A controversial topic, adoptive breast feeding is considered to be a beautiful bonding experience by those who adopt and disgusting child abuse by many adoptees and natural mothers. My experience of it is this. My adoptive mother likes to tell me the story of how she was so clucky after bringing me home that she started lactating. She tried to breast feed me but I rejected her attempts as I was 7 weeks old and had only been given a bottle, and possibly because I didn't know what to do with this strangers breast. She once said jokingly that it hurt her feelings that I rejected her and that I should apologise to her. It took everything in my being to not scream at her that I thought it was unbelievably sick to try and breast feed me and that it wasn't my fucking fault that I didn't know what to do with her tit. But I didn't say any of that because I am a good little adoptling. I did not apologise but I did say "I probably didn't know what the hell to do with it, I mean, I even had trouble getting my son to latch, it's not that easy."
I have just read a post about an adoptive mother who forced her 20 month old adoptee to breast feed. She started by giving him bottles of her pumped breast milk but the poor little boy was so traumatised by his experience and being in a strange house that he would not let them cuddle him. He was not sleeping, when he did he would wake often and cry. She started sleeping next to him, doing skin to skin contact, co-bathing and putting her nipple in his mouth while he slept. He eventually submitted to all of this and started feeding from her. The comments on this blog varied from "Disgusting" to "what a wonderful way to bond and what a lovely thing to do for the child." Personally, I vote disgusting.
For those of you reading this wondering what my problem is, I want you to think of it this way - if a complete stranger picked up a 20 month old child and tried to cram her breast into the child's mouth insisting that breast milk was good for the child would that be wrong? Yes, it would. This is what the child is experiencing; they are not aware that a piece of paper with adoption decree written on it means that this woman is legally their mother. All they know is that a strange lady is putting her breast in their mouth. Some of the techniques described in the blog would be questionable even if a natural mother did them with a child at that age. I also wonder how people would feel about an adoptive father using skin to skin contact and co-bathing to bond with his adopted 20 month old son or daughter. What happens in 20 years when this child is an adult in therapy repeating the memory that this woman that he did not know got naked with him and shoved her breast in his mouth while he slept?
Adoptive breast feeding is not about giving the child the best start in the world, it is about the adoptive mother wanting to feel like a mother. Breast milk contains specific proteins and antibodies for the biological child. The lactation drugs that many adoptive mothers use are known to cause depression and some that are used to induce lactation are used to treat schizophrenia - no research has been done on what that does to the child who is consuming it. There are other ways to get to know your adopted child, other ways to make them feel safe, adoptive breast feeding is just not necessary and I sincerely wish that "adoption specialists" would stop encouraging it.