Adoption: “Studies on How to Take Babies”

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A literature review was recently done on a collection of peer-reviewed journal articles on natural mothers published between 1978 and 2008. The results of this literature review were published as part of a masters thesis on trauma and are reprinted here with permission of the author.

In this literature review, 98 articles were identified, and 91 of them obtained.  The author did a thematic analysis of the articles, using grounded theory to identify the themes present in these articles.  Nine themes were identified, including search and reunion, the surrender experience, open adoption relationships, and advice for professionals.  But there were two main themes in this literature that were found to be above and beyond all others in terms of frequency. I am going to quote directly from the thesis:

” There were found to be two main themes in literature on natural mothers.  These can be viewed as two “streams” of research, as the articles within a stream mainly refer to other work and prior research within that one stream.  The first stream (43 articles) examines the consequences of surrender on the mother. The second stream (32 articles) examines factors that may predict and/or influence rates of surrender, often stating with concern that surrender rates have declined significantly and should be increased.  The latter stream contains three main sub-themes: factors (socio-demographic, educational, attitudinal, familial, or economic) that distinguish mothers who surrender their babies from mothers who keep their babies, surveys to determine what would encourage expectant mothers to consider adoption, and comparisons of differing agency practices and their effects on surrender rates.”

Let’s come to the point and put it into more concrete terms:  These 32 articles are on how to take babies.

The author of this thesis provides a list of some of these articles (below, reprinted with  permission).   So, seeing these, how can anyone believe that a “decision” about adoption is free from influence, coercion, or manipulation?   When agencies have 30 years worth of research on how to increase the likelihood a mother will surrender her child, is she really making an informed decision completely of her own free will?

Article

Summary

Bachrach, Stolley, & London (1992) Analysis – how demographic/economic/social trends affect and predict future surrender rates, plus factors distinguishing mothers who surrender from those who don’t.
Baran, Pannor, & Sorosky (1976) Results from a focus group on how to increase adoption:  Open adoption can persuade single mothers to surrender.
Barth (1987) Research on adolescent girls and mothers: how to make adoption more appealing. Recommends open adoption as a way to encourage more adolescent mothers to surrender.
Berry (1991, 1993) Study on effects of open adoption on family members and relationships.  Suggests that open adoption can benefit adoptive parents by enticing more mothers to surrender.
Caragata (1999) Examines teen pregnancy as an economic problem.’  Suggests open adoption to entice more mothers to surrender, that adoption should be “restructured,” and that meeting with prospective adopters might prevent a mother from “changing her mind”
Chippendale-Bakker & Foster (1996) Studies of what demographic/economic/social factors distinguish mothers who surrender from those who don’t.
Cocozelli (1989) Research – what situational variables predict surrender rates.  plus factors distinguishing mothers who surrender from those who don’t (life plans, social worker visits, sign consent before delivery)
Custer (1993) Research on influencing attitudes, beliefs and decision-making about adoption among pregnant adolescents.  Found that deterrents to surrender include:  fear of harm to baby, social disapproval, feeling that it shows lack of responsibility, lack of knowledge of benefits, “failure of professionals to actively initiate discussion of adoption with clients,” and anticipated psychological discomfort.  Suggests that these issues be actively addressed in “social programs and political interventions.”
Daly (1994) Research on adolescents to find out what keeps them from considering adoption.  Recommends agencies do educational and public relations programs to explain the benefits of adoption, promote open adoption, and conduct face-to-face outreach programs to adolescents.
Donnelly & Voydanoff (1991) Research on pregnant adolescents and new mothers: attitudes, demographics, relationships, experiences, and perceptions of early pregnancy distinguishing mothers who surrender from those who don’t.   Suggests programs to present benefits and “promote positive attitudes towards adoption” as those who surrender have more positive attitudes than those who don’t.
Dworkin, Harding, & Schreiber (1993) Research on pregnant adolescents, regarding how adoption knowledge, social/psychological functioning, familial influences (grandmother and father of baby), and demographics correlate with surrender rates.
Geber & Resnick (1988) Research on family functioning, cohesion and adaptability differences between parenters vs. surrenderers using “FACES II” questionnaire.
Hanson (1990) Research on factors distinguishing mothers who surrender from those who don’t, to recommend early intervention based on those figures, especially to get mothers “who might exhibit poor parenting styles” to surrender.
Herr (1989) Research study on maternity home inmates to examine what affected their decision most:  parents, “decision counseling,” and peer role models who are parenting.
Kallen, Griffore, Popovich, & Powell (1990) Research study on attitudes towards adoption and open adoption in mothers who surrendered, mothers who don’t, and their own mothers. .
Kalmuss, Namerow, & Bauer (1992) Research study on socio-demographics, family, education differences of mothers who surrender vs. those who don’t.   Plus 6-month outcomes on life satisfaction, outlook, relationships, etc.
Leon (1999) Instructions to physicians on treating surrendering mothers, including how to promote adoption to pregnant mothers.
Low, Moely, & Willis (1989) Research factors distinguishing mothers who surrender from those who do not, in terms of parental influence and vocational goals.
Miller & Coyl (2000) Analysis of how demographic/economic/social trends affect and predict future surrender rates, plus factors distinguishing mothers who surrender from those who don’t.
Moore & Davidson (2002) Socio-psychological influences (family background, peers), cognitive functions, beliefs, and decision-making in pregnant adolescents, to determine how to best influence decision-making processes as part of “adoption education” of adolescents and promoting “more reasoned choices” (i.e. adoption) for pregnant teens
Namerow, Kalmuss, & Cushman (1993) Research on what social, demographic, beliefs, and attitudinal factors influenced the pregnancy decision.
Resnick (1984) Overview/analysis of research on decision-making and what distinguishes mothers who surrender from those who keep. Mentions sociological, psychological, factors.
Resnick, Blum, Bose, Smith, & Toogood (1990) Studies of demographic/economic/social factors distinguishing mothers who surrender from those who don’t, including their views on adoption vs. parenting vs. abortion.
Sobol & Daly (1992) Overview and summary of the literature and findings: Factors influencing adolescents’ decisions about adoption.  How to get more babies surrendered:  Promote open adoption; make surrender easier; encourage pregnancy counsellors to suggest adoption; and present more “options” to make adoption more attractive.
Warren & Johnson (1989) Research on factors distinguishing mothers who surrender from those who don’t.
Weinman, Robinson, Simmons, Schreiber, & Stafford (1989) Research on mothers who initially planned to surrender but then decided to keep their babies: decision-making process, demographic/psycho-social and health differences, and treatment plans.
Weir (2000) Research on what familial, developmental and peer barriers might prevent mothers from surrendering, and suggests how to remove them through group and family therapy.

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11 thoughts on “Adoption: “Studies on How to Take Babies”

    valency said:
    November 17, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Do you have a reference for the MS thesis? I would love to pull it from Digital Abstracts to add to my files if I could! I just need a title, author, and year of publication. University/school name would be useful, but not needed. 🙂 Thanks!

    Melynda

      Adoption Critic responded:
      November 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm

      Hi Melynda, I will see what I can do. Can I email you a PDF copy if the author agrees? The author is hoping to publish the results in a journal soon, so is being careful about copyright issues.

        Cate said:
        November 23, 2011 at 10:41 am

        Hey!

        Could I have a copy of the reference for this paper, too? I’m doing my MA dissertation on adoption and will need papers just like this for my research. 🙂

    valency said:
    November 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Thanks for getting back with me. Hopefully they will get this information out there sooner than later. I don’t know if they earned the degree in the US or not, but if they did, the original thesis or dissertation as published by the University is generally added to the Digital Dissertation Abstracts database upon completion. (At my university, you actually aren’t considered “done” until you submit proof to the grad school offices that the library has accepted and processed your thesis/dissertation into Digital Abstracts!)

    I look forward to reading more about this review when it become available.

    Melynda

    Sally Bacchetta said:
    November 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Holy smokes! Holy, holy smokes! It’s chilling to see it all laid out like that. I wish it were the product of a paranoid delusion, but clearly, it’s not. I’d like to link to your post if you don’t mind.

    unicorn said:
    November 23, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    We’re not paranoid after all – this shows they really were after our children. Thanks for the info.

    Margie said:
    November 24, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I’ll never forget the conference I went to several years ago where a private adoption attorney sat on the stage and gave a really offensive presentation on how adoptive parents can “vet” mothers to ensure they get the child. The room was packed, and many attendees were mothers who had lost children, and I can tell you, that lawyer barely got a faceful from the audience. Made me smile.

    Add to this the money angle – I just found a really nasty “how to protect your adoption dollars” article in the Wall Street Journal (it’s a year old, I had missed it) – and you’re sure to lose your lunch.

    Thanks for this, Cedar, excellent information.

    Scarlet Moon said:
    January 15, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I’m curious to hear if you have any comments on the following:

    http://reformadoption.com/Advocacy/main.shtml

    I have copied the Infant Adoption Training guide, and made comments to the effect that it is a clear concise way of manipulating women to give up their rights to their child. It is an effective way of overwhelming them, and breaking them down. Let me know what you think. (It is a very hard read, be warned.)

      Adoption Critic responded:
      January 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      Thank you for providing this link! You have done some excellent work here. All mothers considering adoption need to be informed of this pure evil that the NCFA and allies have created. You may also want to add in info re the Infant Adoption Awareness Act (2000). Do you have copies of Mech’s report and article? I can send them to you if you wish.

    Stephanie Malaspian said:
    September 20, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Adopters are as sick as Hitler-There are so many of us who get the word out and the general public is learning what evil bastards adopters and the industry is.

    Arline Hunter said:
    November 17, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Even the elephants of the animal kingdom grieve when one of their babies is lost.The mother would kill a human or another animal if it got too close,like in never ever go inbetween a mother and it’s cub.Having a mothers head and babies of an animal on a wall to me and many others is murder without the least care for life on this planet.I know so many people shouldn’t have children-AND that includes adoptors because their child went to an over the top school in Europe but in the mean time the Ap’s travel around the world .Only seeing the adoptee once a year for a few days.Thats right money talks ,unfortunately is the adoptee getting that but unconditional love?Multi millions have rallied ,have good kids that dearly love their mother and would love to see their kin sibling,so many times the mother was coerced -the adoptee had just been born so why be so hard on 1st mothers that are the ones that had planned turned against the mother for life which she never forgot and separation is what adoption stands for-a world with fake mothers ,fathers and strangers that could never save that life with a blood transfusion, doctors have said whole blood can save more lives ,adoptees are still denied their papers,it effects the real mother because we gave life and we all are supposeded to have med history-but they will not let go of papers-GREED of ADOPTION INDUSTRY.

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