Adoption, Commodification and Normalcy

Adoption, Commodification and Normalcy

Maybe I missed it in earlier issues of the country’s largest and oldest magazine on adoption, Adoptive Families, but the ads in the latest issue, Winter 2014, show the definitive commodification of adoption in the U.S.. Similac pays for a full-page ad in an issue with an article on breastfeeding without birthing and offers its specific product, “Similac for Supplementation.” Then there are two full-page ads for businesses that deal with embryo adoption: “Embryos available now to start your family,” exclaims AER. And the company with the smart name, “Building Blocks to Baby Steps,” uses its page to take a swipe at the usual providers of babies, the presumed unhealthy birth mothers: “Embryo adoption is usually quicker and less expensive than traditional adoption with the added bonus of the mom-to-be having control over the pre-natal environment, raising the chances of delivering a healthy baby.” And then a bank — a Christian bank — offers “Adoption Loans” with rates as low as 8.65 APR. Again, an implicit swipe to the God-forgotten birth moms. It quotes a customer: ‘Without this loan, God’s plan for our lives and the life of our child would not be possible.” Bored already with the quotes? Please wait for this last one, the most expensive, presumably, because it enhances the back cover of the magazine. The ad is from a company called Adoptimist, who promises: “We build effective adoption profiles and marketing campaigns for families hoping to adopt.” And they have “marketing plans for every budget.” Market yourself to the first mothers and families in competition with other parents to get your baby? What are these people thinking? And what is Adoptive Families thinking?

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