October 4th, 2009
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BoomerangI first read about Anita Tedaldi on Strollerderby, one of my favorite parenting blogs. I decided to take a look at her side of the story on her blog. I also read all of the comments.

I could go on and write my opinion of this woman, but I’m not sure that would accomplish anything. Instead, I’m going to write about what stories like this do to hurt the perception of adoption.

When stories such as this one appear, some people who are considering adoption may stop doing so, because they feel that if this one woman couldn’t bond with her adopted son after having biological children, then they won’t either. You might argue that these people shouldn’t adopt, but some trepidation is natural.

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Similarly, others may be turned off by adoption by generalizing that all adopted children have attachment issues.

Then there’s the perception of those who haven’t adopted, will never adopt, and will use this story as a reason why adoption is never as good as having biological children. Stories like this also feed the perception that an adoptive family can simply “give back” a child if they have a biological child or something doesn’t work out. I recall the story of a pregnant woman who was asked by a co-worker if she would be giving her adopted child to another family. Clueless people do not need more ammunition.

I also wonder about adopted children reading or watching this story. Will they fear that their parents can get rid of them? Will they think that no parent can possibly love an adopted child as much as a biological child? Will they fantasize about their parents giving them to Madonna? I’m sure some kids will do that anyway, but will this story make any of it more real?

I suppose that I want a big disclaimer on this story: It is not the norm for adoptive parents to relinquish their children. Disruptions do happen, sometimes for necessary reasons. It’s important to be aware, going into adoption, what all of the possible outcomes are. It’s important to really examine your strengths and weaknesses. It’s important not to accept a match or referral only out of desperation. This paragraph, or one like it, should accompany sensational stories such as Ms. Tedaldi’s.

Oh, I might as well write my opinion, but I’ll be brief. With four kids at home, pregnant with another, a military husband on deployment, and marriage issues, the family shouldn’t have been approved for a special needs adoption. Just my two cents. With that, and 3.48, you can get a mocha at your favorite overpriced coffee vendor.

[Photo Credit.]

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