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To think that women should not be encouraged to be human incubators

(112 Posts)
HengshanRoad Wed 06-Jul-11 10:04:14

In regard to the new "adoption tsar" Martin Narey's idea that women who have unwanted pregancies should be encouraged to carry the baby to term and give it up for adoption at birth.

I've given this a lot of thought (having been adopted at 6 months old myself) and I can't help feeling uncomfortable and a little angry at the thought of women being used as incubators for babies. Giving up a child for adoption is an enormous trauma - commensurate with, if not greater than, an abortion. It creates a birth mother who has relinquished a baby as well as a child who has been given up. As an adoptee myself, clearly I'm glad that I was carried to term and not aborted, but if I hadn't been, I would never have known, IYSWIM...

It just seems a little "Handmaid's Tale" to me. A so called "adoption tsar" like Martin Narey should understand adoption and it's many issues more than he seems to.

goodnightmoon Wed 06-Jul-11 10:14:47

YABU and taking a rather extreme view. I think the idea is that women should consider having the child for adoption, among other options. This option has been virtually wiped out of the UK "system" but could indeed be the best choice for some women.

I think it's a bit unfair to describe women who might do this as incubators. And I think it's also very difficult to measure what causes more trauma - adoption or abortion. It will vary by the situation and the people involved.

Adoption isn't perfect. But neither are "natural" families that can end up going through divorce or other trauma.

It should be seen as an option.

meditrina Wed 06-Jul-11 10:24:13

YABU: agree with goognightmoon.

I do not think there is sufficient evidence to compare the "enormous trauma" of giving a baby up for adoption with that of termination. Both, or either, may, or indeed may not, have psychological effects - it depends very much on the individuals and the quality of support and counselling.

Of course adoption should be routinely considered as an option - its pros and cons should be described along with the pros and cons of every other option. Then it is down to those individuals affected, in each case, to make the best possible informed decisions.

Birdsgottafly Wed 06-Jul-11 10:24:24

I would like the stigma removing from a woman who gives up her child or children.

Women get pregnant but that doesn't mean that they are capable of being a good primary carer and shouldn't be judged for that.

The aspect of this that worries me is wether there is going to be accompanying targets, as there is across all social care issues.

Adaption is unfeasable for many because of the stigma (as well as other reasons).

perfectstorm Wed 06-Jul-11 10:27:36

YANBU, after reading him say that adoption was "the golden option" and that letterbox contact and more open adoption was "a sloppy compromise". That appalled me - adoption is a wonderful solution if the mother wants that, but as you say, adoption must be horrendously traumatic if the mother wants her baby. Some stories are utterly heartbreaking, and he just is not acknowledging any of that at all.

LemonDifficult Wed 06-Jul-11 10:33:12

YANBU I was very uneasy when I read that. If a woman doesn't want to have a baby she doesn't have to have it, and put her body through the pregnancy.

OTOH, of course, if she doesn't want an abortion, she doesn't have to have that either so maybe, a little bit more talk of adoption at an early stage might not be a bad thing. Certainly, in late pregnancy when there's obviously problems with the birth mother's situation it might be a good thing for midwives/social works to be more upfront about adoption.

LilBB Wed 06-Jul-11 10:33:20

YANBU. There are already so many children in care who need to be adopted. They should concentrate on those instead of making women feel guilty for having terminations or trying to bring the baby up themselves. Do they think if there's lots of babies to adopt then more people will want to? If I had an unwanted pregnancy i would rather having an abortion as early as possible than give up a new born.

Are they thinking about the mental and physical affect on these women? Imagine having to go through 9 months of carrying a child, everyone would know what you were doing as it's not like you can hide it, dealing with the emotional affect of giving up a baby whilst going through the physical recovery of child birth, knowing forever that your child is out there. Also the effect on the child, feeling abandoned especially in a time when there's no stigma to single motherhood and the benefits system provides so much help. We shouldn't follow the US model as we aren't the US. Many women there have to consider adoption as they can't even afford the medical costs associated with having a baby. They are also assuming women who terminate are young and single. Some who have them are with partners and already have children. In that situation how could you give a child up when you already have them? Then there's also the judgement that you would be getting from friends, family and work for giving away a baby.

Adoption should be given to women as an option but not the best option by any means.

spookshowangel Wed 06-Jul-11 10:35:49

i think its ludicrous that many women think of termination as a viable option but would ever even consider adoption. the "its mine to do with what i will, but i wouldn't give it to someone else just because its mine" attitude is very odd to me. sure i will be flamed for saying so.

Sirzy Wed 06-Jul-11 10:40:01

I think woman should be given the chance to fully examine all the options available to them, but that adoption should be seen as the norm in the same way as abortion is for unwanted pregnancies.

A woman should do what feels best for her but only when she fully understands each option and it's pros and cons.

oohjarWhatsit Wed 06-Jul-11 10:45:02

adoption must be so so hard to do and i would take my hat off to any woman who was brave enough to do it

LilBB Wed 06-Jul-11 10:45:07

spookshowangel I would consider an early termination but not adoption. I could deal with the emotional and physical effects of am early termination but not giving up a newborn. To me it's physically similar to a miscarriage and emotionally I know I would be doing it for the right reasons and would not bond or even think of the fetus as a baby. Carrying a baby for 9 months, bonding with it, giving birth, feeding and holding the newborn, then giving it away would be much more difficult and something I could not do.

LemonDifficult Wed 06-Jul-11 10:47:29

The thing is, if you have an abortion, life will roll on without the need for everyone to know about it. If you choose to go through a pregnancy, it'll be obvious that you don't have a child at the end of it. There's no pretending that people won't judge that situation, now or ever.

This will be of little concern to crack addicts but presumably they won't be left in charge of a newborn by Social Services anyway.

Insomnia11 Wed 06-Jul-11 10:50:22

I think we should be helping women to keep their babies and look after them properly if they decide to go through with the pregnancy, rather than encouraging them to give the baby up for "a better life".

More adoption = more unequal society AFAIC. More haves and have nots.

spookshowangel Wed 06-Jul-11 10:51:18

i am torn between wanting to say exactly what i think and not wanting to cause a rolicking row bout a subject that is of little consequence because no one is going to change there mind lots of people will get up set and angry and righteous and ultimately whos it going to help.

Butterbur Wed 06-Jul-11 10:54:21

I agree with LilBB.

I never had an unwanted baby, but I have a feeling that if I had, even if I'd thought I would give it up for adoption, once the bonding hormones had kicked in, I would never have been able to go through with it. Would I have been a good mother under those circumstances? Probably not.

Adoption should be an option for an unwanted pregnancy, but no more than that. Martin Narey is yet another man trying to tell women what they should do with their bodies. Has he got a Pro Life bias?

DogsBestFriend Wed 06-Jul-11 10:56:22

I agree with LilBB. I see a huge emotional difference between abortion and adoption and whilst I know I could have done the first there is no way I could have faced the latter.

More relevant still to the topic is that I'm disturbed by the political interference in a very private decision. It's chillingly "Big Brother-ish" to me. By all means give women full information about both options and allow them to make a choice without influence... but "encourage" women to go through adoption? No, never, ever.

LilBB Wed 06-Jul-11 10:59:27

The thing is can accept that people have different opinions. Some feel abortion is wrong some think it is up to the woman, most agree it should be available in some form. The problem with people like the man in this article is he is trying to tell people how to feel. Vulnerable women who find themselves in this situation should be given all the facts and all the options but we shouldn't dress up one of the options as the best one or make them feel guilty or judged for what they choose to do.

meditrina Wed 06-Jul-11 11:01:14

He does not have a pro-life basis.

He is however "adoption tsar" and that explains why he is championing adoption.

It is one, but not the only, option - some people (as have posted here) would personally not choose it. But they cannot speak for everyone.

It is absolutely right that all options - keeping, adoption, and termination - are considered. Adoption has tended to get far less attention than the other two.

DogsBestFriend Wed 06-Jul-11 11:03:16

Meditrina, considered is fine but the OP states that Narey's calling for adoption to be "encouraged".

That is not fine.

minipie Wed 06-Jul-11 11:05:32


As a country we have to decide: either we think abortion is wrong, or it isn't. If it's wrong, let's ban it. If it isn't wrong, let's stop wringing hands about the number of abortions and trying to encourage adoptions etc instead.

At present (thank god) the law is that abortion is not wrong and is available if it is the best choice for that particular woman in the particular circumstances.

rubycon Wed 06-Jul-11 11:06:28

I am a birthmum, I was forced to give my son up at 10 days old, after looking after him for 10 days in hospital.

There are half a million birthmums like me who had to undergo this trauma - it's one that never ends.

Words on a page cannot describe the way it scews with your head, the way you look at people's faces that would be the age your child would be now in the hopes you see some resemblance.

I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone. 41 years, 4 months, 1 day, 11 hours and counting....

meditrina Wed 06-Jul-11 11:06:46

Here is what Narey actually said.

He's a former head of Barnados, and makes no comment whatsoever on unwanted pregnancies.

His entire statement is about speeding up adoptions of those children already "in the system".

Birdsgottafly Wed 06-Jul-11 11:09:17

I think when government departments get involved with issues such as this and the usual target setting follows, things go badly wrong.

Yukana Wed 06-Jul-11 11:10:06

I personally don't agree with adoption or abortion, but that's because I know I myself would not be able to cope and be mentally broken if I ever had to give up a child through either of those means. For people other than myself I support having a choice to do what one feels is best.

Of course, I have friends who wish to adopt in the future, and those who would love to adopt but are unable to because the system does not favour them. I'm sure they'd make wonderful parents but like I said above, the system is very difficult and stressful, and I believe needs to be re-thought.

I don't think the man realises just how much strength it takes to be able to have an abortion or give up a child for adoption for some people. (There are always some exceptions). Then again, to be honest I don't know how Martin Narey would be able to understand, his body is not able to go through pregnancy, and everything that comes with it. I hope that makes sense.

Butterbur Wed 06-Jul-11 11:12:23

Oh, rubycon sad

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