Monday, October 3, 2011

Some Random Thoughts After Reading Various Adoption-Related Blogs

1) Human-beings are biologically programmed to reproduce, from puberty on.
2) Throughout much of human history, most mothers have been young mothers. Youth does not, in and of itself, make someone unqualified to be a mother.
3) Our current culture is not set up to support young mothers.
4) Adoption does not make a child disappear.
5) Adoption is not a convenient fix to the problem of unplanned pregnancy.
6) Adoption does not undo a pregnancy or make someone not a mother.
7) I'm tremendously grateful that my birth mother told others about me (especially my younger brother) before I reappeared in her life.
8) Secrecy is almost always harmful.

7 comments:

  1. Adoption is a profitable industry and therefore cannot be trusted to be ethical.

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  2. I was especially taken with #4: Adoption does not make a child disappear. I wonder how many families have that "ghost child" with them at the table, on vacations, her birthday, and holidays? And then there are the siblings who don't fit into birth-order characteristics as they should because no one has counted the ghost child. (This is true of families with lost pregnancies, too.) The child does not disappear; visibility is soooo much better.

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  3. In our time, puberty begins in girls sooner than it did in our grandmother's time, and much sooner than it did anciently. Some factors in early puberty could be better nutrition, childhood obesity, more preemie babes, hormones in our milk and environmental chemicals. In the 1840's, girls didn't begin menstruating until age 16-17. By 1900, the average age was 14. The age has continued to fall since then. I think the average now is age 10-12.

    Unfortunately, the 12 year-old brain lacks some emotional and reasoning centers that develop in the late teens, but she could still become a mother. But without the brain development she might struggle with some aspects of parenting. So yes, she would need quite a bit of support. The odds of a 12 year-old becoming a mother were very unlikely 100 years ago.

    http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/story/2011/04/Girls-hit-puberty-earlier-than-ever-and-doctors-arent-sure-why/45989054/1

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  4. I love this list. So very true. You have incredible insight. I love your blog.

    -LisaAnne

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  5. Thanks, Megan. Good point. I'll admit I wasn't thinking of 12-year-olds when I wrote that. The post is a little weird anyway because these random thoughts of mine are presented with no context. I'm not at all suggesting that there was some "good old days" of well-supported young motherhood that we should return to or that more teens should become parents, though I was partly thinking that a) women in their teens and early twenties are going continue to continue to get pregnant, as they always have, because that's just the way things are b) some who choose adoption could and would choose to parent if they had more support. I was thinking that our current cultural preference for older mothers is just that, a cultural preference. I'm not even necessarily saying that's a bad thing; I myself was 34 when I first became a mom. The average age is now 25, apparently: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1586/changing-demographic-characteristics-american-mothers
    I'm not sure exactly what it has been historically; my understanding was significantly lower, but maybe it's not as low as I thought, given the puberty factor. I'll look into that later.
    I do wish there was less bias against and more support for young mothers, but nothing is one-size-fits-all, and, as I said, I wasn't thinking of 12-year-olds.
    I appreciate your comment.

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  6. Rebecca, thanks for the clarification.

    I think being adopted was one of the factors that helped me choose to become a mother at age 20. I married young, and wanted to have try to have children right away, because I had a lot of anxiety that I might have fertility issues and worried what I would do about it if I did. If there were fertility issues, I wanted to have plenty of time to solve them, or to explore every adoption option available.

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