Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day: Adoption Is a Women's Issue

Today is International Women's Day, a day to strategize ways to make the world a better place for women. (If you tweet, follow @womensday for more info.) I want to comment on this from the point of view of an adoption blogger.

There's a great article at on the top five reasons you should care about International Women's Day. Below, I highlight two of them and discuss the connection to adoption.

(1) Violence Against Women is Rife Worldwide People don't often think of violence against women as an adoption issue, but it is. My own daughter, whom I adopted via the foster care system, originally came into state care as a result of a domestic violence incident in which her mother was the victim. Additionally, her mother's own trauma as a result of abuse and domestic violence was a significant factor in the addiction that prevented her from reunifying with her children. I have also heard of women, in different circumstances, who have made the decision to place a child for adoption because they did not trust that they would be able to keep the child safe from violent family members. Violence is certainly something that can be a contributing factor in the separation of a child from his or her biological mother.

(2) Women Are More Likely to Suffer from Poverty and Lack of Education Lack of monetary resources and education (the later of which can result in greater access to monetary resources) is another significant factor leading to separation of children and biological families by way of adoption. As I said in my last post: "Adoption moves one person (the adoptee) into a situation in which some of his or her basic needs can be better met but does not examine the larger social and political issues at work. It is a tragedy, and a societal failure, when biological parents cannot raise their children because of lack of resources, but the seeming 'fix' of adoption prevents us from seeing it as such."

Adoption creates a family, but it is important to keep in mind that it also tears another family apart. It has serious implications, including trauma experienced by the child and the biological mother. Those of us who believe that in a perfect world adoption would be a rare occurrence must continue to examine all of the various social and political factors that contribute to adoption, many of which are tied to improving the general lot of women worldwide.


  1. Timely and important piece, Rebecca. Thank you for writing this.

  2. You're welcome. And thank _you_ for the retweet!


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