Friday, July 30, 2010

Adoption a personal view

To anyone who was not adopted out at birth, this post will be unbelievable.  I can accept that, because it's difficult to feel something we have no experience of.

I wonder how many adopted adults would choose to adopt out their own babies, not many I suspect. The reason being that they know on a primitive level, the lifelong damage it can cause psychologically. I'm not against adoption. In my own case I am sure I had a better life with my adoptive parents than if I'd been raised by my mother. I met her, she was an ok person really and the things I learnt in my foster home were of great value to me.

Firstly though, what I have come to understand about adoption of babies is that the first year of life is so important to a person that any really bad experience suffered in that time will have long lasting effects. I could even get closer to the truth by saying that it is the first 6 months of life which is even more important. The reason is that babies aren't completely separate from their mothers until this time. They are born and cut off physically from their mothers, but the cognitive cut off doesn't really happen for some months afterwards and is a slow process whereas the baby wakes up to itself being a separate human being.

When a baby is separated at birth from its mother, its a rip from the womb into a harsh world where it almost has to stand up in its bassinet and say - how do I survive? From then on, the baby has to adapt, not trust, be careful, observe etc. It's not nice. What, you say? It's a baby, how can babies feel that?  All they do is eat, sleep and poop. No, thats not all they do, they learn every minute of the day and night and twelve months later the baby is playing, walking, communicating, developing personality and trying out manipulative social skills. It's an amazing transformation.

But for adopted babies, its a bitter-sweet transformation. They spend a whole lot more time concentrating on things another baby doesn't have to. Sure, they are well looked after most of the time, loved to bits I bet, however, the underlying neccessity of surviving, is eating up the baby's trust in the world. That trust is not really replaceable. The world has become an unfriendly place and the new mother and father have their work cut out for them. I really believe a baby should stay with its natural mother for at least 4 months before being handed on.

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