Forgive me if I write a bit hyperbolic this afternoon, but I want to get this out fast. I will write about this at length sometime in the future, but for now this really grinds my gears: a recent Safe Haven Baby Box Tik Tok , courtesy of the company’s founder and CEO Monica Kelsey (who in case you’re wondering happens to be adopted).
Mrs. Kelsey TikToks that adopted people who oppose baby boxes want to force people to parent. This isn’t the first time that Mrs. Kelsey has said such unmitigated crap. Of course, that is rich coming from a vocal forced birther, but I won’t go there today.
But there are . . . there are people out there that hate adoption simply because they feel that these kids should be raised by their parents. Or, you know . . . like our boxes. I have people . . . that the adoption people say, ‘Well, these kids need to know their heritage, or these kids need to know their biological parents.’ No, hell, they don’t. I would rather have my life than know who my parents are. Which is it? It’s a dumpster and I’m going to die or a baby box and I’m not going to know my parents. I think it’s a pretty easy choice for anyone in my situation.
Well, there are millions of people around the world in Mrs. Kelsey’s “situation”— adopted like her—that disagree with her. If this were only her personal opinion it wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, Mrs. Kelsey, a product of American evangelism, has chosen to weaponize and corporatize her opinion in ways that a few years ago would be unthinkable: to promote and de-stigmatize anonymous baby abandonment. Just stick it in a box-in-the-wall, and walk away. You’re a hero!
Adopted people across the adoptee and political spectrum—from very pro-adoption to virulent adoption haters—oppose Safe Haven Baby Boxes. If Mrs. Kelsey were plugged into AdoptionLand and AdopteeSocialMedia, instead of hanging out in her echo chamber, she would know that, and maybe even figure out why. Instead, she prefers to dismiss us as “haters” who enjoy stories of discarded and dead babies because . . . I dunno . . . she is the model of the grateful adoptee, and the adoptee rights movement isn’t. Instead of being happy that we avoided the dumpster or worse, adoptee rights advocates are bitter, angry bastards and ungrateful homewreckers that hate our adoptive parents. At best we are anomalies who just got a bad adoption break. Or maybe just cranks. We should look on the bright side. We’re alive.
Here’s a newsflash: never once have I heard anyone, no matter their adoption belief system, say that someone should be forced to parent. That dictum belongs to forced birthers.
And nobody believes that children belong in abusive homes run by their biological parents because they are bios.
Adopted people do not want discarded and dead babies.
Nor, unlike Mrs. Kelsey, do we want to create more adoptees.
We do not want to create or maintain the adoption spammer that churns out babies with no known origins, no social and health histories, no birth records, and no context except lifelong questions that she doesn’t believe they have a right to have answered because . . . she says so.
What adopted people want is our own truth; not adoption syndicate lies.
We want fair and equal treatment under law. We want our rights, authenticity, and humanity to be recognized and acknowledged. We want to abolish coerced and forced adoption, misogynist, racist, and classist public policy fueled by private industry and special interests, adoption trafficking, re-homing, adult adoptee infantilization, colonization, big money, identity erasure, secrets, and sealed records—the whole rotten institutional kaboodle that Mrs. Kelsey props up baby-by-baby with her boxes.
Mrs. Kelsey has been very clear online and in her autobiography—weirdly titled, Blessed to Have Been Abandoned—that just like the rest of us growing up in the closed adoption system she had questions about the circumstances of her relinquishment and adoption. She suffered from the all-too familiar adoptee issue of self-worth. As much as they can be, some of these problems were addressed eventually through reunion, but at the cost of learning that she is the product of rape and abandonment.
Ironically, Mrs.Kelsey now proposes to create those same kinds of questions and issues for a new generation of babies left in boxes. While we promote institutional change and societal attitudes to stop adoption dishonesty and abuse, she fights to preserve and enhance that broken system.
This is some deep shit that I’m tempted to psychoanalyze, but I’ll leave that to the professionals.