The 2008 Democratic Platform on Choice
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.
The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to affordable family planning services and comprehensive age-appropriate sex education which empowers people to make informed choices and live healthy lives. We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions.
The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman's decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre- and post-natal health care,parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs.
From The Evan B.Donaldson Institute's 2006 White Paper titled
"Safeguarding the Rights and Wellbeing of Birthparents In The Adoption Process."
According to this report, parents who choose adoption for their infants do not have their rights and needs sufficiently addressed in U.S. law and practice - largely because of basic misconceptions about who these women and men are - and they invariably fare better when they have ongoing information about and/or contact with the children they place into new families.
Each year in the United States, approximately 14,000 women and a growing number of men make an agonizing parenting decision that they hope will provide their children with the best possible future: They place their babies for adoption. At the same time, policy-makers across this country each year propose and implement measures meant to improve adoption, often based on their perceptions of what these parents want and need. Historically and through the present day, however, adoption-related laws, policies and practices have been made without the benefit of solid research that might answer the most basic, underlying questions: What are the characteristics of mothers and fathers who relinquish their infants for adoption? Why do they choose this path? And how can their needs and rights best be served and protected?
Due largely to the secretive nature of adoption's past, the state of knowledge about infant adoptions in the 21st century is deficient, at best. There is no broad, concrete body of work on who these women and men typically are, what forces shape their decisions, or how adoption impacts the rest of their lives. We do not even know precisely how many babies are placed for adoption in this country annually. Indeed, though domestic infant adoption is what most people think of when they hear the word "adoption," it is the least common type in the U.S. today (after adoption from foster care, from abroad, and by step-parents), and it is the type we know the least about.
Well, Dems, I hardly know what to say. You want to provide for "caring adoption programs." You put it in your platform! This despite the fact that the authoritative American voice on adoption practice says that the rights of natural families are not being protected in adoption. Perhaps even more importantly, they say that no one really has any idea about the life long impact of adoption on people who lose children, because there is precious little research on the topic.
I might add that the little research that has been done indicates that more than half the women who lose children this way suffer devastating life long effects - both emotional and physical.
One more thing, Dems. How did the right wing agenda make its way onto your platform? If you missed my earlier posts on this, The Family Research Council collaborated with the The National Council For Adoption to produce materials marketing adoption to young women.
"Birthmother, Goodmother: Her Story of Heroic Rdemption" is available from the Family Research Council's website. It is offered along with other enlightening materials, such as "The Top Ten Myths About Abortion," "Homosexuality Is Not a Civil Right," "Politicized Science: the Manipulated Approval of RU-486 and Its Dangers to Women's Health," "Homosexuality In Your Child's School " and "How To Raise an AMERICAN."
Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself. Warning: Link takes you to the Family Research Council's website, so bring a generously sized barf bucket.
Besides the obvious questions (WHY would Dems align themselves with the pro-life movement?) I have a few more questions for the Democrats:
What will you do to assure that the rights of natural families are protected in this country from unethical adoption practices? Will you establish a national clearinghouse and an ombudsman for handling adoption complaints from natural families? Will you regulate the currrently unregulated business of adoption? Will you establish laws under which people wrongfully defrauded of their children can receive the due process guaranteed by the Constitution?
What will you do about the problems in Intercountry Adoption?
And what measures will you institute to protect the defenseless babies who are the end-all, be-all of adoption? What will you do to prevent future Lisa Steinbergs and Nicoli Emelyantsevs? What do you intend to do about The Rogue's Gallery of Adoption?
Nearest and dearest to MY heart, Democrats, two questions: When are you going open your eyes to the fact that life in AdoptionLand is NOT the way the public (including you, dear`Dems,) perceive it. As a progressive, I have a very difficult time reconciling the exploitative nature of unethical adoption with Democratic values.
The other question: When, oh when, is the Democratic Party, the protector of social justice in America, going to wake up to the fact that a million or so Lady Baby Boomers suffered an outrageous attack on their human and civil rights via coerced/forced adoptions during the Baby Scoop Era.
I'd really like an answer, Dems.
Barb, for myself