“Why is it that so many individuals in leadership positions are so impassioned about adoption issues and zealously exert their authority with such an overtly feverish intensity? Is it even possible today to make a personal choice about adoption without being overwhelmed by wholehearted individuals representing dozens of agencies and organizations with a myriad of contradictory points of view depending on their professional background and the side of the adoption triangle they are on?” Judith Land
Is it possible in this modern age to do anything in solitude in the privacy of our own home, to act alone in a state of being free from pubic attention and observation, and achieve freedom from interference? Let’s face it. Everyone is vulnerable. Most individuals have no first-hand knowledge or experience dealing with many of the complex and unforeseen issues associated with adoption. Adoptees whimsically daydreaming of reuniting with a lost parent may be exposed to intense primal emotions and sensibilities that outsiders don’t fully comprehend. Mothers thinking about relinquishing a child may lack vision and understanding of the degree of difficulty their child may experience later in life and naively lack empathy for the severe duress adoption may cause her child. Adoptive parents aspiring to expand their family may initially be unmindful of the complexities of adoption and psychological issues and post traumatic stress their adopted child may face in adolescence. More often than not, public administration is a struggle for many individuals to conquer that takes extreme fortitude and strength of character to work through the myriad of legal and financial issues and moral dilemmas before the desired results can be achieved. Difficult choices that are private often require a disciplined, principled, and blameless perspective, open-mindedness toward ineptitude, a tolerance for fatuousness, and a bulldozer to dispose of barriers, stumbling blocks, and persistent opposition.
Ultimately, adoption is a personal choice that is intimate and confidential that affects the private lives and relationships of specific individuals but when you prefer to act independently and alone it is easy to become overwhelmed by the forces of public opinion, demand for an adherence to rules, and overcome legal and social barriers that are difficult to navigate. Regardless of the position you find yourself in, or the side of the adoption triangle you are on, it is important to avoid making impulsive and temerarious decisions and refrain from being coerced into positions that you may later regret. As a first step, pause to think about the collective actions and wisdom of the saints, sinners, and salvageable of previous generations and learn to understand how outside influences may sway your opinions before finalizing your decision.
Who makes adoption policy and how does it come to fruition? Special interest groups with a specific purpose form societies, organizations, and associations to arouse concern, influence public opinion about adoption issues, prompt action, and campaign for change by lobbying politicians. Attorneys write laws for legislators hoping to enact new policies. Judges interpret and enforce the laws through the courts. Religious organizations struggle to address ethical and moral interpretations and guidance policies in response to evolving social priorities. Social service agencies establish written protocols and policies for dealing with specific issues leading to expanded manuals and internal training sessions. The media writes editorials and politicizes every aspect of the matters in question. Administrators create alternative action plans in response to new legislation requiring larger budgets and increased staff based on new aggregated procedures and a plethora of revised forms. Universities track statistics, conduct research, postulate about avant-garde theories, publish dissertations and hypothesize about a variety of suppositions. Book clubs expose leading authors and exchange opinions. Specialists in a broad range of agencies invent new legal, political, income tax, and social career niches. Support groups share intimate thoughts and feelings and personal stories. Psychologists invent new terminology to explain recently developed theories, revise diagnostic techniques and prescribe alternative treatment remedies. Nations pass treaties, accepted codes of procedure and behavior protocols for diplomatic occasions, and create a system of rules governing affairs of state regulating child trafficking and adoption policies. All of these actions collectively spur organizational changes, hiring of new personnel, increased training, budgets and a plethora of red tape. Any questions?
And you know what? Despite all of the collective actions of an ever-expanding assemblage of special interest groups and agencies, every action related to an adoption ultimately remains a “personal intimate matter” regardless of which side of the adoption triangle you are on. The only circumstance when you absolutely can’t make an individual choice or overcome the bureaucracy is when you fail to try.