Wednesday, August 29, 2007

OriginsUSA: Exciting Changes!

PRESS RELEASE: August 29, 2007

OriginsUSA, a growing national organization, has undergone major exciting changes. Newly reorganized, and independent of affiliation with any other organization, OriginsUSA works for natural family preservation, justice, education, and support for people separated by adoption.

August elections established the new slate of officers: Bernadette Wright, President; Sandy Young, Vice President; Kathy Aderhold, Treasurer; and Mary Garvens, Secretary. The Board of Directors are: Jeanne Gartland, Claudia Corrigan D'Arcy, Donna Stevanov.

OriginsUSA is the preeminent voice for mothers of all ages who have lost children to adoption. OriginsUSA supports all people who are separated by adoption in an open, inclusive, and democratic atmosphere. OriginsUSA incorporated in the state of Virginia on February 2, 2007. Tax exempt status, as a 501c(3), is pending.

The organization is invigorated with a new commitment to uphold its mission of justice, education, and support for all mothers who have lost children to adoption. OriginsUSA has local support groups in Maryland, Texas, and Virginia. Groups in Georgia, Louisiana, New York and Wisconsin will be active in the near future.

Committee involvement affords members an opportunity to share their expertise and enthusiasm, while healing through empowerment. Current committee chairs are: Finance/Fundraising, Kathy Aderhold; Legislation, Karen Kottmeier; Infrastructure, Jane Edwards; Membership, Mirah Riben and Mary Garvens; Newsletter, Sandy Young; PR, Mirah Riben and Jeanne Gartland; and Website, Claudia Corrigan D'Arcy.

OriginsUSA's new website at: documents the organization's goals and past accomplishments, such as:

* OriginsUSA orchestrated a "blogger blitz" to build public support for Stephanie Bennett, a young mother attempting to regain custody of her daughter after being coerced into relinquishment. One hundred and forty bloggers participated the first day and a second blogger blitz is underway for Ms. Bennett.

* OriginsUSA has built a growing database of attorneys, to provide referrals for parents, coerced into surrendering their children, who are seeking legal redress.

* Results of Dr. Bernadette Wright's, Mothers' Voices, Surrender Experiences and Long-Term Effects, a study of 214 mothers surrendering their children between 1956 and 2003, was recently released. This study is available at the website, or upon request.

OriginsUSA's membership is increasing on a daily basis. Membership is $20 a year and open to all who support OriginsUSA's mission of family preservation. Membership includes newsletter and access to online forum. Scholarships are available as needed.

Karen Wilson Butterbaugh tendered her resignation as President and board member on June 24, 2007. She is continuing her research to obtain an inquiry into past adoption practices. Affiliation with all other Origins' was terminated in August, 2007.

Contact: For further information contact or Mirah Riben, PR Chair, OriginsUSA,

Friday, August 24, 2007

Help Save Baby Evelyn

Stephanie Bennett was referred by her H.S. guidance counselor to an unscrupulous adoption agency who took her out of county and coerced her to sign papers to relinquish her 5 month old daughter. Stephanie has been victimized by her daughter's father who molested her for years, and again by the system, and now yet again by the courts.

PLEASE HELP THE BENNETTS regain custody of Evelyn!

In April of 2007, Stephanie had a hearing in the Probate Court, and awaited the findings of the court. The agency said that was the court that would be the correct court for the hearing, and the attorney that Stephanie had at the time didn’t fight it. That court has YET to rule.

In the meantime the Bennetts hired a new attorney to represent them. The new attorney who was familiar with Adoption Law, as their previous attorney was not, said that since both Stephanie and Evelyn were minors, the court with jurisdiction would actually be the Juvenile Court. On May 22, 2007 they appeared in Juvenile Court. Stephanie’s attorney came away from that hearing in very bad spirits, since it seemed that the Agency’s attorney, who is also married to one of the sisters who run the agency, was very friendly with the judge. She left shortly after the hearing to go on vacation with her family, and was using her down time to plan the appeal that she was almost certain would follow on her return. She returned to her office from vacation and found the judge’s ruling and was very heartened to find that it seemed that the judge was strongly on the side of Stephanie, and indicated that she would a) allow the results of the polygraph examination that Stephanie was required to take in to the court, not as evidence but as testimony, and b) that Stephanie had been used badly by the system and she was sensitive to the loss she had experienced. She ordered an Evidentiary Hearing be held forthwith, on the validity of the Mother’s consent.

And, they waited, through the rest of May, all of June, all of July and into August. Stephanie’s attorney called and tried to set dates for the Evidentiary Hearing, but always something came up, another case, a vacation, a full docket, always something. Procedurally, the agency’s attorney should have filed an appeal if they were not happy with the judge’s ruling. Instead, they filed a motion for the judge to vacate her own order! With no hearing, no in-chamber meeting, nothing. Just out of the blue, or over a cocktail with the agency’s attorney, or hitting balls on the golf course, the judge decided that she wasn’t the appropriate court, despite what she found in her ruling, and no one bothered to tell Stephanie’s Attorney!!! So, they wait for the Probate Court ruling, which STILL has not been made, and it is now over 4 months ago!!

During the time that they waited, the police stepped in and did a DNA of the putative father who voluntarily went into give it. They also agreed that the umbilical cord of Evelyn’s would be okay for a sample of DNA. However, since it is the police that are doing it, and it is for a criminal case, it takes longer than if it were paid for. So, it still hasn’t come back yet. It should be back very soon. In order to get the police interested, Stephanie had to undergo a polygraph which she passed with flying colors. The test was administered by the police department, but it was reviewed and analyzed by not one, but three separate experts who all were in agreement that Stephanie had told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In the meantime, Judy Bennett, Stephanie’s mother, got word from a “reliable source” that the Attorney General’s office is conducting an investigation of the agency, A Child’s Waiting. Judy called the AG’s office to find out if it is true, and was told that they could not give out information about current investigations, but that if it is so and the AG’s office is investigating, that not only will the agency lose its license, someone will go to jail. The Pap’s have left the state, and their whereabouts are unknown at this time. They know exactly what is going on, they know all the facts of the case, and yet, they still continue to keep this child, this precious infant, from her mother, and the family that loves her, and Stephanie, the mother, is left in a Hellish Limbo of Unknowing! She can’t talk about anything, she can’t do anything, even go to visit her cousin in the event that a hearing will be held and she will get her baby back. She is about to enter her Senior year in High School, a time when she should be worrying about her back-to-school wardrobe, planning her Prom, as an athlete, practicing her basketball moves, and checking out her possible college choices. Instead, she has been thru an ordeal that would, and HAS, broken many older, more sophisticated women. How long can this torture endure? How long can this teenage mother hold out against the machine that is eating her and her infant alive? She has been abused by the father of her child, by the system, by the agency, by the School Counselor, by the courts, and by the law that is supposed to protect her. Someone surely should pay for this abuse! Someone should be outraged at the continuation of this travesty and tragedy!! Someone needs to stop it, now. I am counting on the bloggers. I hope that when you read this you will be as outraged and as furious as I was at the treatment that this young woman has received at the hands of the unscrupulous and unethical agency and courts. Please write about this and make it abundantly clear how you feel.

UPDATE: Today I received the ruling of the judge in her amendment. This is insane. And, the Bennett family has less than 2 weeks to raise the money to file the appeal or Evelyn could be gone forever!
Petition, and
Donations can be made, via Paypal, at:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Who Is A Mother?

The Allison Quets contested adoption case, discussed earlier, is bringing up many great comments pro and con of whether Allison - or any mother fighting to overturn the adoption of her twins conceived with donor eggs - is a "natural mother" or a mother at all to the twins she carried. And if not, does it matter in terms of supporting her right to her children?

In an effort to garner support from the adoption community for Allison, I was told by her supporters, that: “the DNA of the children are present in the mother for decades, and vice versa. There is a genetic component, albeit one that is atypical.” To help untangle this complex situation, following is an article explains the biological connection between mothers and children of their womb. After that is an open ended discussion I hope you will join:

Mothers 'Inherit' Some Characteristics Of Their Children
Researchers to Present Amazing Discovery

MILAN ( - Mothers undergo permanent changes during pregnancy, in which they "inherit" some characteristics of the child they carry and, through the child, also receive some characteristics of the father. This is but one of the surprising discoveries to be presented at the congress entitled "At the Dawn of Human Life," organized by the Institute of Gynecology and Obstetrics of the Catholic University of Rome. The congress begins Sept. 6 in the Vatican, as part of the Jubilee of University Professors.
The child inherits half of his genetic patrimony from the mother. He also "hears" the outside world while in the womb, through the mother's body, a fact which substantially conditions the unborn child's life. Now, research indicates that the mother also undergoes long-term changes caused by the "person" of the child and, indirectly, also from her husband.
Professor Salvatore Mancuso, head of the gynecology institute, said: "We have proofs that beginning in the fifth week of gestation, in other words, when a woman realizes she is pregnant, an infinite number of messages pass from the embryo to the mother, through chemical substances like hormones, transmitters, etc. Such information serves to adapt the mother's organism to the presence of the new being.
"Moreover, it has also been discovered that the embryo sends stem cells that, thanks to the mother's immune system tolerance, colonize the maternal medulla, and adhere to it. What is more, lymphocytes are born from here and remain with the woman for the rest of her life." Mancuso continued: "From the fifth week there is clearly a passing of cells, but messages begin at conception. Even during the first phase of cellular subdivision, when the embryo is moving in the fallopian tubes, there are transmissions through contact with tissues touched by the moving embryo.
"Later, after implantation in the uterus, the dialogue is more intense through the blood and cells, and chemical substances enter the mother's bloodstream. "Finally, the child's stem cells pass to the mother in great quantity, both at the moment of birth, whether spontaneous or Cesarean, as well as at the time of abortion, whether spontaneous or voluntary. These cells are implanted in the mother's medulla and produce lymphocytes, which have a common origin with the cells of the central nervous system; they have receptors for the neurotransmitters and can make messages pass that the maternal nervous system understands."
He added, "An astonishing area of research is opening up. This is information of enormous importance on the first phases of life." When asked whether it was difficult to make rigid divisions of the phases of the embryo's development, Mancuso said, "It is a grave error to make distinctions between the embryo and pre-embryo. It is such an initial phase - one cannot of course speak of a central nervous system - but the messages the embryo sends to the mother express manifestations that are proper to the human species. The instruments used are highly specialized chemical substances and cells, such as stem cells.
"It should be remembered that if communication was lacking, the maternal organ would reject the embryo. The dialogue makes possible the perfect acceptance of an organism that is 50% foreign to the mother's genetic patrimony. In fact, these chemical substances, which express nutritional and metabolic needs of the embryo to the mother, cause an immune depression in her that facilitates the acceptance of the new being."
When asked how long the fetus' influence on the mother lasts, the professor answered: "Stem cells have been found in the mother even 30 years after the birth. It could be said, therefore, the pregnancy does not last the 40 canonical weeks, but the woman's entire life.
"This should be cause for reflection also in regard to the hypothesis of 'renting' a womb: In this case, the mother who carries the embryo accepts a being whose genetic patrimony is 100% foreign, and who will 'modify' her for the rest of her life. We have no idea of the long-term consequences of such operations.
Regarding the transfer of the father's characteristics to the mother via the unborn child, Mancuso said, "These are areas that are yet to be explored. Of course it calls for reflection on a new way of understanding pregnancy. Also, a very close tie is undoubtedly created between man and woman, because the child has 50% of the father's genetic characteristics. Moreover, the hematopoietic [blood-producing] stem cells go to the medulla and produce offspring cells, lymphocytes and neurotransmitters with the capacity to dialogue with the maternal central nervous system. It is somewhat as though the 'thoughts' of the child pass to the mother, even many years after his birth."


Genetic patrimony seems to be what the DNA ancestry projects such as the National Geographics. It traces our lineage and connects us all back to Africa.

So...does that make one the "natural" mother of donor eggs she carries? Are mother and child biologically connected through passed DNA and stem cells?

Does a mother who used donor eggs then have the same "rights" as a natural mother compared to an adoptive parent, or is she still no more related to her child than a foster care giver or adopter?

Does the fact that she has carried the child inside her and felt it move within her and the baby heard her voice for nine months create an emotional bond as mother and child? Who could carry a child, labor and birth, and not feel like a mother?

Yet, do we ever want to support a child being created with half or all of its genetic and medical history lost to it through anonymity?

These are questions courts are struggling to answer as reproductively technology continues to thrive. They questions we who work to support mothers rights are going to be forced to ask and answer more and more.

For myself. my heart tells me that a mother wh carries a child is the mother. And yet I firmly believe that the answer lies with the last posed question to which the answer is clear: None of us in Family Preservation or even adoption reform and open records would be supportive of any anonymity. We need to remain firmly against any anonymity in the creation of life.

However, do we not support children created from anonymous donors who are seeking their truth? Of course we do!

So, while choosing to support to not to support Allison Quets based on her intentional use of anonymous donor eggs might be a difficult, even heart-wrenching decision for some of us - or a clear-cut no for others of us... what happens when we focus not on Allison but on the children she birthed, Holly and Tyler. Where do we then stand? Do we not support these children's right to know the mother who carried them as well as their right to try to locate their genetic parentage?

And, in this case, do we not oppose a coercive adoption that is denying the right of the individual who birthed the children and signed a surrender to revoke her consent to have them adopted? Are the children better off with total strangers? Or does Allison not have any more tight to them as they do?

Please also see comments at:

Friday, August 17, 2007
Allison Quest Seeks Support

Help Save Adrian

Jonelle's contested adoption was told here in May.

Now there is a quick, easy way to help Jonelle raise funds for her legal fees. After voting there are series of questions you can simply reply NO to.

To my friends and family:

I just entered Adrian in the Great American Photo Contest. The baby with most votes this month wins $2,500 toward legal fees. Please do me a big favor and click on this link and vote for Adrian. It takes a minute. I really appreciate it, and so does Adrian. Thanks in advance.

Jonelle Fulton

Friday, August 17, 2007

Allison Quets Seeks Support

As you might recall, Allison Quets was jailed for "kidnapping" her twin girls and fleeing to Canada with them

I am in receipt of the following request:

I am working with Allison Quets on her case - despite backdated docs, perjury, and numerous violations of the law by opposing counsel, she lost. The court went so far as to block her appeal to the Supreme Court of FL. Every attorney that reviews the papers is shocked and outraged. No matter how wrong they are, how egregious their behavior, the courts look the other way. The truth is sealed. I'm sure none of this surprises you considering the subject of your book. Allison was on Dr. Phil back in April....
We are desperate to find a way to get her children back. It's been 2 long years and a million dollars - the adoption industry wants badly to win and if they do, this is the last time someone will likely make it this far - at least for some time. It's sickening. Wish we could get more adoption advocacy groups to rally around her. She had fought hard and is being told it's over and she has lost. We are telling her attorneys no and to try again. I think they feel we are nuts but we are really determined to overcome this corruption.

Details of Allison's ordeal is at:


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Is Promoting Adoption Healthy and Wise?

Are Family Separations Healthy and Desirable?

By Mirah Riben

The National Council for Adoption (NCFA), the nation's largest lobby for adoption agencies has issued the following statement that calls for an increase in "quick-trigger" adoptions to the detriment of mothers and children.

"Only one to two percent of children born out of wedlock are placed for adoption. Without presuming to judge any individual decision, it seems to be in the best interests of children and their birthparents for significantly more of these children to be placed for adoption. Social science has directly correlated the rise in children languishing in foster care to the number of single-parent households. The number of single-parent households is
directly correlated to the decrease in infant adoptions. Here are some of NCFA's policy priorities to help create healthier attitudes towards infant
adoption and make it easier for birthparents to choose adoption."

The statement begins with the word "only" bemoaning the "decrease in infant adoptions" followed by the pejorative, outdated label "born out of wedlock" - a phrase offensive to single mothers and their children, adopted or not.

Reports of decreases in teen pregnancies, coupled with more mothers having the resources, support, and ability to care for their children would be an indication of a healthy society is something to warrant rejoicing, not concern. This is especially true in light of the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that it is "in the best interests of children" or their parents "for significantly more of these [bastard] children to be placed for adoption."

The fact is quite the opposite. The largest study to look at the effects of foster care provides "the first viable, empirical evidence" of the benefits of keeping kids with their families, says Gary Stangler, executive director of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, a foundation for foster teens. Stangler says it looked at kids over a longer period of time than had other studies. "It confirms what experience and observation tell us: Kids who can remain in their homes do better than in foster care," says Stangler. He says some kids, for their own safety, need to be removed from their families, but in marginal cases of abuse, more should be done to keep them together.1 Additionally, programs that work to keep families intact, providing drug rehabilitation and other resources have proven to be more cost effective and have better results.

Who/what is the NCFA and why are the promoting increased family separations? The NCFA lobbies on behalf of adoption businesses who profit from the redistribution of children. The paid clients of these agencies are willing to pay $10-$20,000 per child. It is, thus, a simple matter of dollar and cents to encourage and promote the relinquishment of children for adoption in order to add to the coffers of those whose livelihood depends on such family disruptions.

The NCFA is notorious for intentionally fallacious statements and invented "facts" such as alleging that mothers who relinquish children for adoption are promised protection of their privacy form their own children. That lie is perpetrated in order for the NCFA o campaign against the rights of adopted citizens to their own records because the agencies they represent operate with more ease under the cloak of secrecy, making it clear that they have no concern for the best interest of adopted persons, or their mothers. They in fact act contrary to all organizations that represent mothers and adoptees.

It is, thus, not wonder that the above claim is based on "correlation" and vague "social science" - typical of NCFA's spurious arguments. A "correlation" can imply a possible causal relationship, but cannot indicate what the causal relationship, if any, might be. The causes underlying the correlation, if any - in this case a "rise in children languishing in foster care" and "the number of single-parent households" - may be indirect and unknown. Establishing a correlation between two variables is not sufficient condition to establish a causal relationship (in either direction). If, in fact more children in foster care are from single-parent households, that indicates merely that single parents need more support such as adequate day care, than they are receiving. It in no way indicates that more children would be better off permanently severed from their families.

The NCFA's solution - referred to in typical sugar-coated newspeak as "healthier attitudes" - is the promotion of what are called "quick-trigger adoptions" and have been criticized all over the country. 2

The solution for marriages in trouble is not quicker divorces. The same is true of families in crisis. Tearing children from their parents, siblings, grandparents and other extended family causes far more harm than working to keep such families together.

Permanent care for children in temporary foster homes who have no family to return to is preferable and there is a need to promote suitable families to come forward and provide homes for the tens of thousands of orphans who might benefit. But the public, and lawmakers are duped when the NCFA encourages legislation using foster care as a foot in the door. There is a failure (deliberate on the part of he NCFA) to distinguish the adoption of such children who have no families, and infant adoption which is a vast, unregulated money-making industry involving coercion and exploitation and needs to be discouraged not aided.

The NCFA gets away with mendacious claims because the public wants to believe that adoption is a warm-fuzzy, win-win. We cling to a vision of adoption in which love can cure all and that adoption is "the same as if" a child was born to you. We are fond of accepting the illusion of adoption as "rescuing" kids and bringing happiness to those suffering the heartache of infertility. We embrace these myths and fairy tales so much, that fundamental Christians and our government - not just the NCFA - promote and encourage adoption.

The promotion of adoption is counter to the promotion of a healthy society. Being adopted creates feelings of rejection, abandonment and identity crisis that results in a disproportionate high umber of adoptees in all mental health and criminal facilities, and a disproportionate number of serial killers were adopted. This is in addition to the lifelong post-traumatic stress suffered by mothers who have lost children to adoption.

Adoption is a permanent, irrevocable solution for temporary problems. The purpose of adoption is to find homes for orphans children and the thousands of children already in foster care who cannot be reunited with families, not creating more separations.

1. Wendy Koch, "Study: Troubled homes better than foster care" USA Today July 2, 2007.

2. Valerie Honycutt Spears.Panel works on law to slow quick-trigger adoptions. Lexington Herald-Leader. November, 2006.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sad Announcement

Michelle Renee (aka Maria), daughter of Karen Wilson Butterbaugh, founder of OriginsUSA, has succumbed to ALS. She passed away on August 8, 2007 at 41 years of age.

She is memorialized at

Friday, August 10, 2007

Constitutional Protection for Parental Rights

DISCLAIMER: This is posted here NOT in support of any agenda, policy, mission, or goals of any organization, other than the facts herein regarding constitutional rights of parents.
The Meyer-Pierce Legacy

Robert P. George and Jana V.T. Baldwin

June, 1994

[T]he custody, care and nurture of the child [should] reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder.1

The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.2

For the last several decades, a significant amount of social and legal commentary has focused on the relationship of parent to child and the family to the state. As the economic and political life of America has changed profoundly over the years, family law has correspondingly undergone a host of changes. Today, as a result of the crisis confronting the American family, a scholarly, legal and public debate rages over family policy.3

"Children's Rights" advocates argue that children should have, and the state should recognize, greater autonomy from their parents in deciding how to live. Indeed, some scholars and activists argue for the liberation of children from their parents control as part of a larger attack on the
institution of the nuclear family.4

Against this backdrop, the Constitution limits the use of state power to diminish parental rights and undermine the family. Although the Constitution
does not deal explicitly with parental authority, the Supreme Court has specifically recognized parental rights of custody and control. In the landmark decision of Meyer v. Nebraska,5 closely followed by Pierce v. Society of Sisters,6 the Court stated that parents have a substantive due process right to "bring up children."7 Although these cases were handed down in the 1920s they are no mere archaisms, but rather have withstood the test of time. Indeed, Justice Brennan has remarked of Meyer and its progeny: "I think I am safe in saying that no one doubts the wisdom or validity of those decisions."8 The precedents Meyer and Pierce generated have further solidified the principle that parents should have the predominant role in raising their children.

In Meyer,9 the Supreme Court held that the right of parents to raise their children free from unreasonable state interferences is one of the unwritten "liberties" protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth

The Court invalidated a state statute prohibiting foreign language instruction to school children, recognizing the right of German-speaking parents to have their children taught German. The Court
found that the state's interest in encouraging American ideals by prohibiting the teaching of foreign languages is not great enough to permit infringement of the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit.11 The Court rested its opinion in large part on the rights of parents
to control the activities of their children,12 concluding that the statute was an interference "...with the power of parents to control the education of their own."13

Two years after Meyer, the Supreme Court in Pierce14 invalidated an Oregon statute requiring parents to send their children to public school, holding
that the statute "unreasonably interfere[d] with the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control."15 Pierce made clear that the constitutional rights of a parent are
not limited to physical custody, but that parents possess the right to direct their child's "destiny."16

The principle enunciated by Meyer and Pierce, that parents have the right to direct the upbringing and education of their children, has survived the
many turbulent changes of the last several decades. A line of decisions following Meyer and Pierce further cemented the rights of parents to exercise their own best judgment in raising their children. For example, twenty years after Pierce, the Supreme Court in Prince v. Massachusetts17
stated that "[i]t is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder."18

Meyer also helped undergird the Supreme Court's decision in Parham v. J.R.19 In Parham, the Supreme Court deferred to parents' wishes to place their child in a mental hospital, stating that "the law's concept of the
family rests on a presumption that parents possess what a child lacks in maturity, experience, and capacity for judgment required for making life's difficult decisions.20 The Court emphasized that simply "because the decision of a parent is not agreeable to a child or because it involves
risks does not automatically transfer the power to make that decision from the parents to some agency or officer of the state."21

More recently, in the prominent case of Santosky v. Kramer,22 the Supreme Court acknowledged that "freedom of personal choice in matters of family
life is a fundamental liberty" and stated that natural parents have a "fundamental liberty the care, custody, and management of their child."23 Similarly, in Bowen v. American Hospital Ass'n,24 the Supreme Court recognized "a presumption...that parents are the appropriate decisionmaker for their infants."25

The constitutional protection of parental rights recognized by the federal courts has been affirmed and enforced by state courts.26 The recent case of Alfonso v. Fernandez27 illustrates that the parental rights doctrine, while
viable, is under attack today. In Alfonso, parents of New York high school students challenged the New York School Board's condom distribution program, arguing, among other things, that the program unconstitutionally denied
parents the right to opt their children out of the distribution program. On December 30, 1993, a New York appeals court held that the New York Board of
Education's condom distribution program was illegal and unconstitutional absent a parental opt-out provision. Citing Meyer and Pierce, the court recognized that the petitioners enjoy a "well-recognized liberty interest in
rearing and educating their children in accord with their own views..." including "the right to regulate their children's sexual behavior as best they can..."28 The court determined that "no matter how laudable its purpose, by excluding parental involvement, the condom availability
component of the program impermissibly trespasse[d] on the petitioners' parents rights" by substituting the School Board's judgment for the petitioners' judgment without a compelling necessity.29

Alfonso demonstrates that the Constitution still stands as a staunch defender of parental rights. Alfonso and its parental rights predecessors such as Meyer and Pierce are rooted in the recognition that parents possess
the right "to direct the upbringing and education of children under theircontrol."30

Despite the firm constitutional basis for parental rights, traditional concepts of parental authority are under attack from private and public groups seeking to give the state greater control of the upbringing of children, as evidenced by the appeals in the Alfonso case. Opponents of
parental rights understand perfectly well the significance of Meyer and Pierce as obstacles to their agenda, and the need to undermine these precedents in order to achieve their goals.31

In accordance with the court's decision in Alfonso, the New York Board of Education voted to revise the condom distribution policy to permit parents or guardians of unemancipated students to opt their children out of the
distribution component of the program. The New York Civil Liberties Union ("NYCLU"), however, moved to intervene in the action for the purposes of
filing an appeal and People About Changing Education ("PACE") and the Coalition For the Homeless moved for leave to appear as amici curiae to argue in favor of reversing the court's ruling. These groups argued that
affording "parents or guardians an `absolute veto' over unemancipated minors [ability] to receive condoms [in school] impermissibly infringes on New York City public school students' [constitutional] rights."32 The court denied NYCLU's motion to intervene, and the NYCLU lost a subsequent appeal of that denial. The New York Bar Association and the New York State Attorney General
had also moved to appear as amici curiae in favor of the NYCLU's motion to intervene and in opposition to the court's ruling.

The relentless zeal with which the NYCLU (and even the State of New York, as represented by the New York Attorney General), sought to overturn the
court's ruling in Alfonso makes clear that the right of parents to make substantive choices regarding their children's education and moral upbringing remains in jeopardy.

In short, the protection of parental rights should not have to be achieved on a piecemeal basis through unpredictable and expensive court challenges. The constitutional mandate articulated by Meyer and its progeny is clear: The right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children shall not be infringed.

Robert P. George is an Associate Professor of Politics at Princeton University, and a Presidential Appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He is the author of Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public
Morality (Oxford University Press, 1993). Jana V.T. Baldwin was counsel for plaintiffs in Alfonso v. Fernandez, the December, 1993 decision which overturned New York City's condom distribution policy.

The views expressed in this memo are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of other organizations with whom they are affiliated.


1. Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166 (1944).
2. Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 535 (1925).
3. For commentary discussing the difficulties facing today's family, see generally, Giving Children a Chance: The Case for More Effective National Policies, (George Miller ed., 1989); Sylvia Hewlett, When the Bough Breaks: The Cost of Neglecting Our Children (1991); Rebuilding the Nest: A New Commitment to the American Family (David Blankenhorn et al. eds., 1990).
4. See generally, Barbara Bennett Woodhouse, Hatching the Egg: A Child-Centered Perspective on Parent's Rights, 14 Cardozo L. Rev. 1747 (1993) (arguing that parents' rights, "as currently understood, undermine values of responsibility and mutuality necessary to children's welfare"); Katherine T. Bartlett, Rethinking Parenthood as an Exclusive Status: The Need for Legal Alternatives When the Premise of the Nuclear Family Has Failed,
70 Va. L. Rev. 879, 882 (1984) (challenging "the law's adherence to the exclusive view of parenthood when the premise of the nuclear family has failed").
5. 262 U.S. 390 (1923).
6. 268 U.S. 510 (1925).
7. Meyer, 262 U.S. at 399.
8. Michael H. v. Gerald D., 491 U.S. 110, 142 (Brennan, J.
9. 262 U.S. 399 (1923).
10. Id. at 399 ("[T]he liberty [guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment] denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to...marry, establish a home and bring up children"). Conservative critics of the notion of substantive due process have observed that Meyer (and Pierce) is
defensible even if the substantive due process doctrine on which the Court relied is not. See, eg., Robert H. Bork, The Tempting of America (New York: Free Press, 1990), pp. 47-49.
11. Id. at 400-01.
12. Id.
13. Id. at 401.
14. 268 U.S. 510 (1925).
15. 268 U.S. at 534-35.
16. Id.
17. 321 U.S. 158 (1944).
18. Id. at 166.
19. 442 U.S. 584 (1979).
20. Id. at 602.
21. Id. at 603.
22. 455 U.S. 745 (1982).
23. Id. at 753.
24. 476 U.S. 610 (1986) (plurality opinion).
25. Id. at 628 n.13 (quoting President's Comm'n for the Study of Ethical problems in Medicine and Biomedical Behavior Research, Report, at 212-214 (1983)).
26. See, e.g., Hawk v. Hawk, 855 S.W.2d 573, 579 (Tenn. 1993) ("the reasoning of federal constitutional cases convince[s] us that parental rights constitute a fundamental liberty interest" under the Tennessee Constitution); Bailey v. Menzie, 542 N.E.2d
1015, 1019 (Ind. Ct. App. 1989) ("we are fully cognizant of
parents' well settled right under the Fourteenth Amendment to raise their families generally as they see fit"); Olds v. Olds, 356 N.W.2d 571, 574 (Iowa 1984) ("the parenting right is a fundamental liberty interest that is protected against unwarranted state intrusion"); People v. Sheppard, 429 N.E.2d
1049, 1052 (N.Y. 1981) (it "is well settled that parents
generally have a right under the Fourteenth Amendment to raise their families as they see fit").
27. 606 N.Y.S.2d 259 (N.Y. App. Div. 1993).
28. Id. at 265.
29. Id.
30. Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 233 (1972); Meyer, 262
U.S. 390, 401 (1923).
31. See, e.g., Barbara Bennett Woodhouse, "Who Owns the Child?
Meyer and Pierce and the Child as Property" 33 William and Mary Law Review, 995 (1992)
32. Brief Amici Curiae of People About Changing Education (PACE) and the Coalition for the Homeless at p. 13.

. For commentary discussing the difficulties facing today's
family, see generally, Giving Children a Chance: The Case for More Effective National Policies, (George Miller ed., 1989);
Sylvia Hewlett, When the Bough Breaks: The Cost of Neglecting Our Children (1991); Rebuilding the Nest: A New Commitment to the American Family (David Blankenhorn et al. eds., 1990).

. See generally, Barbara Bennett Woodhouse, Hatching the Egg: A Child-Centered Perspective on Parent's Rights, 14 Cardozo L.

Rev. 1747 (1993) (arguing that parents' rights, "as currently understood, undermine values of responsibility and mutuality necessary to children's welfare"); Katherine T. Bartlett,

Rethinking Parenthood as an Exclusive Status: The Need for Legal Alternatives When the Premise of the Nuclear Family Has Failed,

70 Va. L. Rev. 879, 882 (1984) (challenging "the law's adherence to the exclusive view of parenthood when the premise of the nuclear family has failed").

. 262 U.S. 390 (1923).


Bring Baby Noah Home!

Dear friends,

My name is Ibbaanika and I've met many of you under many different circumstances and some of you I haven't actually talked to. What you all have in common is that you know about the my struggle to be with my son Noah or know someone who does who recommended that I contact you. This is an invitation to a protest at our next trial and a benefit concert for our case. Please contact me if you are interested in protesting because I need to know in advance if anyone is coming. There will be no protest without people to fill the picket line. Please come or tell someone you know and help us to reunite with our baby. For those of you who need more information about the situation, I also wrote a brief summary of developements in the fight to bring Noah home.

625 E. 26TH ST.



Information about the situation:

Two years ago Megan and Stuart Taylor coerced Ibbaanika Bond into signing away her parental rights through legal fraud. When she tried to get her baby back the local Jackson County family court denied both of her motions without so much as a hearing, and put her under a gag order for the next two years, threatening to throw her in jail if she talked about what had happened to her or held a protest. The baby's father, Craig Lentz, never signed away his rights and did everything the state said he had to do to establish his paternity. The local family court said that under a new law, sect453.030 Missouri, he had no right to his son and would not allow him to present any evidence of his paternity. Craig was on the birth certificate, the local court would not take that into account. He had a DNA test, the local court barred DNA from being admitted. He had been involved and supporting his son from the time he found out Ibbaanika was pregnant but the local court deemed that to be inadmissible.They gave Craig's baby to the Taylors and put him under the same gag order as Ibbaanika. Craig's case went to the Supreme Court of Missouri in December of 2006. He won unanimously. The Taylors tried to have the Supreme Court case put under a gag order but the Supreme Court denied their request to gag the case. The court found that it could never be found that Craig abandoned his son. He had done everything the state required to establish his paternity. The Supreme Court sent it back down to the local court so Craig could present evidence of his fitness as a parent and get his son back. That was six months ago. Since the Supreme Court's decision the local family Court will not give Craig a hearing. The court keeps scheduling hearings and at the last minute they will cancel them. They canceled one for a procedural reason a week after the Supreme Courts decision was finalized. Two months later they canceled because the commissioner "had a divorce that was running long." Three months later the court gave an all summer, three month long extension to the Taylors because their attorney Cheri Cole Simpkins', 9 month old son might have to have a tonsillectomy that he never had. The commissioner was fired off the case for letting them have that extension. The new commissioner tried to have a hearing at the end of July but the Taylor's attorney said that "no time would be good for her until the end of August," she would have to have the full extension. NEITHER PARENT HAS EVER ABUSED OR NEGLECTED NOAH. NOAH BOND IS BEING GREATLY HURT BY THIS COURTS ACTIONS! The court has played around with this case for two and a half years. Noah has parents who love him and who are entitled by the United States Constitution to raise him.




Book Review

Title: The Stork Market: America’s multi-billion dollar unregulated adoption industry Author: Mirah Riben

Reviewer: Lynne Hutton, Branching: Newsletter of the Post Adoption resource Centre (PARC), NSW Vol 14, No 2, July 2007, p12

Mirah Riben does not leave the reader in any doubt as to the current state of adoption practices in America as she explores the US$6.3 billion unregulated adoption industry from every angle. An enormous amount of detailed research has gone into this book — the author quotes from a wide variety of sources and opinions, including anecdotal stories, but she writes in a style that is fairly easy to read and follow.

The book exposes corruption in the US adoption industry and exploitation in a market based on supply and demand, which sees the child as a ‘product’ and adoption as a ‘business’ rather than focusing on the rights and welfare of the child.

It is divided into subjects such as the history of adoption in the US, prevalent myths in adoption, the business of adoption (capitalism and corruption), international adoption, ways to avoid being victimised (for both adoptive parents and expectant mothers), open adoption/ sealed records, fathers’ rights and preserving parenthood. In ‘Chapter X: Adopting Alternatives’ the author states “Australia provides a model based on the best interest of children” — she outlines this model and suggests it (including “permanent guardianship”) as one alternative to adoption that the US could follow ‘to create a safe and ethical system to provide care for children in need’. Finally she asks ‘Can It Be Fixed’? with an optimistic view of what she envisages for the future.

Mirah says in her Introduction that this may be a difficult or painful book for some to read, and in fact it may sadden, shock or anger people. “But it is for just these reasons you might need to read it”. As an Australian (and a birth-mother), I found this book interesting and informative and would recommend it to anyone touched by adoption.

To read all the reviews: AdvocatePublications

Monday, August 6, 2007

Important New Study

Results of ORIGINSUSA survey regarding lifelong effect of adoption loss on surrendering mothers released

Richmond, VA, August 06, 2007: OriginsUSA, a national organization dedicated to the preservation of natural families and supporting people separated by adoption, announces the release of their comprehensive study on coercion in adoption and the effects of adoption loss on surrendering mothers. For the study, 214 natural mothers, who had surrendered their children between 1956 and 2003, completed lengthy, in-depth questionnaires about their experiences. OriginsUSA undertook the study in order to increase the public’s awareness of issues surrounding the entire adoption process. Board member Bernadette Wright, PhD, who analyzed the questionnaire results and wrote the report, said, “The findings reveal that, contrary to popular opinion, for many mothers, surrendering their child to adoption was not a 'choice', but was based on pressure, coercion, lack of options to keep their baby, and/or lack of knowledge about their options. The results indicate that, although some coercive practices have changed, much has stayed the same over the past nearly 50 years.” A detailed report of the results is available online at


For further information, please contact,
Sandy Young
1024 CR 4511
Hondo, Texas 78861

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Telling it Like It Is

Telling It Like It Is

Book review by Jane Edwards, Regional Director, Concerned United Birthparents
"The Stork Market" is a must read for those considering adoption or surrendering a child for adoption; and for public policy makers.

Adoption is usually thought of as a positive event - finding a family for an unwanted child; helping a woman go on with her life without a burden she cannot bear.

In fact, adoption has become a total distortion of the intended purpose of finding homes for orphaned children. It is a multi-billion dollar unregulated business which exploits mothers and commodifies children.

The demand for adoptable children - particularly healthy white infants -- far exceeds the supply. Couples and singles desperate to be parents pay thousands of dollars for the babies that become available. Meanwhile American children who need homes are languishing in foster care.

"The Stork Market" leads us through the seamy side of adoption: Trusting couples desiring a child scammed of thousands of dollars. Women convinced to travel across country to deliver a child in a state "friendly" to adoption. Women required to pay thousands of dollars because they did not turn over the "goods." Men denied their paternal rights by convoluted laws requiring them to sign up on "putative father registries." Poor children in Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America kidnapped and smuggled into the United States.

And its not just prospective adoptive parents and natural parents who suffer. Adoption cuts children off from blood relatives and denies them the right to know their origins. Unscrupulous adoption practioners place children with anyone who can pay their fees. Sadistic adopters abuse - even murder - children entrusted to them.

Riben not only exposes the problems but offers common-sense solutions. Mothers should be made aware of their options. They should have sufficient time to consider and re-consider their decision. Fathers should have actual notice of the birth of their child and the pending adoption so that they can assert their rights. International adoption should be curtailed and resources made available to poor women to allow them to raise their children. Adoption agencies should be licensed and regulated. Private adoptions conducted by "facilitators," attorneys, doctors, and others should be outlawed.

Finally Riben recommends that adoption - cutting off all legal ties between the child and his original family -- be replaced with guardianship-like arrangement. Adoptive parents would have custody but the child would retain a relationship with the original family.

Radical Leadership for Radical Change

Sandra Musser, is mother and author of "What Kind of Love is This" and "I Would Have Searched Forever." She has long been my hero as a true martyr for our cause. I am prpud to know this tireless crusader and very pleased that she has given me permission to print a copy of this speech she presented at SAGAS, Secret Adoption Grief Art Show, Spokane, WA. November 3, 2000.

Radical Leadership for Radical Change
by Sandy Musser

Since the birth of our nation there have always been individuals in the forefront of their movement who were known as "radical." What exactly does it mean to be radical? In checking with Webster, we find that the word has two primary meanings - revolutionary and fundamental. Synonyms of revolutionary are nonconformist, rebel rouser, ringleader, but also activist and reformer. The word fundamental means such things as basic, essential, innate, original and constitutional - certainly these terms are appropriate to our discussion here today.

Think about it - were it not for radical leadership, slavery would still exist and women would still not be allowed to vote. William Lloyd Garrison began his personal attack on slavery in 1829 when he called for 'gradual emancipation.' But only two years later, he published the first issue of The Liberator and called for "an immediate end of an immoral institution." Yet 126 years passed before Rosa Parks dared to test the waters of racial equality fueling the Civil Rights movement of our century. Susan B. Anthony another one of those radical individuals, along with 15 of her friends was arrested on November 5, 1872 for daring to go to the ballot box, but it would be another 48 years following her arrest before the 19th Amendment was finally passed allowing women the right to vote.

It was sometime during the early 80's that I first recall someone referring to me as a 'radical.' I also remember feeling uncomfortable with that label because it seemed to have such a negative connotation. But it was during the late 70's that I had become committed to the cause of adoption reform at any cost. So the radical label was apparently correct. It was November 5, 1993 when I walked through the gates of a federal prison for daring to challenge our adoption laws. Why was I sent to Prison. Because I refused to plead guilty to the government's ridiculous charge of "conspiracy to defraud the government of confidential information:" and because I turned down their plea bargains. Early on, I had made a conscious decision that I would not be deterred by the threat of prison; primarily because I was so passionate about my beliefs.

Prior to being processed into the general population, I was placed in solitary confinement. I only mention that fact because I'm extremely claustrophobic and because I was denied medication during those three days. Needless to say, I was a basket case by the time I got out of solitary. Did I question myself as to whether it was really worth what I was going through? Yes, I did - in fact I had lots of time to consider that question. Did I suffer emotionally - I can assure you that I did! But do I have any regrets about my decision to stand my ground? No, I don't! What are you passionate about? What changes would you like to see and what are you willing to do to make them happen? What I'm going to share with you today may seem radical, but if it resounds within your heart and spirit, then I pray that you will commit yourself to radical leadership. Either way, I hope you will keep an open mind and hear me out.

Organizations and institutions rise and fall - they rise because they fulfill a purpose for a specified period of time and when the need for them no longer exists, they fall. The institution of adoption, as we know it, started its rise in the 40's, rose steadily during the 50's, 60's and 70's and then began a decline during the 80's and 90's. Many of us now living at the beginning of the 21st Century realize that an institution so riddled with secrecy and lies has no place in our society. There comes a time when a foundation is so decayed that it becomes necessary to tear it down rather than to try to build upon it. I believe that time has come. I can hear some of my old former cronies now saying "she wants to throw out the baby with the bath water." They're the same ones who believe the foundation of this institution can be "fixed", that somehow it can be improved upon and made better and stronger, but I propose to you that a crumbling, broken infested foundation cannot be fixed nor can it be repaired.

The reason is this - the major crack in the substructure is not whether adoptees should be entitled to their information (that goes without question - of course they should!!) or it's not in trying to determine how many hours should pass before a mother can sign a surrender paper (there aren't enough hours to justify a permanent separation of mother and child). No, the major crack in the foundation is the way adoption has been and continues to be constructed. What do I mean by the 'construction of adoption?'

Adoption has always been a charade using a game we all used to play when we were kids - the game of "Let's Pretend" - for instance, to the mother we say - 'let's pretend' you never had a baby; then you can go on with your life, start a career, and put all this behind you like a bad dream; to the adopters we say - 'let's pretend' that this child you're adopting was "given away" because he/she wasn't wanted and even though this child comes pre-packaged with their own unique genetic makeup, let's just pretend that adoption will wipe it out; and then when the adoptee gets older and starts asking the "Who Am I" question, we tell them to pretend that their ancestral roots which include their entire cultural, medical and social history really don't matter - those basic God-given innate constitutional rights just aren't important enough to break the almighty 'sealed record!'

This game of 'let's pretend' allows the adoption service providers, using the legal system, to carry out the charade. Here is the crux of the entire charade - it allows ASP (adoption service providers) to falsify (aka doctoring) legal documents and thereby sanction the legalizing of lies. Then they take the true and accurate information and hide it under the cloak of secrecy - all the while stealing and robbing the child of its constitutional birthright to know their roots, their culture, their entire history. We are then forced into the position of playing the game by their rules. When you, the adoptee, as a grown adult, request your own basic information, once again they hide behind the secrecy laws which they themselves created, put into place, and now, even in this age of enlightenment, continue to staunchly defend.

We need to stop the pretense so inherent in adoption. By its very nature and language, the entire process is full of pretense. Let me cite just a few examples from two of the many adoption documents - the final decree states "as if born to the adoptive parents now and forevermore" allowing the charade to begin. But more outrageous is the surrender paper which still uses the term "abandoned!" Can you think of anything worse than for a child to feel or be told that they were 'abandoned' by their own mother - or for a mother to feel she abandoned her child? I left the hospital that July day in 1954 with empty arms and a broken heart and the memory of my daughter never ceased, and though I was told to forget, I never did. I can assure you that I never believed I was abandoning her, but that's what the paperwork would have us believe. Was I in dire straits at the time - definitely! Do I wish there could have been another solution - absolutely! Was it a last resort and I finally "surrendered" - yes! But hardly abandonment! The real truth of the matter is that no mother wants to 'give away' her child. It is not the norm nor is it a natural act. In fact, it is probably one of the most unnatural acts known to the human race and, sadly, we are one of the few countries in the world that encourage mothers to give away their babies and endorse the taking of young children from poor families.

How did an institution supposedly built upon love and compassion for children become a billion dollar business requiring professional intermediaries and legislated rules and regulations to make it function? My friends, it's an outrage. The time has come for us to end this charade. We need to have a vision that no child has to be permanently separated from their family of origin - their birth kin. Now hear me out on this. I'm not so naïve that I don't realize there are times when a child needs to have other caretakers (formerly called guardians), but when it becomes absolutely impossible for a child to remain with the family of origin, then let us at the very least establish a way for them to maintain their family ties. And let us NOT eradicate their family name - it's who they are! Many of you are probably thinking that these are lofty, idealistic or unrealistic ideas, but if we are really pro-family, then we've got to begin somewhere. It's so important to remember that we don't just remove a child from a mother or a father; when a child is taken, they are taken from an entire family of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc. - their entire root system.

The trauma of separation from one's family of origin is one of the most agonizing traumas we suffer as human beings. I am reminded of Louise, a 56 year old searching adoptee who told our support group that on the way home from a former meeting, she began to think about her mother 'out there somewhere' and suddenly the tears began to flow and she began to cry. Over and over again, she cried "Mommy, Mommy, where are you?!" I remember her look of embarrassment as she was telling us about it, but everyone shook their heads with complete empathy and understanding as to what she had experienced. Yes, the loss is so great that all of us could well relate.

Then there was Elizabeth. Elizabeth was a mother whose words have been ringing in my ears since she first spoke them 24 years ago. She said "My social worker told me to get on with my life, to go to college get a degree and 'make something of myself.' I did just as she suggested because I had no other options open to me, but it didn't take me very long to realize that what I had done was to trade my child for a PhD and I've never gotten over that awful realization. I've regretted my decision every day since."

And finally there was Nora, an adoptive parent who pleaded with The Musser Foundation to locate her adopted daughter's mother. In her letter to us, she wrote, "My daughter is in so much pain. It breaks my heart to see her struggling with who she is and it doesn't seem fair that she would be denied this basic information" She went on to express how she hoped we would be able to locate her mother in time for her daughter's 21st birthday. She wanted to provide her with the information as a gift. We did complete the search, but not in time. Sadly, her mother had passed away just a short time before. She was totally devastated and is still dealing with the awful grief that is experienced when the search ends at the grave. Friends, time is always of the essence.

The trauma of separation caused by adoption affects all of us for all of our lives. Statistics have proven over and over again that our jails, our mental health facilities and our treatment centers are filled with those who became separated from their family of origin at an early age. And they're filled with rage. The repressed anger that results from the trauma of separation is, I believe, the most toxic emotion known to man. Traditional, closed, sealed, secret adoption has got to stop. Too many lives have been devastated in its wake.

So what needs to be done? We need to be creative as we search for new programs to help our young families remain together - we need to do everything we can possibly do to prevent the loss of separation from ever occurring in the first place. As Hal Aigner, author of Adoption in America stated using a medical analogy - "adoption healing is wonderful, but the better path in not to contract the disease."

While I was in prison, and soon after the 60 Minutes Show aired, I received a commendation from The Giraffe Project, a legitimate non-profit organization ( that encourages risk-taking. The Giraffe Award is presented to individuals who are willing to 'stick one's neck out for the Common Good.' I can tell you with pride that it's one of my proudest awards.

For the first time in this new century, I've decided to once again stick my neck out. Because giraffes have such long necks, they always see the "bigger picture" - the bigger picture is that someday no child will have to be separated from their family of origin. I'm hoping that those of you who also see the bigger picture will want to become giraffes and join me. If so, would you send me an e-mail and let me know.

On this cool Friday in November 2000, seven years to the day that I went to prison for adoption reform, I am calling for the abolition of adoption. As we go forward into the 21st Century, let's end this charade once and for all, and allow this archaic institution to fade into obscurity and become a 'thing of the past.' In doing so, we will truly be proponents for family preservation.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Adptees' Place in the Family Tree

James M. Beidler, a freelance writer and lecturer on genealogy discusses in a recent column, Should we call it "genealogy" or "family history"? the adoptees' in their "forever families."

He points out that traditionally, genealogy is the study of bloodlines, and this excludes adoptees. So much for "as if" born to...and is there any wonder why family tree garde school projects cause adoptees stress?

Beidler, suggests: And, in these days of "open" adoption as well as more reunions
with birthparents, it makes sense to me that adoptees "belong" in both families, one by blood, the other by physical bonding.

Note, belong in quotes, and physical bonding? Gawd, I hope not! Does he really mean physical as opposed to blood related? And this guy is a writer and a genealogist?

He goes on to discuss DNA testing that eliminates people who thought they were part of a family and concludes:

"No one should have to choose one or another family when he or she can be part of both."

Gee, what a novel thought!

Beidler is a freelance writer and lecturer on genealogy. Contact him
either at Box 270, Lebanon, PA 17042, or by e-mail to

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