Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ladybrain Review: Adoption Rights for Mothers

An Atlantic City, N.J. woman is suing the New Jersey Department of Children and Families for opening her decades-old adoption file, allowing her biological child--a product of rape--to find the mother against her will.

This lawsuit is especially relevant in light of the recent efforts among adoptee-rights groups like Bastard Nation to open up files for adoptees, which advocates see as tantamount to constitutional rights.

I can't fathom what adoptees go through in the way of wondering about their health records and identity, but as a women's rights advocate I am deeply disturbed that such invasions of privacy would be allowed and encouraged. If you read about the Atlantic City, N.J. woman's case, the agency who helped arrange the unwelcome reunion did so without a court order, and took the woman's non-response to a request for contact as a go-ahead and "more or less did what they had to do."

This case mirrors the abortion debate in that, ultimately, pro-life advocates are putting the rights of a fetus above the rights of a woman. Similarly, adoptee rights advocates, although their curiosity is certainly understandable, are putting their rights above the rights of their biological parents' privacy. It's as simple as that.

No woman who has been terrorized by sexual violence should be forced to face the product of that violence, especially after she generously went through with the pregnancy--a serious emotional investment after she had already been through a rape. (Read this woman's account of two unwanted pregancies, one aborted and one carried to term and given up for adoption.) If it were me, I would terminate the pregnancy, no question.

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