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:


Carolc said...

"Adoption Triangle" was one of the first books I read in the mid 1980s' when I began my search for my son. I also met Annette and Reuben at a couple of conferences when I attended workshops or key note speaking engagements they had. I did not have the opportunity to know her well like so many of you did, but I was truly honored to have met her.

I had the greatest respect for the validation Annette gave mothers when she admitted that she had unknowingly participated in breaking our hearts in such a way that we may never recover. She was courageous and honorable enough to stand before us and apologize for not knowing better.

There are so many comments and quotes of hers that I use in my own discussions with outsiders to discuss adoption issues. Like Jean Paton and Ken Watson - Annette is another pioneer of adoption reform.

Margaret Susan Hoffman-LyBurtus said...

Her book was one of the first books I read in 1990 when I began my search for my daughter. She is to be honored for her efforts to educate others of the need to change the current system promoting adoption. She was a firm believer in equal access and as a social worker, saw first hand the affects of secrecy on adoptees and their parents. My sympathy goes out to her family. The adoption community has lost a very good friend. I never met her but cannot help but be saddened by her passing.

Mirah Riben said...

It is an appalling commentary on some of the people so damaged by adoption within our community that I have post a notice saying that
no negative comments maligning or her work Annette will be accepted for this post. Now is hardly the time to express your misunderstanding of the amount of good this woman accomplished for all of us in her lifetime. It is despicably unthinkable that anyone would speak badly of someone as they re being memorialized and laid to rest. It speaks volumes of her detractors, and of her power, for only someone who has dared to speak to truth to power and speak out publicly could ever expose themselves to such backlash while others sit back in the comfort of their homes and their only outreach is sending nasty anonymous blog posts. Not here. It will not be tolerated.

Annette (along with Reuben Pannor and Arthur Sorosky) risked the wrath of their colleagues in social work to against their teachings and speak out for truth and honesty, knowing that as Aristotle said: "Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing."

Annette's life embodied the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson describing what it to SUCCEED:

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.

Anonymous said...

The adoption industry and it's practices once employed her but she saw through the white washing and her conscience and morality told her that falsifying birth records is WRONG.

She then admitted to her participation in the adoption industry and then went on to crusade for those of us who are discriminated against and disenfranchised from the non-adopted society.

Annette is a hero. I am sad that she is gone but she will NEVER be forgotten by this adoptee.

God bless you, Annette. I'll see you on the other side.


Family law said...

Although I don't know about Annette, but after read this post.. salute for her....

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