The Baby Scoop Era

As is usual for someone who has been adopted, who has yet to find their biological roots, I recently found myself wondering yet again, how it all came to be. Since I’ve been on the Internet I have both, participated in an adoption forum, and checked out the State of Arkansas adoptions laws, only to gaze into the computer screen with something of an intrigued, essentially disappointed feeling. As with the Internet, however, multiple searches using varied terms can lead in all different kinds of directions. This time around I was met with some interesting results.

Apparently, the state of my existence can be attributed to the Baby Scoop Era, a time in American history extending from the end of World War II to the mid-1970s. The era is characterized by the sudden rampant adoption, or “scooping” of white babies born from illegitimate relationships, and has high points that revolve around the liberal behavior of young women during the Vietnam Era.

What strikes me the most is that the nature of the relationships and their pregnancies are termed illegitimate through the medium of religious discourse. In other words, if a woman got pregnant during the era, she was a scorn to society and the baby had to be gotten rid of. The literature I found goes further to suggest that because of this impious sense of illegitimacy, single mothers were encouraged, even heavily pressured into giving up their children. Since my birth certificate derives from a Catholic hospital, I am imagining my mother being psychologically coaxed into giving me away by the religious powers in place, whether or not she was comfortable with it. To add to the matter, I was never wholly aware that Arkansas was as religious a place as it comes off to be, but I should know better. I realize now, the place is notoriously religious. My departure from the area was a good thing then; having to grow up without my mother was not.

On the other side of the coin is the bizarre demand for white blonde babies. Since I happen to have blonde hair and blue eyes, to think of this actually gives me the creeps. To think that I was shopped for creates a sickening feeling in my stomach. Not only does the sense of commodification feel eerie, but the racial nature of the demand has racial implications that are disturbing.

I had originally thought my mother was irresponsible, and maybe she was, but this doesn’t equate an automatic desire to give me up for adoption. Whether or not she would have aborted me is a question for another life, but legislation was eventually passed that allowed single women to raise their children without having to succumb to the pressures of religious dogma. The government finally realized the amount of adoptions that were occurring and put measures in place so these women could stay with their children, explaining why the Baby Scoop Era comes to an end around the beginning of the 1980s.

At any rate, the adoptions laws in Arkansas protect mothers with excruciating diligence, which translates into me still not knowing who my mother was. I can sign a mutual consent registry, but if she never signed it, then by the means of her absence of signature, I will know she didn’t sign it; that will mean she was and still is uninterested in knowing who her child is.

Until I sign it, I guess I’ll never know.

It’s a big decision.


This entry was posted in adoption, history, life, personal, Psychology, religion and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Baby Scoop Era

  1. TAO says:

    Order a copy of “The Girls Who Went Away” by Ann Fessler – through your library or bookstore. Hard read but necessary read about the mothers from that era.

    • LK says:

      I read the reviews at Amazon, this might turn out to be a book for my personal library.

      Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  2. Victor says:

    Sign it. Get this overwith. Lean who you really are.
    And you have to assume, the powers between you and your mother, may still attempt to keep you apart. You might want to consider contacting an attorney.

    • LK says:

      I hear you and I agree. Soon as I finish term, I will meditate on that registry page until my hand moves and the deal is done.

      Thank you for the support.

      • Victor says:

        Look at the adoption laws in your state. Know what the laws say you can and cannot do. Each state is different. Do what you can in relation to your state laws, and then submit to every service available to you. And remember, white baby’s have always been a commondity, a business in which family’s that cannot reproduce, can buy a kid. Sadly, this is a form of slavery. So during the Baby Scoop Era, most mothers were conned out of their kid by being told they were sinful for having sex outside of marriage. Interestingly, the guys were never blamed. Also, the bio moms were never informed of there legal rights such as the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, that says “property cannot be taken away from a citizen without due process of law.” These women were never given legal advice, in fact, legal advice was kept from them. There are millions of adoptees looking for their bio parents.

  3. Vicci Una Johnson says:

    Regarding the Baby Scoop Era: From our family research going through the process of finding the bio family of an adult cousin, we find the business of adoption in the US corrupt. First of all, infant-stranger-adoption, also sometimes called “non-kinship adoption” DOES NOT WORK. We live in a capitalistic society, with many childless citizens lobbying to keep adoption unregulated. A single pregnant women is marketed to by the a-agency’s to give up her kid. No one tells her she can receive free legal advice from the public defenders office through her state department. ironically, according to the 13th amendment to the US constitution, a citizen cannot be separated from their belongings without due process of law. So how did the adoption agency’s get the kid if the bio Mom never had legal advice?

    • LK says:

      “‘non-kinship adoption’ DOES NOT WORK”

      So bitterly, gruesomely true, I should know.

      The notion of legal advice is interesting. The report is that my mother was sixteen when I was born, so I’m starting to feel she was, indeed, manipulated.

      • Vicci Una Johnson says:

        Someone mentioned to me a possible class action law suit, but it would take lots of bio Mom’s in one state to initiate this. There is a Federal law titled Civil Action for Depravation of Rights. Google: 42 U. S. C. Statute 1983, 1988. This Federal Law applies to the 4th, 5th and 14th amendments to the US Constitution. As a US citizens bio Moms can ask for and receive legal advice or representation before their property can be taken away from them. I prefer calling it “conned out of their kid” All adoption agency’s pay lawyers to work for their interests, not the bio Moms. So if a single Mom received any legal advice, it was from the agency’s attorney, not one working for her interests. How many of them had the money to hire a private attorney? In reality, the public defenders office is the place where all citizens who do not have an attorney, can ask for help. But again, how many single Mom’s know this, and for certain, this information is going to be withheld from them so the agency has a kid to sell. Adoption is really a form of is the buying and selling of a kid. The kids have no voice, and the bio Mom doesn’t know she has legal support in the law because that information is kept from her on purpose. _People that want to adopt, lobby state legislatures to keep the adoption laws supportive to their side, by keeping the records closed so the bio parent doesn’t interrupt their life. Adoptive parents want the adopted kid to be theirs, they are not interested in sharing what they paid for… Google and read the Federal law… 42 U.S. C. Statute 1983, 1988. Then read the 4th, 5th and especially the 14th amendment to the US Constitution. Someday, infant-stranger-adoption in the US will be illegal. Hopefully, the laws will be changed by the end of this century or sooner. Too many people have been hurt for too many years.

  4. zygotepariah says:

    My a-mother told me that when they adopted my brother two years previously to me, they put in an “order” for a blue-eyed, blonde female. I don’t know if she told me that to try to make me feel “chosen”, but I find it extremely odd considering that everyone else in my a-family is tan with dark hair and brown eyes. Why would you want a blue-eyed blonde who obviously wouldn’t “fit”?

    I’ve met my first mother. We look identical . . . except her eyes are brown. Her mother’s eyes are brown. I’m the first female in at least three generations to have blue eyes. Bizarre to think that had I followed the “tradition” of having brown eyes, I might have ended up in a completely different family.

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