Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Blood Ties

Anyone who questions the importance of blood ties and paternity ought to take a day off, stay home and watch daytime TV.

No, not the soaps. Watch Divorce Court, and other Judge shows, or the Maurey Povich Show. There is no end to the steady stream of couples coming on the show to get DNA testing to verify paternity of chidlren.

Two general themes are this:

I. Men who do not beleive a child born to their girlfreind or wife during their marriage or relationship is theirs. Most often their reason for doubting paternity more than anything else (such as suspicions of infidelty) is their concern that the baby doesn't look like them.

II. Women who want to prove - or find out - who is the father of their child. In these cases, many of the women admit not being sure. Others say they are 100% positive but need to prove it.

Interesting, is:
  • The ignorance that a baby may not look like his father, especially immediately after birth.
  • Strong denial of the POSSIBILITY of paternity despite admitting to having had unprotected sex with the baby's mother.
  • The vast majority of the young men, if they are already acting the role of father to the child or chidlren, say that they will continue in that role even if proven not be the biological father.
  • The infidelity and lack of trust seems irrelevant to thse couple. The only conern is biological connection. Many men based their decision to remain in the relationship with the mother on that one fact alone - even those who want to continue to have a relationship with the child.
Overall, it is amazing eye-opener about the importance placed on genetic parentage.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Incredibly Hysterical!!

DIGEST OF HB1113 (Updated January 9, 2008 4:48 pm - DI 69)

Birth certificate fraud. Increases from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony the penalty for: (1) making a false or fraudulent statement when applying for a birth certificate or when applying for permission to inspect birth records; (2) altering, counterfeiting, or mutilating a certified copy of a birth certificate; or (3) using an altered, counterfeit, or mutilated copy of a birth certificate.


I for one sure hope this passes! Won't it be fun to sue the state for committing fraud and violating its own statute?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Redefining Kinship?

Can words just be redefined to suit special interest groups?

More importantly, is nothing scared?

The AAC 29th Annual Conference, March 26-29, 2008 in Portland, is entitled--
Adoption in the Global Community: Redefining Kinship in the 21st Century

After reading this, I went to my trusty online dictionary to see if there was wiggle room in the word "kinship" which has always meant blood ties to me. This is what I found:

I. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
kin·ship /ˈkɪnʃɪp/
1. the state or fact of being of kin; family relationship.
2. relationship by nature, qualities, etc.; affinity.

II. American Heritage Dictionary
kin·ship (kĭn'shĭp')

1. Connection by blood, marriage, or adoption; family relationship.
2. Relationship by nature or character; affinity.

II. American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition

A relation between two or more persons that is based on common ancestry (descent) or marriage (affinity).

Nothing ambiguous at all...until the very last selection...one out of four:

IV. American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary
kin·ship (knshp)

Connection by blood, marriage, or adoption; family relationship.

And so, I ask once again...in the world of newspeak is nothing scared?

We have already changed the meaning of "mother" twisting inside out and to call the one in who's womb someone grows a surrogate when the word surrogate means substitute, as in one who would raise the child of another. We call expectant mothers "birthmothers' [gag!] and prospective adopters "Moms-to-be" [ugh1].

What next? Will we "redefine" blood? Heritage? Origins?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Surrender Survey

For Immediate Release Jan. 16, 2008


The Surrender Survey http://www.questionpro.com/akira/TakeSurvey?id=844922 is for parents who has lost a child to adoption. The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. Your name and other identifying information is optional and if given will remain confidential and be used only to verify information.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this survey is to apprise the long term effects and attitudes of mothers (and fathers) who have lost children to adoption, particularly in terms of any “promises” or expectations of confidentiality. Accurate data regarding attitudes, perceptions, beliefs and practices affecting parents in these situations is vital in formulating upcoming legislation in areas of family preservation, foster care and adoption. We hope this survey will be the most comprehensive study of parents who surrendered parental rights or whose rights were terminated resulting in their children being either adopted or remaining in foster care. Your cooperation – regardless of any previous such surveys you may or may not have participated in – is highly appreciated.

This surveys replaces the “BirthParent Project” which, though it had 600 respondents, was found to contain some technical difficulties upon analysis of the results. Further, this survey will be advertised in newspapers in order to solicit responses from parents who lost children in the “public”, in order to reduce the limitations of relying on a select audience.

Please take the survey ONCE for EACH child you have either relinquished or have had your rights terminated for.

Our goal is to have 600 OR MORE parents take this survey before December 1, 2008. This survey is limited to American adoption practices therefore you need to reside in the U.S. If you take this survey and know of any other parents who have either relinquished or had their rights terminated and can take this survey; PLEASE spread the word.

Please go to the link below and take the survey and thank you in advance for your cooperation:


Educating Adolescents

A new Texas state law requires that parenting and paternity awareness be included in the high school health curriculum by 2008-09.

"We saw that taking a preventive role would be very important," said Janece Rolfe, a spokeswoman with the attorney general's office. "We think it's certainly never too early for children to understand this."

So...what is it they will be learning: parenting or preventing parenting?

And, no mention at all about infertility anywhere in the curriculum. Concerns are mentioned about "children having children" but not about waiting until you're too old to have children. And what about the lifelong PAIN of loosing a child to adopting? Think THAT will be anywhere in the curriculum?

If you live in the lone star state, you may want to check this out. It might open the door of opportunity for speakers to address these classes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Proposed Anti-Family Legislation

1st Session
H. CON. RES. 239

Recognizing and honoring birthparents who carry out an adoption plan.


October 18, 2007

Mrs. SCHMIDT (for herself, Mr. OBERSTAR, and Ms. GINNY BROWN-WAITE of Florida) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor


Recognizing and honoring birthparents who carry out an adoption plan.

Whereas once a pregnant woman and the man involved in the pregnancy (the birthparents) decide that they are unable to parent a child, carrying out an adoption plan is highly admirable;

Whereas for the birthparents, carrying out an adoption plan can be an expression of great love for the child and can be what it means to be the best parent possible;

Whereas birthparents who decide to carry out an adoption plan come from all walks of life, with various backgrounds and socioeconomic status;

Whereas in 2002 (the most recent year for which such statistics are available), there were 22,291 domestic infant adoptions in the United States;

Whereas birthparents should be recognized, honored, and commended for making a loving decision to carry out an adoption plan; and

Whereas Congress should endeavor to do more to support birthparents who carry out an adoption plan: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress recognizes and honors birthparents who carry out an adoption plan.


    Origins-USA opposes this proposed anti-family legislation.

    Because it speaks about pregnancy, this bill is obviously and specifically aimed at increasing infant adoptions in direct disregard for the children - more than 100,00 - in foster care who have no families they can ever return to...whose parents right (rightly or wrongly) have already been permanently terminated.

    The loss of one's child and the deconstruction of a family -- other than for the protection ans safety of a child in danger of harm -- is not honorable, nor commendable. Rather, it represents a failure on the part of our society to properly provide resources for families in crisis to remain together.

    This proposal to "honor" mothers and fathers attempts to make noble a last resort, a desperate act most often made because of lack of options, or having been pressured or coerced....and an act that results in the most painful lifelong loss and feelings of guilt and shame for the parents, and lifelong feelings of rejection, abandonment and permanent disconnect of heritage and truth for the child...regardless of how well-meaning and caring his adopters may be.

    The bill itself employs coercive tactics and language. It follows well the advise of the National Council for Adoption (NCFA) as spelled out in their recently released slick propaganda campaign "Birthmother/Good Mother." The NCFA's sole job it is to increase a steady flow of "merchandise" for its member adoption agencies to redistribute for fees that keep them profitable as businesses, and/or provide salaries for directors and staff of so-called non-profit adoption agencies.

    Adoption is the result of a tragedy for parents and most of all for a child. It is not to be encouraged with platitudes but instead those concerned about families and child welfare should be seeking ways to prevent the unnecessary separation of mothers and their children.

    ,br.Our "honor" and platitude should go instead to those brave women who are able to fight the system and the pressures and who, against all odds ands without adequate child care and other resources, manage to keep their struggling families intact!

Write to Congresswoman Schmidt!

Write letters to the editor of your newspaper.

Friday, January 4, 2008

How Many Things Can You Find Wrong with This?

As I began reading "The baby I turned away" by Jessica Berger Gross I thought it was SATIRE!

Jessica tells her miscarriage and continued attempts to become pregnant, and finally her conclsuion to adopt because of her "need" of a baby....but not an open adoption, because she "couldn't handle" "ongoing contact with my child's birth mother." (Is it becoming obvious why I thought this was a put on?).

So she scans the other sources and decides on India because she had long "romanticized about the country and because she did YOGA! (I am NOT making this up!) She begins to fantasize about going to pick up her new daughter while she'd be "dressed in an Indian blouse and worn leather sandals." She decides that she and her husband are "better people for having chosen adoption"! Chose? After not wanting to, but being unsuccessful at fertility treatments. And this "better person" talked herself out reading anything "more critical" or "complicated" about adoption!

In an expensive restaurant in India she thinks about the "ethical issues surrounding international adoption: the extreme poverty that causes girls and women to give up their babies and the global inequalities that lead those babies to homes overseas" and amits knowing that they were to "benefit from an unwed mother's impossible choice."

Her PRIME concern, however: "that we'd be matched with a child who wouldn't strike me as adorable. " That was because they had checked all the boxes and been assured that the child they were traveling to meet and take home was assured to be healthy.

As the title of the article reveals, the child, though adorable, did meet her requirments and was left in the orphanage that has already left the child manurished with failure to thrive. Probably better than having been taken here and then dumped in foster care or abused, for not meeting expectations.

But no need to cry for Jessica...she's now pregnant.

One can only hope for the sake of her unborn child that it is adorable, perfect, and perfectly healthy -- lest it too be rejected. Or is blood really thicker than water and are we made more accepting by our maternal hormaones and biological connectedness???

And when and why has it become fashionable for people like this to admit such a gross act publicly and seek pity, or even understanding?

Adoption and Politics

“Adoption only exists on the backs of resourceless women.” Ricki Solinger, Beggars and Choosers

Adoption reformists and activists know well that we have no strong footing among right or left, liberal or conservative. There are pro-adoptionist, anti-family and moneyed interests in all walks of life and all political camps here in the US. The most progressive bleeding hearts justify taking babies from their families as noble rescues.

In many ways, America is still in the Victorian era with nonmarital sex punishable by loss of the bastard child that cold a hearted society sees fit to buy, sell, and take private ownership of...but is firmly against supporting the bastard and his sinful mother "on the doll". Sin and poverty are as intertwined now as ever they have been historically. Being poor is considered a result of one's laziness. After all, we all know "anyone can be president" and Horatio Alger was real! All one needs is to "pull oneself up by the bootstraps."

These fairy tales are put forth by the selfish affluent who maintain all the control and we thus wind up with a nation that has the worst family services of any industrialized country - the most glaring being lack of adequate affordable day care which results in many mothers loosing their children: a win-win for the infertile affluent who devoted their lives to making more money instead of making babies.

Because we are fighting an uphill battle, it is all the more important we keep a sharp eye on politics and the upcoming national election. There is a lot at stake. The top running Republicans are a Mormon and a conservative Baptist minister Huckabee - who at the moment is the top runner. Huckabee was reported to have been favored over Romney because the later only took an anti-abortion position late-in-life....an issue far more important to many Americans than the lives being lost in Iraq's civil war. (Again, the lives of the poor are expendable when it means profit for the wealthy). "I didn't become pro-life because I'm political," Huckabee has boasted. "I became political because I'm pro-life."

As I said, we have no sure-fire support on either side. many who are pro-choice still have not made the connection that parenting is a CHOICE too...and a viable a choice that needs support and is not getting the support it needs. Likewise, not all who are pro-life are anti-family and pro-adoption, but many are and many more do not see that their sincere concerns for life are being use to harm families.

Interesting Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CVWn4f5YL8

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Systematic Annihilation of Mothers and Families

The Ongoing Attempts at Obliterating Birth and Mothers
in Adoption Practice

During the time period when most states were creating secretive, sealed adoptions – 1930’s, 40’s and into the 50’ – the explanations and rationales for doing so varied, mostly having to do with “protecting” adoptees from the “stigma of illegitimacy.

Growing in the Dark (Barer, 2004) and other historic accounts delineate other less openly admitted reasons: primarily to protect adoptive parents and their “secret.” It was common practice for those who adopted during those years to be counseled NOT to reveal to their children the tenuousness of their familial connection. The whole intent was for it be ‘the same as if’ and no one any the wiser; all secretive and protected.

Today, this history is being revised to pretend that the sealing of records is for the protection of our privacy…while our names and a great deal of personal information about us – some of it quite judgmental and written at a time of great stress in our loves – is readily available to many, including adoptive parents and upon request by our children, without our consent. Newspapers will even print names of mothers who have lost children to adoption.

Adoption is built on a myth designed to replicate family formation.

“California’s adoption law of 1870 had the benevolent intent of urging adoptive parents not to stigmatize their adopted children; to “raise such child as his or their own” with the same rights and privileges as a child “born of the body” of the adoptive parents….if taken literally, a child who is the same as if born of the body of the adoptive parent cannot also be born of the body of a birthparent.” Baer, p.36

The stigma is that the child is not “really” their child. The stigma is their inadequacy to function reproductively. We have been called the “invisible” part of the adoption “triangle” since sealed adoption was written about, and for good reason. Mothers, fathers, and any record of them are threatening reminders.

Sealed records act to obliterate, erase, delete all traces of the original family that adoption destroys; make us non-existent. Us and our connection to our children wiped out in order to recreate a new pretend family in its place.

As policies began to slowly change, and some began being told to reveal the truth “when the child was ready” it was not uncommon for the child’s original parents to have “died” in war, car crashes and childbirth. Killing them off in the story telling avoided further questions and surely put an end to any thought of an adoptee seeking to locate them.

Today, one might believe that things are totally different. So much openness in adoption! So many people openly searching and reuniting. And yet, the more things change, the more thy stay the same.

Increases in international adoption have offered the newly adopting once again an opportunity to literally distance themselves from their child’s origins. Oh, they graciously bring them to camps with others of their ethnicity, eat food and celebrate holidays of their child’s country of origin…but rejoice in knowing that there is little to chance of being found by an actual person who might “compete” for their child’s affection.

The News Observer, Raleigh, NC reported: “International adoption has risen sharply in the past two decades, as parents look for healthy infants who can be adopted quickly with no strings (read mothers/families) attached.”(1)

Expectant mothers THINKING about adopting are called birthmothers and those waiting to adopt are now being called “moms to be”(2) in this crazy upside down backwards world of adoption...and the press focuses all the sympathy on the loss of PROSPECTIVE adopters when an adoption falls through or is delayed. The language of the press continues to this day to deny our existence and turn us unto Handmaidens!


Our families were destroyed just as surely as those of slaves. The end—that some adoptees, even many, may have had a “better life” materially as a result—does not justify the means or the pain suffered to those of us who lost our families.

The difference is that slavery has been outlawed but babies are STILL bought and sold, priced based on health, skin color, age etc...and the carnage of kinship and destruction of familial heritage continues....

(1). Kristin Collins, “As babies grow, a couple waits” Dec 26, 2007 http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/847760.html

(2). Nancy Bartley, “Nepal delay agonizing for mom-to-be” The Seattle Times, January 1, 2008 http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004102257_adopt01m.html

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Mother Wars: Final Act

This post was edited on 1/2/08.*

The motto of Origins-USA is “Motherhood is Forever” and you can read the text in full at this link.

Feminists have their "Mommy Wars" and it seems some in the adoption community find it necessary to have a War of Words regarding personal and organizational choices of self-identifiers. Origins-USA has no word police, we do not change quoted material, we simply request respect and, as is one of our goals - seek to educate and make adoption HONEST.

In an attempt to start such a war of words, however, the following specious
mis-interpretation of the text of "Motherhood is Forever" was criticized as having a "
nasty undercurrent " having an "unspoken subteext" and using examples of terms like adoptrix to prove the point that we are the "real mother"!!! -- except that that wrd is no where in the OUSA Motherhood piece.

The War of Words was posted on the BN email list, asking feedback from adoptees -- how they feel about us choosing to reclaim the name mother.

Interestingly, the question got few if any takers. The replies I saw ranged from not caring much at all what we called ourselves, to no problem, to thinking it's fine. Most said they had no problem and were perfectly clear who their TWO mothers were and how to speak about them. As indicated in my article, they had personal preferences as to terms of endearment, based not on legal status or anmy set or "rules" of decorum or language police on one side or the other, but on their feelings toward the person, and the circumstances - i.e. to whom they were speaking and whether clarification was needed or not.

There was agreement - including from me - that
"I'm more real than you, nyah, nyah, nyah...." is not nice. But, it is also no where said nor implied in the article being commented on, nor in anything that I have written - or said, ever, at any time.

What was done was
akin to a former a.com blogger, exiled to her own personal boring "paradise" with nothing better to do than blog....who, under the guise of reviewing my book - which she admittedly never read - quoted 'statistics' from AMFOR in an attempt to discredit me (and in this case an entire national organization) falsely.

It's a sad statement about a mother's own feelings about herself...suggesting that reclaiming the title Mother is about acting superior, and believing it does nothing to educate!

It is, first and foremost about empowerment. Taking back what is rightly ours. Reclaiming our identity and our right to do so.

Secondly, it is very much about education. When I write about a MOTHER having a child taken from her by use of coercive, exploitive practices -- whether it is a mother in Ethiopia, Guatemala, or Salt Lake City, USA...it is VERY IMPORTANT for the public to KNOW that it is a MOTHER who is loosing her child to the adoption industry! To make her less of her mother is akin to dehumanizing an enemy in war and making it thus so much easier to exploit and cause harm to a non-person.

When I write about a FATHER fighting for custody of a child that was taken without his consent, it is important he be identified as that child's FATHER...his kin, his caring family - willing and able to provide for him....as I did when writing about David Banda who was taken by Madonna from his father and uncles. And, as I did when writing about Matt Tennison and every other father fighting for their right to be a father. These are parents, and none deserve to have that name taken from them because their child was...ESPECIALLY in cases where their parental rights were never legally terminated, just ignored.

And, yes, when I write about people entrusted with the care of another's child who abuse that child - I refer the THEM as adopters, and they are lucky to be called that and not simply BEASTS! Do I judge them more harshly than related abusers? You're darn tootin' I do! They went out of their way to obtain this child and the child's family was made to believe that they were SUPERIOR as parents and that it was in the child's best interest and preferable for them to raise this child over his or her own parents. I judge them harsher as one judges a crooked cop harsher than a common criminal....as one judges a Priest molester!
And rightly so, because in each such case, they have placed themselves in a different --SUPERIOR -- position of expectation.

And, yes, when I write about contested adoption custody cases - specially when the PROSPECTIVE ADOPTERS (NOT parents; not mother or father - even by adoption) or fosterers have violated a court order and are keeping a child unrelated to them and not theirs by blood or law -- you are damn right I will identify them as what they are: KIDNAPPERS!!

HONEST use of language is very necessary to counteract the press which loves nothing better than to paint these roles in reverse...calling strangers parents and "the ONLY FAMILY a child has ever had"...when they are not family at all and the child HAS family! How the press loves to play on the hearts of the public about the broken hearts of those waiting for a child - usually through some unscrupulous means- that falls through, writing about their:"broken hearts and empty nursery they had readied for their child!" Yet th loss of the MOTHER who bore the child is swept under the table as her "choice" - period. As if, even if she did choose it, it was without as much as a tear.

It is necessary for me and others of my sisters who wish to, to reclaim our identity and our self respect that was taken with us along with our chidlren when we were convinced that others were better, superior, more fit...that we were lesser than and unfit to care for own chidlren simply because we were too young, or had no support...and is taken from us over and over and we see ourselves maligned like this in the press.

The public needs to know we are MOTHERS and we ache. We are not incubators or misfits or uncaring, cold abandoners. We are MOTHERS who live and breathe and FEEL and hurt and ache - and never forget - just like ANY mother who lost a child does!

It is our right to self-identify as we each choose, and to use language respectfully and to educate - just as adoptees need to continually correct those who call adult adoptees "adopted children." How pitiful the adoptee who self-identifies as an adopted child and doesn't "get it"!

In addition to a right to self-identify and to educate, the other purpose of the article "Motherhood is Forever" was to attempt to help coalesce a very loosley formed - and splintered - "group" of mothers some of whom had very strong objections to the identifier that had been used the past 30 years. In order to avoid using a term that was very highly offensive and "triggering" to some, substitutes were soguth: natural mother, original, life, first, and my all time least favorite: "exiled."

Language is not stagnant; it EVOLVES. Sometimes over centuries, sometimes decades, or even in a day (if you have a teen!). I - and others - found that all of these "replacement" terms merely replaced one prefix with another and added far more confusion and not accomplishing what was necessary: that we are mothers, plain and simple. As I wrote my book, I needed to find clear language; a word that is understood by any two-year old no matter how often he might see that person, and regardless if he is cared 24/7 for by a grandparent, auntie - whom he may well call "Mommy"...or a nanny or other mother substitute. That word is MOTHER. if he has more than one, as children of divorce or chidlren raised in some same sex families might - he creates ways to distinguish Mommy Lynn from Mommy Sue, or Mommy from Mamma or mother....So, for those who still don't get it, ask a kid, please!

And thus, the attempt to entangle adoptees in her last disagreement of the year, didn't pan put too well. They didn't buy into it.
She, and she alone, very sadly, has a problem claiming her own status. Adoptees know they have two MOTHERS and neither is less than the other and needs no prefix or qualifier! When a way to distinguish is necessary for clarity, we are mothers who lost a child to adoption - or surrendered, just as persons with disabilities are "persons with disabilities" and not disabled persons. We were mothers before this happened to us, and are mothers still.

When in doubt as to what someone prefers to be called: ask.

Happy New Year.

* this post
does not now, nor did it, ever contain a CrossPosted material. It contains the views of the author with brief, credited, quotes, as is legal and ethical by any and all standards.

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