Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Isn't That Special!

If you remember the SNL character "The Church Lady" played by Dana Carvey, then you also remember his famous "Isn't that SPECIAL" with a magnificent tone of sarcasm.

Spence-Chapin on the Kevin Cohen scam:

"Our hearts go out to the many families who thought their dreams of adopting a child were about to come true," said Kathy Legg, executive director of Spence-Chapin Services (, after learning about the alleged adoption scam conducted by Long Island lawyer Kevin Cohen.

Legg feels strongly that prospective adoptive parents deserve better from New York State, which has a patchwork of state regulatory laws related to the practice of adoption including provisions in the Domestic Relations Law, the Family Court Act, the Public Health Law and the Social Services Law. This is a call to action for the New York State legislature to look at comprehensive reform that would prevent the victimization of adoptive families.

Many states have take action to insure that the public's interest in these life-changing matters has been protected. States such as Michigan, Maryland and Illinois allow only authorized or licensed not-for-profit agencies to provide adoption services. New York needs to do the same.

Legg also encourages prospective adoptive families everywhere to carefully research adoption providers to find agencies with proper state authorization and good reputations prior to making a commitment and turning over money. For example, Legg states that the website of the Council on Accreditation (COA) lists agencies across the country which have met high standards for their adoption practice.

Yeah, that's the ticket! Prevent the victimization of aps! of And who gives one ounce of even lip service, who even PRETENDS to care about protecting the rights of relinquishing families or those considering it? Guess we are fair game to be victimized cause we "made our own beds" and then spread our own legs in it!

And people wonder why I remain angry? There is still an assumption that we are sluts and they are doing a favor by helping us getting rid of our kids; that we have no rights to protect; that we simply don't matter at all - the wrapping on the gift.

We certainly re not the victims nd have no rights to protect because adoption serves the paying client and ONLY the paying client! Let there be no mistake about it. And agencies want to come out as the caring protectors of those paying customers cause they are fighting independent practitioners for their business!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Prestigious Appointment

I am very pleased and proud to announce that my dear friend and colleague, Evelyn Robinson has been appointed by Australian Attorney-General to the National Intercountry Adoption Advisory Group.

The Attorney-General has appointed Ms Evelyn Robinson as a discretionary member of NICAAG, until 30 March 2012. Ms Robinson has extensive adoption experience.

Ms Robinson placed her child for adoption in 1970 in Scotland. Ms Robinson has a background in social work and professional experience in providing post adoption services. She is based in South Australia and regularly provides training for families and professionals with the Post Adoption Support Service and the South Australian Central Authority. Ms Robinson has published three books about adoption. She has presented several conference papers on adoption topics in Australia and overseas.
Evelyn, as you may know is a reunited mother and author of Adoption and Loss - The Hidden Grief , Adoption and Recovery - Solving the mystery of reunion, and her latest: Adoption Reunion - Ecstasy or Agony?

To access information on the new NICAAG appointment, please go to the 'What's New' at this link.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More evidence for need of access to family medical history

Mental illness affects about 58 million people over the age of 18 in the United States. About one in four adults suffer from disorders ranging from depression to obsessive-compulsive disorder to schizophrenia in a given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The genetic force behind these illnesses is strong — for an identical twin who has developed schizophrenia, his or her twin has a 50 percent chance to do so as well — but clearly not absolute.

For most, the chance of developing schizophrenia or bipolar disorder is only around 1 percent, but for those with a close relative with the disorder, such as a parent or sibling, the average risk rises to about 10 percent.

And...unlike some single-gene disorders such as cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs, that can be tested for before conception and potentially avoided, or during pregnancy, there is no testing for mental illness, which experts say is likely a complex combination of multiple genes, plus environment influences.

A survey and opportunity to comment on whether knowing your family mental history weighs into your decsion to have children is available at this link. Those of us separated by adoption were not considered in the original article or the survey.

Anti-Adoption on The Web

Anti-adoption sentiment on the web is the subject of a blog post I recently cam across:

...Most of what I read was from people adopted long ago when adoption was not spoken of, swept under the rug, when young single women were coerced or forced to give up their infants for adoption. I am always horrified when I read such stories, see movies, or hear of cases like these. I believe it was wrong but this is not the only adoption scenario out there, certainly today, more and more young women are keeping their babies....Everything I read was so black and white...I don't know what to say. I can't begin to tackle the tangled emotions and thoughts that are broiling in my head right now.
My reply:

I would like to share some thoughts on your observations and comments. First, all the horrors of coercive adoptions are NOT relegated to past history. Yes, fewer U.S. mothers need to resort to losing their children to adoption s single parenthood is more acceptable and birth control more accessible. All that means is MORE pressure than ever on the few expectant mothers who do CONSIDER that option. It also means that a great deal more focus is now on international markets where women are not just coerced, but babies are actually STOLEN (in China and India) or kidnapped at gunpoint (as in Guatemala) and then sold to orphanages who then sell them to U.S. adoption agencies.

There is a great deal that is UGLY, bad, wrong, illegal, immoral and definitely unethical about adoption TODAY.

Add to that, that the people who have been negatively affected by it in the past - adoptees - are now grown adults able to speak out. And mothers in the US who were coerced into silence for may decades are likewise finding their voices more and more.

So the pendulum is shifting. Since the 1940s, when US adoptions began to become a business and records were sealed, adopters were put on a pedestal and adoption was seen through rose-colored glasses as a win-win. "Unwanted" children were finding living homes.

But now we know the truth. The curtain has been drawn and we have seen the little man behind it. We all know the Emperor has no clothes. The truth is that adoption is not about finding homes for orphans and kids who really could benefit from it - like 129,000 kids in foster care who could be adopted...instead its a multi-billion dollar industry paid for by those claiming to be "desperate" for a child and willing to pay enough to support illicit baby brokers who traffic inhuman life.

This is despicable and anyone who is not ooutraged is not paying attention.

Does it reflect badly on those who are adopting? Unfortunately Yes. It points out that it adoption is not quite as altruistic as even they might have been led to believe. There really are not as many "orphans" "languishing" in orphans. the numbers have been grossly inflated because nearly 90% of children in orphanages worldwide are not orphans at all but have at least one living parents and or extended family who hope to reclaim them and have placed them in care temporarily, as was the case with both children adopted by Madonna.

Adoption is corrupt and those seeking to adopt need to make some hard choices: to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

Infertility is a terrible loss, as is losing a child to adoption - or to miscarriage or any other loss. But you don;t see people who have lost limbs or their sight acting all entitled to someone giving up theirs for them - or exploiting the poor. Well, actually organs are being exploited form the poor, but it ILLEGAL!!

Infertility is awful but no one owes anyone a child and no one has a "right" adopt. Adopting one child at a time is not solving world hunger or the AIDS epidemic or global poverty. It is creating a lot of backlash and increasing the image of the ugly American who comes into impoverished countries with their ethnocentricity and their dollars and thinks that giving one child more material advantages outweigh=s his basic need and RIGHT to his family and culture.

It is sad for those who adopted believing they were doing a good thing. But, as I said, they can chose to be part of the solution. many have:

Read blogs such as fleasbiting, and

The first is a U.S. couple, the second a couple from Australia each of whom adopted two Indian children and discovered they were stolen form their mothers. They did the RIGHT thing from the start in investigating heir doubts to uncover the through and then to help the child victims - and the families - deal with their situation.

Jennifer Hemsley stopped an adoption in the process in Guatemala when she suspected DNA tests were fraudulent.

ALL of these people have become advocates for eradicating the corruption in adoption. Each of us must chose what legacy we want to leave for our children and those who come after us. We can chose to hide from these ever increasing revelations of abuse, we can deny fiercely that OUR children were taken in any way but the most ethical...or we can face the reality and stand up and do something to stop the proliferation of child trafficking for adoption. It's your image you must face in the mirror each morning. Will it be something you are proud of? Will you be someone your children will be proud of?

I believe it was Robert Kennedy who said: "The greatest tragedy is for good men to see wrong and do nothing."

A position of adoption as a last resort, as is taken by the UN and many child advocacy NGOs around he world - or one of Family Preservation is less offensive than anti-adoption, just as pro-life is fare kinder than ant-abortion and pro-choice far more realistic than pro-abortion.

Every child has a RIGHT to remain in his family. Every family his the right to receive the support they need to remain intact. When that is not possible extended family are the next line of defense for children in need and only when there is not family whatsoever capable is state care required or a another family sought. That family should preferably be within the community of the original family for continuity of language, culture, and even possible visitation. International adoption must be a last resort.

This is not a negative position on adoption - it is a positive position, humane and ethical position for families in crisis.

Is it black and white? Are all adoption good or all adoptions bad, of course not. But enough are bad or questionable to cast a shadow of doubt on all. Unless you have met with both the mother and father of your child in person, who have been confirmed to be the mother and father by DNA tests or a birth you witnessed personally, then you don't know for sure.

Kevin Cohen Ponzi Adoption Scam Update

Follow up to previous post - the $65,000 challenge - which has some lively comments and discussion you might want to check if you haven;t already.

Five couples - two from Long Island, two from New York City and one from Texas - have so farcome forward to complain that the 41-year old adoptee attorney, KevenCohen, stole money from them and did not come through with the babies they were intending to buy.

It's being called a Ponzi scheme because Cohen may have used funds from new clients to partially refund a client who had not obtained a baby. Butgee whiz, isnt that just doing business? I mean we hear all thetime that prices indepartment dtores are hight o make up for merchandise tat is shop-lifyed. Business is buniness and the losses have to be passed on tot he consumers, don;t they?

Anyhow, one of the couples, Ben and Brigid Vogt of Seaford, said "they believe" they lost $22,500 to Cohen and will meet with prosecutors Monday. Ben Vogt said they had hoped to adopt a baby so their 2 1/2-old son would have a sibling.Cohen promised the Vogts that he had a baby lined up for them from an 18-year-old Pennsylvania woman.

The only way to protect prospective adopters is to disallow the practice of pre-birth contracts of any kind - including verbal promises made directly or through a match-maker. No one should be paying up front on the hope and expectation that an expectant mother - one such expectant mother in particular - is going to chose to relinquish her child after it is born, and that she is locked into doing so to that particular couple.

That system puts undue expectations on adopters and is tremendously coercive to expectant mother already in crisis and very vulnerable. if the prospective adopters's expectations is that this is a money-back guarantee - it's set up for disaster one way or another. Either they are going to get pissed off t the attorney as they re now, or they are going to pressure the mother.

This needs to all be outlawed! It violates the principle of the law against pre-birth contracts and baby selling because it is BOTH!

Cohen, like Seymour Kurtz and all others of this ilk will no doubt get some minor slap on the wrist and keep going peddling flesh...

The actual buyers will find another sleazy baby broker and get a kid somehow.

Business as usual in the Unites States, Inc. where capitalism reigns supreme and totally out of control.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Book and a Blog Worth Noting

Julia Rolings adopted two children form india and dscovered they were not placed for adoption willingly or intentionally by their mother, as they had bene told but sold behind her back by her husband.

Her story is detailed in her book, "Love Our Way" and on her blog, Towards a new ending...

Check out her incredible story.

Brangelina Adoption Obsession

Amidst rumors of Brad's drug use, separations and living apart (hey, what else is there to do while waiting online at the supermarket checkout than read the tabloid headlines!)...Angelina Jolie has sparked speculation that she is planning another adoption after visiting an orphanage in Ethiopia and bonding with a little girl.

To his credit, Brad Pitt is reportedly against another adoption right now and it was claimed that fight turned nasty as he accused her of being “like a kid in a pet store, wanting all the cute puppies.” Angelina is said to start the paperwork and will adopt with or without Brad’s help.
One thing is certain, it is not possible for Angelina to work with Brad because she did not have the time as they raise six children together. She added that they try to find a balance in their lives because they want to educate their children and fulfill their dreams.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Could It Be True?

Be still my heart as I do some research and find out if the following rumor is true:

The Adoption Expense Tax Credit as it currently stands is scheduled to “sunset” (as in, ride off into) beginning December 31, 2010. Actually, this credit is one of a host of tax laws brought into existence under the Bush tax cuts of 2001 which are set to expire as of December 31, 2010. So far, Congress has shown little interest in addressing this situation. Although anything is possible, it is difficult to imagine Congress failing to renew and even bolster such a socially conscious tax credit like the Adoption Expense Tax Credit.

If true - one of my wishes has come true! My guess, however, is that despite the fearful naysayer spreading this rumor is that it will be renewed and increased as it has been every year.

Part two of the rumor is that it will be replaced by H.R. 3312: “Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act” introduced July 23, 2009, aka Title X Family Planning Services Act of 2009. Under this proposed legislation, the tax credit would be increased to nearly $16,000 and would become refundable. Other changes might also make this credit more advantageous for adoptive parents.

HR 3312 has been referred to the following committees:
The full text of the bill is available at this link. I think we should all read it and see if this something we want to support, knowing of course that it will change as it moves through committees.

You can also google the bill and see what some pundits have to say about it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The $65,000 Challenge

Adoption Scam Artist Arrested

September 25, 2009 - Updated 9/26/09

Attorney Kevin Cohen, 41, from Long Island, NY is accused of running an adoption scam that cheated prospective parents out of thousands of dollars by falsely promising them babies that didn't exist.

Cohen was arrested at his home Friday in Roslyn by DA Investigators. He has been charged with grand larceny in the second degree, scheme to defraud in the first degree and criminal possession of a forged instrument (a phony document supposedly from Nebraska he showed to prospective parents), according to the Nassau County District Attorney's Office.

If convicted he faces up to 15 years behind bars

For over a period of two years, Cohen is accused of advertising himself as a legal expert specializing in adoption proceedings. He allegedly obtained large sums of cash from couples in exchange for arranging adoptions.

Despite being arrested in 2009 on charges of grand larceny, forgery and identity theft charges, Cohen is accused of continuing to search for people looking to adopt. One couple - identified as Deborah and Milton Josephs of Port Washington - apparently shelled out $65,000 in hopes of adopting a child.

The District Attorney's Office is asking anyone who believes they may have been a victim in the scam to contact officials at: 516-680-8624.

Cohen's attorney, Matin Emouna of Mineola, said that the allegations against his client are unfounded and that the dispute between Cohen and the Josephses is a civil, not a criminal, matter.

"He's helped a lot of adoptive parents," Emouna said. "He is an adopted child himself. He relates very well to the needs of adoptive parents."

He added: "My client has not hurt a single soul."

Baby Buyers portrayed as VICTIMS, Deborah and Milton Josephs

Take out your violins: Deborah and Milton Josephs of Port Washington wanted to add to their family so their 6-year-old daughter could have a sibling.

They said that they bought two car seats and a "Big Sisters Rock" T-shirt. They prepared the baby room.

But after hearing "lie upon lie upon lie," Deborah Josephs said, the couple contacted an attorney, setting off an investigation that led Friday to the arrest of the Roslyn adoption attorney that they had hired to adopt a baby.

"When the babies didn't materialize, we got suspicious," said Deborah Josephs, 44.

Why aren't who pay this kind of money likewise arrested for baby buying, or attempting to buy a baby...just as "johns" who solicit prostitutes are sometimes arrested? I see that as one way to stop the practice.

The other way is to stop all profiteering in adoption.

Another Classic LDS Case...

In the matter of Baby Boy M., A Minor.

Shawn and Samantha lived together in the little Texas town of Granbury just southwest of Fort Worth. They weren't married, but they had a daughter, Kaylee in 2003. In late 2004, Samantha moved out of the house and within weeks was living with Darrell. A few months later, she announced that she was pregnant and intended to place the child for adoption. Shawn immediately told her that, if the child were his, he wanted custody and would not agree to any adoption.

Samantha learned of a couple, Travis and Sabra Hess, who lived in Boise, Idaho, who wanted to adopt. The Hesses were using the services of LDS Family Services. Samantha spoke with LDS caseworker, Kimberly Sidwell and according to the court records:

Sidwell met with Samantha two weeks before the baby was due to be born. At that time, Sidwell asked Samantha whether she knew the identity of the baby's father. Samantha told Sidwell that Shawn was the father and indicated he was not aware of her pregnancy. Sidwell asked for an address to contact Shawn, but Samantha said she did not know where he was. Samantha provided Sidwell with Shawn's date of birth and social security number. After the meeting, Samantha asked LDS if she could work with a different caseworker due to a “personality conflict” with Sidwell.
Samantha next met with Eric Larsen from LDS. Larsen also asked about the paternity of the baby, and Samantha told him she was fairly certain that Shawn was the father. Samantha also stated, however, there was a possibility that the father was Darrell. When Larsen asked where he could find Shawn, Samantha told him she thought he was either living in Dallas or going to school in Florida. After being asked multiple times how to contact him, Samantha finally admitted that Shawn lived in Granbury and gave Larsen a phone number for Shawn's mother, Sandra.

Both Sidwell and Larsen were informed by Shawn and his mother that Shawn had no intention of relinquishing his parental rights if the child were his. When Shawn and his mother found out what hospital Samantha was in, they both talked to a social worker there and told her Shawn would request a DNA test to determine paternity and assert his rights.

At that point, everyone involved in the case knew very well that Shawn refused to give up his parental rights. The sensible thing - the humane thing - to do would have been a DNA test and, if Shawn were the father, turn the baby over to him. But that is not what happened.

The hospital's designating Samantha a "no information" patient. That meant that the hospital could only release information about the baby to people Samantha approved which did not include Shawn. Despite knowing of Shawn's intentions, the Hesses took the baby boy back to Idaho, Samantha signed a relinquishment of her parental rights and presumably, LDS got paid.

Shawn filed the correct forms with the Texas Paternity Registry within the 30 days allotted him. He talked to several attorneys, contacted the FBI and even wrote a letter to the governor.

LDS and the Hesses sued Shawn to terminate his parental rights and Shawn countersued to establish paternity and to be managing conservator of the child. (In Texas, "managing conservator" means the parent with physical custody of the child; "possessory conservator" means the parent with visitation rights.)

Despite finding that Shawn is the child's father, the trial court ruled against him, but the appellate court reversed that ruling. The child is now four years old because of LDS' intentional delays almost every step of the process.

Instead of reversing the lower court and rendering judgment for Shawn, the court ordered another trial in the same court that ruled against Shawn in the first place.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

There is No Right to Adopt

“…even if the suffering of a number of infertile prospective adoptive parents must be taken into account,
no-one ever holds ‘the right to adopt'.
 If it existed, it would imply the right over another human being, who would become the ‘object’ of the right of the adopting candidates.”

“Adoption: at what cost? For an ethical responsibility of receiving countries in intercountry adoption.” Isabelle Lammerant and Marlène Hofstetter. 2007 Publications of Terre des hommes 

Full Report can be downloaded at the Better Care Network whose steering commitee includes: Steering Committee includes CARE and the Hope for Africa's Children Initiative, UNICEF, USAID and the Displaced Children's and Orphans Fund, and Save the Children UK.

The Better Care Network believes that:

Families offer the best protection of children and are more likely to provide the conditions for healthy development. Children who have been separated from their families are more vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and neglect. Prevention of separation from families, and the provision of services to maintain family unity, is therefore a priority. Family preservation services aim to prevent or reduce the need for alternative care arrangements by providing interventions that promote the safety and well being of the child and family...

Prevention of family separation is called for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 16) and is integral to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (articles 5–9, 18, 24, 27-29). These rights apply to all families and children, regardless of their nationality, or status.

The Better Care Network advocates for assistance and service provision to vulnerable families, in order to prevent unnecessary separation.

Australian Apology

Australian Government to apologise to Forgotten Australians and Lost Innocents


The Australian Government acknowledges that the abuse and neglect suffered by many children in institutional or other out-of-home care during the last century was unacceptable.

Today marks the anniversaries of the landmark tabling of the Senate Community Affairs Committee's Lost Innocents – Righting the Record (2001) and Forgotten Australians: A report on Australians who experienced institutional or out-of-home care as children (2004) reports.

The Australian Government believes it is now time to apologise.

By the end of 2009 the Australian Government will issue a formal statement of acknowledgement and apology, on behalf of the nation, to Forgotten Australians and former child migrants. In the spirit of the bipartisan nature of the Senate Inquiry reports, the Government will work with the Opposition to develop the remembrance event.

This is a significant national step in the healing process for Forgotten Australians and former child migrants.

Many former child migrants and other children who were in institutions, their families and the wider community have suffered from a system that did not adequately provide for, or protect children in its care.

In June this year, a further Senate Inquiry reported on progress since the 2001 and 2004 reports. This report said more needed to be done. The apology will address recommendations 1 and 2 of this recent report and the Government will table a full, formal response in coming months.

To further help the healing process, the Government is also providing $300,000 each to both the Alliance for Forgotten Australians (AFA) and the Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN), over the next two years. We will work with these organisations to make sure that care leavers can get the practical support and information they need.

We will also be consulting broadly with state and territory governments, past care providers and those affected by these practices to develop the apology and the path ahead.

We have also begun a dialogue with mothers and children separated by past adoption practices which were inappropriate or unethical. The Government recognises that the pain and suffering of these women also endures.

We will work with the National Library of Australia, the National Museum of Australia and those who have suffered in the past on how to best to record, for the historical record, the experiences of the Forgotten Australians, former child migrants, and women and children affected by past adoption practices.

To register your interest in being involved in the apology consultation or the history projects please call 1800 050 011 or email

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Five Adopted Daughters Drugged, Beaten, Sexually Abused

A California pastor has been sentenced to life in prison - hallelujah! - for beating and drugging her five adopted daughters and locking them in a garage.

Jessica Banks, 65, received consecutive life terms Friday after being convicted in July of sexually abusing two of her daughters and forcing all the sisters to go without food for days.

Banks was arrested in 2005 after one emaciated girl was found lying outside a Moreno Valley business.

Prosecutors say the sisters, who were ages 4 to 11 at the time, lived in a hidden room in Banks' garage with no air conditioning or heating.

But they were apparently no always hidden since it is reported that they attended school at the Word of Life Apostolic Church, where Banks was pastor.

Wounds That Never Heals

On Sept 13 I wrote a post entitled "Aftermath of Adoption Loss."

Today I found these words that seemed to fit that well as a more recently one discussed here about what we wish we had been told.

Over and over again adoptive families talk about the joys of being a family. So why talk about grief? Because that’s where adoption has its beginning.

The pain is always just below the surface. When talking about the experiences that led to his need for adoptive parents, one boy told his caseworker, “It’s like a bruise that I don’t think about most of the time. Then something bumps it, and it hurts again.”

When a child gets his permanent family, he has already lived the loss of loved ones. It doesn’t matter whether that love was imperfect or harmful. He has lost years of learning, loving and growing.

Innocence and the chance to just be a kid is often the casualties of this hurt.

These words are on a blog post entitled "Does it Have to Hurt" at Adoption Lives Transformed. It continues:

When we care about the child, we are confronted with the devastating consequences of his losses. We wish we could have protected him from the experiences that left him scarred and frightened. And we get angry....

And what about the pain of the birth family? Parents completely lose their relationships with their child, the opportunity to be a parent and their places in the social order of the community. Grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts lose a member of their family.
I have often dscribed the pain of my loss as a chronic pin that flres up at times ans soemtimes goes into remission of sorts. The auhtor of this blog post quotes an adoptee who descibes his loss and ensuring pain as being: “like a bruise that I don’t think about most of the time. Then something bumps it, and it hurts again.”

I was most impressed with the authors take on anger - a subject and emotion which never leaves me entirely. I am grateful for her very enlightening, "aha" words that feel so very right deep down in my core, at the very root of the hurt:
When we love, we care enough to get angry.

16 stand trial in Vietnam baby selling case

(AP) – HANOI, Vietnam — A court in northern Vietnam has put 16 people on trial for allegedly selling more than 250 babies for foreign adoption, a court official said Tuesday.

The head of two social welfare centers in Nam Dinh province as well as several doctors and nurses at village clinics went on trial Tuesday, said Dang Viet Hung, the chief judge at the court hearing the case. The defendants are charged with "abuse of power and authority" and could face prison terms of five to 10 years.

The defendants allegedly solicited infants from unwed mothers and those from desperately poor families and falsified documents claiming the babies had been abandoned at village clinics, making them eligible for adoption, Hung said.

The ring sent 266 babies for foreign adoption from 2005 to July 2008, when the activity was discovered, Hung said. He did not know the countries of the adoptive parents.

Tuesday's Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper reported that each defendant illegally earned 5 million dong ($275) to 10 million dong ($550) overall.

Vietnam and the United States, one of the Southeast Asian country's largest recipients of children for adoption, have yet to renew their bilateral adoption agreement that expired in September.

The U.S. Embassy said in a report in April last year that Vietnam had failed to police its adoption system, allowing corruption, fraud and baby-selling to flourish.

The report described brokers scouring villages for babies, hospitals selling the infants of mothers who cannot pay their bills, and a grandmother giving away her grandchild without telling the child's mother.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What do YOU Wish You Were Told?

At Grown in My Heart, the topic being discussed is: "What no one told me about adoption" a topic continued and at 73Adoptee, and, very thoughtfully as usual, over at O Solo Mama.

Solo Mama laments not being told: "that they had parents...No one put a face on them and told us this was something we should start thinking about right away, because our kids would. "

She regrets that, "No one explained that hundreds of thousands of Chinese families would quietly take in abandoned children, largely girls. In fact, the agencies proclaimed the opposite."

Solo started her list with "Don't get me started" ...well, where do I begin?

Number One: Yes, Virginia, you were lied to, we all were. Truths are regularly withheld, such as known health issues or those adopters can assume such as those known to be associated with certain regions (FAS) and those common to institutionalized children.

While the tactics of adoption practitioners resemble those of used car salesmen, the kids they are pushing - unlike used cars - do not come with CAR FAX vehicle history reports reports.

Number Two: While adoptees are totally in the dark, the most lied to and deceived out of all in the so-called "triad" are mother considering adoption or being pressured into, 'cause let's face the fact that without the baby-makers there's be NO babies to adopt no matter how slick the salesmen are. They'd all have to switch to surrogate baby farming!

Yes, Virginia, the biggest, boldest lies are sved for scared, vulnerble women who are already at financial disadvantage and so have no one prtetcing their rights, as adopters do. After all, if an adopter sees behind the curtain, realizes the truth and backs out, there are thousands other in line behind her glad to jump up one space in the line! Not so birhmothers, at least not so of those producing white, or light-skinned, healthy children! No, they need more coaxing - and when that fails - just steal their kids at gunpoint!

And so what do mother show lost their kids to adoption wish we were told:

1. That there are no guarantees in life:
  • you may never have any other children
  • that the "profile" you were given may be a pack of lies
  • the adoptive parents can die or divorce leaving your child with just one parent while you may marry, possibly even the baby's father
  • your child's life may or may not be any better off
  • you child may even be abused, abandoned or killed by those who cared enough to adopt him!
  • your child will undoubtedly feel rejected and abandoned even if in a very loving family
  • your child will never be able to know who you are or that you cared and loved him; and you will never be able o know if he is ok
  • that you will NEWVER FORGET no matter what you go on to accomplish in your life and it will effects every area of your life forever and ever
  • that the ripple effect will damage all of your relationships past and future and effect any subsequent children you may have and your relationship with them
  • promises of open adoption re just promises and can be broken; they are unenforceable because you have signed away ALL your parental rights
  • that if they break their promise they can move away and your adoption is just s closed as if it had never been opened, and there is nothing you can do about it except feel deceived and betrayed and cry and stomp
  • that you may feel numb, or believe you have done "the right thing" but eventually, it WILL wear off...
  • that you feel forever guilty and filled with shame - not for having gotten pregnant - but for giving away your own child; that people will never understand and you will always feel judged; that you may suffer PTSD, depression and a whole host of other known lifelong effects
  • that even if you reman beleiving it was good decsion and you "get on with your life" and put it all behind you - your kid can find you and burst your bubble and life you built on lies, sealed records or not.
  • that if you try to find your child - or he tries to find you - adoption agencies will have their hands out again asking for more fees, and may lie to you all over agin.
I'm sure as long as this list is, you can all add more things you wish you were told, PLEASE DO!

The saddest part - and the part we need to keep in the forefront of our minds - is that these were not things that WERE done in some historical past. This is standard operating procedure still today!

Adoption practitioners for the most part are used car salesman. They are entrepreneurs concerned about one thing and one thing only: their bottom line! Making that sale! Closing that deal! Transferring that kid for their fee!

Adoption today has been aptly called the wild west - virtually no rules!

And so it is our moral duty and obligation to tell the truth, 'cause they sure won't!

That is why I began writing about the dark side of adoption in the 1980s and will continue till they pry my keyboard and mouse from my cold dead - very twisted and gnarled - hands!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Follow up To Bring Noah Home

This is a follow up on my "Bring Baby Noah Home" blog post, where you can find details of the contested adoption case.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bartholet Debunked Again!

PoundPuppiesLegacy has done an excellent job of countering the claims Prof Bartholet is trying to peddle once again.

"Adoption abuses exist, as in every area abuses of the legal system exist. But there is no persuasive evidence that adoption abuses are extensive. Nor is there reason to think that they would be extensive."

Even if true - which it is not - why bother investigating murder unless its "extensive." Many cities see a murder only rarely - why bother trying to prosecute the criminal or do anything at all about it? Kidnapping within the US - stranger kidnapping like that of Jaycee is a rare crime. Why not simply ignore those rare occasions and the rare few victims and their families?

My sarcasm is a result of utter frustration and anger at bold faced lies by the NCFA and she who lies-a-lot!

Bartholet -- who believes that "heritage is over-rated" is the spokesperson for adoption attorneys - those whose livelihood depends upon keeping the flow of babies constant. Their collective major concern is that Hague is closing U.S. adoption agencies who cannot comply, and closing countries.

She blatantly and very knowingly ignores facts and distorts truths by repeating over and over overinflated numbers of orphans, knowing that the general public will not fact-check and those adopting hear what they want to hear - the lies they love! The pretense that there is any concern for any child's well-being...except to the extent that at this point she has come to believe her own lies. Jaycee's kidnappers pleading not guilty!

I encourage all to read the very sane (as opposed to my rant here) and factual dismantling of Bathelot's newest fabrictions at Pound Puppy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kid Trade-Ins

Jay Leno's writers apparently did not realize how close to the truth of "safe haven" dumps - especially the one that allowed teenagers to be dropped off...

Cash for Flunkers video

RipOff Artists and Charletans

Does anything else lead to as much exploitation as adoption?

Scams abound. Expectant mother are marekted with deception.

Prospective adopters wade through minefields of online ads from womn claiming to be giving birth or having a baby they want to place for adoption - some are real, others not. Agencies often claim they have inside tracks on babies from eastern eurpe and string hopefuls along with photos.

The same agencies who lie to mothers charge for any post adoptions services and often lie agin about both parties being amenable to contact.

On top of that private entrepaurs see the heartbreak of adoptions separation as yet one more way to exploit desperation.

Most recently, Givenright Research, who had been featured on The Morning Show with claims of thousands of reunions, have been accused of ripping people off. Customers from all over the country claim they have been given worthless leads by the company.

The victims hce started a website called

"I Want My Daughter Back"

In July, I blogged about Carla Moquin's fight for her daughter Peri (Bring Peri Home).

Carla's persistence has gotten her story a featured article of several pages and photos in the current People Magazine, Sept. 21, entitled "I Want my Daughter Back."

It is not yet available online (should be in a week or two, when the next issue comes out) but do check it out at your supermarket or wherever People is sold in your area.

It will be interesting to see public reaction as in the past, the general public has almost consistently sided with adopter sin contested adoptions - no matter how many laws they violated! "The only family" syndrome.

Peri has two full siblings that she has met, and has known her mother always.

This article is a last ditch effort by Carla to bring public attention tot he case as she has exhausted all other means financially.

Donations can be made via Carla's website:

Why not consider a donation in honor of YOR family? The family you were not able to save.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Adoption Separation Funding

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, has been revamped what was the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, the government program provided states with incentive funds for increasing the number of children adopted from the foster care system.

The new program provides stronger incentives for states to place children, particularly older children and children with special needs, into adoptive homes. The revised program gave states $4,000 for every foster children placed above their 2007 baseline, plus a payment of $8,000 for every foster child age nine and older and $4,000 for every special needs child.

A total of $45 million will be awarded to 38 states. In addition, states can receive federal stimulus funds and matching funds from savings incurred to "speed up implementation of measures taken to improve the state’s child welfare system."

Moving children out of the foster care system is noble cause, but these funds encourage only one alternative for doing so: stranger adoption. No funds are allocated for family preservation or extended family care, or to locate extended family as resources for these children.

The same is true of tax benefits: they go to extra-family adoption, and are not limited to the adoption of children from foster care. In fact, most are used in international adoption.

With a new administration, we need to begin a serious letter writing campaign to encourage family preservation programs to decrease the number of children being place din foster care in the firs place. Such in-home care programs have proven more cost effective, safe. and successful than traditional foster care:

President Barack Obama
First Lady, Michelle Obama
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius

Pitting Poor Against Affluent Women in the Adoption Industry

Mirah Riben and Bernadette Wright argue that mothers’ rights are women’s rights. Women's rights mean recognizing mothers’ rights to parent their own children.

Reverse Robinhoodism: Pitting Poor Against Affluent Women in the Adoption Industry

By Mirah Riben and Bernadette Wright, PhD


“It is the poor states that produce the children and the rich that consume them. In this process, poor parents are left behind, serving only as the initial fabricators of other people’s children.” Debora L. Spar, Harvard School of Business (2006)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Another Super Star Adoption?

Elton John seems to want to follow in Madonna's footsteps in expecting royal treatment to sidestep rules because of his fame.

John is reportedly facing a legal battle over his dream to adopt a Ukrainian tot - because the country BANS gay couples from doing so.

The superstar - WHO IS SIXTY TWO - and partner David Furnish, 46, are also deemed TOO OLD under national laws which disallow adoption for those over 45.

Their only hope would be a presidential dispensation to take home 14-month-old Lev - after 62-year-old Elton declared at the weekend: "He has stolen my heart."

If Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko were to grant their wish the pair would have to adopt Lev's BROTHER as well. He too is in care - and Ukrainian law states siblings must be adopted together.

EveryChild, an international children's charity has raised the concern that the adoption could result in more youngsters being abandoned.

The organization said that while it praised John's help in raising awareness of the plight of children affected by HIV in Ukraine, it said the answer to the country's deepening HIV and Aids crisis does not lie in international adoption, arguing that more children may be abandoned in children's homes as a result of another high-profile, celebrity adoption.

EveryChild aslo reports that 95% of the children in Ukraine's institutions are not orphans and children born to HIV-positive mothers face particular discrimination. They are separated from their mothers and often end up in children's homes and institutions segregated from children not affected by HIV, it said.

"Research conducted in Ukraine by Liverpool University found that vulnerable mothers were encouraged by news of wealthy foreigners adopting from children's homes to place their own children in care in the hope that they would get a better life. Most children placed in children's homes are not adopted internationally; the majority face a bleak future.

"Children who grow up in a children's home are much more likely to end up in prison, involved with drugs and prostitution and go on to abandon their own children. The actions of celebrities like Madonna, and now possibly Elton John, could be actually increasing the number of children in children's homes in countries like Ukraine."

The Ukraine government has recently introduced new legislation that requires authorities to explore all possible options such as extended family and domestic adoption before a child is placed in a children's home, EveryChild said.

Superstars represent the very epitome of entitlement and set the bar for the rest. The wealthy from any means - other than showbiz - are right behind them and the upper-middle class trailing thereafter. Children are for these people just like any other commodity - cars, yachts, houses...they see one they like and they are accustomed to having it. They are not accustomed to being told no.

And so the game begins and we will see how far John is willing to go to obtain the little by who has "stolen his heart"? Will he, like Madonna, buy off an entire nation with a school or whatever? Can the Ukraine be bought?

Philosopher Damon Young writes: "When we see celebrities like Elton John planning adoption, it should prick us with this sharp reality: next to Ukraine, we're all Elton. We might not have his £75 million, but we've money, goods and chances most Ukrainians can't fathom." Young questions whether this is a good thing, without taking into consideration the trade off of material "things" for heritage and culture.

Will John take the higher ground and really her the very valid concerns of EveryChild and not simply ignore them as Madonna ignored similar concerns of human rights organizations in Africa? Seems these celebs should be balancing whether these decisions make them look good or not. if nothing else matters to them.But then, I guess when you're Elton John not even that matters. It's not like he's a new kid on the block building a reputation.

Interestingly, John sad that the death of a friend made him think more seriously about adoption - top replace his loss. Does it not concern him that this child will likely have to deal wth HIS demise sooner than a child should loose a parent?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sixth Annual Adoption Law Institute

Adoption Law Institute 2009
New York City – December 18, 2009
Live Webcast – December 18, 2009

NOTE: For those of you working for a governmental, educational or not-for-profit organization, PLI offers scholarships for anyone in your organization. The application is $25, which is a lot less that the $499 program fee.

Why You Should Attend

By attending PLI’s sixth annual Adoption Law Institute you will learn from a distinguished and experienced faculty from throughout the United States about the latest developments in the fast-changing field of adoption law, and the implications of these developments for your practice. The faculty and the course handbook materials will provide practice tips and practical solutions to a broad range of issues that legal, medical and social work professionals commonly confront in adoption cases.

What You Will Learn

- Representing birth parents in termination of parental rights and voluntary relinquishments/surrenders: state and national practice and issues
- Adoption from the “Consumers” Perspective by adoptive parents
- Adoption of adolescents from foster care
- Ethical issues in adoption: the costs of both domestic and international adoptions, a panel discussion of standards for international adoptions.
- Financial support for adoption: the Family Medical Leave Act, adoption tax credits, social security, and health care coverage

Who Should Attend

This program is designed especially for family law attorneys, social workers, adoption advocates, adoption agency professionals, mental health professionals, and other related professionals seeking to expand their knowledge of this growing field.

Douglas H. Reiniger, MSW, JD,
The Reiniger Law Firm, New York City & Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Past President, American Academy of Adoption Attorneys

Program Attorney: Janet L. Siegel

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Introduction & Welcoming Remarks
Douglas H. Reiniger

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM
Representing Birth Parents in Termination of Parental Rights & Voluntary Relinquishments/Surrenders
• Practice considerations in representing birthparents in defense of termination of parental rights proceedings
• Counseling and legal and ethical issues in representing birth parents who wish to voluntary surrender their parental rights
• Identified adoptions and post-adoption contact agreements
• Comparisons of adoption laws and birthparent representation practice in California and New York
• National policy issues related to the rights and legal representation of birthparents

Michelle Cortese
Elizabeth A. Thornton
A view from the bench: Hon. Edwina Richardson-Mendelson

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM
Networking Break

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Adoption from the Consumers’ Perspective
• Panel discussion by parents who have adopted children within the United States (in New York and in other states) through adoption agencies and foster care agencies, and from other countries
• Discussion of the adoption experience in finding a child and working with agencies and adoption attorneys

Rebecca L. Mendel
Kim Susser
Tom Chiodo
A view from the bench: Hon. Edwina Richardson-Mendelson

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Adoption of Adolescents from Foster Care
• A discussion of the resources available for adoption of older children in foster care
• Strategies for recruiting adoptive parents for adolescents
• Private and government grants and financial support available to recruitment programs and individuals for adoption of older children from foster care

Pat O’Brien
Douglas H. Reiniger
A view from the bench: Hon. Edwina Richardson-Mendelson

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Serving Vulnerable Children at Home and Abroad: A Medical and Legal Perspective
• National experts in adoption law and children’s health discuss their opinions on the ways government and non-governmental agencies can help orphans and dependent children
• The legal and medical significance of nurturing and early permanency on the long-term development of children
• A discussion on the proper consideration of heritage and culture when matching children and adoptive parents
• The obstacles to permanency: politics and attitudes

Prof. Elizabeth Bartholet
Dr. Jane Aronson,

2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Costs of Adoption: A Survey and Ethical Considerations
• Survey results in comparative costs of domestic and international adoptions
• Review of the comparative costs of adoption in some foreign countries
• Budgeting for adoption in Russia, China, and for independent domestic, agency domestic and foster care adoptions
• Discussion of individual cases that may have deviated from averages
• Ethical and practical concerns about the high cost of adoption

Susan Caughman
Gregory A. Franklin
Mirah Riben

3:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Networking Break

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Financial Support for Adoption: update on FMLA, Adoption Tax Credit, Social Security, Health Care Coverage
• An update of Federal Adoption legislation, with special emphasis on financial issues
• Recent amendments to the Family Medical Leave Act relating to adoption
• The end of the Adoption Tax Credit? Current status and benefits, and the possible termination of the program
• Discussion of other financial support for adoptive parents and children: social security, health care coverage

Mark T. McDermott
Brendan C. O’Shea


Douglas H. Reiniger
The Reiniger Law Firm
New York City & Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Past President, American Academy of Adoption Attorneys


Jane Aronson, M.D.
International Pediatric Health Services, PLLC
New York City
Founder, Worldwide Orphans Foundation
Maplewood, New Jersey

Elizabeth Bartholet
Morris Wasserstein Professor of Law
Faculty Directpr, Child Advocacy Program
Harvard Law School
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Susan Caughman
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
Adoptive families Magazine
New York City

Tom Chiodo
New York City

Gregory A. Franklin
Ashcraft, Franklin & Young, LLP
Rochester, New York

Michelle Cortese
Deputy Director
Center for Family Representation
New York City

Rebecca L. Mendel
Rosin Steinhagen Mendel
New York City

Mark T. McDermott
Law Office of Mark T. McDermott
Washington, D.C.

Pat O’Brien
Founder and Executive Director
You Gotta Believe!
Brooklyn, New York

Brendan C. O’Shea
Gleason, Dunn, Walsh & O’Shea
Albany, New York

Mirah Riben
Author of “The Stork Market”
Dayton, New Jersey

Hon. Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelson
Administrative Judge
New York City Family Courts
New York City

Kim Susser
Director, Matrimonial & Family Law Unit
New York Legal Assistance Group
New York City

Elizabeth A. Thornton
Staff Attorney
ABA Center on Children & the Law
Washington, D.C.

Aftermath of Adoption Loss

On Sept 8, I wrote about the lifelong effects, PTSF and in particular anger of having lots a child to adoption. I asked if mothers found that theirs increased or decreased or decreased or decreased overtime - recognizing of course the ebbs and flows of such things.

Origins-USA Mother's Stories Project has stories from more than two dozen mothers whose loss es occurred between 1956 and 2005. To the right of this page are videos, some of which express quite graphically how mothers experience their loss over the course of their lives. The most common phrase is a version of "it effects every part of my life."

Now, to be honest, we of course have to admit that these are what sociologists would call a self-selecting group. These stories and videos are all of mother who not only lost a child, but who sought the support of others in that situation - perhaps to locate the child or to deal with having been found, or just to deal with the myriad emotions. In addition to that, these are mothers within that subset who had the courage to tell their stories. Given all that, I believe they are valuable testimonies and are representational of many, many mothers less able or willing - or who simply don't know these venues exist.

Today, I came across the United by Love website which boasts a very specific, and openly stated goal:

Families Supporting Adoption [FSA], an organization sponsored by LDS Family Services, seeks to promote a positive view of adoption.
In their efforts to "promote a positive view of" family separation and losing one's child, they have solicited statements from some of their "happy birthmothers." Odd things is that they also say it is still a part of their lives, albeit a good part.

One woman works in an OBGYN office and says: " if not daily then weekly I have an opportunity to talk about adoption."

Another says: "Though adoption will always be a component of who I am, it certainly does not define me."

Becca shares: "Adoption is still a huge part of my life and I love it! I enjoy attending Group each week and speaking on birthparent panels--it's fun..."

And the final mother to chime in says: "Life as a birthmother has so many ups and downs."

These were each of their opening lines! Their brief vignettes reveal that all of these puppet volunteers for FSA struggle to keep their pain in supression: "I don't tend to dwell on the fact that I placed a daughter in an adoptive home over sixteen years ago....I'm too busy carpooling and helping with homework for that ;-)"

It also shows how it will continue to be with them: ". My dream job is to be a caseworker at LDSFS and to work with adoptions! I plan on being an advocate of adoption for the rest of my life"

In others posts here and on Facebook the Jaycee kidnapping brought up discussions of Stockholm Syndrome and in what ways, and to what degree, it does or does not ring true for adoptees. Suggest that agencies such as this that keep these mothers around as marketing tools for new recruits snack loudly of cult tactics, and these women's voices sound programmed and brainwashed. They are for me reminiscent of mothers Bill Pierce of NCFA used to drag with him on public appearances. Back in those days his puppets were trained to say things like: "I did the right thing. This is for the best." "I know my child will have a better life." They sounded robotic.

I myself went through a subconscious need to justify that what I did Right (with a capital R!) by exploring adopting a child shortly after I married in the 70s. Fate also gave me a neighbor who had adopted three older siblings, changed the names of these obviously Mexican children to more Americanized names and terminated the adoption of the youngest. While I tried hard to see that the two remaining kids had a "better life" trough adoption, I knew they had to have scars about losing their brother like that. This was the first crack in my "better lif" brainwashing...there were too many more since the to count, though I started collecting news reports and they later became part of The Dark Side.

Adoption is so much about pretense, lies, and big time manipulation...and HAS to be, because there are far too babies one can rely on to be just handed over without all this encouragement! And that's not good for business. So we exploit mothers' weaknesses and then exploit them yet again and continuously to help recruit and exploit still more...

Bottom line seems to be that is is a life-altering experience one way or the other. I work just as hard to stop the coercion and exploitation, the marketing, the supply-and-demand and profiteering as these women do to support it.They have their life's work - for now - and I have mine. They may continue on their path or change with time. I am here to stay at this point in my life!

I think it shows how much harder we need to work as "they" continue to produce more of these volunteers for family destruction.

Your thoughts...?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pregnant and Seeking Help...

A Regretful Future Decision

by Zach on September 11, 2009

in pregnant

So right now Katelyn and I have to make some huge decisions regarding the child Katelyn is pregnant with – to put it up for adoption

or raise it. It also makes it very difficult that we have a lot of people pushing us in either direction.,,,,,

I would like some input. As you know this is going to be a very difficult decision for both Katelyn and I to make. I would like to hear from others who have made this decision. If you were looking at putting your child up for adoption, did you or not – and what were the deciding factors for you? Also do you regret your decision?

Titillating Sex Scandal or Adoption's Shameful Risk?

Many of us are familiar with the the term genetic sexual attraction. If not, you can red about on Wikipedia, or on the website of Barbara Gonyer who first coined the phrase and wrote a book by that tile.

GSA is a string physical attraction that may or may not lead to an incestuous affair or relationship between a parent and child or siblings who have been separated by adoption and meet after decades apart.

Some of these cases make headlines with the newspapers of course exploiting the very titillating aspects of it for voyeurs. If one party is a minor, it will very likely make the paper, as there are often criminal charges involved in such cases.

Such is he case for Aimee Louise Sword, 35, of central Michigan accused of "seducing" the son she found, sexual abuse of a minor. His name and age are withheld because he is a minor. She maintains her "presumption of innocence,"

GSA can occur totally by accident. Two strangers meet and find themselves oddly drawn to one another. A feelings of always having known one another - soul mates. They begin dating and at some point, sometimes not until they plan to marry or are already married, they discover that they were siblings, or mother and child, separated by adoption.

GSA can also occur subsequent to an intentional search and reunion but the feelings are so intense that the parties act on them to some degree even knowing their biological relationship.

Those who have read the book or heard one of Barbara's presentations on the issue, will hopeful fill in more, such as how many actually marry and remain together after knowing the truth.

This is a case we'll have to watch. Wonder of David Kirschner who often testifies on behalf of adoptees who kill their parents, using ACS as a defense, has ever testified in any of these cases. Seems there are definite circumstance beyond the norm to be taken into account. It's you son, but yet a stranger. We have all experienced that in reunion. No doubt it was also statutory. I doubt she forced him against his will.

Should not the American adoption system be tried? Isn't the abnormality of the sealed records and the secrecy - the denial of these people to know on another from early on in a more "normal" or traditionl manner at least art of the problem?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Assoc. of Research on Mothering Conference, Toronto

I am pleased to announce that I will be presenting at:

the Association for Research on Mothering's 13th annual conference
October 22-25, 2009 at McLaughlin College, York University, Toronto, Canada

"Mothering and the Environment: The Natural, The Social, The Built
with embedded A (M) Other world is Possible: Two Feminist Visions Conference"

Featuring Over 150 papers and 45 panels, performances and workshops including:
• Mothering and Environmental Activism
• Breastfeeding
• Motherhood and Sustainability
• Mothering in Public Spaces
• Motherlines
• Motherwork, Community and Health
• Mothering and Food Provision
• Ecology and Motherhood
• Maternal Challenges and Resistance

My presentation:
"The Empowerment of American Mothers who Lost Children to Adoption"

Mia Culpa trying to do a good thing can turn really, really bad very quickly.

Yes, I am guilty as charged. I confess to one and all here and now that it was I who created, designed, bankrolled and maintained for two whole days the Adoption Resource Center website, putting in probably a hundred hours of labor.

I am guilty of
creating a situation which allowed the ownership of the site to overshadow its purpose and detract from what it might be capable of accomplishing.

Most of all I am guilty of having lied to an old friend...and someone who defended me as being truthful. She was the only one who asked me outright in a personal email and I denied it to her. It is something I am ashamed of, truly regret and I have apologized for.

What Happened?

Unaccustomed as I am to lying, I am a very poor liar and so immediately, within hours of setting up the website I erred in replying to two or three emails from the wrong account, unintentionally revealing myself. When I realized two of the errors, I asked those two people to please not let it go any further and explained why I preferred to maintain my anonymity re this one project. Me, who has been out spoken and public since the 70's...on national TV etc, knowing the importance of showing my face and using my name in order to dispel the myth that mothers who lose children to adoption want anonymity.

But just this once, for this one project, I felt it would be more beneficial to the project to do it silently and not take the credit - or the heat - as stated on the FAQ of the website (see EDIT below). Some have agreed with my logic and reasons, others believe it was in a very faulty decision.

As lies will, it backfired, and it backfired very very quickly. One of the two people I asked to contain it, chose instead to immediately go public with their "gotcha" revelation.

Today I discovered a third person received revealing email who believed I had "good intentions" but nonetheless accused me of having "outed myself" intentionally to get the word around! A promotional gimmick for the website! It amazes me that anyone could possibly think me capable of such calculated deceit.

The same person also said that I had "established an on-going tradition of frequent self-promotion so, fairly or not, your Pay Pal link was bound to be viewed in that light as soon as it became apparent that this was a Mirah project." One of the issues I was trying to avoid.

Of course this was based on the belief I was attempting to illegally solicit funds proper to being a 501c - despite the PayPal link being inoperable and the website stating in a couple of places that it was intentional and funds were not sought for at least the first year. But why read when you can jump to conclusions and make wild accusations based on preconceived notions of my self-promotions.

Point is: I - and the website - were damned if I did and damned if I didn't because of said pre-conceived notions or and "established traditions."

I screwed up. But I believe my biggest mistake was not attempting to be anonymous or denying it. My biggest mistake was forgetting how divisive some are determined to remain. Those who believe such negative things of me, as well as those who have issues with other factions likely would not want to be part of the website either way, and still won't and that's fine. That's each individual or group's choice to make.

My biggest mistake was forgetting that the adoption reform movement suffers from extreme polarization with some strong hateful feelings about people and groups that always work to shoot itself in the foot. There are those who HATE anything that boarders on or sounds like it is anti-adoption. CUB hates Origins. Some hate adopters. Two groups in California disagree on how to approach an"open records" or equal access bill.

Others won't go anywhere near the web site regardless, because it already has the "b-word" on it!! People label one another and refuse to stand together and that's why we never get anywhere. And it always seems there are folks who have more time and energy to spend on infighting than on any real reform. Shame. Talk abut the road to hell.

What happens now, I don't know.

What happens now in terms of the website is unclear for me at this juncture. I have received kudos, enthusiasm, offers of help and compliments on the website's concept. Will the site survive? Only time will tell.

I have come clean and cleared the air and we will see what happens next...Let the rumor mill mull this confession over and see if it changes anything. Will those who said the site was a good idea and were just opposed to the anonymity and or the denials come aboard now?

Now it's known that I am behind the ARC website and we will see if that makes anything worse or better. If anyone wants to take it over - free of charge - and do a better job than I apparently have, it's all yours! If you want to offer to help, we can discuss that, too.

EDIT 9/13/09:

The following is the section of th FAQ referred to above which has since been removed:

Why is a website that supports openness and honesty not being transparent about ownership?

  • In order to provide the administrators and all other volunteers protection from any potential arguments or retribution for rejecting a site or adding one that another may disagree with.
  • To avoid any appearance of any possible of conflict of interest with any other work, paid or otherwise.
  • To avoid any association with any ideology that might, rightly or wrongly, be associated with a particular individual based on anything possibly discriminatory, such as triad status, religious or political views, or ideologies about adoption that offend another.
  • In order to be free of any discrimination or ill feelings to or from any member of any subgroup or contingency within the the wide diversity of organizations, groups and individuals, some of whom have splintered off from other groups or organizations because of ideological or philosophical differences, personality conflicts or other disagreements.
  • Neither the owner/creator nor the webmaster need nor seek any credit recognition. This site is yours, the members who participate and support it, not ours. We offer their services free of charge, as a public service because of our desire to increase the strength of all of our grassroots efforts; all the Davids fighting a Goliath mega billion dollar adoption industry.

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