Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pass the HUTZPAH Award, PLEEZE!!

The news report says: "Andrew Dolan and Suzanne Tyler (of Vancouver, British Columbia) just wanted a "forever family" when they adopted a son and daughter in 2009 through Family Support Services of North Florida."

Seems, rather than a "forever family" this couple came to the US from Canada seeking the "perfect family" and didn't question how siblings of about 4 and 6 years of age could be anything less than perfect, and do not understand why kids who - at that age - needed to be adopted by strangers, would not perhaps be upset at being left with a nanny, who they now reportedly abuse!

So now this noble, loving couple who sought a "forever family" is SUING the agency for not revealing the children's former abuse.

The fact is, however, that while gory details were not revealed, they DID know the kids in been in failed foster homes after being removed from their mother.  The children's story is quite tragic and revolting:
The children were taken from their birth mother in early 2005 and placed in Annette S. Smith's foster home for 19 months. The lawsuit says they were repeatedly physically and sexually abused and made to eat feces, urine and soap. They were removed from there in October 2006 after another child in the home told police his "foster mother hit me with a belt," according to Smith's Nov. 29, 2006, arrest report. The report did not include any indication of the abuse against JD and WD (the unidentified children) in the lawsuit. The state shut down the foster program at the home after the investigation, said the parents' Jacksonville attorney, Brian Cabrey. Cabrey said he is a former Children and Families attorney.
"My clients were told the reasons why that home was closed were unknown," Cabrey said. "Records reflect that home was closed due to physical abuse on our clients' children and/or other foster children."

So they then assume the kids are trouble free?

Children and Families spokesman John Harrell said his agency interviewed the five foster children in Smith's home, but heard no statements of the abuse referred to in the lawsuit. Smith was later found guilty of child abuse against the 4-year-old boy, according to court records. The children then spent six months in a second foster home, five more in a failed adoption to a Virginia couple and were sent to two more foster homes in Nassau County.
In early 2009, Dolan and Tyler saw the siblings in an adoption registry and began the adoption process. Only after it was finalized in August 2009 did the children start telling parents and therapists what they had been through.

"They withdrew and then acted out with very bizarre sexual behavior," Dolan said. "... That's when the details of their abuse really began to emerge. It was like a waterfall. Once it started flowing, it wouldn't stop."

And here's the BOTTOM LINE:
  • $ - Dolan said it became obvious the care their children needed was beyond what they could afford, so they sought a "significant" increase in their monthly adoptive stipend from Family Support Services. It was denied, which led to the lawsuit.
  • $ - "The family has not cooperated with our requests for information," according to a representative of the agency. "These allegations were not reported to us until years later, and they accompanied a request for an increased adoption subsidy."
  • $ - Ka-ching!

And, after all, they came all the way from Canada to the US - the baby buying capital of the world when after all, had they wanted abused kids, they could have just stayed home and gotten them in Canada!

The poor misled "forever" parents - all they wanted was perfect kids at 4 and 6 years old! What's so difficult about that request??

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Ironies of Adoption

The Ironies of Adoption

By Mirah Riben

AAC Decree, Spring 2011, Vol. 28, No 1, p. 6-7

An estimated 10 percent of Americans experience difficulties conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term and seek the assistance of fertility specialists. But Americans are not alone.

Neil and Monique, 46, Ward, spent around £100,000 and 25 years trying desperately for children of their own, and now that they have twins conceived using donor eggs and sperm after a total of 17 attempts at in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other infertility treatments and delivered by cesarean section, the British couple have no regrets at the astronomical expense.  One can only speculate how much Celine Dion has spent to become pregnant after undergoing six in vitro fertilizations and acupuncture.

There is no end to what many people will do - in terms of pain and expense. Many are willing to pay thousands of dollars to try to have a child who is biologically connected to them. The total spent in the U.S. annually is estimated by some to be $4 billion.

"We live in an age when the obsession with having a child has reached a fever pitch. Single men and women, and couples gay and straight, have more options than ever before—and they're taking advantage of every single one of them," says Doree Shafrir, writing on the Daily Beast.

Women have allowed strangers and even their aged mothers to risk their lives to carry a child as a surrogate. Jaci Dalenberg, 56, of Ohio made international headlines in 2008 when she delivered triplets for her daughter.

Eggsplotation: Trading on the Female Body is a documentary produced by the Center for Bioethics and Culture about trading on the Female Body, more precisely eggs, and the profits being raked in. It features stories of women who got involved in egg trafficking.

    Young women all over the world are solicited by ads — via college campus bulletin boards, social media, online classifieds — offering up to $100,000 for their “donated” eggs, to “help make someone’s dream come true.” But who is this egg donor? Is she treated justly? What are the short and long-term risks to her health? The answers to these questions will disturb you . . .

After "The Bridge Center", a London fertility clinic offered to raffle off a free IVF cycle, complete with "donor" egg from America, University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Jonathan Moreno, who edits the on-line Science Progress at the Center for American Progress, raised the social justice objection to paying women for their eggs:

    If you commodify body parts, including reproductive materials, who's going to be selling them? It's going to be the poor. And who's going to be buying them? It's going to be rich people.

    You're gradually going down a slippery slope that not only undermines respect for certain body parts but eventually whole bodies of, say, people who are very old or very sick or very poor.
But perhaps one of the most bizarre stories that points to the importance placed on becoming a biological parent was the case of two-year-old Violet Lee of Brooklyn, New York.  The toddler suffers from suffers from a serious autoimmune disorder that requires she undergo chemotherapy.

At this stressful time, while her toddler is going through so much, her mother was concerned about her daughter’s future ability to conceive. That concern has led the tiny tot's mom to opt to have her baby undergo surgery making her the youngest person ever to undergo an experimental "fertility preservation" procedure, during which a doctor will remove and freeze one of her ovaries.

Her tiny organ will be put on ice and be ready for re-implantation if Violet decides to have kids when she grows up without knowing if they survive being frozen for that length of time.

Kutluk Oktay, the doctor doing the procedure on Violet, has already performed the surgery on about 40 girls under the age of 18 (the youngest was 3). But while ovary transplants have shown some success in women, it's unclear whether they will have the same success in little girls since their ovaries will have to be frozen for many more years -- even decades.

"It was important that I found a way to allow her to have children," said her mom, Tikesha Lee, 32. "It was hard enough to find out your baby needs to go through chemotherapy, but to hear your daughter will be sterile after the treatment — that one thing gets healed, but another destroyed — I felt someone punched me in the stomach," her mom said.

That speaks volumes of the importance put on being able to bear offspring that are genetically connected to their parents.

Yet...when all efforts at fertility treatments fail, these same people who put so much effort into the quest for children "of their own" often turn to adoption.

When they do, the vast majority opt to sever the genetic ties of the child they adopt. Those once obsessed with a genetic connection are so ironically willing to ignore it when the quest does not lead back to them.

True, ongoing, fully open adoptions represent a small minority of all adoptions.  Many children are adopted tansnationally and others are adopted in classic closed adoption, which deny them any knowledge of their genetic heritage that was considered to be so very important by those who adopted them, once.

Adopted persons are expected to forfeit all knowledge of their medical history, ever looking into the face of anyone related to them, and in some cases are never even told that they are adopted, a fact that is up to their adoptive family to reveal or not as their birth certificates look like anyone else's and falsely list their adopters as their "parent of birth." These so-called 'amended" birth certificates also can falsify the adopted person's date and place of birth and in at least one case, the person's race.

While millions of people are preoccupied with finding ancestors back many generations...adoptees report being called "ungrateful" if they seek to know their mother or father.
Adoption practices requires the total suspension of everything that makes sense in all other circumstances.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Adoption and Abduction Intersect: Kidnapped by Shirley Berthelot

Like Jaycee Lee Dugard, she from the time she was 5 years old with her the back seat of cars and sleazy motels....on the run.

After 37 years - a woman who has been called Pepper Smith by her abductor - finds the parents she never forgot only to discover they were not her natural parents either! They had adopted her in a sleazy adoption and then the "family freind" who had arranged it had stolen her!

The story is told on Dateline and here, and video here.

Mothers' Day 2011

You may have noticed that my blog postings have slowed down a bit lately. That is because I am engaged in a number of adoption-related projects that i will be announcing as each comes to the point of public announcement.  First off...

Mothers' Day is a challenge for all of us. This year I will be spending it doing something very unique!

May 8, 2011 I am taking the first step in a FOUR YEAR commitment to enlighten the Unitarian Universalist congregations about the denial of equality to adopted citizens.

I will be presenting at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Princeton at 10:20am. This presentation is a requirement to obtain congregational support of the issue so I can then go forward and present it through the NY/NJ/CT region and eventually to the UUA for support.

Unitarians are notoriously liberal and support marriage equality and all issues of equality for the LGBT community. This is a natural for them...but something new to them. 

  • Members of the adoption community - especially those who are Unitarian or friends/supporters of the Unitarian principles - let me know if you would like to join me if and when I come to your area
 Stay posted for news about other exciting projects!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Adoption agencies break rules, escape punishment

AJC investigation: Weak oversight on private adoption agencies 

[After the personal "agony" of would-be adopters is moaned and groaned about...]

....Early last year, the Kentucky couple agreed to adopt the California woman’s infant through a Georgia adoption agency. Like many modern private adoptions, this was to be a complex multi-state transaction, conducted mostly through e-mails and cellphones, Web sites and text messages — not to mention wire transfers involving thousands of dollars.

And the way it unraveled sheds light on the state’s weak oversight of the 336 private agencies that arrange adoptions and foster care and operate group homes in Georgia, an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows.

Just three times since 2008, the Journal-Constitution found, has the state imposed penalties against agencies that exclusively handle adoptions: two fines and one license revocation.

The newspaper’s review of more than 1,500 reports of inspections and investigations found that regulators repeatedly forgave violations of rules fundamental to safe adoptions: failing to check parents’ criminal records, for instance, or not documenting safe environments in adoptive homes.

Several agencies received citations for failing to show that payments to birth mothers covered only legitimate medical or living expenses. At least one agency — Valley of Hope Adoption Inc. of Woodstock, with which the Arduzes worked — was cited for having money for a birth mother’s expenses deposited into its executive director’s personal bank account.

None of those violations resulted in penalties.

State law allows fines as high as $25,000. But officials say they prefer to persuade agencies to comply with the rules than impose harsh penalties.

“We try to work with as many agencies as possible so there are viable options for Georgia’s children,” said Keith Bostick, director of the Office of Residential Child Care, which regulates adoption and foster care agencies.

“It is a balancing act,” Bostick said. “Often it’s not black, it’s not white — it’s gray.”

Valley of Hope is one of many agencies that existed in the gray area.

The agency eluded punishment for almost two years, even though state officials knew it was violating adoption rules. But the state didn’t share information about the agency with the public until late 2009. 

Erin Chaffee, Valley of Hope’s founder and executive director, declined repeated requests for an interview. In an e-mail to a reporter late Friday, she said, “Adoption is a highly personal and confidential business and for those reasons it is not appropriate for me to engage in a discussion with you.” In another e-mail Saturday, she added, “We have helped over 100 clients adopt successfully and only a handful of clients have had failed adoptions.”

The Arduzes knew nothing about Valley of Hope’s regulatory history when they made the first of several payments that were to total more than $31,000. Neither did Brea and Jonathan Freeman, a Nashville-area couple whose own attempt to adopt through Valley of Hope overlapped the Arduzes’.
In late 2008, the Freemans decided to expand their family of three biological children and one adopted child. They considered several adoption agencies before settling on one that had only recently gone into business: Valley of Hope.

“We found them on the Internet,” Brea Freeman said recently. “I could find nothing bad about them, at the time.”

more here...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mother's Law Suit Moves Forward: Son Still Missing

Jennifer Rodriguez lost custody of her two children after being charged with neglecting them.

Her two children were placed in foster care and were reportedly none too happy about it. Patrick and his sister who spoke only English were placed in the care of Librada Moran, "who did not speak English"

The boy became extremely upset with his circumstances, and started "trying to run away from the 'day' he came into foster care," the suit alleged.

The suit also reports that witnesses claimed that the boy had threatened "to commit suicide."

"It's clear that the child did not want to be there," Osuna said at a press conference last fall. "The child was extremely distraught - he wanted to get back to his mother, like a normal child."

Patrick Alford, Jr., disappeared on Jan. 22, 2010, after he slipped away while taking out the trash with his foster mom at her East New York home around 9 p.m.

The 4-foot-8, 65-pound 7-year-old boy was last seen on that winter night wearing a red T-shirt, blue jeans, black sneakers -- and no jacket. He has never been found.

Given the boy's unhappiness, the city and ACS should have taken additional measures to safeguard his well being, the suit charged. The child welfare agency also should have investigated claims that the foster home was poorly run and the boy neglected, the suit said.
Rodriguez made a Jan. 7 visit to see her son and daughter, Jailene, at a meeting supervised by ACS. Rodriguez claimed in the suit that her children appeared messy, her daughter had scratches on her face, and her son was so agitated that he began crying, begged to come home, and "was trying to break a window."

The judge ruled today that the city and ACS could not be held liable, but a new suit could be brought against individual agency employees who allegedly failed to follow procedures or were arguably derelict in their duties.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Immigrant's Ignorance of langauge and Law used to Steal her Child

Long Island mom wants adopted baby back

A mother-of-four is suing a well-to- do Upper East Side New York couple claiming they stole her baby after she decided against putting the infant up for adoption.

Vilma Ramirez, 35, from Brentwood, Long Island, had initially agreed to let Andrew and Kelley Grant adopt Esperanza, but she says she changed her mind during a 45 day grace period.

In court documents filed March 7, she says upon learning of her about-turn Andrew, 45, a software designer from New York’s Upper East Side, snatched the baby from her babysitter on January 9.

The lawsuit claims he swooped ‘while I was at work and convinced the Mirarchis, who were taking care of Esperanza, that he needed to take the child now.’

The mother, who is a chef originally from El Salvador, adds that if she had known she would never be able to see the child again, she would not have agreed to the adoption.

‘I really did not understand the legal language, and no one explained them to me at the time.’

Ramirez gave birth to her fourth child, Esperanza, - now known as Isabella – on February 15 2010.
She was persuaded by close friend Blanca Mirarchi, 56, to give the little girl up for adoption.
Mirarchi found the Grants, introduced them to Ramirez and to Long Island adoption lawyer Steven Sarisohn.

Negotiations begun and the Grants, who live in a $950,000 apartment in Manhattan started decorating a room for the girl.

On December 23 last year Ramirez signed away her guardianship of Esperanza, but claims she thought it was an open adoption which allows her to continue to contact the child.

The ‘extrajudicial’ legal deal meant consent for the adoption could be given without a judge, with a 45-day grace period.

If invoked by the biological parents, a judge decides the outcome of the child’s future.

An attorney for the Grants called Ramirez's allegations ‘off the wall’, according to the New York Post.

Lawyer Bonnie Rabin added: ‘The birth mother placed the child in the care of others from the beginning of her life.’ – a claim Ramirez refutes.

The court documents also criticise Ramirez’s original lawyer, Steven Sarisohn.

It says: ‘His actions were more those of a lawyer attempting to facilitate the adoption rather than provide counsel to the birth mother about her rights’ – allegations the lawyer denies.

Last week a Supreme Court judge passed the case to the Manhattan Surrogate Court.

HABLA LEGALESE? Kelley Grant (far left), with the 'adopted' daughter she calls Isabella, and husband Andrew are accused of deceptive legal tactics in adopting the child of El Salvadoran-immigrant birth mom Vilma Ramirez (inset).
HABLA LEGALESE? Kelley Grant (far left), with the "adopted" daughter she calls Isabella, and husband Andrew are accused of deceptive legal tactics in adopting the child of El Salvadoran-immigrant birth mom Vilma Ramirez (inset).

"If I had been advised . . . that the Grants could decide that I would never see Esperanza again, I would never have signed any consent or other documents," Ramirez alleges in a lawsuit filed March 7.
"I really did not understand the legal language, and no one explained them to me at the time," says Ramirez.

Ramirez, a 35-year-old cook from El Salvador with little command of English who lives in Brentwood, LI, was pregnant with Esperanza, her fourth child, when a trusted friend, Blanca Mirarchi, convinced her adoption was her best option. At the same time, the Grants badly wanted a child.
The 45-year-old software designer and his ad-exec wife, 37, had a solid marriage, enjoyed living in their $950,000 East 83rd Street co-op, and could afford the $30,000 or more in costs that a domestic adoption can incur.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Resilience is an extroidinary film by Tammy Chu.

A beautifully made personally focused documentary that follows mother and son - Korean and Korean-American - on a leisurely and delicate dance between the two nations as each speaks of the effect of having been separated by adoption has had on them. The baby, now a man and a father, living in South Dakota and his Korean mama who was forced to give him away but never forgot.

Both lead ordinary lives as they begin to move - each in his own way - toward one another, preparing for reunification.  A visit and then another that includes grand-daughter and grandmother. They struggle poignantly, patiently and with grace through language barriers as the two become intertwined non-verbally through nourishment and affection.

Along the way an activist is born, channelling her personal loss and pain into helping to support single mothers and hoping to end overseas exportation of Korean babies for adoption. All is accomplished in a delicate pace, that rushes nothing, allowing the viewer to savor each moment.

Then, excitement builds as he plans to return to Korea for what they both hope will be forever...

You can view the trailer and read more about this highly recommended film here and watch for a showing in your area or purchase a copy of your own.


Rhode Island has a bill pending that would allow access to adoptees 18 years and older - born AFTER 2012.  

All other adoptees would be required to reach FORTY years of age before being allowed access!!

This is the most horrendous TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE 
ever attempted upon adopted citizens!  
It is an outrage!

Download PDF to read S0478 here.

The scream, yell and holler at RI legislators!

Write letters to the ediors of every newspepr everywhere and call attention to this diaster in the making!

UPDATE: R.I. Activists have two clean bills H 5453 and S 0361.   There will be public hearing on H 5453 in the Judiciary Committee on April 5th that we are preparing for.

They fully expect this bill to pass in the Judiciary and pass in the full house as has been the case for the last two years.  We expect there will be a public hearing on both S 0361 and S 0478 the same day.  Once the house bill has passed then our effort to make a distinction between the two bills will start in earnest. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pervert Cop Abused Foster Kids and Adopted Son

Evidence detailed against Oklahoma City officer accused of sex abuse

Investigators in an affidavit detail evidence against Oklahoma City police Sgt. Maurice Martinez, who was arrested in January on sex abuse complaints. Martinez has not been charged.

BY MICHAEL KIMBALL    Comment on this article 0
Published: March 15, 2011

Investigators found photos of police Sgt. Maurice Martinez’s foster children in various stages of undress, a video of a foster child describing sex acts performed with another child, hundreds of photos of homosexual pornography and a surveillance camera in a child’s room when searching the arrested officer’s home in January, according to an affidavit.
Martinez, 44, was arrested Jan. 19 on multiple sex abuse complaints. He has not been charged. The affidavit was filed Friday in Oklahoma County District Court to establish probable cause in the Friday arrest of Thomas Frank Salazar, 31, of Oklahoma City, whom police accuse of breaking into Martinez’s home overnight Jan. 20 as police took a break from searching it.

Investigators accuse Martinez, who has denied the allegations against him and said police botched the investigation, of sexually abusing one of his adopted sons over about two years, detective Douglas Hurst wrote in the affidavit. The boy told officers Martinez began abusing him when he was 14.
The boy told investigators Martinez fondled him and had the boy fondle Martinez, according to the affidavit. He told police Martinez asked him to perform a sex act, but he refused, and that other children in Martinez’s care also had been abused.

The boy later recanted his accusations to police, and Martinez’s family provided media outlets with two videos that purportedly showed the accuser saying he lied to investigators. Investigators accuse Martinez of orchestrating those videos and being present when they were filmed, Hurst wrote.

Martinez’s attorney, Irven Box, said he thinks a lot of the evidence outlined in the affidavit is hearsay, and noted that investigators have yet to present their report to prosecutors to consider charges. But he said the evidence described in the affidavit “sounds bad. On the surface, it sounds bad.” “The affidavit itself looks pretty damning,” Box said. “We’re waiting for the system to work. ... If they have enough information to bring a charge, then we stand ready to defend it.”

Police found images of nude and seminude foster children under Martinez’s care among the hundreds of photos of homosexual pornography discovered on Martinez’s cell phone and computer, according to the affidavit. 

Investigators also found a video of a foster child holding a $1 bill, saying it was payment for sex acts performed with another foster child. Another video of the child who described the acts shows him being beaten, kicked, choked and tackled by other children, the affidavit states.

Martinez has taken care of dozens of foster children, all boys, over the past decade.

A confidential informant who is not identified in the affidavit told officers Salazar was the person who sneaked into Martinez’s home while it was under police guard during a break in the search of the residence, Hurst wrote. The informant told police Salazar broke into the home at Martinez’s direction.
The informant also told police Martinez orchestrated the videos of the accuser saying he lied to police, according to the affidavit. 

Another former foster child, Troy Dobbs, 18, of Fort Drum, N.Y., corroborated the informant’s statements when police went to New York to interview him. Dobbs said he took the accuser to a fast-food restaurant, where Martinez pressured the boy to recant on video.

Dobbs also told investigators Salazar was the person who burglarized Martinez’s home and that Salazar took some evidence and planted other things, Hurst wrote. Dobbs told police the accuser and other children had described to him abuse by Martinez before.

Salazar told The Oklahoman in January he was never in Martinez’s official custody but that Martinez took him into his home when he was a teenager and provided him guidance. He said he supports Martinez and thinks he’s innocent. Salazar has previous felony convictions for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and concealing stolen property, court records show.

Salazar was arrested as an accessory after the fact on complaints of lewd acts with a child, lewd or indecent proposals or acts to a child younger than 16 and allowing abuse by a caretaker, according to the affidavit. He has not been charged. He was released on $40,000 bail, jail records show.
Efforts to reach Martinez were not successful Monday. Martinez was released on bail shortly after he was arrested and remains on paid administrative leave from his job as a patrol officer in south Oklahoma City.

All of the children in Martinez’s care were removed from his home after his arrest.

See What Your Missed at the Hard Rock Cafe March 10!

Jacqueline Aires who is filming Imaginary Mothers, 
a documentary on Central American adoption, 
was at the Hard Rock and taped this footage.

See and hear Darryl DMC McDonald and part of the panel brought together to raise awareness about the need to restore adopted adults’ right to access their original birth certificates.

A Sad Day for Benjamin Mills: A Compromise for Vanessa

California woman, Ohio man settles [sic] adoption battle

The Associated Press
Updated: 03/15/2011 05:29:50 PM PDT

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif.—A California woman has won full custody of a nearly 3-year-old girl she has cared for since birth after settling a heated court battle with the child's father and grandmother in Ohio.
Stacey Doss, a 46-year-old public relations consultant, said Tuesday that the settlement was reached in an Ohio courtroom where the girl's father was seeking custody.

Doss said she began the process of adopting baby Vanessa before she was born to a woman who said she had gotten pregnant during a one-night stand.

Shortly after the girl's birth, Benjamin Mills Jr. filed for custody and took a DNA test that proved he was Vanessa's biological father, halting the adoption proceedings.

Mills, his mother, and Doss became immersed in an interstate court battle over the future of the girl.
Doss was ordered to return Vanessa to Ohio in July but appealed and was granted a stay to keep the girl until further notice.

The settlement reached Monday awards full custody to Doss and visitation rights to Vanessa's paternal grandmother, provided Doss withdraws her adoption petition. Paperwork has yet to be signed to put the settlement into effect.

Doss, who lives in suburban Rancho Santa Margarita, some 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles, said she was shocked and pleased by the settlement and hopes the families can work together for Vanessa's sake.

"I am Vanessa's mother. She calls me Mommy," Doss said Tuesday. [If I call my lover 'Tiger' does that make him Tiger? If he calls me"baby" does that make me a baby?] "We have the relationship we have and I know what it is. That is really all that matters. The rest of it is kind of legalese." [And blood, and DNA, and heritage, and genealogy....]

Doss said she is still worried about Vanessa's safety because Mills has a history of domestic violence.
Mills was convicted of domestic violence in 2005 and sentenced to a year in prison, according to court records in Montgomery County, Ohio. His attorney, Ed Marks, declined to discuss any criminal history his client may have had.

Under the settlement, Vanessa will visit with her paternal grandmother twice in the next six months. A therapist will then evaluate how Vanessa has handled the meetings.

Attorneys for Mills said he hopes for Vanessa to establish a relationship with his family, including his two other daughters who live in the area of Dayton, Ohio.

"All parties felt this is the best way to move forward in the best interest of this little girl," said Marks, one of Mills' attorneys at Legal Aid of Western Ohio.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Two same sex parents of surrogate babies "better" than a single mother?

By Linda Carroll

When Steve Pougnet was sworn in as mayor of Palm Springs, Calif., in 2007, his husband, Christopher Green, was at his side. In Pougnet's arms was his then 2-year-old son, Beckham, while Green held the other twin, Julia.
It was a moment neither man could have imagined possible when they met 19 years ago. Even then, they knew they someday wanted to have children, but they didn’t know if it would be possible and couldn’t be sure how their family would be viewed if they did.

"At that time, we didn’t have any idea how to make this happen,” remembers Pougnet, who is now 47. “We didn’t see any gay couples with kids on the streets.”

When the couple eventually found an organization that would link them up with a surrogate, they jumped at the opportunity — and the twins, now age 5, were born soon after.

Highly visible gay families like Pougnet’s may be changing the way Americans view the world. And a new report by the Pew Research Center seems to bear this out. Its nationally representative survey of 2,691 people found that Americans are more accepting of families led by gay and lesbian parents than of single moms.

The survey found that when it comes to opinions overall on non-traditional families, such as those with gay and lesbian parents, single mothers, and unmarried parents, the country is split three ways: a third of Americans (dubbed Acceptors by Pew) are comfortable with a wide variety of family situations, a third (Rejectors) consider non-traditional arrangements to be damaging to the country’s social fabric, while the final third (Skeptics) are mixed in their views — approving of some arrangements, but not others.

When it comes to families like Pougnet’s, the news is all good. The vast majority of Acceptors and Skeptics believe gay and lesbian families are at least OK — and might even bring something positive to society.

But single mothers are less accepted, the poll found. That’s where Acceptors and Skeptics differ the most, says Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center. 
“If you took out the question about single mothers, there would be only two groups: Acceptors and Rejectors,” Taylor says.

While 98 percent of Acceptors think there’s nothing wrong with women raising their children alone, 99 percent of Skeptics and 98 percent of Rejectors believe that’s bad for society. (The survey only asked about single mothers, not single fathers.)

Even though it's been decades since then Vice-President Dan Quayle famously lambasted the fictional TV character, and single mother, Murphy Brown, public sentiment may not have changed significantly. Just two weeks ago, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee called out pregnant Oscar winner Natalie Portman as glamorizing "the idea of out-of-wedlock children."  [Hmmmm but not Sandra Bullock?]

Experts say the survey results didn't surprise them.

Studies have shown that kids raised by a single parent don’t do quite as well as those from two parent families, says Margaret Crosbie-Burnett, a professor emerita at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. But the effect isn’t huge, she said. Crosbie-Burnett blamed the level of negativity found in the report on the fact that the survey asked about single mothers rather than single parents. 

Katherine Stamps Mitchell, an assistant professor of human ecology and sociology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, suggested the question hooked into misconceptions Americans still harbor against single moms. 

Shifting attitudes Gay and lesbian couples, however, are perceived as better for the kids because they’re providing a two-parent family, says Stamps Mitchell.

“There’s no doubt there’s been a shift in attitudes towards gays and lesbians,” says Charlotte Patterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. “You also see the shift in attitudes towards marriage. Just 15 years ago a Gallup Poll found that 68 percent of Americans said gay marriage should not be legally recognized while 27 percent said it should be. Now the split is 50/50.”

One reason for the attitude change may be the increasing contact people have with gays both socially and at work, Patterson says. “When we have contact with diverse types of people, attitudes change. You saw this with the integration of the military many years ago. When black and white soldiers worked toward a common aims, you saw attitudes change.”

That sort of contact may have led to the easy acceptance Pougnet found among Palm Springs residents.

“There’s been an outpouring of warmth,” he says. “Not one negative incident.”

The media may also have played a big role, says Stamps Mitchell.

“You’re seeing gay families more and more on TV in shows like ‘Modern Family’ and in movies like

‘The Kids are All Right,’” Stamps Mitchell says. “The media does help with acceptance.”
For his part, Pougnet believes the change is simply due to people seeing how gay families aren’t different than any others.

“We go to our kids’ soccer games like the other parents in America,” he says. “Our kids are in the church choir. And like other parents, we love our children unconditionally.”

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Adoption FACTS

Pro-adoptionists - those whose livlihood depends directly or indirectly on the redistribution of children. the religious right who want to 'save' the world and recruit for Jesus, and adoptive parents who feel the need to justify by proselytizing...would have you believe a lot of LIES and untruths about the need to save children languishing in orphanages around the globe.

Here are facts to counter their "savior" claims:


- FACT: 90% of children in orphanages worldwide are not orphans but have at least one living parent and/or extended family to reunite their family as was the case with the two children Madonna adopted. These people have no concept of – or desire for – permanent adoption of their children.

- FACT: Many people all over the world are exploited for their ignorance, asked to sign papers they cannot read; told their children are going to the US Europe of an education.

- FACT: In nations that have ceased IA because of corruption, the number of allegedly “abandoned” babies dropped to almost zero. When adoptions were resumed, the number of said “abandoned” babies rose back up again to meet the demand!

- FACT: Many caring people wanting to adopt for purely altruistic reasons and chose reputable agencies have inadvertently adopted children who were stolen or kidnapped. Child traffickers label kidnapped children abandoned and it is virtually impossible to verify otherwise.

- FACT: Children ARE stolen, kidnapped and trafficked for adoption in China, India, Nepal, Vietnam and Guatemala.

- FACT: Children are kidnapped, stolen and trafficked all over the world to meet a demand for younger children while older and physically challenged children are ignored in orphanages as are the 120,00 US children in foster care who COULD be adopted! 

- FACT: Children who might benefit from adoption are ignored in US foster care and orphanages around the world because they are older, disabled or sibling groups while children are sought and coerced or stolen to meet the demand!

- FACT: The tens of thousands of dollars paid by westerners to adopt prevent local residents from adopting within many nations because they cannot compete financially with fees set based on demand.

 Read the UN quotes at the top of this page and the additional quotes on the quote TAB. 

If you are at all confused about the claims of the Un and ALL child experts who work on the ground in impoverished nations as compared to those claiming to want to "save" kids by gobbling them up to met a demand...think about each parties MOTIVE...or as they say, "follow the money."

Also read:

Orphaned or Stolen

Duped by Indian adoption agency, US family cautions couples

Julia Rollings story

The Lie We Love by E.J.Graff

The works of David Smolin on child trafficking

Re China, read:

Re Ethiopia:

Ethipoia to cut foreign adoptions by up to 90 percent

Adoption Fraud and Ethiopia

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Equal Access for Adoptees

My Facebook friends voted and shared their feedback.

The votes are in and three forms of the winning design are shared below.
You are encouraged to download and place on your website or blog. It commits you ONLY to supporting equal access.
Helps all viewers of your website know where you stand! 
And helps unite us and give more power to our individual state battles.

Equal Access website to follow by the end of the month.
Watch for announcement!

Variations on the theme are:

Friday, March 4, 2011

US Supreme Court Hearing Vaughn's Appeal Re: GRAYSON

Ben's fight for with the Vaughns for his son Grayson has been reported here and here.

Today, the Supreme Court of the US decides...

David Houston writes:

"The Vaughns filed their first adoption petition against Ben back in January of 2008 claiming that Ben was a putative father and their adoption could be granted against him without his consent as he had willfully refused to support Drucilla (the then still married mother) knowing she was pregnant with his baby.

"Ben had previously registered with the Ohio putative father registry in mid-November of 2007, 17 days after birth of the boy on October 29, 2007, and had also filed a timely petition for his parental rights in late December of 2007 - before the Vaughns filed their first adoption petition in January of 2008. Ben denied the Vaughns' claims of willful non-support and insisted on a paternity test to see if he was the real (biological) father of the baby.

"The Vaughns tried to stop that as they did not want Ben declared to be the real father. The reason is that Ohio law provides more protections to real fathers than putative ones. The Vaughns argued that truth was irrelevant and that Ben's status as putative father could never be changed to real father, because they had gotten their adoption petition filed BEFORE paternity testing was done. The Ohio courts rejected that claim and paternity testing proceeded, the result being Ben was found to be the real father and his status in the adoption court was changed from putative father to real father over the Vaughns objections.

"That created an immediate problem for the Vaughns as under Ohio law - the failure of a REAL or BIOLOGICAL father to support a pregnant mother is NOT a ground for adoption without his consent (it may be grounds for sending the real father to jail or other actions, but not a ground for adoption without his consent). The Ohio courts ruled it was no longer relevant whether Ben had willfully failed to support Drucilla, as even if he had, that would not allow them to grant any adoption without his consent, given his status as real father.

"The Vaughns instead had to show that Ben had failed without justification to have more than de minimus contact with his son or had failed without justification to support his son for 1 year or longer, and the Vaughns could not possibly prove that as 1 year had not passed. The court then dismissed the adoption petition as premature (not yet ripe for decision) and the Vaughns have been appealing and filing meritless often frivolous legal garbage ever since.

"The Ohio Supreme Court made multiple decisions against them upholding the lower Ohio courts. They recently filed a petition for certiorari (review) in the Supreme Court of the United States, asking it to review and overturn the Ohio Supreme Court and that petition is voted on today. They must get the votes of 4 justices or the petition is automatically denied. If the petition is denied then the decisions of the Ohio Supreme Court stand that Ben is a real not putative father, and that no adoption can be had without his consent regardless of any best interests of the child - UNLESS the Vaughns first prove that Ben refused to have any real contact or refused to support his son for over 1 year, starting from March of 2009 to September of 2010.

"The Vaughns cannot possibly prove that, period, so it means they can NEVER adopt Ben's son under Ohio law. I should also add that Ben did not willfully refuse to support Drucilla, and the Vaughns have never had a trace of credible evidence otherwise, so really in a sense the Vaughns cannot win no matter what. But their abuse continues."

Watch for the results!

Adoptee Rights Icon

I am working on a project and I needed to list all orgs that support equal rights for adoptees...

#1. If you know of any other than these, please share:

•    The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, information for adoption professionals: research, policy, and practice, .
•    The American Adoption Congress, international network of individuals and organizations committed to adoption reform,
•    Ethica, an independent voice for ethical adoption,
•    Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform, a voice for prospective and adoptive parents,
•    Concerned United Birthparents, a national organization concerned about adoption issues, http:
•    Adoptees’ Liberty Movement Association,
•    Coalition for Responsible Open Adoption Reform & Education,
•    Adoptee Rights Coalition,
•    Bastard Nation, Dignity and Equal Rights for Adult Adoptees (Adoption Reform),
•    Americans for Open Records,
•    The Adoptee Rights Web Site for California and Beyond,
•    The Adoptee Rights Demonstration,
•    Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights,
•    Unsealed Initiative,
•    NJ-CARE,
•    Tennessee Adoptee Rights and Liberty,
•    Connecticut Adoptee Rights,
•    Equal Rights Washington, http://
•    B’FOR, birthmothers for open records,

#2. It led me to think how kool it would be for us to have 
a universally recognized 

Which do you like better? 

Left or Right?

If we ALL sported one recognizable logo, we'd know immediately if an org supported equal access. I spent a good deal of time looking at the CWLA website to see if they did or didn't. Could find support of "oneness" i.e. open adoption, but nothing specially on OBC access.... 

This symbol would easily identify groups, orgs, blogs, FB pages etc.,...even email signatures...
and give us some needed UNITY and strength in numbers! 


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

MARCH 10, NYC: Attend If You Can - PASS ALONG!

Darryl (DMC) McDaniels will perform live with Zara Phillips at the Adoption Institute’s unique event next week, “Learning the Right Lessons about Adoption: What the Oprah Winfrey Reunion Story Teaches Us,” which will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on March 10 at the Hard Rock Café in Manhattan; it will be the rap superstar’s first public performance in years, so this is exciting news. He and Zara will sing their song “I’m Legit,” the world premier of which will be featured at the event. 

For more details, see my previous post. You can also read about this unique event on the Huffington Post

We want to let the world know this issue is important, so please take a minute to donate; no, not money, but a comment – it makes a difference!

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