Quoting Quiverfull: Taking Feminist Positions When Convenient: Cognitive Dissonance Much?

Quoting Quiverfull: Taking Feminist Positions When Convenient: Cognitive Dissonance Much? April 8, 2014

by Kathleen Sloan (Board member National Organization for Women) and Jennifer Lahl (Founder and president of Center for Bioethics and Culture) posted at Ladies Against Feminism and Twin Cities.com – Inconvenient Truths About Commercial Surrogacy

It’s time for the shenanigans and propaganda to stop and for the inconvenient truths about commercial surrogacy to be told. First and foremost, surrogacy commodifies women and their bodies, turns children into products for sale, poses serious risks to women’s health and exploits marginalized women as a breeder class for the wealthy. Recognizing that surrogacy is a fundamental human rights issue, in 2011 the European Parliament adopted a resolution on violence against women that condemned surrogacy as a violation of women’s human rights.

Comments open below

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Astrin Ymris

    The REAL cognitive dissonance is the belief that they’re “helping” poor women by taking their children off their hands for the adoption market. True Christian™ PAPs (Prospective Adoptive Parents) cheerfully beg strangers for the thousands of dollars needed to complete the international adoption of an “orphan” whose parents are “too poor to provide for it” without ever thinking that with a fraction of that money, its birthmother could care for her own baby just fine.

    Of course, she probably wouldn’t raise her child to be a True Christian™, or possibly not even a Christian at all. And foreign nationals can’t vote for Dominionist candidates in American elections anyway.

  • SAO

    I considered being an egg donor for a family member and we started the process with the clinic and I joined some egg donor websites. I was struck by the extent to which everything was geared towards the client’s (ie one paying) needs, not the needs of the donor.

    Surrogacy is expensive and if you use your own eggs, quite invasive for the woman, so I can’t see it becoming the choice of anyone who can have children the natural way, but I think there’s an issue of balance that needs to be addressed.

  • Edie Moore McGee

    Ah, adoption fundraising…. It’s something I’ve long had trouble with, since we scrimped and saved to be able to afford to adopt our daughter from China. Then I see all these folks who are barely income-qualified for international adoption fundraising on the internet.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    …and then I get to see some of those poor kids from overseas once the fundy-adoption goes bad. The kids get dumped at psych facilities and CPS offices..

  • Astrin Ymris

    I don’t mind so much when it’s qualified PAPs with psychological/educational training and experience who are fundraising to adopt institutionalized mentally disabled kids.

    But when you have fertile True Christian™ parents fundraising to “save” a domestically-adopted newborn(!) or a healthy baby from the DRC whom you KNOW has got to be trafficked, I have a severe problem with that.

    And lets not forget travelling to Eastern Europe to beg tweens and nearly aging-out teens to agree to be adopted (and convert to their religion). What are the chances a placement like THAT could work well? The poor kids are likely to wind up in a facility like Suzanne works at– or worse, trafficked on a child exchange site or placed in an unlicensed fundy boot camp.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Re: “… I was struck by the extent to which everything was geared towards the client’s (ie one paying) needs…”

    That’s the problem with adoption, too. There are states where the birthmother has a smaller time window less to change her mind than someone who signs a contract for vinyl siding for their house. See, it’s “traumatic” for adoptive parents to discover that they aren’t going to get the baby they’ve “bonded” to. Who cares about the birthmother’s trauma at losing the baby SHE bonded to in utero?

    And there are still laws in many states keeping adult adoptees from seeing their original birth certificate. Ostensibly, it’s to protect the birthmother who MIGHT not want to be outed as having once been an unwed mother. Riiiiiiiight…

  • SAO

    While it wasn’t in the US, I did know a family who went through a lot of the adoption process, visiting their soon-to-be adopted daughter at the orphanage where she’d been abandoned by her mother right after birth, and never visited in 2 years since. Introducing their sons to their soon-to-be sister only to have a demand for $10,000, which the family could easily afford, so it became an ethical issue. Would they abandon their child? Or would they pay the bribe and buy the child, and in the process break the local and US laws? Neither option looked good.

    I suspect some of this goes on in the US, too. Poor, unethical birth mothers asking for bribes at the last minute. It may be the law was trying to prevent extortion.

  • Astrin Ymris

    *Thinks about it* Nope, I’m sure it’s intended as “consumer protection” for the adoptive parents, against the woman who gave birth to the child wanting her baby back.

    I find it interesting that when adoption agencies charge exorbitant fees for a child, that’s okay with everyone, but when the woman who laid her health on the line to carry that baby to term wants compensation for her efforts, it’s suddenly *gasp* BABY-SELLING!

    If it’s baby-selling for the birthmother to get paid for the depreciation of her body, then it’s baby-selling when adoption agencies do it so that they can offer their executives cushy compensation packages.


  • SAO

    I’m sure the laws were made in a stew of sensational (and not representative) cases, prejudice, history mixed up with a few good intentions, so I’m not going to defend them. I will note that in something like adoption, It’s hard to strike a good balance.

    I deplore the world-wide tendency to overvalue and overpay executives. And I think that Charities and non-profits should look harder at the missions and their boards should enforce the mission, with a focus on costs. So-called charity hospitals are often perfectly happy charging the uninsured (ie the poor) twice as much as they’d charge anyone who has an insurance company to tell the hospital not to be ridiculous, and then when the uninsured person can’t pay, they turn the whole bill over to a bill collector.

  • Astrin Ymris

    I agree that the way health care is billed is inherently dishonest, and that future health care reform should address this issue.

    I also believe that the only way to do ethical adoption is to knock the adoptive parents off the pinnacle of the adoption triad. Research has shown that it DOES do harm to adoptees to be removed from their genetic relatives, and that harm should always be considered when trying to make a decision about severing parental rights. It’s better for the child in most cases to support imperfect, but loving bio parents in caring for their own children. And even if the parents can’t care for their children due to mental illness or addiction, there’s no reason to completely cut off contact between parent and child unless said parent is truly abusive. This goes for contact with genetic relatives as well.

  • Astrin Ymris

    This was linked to on an adoption reform site I frequent. It’s not (that I know of, anyway) a Quiverfull family, but there ARE relevant similarities, especially in the adoptive parents exerting such control over the life of their ADULT (22 years old!) daughter.

    Also note how much hate is directed toward the daughter in the comments for not being sufficiently “grateful” to her adoptive parents. They don’t address the inappropriateness of the AP’s demands.


  • Edie Moore McGee

    A decent social worker will tell you NEVER to tell your adopted child she should be grateful to you. That’s so sick.