Occasionally, women used to tell me I was "lucky" in that I had my kids the easy way - implying that without physical labor - actually carrying a child for nine months and then pushing said baby out of your body -I had it easy.
Oh, I disagree.
My response has always been, "Adoptive moms have labor too, it's just different."
Adoption is hard. It's fundamentally built on loss. Many of us adopt because of infertility, which is a loss of fertility. Birth parents have the loss of raising their child, even if by choice. (My kids' birth mom didn't have the choice - she lost the right to raise her children.) Adoptive kids suffer the loss of biological knowledge. Kids like mine grieve the loss of a caring parent; they know that their birth parents lost them due to bad behavior, poor judgement, plain ole not caring.
Then, there is the adoption process itself. Dear Husband and I had to undergo a series of classes, baring our souls to social workers and other would-be adoptive parents. Dear Husband had to undergo psychological testing due to his messed up family of origin. Once we got the kids, we had months and months of lawyers, social workers, courts, etc. For parents who adopt privately or overseas, it is a financial and legal marathon. If this doesn't all constitute "labor", I don't know what does.
Adoption is hard. And it should be - we shouldn't just be handing over babies and children to any person who shows up for one. Besides, the goal is to make sure that children have the best environment in which to grow up: a loving, safe, caring family who have the child's best interests (not their desire to parent) at the forefront of their mind.
Now, many states are trying to make it harder. Because of the strong gay political lobby in many states, Catholic charities are getting out of the adoption business because of their religious stance that gay families are not the best environment for kids. Faced with losing funding for ALL their services or stopping adoptions, they choose to drop adoptions from their services. And who loses? Kids.
Adoption is hard. Let's not make it harder.