“Free Market Newborns for Deserving White Couples”

I try not to read Ross Douthat (pronounced, in my head, “Doubt-that”), or to post about topics other front pagers have already covered. But Douthat’s current attempt to justify the commodification of human infants is, to use one of the Glibertarians’ worst insults, ahistorical:

In every era [my emphasis], there’s been a tragic contrast between the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility. But this gap used to be bridged by adoption far more frequently than it is today. Prior to 1973, 20 percent of births to white, unmarried women (and 9 percent of unwed births over all) led to an adoption. Today, just 1 percent of babies born to unwed mothers are adopted, and would-be adoptive parents face a waiting list that has lengthened beyond reason.
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Some of this shift reflects the growing acceptance of single parenting. But some of it reflects the impact of Roe v. Wade. Since 1973, countless lives that might have been welcomed into families like Thernstrom’s — which looked into adoption, and gave it up as hopeless — have been cut short in utero instead.

In the world outside Douthat’s head, the transfer of newborns from poor white single mothers to “deserving” middle-class couples, via a legislated system to enforce the lie platonic ideal of “a fresh start for all parties” through the falsification of birth records, is a historically recent invention:

Closed adoptions began in the late 19th century and remained popular until the early 1980s. They protected biological mothers and adoptive parents from the social stigma that surrounded adoption at the time. Biological mothers who pursued adoption were often viewed as social outcasts by society. Many adoptive parents were also seen as outcasts due to their inability to bear their own children. This led to the popularity of closed adoptions, which protected the identities of both biological and adoptive parents. By the 1980s, as the social stigmas had decreased and benefits of openness became better understood, openness in adoption became much more common.
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Although open adoptions are thought to be a relatively new phenomenon, in fact most adoptions in the United States were open until the twentieth century. Until the 1930s, most adoptive parents and biological parents had contact at least during the adoption process.[6] In many cases, adoption was seen as a social support: young children were adopted out not only to help their parents (by reducing the number of children they had to support) but also to help another family by providing an apprentice.
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Adoptions became closed when social pressures mandated that families preserve the myth that they were formed biologically.

The modern American “sealed record” adoption was conceived as a “turn-of-the-century social welfare movement [that] helped shape the professionalization of social work, and changed social attitudes about motherhood and the role of women in society” under “a special act of Congress in 1898, signed by President McKinley”. It came to full legal fruition during the Coolidge Administration; the Depression provided a vast supply of desperate “single mothers” incapable of supporting their offspring (or legally declared to be incapable of such support). By the post-war period, such “fresh start” adoptions had become a key component of the new, improved American Dream — a suburban house with a white picket fence, a car in the garage, and one or more perfect, gurgling infants in the nursery. With the all-American “can do” attitude, if the offspring that would certify a couple as a real family didn’t arrive naturally, then a perfect family could still be engineered. At its most coercive — when, as Douthat understands it, the “tragic contrast between the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility” was nothing but “a gap to be bridged” — this system of economic transfer would later be known as the Baby Scoop Era:

Beginning in the 1940s and 1950s, illegitimacy began to be defined in terms of psychological deficits on the part of the mother. At the same time, a liberalization of sexual mores combined with restrictions on access to birth control led to an increase in premarital pregnancies. The dominant psychological and social work view was that the large majority of unmarried mothers were better off being separated by adoption from their newborn babies. According to Mandell (2007), “In most cases, adoption was presented to the mothers as the only option and little or no effort was made to help the mothers keep and raise the children.”

Obviously, there were (are) many, many thousands of “good” adoptions, families where adults desperate to nuture formed seamless bonds with children who thrived in circumstances far better than they could otherwise achieve. But even at its best, adoption is never a simple transfer between independent economic entities, a logically impeccable marketplace solution to the messy biological Fertility Gap. Of course, given the opinions expressed in his prior writings, Douthat would not consider the feelings of the birth mothers to have any weight in this equation (don’t play if you can’t pay, Chunky Reese Witherspoon!). But some of the members of Bastard Nation might choose to disagree with his hand-waving, as well.

If this were Redstate, I could order you all to send Ross Douthat copies of The Baby Thief via the BJ Amazon link. But I don’t get a cut of Cole’s Amazon kickbacks, and besides, we’re liberals here. I can still recommend Barbara Raymond’s book as an excellent guide to a part of America’s history that’s been too often flushed down the memory hole, for all the worst reasons.
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(h/t Cleek)

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123 replies
  1. 1

    The ongoing inability of these people to understand how their stupid ideas would damage the lives of real people is a genuinely astonishing thing to me. Still.

    (Plus which: Need I remind Douthat how badly this very idea went down in Glee? Hmmmmm?)

    Also, BTW: asiangrrlMN has a little somethin’ about Mr. Douthat up at ABL’s place. Different approach, probably similar levels of rage, equal kick-ass-ness. http://www.angryblacklady.com/.....-pregnant/

  2. 2
    General Stuck says:

    I”ll call your Liz Phair “white babies” and raise you one Lewis Black and his classic “White Baby Farms”

  3. 3
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Emily L. Hauser/ellaesther: Thanks, ee. I hate promoting myself, but I was going to because this was a perfect fit. Though, I go wildly off in a different direction near the end.

    I usually don’t read Douthat because he makes me incredibly angry. However, I didn’t believe TBogg’s shorter because even Douthat couldn’t be that callous and idiotic, could he? I should have trusted TBogg. Douthat’s piece is reprehensible, and the fact that he has a column in the NYT really pisses me the fuck off. The only heartening part is that the commenters pretty much ripped Douthat apart. Oh, and apparently MM2 blogged about it instead of the economy over at the Atlantic, but I will not link because she’s vile.

  4. 4
    gnomedad says:

    Ross Douthat (pronounced, in my head, “Doubt-that”)

    You are kind to a fault.

  5. 5
    someguy says:

    I didn’t realize adoption was such a racket and so traumatic as a result of our crooked ass laws. In light of the trauma that occurs all around, it seems to me we ought to eliminate it as an option.

  6. 6
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @General Stuck: I love Lewis Black. He’s so damn funny. And, cute in a nerdy kinda way.

    And, just so I can get better at promoting myself: Here. What ee said. Ahem.

  7. 7
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    But some of it reflects the impact of Roe v. Wade. Since 1973, countless lives that might have been welcomed into families like Thernstrom’s — which looked into adoption, and gave it up as hopeless — have been cut short in utero instead.

    What I hate about this sort of craptastic logic is that it – typically – fails to account for the “countless” illegal, unreported abortions that took place before 1973. It is impossible to estimate with any accuracy what the actual statistics would be over a longer period.

  8. 8
    slag says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I wish more people would highlight the point you highlighted:

    Women have abortions. They have had them since the beginning of time. Regardless of how legal they are, women will continue to have them.

    I have no interest in a philosophical debate about the rightness/wrongness of abortion. My argument against abortion laws is pretty straightforward: No more wire hangers!

    This is a women’s health issue–not a morality play.

  9. 9
    Martin says:

    In a non-Marxist universe, when a baby is delivered at the hospital it would become the property of the hospital (property rights and all that) and would be auctioned off to the highest bidder. If the parents don’t care that much for their offspring and would rather spend their hard-collected food stamps on t-bone steaks instead of their kid, they’ll be outbid. The proceeds would fund the nation’s healthcare system.

    The free market and libertarian values saves America.

  10. 10
    Jewish Steel says:

    Wow. I was completely unaware of all of that. Thanks for shedding light.

  11. 11
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @slag: Yeah, that’s pretty much where I stand. We (as a society) have to start with, “Women will have abortions” and work from there as to what we need to do about it. Anyone who is not willing to acknowledge that women are going to have abortions regardless of legality of said abortions is not an honest player.

  12. 12
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @slag: I am a guy. I can’t have babies. If I am involved in the creation of one, I would like to be consulted about it. If that preference on my part is ignored, I need to be able to deal with it. Because I am not going to be the one carrying the fetus around for nine months, being uncomfortable, potentially risking my health, and then squeezing the thing out an opening too small for the purpose. If I was doing that, I would want to be the one making the decisions about whether or not to do it. It seems pretty simple.

    Edited to correct typo.

  13. 13
    the fenian says:

    Is this clown even human?
    Newspaper of record my arse.

  14. 14
    thefncrow says:

    @Martin: That’s cruel.

    Instead, the hospital should just hold a lien on the kid in the amount of their billings for the pregnancy. Sometime after birth, anyone who can pay off the expenses can trade that for the property rights, and they’ll sign it off to whoever pays the bill.

    As a bonus, it means you really want to have health insurance, because it allows the minuscule possibility that you could talk the insurance company into paying up in a timely manner, enabling you to actually keep your children if you can’t cough up every dime of your pregnancy-related expenses in cash on the way out of the hospital.

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @General Stuck: O, that Pat Buchanan. Always saying what we’re all thinking.

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @thefncrow: Is that before or after the Death Panel provisions in the health care reform law?

  17. 17

    Give us your poor, your hungry, your huddled masses of white babies.

    And God forbid a white couple adopt a non-white baby (shudder!)*

    Excellent research, if Douchehat didn’t consider it a 4-letter word, he might be less of a waste of skin.

    *And don’t even mention non-heterosexual couples adopting ANYONE. (Swoon!)

  18. 18
    Tom Levenson says:

    I am so glad you weighed in on this as I was trying to think how to collapse my imagined several thousand word screech of rage into something fit for other’s consumption, and now I can just read yours and cheer (and go over to ABL’s place and read Asiangrrl’s).

    Now I have to go read the loathsome Thernstrom’s account of baby farming to see if it is as grotesque as I expect.

    I love the fact that she deemed (according to Russ) adoption impossible. She must be singularly incapable of ordinary daily tasks, in that case.

  19. 19
    Martin says:

    @thefncrow: Ah, but your solution doesn’t address the problem of undeserving (e.g. poor) parents having children.

    Rather than just the cost of the delivery, the lien should be against the expected lifetime health care costs of the child on a proper payment schedule. Since we can test for all manner of things, that should be a fairly easy calculation to ballpark. Whoever is willing to put the largest downpayment on the critter can take it home. Fail to make the payments on the rugrat and the repo nurse will pay you a visit.

    This also solves the mortgage swap problem by giving the banks something better to finance and then bet against.

  20. 20
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:
    I graduated from High School in 1966, well before Roe. Young women died, others were rendered barren. Some were forced to marry because it was the “decent” thing to do. All were stigmatized.

    The whole situation was as ugly a thing as I’ve ever seen. The morons clamoring for the overturning of Roe weren’t around before that decision was handed down.

  21. 21
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Tom Levenson: Yeah, that was the phrase that struck me as one of the oddest in that odd collection of sentences:

    Since 1973, countless lives that might have been welcomed into families like Thernstrom’s — which looked into adoption, and gave it up as hopeless —

    I’m no expert on adoption, but it’s kind of hard not to read “perfect white infant” into that.

  22. 22
    Karen says:

    Ross Douthat should have been fixed so he could never breed again.

    Why doesn’t he just praise Singapore and how they handle population control. They pay Chinesse families to have more babies. They pay Indonesians to have one child maximum. Asian eugenics.

    He should just declare the eugenics he’s implying should happen and maybe, just maybe, the Aryan race will rule again!

    Oh. He’s not blond. He’d be killed along with me and the other brunets, brown people and of course, Jewish people like me. What a pity.

    Does anyone else get the feeling that now that Stormfront has taken over Congress that somehow racists have gotten the idea that they don’t even have to pretend anymore?

  23. 23
    Martin says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    The morons clamoring for the overturning of Roe weren’t around before that decision was handed down.

    Sure they were. They just think that those women were deserving of their stigma. You think they were stigmatized by accident?

  24. 24
    4jkb4ia says:

    Both Annie Laurie’s and AsiangrrlMN’s posts were entirely righteous.

    Usual disclaimer: 4jkb4ia has never been pregnant.

    But whether these more affluent white women want to be parents shouldn’t be affected by whether the adoption was open or closed. I think this is Ross Douthat on more conservative sexual/reproductive mores across class again and saying it very badly.

  25. 25
    hamletta says:

    Didn’t Mary Tyler Moore make a TV movie a few years back about some evil, baby-snatchin’ social worker who used to sell ’em on to the highest bidder?

    And what about in-family adoptions? If I can rattle off a handful of famous entertainers who later found out their aunts were their biological mothers, how common was it among the non-famous?

    How can Douthat consider babies a mere commodity when they’re all li’l snowflakes?

    And standing up for women’s reproductive rights means standing up for women’s right to bear children, too. On their own terms. There’s a whole lot of nasty stuff that goes on when it comes to pregnant women who are somewhat lacking in life-management skills, or are just poor. Like being given a Caesarian by force while shackled to a gurney.

  26. 26
    4jkb4ia says:

    @Tom Levenson:
    I happily allowed the Bears and the Packers to prevent me from reading that article. I have no more interest in it now.

  27. 27
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: I remember reading that “vacation in Puerto Rico” was the code for the ‘right sort of girl’ getting an abortion back in the fifties and sixties.

  28. 28
    kdaug says:

    I think I sort of understand the whole “sacred sperm”/”eternal life” hypothesis, but if you believe in life after death, don’t you logically have to believe in life before birth?

  29. 29
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    At my High School, girls from wealthy families took sudden vacations. Girls from less-wealthy families were sluts who got knocked up.

  30. 30
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Karen: Not his fault that Nazi’s made the issue of directly arguing for state intervention into the issue distasteful in Western democracies for a few generations. He was born a few generations too soon for the forgetting process to be complete. The whole “birthing for the race” idea hasn’t as yet gone mainstream into that class of ideas that falls under the “Hitler had some good ideas, he just went too far” umbrella. Right now, those “good ideas” just extend to “hating Stalin”, “hating modern art” and “the Beetle.” The “breed white babies” idea is falls enough in the “too far” category that a serious writer for the Times needs to go through hoops to almost say it out loud.

  31. 31
    4jkb4ia says:

    Or from where Ross Douthat started, a crisis pregnancy center would have helped that young woman and her moral doubts, and maybe helped her to keep her baby. Adoption was not the only way she could have gone.

  32. 32
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Karen: Yes, and now China is paying for that because they don’t have enough young females to marry all the young males they kept. Gee, who woulda thunk that a patriarchal country would have this problem with their ‘one child’ idea? Go figure!

    I would like to say to everyone reading my blog entry at ABL’s place that while I start out with Douthat’s op-ed, I go in a different direction with it. That’s just to CMA. Go read it.

  33. 33

    @Emily L. Hauser/ellaesther:

    Or unwillingness to understand. I don’t know if they can’t do it or if they won’t. I don’t know that it means much either way; they’re turds, whatever the reason.

    I never read Douthat, but I see enough written about his pathetic bleatings that I really wonder what the fuck is wrong with him. He’s so fucked up, you can tell that from what he writes. Some of these people are just assholes, George Will, Kristol, Krauthammer, people like that. Douthat somehow strikes me as less of an asshole and more of a badly, even tragically, broken person. I don’t know why, but he does.

    Since I brought up Krauthammer, I’ll throw in that I think he’s the most evil columnist writing prominently today. I saw a piece a few days ago in the Washington Post. I always at least look at his column when it’s in the paper, just to see how vile and nasty and evil the shit he’s spewing is; most days I can’t read the whole thing, but I like to at least read far enough to find out what viciousness he happens to be peddling that day.

    Anyway, a few days ago, he was ranting about how awful the end-of-life-counseling–or whatever its formal name is–in the health care bill was. It was awful because, as he put it, it starts us down the “slippery slope”–he wrote that–to, I forget whether it was just rationed care for old people or whether he went so far as to imply or say outright that it would lead to the dreaded “death panels”.

    What the fuck? How can somebody who’s smart enough to even write a coherent sentence, much less smart enough to have gone through medical school, really believe that end-of-life-counseling is a door to putting down all the old folks? He can’t. Nobody could. Nobody could be dumb enough to believe that and manage to have gotten as far as he has in life.

    All I can figure is that he just chooses to lie this way, knowing that he’s lying and not caring about it, not caring how it might hurt people. And I can’t understand that kind of viciousness, since I can’t see what he gets from it. Yeah, Jon Kyl and John Boehner are just as evil and lie just as cynically, but I can see why they do it: it gets them, and keeps them, in power.

    I don’t get Krauthammer. Why would he be that evil? What does he get out of it? He must get something. He could be just some lame-o, run of the mill loser conservative pundit and still amke as much money and get on television just as much, so I can’t see how that’s what drives him. And if that isn’t is, then all I can see is that he likes being a lying, evil, soulless dick. I don’t know what else it could be. And it’s horrifying, but somehow transfixing to see such vileness. I mean it’s like something out of a movie or something, lying and hurting people just for the sake of lying and hurting them. And as loathesome as it is, I find it hard to look away from.

    Sorry about going off on this long aside here…

  34. 34
    Nicole says:

    It’s outof print now, I believe, but “When Abortion Was a Crime” is a fascinating look at the roughly 100 years when it was for the most part illegal nationwide (around 1867 to 1970). One of the tidbits that stuck with me was a claim that abortion rates in the Victorian era were, per capita, several times what they are today.

    In addition to his Poor Make Babies for Rich yammering, Douthat brings up that idiotic piece about The Pill’s 50th birthday. The author attempted to make the ludicrous claim that The Pill is to blame for women putting off having kids until it’s too late and then suffering aching regret. And it’s all The Pill’s fault!

    (Why does no one ever do a piece on how a family-unfriendly work culture leads women to delay having kids? Oh right, because then they can’t talk about party girls and make outdated references to “Sex and the City.” )

  35. 35
    Martin says:

    @Dennis SGMM: See, the free market solves all problems. This is a feature, not a bug.

  36. 36
    RoonieRoo says:

    When I was growing up my father, a family lawyer, handled many adoptions. It was his favorite type of case. But somewhere around the end of the 70’s – beginning of the 80’s he stopped being involved with them.

    I asked him why and he said that the laws were changing to where it was harder to adopt without risks that the birth parent would change their mind 10 years later and come take the kid. That is an oversimplification but it’s what I remember of his basic description of why he stopped being involved. The birth parents rights were becoming so much stronger than the adoptive parents and the cost of adoption was skyrocketing beyond the means of many middle class parents who did want to adopt.

    This was a conversation I had with my dad almost 30 years ago, so I don’t know what it is like now to adopt.

  37. 37
    4jkb4ia says:

    @Karen:
    Allen West and Tim Scott are hardly members of Stormfront, however repulsive Allen West may otherwise be as a human being.

  38. 38
    slag says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes. But if you’re a white male, that attitude clearly makes you a traitor to your race.

  39. 39
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    I graduated from high school in 1968. It’s an issue very close to home for a lot of women my age and older.

  40. 40

    @Martin:

    I’m amazed no Republican politician has brought it up yet. Any bets on how long it’ll be before DeMint pushes this scheme? Maybe not for little white babies, but, hell, hospitals could sell off all the little black and hispanic babies to sweatshops or something. Everybody wins!

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @slag: Can I be a traitor to my class for being a Democrat too?

  42. 42
    PhoenixRising says:

    Now I have to go read the loathsome Thernstrom’s account of baby farming to see if it is as grotesque as I expect

    Oh dear. It’s far worse than you could imagine. I literally took the mouse away from my wife, because I love her and would hate for her head to explode from the force of that awful woman’s self-centeredness. It was not enough for her to make her perfect designer babies within relationships that she dictates the terms of, she has to justify her choice by making false claims about adoption.

    As I sprained in her comments and will repeat here: Rich white lady, please. If you aren’t willing to adopt one of the many healthy babies that need families, that’s okay. No judgment* from those of us who did–but could you just STFU about how impossible it is to adopt? All you had to say was, we didnt want to adopt–full stop.

    Adoption is not actually a tool for finding you a baby; since adoption is instead about the human needs of actual babies, let’s not reduce their chances of getting loving families by telling privileged people dumb enough to listen to this twaddle that adoption! Is! Impossible, leaving out the important words “to meet my needs”.

    Kids need parents, you didn’t want “a baby” you wanted your perfect white vision of a baby who looks like both of you. (Needless to say one can only hope that these individuals who went to all this trouble to make their babies are not confronted by unexpected imperfections in their kids.)

    *Except whoever that fool is who wants to outlaw adoption upthread a bit, you are judged too ignorant of the various child welfare problems humans experience since the dawn of our species to have an opinion.

  43. 43
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Nicole:

    Why does no one ever do a piece on how a family-unfriendly work culture leads women to delay having kids?

    And God help you if you have a special-needs child. Our son is autistic and for years my wife and I never spent time together during the week because I had to work nights while she worked days in order to provide our son with the care that he needed. One of the things that very much annoys me to this minute is the way people like Douthat in particular and conservatives in general want women to have babies no matter what while denying them the support needed to make child rearing less the ordeal that it can be for some.

  44. 44
    Jules says:

    I try not to read Ross Douthat (pronounced, in my head, “Doubt-that”)

    In my head his last name reads “Douche-Hat…..

    Really the whole article made me stabby and by the time I got over to the NYTs the comments were closed though many of my points had been already made by better folks then I.
    BUT #9 had this tid-bit from some jebus loving Real American Sarah Plain Flying Monkey Teabagger:

    Those deicisions should be made a the state, not the federal level. If inner-city New Yorkers believe that more of their girls should have abortions then fine, but allow ordinary Americans from Montana and Georgia to make a different decision about their people and their state. In any case, this was an excellent editorial for the beginning of a new year

    WTF?
    “their girls”? They might as well say “their negros”….
    As if no one but women (yes I was pissed with women being called “girls”) from an inner city ever got a fucking abortion.
    I.
    Hate.
    These.
    People.

  45. 45
    slag says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes. Only elitist Democrats are concerned with non-white children.

  46. 46
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jules: So the problem is that ordinary Americans aren’t allowed to choose what choices to impose on their girls? Kinda scary to think somebody, somebody whose vote counts for as much as mine, typed that out thinking it was an argument of iron-clad logic and moral clarity.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Why stop there? I’ll bet that many of those ordinary Americans from Montana and Georgia would like to own other ordinary Americans. Why should the federal government intervene between a person and their property?

  49. 49
    Anne Laurie says:

    @hamletta: __

    Didn’t Mary Tyler Moore make a TV movie a few years back about some evil, baby-snatchin’ social worker who used to sell ‘em on to the highest bidder?

    Yep, “The Baby Thief” — also about Georgia Tann. It’s weirdly fascinating how literally thousands of peoples’ lives were directly affected by this one woman’s sociopathic talent for working the prejudices of the society she grew up in, and yet she’s… invisible. She basically invented “adoption” as Americans knew it between the 1930s and the 1980s, she (quasi-legally) kidnapped hundreds of children and was responsible for the deaths of dozens, and despite the dramatic possibilities, all those tragedies have just been written out of the histories.

  50. 50
    slag says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    Kids need parents, you didn’t want “a baby” you wanted your perfect white vision of a baby who looks like both of you

    I think this pretty much describes much–though not all–of the culture (baby and otherwise) in this country. It’s unadulterated narcissism dressed up as self-sacrifice.

  51. 51
    Karen says:

    I find it ironic that the babies in these rich white “deserving” families will probably be raised by non white nannies.

  52. 52
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @slag:

    It’s unadulterated narcissism…

    Well, that certainly explains Facebook, Twitter, and non-stop texting.

  53. 53
    sneezy says:

    “would-be adoptive parents face a waiting list that has lengthened beyond reason.”

    I just cannot understand what would lead someone to say that, as if the purpose of adoption was not to find good homes for children who need them, but instead to satisfy the desires of would-be adoptive parents. It’s a bizarre way of looking at things.

  54. 54
    slag says:

    @Dennis SGMM: I was never a believer in the “good ol’ days” mystique, but you’ve just mentioned the only three technologies I can think of that make me fear for our future. Even more than the atomic bomb.

    Vainglorious armies are being self-reinforced as we speak. Ayn Rand would be so pleased.

    Oh yeah…and get off of my lawn!

  55. 55
    suzanne says:

    I am so, SO sick of the notion that having the family you want is a fucking class privilege.

    Sadly, I see plenty of people across the political spectrum who seem to believe this.

  56. 56
    Nutella says:

    An important point that is too often ignored by the people who tell us abortion is immoral:

    Douthat doesn’t care or think deeply about the sacred potentiality of human life. The number of little sacred human potentialities ultimately frozen, discarded, and destroyed by the upper-class fertility industry employed by Melanie Thernstrom’s “six failed in vitro cycles, an egg donor and two surrogate mothers, and an untold fortune in expenses” is immense, and yet it goes entirely unremarked and unnoticed, whereas an extracted blastocyst from a woman who, interesting interesting, happens to be poor and lacking “a script for sexual maturity,” is definitely a daughter.

    source

  57. 57
    Yutsano says:

    @Nutella: These are also the same people who have conniptions when you mention taking what is essentially discarded material and giving them a potential usage as stem cell lines. They would rather they just be discarded than used to give a person a second chance at walking.

  58. 58
    JGabriel says:

    Ross Douthat:

    Today, just 1 percent of babies born to unwed mothers are adopted, and would-be adoptive parents face a waiting list that has lengthened beyond reason.

    One of the implicit assumptions in this argument — and I always find it utterly mind-boggling that people resort to it — is the idea that adoption is for the benefit of the would-be parents.

    No. No, it’s not. It’s for the benefit of the child, who, for whatever reason needs parents. Stop wishing for parentless children to fulfill your parenting wishes.

    Stop being selfish jackasses.

    .

  59. 59
    burnspbesq says:

    Ross, ya idjit, for the last time, get this through that block of impermeable igneous rock that sits atop your shoulders.

    “The Handmaid’s Tale” is FICTION. It is NOT an instruction manual.

  60. 60
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Ross, ya idjit, for the last time, get this through that block of impermeable igneous rock that sits atop your shoulders.

    I think you have, in rather succinct and clear terms, defined the exact issue with Douthat. He’s pretty much a total blockhead. Well done indeed good sir.

  61. 61

    @asiangrrlMN: every time you say you hate promoting yourself, i’m going to force you to move further south.

    florida, here you come!

  62. 62

    @Jules: it’s this “ordinary americans” bullshit that really chaps my ass.

    just say “white americans from the middle.” that’s what they mean. ordinary americans, my ass. i will henceforth refer to them as the dumbfucking hillbillies in the middle.

    brought to you by carl’s jr.

  63. 63
    Yutsano says:

    @Angry Black Lady: Oh you REALLY want to push that envelope don’t you? Personally I think she should chip in for rotating Google ads featuring her ink shots.

  64. 64

    @PhoenixRising: i’m not going to read the article because it would surely make my head explode.

    it’s not hard AT ALL to adopt… if you don’t care adopting ::gasp:: a non-white baby.

    full disclo: i’m adopted. my mom is white. dad is black. i found out in high school that after they adopted me, my mom got pregnant (pops’ swimmers were ok after all) and had an abortion because at the time, they didn’t have the resources or the sanity (raising me was… fun for them) to raise a second.

    now there’s a tale that would make that twatwaffle’s head explode. (a white lady aborts her own baby because she adopted a little black baby! the horror! the horror!) then again, maybe not since the byproduct of my miscegenatoverlords would have been one of them there moolatoes.

    i fucking hate people.

  65. 65
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Angry Black Lady: Damn, girl. You play rough!

    @Yutsano: I can get behind this idea. If it will bring in monies for my angry black overlady, I will bare my tats in their full glory.

    ETA: I need to shower after reading your comment. Ew.

    @Jules: I must have missed that particularly egregious comment. I mostly gloated over how the vast majority of the comments tore Douthat’s head off in a very erudite fashion.

    4jkb4ia, thanks. Did you like the way I veered off track halfway through?

  66. 66
    Yutsano says:

    @Angry Black Lady: Are you kidding me? Ross would be overcome with joy that your mother didn’t produce from her sin of miscegenation. That would be a worse sin in his eyes than your mother committing murder. It’s not like it was a pure white soul or anything.

    (Why do I feel like I need a shower after typing that?)

    @asiangrrlMN: You could bare the jubleys too. I and I bet the vast majority of the straight males on here would have no objection. Hell I bet even FH #1 would approve.

  67. 67
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: This is true. That would certainly garner more clicks. The things I do for the angry black overlady. Dramatic sigh.

    P.S. I bet the ladies who love ladies wouldn’t mind, either. And, as I have turned two straight women into bi-curious at the very least, who knows how many others I can entrap?

  68. 68
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Always gotta keep your eyes on the prize. Plus this will give you extra conservatard cred when you confess the error of your ways and go hardcore wingnut.

  69. 69
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: Oh! So very true.

    You feeling any better?

    I always read Douthat’s name as Do-that, which I wouldn’t.

  70. 70
    burnspbesq says:

    OT: watching a replay of the Georgetown – St. John’s game on espn3.com. I realize he’s 85 years old, but Lou Carnesecca does not look well.

    ETA: Glad to see St. John’s moving in the right direction. It’s good for the game to have a good team in the city. It’s also good for the city.

  71. 71
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I’ve even heard his damn name pronounced and I’m still not sure how to say it. I fully recognize this could be intentional indifference.

  72. 72
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah. I agree with the indifference bit. Sometimes, I think douche-hat because that pretty much describes him. Whatever. I’m still reading the DYAC site and cracking up.

    ETA: I do think some of the autocorrects are actually user error, but the user just doesn’t want to admit it.

  73. 73
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Peoples iz nevr wrong, it must be stoopid teknologie!

    (I think you’re spot on there, plus IIRC you have the chance to overrule it before you hit send.)

  74. 74
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: Really? So people are texting without reading their texts? Makes sense, I guess. I don’t text, so I don’t know. Auto-correct would drive me batty if I did text on a regular basis. I shut the one on my phone off. Plus, I do not believe that ‘pure genius’ would get auto-corrected into masturbating. Unless the iPhone geeks are fucking with Steve Jobs. That’s possible, I guess.

  75. 75
    Roger Moore says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I should have trusted TBogg.

    As they say on Sadly No!, always trust the shorter(TM). Always Trust The Shorter!

  76. 76
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Always remember: the rats, they shall not fuck themselves.

    Oh and kitteh pic two threads down. You’re welcome.

    Also: does it mean anything if cereal is the only food that sounds good to you?

  77. 77
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: This is true. It means you’re sick. Squee! Kitteh. I will go check.

    @Roger Moore: You are so right. Especially when it comes to Douthat. TBogg nails him every time. Then again, I got a decent blog post out of it, so I suppose it was…worth…it…..

  78. 78
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Usually when I get a bizarro craving like this I start teasing a certain someone about a biological condition directly related to this thread. As I alas have not spoken to him in a long time, I’m forced to accept your conclusion as valid.

  79. 79
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: Ha! Double ha! That would be funny. And, Lexie is soooooo cute! I love her big eyes and fluffy fur and SQUEEEE! My Raven likes drinking from the tap, and he will even dunk his head under the stream from time to time.

    Right now, they are snuggling and snoozing in the papasan besides the computer. Awwwwwwww.

  80. 80
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: She is right now stalking around right next to me. When the glasses were broken she was all excited because she had two new toys! Which of course rendered the gluing situation rather difficult.

    And she’s attacking my hand. Also.

  81. 81
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: Oh, yeah. I could see how that would make for exciting fun to a kitten. She is a doll-baby.

  82. 82
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I forgot to mention: she has barely forgiven me for the car ride to the ranch, but that’s not the big detail from that. After we got home, she turned into an even bigger lovebug. I kinda like it.

  83. 83
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: I was wondering how she dealt with that. She’s barely over it, and yet, she’s more of a lovebug? Huh?

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen:

    And God forbid a white couple adopt a non-white baby (shudder!)*

    It used to happen a fair amount in the late 1960s and 1970s, but — surprise surprise — it turned out that those babies were essentially being stolen and their mothers had been pressured into giving them up, so many social agencies put a ban on those adoptions. Plus more than a few civil rights groups complained about black children being stolen from their community.

    The pendulum has probably swung back at this point, but the ban that was originally well-meant remains in many places.

  85. 85
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I get the look of utter contempt whenever I leave the condo. She’s definitely carrying some sort of chip on her shoulder.

    And I should crawl into bed now. Well, I’m already there, but you know what I mean!

  86. 86
    aliasofwestgate says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That explains the difficulty my parents had adopting me in from between 1978 to 1981(when they finally got it all finalized). I’m a mixed kid that was adopted by a white couple, it took 3 years to get through all that red tape, but they did it. By that point, i was able to answer the judge on what i wanted too, which is still a somewhat foggy memory but other parts are still very clear too. (Yes i was 4, what of it?)

    It was a private adoption too. My parents had spoken many times with my birth parents during the entire process.

  87. 87
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: She’s probably just mad because you’re leaving her. Night. I hope you feel better. I’m outie, too. Night, all.

  88. 88
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Can I join your club as I also have both of these afflictions?

  89. 89
    Mark S. says:

    Why do Americans hate America?

    Sixty-one percent of Americans polled would rather see taxes for the wealthy increased as a first step to tackling the deficit, the poll showed. The next most popular way — chosen by 20 percent — was to cut defense spending.

    Why do so many of these people vote Republican?

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    @asiangrrlMN:
    Dropped you a line at ABL’s place.

  91. 91
    Darkrose says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    If it will bring in monies for my angry black overlady, I will bare my tats in their full glory.

    I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  92. 92
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mark S.: Because Democratic men aren’t masculine enough, because the wrong people vote Democrat, because liberal Democrats run prisons with revolving doors, because crime rates are rising exponentially each year, because we aren’t really a very peace loving people and are easily convinced that the latest laser guided howitzer is absolutely critical to our security and must be fully funded or else, because we aren’t rich and figure that as long as our own taxes don’t go up its ok, because when republicans talk about “broadening the tax base” we don’t think that we’re in the broad part, because what part of illegal don’t you understand, because Democrats will take your guns and sell them to barbarians….and liberals are snotty and tell you what to eat.

    Lots of reasons I guess…

  93. 93
    drunken hausfrau says:

    The whole “right to life” schtick is about perfect white babies… it used to really infuriate me, driving along, in a very urban ghetto neighborhood, to see the giant anti-abortion billboard with a “perfect white baby” (dimples! Blond hair!) gazing down. Or the TV commercials, in which a lovely middle class white woman would rake leaves and talk about how the best decision she made was to have & keep her baby, now a lovely teenage daughter who comes up to hug her. Or the one with the lovely middle class white lady is in a lovely middle class home (complete with roaring fire in the fireplace), same outcome: lovely teenage daughter comes to hug her and eat a freshly baked cookie. Might as well have had fairy godmothers and dwarves and handsome princes on horses in all this advertising.

  94. 94
    zattarra says:

    Does it never occur to Douche-bag that there are many reasons people do not adopt that have nothing whatsoever to do with Abortion? I don’t get it. Has he realized how much the Bush Recession has hurt adoptions?

    Adoption in this country is not cheap, it is not easy and there are many homes that would love to adopt any child (not just perfect white babies) that simply can’t afford to do so right now because nobody has any money but it costs upwards of $20,000 to adopt. Yes there are many fine tax credits for adoption and thanks to the Obama administration those tax credits are higher than they have ever been (just another thing nobody will ever give the President credit for) but you still need to have money to adopt in this country. And not just the services or fees. Agencies are not going to allow you to adopt if your “home environment” is unstable. What factors in there – well, if your home is in foreclosure that’s a negative, if you are working two jobs and will never be home that is a negative, if your credit rating is killed because the economy screwed you, that’s a negative. Yeah, George W. Bush and his economic “vision” destroyed adoption also. But heaven forbid a right wing Asshat ever recognize that fact.

    As for open adoption – I’ve heard this line plenty of times from friends adopting (who went overseas) “if the birth parent has any right to come and take my adopted child away then I’m not adopting that kid.” These are people who had no problem adopting a child of a different race, they had no problem bringing a different race child into their white, middle class american home. They just were not going to bring in a child that the courts might decide wasn’t their child in a few years. My wife and I (both white) feel the same way – and if/when this broken system would allow us to adopt (they take issue with my wife’s health) there is no way we touch an open adoption. We’re not trying for this “perfect white baby” but we are trying for OUR kid – no way do I touch a system that can come along and determine that OUR kid is not ours after some period of time.

  95. 95
    Comrade Baron Elmo says:

    Don’t know if anyone brought it up in any of the other Douthat baby-as-commodity threads, but George Carlin laid out the definitive rebuttal right here.

    Two paragraphs into the Douthat editorial, I could almost see Carlin pacing the stage, snarling “Conservatives believe that a woman’s primary role is to function as a brood mare for the state!”

    Watch the clip. Carlin’s rage is downright soothing after the pious twittering of Douthat. Imagining them in a one-on-one debate is one of the nicest fantasies I’ve ever conjured up. (George would have Ross wetting his pants within five minutes.)

  96. 96
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Darkrose:

    I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter live video feed.

    Fix’t.

  97. 97
    Xenos says:

    A bit late to the conversation here, but it is worth noting that institutionalized adoption as we know it was an American innovation that was used to ship thousands of foundlings out of teeming 19th century cities out to the countryside which had a constant labor shortage. Adoption was not even legally possible in England until 1928, which is why all those Victorian novels involve wards and guardians, and never adoptive parents for the poor little dears.

  98. 98
    Sly says:

    Say, that reminds me, how’d you get that kid so darned fast? Me and Dot went in to adopt on account of somethin’ went wrong with my semen, and they said we had to wait five years for a healthy white baby. I said, “Healthy white baby? Five years? What else you got?” Said they got two Koreans, and a negro born with his heart on the outside.

    It’s a crazy world.

  99. 99
    kay says:

    @zattarra:

    They just were not going to bring in a child that the courts might decide wasn’t their child in a few years.

    I’m curious where this is coming from: I’ve now read it 4 times in this thread. I do a lot of adoptions, and I’m honestly not clear on this. Birth parents start with a fundamental right to raise their own children. The child has interests, and the (prospective) adoptive parents have interests. The process is designed to balance those three things. It’s imperfect, but that’s the nature of balancing those three things.
    If it’s done properly, and each and every procedural protection and interest is respected, there shouldn’t be a situation where “courts decide” anything, once the child is adopted.
    I may be ignorant on what’s going on in what we call here “private” adoptions because I do “public adoptions”, where the child has been removed and the parents have lost or given up parental rights, and then a “foster to adopt” parent moves to adopt, but I’m not sure where this idea that adoptions are not final is coming from, or that courts are grabbing children who have been adopted and returning them to birth parents.
    I’d be interested to read how these situations come about. I suspect it’s not because someone gave too much deference to the birth parent’s fundamental rights, as Douhat slyly suggests (who doesn’t any idea what he’s talking about) I suspect it’s because someone skipped a step, or screwed up, and trampled all over someone’s right or interests. That absolutely happens.

  100. 100
    JCT says:

    Anne- I’m really glad you posted this, I alluded to this “reality” yesterday in the other thread.

    This is all part of the “wonderful” 50’s that Boehner misses.

    And the NYT needs to get rid of Douhat. Enough is enough, this “article” of his was just vile.

  101. 101

    @Mnemosyne: That’s 97% urban legend and it continues to consign countless non-Caucasian kids to the orphanage/foster care system until they reach the age of majority and then bu-bye.

    Thanks to one or two “studies” conducted by people who were either well meaning but incredibly stupid or just plain evil, people continue to think it would be bad for the non-white kid to be adopted by white parents. (But non-white kids fostered by white parents is A-OK. Hmmm.)

  102. 102
    JohnR says:

    It’s not just Douthat. Loads of right-wingers, and a goodly number of everybody else, (a) Know that their beliefs are Reality, and (b) Know that Now has always been this way, and should always be this way.
    That’s another thing Orwell got right – almost all of us welcome Big Brother. After all, thinking is hard. So is free will.

  103. 103
    jon says:

    Birth parents now have more options than a take it and raise it or a leave it and forget it. They can opt for the total giveaway, which leads to the adoptive parents getting named on a birth certificate and everything being officially as if the new parents went through with a pregnancy. And then there’s the rights of the child to figure out who the biological parents are, which is different from state to state and country to country and has some sperm donors nervous and some children anticipatory of who they “really are”.

    The “open adoptions” , where the child keeps the birth and adoptive parents in their lives, are supposedly more common nowadays. Some states probably don’t allow it, but I think it’s the sanest way to go about that.

    Then again, I wouldn’t want to be a ten-year-old this guy every other weekend.

  104. 104
    kay says:

    @JGabriel:

    One of the implicit assumptions in this argument — and I always find it utterly mind-boggling that people resort to it —is the idea that adoption is for the benefit of the would-be parents.

    Douhat is all screwed up on this. The thinking behind “open” adoptions was child-centered, not parent-centered. The idea was that children have X amount of caring adults in this world. The intent was to maximize the chances that those relationships would benefit the child, which is (actually) how extended families work. There’s a whole bunch of people, with varying roles, and you’d look at it from the perspective of the child, so they’d all be revolving around that child.
    I think it’s so doctrinaire conservative the way he looks at this: as a battle between various black-white outcomes, where it’s all “rights” and abstract theory.
    He can’t deal with the messy world. He wants to clean it up and make it tidy, no matter how that actually works as a practical matter.

  105. 105
    vg says:

    An excellent reminder of why I don’t read this site anymore. Not once in the column is the word “deserving” used, yet it is used in scare quotes. “Oh, but didn’t you know scare quotes mean sarcasm?” No, actually they don’t, unless you’re thirteen.

    Baby boomers writing like teenagers. What a site!

  106. 106
    aimai says:

    @kay:

    Kay, I agree with you–the notion that “someone can come back thirty years later” seems far fetched. I do know of a case, personally, where during a kind of “trial period” of a year (?) some friends of my brother’s had an adopted infant taken away. This was in California. And it was very traumatic for them but it was perfectly clear at the outset that it could happen. Perhaps they were fostering on the way to adoption.

    I seem to remember some high profile cases where, as you put it, a “step was skipped” and the birth father hadn’t signed off, or else the child itself was wrongfully taken from the birth parents who then fought to reclaim it. Perhaps that is what people are thinking of.

    We already have baby farms in this world: I read an article a year ago about baby farming/surrogate mothers in India that was absolutely hair raising. Wealthy white people are going to India and hiring surrogate mothers who are impregnated with an entirely foreign fetus, used as brood mares, and then paid off.

    I appreciate that people want what they want in the matter of family formation but some acts and attitudes are just obviously immoral and wanting to recreate the perfect family doesn’t excuse that.

    (Aunt of two adopted girls from another country.)

    aimai

  107. 107
    ET says:

    @RoonieRoo: What that likely meant was that adoptions weren’t as coercive and closed. If all the legalities are observed an adoption shouldn’t be prey to being overturned no matter the law. All the problems we see in the media are because someone lied and/or didn’t observe all the rules thereby leaving the door open.

    I was adopted in 1968 in a closed adoption and the chances of that being overturned were pretty much nil because the laws were so strict and the process was quite closed and opaque. I was also born and adopted in the South where unwed mothers bore the stigma very heavily. Likely the mother had been told, with the obligatory doom and gloom wording and tone, to not bother or “bad things are going to happen.”

    As someone adopted before Roe v. Wade I am fully aware that my biological mother could have aborted me. Still doesn’t change my pro-choice position.

    I was a healthy white baby so I was in high demand and not an African-American boy.

  108. 108
    kay says:

    @aimai:

    Perhaps they were fostering on the way to adoption.

    It’s state law, so it varies, but I can’t imagine a “trial period” (I shudder, aimai, that sounds like a nightmare) because adoption is such an (ultimately) determinative process: adopted children are identical to those born to the parent.

    I think they were probably foster to adopt and were emotionally the parents (I completely sympathize), but there had to be some birth parent’s residual rights in play, because if it’s done completely the birth parent’s rights are gone. They don’t exist. Now, there can be a consensual agreement between all sorts of people as far as visitation, but that’s different.

    Parentage issues with fathers are huge, and that can be a sad disaster for everyone. If the father doesn’t know he’s a father, for example. We just had one here (not mine) like that and it went to the Ohio Supreme Court and no one left happy.

    That was a result of an overzealous private agency who skipped steps, so there’s no “bad guy” among the three parents, it’s just sad all around. Everyone lost.

    This is no comfort to adoptive parents, but the fact that the process takes a long time is a benefit, ultimately, because all the issues (truth!) will probably come out with the passage of time.

  109. 109
    DanF says:

    I know two families that were able to adopt children into their families within mere months. One family consisted of the conservative ideal of two parents, two kids – the other was a single gay mother of one. Both adopted African-American infants. Five years later, all of the children and parents are beautiful, smart, and kicking ass.

    The only “gap” that needs to be bridged is that whole racist bullshit gap. Right now, I want to pulp Douthat’s face.

  110. 110
    kay says:

    @aimai:

    I just think he lives in another world. People do all sorts of arrangements for child-rearing, and that’s been a constant throughout US history. It was fluid as hell, back in the day, because parents died. There were grandmothers acting as mothers (tons of those now) and aunts acting as mothers, and brothers acting as fathers (I still do those, in abuse, neglect and dependency cases, where the grown brother/sister is named the guardian of a younger sib).

    Incarcerated parents work out all kinds of arrangements. It can be incredibly complicated, but if it’s done well and thoughtfully, with lots and lots of “if this, then this” it can work.

  111. 111
    twiffer says:

    @Angry Black Lady: i just take that to mean the rest are “extraordinary” americans.

  112. 112
    PTirebiter says:

    Beginning in the 1940s and 1950s, illegitimacy began to be defined in terms of psychological deficits on the part of the mother…
    The dominant psychological and social work view was that the large majority of unmarried mothers were better off being separated by adoption from their newborn babies.

    From what I’ve read while looking into the eugenics movement of the era, the community that held this dominant view, restricted its concern and interventions to the unmarried white population. The major homes/adoption mills for unwed mothers were whites only.
    I was also stunned to read that a hospital abortion in New York at the time required the unanimous approval of the hospital’s board and, if approved, required the simultaneous sterilization of the woman. Bridging Douthat’s gap back in the day was Barbaric.

  113. 113
    Pat says:

    I must be reading wrong, but if 1% (down from 20%) of babies born to unwed mothers are adopted, this shows that fewer (or a lower percentage of) already born babies are not being made available for adoption. What does this have to do with Roe v Wade and abortion?

  114. 114
    Phyllis says:

    ‘The Girls Who Went Away’ directly addresses how unwed mothers from the late 30’s up until about 1970 were dealt with. Their children were basically stolen from them for adoption mills.

    Douthat is a tremendouche. Hat tip Tomato Nation.

  115. 115
    twiffer says:

    the “growing acceptance of single parenting” is a throw-away line for douthat, but i think the crux of the matter. giving a child up for adoption requires bringing it to term. without the stigma of being an unwed mother, there is less emotional incentive to give a child up for adoption. moreover, there is more support for teen pregnancies, within their families (and beyond).

    adoption is…complex. i don’t know my b-family at all. my parents, i think, met my b-grandmother, but that’s it. now, my b-mom was 15 at the time and left me a note explaining her decision. i’m sure it was tough for her, but she (probably rightly) felt she couldn’t raise me the way she would have wanted too. that, and a bit of inheritable genetic info (apparently mypoia runs in my b-family. given the strength of my prescription, i could have figured that one out) is the sum of my knowledge about her. nor have i made more than a token effort (driven by a fairly idle curiosity) to find more out. my a-family, warts and all, is my family.

    now, i was adopted as an infant (and a sickly one at that, guess it was touch and go for a while), so i’ve never known another family. i’ve also always (well, so long as i can remember) known i was adopted. my brothers came from a different b-family and situation, and have met some of their b-siblings. they were 6 and 3 when adopted though, so have memories to drive them.

    bit of a digression, but the point is, adoption is not the counter to abortion. abortion is an end to pregnancy. adoption is a possible solution to making sure a child has parents. it is not as simple as saying: don’t abort, give the kid up for adoption. because that needs to be a rational decision, and having a child brings forth a whole bunch of emotions that can get in the way of making rational and economic decisions.

  116. 116
    Trumandem says:

    My wife and I being foolish and misguided liberals decided to put our liberal beliefs into >gasp< practice. When we discovered we could not concieve we decided to adopt. We made a critical decision not go the usual adoption route and instead decided to be foster parents with the hope that we would eventually be in line to adopt a foster child if the circumstances seemed right for us and the child. We were excited to foster any child regardless of race, gender, creed or religious background to achieve our goal of one day adopting a child to expand our family. On the very day we qualified as foster parents we recieved a call to pick up a 4 week old baby girl who was rejected by her current foster parents for reasons to this day are unknown to us.

    Once we arrived to pick her up and we looked into her eyes that was it for me. I decided that for me personally this was going to be unbearable when the occasion arose for us to give her up once the courts decided her fate. I realized there and then this was untenable for me emotionally because to give her up would have killed me and I wasn't prepared to go through this again. I told my wife this might be it for me because I became so attached to her caring for her each day like she was our own. It was unimaginable to me trying to imagine the day I would have to give her up but I was prepared to do so at the emotional expense of not being capable of going through the process again. As it happened we were never put in a position by the courts to give her up. After a year the courts decided her status would be available for adoption with the foster parents having first choice. That was five years ago today. We never had an opportunity to foster other children as we decided that one child was enough considering our careers and financial circumstances. We were extremely lucky the circumstances turned so much in our and our little girls favor. We legally adopted her the day her legal status granted her open for selection. She is the very center of my wife and I's universe. We feel so lucky to have been blessed with the circumstances that gave us a beautiful, at the time nearly new born baby girl as our own. There are so many foster children that need people like us it is almost criminal to think they languish in homes waiting for a parent(s) that wants to include them in their family even for a short period. Foster parents are always getting bad raps in the media and entertainment industry. I realized after we got our little girl I was not one of those special people our socity is lucky to have that are willing to take on this task of fostrering children that badly need foster parents. I can't tell you how many times I've run into so called anti abortion conservatives who have heard our story look at us like we were crazy to go this route and take in a child from the great unwashed opting to not put their beliefs into practice.

  117. 117
    Original Lee says:

    @sneezy: This. The self-absorbed consumer taken to the next logical limit.

  118. 118
    AAA Bonds says:

    As far as I can tell, most right-wingers stumble across the fascinating series of cases that deal with surrogate pregnancies and immediately turn into Thomas Sowell.

    “Well,” they think, “if they are doing all this icky woman stuff that makes me see spots when I think about it, hey! That means that human bodies should be sold on the market! WE WIN!”

    Except, of course, that those decisions are carefully crafted to preserve individual liberties while avoiding that reprehensible structure, because that’s a fucking scary place to take your society.

  119. 119

    […] Are Not Consumer Goods, agrees Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice. “Even at its best, adoption is never a simple transfer between independent […]

  120. 120
    Wally Ballou says:

    @drunken hausfrau:

    Now, you know that isn’t fair. Right to life is most certainly not just about perfect white babies!

    There’s also the slut-shaming, and getting those uppity career bitches back into the kitchen where they belong.

  121. 121
    andrea says:

    @PTirebiter:

    I was also stunned to read that a hospital abortion in New York at the time required the unanimous approval of the hospital’s board and, if approved, required the simultaneous sterilization of the woman. Bridging Douthat’s gap back in the day was Barbaric.

    A friend had an abortion at a Davis, CA hospital pre Roe v. Wade. She had to get approval of the hospital board, which she did by saying she was sufficiently unstable that if forced to continue her pregnancy, she would have a nervous breakdown.

  122. 122
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    So Douthat is an obtuse bag of shit?

    Imagine my surprise.

  123. 123

    […] not going to repeat what others have said better.  Read our own Anne Laurie’s take (and her next verbal RPG); check out Amanda Marcotte, who ropes, ties, brands and clips young […]

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  2. […] Are Not Consumer Goods, agrees Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice. “Even at its best, adoption is never a simple transfer between independent […]

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