In America, popular narratives about adoption tend to focus on happy endings. Poor mothers who were predestined to give their children away for a “better life”; unwanted kids turned into chosen ones; made-for-television reunions years later. Since childhood, these story lines about the industry of infant adoptions had gradually seeped into my subconscious from movies, books, and the news.
Then, following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the tropes proliferated. Photos of smiling white couples holding signs that read we will adopt your baby went viral this summer, quickly inspiring online mockery. Many U.S. adoption agencies prepared for a potential increase in adoption in states that have made abortion illegal, despite limited evidence that a need for these services will increase.