In October, one of my adoption.com articles, 3 Ways to Respond to Stupid Things People Say About Adoption, was #3 for the month, in terms of hits, shares, likes, and other metrics.
I’d love to see my November article, 7 Reforms I’d Like to See in Domestic Adoption, go all the way to #1. Go read it! I think it’s great, and it’s not even all that long. If you agree that it’s great, please share! I want adoption.com to know people care about adoption reform.
The seven reforms I noted were:
- Federal adoption laws replace the confusing patchwork of state laws.
- Only regulated, licensed, full-service, non-profit agencies perform adoptions.
- The time from birth to TPR is a minimum standard in all states.
- A sensible revocation period is in place and cannot be waived.
- Birth fathers have rights, just not quite as many as birth mothers.
- Home studies are standardized.
- Birth mother expenses are not paid directly by the PAPs.
I realized that I forgot something – money!
So, the 8th reform: Adoption costs are regulated and are based on actual expenses. No more discounting children based on race. Agencies will not be allowed to charge fees based on the race of the child. I’m not against ensuring that social workers, lawyers, and other professionals are paid for their time. Of course they should be compensated. However, adoption today is far more expensive than it needs to be. Don’t believe me? Read my latest article How Much Does Adoption Cost?.
I’d also like to clarify #5, in light of the Colby Nielsen case. I am in no way saying that biological mothers can place their children for adoption without the biological fathers’ involvement. I blogged about my ideals for birthfather rights before. This is how the Nielsen case would have gone down in my world: Mom wants to place, Dad doesn’t. Dad has physical custody. Mom and Dad go to court. Dad proves he’s serious about parenting – he has a place set up for the baby, his parents are helping him out, and so on. Judge says, “OK. Mom, you can’t place this baby for adoption.” Baby never goes to anyone other than Mom or Dad. Done. The point is that biological fathers who do not want to parent, who want to force the child’s mother into parenting, cannot stop an adoption from happening. If a man intends to be a true father to his child, he should not lose that child solely because the child’s mother does not want or is unable to parent.
Speaking of the Colby Nielsen case, the prospective adoptive parents finally gave the baby to her birthmother. As I said in a comment on the family’s Facebook page:
When you have a situation where you know, 100%, that the child’s biological father is not on board with the adoption, when that father has been involved in the pregnancy, when that father has taken the child home from the hospital and is actively parenting her, and you have to get a court order to take her into your own home – your moral compass is way out of whack. The APs returned her because of the public backlash. Dad didn’t back down – he fought, and tens of thousands of people supported him. They didn’t return her out of their own sense of moral responsibility. They returned her because they got caught.
Nielsen is now fighting with Kaylee’s mother for custody of his daughter. A decision should come down anytime now. They hope to have Kaylee home by Christmas.
Oh, and while I’m here, I wrote another adoption.com article in November – a review of the book Does Anybody Else Look Like Me?. I hope to turn my thoughts on the book into a blog post in the near future.