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Roe vs. Wade Overturned

Roe vs Wade was overturned today. I haven't read any articles; I just saw headlines. I don't want to get drawn into politics a bunch, but I do want to share some comments today, including criticism of adoption.

I'm pro-abortion.

Overturning Roe vs. Wade is going to be messy and cause a bunch of suffering. This is going to be bad, not good.

The politicians and judges doing this have the money/resources not to personally worry – they can fly their daughters to other states for abortions if necessary.

Many teens, young adults and poor adults have limited access to travel. Some won't make it to another state. (Some states, like Texas, are quite large, btw. E.g. San Antonio to Alburquerque is a 10 hour drive. That's not the worst case scenario, and New Mexico might make anti-abortion laws too.) Some girls will take risks, like hitch hiking, to travel.

In the 2016 election, I didn't think a Republican winning would result in Roe vs. Wade being overturned. I was wrong.

There are so many political issues where stuff is broken and urgently needs improvement. But instead we get this.

My vague understanding is the Federalist Society has had a lot of influence of Republican judge selection. If you want to figure out who to blame, they're a lead for research.

Adoption Is Trauma

One of the groups that lobbies for anti-abortion laws is the adoption industry. They want more babies to profit off of. And a bunch of couples want more babies for sale, particularly white babies. They are hoping more young white girls will take babies to term and then put them up for adoption so they, the adoptive parents, can have what they want. Most adoptive parents are primarily trying to satisfy their own preferences, not trying to help a kid. They hope and pray for other people to have bad experiences so they can get something they want.

Adoption is trauma. It's trauma for the child and for the mother. Even newborns are familiar with their mother – in the womb they heard her talk, heard sounds from her home, got used to her heartbeat and walking gait, and more. (I give some sources and quotes below.) Babies who come out of the womb don't want to be taken away from the caregiver they're familiar with (older children also predominantly want to stay with their caregivers). Surrogacy is traumatic for the baby too (and usually for the surrogate, I imagine). Purposefully, unnecessarily denying the baby breastfeeding is also bad. Keeping a newborn baby in a hospital bed for a few nights without a compelling medical need is also bad and traumatic (it's still traumatic with a compelling medical need – having a good reason can't make the baby like it better).

Adopted and Foster Kids Have Worse Statistical Outcomes

On an aggregate, societal level, outcomes from adoption are statistically worse than outcomes from parenting one's own child. Parents treat adopted and foster kids worse including sometimes "rehoming" them – deciding not to be their parent anymore and giving them to some other adults. Some "rehoming" is done on unregulated Facebook groups. It seems suspiciously like human trafficking and some of it leads to physical and sexual abuse (which happens to adoptees at higher rates in general).

Some children are only put up for adoption because the parent doesn't have enough money. The adoptive family then spends $25,000 or some other large amount on the adoption. If they'd just donated that money to the parents, then the parents could have kept their kid. If their goal was to help the kid, that would generally be more effective.

Sometimes the U.S. government pays a bunch of money to put a kid in foster care. They will pay foster families with monthly checks. But the only reason they were taking the kid away from their family is because of poverty. The parents weren't abusive or anything; they just failed to provide the kid with good enough material circumstances to satisfy social services. If the government gave the same amount of money to the parents and let them keep their kid, that would be clearly better for the kid, let the parents buy the things social services wanted, and cost the same amount. Doing nothing would often be better for the kid, too – poor, non-abusive parents are usually better than foster parents and taking away kids from poor people is a human rights violation. Also, foster parents sometimes are poor or they deprive foster kids of resources that they could afford.

Some kids get sent to many different foster families and live in some kind of group home or orphanage in between. The lack of stability or continuity is awful and being exposed to a bunch of living environments dramatically raises the chance that at least one is abusive.

Information About Newborns

Relinquishment Trauma: The Forgotten Trauma

Research has shown that babies in utero learn their mother’s characteristics. Characteristics include the sound of their mother’s voice and her olfactory signatures from the pregnancy[5][6]. The newborn child may become easily frightened and overwhelmed when the caretaker is not their first mother. The greater discrepancies between the adoptee’s prenatal and early life (sound of the mother’s heartbeat, language, sounds, facial features, smells, the personal gait of walking, level of activity) the greater stress on the child. When a child is not with their first mother day after day, the newborn frequently becomes anxious and confused causing the infant’s body to release stress hormones. Even newborns that are placed with the adoptive parent within days of their birth can feel traumatized.

TED Talk: What we learn before we're born

A study published last year found that from birth, from the moment of birth, babies cry in the accent of their mother's native language. French babies cry on a rising note while German babies end on a falling note, imitating the melodic contours of those languages.

I first saw anti-adoption information on TikTok where the hashtag #adoptiontrauma has 47 million views.

Elliot Temple on June 24, 2022


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