Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Post Adoption Death Notification: Moral Obligation?

When a mother relinquishes her parental rights, she relinquishes ALL rights. If her baby dies minutes after she signs, or years later, she is never notified. If her child develops a genetic disease that might effect her decision to have subsequent children, she is never notified.  If the adoption placement fails, she is never notified. She is a persona non grata to her child and he to her.

Recently on Facebook someone asked what her "responsibility" is to try to find and notify the original parents of her deceased adoptive brother. Legally, of course, she has no responsibility. She felt torn knowing it was not her brother's desire to search and her adoptive parents would not be happy at all if the knew she was "interfering" in any way.

I shared my views as a mother of a twice lost child - first lost to adoption then deceased, and on behalf of the many mother I know of deceased children. We want to know! We deserve to know the truth.

At the very least anyone who knows of a deceased adopted should contact the agency and notify them so that could share that information with anyone who might come searching. Also, it is free to list the adoptees info on ISSR.

I suggested that this adoptee, additionally, conduct a search as she would do for herself. Find a search angel, and leave a message with the adoption agency for the parents to contact her, not the aps for more info, such as photos. I told her she could also put up a Facebook memorial page, add his name to

But she worried about her adoptive Mom having a "fit" and was is right, after all they were told the birth mother really didn't want him?

I replied reminding her that she does not know that her brother would not have eventually decided to search, or bene delighted to have been found.

I reminded her that whatever the agency told them may or may not be true, and even if true, people change.  An "unwanted" child of a scarred 17-year-old could be a much sought after child of an adult mother - or a father who never even knew of his son's existence. 

From the birth parent perspective it's a moral obligation to do everything you can to notify his family. To know this and not share it is immoral IMHO. A mother, or father, could be picturing him graduating, marrying, etc.

Mothers of MIAs will tell you that knowing, even knowing the worst, is better than not knowing. it is cruel to leave them hanging, fantasizing and wondering why their son is not seeking them out. if they don't care, no harm, no foul. 

I suggested she consider that he may also have biological siblings who might want to know, and they did not give him away! 

I told her she would be doing what is called in Hebrew, a mitzvah....allowing family to mourn their dead, to grieve, to put closure on their limbo loss and not forever be waiting and wondering. And, her a-mother never has to know. Her attitude is cruel and unnecessarily punitive.

I feel very strongly about this moral obligation of all who know of the death of an adoptee, especially adoptive parents. It is horrible that there is no legal notification made to birth family - a wrong that can be righted by individual notification.

Mothers of deceased adopted out children have been comforted by speaking to adoptive family members and especially by obtaining photos etc. They have already endured such horrific loss, why subject them to more, by denying them the truth?

Your comments welcomed/

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Worst State Contest

The nominees are:

VIRGINIA: For banning same sex adoption and, worse (IMHO) for proposing legislation to force women who seek pregnancy termination to endure a transvaginal ultrasound. Thank goodness it is getting protests and one can only hope it will go the way Susan Komen went with their great idea to thwart women's health! For more on this issue I highly recommend The Daily Show's take on it.  Jon Stewart points out the utter hypocrisy of the GOP who are for the most part proponents of getting gvt OUT of health care.

NEW JERSEY: For vetoing same sex marriage, and vetoing adoptee access legislation, both of which passed the legislator...thank you very much Chris Christie. So much for government by the people...and hip hooray for a totalitarian rule in the Garden State! (See DS video clip on this)

UTAH: The winner hands down in the category of being anti-fathers' rights and being punitive to putative fathers.  Thank goodness they are finally being challenged on their trickery and chicanery and fraud in regards to fathers' rights.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quotable Quotes: No Unparented Children

"Human rights documents throughout the modern era make clear that the family is the fundamental group unit of society, and the child is a part of his/her family as a matter of both basic human need and fundamental human right. These fundamental human rights include the right of a child to remain with the family to which she was born, and the corollary right of parents to the care and custody of each child born to them. Thus, the family that the child belongs with, as a matter of the rights of the child and of her parents, is clearly the family into which the child is born. Further, the child is born not only to a father and mother, but also into a broader set of relationships, including siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and so on. Thus, as a matter of widespread cultural practice, human need, and fundamental rights, the family into which the child is born extends beyond the parents, and beyond the nuclear family, to include an inter-generational and extensive family group......

"Beginning a discourse on adoption with the image of a child alone, without family ties, is inherently misleading. Children do not fall from the sky; they come into this world amidst a web of relationships. When a child is found alone, the first question that must be asked, therefore, is how the separation of child from parents and family occurred. The first relevant image is not of the child already alone, but of the child with her original family; the next relevant image is that of the event which tragically separated the child from her parents....

..."there is... no such thing as an “unparented” child. No one comes into this world without having parents. The phrase “unparented child” suggests a child who really, in fact, has no parent. Such a person has never existed."

BRAVO, David Smolin!!!

Excerpted from: 

David M. Smolin and Elizabeth Bartholet. "The Debate" Intercountry Adoption: Policies, Practices, and Outcomes. Ed. Judith L. Gibbons & Karen Smith Rotabi. Williston, VT: Ashgate, 2012.
Download available at:

The book is to include chapters by the following, many of whom are well known scholars, thinkers, and stakeholders in the field of adoption:  Peter Selman; Jonathan Dickens; Kathleen Ja Sook Berquist; Karen Smith Rotabi; Cristina Nedelcu and Victor Groza; Kay Johnson; Kelley McCreery Bunkers and Victor Groza; Kelley McCreery Bunkers, Karen Smith Rotabi, and Benyam Dawit Mezmur;  Femmie Juffer and Marinus H. van Ijzendoom; Laurie C. Miller; Monica Dalen; Elizabeth Bartholet and David Smolin; Judith L. Gibbons and Karen Smith Rotabi; Thomas M. Crea; Jesus Palacios; Rhoda Scherman; Hollee McGinnis; and Judith L. Gibbons and Karen Smith Rotabi.  The book is can be ordered online for a discount at Ashgate Publishing. At $108, it is priced for serious research and university libraries than for personal or public libraries.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Adoption, TV, Slavery Triad

 It's becoming harder and harder to watch TV. 

There are the adoption plots: Derek McDreamy Shepherd & Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy;  Quinn and Puck on Glee; Cameron and Mitchell are working on their second same sex adoption on Modern Family; Julia on Parenthood befriends a pregnant co-worker and asks for her baby...just to name a few of the most popular.

None of these plots show adoption from the adoptee's point of view and only one is trying to show it from the mother's perspective, as a well-thought out, intelligent decsion: Susan's daughter, on Desperate Housewives, is pregnant and wants to have her baby adopted despite Susan's protestations.  The daughter is confident she has thought it out well, despite Susan suggesting she might want to wait and actually meet her child first. But she doesn't want to be a single parent like her mother was.

And then there are the actresses who in real life have adopted (Mariska Hagitay of Law & Order SVU) or are trying to (Jillian Michaels of Biggest Loser).

So, just as I was considering murdering my TV, I caught a segment on Rock Center - especially aired for black History month - called Priscilla's Roots about a man who descended from a family of slave owners who kept the most accurate account so the sale of their slaves. Seems most destroyed their records during or after the Civil War.

So this man decided to trace the history of one female slave named Priscilla who was kidnapped from Sierra leone at 10 years of age. he found all of Pricilla's descendants and one of them went back to Sierra Leone.

This is the only case of a slave who has been able to trace her roots, because having been bought like property, they had no birth certificates, no records of any kind.  Birth certificates are only for human beings, not property, although of course pedigree dogs and other animals have lineage that is traceable...just not adopted persons in most of the USA, of the un-free.
My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet lack of liberty,
I sing of your plight;
Land where parental rights,
Are shattered day and night,
Too many mothers plight,
Can this be right?
My native country, thee,
Land where nothing is free,
Where once was fame;
Now abounds corporate greed,
While 99% are in need,
And the poor used to breed;
I'm filled with shame.

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