More Birth Parents Keeping Babies in Hopes “Ugly” Is Just a Phase
WASHINGTON, OTTAWA – An adoption crisis has been declared by Canadian and American Family Services officials who say there are nearly 10 times as many people wanting to adopt a baby in North America as there are babies up for adoption.
And the “Adoptable Baby Shortage” is largely being attributed to birth parents becoming better informed via the Internet that homely kids do stand an outside chance of outgrowing their unfortunate looks.
“When Miles was born, we noticed all our visitors were commenting on how cute his pajamas were,” said one father who debated putting his first-born up for adoption after realizing even the boy’s grandparents quietly put their cameras away during their first visit. “But I read that 10% of un-good-looking babies can grow into plain adults…I can live with that.”
Both public and private agencies say many first-time parents used to put their babies up for adoption immediately after first seeing the tots’ squashed, blotchy faces, but now are rolling the family dice that their little bundles will look less like miniature alcoholics with the passage of time.
“Newborns make you gasp…” said Dr. Donita Maleh, CEO of Fabulous Families, a private adoption agency in Los Angeles catering to image conscious professionals and wealthy illegal immigrants seeking citizenship. “But parents are starting to learn what we’ve known for years…you’ve got to let babies ripen for a few months before you can tell if they’re going to be permanently uncomfortable to look at.”
More than 1 million singles and couples are on public and private waiting lists for adoption and social agencies say only 103,000 babies were put up for adoption in 2011. More than 3 million older children remain available for adoption but Dr. Maleh says most of these unfortunate children never did outgrow the phase Pediatricians refer to as “Uck”.
“People used to look at their new-born and say ‘Nuh-uh…not takin’ that home,'” said Dr. Edna Wasserman, Director of Children Supply Management for the Ontario Adoption Agency. “But now young parents are squinting and imaging their babes growing up to be less scary looking. It’s very, very touching to witness.”
As three-day old Miles’ father sums up, “He’ll likely lose the hair on his face so what the heck, we’ll keep him. I know it’s hard on our friends and family to find things to say but it’s just a phase.”
Reporting for The Lapine