Yesterday I posted about the Italian woman who was forced into a C Section because, according to British Child Services, she had suffered a mental breakdown. In my post, I said that I had heard similar stories about migrant women (not the forcible birth but the involvement of Child Services because their motherhood skills are questioned more often than their White counterparts). I had no data about the Italian woman in question so I did not feel comfortable speculating about her ethnicity. However, for the past 24 hours I have been monitoring a number of Italian news sites in the hopes that more info about the woman becomes available. English speaking media is behind its Italian counterpart in updating the development of this story. A moment ago I finally found what I had suspected. Via Repubblica (translation from Italian mine):
“I want my daughter back, I am suffering like an animal. I was forced into a C-Section without my consent. The day of the forced delivery I thought they were moving me from one room to another while I kept saying I wanted to return to Italy. Then I was sedated and when I woke up, she was gone. She was taken away from me.
Speaking like a wounded mother, Alessandra Panchieri, 35 years old, from Chainciano. She is the woman who suffers from bipolar disorder whose daughter was taken away in Essex, England. […]
The baby’s father, who is from Senegal, and an American relative of mine, Indra Armstrong, were both available to take care of the child but the British social services have ignored this. Why? Why did nobody help me?”
And there you have it. The baby’s father, who was willing and available to take care of the child, is from Senegal.
Her mother is A. She is an Italian national. Her father is B who is a Senegalese national, he is currently living in Italy. His situation is unclear, as I understand it he travelled there under a student visa, at least on one version, and is an over-stayer. He certainly has no status in Italy and he is unable, as I understand it, as a result of his status, either to leave Italy at all , and is certainly not able to come to the United Kingdom.
This is what happens to children of color born from an undocumented parent. Given away like the spoils of the Empire, to decide their fate and future.
Our personal adoption stories have nothing to do with it. It is the system. The system of adoption is inherently classist, racist, and misogynistic.
It is heartbreaking that families are torn apart because society hates women, hates children, hates poor people, etc. It is heartbreaking no matter the circumstances when a child is taken away from their mother (and father/other family), even if it truly is necessary - which it generally isn’t. Losing one’s mother/family is a tragedy. Especially when talking about infants who are so completely and utterly attuned to their mothers and cannot rationally process the loss. It’s so sad.
Then, on top of that of that loss, adoptees have their names and original identities stripped from them, and those original identities are sealed. The loss is further compounded by the fact that society doesn’t see that there is any loss. You must be grateful and happy to be adopted, and if you aren’t, you’re a bad, ungrateful adoptee. As the Revered Keith C Griffith put it, “Adoption loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful.”
If you have had a good adoption experience, that’s good for you. I mean that sincerely. But “good” adoption stories don’t erase the severe problems within the system of adoption. Writing about the problems in adoption would take a long time, and I am very not good at the education side of it.
So if you’re interested:
Brand-X is an international transracial Class Bastard who is pretty good at that stuff, especially with connecting it to other issues that I know you’re interested in (feminism, anti-racism, human rights, etc).
I can’t think of anyone else I liked when I was de-fogging, other than books. If I think of someone, I’ll put them in the master post I’m creating. Not sure how long it will take - adoption is a very difficult topic for me.
Editing to add one of my other favourites: Adoption Sometimes Gets All Fucked Up, 101 by Fugitivus
Adoption is sickening and heartbreaking and I really wish pro-choicers would stop jumping on the bloody bandwagon.
I’d love to see less of it in the world. Not the same amount but driven underground into exploitative, dangerous structures meant to punish women for sex as is the current mainstream “pro life” result, but actually less.
Because the things that actually would reduce it (and do in other countries)? Higher wages, better health care and maternity options, a stronger economy so more people could afford children. More gender equality. Fewer abusive relationships so more mothers would feel safe. Easier queer adoption so more families would be available. Advances in medicine that would make more conditions curable. Less shit in our food contributing to fetal issues. No or at least way fewer rapes. No or at least way fewer cases of incest or molestation. Less child abuse. Less human trafficking and forced sex work. Better sex education. Less slut shaming. Easier access to good free birth control for all genders. I want to see abortion used rarely because women have such rights over their lives and bodies that they only become pregnant by choice, and for it to be as safe, private, autonomous, and honest as any other medical procedure.
But while that may be what I think, it doesn’t matter a flying pig fart because, not having the capacity to be a pregnant person, it’s not really my fucking business and sure as fuck not mine to dictate or legislate.
Okay this probably won’t be extremely rational because my ability to be calm basically goes out the window when I see the word adoption. Also why the fuck didn’t tumblr saviour catch this.
So, as I started out previously:
"Adoption has ZERO to do with abortion, and there is no dearth of wannabe adopters. Adoption is a classist, racist, and misogynistic institution that harms babies, mothers, & families and takes advantage of those in need. It is a multi-billion dollar business."
The LAST bloody thing we need is easier adoption - for anyone. It needs to be harder. Too many adoptees are already abused. We don’t need more adopters, we need LESS, and the ones we do get in future need to be WAY better trained (and preferably less narcissistic and self-serving, less of a saviour complex). And everyone goes on and on about queer people getting the “right” to adopt. Newsflash: There is no RIGHT to adopt. Everyone should have the opportunity to be allowed to be assessed for their suitability as possible adopters, but there is no bloody right to have someone else’s child(ren).
Firstly, adoption is not a reproductive choice. There are only two choices when pregnant: carry the baby or have an abortion. Adoption is a parenting “choice”, and it is NOT solely the mother’s decision. BOTH parents have the right to raise their child.
Secondly, adoption is a massive, massive business. There is a fuckton of money in adoption. And like I said, there’s no shortage of wannabe adoptoraptors. Guess what there is a shortage of. That’s right: Babies. Agencies spend a ton of money on marketing, and they’ve spent decades refining their pitches. I mean, it isn’t the 50s/60s anymore. You can’t just strap the mother down and literally steal the baby anymore. What you can do is extend and use the emotional coercion tactics that you’ve perfected all this time.
The industry does studies on how best to convince a mother to relinquish her baby. They know all of the right things to say and do to convince a mother that she is not the best person to raise her child and how to take steps to keep “the birth father” from “interfering” a.k.a. asserting his right to raise his child. (Most people have heard of Dusten Brown and the Baby Veronica case. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Adoption is the only arena I can safely say there actually is a problem with father’s rights being ignored.)
When the baby supply was drying up (after the Baby Scoop Era - this was the last time there were too many babies around - many of whom ended up being raised in care), they introduced “open” adoption and pre-birth matching. Both are extremely coercive, manipulative tactics. Quite often, lawyers represent both the wannabe adoptoraptors and the mother. Or if not, the mother’s lawyer is paid for by the wannabe adopters. Counselling, if any, is provided by the agency.
Wannabe adopters pay A LOT of money to procure a baby. How much depends in part on the baby’s race. White girls are typically the most expensive with black boys being the least expensive, and the closer a baby is to “white”, the higher the price.
I’m sure in this unorganised essay that I’ve missed several of the very glaring, very severe problems inherent in adoption. Setting aside all of the problems on the parents’ side, let’s take a very brief look at the side no one looks at - the adoptee.
And like I said, these are just the tip of the iceberg problems. For instance, I’ve completely ignored all of the psychological problems with adoption, and I’ve completely ignored the myriad of additional problems that are found in foster care and international/transracial adoption.
If you’d told my 13 year old self that in 13 years I’d be on facebook chatting with one of George Harrison’s kids, I probably would have fainted.
I can’t believe I made 50k in two weeks. My “novel” sucks, and it’s not even close to finished, but, hey, 50k in two weeks.