Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In The Wake of Mothers' Day

As we bask in the afterglow of the joy and wipe tears from our eyes that this day of honoring mothers and motherhood brings to us...I must call your attention to one of the most brilliant blog posts I have read in a long time!

You MUST READ: AdoptionTruth's: Happy Birthmother Day or Happy Adopter Day

With sensitive wisdom, Cassi asks us to ponder why some mothers who lost children to adoption "settle" for a separate - and not equal - day of celebration, like accepting that infamous back seat on the bus.

Yes, BirthMother Day it was created by mothers who lost children to adoption, albeit, I believe, in error; misguided but with good intent.

All movements and all oppressed people stumble along trying to achieve recognition when what they really want is EQUALITY! Look how log adoptees have asked for "open records" when what they really want and need and are finally coming to ask for is EQUAL ACCESS.

Too often we "accept" separate but equal education. Separate drinking fountains was probably a huge improvement over going thirsty all day, not allowed to drink from any public water fountain.

"But what if the Adoptive Moms were the “different” kind of people" asks one comment

They ARE! They are the SUBSTITUTE, stand-in, replacement mother.

In the 1980s I worked with Harold Cassidy on the baby M surrogacy case which ended with surrogacy being outlawed in NJ.

We simultaneously attempted to bring attention to - and change - the language. The SURROGATE or replacement mother is the one who contracts for it, especially those days when there were no purely gestational "surrogates."

Language controls attitudes and social practices.

All of this is to say that Birth-Mothers day was a baby step toward recognition. Enlightened mothers know that we deserve than a solicitous second-best day.

I have never attended such an event and never would and never will. It is demeaning IMHO. yet might it not be a fist step out of the closet of shame for some, I believe so.

My hope would be that if any such events get any publicity that all sides of the story be reported....that not all of us are in agreement with the "separate" and NOT equal day!

There are times I feel nothing but bleakness for the outcome of adoption...but moms like Cassi and adoptees like Amanda Transue Woolston President/Founder of Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights Advocates and the Pennsylvania State Representative for the Adoptee Rights Coalition, who I have come to know through her always thoughtful and well articulated depth of understanding of the adoption condition on Facebook present great hope that the future is in good hands.

I can retire into obscurity knowing I can pass the torch to those who speak to power with dignity, thoughtfulness and courage and they will carry on in the time-honored tradition of Carol Anderson and all of the great history makers of adoption reform....taking what is good and improving upon it without re-creating wheels unnecessarily or disrespecting their forbearers in the inter-generations-long battle for family respect and protection.

Bravo ladies! My hat's off to you!

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