Saturday, July 31, 2010

UPDATE: Artyem (Hansen) in Orphanage and NCFA Involved

The NCFA is sticking its nose in the case of Artyem, who at 7-years of age was put on a plane back to Moscow alone by Tori Hansen who had adopted him.

In the letter Hansen sent with Artymen she stated he was "mentally unstable" and that: "As he is a Russian national, I am returning him to your guardianship and would like the adoption (annulled)."

Attorney Larry Crain of NCFA, however, claims the child is a U.S. citizen by virtue of an international adoption treaty and that Hansen is still his legal parent. Futther, a local (Tennessee, presumably_ school teacher had petitioned the court to be the child' court appointed guardian ad litem.

I recall previous reports that Hansen did what she did and as quickly as she did because it was prior to the adoption being finalized. This points out a very gray area of transnational adoption. The child is considered by the sending country an American once he he is issued a visa. But it takes a while until the U.S. finalizes the adoption.

An August 12 hearing in the case had been scheduled, but has been postponed.

The case sparked an international uproar and led to a series of meetings between U.S. and Russian negotiators over a proposed agreement on international adoptions between their two countries.

The proposed agreement calls for a reduction in the number of U.S. adoption agencies accredited to operate in Russia,

Moscow's children's rights commissioner, Pavel Astakhov, has said. "Independent adoptions" will be abolished, and there will be a new Russian-American agency that will inspect any U.S. family adopting a Russian child, he said.

A senior State Department official has indicated that a possible provision of the new agreement would allow earlier and more frequent sharing of information both before and after adoptions. He said some American couples don't see details of a child's medical and psychological condition until a court appearance for final adoption approval.
These suggestions would greatly improve outcomes, however, what international adoption today is not "independent"?  They are processed through "agencies" that are nothing more than privately or religiously owned businesses, not government agencies. So, who is going to oversee these procedures and regulations. That is the issue.

There is no governmental agency in the U.S. overseeing any adoption practices - domestic or international. There are no required education or certifications requirements to arrange adoptions.   All of this endangers all parties using adoption services, most of all mothers in crisis and their children who do not have the protection of legal counsel that adopters do.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Unworkable Analogy

Canadian website reports on a terminated or "disrupted" adoption that "just didn't work out."  A brother and sister returned like defective merchandise, or drapes you purchased and then deiced they didn't quite match your couch as well as you had hoped. After all, one auto manufacturer is now offering a money back guarantee on new car purchases!

The tale of Paula, 39, and Byran, 47, Blatchford who were raising Paula's teen from her first marriage, wanted more kids. Why is unknown.  But, unable to have children naturally, they took in siblings from foster care after participating in a "rigorous" "mandatory preparation training of 27 hours in a program called PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education)."  Twenty-seven HOURS.

After an idyllic summer the boy got into a squabble the first day of school. This, coupled with "continuous lying and stealing" and the reported lack the children bonding with the Blatchfords.  What are they teaching them in the training classes if not to expect acting out and lack of ability to bond by children who have bene in foster care or institutionalized?

Bottom line: the report likens adoption to an arranged marriage. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.  !! WHAT?!!

NO WAY! Marriage involves two consenting adults.

Adults making a commitment to care for CHILDREN is totally different, or should be.

Typically, the children are pathologized for their normal inability to bond -- as if their purpose is to love their adopters, not the other way around -  in a sixteen month time period, when one of them was still expressing profound loss of her foster mother. Again, what is being taught in the training program?  Obviously reality not getting through to people attending these classes.

They need to be taught the definition of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE - something that it is not expected in a marriage but is expected of parents.

Full story and comment here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cure for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is defined in the DSM-IV-TR (468) as being a disorder linked to having experienced a traumatic event, and characterized by symptoms such as hyper vigilance, flashbacks, emotional numbness, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, difficulty sleeping, concentrating, persistent anxiety, etc. (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, /Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders/, pp. 467-468).

PTSD essentially involves a person ingesting a trauma memory that is so emotionally overwhelming  it cannot be processed and grieved normally and instead is just avoided as best as can be managed. The trauma memory does not degrade as normal memories do, but instead stays fresh and intrudes into the traumatized person's awareness in an unwanted, unbidden and very frightening manner.

"Unlike other forms of psychological disorders, the core issue in trauma is reality: 'It is indeed the truth of the traumatic experience that forms the center of its psychopathology; it is not a pathology of falsehood or displacement of meaning, but of history itself" (Caruth, 1995, p. 5).

deVries (1996, p. 409) notes: "The age at which trauma occurs, the social context, and the support and resources available will all influence the outcome."

As reported by J. Kelly, M.A. Birthmother research Project:
That relinquishing a child is a traumatic experience is alluded to over and over again throughout the literature (Barton, 1996; Carlini, 1992; Jones, 1993; Lauderdale & Boyle, 1994; Lifton, 1994; Verrier, 1997). Unresolved grief, guilt, and shame are signatory of many birthmothers (Gediman & Brown, 1991; Lauderdale & Boyle, 1994; Logan, 1996; Stiffler cited in Davidson, 1994)....Van Kepple, Midford and Cicchini (1987, cited in Arthur & Jacobs, 1999) compare the loss of a child by death to the loss of a child through relinquishment and contend that both are significantly traumatic. However, in the former case, there are established outlets for grief reactions; and in the latter, the birthmother "suffers in silence" (p. 17).... Jones (1993) has identified the following traits: unresolved grief, symptoms of PTSD, diminished self-esteem, dual identities, arrested emotional development, self-punishment, unexplained secondary infertility, and living at extremes. Carlini (1992) has defined a set of "core issues of relinquishment" which include: low self-esteem, grieving the loss of the child, forgiving oneself and others, being out of touch with one's feelings, difficulty giving and receiving love, codependency, self-hatred, and dysfunctional sexual problems.

Additionally, Holli Ann Askren MSN, Kathleen C. Bloom, PhD, CNM, “Postadoptive Reactions of the Relinquishing Mother: A Review” Jr. of Obstetric,  Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, Vol. 28 Issue 4 Pp. 395-400, July 1999:
“The relinquishing mother is at risk for long-term physical, psychological, and social repercussions…. Relinquishing mothers have more grief symptoms than women who have lost a child to death, including more denial; despair, atypical responses; and disturbances in sleep, appetite, and vigor.”   
Some of the effects of loss of a child to adoption found by Dr. Geoff Rickarby, Member of the Faculty of Child Psychiatry, New South Wales, include: 
•  Pathological Grief
•  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
•  Dysthymia and Major Depression
•  Dissociative Disorder
•  Panic Disorder (and other anxiety disorders including situation stress
•  Alcohol and Prescription Drug Dependent Disorder 
•  Disorder and incapacity in human relationships

A Cure?

Doctors have treated the symptoms of PTSD with anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications. In 2006 Craig Powell, a professor of neurology and psychiatry at UT Southwestern reported: "Corticosterone appears to enhance new memories that compete with the fearful memory thereby decreasing its negative emotional significance,"

A study in the journal Pain Practice reports that Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB), a ten-minute procedure that applies local anesthetic to a bundle of nerves in the neck, proved an effective remedy for this anxiety disorder, potentially offering an alternative to the pharmaceuticals traditionally used to treat the flashbacks, anger, anxiety, and sleep disturbances caused by PTSD. The block has been used for years for pain. when injected into the neck releives nightmares and flashbacks associated with PTSD in soldiers. The effects last six months to a year.

"The way I look at PTSD, it's a biological problem. It's no different than a broken arm," said Dr. Eugene Lipov, medical director at Advanced Pain Center.

The way these injections work is to block the memory of the trauma. This works well for soldiers who have witnessed violence.

Would you trade your PTSD symtoms for loss of memory of the event that caused it? Perhaps forgetting that you relinquished a child? Or that that child even exists?

Fate uncertain for 12 Haitian kids airlifted to US

Fate uncertain for 12 Haitian kids airlifted to US

By DAVID CRARY (AP) – 20 hours ago

Six months after a chaotic airlift to the United States, 12 Haitian children remain in a Roman Catholic institution near Pittsburgh, their fate in limbo while U.S. and Haitian authorities struggle to determine which nation should be their future home.

Their case is complicated and politically sensitive, and all parties say they want the best outcome possible for the children. Yet impatience in some quarters is growing.

"It's astounding to me that the bureaucracy can't get this done," said Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who took part in the airlift. "It's unfair to these children. Let's get them adopted by loving families."

Unlike some 1,100 other children flown out of Haiti to the U.S. after the Jan. 12 earthquake, the youths at the Holy Family Institute in Emsworth, Pa., were not part of the adoption process prior to the quake and — according to some legal experts — shouldn't have been eligible for the emergency program.

There are American families eager to adopt them now, including some who've been screened and approved by adoption agencies. But there's been little in the way of public updates on the case as federal agencies, the Haitian government and the International Red Cross try to determine whether the 12 should be put up for U.S. adoption or returned to relatives in Haiti.

The State Department, which oversees various aspects of international adoption, is deeply involved in case — but has not issued statements about it. Two staffers — authorized by the department to brief a reporter only if they not be identified — described the case as very complex and said there was no timeframe for resolving it as efforts continue to verify information about the children's families in Haiti.

They said no decisions would be made that were not acceptable to the Haitian government, which has been wary of some post-quake efforts to send children abroad. In May, the leader of an Idaho church group was convicted of arranging illegal travel after the group tried to take children out of Haiti without government approval.

The 12 children at Holy Family were part of an airlift of 54 children from the Bresma orphanage in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, where two Pittsburgh-area sisters, Jamie and Alison McMutrie, had been volunteering for several years. The sisters' urgent post-quake pleas for help were heeded — participants in the Jan. 19 airlift included Rendell, officials from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and a local Democratic congressman, Rep. Jason Altmire.

At Holy Family, the 12 children have been shielded from public view, and from the media, since their arrival, but by all accounts are receiving excellent treatment. They experienced their first snowfall during the winter, made field trips to Pittsburgh's zoo and children's museum, and have enjoyed the swimming pool during recent hot weather.

"The children had typical reactions to being whisked out of their country. ... We had bed-wetting and tantrums," said Sister Linda Yankoski, the institute's president. "We're not seeing that now. ... They appear to be very well-adjusted."

Ranging in age from 15 months to nearly 13, the children have been living together in their own residence, kept apart from the dozens of troubled youths who make up the institute's regular population. The staff has been supplemented with Creole-speaking volunteers.

In hindsight, it's clear that including the 12 children in the airlift has created a long-running dilemma. Yet federal and state officials have defended the decision not to leave them behind in the confusion at the Port-au-Prince airport — saying the alternative would have been to send them back to an understaffed, undersupplied orphanage in a devastated city.

When it became clear that the 12 children were not part of the U.S. adoption process, an adoption service provider affiliated with the Bresma orphanage compiled a list of qualified U.S. families willing to adopt them.

Among them were Chad and Sherry Cluver of Forsyth, Ill., who'd been contemplating adopting from Haiti long before the earthquake. The Cluvers — both high school teachers — flew to Pittsburgh on Jan. 21 to meet briefly with two of the 12 children who, later that day, were moved to the Holy Family Institute.

Since then, according to Sherry Cluver, she and her husband have been prohibited from further visits or any other contact with the children, and the last update they got from any federal official was June 15.

"We're here, praying for you, loving you, and writing and calling important people for help — to bring you home," Culver wrote in a recent blog entry, addressing the children even though they were unlikely to read it. "We pray that your hearts might somehow know that we have not left you behind."

Among those Cluver has contacted is her congressman, Aaron Shock, R-Ill. His spokesman, Dave Natonski, said Shock plans to write to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius inquiring about the status of the case and the welfare of the 12 children.

Rendell, in a telephone interview, said he already has contacted Sebelius.

"I'm enormously frustrated," he said. "This diplomatic problem has to be worked out."

HHS is the parent agency for the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is responsible for the children while they are in the U.S. but not up for adoption.

Even while praising the Holy Family Institute for its care of the children, some adoption experts are now insisting it's time they should be released for adoption.

"What's in the best interest of these kids — to stay in an institution or get them into a family?" asked Tom DeFilipo, president of the Joint Council on International Children's Services, which represents many U.S. adoption agencies.

DeFilipo says parents or other relatives of all 12 children have gone on record as relinquishing legal custody of them and endorsing their adoption by U.S. families.

"Six months is long enough," DeFilipo said. "But no one is rallying around this. These kids aren't in anybody's constituency. They've not got adoptive families. They're not citizens. Nobody wants to talk about this."

The State Department is aware of claims that the children's relatives have relinquished them, but wants to verify any such actions and be sure the relatives understand the ramifications of any statements they've made. The department said the children's cases would be decided individually — so there might not be a common outcome for all 12.

Yankoski urges those concerned about the children to be patient, and suggests they are far better off at Holy Family — with nutritious meals, schooling and counseling — than if they'd stayed in Haiti.

"Everyone is trying to make the right decision for these children," Yankoski said. "Until they do that, our job is to care for them as best we can and prepare them for the next step in their lives."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Where is Syler Newton?

Authorities in Rimrock, Arizona, were searching Monday for a 2-year-old boy who went missing over the weekend while camping with a family that was preparing to adopt him, a spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said.

Syler Newton was last seen shortly after midnight Saturday, sleeping in a tent with the family at the Beaver Creek Campgrounds. About 1:45 a.m. Sunday, the family noticed that he was missing from his sleeping bag.

About 50 people, along with bloodhounds and tracking teams, have joined in the search for Syler, who was wearing only a diaper when he disappeared, according to Yavapai County Sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn.

"Right now, there's no indication he was taken from the site," D'Evelyn said Monday evening, adding that investigators are "looking at every possible reason that Syler is missing."

D'Evelyn said bloodhounds normally used by the Department of Corrections to help find escaped felons picked up Syler's scent around the campsite Monday, but failed to detect his scent outside a particular radius.

Angela Godinez, the sister of the woman preparing to adopt Syler, told CNN affiliate KPHO on Monday that the family is "preparing for the worst."

"We're all really, really scared, because he's only 20 pounds," she said. "He could have been carried away easily. He could have froze last night or gotten heatstroke today."

"We don't know what's going on, and there's a lot of possibilities," she added, her voice breaking.
She said she fears that Syler is "somewhere along the water." The campgrounds sit on the banks of the Wet Beaver Creek.

"That's why I'm really, really scared, because he's always loved the water," she said.
Godinez said her sister, identified by police as 36-year-old Christina Priem, is in the process of finalizing an adoption agreement with Syler's biological mother.

D'Evelyn said the Department of Child Services was involved in the investigation and was working to corroborate the adoption story.

FBI authorities were able to make contact with the Syler's biological mother Monday, but D'Evelyn did not know the outcome of that conversation.

"Until we speak to the biological mother, we just don't know the full story," D'Evelyn said.

He later added that "there's no evidence" that the planned adoption played a role in his disappearance, "but until we've exhausted every lead, all possibilities are being investigated."

"We are still in the process of trying to verify a call from the custodial mother to YCSO Sunday morning." Stated D'Evelyn of the YCSO. "Call phone reception is poor in the area and could have been a factor."

Deputies contacted and spoke with over 25 campers, who were on site at the time of Syler's disappearance. The campground was cleared of all visitors to allow search crews to continue their work on Sunday.

Detectives recovered 2 vehicles and property from Syler's campsite and those items will be examined over the next few days in an attempt to shed light on this situation.

"There is no immediate indication Syler was taken from the campsite, so searches are working under the assumption he wandered from his tent. Non-family member campers told deputies they saw Syler at the campsite Saturday evening."

News report and video here and here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

National Equal Access Protest? May 2011?

 In 1989, I was one of the organizers of a march on Washington DC for Equal Rights for adoptees that drew more than one hundred people! I was on the board of the AAC and organized the Speak Out, giving voice to adoptees and mothers to express the personal tragedies caused them as a result of lack of access.


We organized the 1989 march BEFORE the Internet why not?

Yes, adoption is a state issue...but so is same-sex marriage and they do a LOT of work to gain NATIONAL support about their issue and the hardships discrimination causes.
We need to do the same - raise public consciousness to this issue.

Most people have no idea that adoptees are issued FALSIFIED birth certificates.

If we plan long enough in advance...say the May of 2011 (?) and don't go through with it until we have 100 CONFIRMED participants...but with a goal of ten times that!

I envision a HUGE event that draws lots of media to out cause, nationwide.

Some signs I'd like to:

Denied my own Identity

BORN in the U.S.A
But I can't get a Passport


Adoption Discrimination


Adoptees Are People, Too!


Why is my
Birth Cerifcate


Adoptee Discrimination




Birth Certiciates =
State Committed Fraud


Also, as we did in '89 - state signs

Would you be there?

Louisville, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Twice Lost: The Adoption Memorial Wall

Twice Lost ~ Never Forgotten, the adoption memorial wall website has been totally renovated...If you have a friend or loved one you want here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bethany Christian Adoption Agency

The nation’s largest adoption agency announced on Monday that it had the highest-ever increase in adoption placements for a half-year period in 2010.

Bethany Christian Services reported that the combined international and domestic adoption placement increased 26 percent over the six-month period of January to June compared to the same time period in 2009.

Intercountry adoption inquiries were ahead by over 5,000 requests the first half of this year compared to 2009, totaling an unprecedented 10,567. Meanwhile, there were 8,037 domestic infant adoption inquiries, which is also higher than in 2009.

The 66-year-old ministry attributes the increased interest in adoption to the Haiti earthquake and to the promotion of adoption by prominent churches and ministries.

“We at Bethany feel like one of the major problems is the global orphan crisis. There are 163 million orphans worldwide,” said Marc Andreas, vice president of marketing and communications at Bethany Christian Services, to The Christian Post on Tuesday. “That is just a staggering number.” [That number is a LIE. It is over exaggerated byinlcuding half-orphans or social orphans who HAVE at least one living parent, which m ake up bearlky 90% of that number!]

“The only way to tackle such an enormous problem is family by family and church by church rising up and taking care of that crisis,” he said.
In February after the Haiti earthquake, Bethany was involved in bringing 80 Haitian children, whose adoption processes began before the earthquake, to Miami. Of the 80 children, 58 were adopted through the Christian ministry while the others were placed with American families through other agencies.
Andreas, who has adopted two children from Haiti, shared that the local church is the hope for the global and local orphan crisis.

In Michigan, where Bethany is headquartered, there are nearly 6,000 children who live with foster families and need permanent homes, Andreas noted. The state of Michigan has more than 10,000 churches, so if just one family from more than half of the churches adopts a foster care child then this major social problem in Michigan would be solved. [Yet they keep importing kids1]

It was with the understanding that churches needed to be more actively involved in the orphan crisis that Bethany made a strategic decision in 2007 to hire a full-time staff to create a program to reach out to congregations. The Champions for Children program recruits volunteers to be a liaison between Bethany and their local church to raise awareness about the global orphan crisis.

The program counts prominent churches, ministries and denominations such as Saddleback Church, Focus on the Family, Catalyst, and the Southern Baptist Convention as its supporters.

"It is our vision that every child has a loving family, so we are working to find new families and identify supportive local communities,” said Bill Blacquiere, president and CEO at Bethany Christian Services, in a statement. “We all must contribute to take measurable and immediate action in order to find more families who can provide loving homes."

There are an average of 1,800 adoptions through Bethany each year.

Bethany Christian Services has more than 80 locations in 32 states and orphan care and other ministries in more than a dozen countries. Other services provided by Bethany include pregnancy counseling, family counseling, foster care programs, refugee services, and an infertility ministry called Stepping Stones.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

When Genealogy is a Life and Death Search for Truth Denied Adoptees

I tinker with my family genealogy from time to time...was particularly curious about my paternal grandfather who checked out at just 38, intentionally.

I'm not alone. Perhaps it was the book and film Roots that reignited a major interest in genealogy, or the Internet giving us access to census reports, ship registries and sites like the Mormon Library, Ellis island and 

"I will suggest that genealogy is indeed a very popular activity among Americans. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million" writes Dick Eastman. Time Magazine reported it as one of the four most popular activities on the Internet in 1999.

I've started and stopped. I guess I always a bit guilty looking for distant relatives when so many of us are denied even knowing their own identify and have never laid eyes on or seen a photograph of their own mother and father.  It seemed somehow selfish and unfair....opulent in terms of the wealth of knowledge available to some, but not all of us. More on this in the conclusion.

Recently, however,  a cousin contacted whose trying to do a major genealogy project on my father's family...and I shared with him what I know...back as far as great grandparents. Not much...and yet....

Through this comparatively tiny bit, I have learned the answer to a question all my doctors ask me: the source of my RA: a great aunt, sister of that paternal grandfather I never knew. the very same time the person who knew my daughter, Alicia better than anyone found and contacted me and we shared her too short, tragic life and the multiple causes that resulted in her premature cousin's genealogical research led to a starting fact:

Not only does depression and suicide "run in my family", but it is far more common and believed to be genetic among Hungarian - which I am on both sides. Suicide rates in Europe vary widely, with countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece reporting rates below 7 per 100 000 inhabitants per year, whereas others such as Hungary and Finland report rates in excess of 27 per 100 000 inhabitants per year (World Health Organization, 1994).
"Hungarians have long had a reputation as being the gloomiest nation in Europe. They are renowned for their pessimism, depression is a nationwide problem, and until recently they had the highest suicide rate in the world, according to the World Health Organisation. Recent surveys also show that they die earlier than most European peoples

"Gloom, depression and suicide seem to be part and parcel of Hungarian culture. "You can hardly meet with a Hungarian who wouldn't have relatives or friends who really committed suicide - it's a kind of national disease, it's a kind of sickness," says Peter Muller, a Hungarian playwright who has written a play about Gloomy Sunday and has studied the suicide phenomenon." Gloomy Sunday
Gee. And some have claimed it's Irish poets and drunks who hold claim to doom and gloom, misery, the maudlin and melancholy. (!)

See also The Hungarian Suicide Project.
The fact that Hungary and Finland had among the highest reported suicide rates in Europe has led to speculations about the possible involvement of a common genetic factor in this phenomenon (Marusic & Farmer, 2001). Both Finns and Hungarians, as some linguists believe, belong to the Finno-Ugrian family of ethnic groups, with certain similarities in their ancient language....Genetic variation in European suicide rates,
P. Hrdina
See also: A Suicide Gene Is there a genetic cause for suicide? Genome News Network
"increasingly, researchers are becoming convinced of an entirely different cause of suicide: a chemical imbalance in the brain....For example, two countries that top the world's suicide rate list are Hungary and Finland, with 40 suicides per 100,000 people. Although the countries lie 1,600 kilometers apart, their people share a language group and, presumably, genes. The Finno-Ugric people lived together for thousands of years in the Ural Mountains of what is now Russia, then migrated to Finland and Hungary.
"When the Ottawa project began 10 years ago, researchers first analyzed the brains of Hungarians who had died at their own hands, specifically looking at serotonin receptors. They found that these brains had an overabundance of 5-HT2A receptors. This suggested improper absorption of serotonin. If cells are not getting enough serotonin, they build receptors in an attempt to soak up more.
"This finding was later mirrored when the researchers tested 120 patients who suffered from persistent suicidal fantasies. Because blood platelets also carry serotonin receptors, Dr. Lisheng Du, the team's molecular geneticist, analyzed blood samples from the patients and from 131 control subjects with no history of mental illness or substance abuse.
"What we found was fascinating," said Bakish. "The patients had 40 percent more of these receptors than normal." Forty-one percent of the patients in the study carried the genetic mutation, compared with 18 percent of control subjects.
"When these patients were treated with a variety of antidepressants, the only medications that alleviated their suicidal fantasies were drugs such as Prozac™, which belong to a family called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These drugs prevent brain cells from overdoing the normal mop-up operation after they release serotonin. This was the true test. If, with treatment, the receptor numbers remained constant, the condition truly was genetic in origin. "The numbers didn't change," says Hrdina. But he cautioned that other laboratories must replicate the findings before the search for more finely tuned drug therapies can begin.
"The identification of successful treatment could have far-reaching implications. In the United States, 13 out of every 100,000 people—about 30,000—kill themselves each year, and suicide has become the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year-olds. And the U.S. is not alone. In 1998, the World Health Organization ranked suicide as the twelfth leading cause of death worldwide—948,000 people died of self-destructive acts."
Adoption - being adopted - in and of itself is an additional known "risk factor" in suicide. When you add this risk as a result of feeling rejected and abandoned, treated unfairly and denied your own truth and identity to the lack of genealogical and medical've got a time bomb waiting to explode.

I can only imagine if knowing this family history could have saved my daughter's life...

Today, it is recognized that creating family trees as a school project is painful for adopted youngsters...yet we continue to seal away their origins and heritage from them and replace the with lies or the vast unknown....  

With such strong pervasive innate and intellectual desire of humans to connect to one another and their ancestry, why should some be disallowed to fill this natural need because it MIGHT possibly, potentially upset another?  No one has suggested preventing same sex marriage because it might upset their mothers...nor has anyone suggested that they need their parent's consent to marry, even though their (unenlightened) parents might prefer to keep their offspring's sexual orientation private or even secret and closeted....not recorded and reported as a marriage. To suggest parental permission for adults is an absurdity...unless you are adopted, then you are a potential perpetrator of criminal harassment in perpetuity and denied rights that convicted felons are granted.

But I guess adoptees are disposable, wretched, bastards; lucky to have not been aborted.  So, if a few take themselves out or die for lack of medical history or a an organ donation match - no big deal. And, after all, their searches could only lead then to the trash who threw them out like yesterday's garbage, anyhow (as opposed to those who paid dearly for them). So why bother?

Over one million people commit suicide every year. The World Health Organization estimates that it is the thirteenth-leading cause of death worldwide. It is a leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35. Worldwide suicide rates have increased by 60% in the past 50 years.

And so... my precious angel daughter is in heaven with her great, great grandfather...and I look forward to my heavenly reunion with both of them.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Help Bring Peri Home: Follow Up

This post was removed 1/10/17 at the request of the adoptive parents.

They assured me that Peri knows her truth about her family - her mother and siblings.

"After attending a lecture about opportunities and challenges presented by digital media, and how parents can navigate this rapidly evolving landscape with their kids, we became strongly motivated to clean Peri’s digital footprint.  It is step one on a checklist that we received from the Family Online Safety Institute.  Experts in the field advised us of the risks conveyed in our previous email.

"For this reason we would be grateful if you removed this posting from Peri’s digital footprint."

A Fitting Tribute: Annette Remembered

Annette Baran, author, crusader for open adoption, dies at 83
Read more:

If you have any photos that include Annette, please send them to Pam Hasagawa or to Annette's family.

I have to say again that I simply cannot understand the few who fault Annette for her early work in adoption, following what was taught in social work school, when she did so much good - for the vast majority of her adult life - to reform it!

There seem to be some people who cannot understand how different life was in the 60s. They cannot recognize that the 1950s and 60s were as different from today as Victorian times. We not only could not wear shorts or jeans to school - we could not wear pants at all, even on the coldest days. In the bitter cold, we wore them under our skirts and had to take them off when we got to school. Lipstick was taboo all through high school (though we snuck it). In my home the word "stupid" was the worst word you could use.  And I was raised in Brooklyn, NY - not the midwest or deep south...and in a non-religious, LIBERAL home!

Rock-n'roll was considered the devil's music by most of the country and DJs were banned from playing many artists. And during my lifetime, Black people were segregated in many ways still, including in school, until Brown vs the Board of Education in 1954 a year before Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of a bus. The Woolwoth sit-in in NC occurred in 1960! In 1965 voting and registration rights bills for Blacks were still being passed. And the year I was persuaded to lose my daughter to adoption, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr was shot.

Childbirth was also very different. Lamaze did not exist in the U.S. as an accepted practice until well into the 70s.  Mothers were retunirely put out for childbirth, some restrained.

Mothers whose babies died had them whisked away without a peek, as that was thought best. Would you beat up on the doctors, nurses and social workers who prescribed to that theory?  And so it followed through to adoption practices.

Babies were believed to feel no pain. They know now that is not true. Babies were put to sleep on their stomachs - without knowing that could suffocate and die in their sleep!

We sat in the sun for hours on end - even using baby oil and reflectors to multiply the effects of the sun - without any knowledge that it was dangerous and caused cancer. For that matter, smoking was considered glamorous and there was no knowlegde that that too was a carcinogen.

Sex was taboo. TV shows never mentioned anything sexual - even between married couples.

In adoption, mothers were told to put it all behind us and start ove frwh Forget and get on with lives. it was beleived we could. Adoptive parents were routinly counseled not to tell their children they wer adopted so the child would feel he belonged to them and wa snot different in any way form other children born into their families. These things were beleived to be best.

To hold Annette to the fire for her long past work that she since denounced is to hold Abraham Lincoln responsible for the slavery that occurred prior to the civil war or to find Jonas Salk culpable for those who were crippled by polio before he created the vaccine that all but eradicated that disease.

Annette was a product of the social work school of her day. But she saw it as wrong, denonced it and worked to turn it around. She was a whistelblower.

Those who see wrong and do something to change it are to be applauded not castigated for not doing it sooner....especially not by those who have done NOTHING, half of whom were "asleep" through the entire revolutionary change in adoption Annette Baran spearheaded.

As this article above points out, she was the first to HEAR US: adoptees and mothers!  She heard us and she became our spokesperson in the professional community and MADE THEM hear us in ways that we never could!  Annette wrote Adoption Triangle in 1978. What were YOU doing to change adoption practice in 1978? Unless you were doing MORE than she was (which is no one) you have no right whatseover to belittle this woman and her work.

Anyone who could read her words seeking to change adoption to guardianship and do anything but praise her is simply ignorant, IMHO, and unable to comprehend logic and the value of what this woman has accomplished in her lifetime. That all she called for has yet to be accomplished is a fact, just as racism still exists long after all the efforts of people like Martin Luther King forged the path where none had previously existed. They showed the rest of us the way. It is up to us to follow in their footsteps with gratitude and appreciation for their courge to blaze trails.

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. ~ Aristotle 

Rebels and dissidents challenge the complacent belief in a just world, and...they are usually denigrated for their efforts. While they are alive, they may be called "cantankerous", "crazy", "hysterical", "uppity", or "duped". Dead, some of them become saints and heroes, the sterling characters of history. It's a matter of proportion. One angry rebel is crazy, three is a conspiracy, fifty is a movement. ~ Carol Travis

Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile I caught hell for. ~ Chief Justice Earl Warren

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Another Child Adopted, Abused, and Killed by a "Fatally Forever Family"

Another adoption tragedy taints Tennessee

Death of child may cause international backlash

By Jennifer Brooks • THE TENNESSEAN • July 18, 2010
  • This was supposed to be Kairissa XingJing Mark's forever home.
On March 29, the 4-year-old's new family brought her home from China to a big brick house in a cozy Mt. Juliet subdivision that is the picture of the American Dream. There was a big fenced-in yard for her to play in and pretty pink curtains in the upstairs bedroom window. In the window next to the door, someone had taped a child's coloring of a religious scene, the Good Shepherd guarding his flock.

But three months after her adoption, Kairissa is dead, her adoptive family is shattered and the international adoption community is reeling from the news of yet another horror story out of Tennessee.

Kairissa's mother, Dr. Deborah Wen Yee Mark, a pediatrician [photo, right] , stands accused of beating her to death. Last week, a Wilson County grand jury indicted Mark on one count of first-degree murder and eight counts of child abuse. It also indicted her husband, Steven Joshua Mark, a stay-at-home dad, on multiple counts of aggravated child abuse, child abuse, failure to protect and of being an accessory after the fact.
The couple's 8-year-old biological daughter is in foster care. Police say she told them she witnessed some of the attacks on her little sister.

Court date set

The Marks will be arraigned Friday and they intend to plead not guilty, said their attorney, Jack Lowery Jr. Kairissa died at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital on July 2, one day after police were summoned to the family home by a report of a child in distress. Lowery said the fact the case is already heading to court shows signs of a "rush to judgment."
The fact that a pediatrician, someone who devoted her entire career to protecting other people's children, is accused of killing one of her own adds to the horror of this case. Those who know the Marks best aren't talking — their neighbors, their congregation at the Donelson Fellowship Free Will Baptist Church, where they worshipped, her colleagues at Centennial Pediatrics in Lebanon.

"She's a lady who, in the past several days, I have received numerous calls in support of, telling me what wonderful care she took of (her patients') children," Lowery said. "This is just a quality family. They attended church here. They were very involved. They have suffered. Their lives have absolutely been turned upside down."

The Marks, he said, spent a number of years attempting to adopt from China. It's a process that has become increasingly difficult over the years, as more and more countries have tightened their restrictions on international adoptions to the United States.

Russian case was shock

In April, news broke that an adoptive mother from Tennessee had put her 6-year-old son on a plane back to Russia, with a note saying she no longer wanted him. The incident sparked an international uproar and threats of a moratorium on further adoptions from Russia.

"We do expect changes to happen," said Chuck Johnson, CEO of the National Council for Adoption, who has been in contact with the Chinese government about the case. Overall, rates of abuse of adopted children tend to be lower than among biological children, he said, but "every tragedy is one too many."

China probably would hold off on any policy changes until there is a conviction, but Johnson said there is already talk of requiring additional follow-up visits after an adoption. Right now, China's minimum requirements are home visits at the six-month and one-year mark after an adoption.
"It's so unfortunate. Our hearts just break," Johnson said. "We see the motivation and desire of most families who just want to bring a child out of an institution and give them a home, have someone to call them Mom and Dad. … And then to see something like this happen."

China cracks down

Local adoption agencies also are bracing for a possible backlash.
China has already cracked down on U.S. adoptions in recent years — it now bans adoptions by single women, anyone who has ever taken medication for depression and anyone with a body mass index of 40 or higher.

International adoptions have nosedived from a peak of 22,739 children brought into the United States in 2005 to fewer than 13,000 in 2009. The average wait to adopt a child from China ranges from more than four years, for parents who want to adopt a perfectly healthy child, to an average of nine months to two years for those willing to adopt a "waiting child" — one with a diagnosed health problem.

Families screened

Prospective families undergo rigorous scrutiny, including background checks, home visits and interviews with friends and family members. The Marks worked with an as yet unidentified Nashville adoption agency, but most agencies in the area follow the same basic precautions.

Bethany Christian Services, a national adoption agency with an office in Nashville, declined to say whether it was the agency that helped the Mark family adopt Kairissa. But Tammy Bass, director of Middle Tennessee Bethany, noted that any couple looking to adopt overseas would have to run through the same rigorous background check — starting with local criminal history checks and running all the way up to a screening by the Department of Homeland Security, not to mention financial history checks and visits from social workers.

Bethany checks in with its new families two weeks after an adoption and again at the six-month and one-year marks, she said. Social workers check to make sure the children are bonding with their new families and look for signs of attachment disorders or other problems.

Adoption "can be a shock to your system," she said, explaining the reasons for the home visits. "We stress the importance of staying connected with the family, not just the two-week visit but beyond."
The local Bethany office has placed 25 children with new families so far this year, Bass said.

"This isn't the norm, when you look at how many children" are thriving and happy in their new homes, she said. "But the fact that a lot of (adoptions) are going really well doesn't take away from this tragedy."

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dancing Around the Elephant...

Like all the cries for "ethical adoption" with no regulations, let alone no definition of what that entails...yet another blog post dances around what a loving adoption looks like while avoiding the most critical part - which is why is the child needing to be adopted in the first place? Is there another. more child-centered, more humane alternative for the child, his family and the prospective adoptive "saviors."

I call your attention today to read Love and Adoption, a Grown in My Heart reprint of a post that was originally published in May 2010 at Our Little Tongginator.

There is some very good advise - which my be, hopefully, more easily heard digested because it is being given from an adopter to other adopters or those considering that path, such as:
As adoptive parents, we need to get past any insecurities we have about our childrens feelings for and connection to their first parents. Period. When your child asks you about his or her birthparents, you need to answer truthfully, respectfully and with great compassion. There is no place for envy nor insecurity. This needs to carry through into your child’s adolescent and adult years, when he or she may even choose to search for and/or increase contact with the other family.

She also says things like: "I’ll be blunt here… if you expect your child to feel grateful to you for adopting him or her, then you are being boastful" and asks adopters to listen with an open mind and heart to adult adoptees and not shut them out as bitter or angry.
We also must treat first parents with respect rather than rudeness. In the past two months, I have encountered several blogs plastered with Scripture and “pray for us” messages that also include derogatory terms describing natural mothers, including, but not limited to, “breeders” and “incubators.” Really? Come on, really? 
The author, who is adopting I believe (?) her second child, a "non-special needs" child from China, speaks to those who feel called by God to adopt and uses 1 Corinthians 13:4 to address the selfless love required to parent an adopted child:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

All well and good....BUT... it begins by accepting the notion that the taking of the child through adoption was the only or the best solution, even while giving lip service to Family Preservation.

What she OMITS is advising those who feel called by God to adopt to be very careful in interpreting God's words regarding  saving or rescuing children. She neglects to warn them  to be mindful that He might not necessarily mean by adopting them and taking them from their families and their culture. There are many ways to interpret God's calling to help children that will help them AND THEIR FAMILIES: Christian Children's Fund, SOS Village, Save the Child, UNICEF, foster parenting...even being a Big Brother or Sister, tutoring, MANY, many ways to help children without making them possessions and severing them from their roots and heritage.  Many ways to serve God and help families in crisis without severing family ties and filing the pockets of adoption industry workers...and baby brokers.

She neglects, of course, to stress that adoption - especially transnational adoption - must always be a LAST RESORT for children and families in crisis. Make sure all extended family of your family has been located and is on board with the adoption plan: Don't be a Madonna and take a child with family who wants the child. You do not want to find yourself in the position. Consider that lack of contentment is what the Bible calls covetousness -- wanting something other than what God has ordained for us.

Nor does she mention that the bible teaches us through the story of Moses, who returns to his people of birth, the importance of the connection to one's roots -- inseparable, even by adoption. And that it says in Job 23:9 "The fatherless child is snatched from the breast; the infant of the poor is seized for a debt" and that this is truer today than when it was written.

No, instead, she dances around the elephant at the center of the issue: that most adoptions today are totally unnecessary and contrary to serving the best interest of children an families in crisis. Instead, she begins with with the assumption that you ARE going to adopt, so at least do it lovingly...and we must applaud these efforts while pointing out that they do fall short of the mark.

We must over and over remind these well-intentioned "do-gooders" about that road to Hell and about the loving Christian intentional adopters, such as the Smolins and Rollings who unintentionally adopted stolen children.

Serendipitously, as I was writing this post, someone named "Tom" posted a comment on my post about John Wyatt's struggle for his daughter, "Baby Emma", the latest LDS contested adoption mess in Utah,,,and what he said is so prophetic. It applies to all adoptions, domestic and international:

"I believe that the thousands of well meaning adoptive parents who become ensnared in these crime ring human trafficking adoptions are victims too. BUT, those adoptive parents CAN become accomplices when they find out they have been victimized but they chose to then keep participating in the crime. these adoptive parents are no longer primarily victims of this crime but are now accomplices and criminals along with the human trafficking ring officials."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Has Adoption Caused you REGRETS?

, abortion, feminismA recent "Womanist Musings" blog post, Abortion, Adoption When Do Women Feel Regrets? is yet again another feminist upset about pro-life agenda's, particularly those that stress the regret women will feel if they chose that option...while extolling the JOYS of placing a child for adoption. Valid point.

The author, however, circles the issue and almost hits the target, but missues slightly as she omits the entire money aspect that drives adoption today.


My comment:

You have hit the nail on the head and yet still missed the mark in that the major issue is the money to be made in marketing healthy white newborns creates intense exploitation, pressure and coercion on women in crisis with no legal counsel or impartial counseling available to them. One a woman THINKS about adoption and speaks to anyone in the indutsy they are brainwashed and haunted until they hand over the prize.

YES...adoption is a limbo loss that is irresolvable and filled with a LIFETIME of regret, feelings of guilt, wrapped in shame and causes PTSD and many physical and psychological repercussions.

Mothers, like myself, HAVE been speaking out since the late 70s - early 80s. many books have been written by mothers such as Birthmark by Lorriane Dusky. No one is listening! More feminists identify with and side with those "desperate" for a child - which now includes same sex couples - who create the market demand than they do about their exploited sisters.

I urge everyone concerned to read:

The loss of a child is felt forever by women everywhere in the world who are being harmed by women's in humanity women in a real life Handmaid's Tale with one exception: the moneyed middle men baby brokers.

This is indeed a topic feminists and all concerned human beings need to be discussing. Families in crisis need help and support to remain intact not to be ripped apart for profit. Or, as the UN Commission on Human Rights said in 2003: "Regrettably, in many cases, the emphasis has changed from the desire to provide a needy child with a home, to that of providing a needy parent with a child. As a result, a whole industry has grown, generating millions of dollars of revenues each year . . ."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Donaldson Institute Report on Adoptee Right to Access

Report Shows Misconceptions Stymie Equality for Adoptees by Keeping Records Closed

NEW YORK, July 15, 2010 – In its continuing effort to improve law, policy and practice so that “all adopted people can achieve equal treatment with their non-adopted peers,” the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute today released a major report recommending that every state enact legislation restoring the right of all adult adoptees to access their own original birth certificates (OBCs).

The new Policy Brief, “For the Records II: An Examination of the History and Impact of Adult Adoptee Access to Original Birth Certificates,” is based on a years-long examination of relevant judicial and legislative documents; of decades of research and other scholarly writing; and of the concrete experiences of states and countries that have either changed their laws to provide these documents or never sealed them at all.

The Institute’s report suggests that, while a growing number of states have restored OBC access to adopted people once they reach the age of majority, efforts to accelerate the trend have been impeded by misunderstandings about the history of this controversial issue, misconceptions about the parties involved (especially birthmothers), and mistaken concerns about the impact of changing the status quo – e.g., legislators often assume that negative consequences will occur but, in fact, they do not.

“Effective policies and best practices serve everyone’s interests better when they are based on accurate information,” said Adam Pertman, the Adoption Institute’s Executive Director. “We hope this new report will help to reshape the debate over a very important and controversial question, and that the result will be that all adopted people can achieve equal treatment with their non-adopted peers.”

Among the findings in the 46-page Policy Brief, which updates and expands the Institute’s November 2007 report, “For the Records: Restoring a Right for Adult Adoptees,” are:

Ø  Barring adopted adults from access to their OBCs wrongly denies them a right enjoyed by all others in our country, and is not in their best interests for personal and medical reasons.
Ø  Alternatives such as mutual consent registries are ineffective and do not meet adoptees’ needs.
Ø  The vast majority of birthmothers don’t want to be anonymous to the children they relinquished.

The recommendations in the Institute’s new Policy Brief include:

Ø  Every “closed” state should unseal OBCs for all adult adoptees, retroactively and prospectively.
Ø  States that already provide limited OBC access should revise laws to include all adult adoptees.
Ø  No professional should promise women anonymity from the children they place for adoption.

The “For the Records II” report is attached to this email and will also be available for download from our website,, beginning July 15, 2010. For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Pertman at 617-763-0134 or The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is the pre-eminent research, policy and education organization in its field. Its mission is to provide leadership that improves laws, policies and practices – through sound research, education and advocacy – to better the lives of everyone touched by adoption.

Annette Baran Update

This is a link to Annette's FaceBook page

A memorial service for Annette will be held on August 1 in Southern California. Her family welcomes photographs, film/video of Annette, and written memories. All but the film/video clips may be sent via email.

Anything sent by post may be addressed to

Naomi Baran (or Family of Annette Baran)
515 Ocean Avenue SPH-D
Santa Monica 90402

May the inspiration and hope that she gave us -- and her vision of replacing adoption with a form of permanent legal guardianship -- be lived out in our lives honoring Annette's.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mother Pleads Guilty to Criminal Sexual Conduct with Minor Son

First reported here on June 5, this is the end result of a reunion gone horribly, and criminally awry.

Mich. woman gets prison sentence for sex with son
PONTIAC, Mich. — A Detroit-area woman who pleaded guilty to having sex with the biological son she gave up for adoption and later tracked down on the Internet has been sentenced nine years to 30 years in prison.

Thirty-six-year-old Aimee L. Sword of Waterford Township apologized at her sentencing Monday in Oakland County Circuit Court. She had pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in a deal with prosecutors.

Police say Sword used Facebook in 2008 to find her son, who's now 16. She gave him up for adoption as an infant.

He testified they had sex in Waterford Township and Grand Rapids.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grieving the Loss of Great Woman and a Staunch, Tireless, Longtime Adoption Reformer

I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Annette Baran this morning. Adoption reform has lost a great woman and a trooper for openness and honesty adoption practices. Annette favored simple adoption/guardianship replace the convoluted deceitful form the U.S. has practiced for a generation.
Relinquishment of children to a new set of parents, as a final, irrevocable act, severing all rights of the birthparents, must be discontinued.

Open adoption, which we helped pioneer, is not a solution to the problems inherent in adoption. Without legal sanction, open adoption is an unenforceable agreement at the whim of the adoptive parents. Instead, we propose a form of guardianship adoption that we believe would be in the best interests of all concerned, with special benefits for the adoptee for it would decrease the abandonment/rejection issue and permit the child to know the birthparents as real people who cared about him but could not raise him.

We have always maintained that adoptive placement is the last resort, to be considered only when all other options have been thoroughly explored. However, our practice has never reflected this concept.
A TIME FOR SWEEPING CHANGEby Annette Baran and Reuben Pannor, Concerned United Birthparents, 1991.
Annette and her legacy live on in her books and her Five Part video:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Origins-USA Summer 2010 Newsletter

The Origins-USA Summer 2010 Newsletter is available as a PDF download from their homepage.

It features:
  • legislative goals
  • an article by Denise Roessele on the eternal punishment of mothers wo have lost children to adoption 
  • Evelyn Robinson on Intercounry adoption as part of the issue
  • Debra Baker is an award-winning filmmaker (“Broken
    Ties” & “Lost and Found”) on adoptees emotional connections to their natural mothers
  • book and movie reviews and more!

God and Adoption

In an EXCELLENT post by Coco, a natural mother of a child in an open adoption, recognizing that her good fortune was not devine intervention, but just the luck of the draw.

In "The Question of God in Adoption" Coco challenges the belief that God ordained for some to be parents of a child born to another and paid for by them via baby brokers or adoption agency businesses, albeit (not-for-profit but making enough to remain in business and pay salaries by redistributing children).

In doing so, she of course must question how a God who is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient would allow for such adopted parents He hand-selected to abuse or even kill children placed in their care? After all, these kids were not born to them by "accident."

A bottom line for me, not mentioned by Coco is this: If God wanted these people to have children. why not simply give them the gift they really want: fertility (after all, God is said yo have "opened the wombs" Sarah, Hanah and  of several other previously barren woman) and allow them to have a child truly of their own and give the mothers of every child born to them what they need to remain together?

The religiosity of God's hand in removing bastard children from one mother and handing them over to another, is about punishing immorality and rewarding the righteous. It entails buying into puritanical, Victorian beliefs of purity and judge poor, husbandless women as unfit, which of course is totally contrary to Jesus' teachings.  (I have only just begun reading "Of Sluts and "Bastards" (1995) by Louise Armstrong and cannot recommend it highly enough. More on that as I work my way through it.) But I wanted to thank Coco for her thoughtful view on this subject.

More on religion and adoption here.

"Things Always Work Out Perfectly"

"Things always work out perfectly. They just do. Generally, when you let go of your vision of how something is supposed to be, the universe hands you exactly what you need.”

Yes they do when you are a celebrity songster with an enormous income, like Sheryl Crow who said this after adopting a second child - this one just 9 weeks old!

How PERFECT for her that although previous adoptions "fell through" this time she found a mother so hard on he rluck she needed to loose her child!

I doubt that mother feels everything worked out just perfectly! 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Right to Self-Identification

The right to be identified as you choose is very central to the issue of adoption in multiple ways.

The obvious one is the name change that occurs in most adoptions, often stripping persons of their origins and heritage.

It also is a heated issue among mothers who have relinquished with some preferring natural, first, or original mother...and others having no objection to birth mother...while none like bio or biological mother. I always advise asking what a mother prefers to be called.  (And do not intend to open that discussion gain - we all know all the arguments on all sides.)

My detractors insist upon labeling me anti-adoption. I have no control over that.  However, my most persistent nemeses asks over and over why "I" do not "admit" it and "call myself" a term they feel most accurately describes my position.

Why do people who no longer practice their religion at all, or pick and chose which aspects they agree with and which they don't, still identify themselves as "Catholic" or "Jew"? How obnoxious and rude for anyone to argue with another about their choice of such identification.

I have repeatedly explained my choice...and my answer is permanently recorded and available at the FAQ tab above...and, here it is once again:
Q: Am I anti-adoption?

A: It is not a term that I am comfortable with as its pejorative use and negativity does not define my positions and is often linked with anger and bitterness rather than best interests of children and families.

I am not comfortable with the term because  it seems to denote an absurd extremism that one supports any and every mother keeping a child - no matter how dangerous that might be for the child....a position not held by even the most extreme anti-adoptionists. I am as uncomfortable with that label as any pro-choice person would be opposed to being labeled anti-life or pro-abortion. Things are not as black and white as labels seem to imply. For more, see: Nomenclatures, Euphemism and Anti-Adoption Accusation.

Being against adoptions that begin with the eradication of blood ties and a falsified birth certificate, does NOT equate to preferring to keep kids in harms way or in foster care.

I am opposed to all unnecessary, unwarranted, pressured, lack of independent option counseling and lack of separate legal counsel, coercive adoptions.

I am against all profiteering in adoption.

I am against all falsified, fraudulent, fake birth certificates and lack of equal access or original and true birth certificates for ALL parties named on said birth certificates.

I have seen nothing that indicates that children in need of alternative care - those who are truly orphaned or have no parents or extended family or kin to care safely for them - cannot be provided such care via a form of permanent legal guardianship that does not alter their identity or sever their family ties.  
Despite this in depth detractor repeatedly harps on this issue - as if how I choose to define myself matters in her life

Talking With The Enemy 

 I was thus reminded me of a presentation I attended at Omega Institute number of years ago at a Women and Power retreat featuring Sally Field, Jane Fonda, and Sister Joan Chittister.

The remarkable presentation was about the Public Conversations Project: “Talking with the enemy.” Described in full here and here this project consisted of members of pro-life and pro-choice sitting down, in secret, to talk after a number of shooting incidents at abortion providers in the Boston area. Six leaders - three on each side of the heated abortion debate - were filled with fear and apprehension, skepticism and concern but pushed past it because they felt it imperative. The two facilitators who would moderated all the meetings were reportedly also anxious.

The "talks would not aim for common ground or compromise. Instead, the goals of our conversations would be to communicate openly with our opponents, away from the polarizing spotlight of media coverage; to build relationships of mutual respect and understanding; to help deescalate the rhetoric of the abortion controversy; and, of course, to reduce the risk of future shootings."

One of the most interesting aspects of their report on the results, occurred at the very onset of the talks:

That first discussion was grueling. We could not agree on what to call each other. All but one of us were willing to use each side's preferred designation, in virtual or actual quotation marks: ''prolife'' and ''prochoice.''
Our first of many clashes over language, this disagreement remains unresolved. To this day, Gamble still cannot call the other side prolife because ''I believe my cause is also prolife,'' she says. This stand frustrates Thorp and her colleagues. ''I have tolerated Nicki's refusal to call us prolife but, frankly, it angers me. I wasn't eager to call Nicki's side prochoice, but I did it because it seemed to be necessary for showing respect and for moving the conversation forward,'' Thorp says.

Kogut questioned her own willingness to agree to these terms, ''but I came to two conclusions,'' Kogut says. ''To proceed with a civil dialogue, we needed to call each other what we each wanted to be called. Second, over time, I began to see `prolife' as descriptive of the others' beliefs - that life itself, more important than the quality of life, was their preeminent value.''
We also struggled over how to refer to what grows and develops in a pregnant woman's womb. The prochoice women found ''unborn baby'' unacceptable and the prolife women would not agree to ''fetus.'' For the sake of proceeding, we all assented, uneasily, to the term ''human fetus.''
These opening exchanges brought us to the heart of our differences. Nerves frayed. The chasm between us seemed huge.
Some of their ground rules sound familiar:
To help us listen and speak across this divide, ground rules were critical. We would seek to use terms acceptable (or at least tolerable) to all participants. We would not interrupt, grandstand, or make personal attacks. We would speak for ourselves, not as representatives of organizations.
We also made a commitment that some of us still find agonizingly difficult: to shift our focus away from arguing for our cause. This agreement was designed to prevent rancorous debates.
And indeed, we believe this ground rule has been essential to the long life of our dialogue. Knowing that our ideas would be challenged, but not attacked, we have been able to listen openly and speak candidly.
But it has not been easy.

 Some we might benefit from:
Our ground rules also required us to refrain from polarizing rhetoric. In one early session, we generated a list of ''hot buttons'' - words and phrases that make it almost impossible for some of us to think clearly, listen carefully, or respond constructively.
Prochoice members are inflamed when called ''murderers'' or when abortions are likened to the Holocaust or to ''genocide.'' Prolife participants are incensed by dehumanizing phrases such as ''products of conception'' and ''termination of pregnancy'' that obscure their belief that abortion is killing.
We also discussed stereotypes we thought were applied to us by people ''on the other side.''
Prolife participants feel maligned when characterized as religious fanatics taking orders from men, or as uneducated, prudish individuals, indifferent to women in crisis and to children after they are born. Prochoice members are offended by labels such as anti-child, anti-men, anti-family, elitist, frivolous, self-centered, and immoral.
Despite the strains of these early meetings, we grew closer to each other. At one session, each of us told the group why she had devoted so much of her time, energy, and talents to the abortion issue. These accounts - all deeply personal - enlightened and moved us.
In conclusion, they told reporters:
We hope this account of our experience will encourage people everywhere to consider engaging in dialogues about abortion and other protracted disputes. In this world of polarizing conflicts, we have glimpsed a new possibility: a way in which people can disagree frankly and passionately, become clearer in heart and mind about their activism, and, at the same time, contribute to a more civil and compassionate society.
In fact they reported that rather than make any of them change their position, it strengthened each person's resolve. They continue to meet regularly.

Can we learn to disagree respectfully without personal attacks? It behooves us to struggle and continue to try to accomplish this goal, as it will help all on all sides of various disagreements gain respect from our real enemies outside the movement.

We must begin by honoring self-identification and avoid the use of perjoratives and name-calling.

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