1. Please tell us your name and a brief intro to your story. (If you wish to remain anonymous, that is fine just let me know that here too)
My name is Jessika. I got pregnant at 16, and quickly found myself single, with very few supporters of my motherhood. Under the pressure of family, and the desire to do what I was led to be the right thing, I relinquished my baby girl to what I thought was a semi-open adoption. Now, 6 years later, I've found out that I've been lied to about fertility issues, and communication with my daughters new family has come to minimum.
2. Are there any aspects of adoption you would like to see changed?
I would first and foremost like to see the secrecy removed from adoption. No more lies, no more false birth certificates or false labels. Sure, there are times when it is necessary to legally recognize somebody other than the biological parents as a child's caretakers, but there is never a reason to erase identities and change histories. No more "as if born to," because if you can truly love a child from another mother, you shouldn't need to pretend that that mother is you. Secondly, and almost equally
important, is to remove the money from adoption. Too many young women fall prey to adoption agencies with a penny to make, and parents who have "invested" in procuring a child for themselves. Money can often taint what starts out with the purest of intentions. What starts out as wanting nothing more than to provide a home for a child can quickly become material when acquiring said child costs tens of thousands of dollars.
3. What does adoption reform mean to you and why do you think it's important?
I feel like this question is almost the same as the previous. So to put it shortly- true adoption reform would mean that no able and willing parents ever lose their child to adoption. It means that relinquishment will always be a fully informed decision, made only after the child has been born, and every effort to remove barriers to parenting has been made. It means that we as a society come together to support family unity - even when it means that a pregnant woman may need assistance from friends, family, or the general public. It means that instead of removing a child from a dark, home with little or no food, every effort is made to provide the family with light and a meal. It means that adoption happens only as a last resort, and never in secrecy.
If you or anyone you know would like to be interviewed for this section, or if you have an important reform topic you would like discussed, please feel free to email me! I look forward to hearing from you!