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Foster Mom Accused Of 'Roleplaying' For Asking How To Produce Milk So She Can Breastfeed Foster Babies

Photo: @karpoozy / TikTok; Evgeny Atamanenko / Shutterstock; Canva Pro  
TikToker reacting to a foster mom's desire to breastfeed foster babies

Just when you thought the debate over breastfeeding was finally reaching its end, there comes a whole new layer to the topic. A post in a forum for foster parents about whether to breastfeed foster babies has people talking about what is and isn't normal when it comes to being a foster parent.

In the post, a prospective foster mom asks for advice on how to lactate, because she thinks it would be 'amazing' to breastfeed foster babies.

Breastfeeding adopted babies is a practice that is becoming more and more common, as adoptive parents seek to replicate the experience of biological parenting and provide their adopted children with the important biochemical and physiological bonding that happens when babies nurse.

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As any expert on attachment theory will tell you, those early bonding moments are a vital part of a baby's development, so it's hard to argue against adoptive parents giving it a go.

But to breastfeed foster babies is a whole other thing. After all, foster parents aren't legal or permanent parents and, in most cases, have no plans to be. So making that incredibly intimate choice is... well, it raises questions, to say the least! 

Kirsta, an adoptee herself known as @karpoozy on TikTok, uses her platform to share her perspectives on adoption and in particular its underbelly. And as she shared in a TikTok, she and many other activists who call for reform to the adoption industry are not fans of the idea of a foster mom trying to breastfeed foster babies.



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The TikToker criticized the foster mom for trying to 'roleplay biological parent' and putting her own desires above her foster babies' needs.

In her video, Kirsta shared a screenshot from a Facebook group called "Foster Parent Help and Support Group," in which a woman posted her call for breastfeeding advice. "My husband and I are becoming foster parents, and our age range is 0 [through] 3," she wrote. "I would love to take medication to help me produce breast milk."

The woman went on to write that she thinks "it would be an amazing thing to do" but her husband thinks it's "kinda weird." Suffice to say, Kirsta is on the husband's side. She made a face of disgust while reading the post in her video, and in onscreen text wrote, "foster care isn't for you to roleplay biological parent."

It's hard to argue that Kirsta doesn't have a point — foster care nearly always involves tragic circumstances that have befallen the most vulnerable children in our country. The foster mom's "amazing" experience should be the last item on the to-do list.

Photo: TikTok / @karpoozy

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But not everyone agreed that to breastfeed foster babies is inappropriate, and a debate ensued about the ethics of adoption in general.

The TikTok user was absolutely not alone in feeling like a woman wanting to breastfeed foster babies was way over a line. Most commenters were downright shocked at the very suggestion, and Kirsta reported that most commenters in the Facebook group itself "called [the woman] out hard."

But not everyone was on the same page. One woman on TikTok wondered what the difference was between this and what used to be the common practice of staffing a "wet nurse" at home to feed babies. "I’m not understanding why this is bad or how it makes someone role play," the woman wrote. "Wet nurses are a thing."

But several commenters pointed out, while wet nursing absolutely does still exist, it also has roots in American chattel slavery. And given the dynamics that are sometimes at play in America's often bizarre for-profit adoption system — in which many parents simply purchase babies as part of what is a nearly $25 billion industry — it's an unsavory comparison to say the least.

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That, for many, is central to the objection to this mom's almost seemingly fetishistic approach to motherhood and her desire to breastfeed foster babies.

In another TikTok, Kirsta, whose own adoption was coerced from her birth mother when she was threatened with legal action by Kirsta's adoptive parents, broke down that she and other adoption activists like her aren't against adoption and fostering per se, but rather they want to see the systems reformed.



They see the foster care and adoption systems as ones in which entitled parents feel that adopted childrens' rights — many of which are revoked in the adoption process — are secondary to their own desire to have kids.

Whether that's a fair assessment or not is up for debate, but it's hard to argue that a foster mom being more concerned with getting to breastfeed foster babies than meeting the needs of an endangered baby doesn't prove adoption activists' point.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.