their country. Chris and I plan to do the best we can in this area. We feel blessed knowing that we are becoming part of a larger family, a Ghanaian family. One that trusts us with their most precious gift. And, in the end, no one else’s opinion on the matter matters.

So, I’m turning the comments off on this post.


Leave a Comment