Friday, July 13, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I write to day about the state of Family Preservation today: the good, bad and ugly.

The good news, that I am delighted to report is:
  • I have been invited to be keynote speaker at a conference in Australia, The White Stolen Generation, in Sydney in September 2008. While all plans have not as yet been finalized, I look forward to this opportunity. It has continued to be wonderful to see the international interest in my book, and Family Preservation.
  • I am a nominee to the board of OriginsUSA and look forward to a positive outcome of the elections next month and to working with a fabulous bunch of extremely bright, energetic and very positive women as we bring a new, broader vision to OriginsUSA.
  • Barbabra Basantz Raymond's book, The Baby Thief: The Untold Story Georgia Tann, the baby seller who corrupted adoption has been widely promoted and accepted. Barbara is a wonderful person and her book is an excellent contribution to the literature on adoption, particularly pointing out the roots of exploitation and baby stealing for profit.
The sad news is that:
  • While many "reformers" are reading about the tragic unnecessary separations of the past ala Georgia Tann, the legacy that she set into motion continues unbridled today. People like Maxine Buckmeier, of Adoption Insight, and her partner, Laurie Aragon, seem almost to reincarnate the ghost of Georgia Tann, carrying on the legacy of exploiting mothers and selling their babies for profit, regardless of outcome.
  • Masha was sold to a pedophile, Matthew Mancuso by Jeannene Smith through an Indiana-based agency called Families Thru International Adoption (FTIA). Smith, who has not commented on the case publicly, citing confidentiality laws, has since co-founded a lobbying group called Focus on Adoption, which lobbies on behalf of agencies that facilitate international adoptions.
  • The web site of Loretta Cooper, owner of Heart-Felt says: “I require $4,800 up front and a signed contract. In most occasions there will also be some pregnancy related support for each birthmother.”
  • Diane Hogan. Lil Snell, Ellen Roseman...while not all adoption facilitators are women (i.e. Artie Elgart and Adoption Network Law Center)...often, sadly, it seems to be women pitting rich women against poor and exploiting the poor.
There seems, in adoption, a great deal of woman's inhumanity to woman...and that leads me to "The Ugly." The dirty little secret that I hate to talk about about but must.

As if we didn't have enough cold-hearted "others" exploiting us, and profiting from the pain suffered by those who have their families unnecessarily torn apart, and rights denied...we seem to have no lack of in-fighting, still, within our own ranks.

Nasty power struggles within organizations seem part and parcel of growth of many organizations and adoption related ones are far form immune to this phenomenon, unfortunately. There those among us hell bent on allowing meanness, "bitchiness" and an inability to separate the personal from the "professional" and do what is best for the those issues we do share when there are differences of opinion on particular strategy and approaches to gain more or less the same stand in the way and take precedent over doing wha is right.

The need to be "right" and see "others" as wrong...and to act on hurt feelings to hurt others, and their work (and thus the movement as a whole) for spite or vengeance or jealousies...
Whether it is woman's inhumanity to woman or human nature or both, I am not sure but there always has existed this, competitive, spiteful, ugly side. And no matter how much of it I have witnessed in 40 years is still extrmeely distasteful and a tremendous waste of our energies when we have the NCFA and the likes of new Georgia Tann's every day to battle!

There are many bright, wonderful women crusaders among us and fortunately we far outnumber the few bad apples. We will survive individually and as a whole, as long as we isolate and alienate the bad apples amongst us and give them no power to spread their vile vindictiveness. Like a family unit, we as a movement will only be healthy and grow as long as we set and maintain healthy boundaries and not allow ourselves to be bullied by those who act out like children having temper tantrums because they didn't get "their way" and/or try to hurt or abuse us.


bojac417 said...

We just adopted a baby working with Laurie Aragon in California. We were not pleased with her lack of professionalism and would not recommend her services at all to anyone seeking an adoption.

Mirah Riben said...


I suggest you contact if you have not already done so.

Anonymous said...

We lost a lot of money with Laurie Aragon at Adoption Insight and never did get a baby from her. As soon as she gets your money she does not return calls or emails. We had a failed adoption that was her fault because she kept money that was supposed to go to the birth mother and was very very mean to her. We finally adopted with a reputable agency.

Mirah Riben said...

And yet she is not stopped.

Is "reputable" determined by getting what you pay for?

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget