I talk about adoption a lot on this blog and will continue to do so. Its no secret than I am not an advocate of adoption and I think its really important that adoption is crtitiqued through a feminist and social justice lens but I find what often gets lost in anti adoption/adoption reform positions is the idea that we should also look at the reasons and the drive for people adopting through a feminist and social justice lens. The virulently misogynistic way in which women who want to adopt is talked about in some anti adoption circles disturbs and saddens me.(and it is almost always the women who are ripped apart, once again the men become invisible) Recently the improper adoptee left a comment on one of My previous posts that said
Unfortunatly, sisterhood was destroyed by another monster. The green eyed one. Infertiles hate fertile women, because they are so jealous, bitter and feel so put upon because they can’t conceive, that they throw all their morals out the window. The retreat into the state of mind of an enraged 10 year old child, who wants to do bad things because they can’t have what they want.
firstly I think calling women jealous bitter and childish for whatever reason is really misogynistic but this is is not just about this comment, I have seen the same things said elsewhere numerous times, I have seen infertile women bee blamed for their infertility because they are too fat, don’t look after themselves, are too old, have had eating disorders, or who have spent time on their career when they “should” have been having children.
and this all seems like a kind of victim blaming to me, No I don’t think infertile women have a right to adopt, but I also don’t think its their fault that they are infertile, this kind of rhetoric takes no account of the world we live in, that we live in a world full of chemicals that fuck up our reproductive system, that we live in a world where a woman cant, unless she is extremely wealthy, have a child and a career because good child care is way to expensive, and women in the workplace are still seen as expendable.We live in a world where women are incredibly disconnected from their bodies so we do do damaging things to them, we live in a world where women don’t have their own places to live until relatively late because house prices are so expensive.
We also live in a world that tells women that motherhood is everything, that sells the ideal of motherhood as what makes you a real woman, we live in a world that doesn’t tell women that their are other just as valuable ways of giving to the future and supporting the communities we live as having a child we can call our “own”. We live in a world that individualises child rearing rather than seeing it as a communal effort.
None of this is the fault of infertile women, these things are the fault of individualist capitalist patriarchy.
also something else that’s often missed here is that not all people who are infertile want to adopt and not all people who adopt are infertile
Being infertile hurts and for some women it hurts more than others and I think that should be acknowledged and there should be compassion for that. I’m infertile myself and if I wasn’t an adoptee i might well have thought about adoption because i wouldn’t have known otherwise.
I think people who adopt do by and large think they are doing a good thing for society, it isn’t their fault that they live in a society that tells them this, and there are ways of making clear this is not true without woman blaming.