This is the 29th question in the series: “Anti-adoption month: 30 answers to 30 questions on adoption” [link].
Paper pregnancy is one of those horrid terms that has been created solely for the benefit of the adoption industry and its followers, and shows up in hundreds of blogs as a valid trope, such as this one: Parenthood for Me: Adoptive Parents Are Expecting Too. In question form, it might sound something like this:
Because of the wait involved, along with other similarities, isn’t it valid to compare adoption with a pregnancy?
Answer: No. Categorically, no. It is completely invalid, because the metaphor is not a natural one, meaning it requires great leaps of logic to make it. Furthermore, it is fabricated after the fact, and by those wholly invested in such an outcome. Finally, it is selective in its comparison which is based in unequal references, meaning it takes similar concepts and equates them while ignoring the disingenuousness of such matching. For example, a woman “waiting” for nine months for the gestation of the child who is physically part of her cannot be given equivalence to the “waiting” for a bureaucratic process to take place that also “delivers” a child. There are much more dissimilarities here than things similar.
Most problematic is that I can make the same analogy, in the very words of this author, and borrowing her faulty rhetoric, but instead comparing pregnancy to something completely horrifying and hideous, like lynching:
The decision to lynch a member of a minority group by white supremacists is very exciting, and can be equivalent to the announcement of a pregnancy. “The Match”, when a random colored face is chosen to represent the anger of the dominant culture, is like an ultrasound. The victim is visible, the concept of a successful lynching becomes more real. Progress reports from vigilantes which sometimes include photos taken in a similar stealthy way would be comparable to the different stages of pregnancy and how the baby develops. The gestational period for such an action by a group of white supremacists can unfortunately be much longer than nine months. Depending on the circumstances of the lynching, the entire process can take years.
The concept of having the bag packed and ready to go when the mother’s water breaks holds true for a group of lynchers as well. We were given a rough estimate of when our victim would be “available”, but we waited anxiously for “the call” from the “good ol’ boys” saying the coast was clear, and he was ready to be strung up. I received the call at work, and it was one of the most thrilling days of my life. Our victim was finally coming “home” after all of the waiting and planning. We had tried for 4 years to bring this one down; the ability to have this “boy” in our hands in 3 short days showing him exactly who was boss was a huge milestone for us.
The “delivery” of our “boy” was a lot less painful no doubt–for us, that is. He came up from Natchez to Jackson escorted by someone hired by the “agency”. When he rounded the bend tied up in ropes, he looked exactly like the picture postcards of previous lynchings. He was there in the flesh and the kicks and beating he received warmed our hearts. At 15 years he was too big for his britches, but he was our little bundle of deliverance. We were elated to burn his skin, yank at his hair, and poke out his eyes.
Horrific, I know. But in making such a comparison, I wish to reveal the power differential involved, and to show how much we see adoption as part of the status quo; as the norm. If we don’t react in a similar manner to the “paper pregnancy” comparison, if we don’t recoil with the same disgust, then this shows how debased a culture we currently live in.
Furthermore, given the common background historically speaking of both slavery and adoption as institutions of human trafficking, I mean this to be read absolutely seriously. Such an egregious comparison is needed to show the invalidity of the resulting analogy, while simultaneously revealing the self-aggrandizing intentions of the one invoking it. That the author of this dreck might allow pride in her feeble attempt at a creative writing analogy outweigh the consequences of positing such a disturbing trope speaks volumes as to where she is coming from in terms of morals and ethics. That it should be received with thanks and gratitude reveals to us the depths of depravity that adoption sinks us to as a society and as human beings.
The metaphor of adoption to pregnancy is loathsome, insulting, misogynist, and disgusting on all levels.
Destroy Adoption Mythologies Now! (DAMN), by Daniel Ibn Zayd.
Debate Tactic: The holes in the adoption argument are large enough to drive a semi through. There is no point in wasting time comparing and contrasting personal viewpoints. The most basic aspects of the adoption argument in terms of linguistics, rhetoric, morality, ethics, economics, politics, history, etc. do not hold up to scrutiny. If we do not seek to shine such a light on the discussion, then we are similarly aiding and abetting such an institution. There is no middle ground.