Monday, December 30, 2013

More on Adopter Self-Centered SELFISHNESS

A few days ago I posted on the subject of hubris and narcissism in adopters.  This is a follow-up, and i suspect there may be more to come...

Today's example of comes from an article out of India describing American and British couples complaining about having to wait "several MONTHS" to adopt!~ Yes, you read right...months, not years, and they are complaining.

the average wait is just TWO MONTHS! Now last I calculated that's a helluva lot shorter wait than it takes to have a baby the natural way!

Also.. there are people who have waited YEARS to adopt internationally.

We used to joke about Baby's Are Us - before the chain of stores actually opened. but now I am thinking what is "needed" (read wanted) by these folks is McBabies!  With a DRIVE THROUGH window.

You pull up to the microphone and put in your order:  One Female, please. Hold the illnesses and no need to supersize.  One bottle of formula and extra diapers please.

Then at the first window you hand over your CASH ONLY payment. And voila!

At the next window, your baby is handed to you!

SERIOUSLY - What is wrong with these people and this whole picture? Is there no understanding for the fact that it takes time to ENSURE that the child has not been kidnapped, or her parents deceived in any way? Or is the rush to get it all done before any background checks can all come back?  Just GRAB N' GO!

But to be fair, all the blame is NOT on the part of the consumers. From the article cited above;
State adoption agencies claim that Sara officials ask for unnecessary documents which leads to delays. “They want to know how many Indian parents a child has been shown to before putting him/her up for international adoption and rejection slips ascertain that,” said the head of a Pune-based adoption agency. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Why Adoption is Mired in Secrecy

TAO, The Adopted One, asks: Why is adoption still mired in secrecy? 

Why does secrecy still prevail when it was based on the shame and stigma of being illegitimate which is as outdated as Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best.  It’s a pre WWII value still imposed in the 21st century, so why, TAO wants to know, and proposes  these "what if" scenarios:

If there is nothing shameful in being adopted, then there is no reason to keep our original birth certificate sealed under lock and key, a lock and key that for many adoptees – was applied retroactively.
If some adoption practitioners have misled their clients that they can remain anonymous forever, and ever – then have the guts to stand up and say you were wrong.  That the adoptees are what matters most in adoption, and right now they are being treated as second-class citizens in many states – whether in open or closed adoptions.
If the adoption industry is afraid of the scandal of how mothers were treated  – stand up, come clean and apologize, it’s good for the soul.
If the adoption industry is really about what is best the child – then for Pete’s sake – act like it, children grow up to be adults and being denied the right to their original birth certificate doesn’t meet the standard – it makes them less-than the non-adopted.
If the adoption industry wanted to correct the wrongs of the past that are still in effect today – they would ask the Adoptee Rights Groups in each state how they can help, no conditions, just support for full equality, whatever it takes to make it right.   They would stand behind the adoptees as they lead the way to restoring the right taken away – simply because they were adopted.
If the adoption industry wanted to ensure the mistakes of the past stop being repeated and never happen again – they would require every adoption practitioner to educate their clients that the adoptee is the most important member in adoption, and how their rights should never be compromised to make others feel comfortable.  Your job is to do right by the adoptee first and foremost, whatever it takes.

TAO is RIGHT!  *IF ONLY** But... “IF” the queen had balls she be king!  “IF” The Pope wasn't Catholic he wouldn't be Pope!

The adoption industry doesn’t care about anything other than making MONEY, and that’s why! 

Why? Because adoption is an INDUSTRY, not a charity!  A multi-billion dollar a year INDUSTRY.

- Because the industry lobbyists and spokespersons represent attorneys, practitioners and adoption agency BUSINESSES who prefer to operate under a cloak of SECRECY rather than with transparency. In fact, that is the reason the records were sealed to begin with. And they will continue as long as they can.

- Because like any import/expert buying and selling INDUSTRY they serve their paid clientele who want it this way. Adopters want to be able to BUY KIDS WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED! It's why they prefer IA to domestic!  Some chill and develop some self-confidence later on after adopting, but at the time they are a mess of FEAR, anxiety and inferiority of loosing the kid they want to the "real" mommy!! The industry knows that and CATERS to it!! You want kids with no strings, we give you kids with no strings. End of story.

- Because the same attorneys, practitioners and adoption agency businesses who protect ADOPTERS FROM evil birth moms -- then also CHARGE adoptees and moms for post adoption services! A little side cottage industry for the baby brokers!

- Because many of the legislatures working on adoption voting on adoption bills are ADOPTERS, know adopters, side with them and buy the bullshit the industry lobbyists put forth while we are kept out of the discussions, because who cares what perennial CHILDREN and SLUTS have to say?

- Because these largely WHITE MALE FOLK are protecting all their peers who might have kids 'out there' who could find them and burst their career bubbles and/or marriages, or seek a piece of their inheritance.

So, stop being BITTER (wink, wink) and get with the program, like the rest, who ALLOW these atrocities to continue to be perpetuated:

- Because too few adoptees have any BALLS to stand up and DEMAND their rights as the gays do!

- Because this movement has not had its MILK moment...

- Because we lack a cohesive national organization that coordinates state efforts and works on educating the public, and adoptees, many of whom don't know and don't care...

- Because we don't have paid lobbyists (except in Ohio).

- Because adoptees are far too mired in gratitude, FEAR of REJECTION, or fear of hurting the hand that has fed and educated them, so they perpetuate secrecy by searching in secret or waiting till their aps die. NO BALLS TO STAND UP FOR THEIR OWN RIGHTS! Adoption has given them a clear message that they are second-class and deserve whatever CRUMBS they get...

“IF” the industry cared about social justice they would fail to exist, that’s why!  They would help mothers in crisis not exploit their temporary problems in order to grab up the product of their “mistakes.” 

If they didn't lie to mothers, and dupe fathers, even kidnap babies, who would provide them with provide them their bread and butter?

Von, commenting on TAO's blog says:

Why? Why not?  I say: Because they CAN!

Is there a Santa Claus, Virginia.... NO! Not in adoption! Just GREED and filling orders, meeting a demand!  The only ones getting presents from the AdoptionClaus are those paying for his suit and sleigh and all the stuff he brings!

So SHUT UP because you are just a COMMODITY...and are supposed to be GRATEFUL!! 

Mothers like me are just the wrapping the product comes in and are also supposed to shut up and be grateful we were helped out of our "situation" and gave our kids a "better" life!

Records were sealed - allegedly - to protect adoptees from the stigma of illegitimacy. That no longer exists. the truth of the matter is that they were sealed to being with to protect ADOPTERS from "intrusion" and possible extortion by birth mothers. it's all about protecting the paid customer!! And that is WHY secrecy  REMAINS in adoption.  To protect baby brokers and adopters. PERIOD! Read the history of adoption and The Baby Thief. You will discover the tremendous influence of baby brokers like Bessie Bernard in the sealing of adoption records.

"Adoption Loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful" - The Reverend Keith C. Griffith, MBE 

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Self-Centered Hubris of Adopters

Disclaimer: The following comments do not relate to ALL who adopt, so please save yourself the trouble of pointing that out to me or telling me how NOT like this you, or your adoptive parents, are.

REVISED: 12/20 6:56 pm

Adoption Can be Selfish [Duh!] admits a guest blogging adoptive parent, identified as "Kathy" at Rage Against the Minivan.

"Adoption is not an unselfish act," she says. OK, no argument there. Kathy continues:
We didn't choose adoption because we wanted to help a child or save him/her from a terrible life. We chose it because it was the only way to grow our family.  
Also, OK...  Kathy even adds: "Adopting our son was one of the most SELFISH things I’ve ever chosen to do." 

And she's not alone. The comments applaud her!
  • "So much yes."
  • "Yes and Amen. I could have written this post."
  • "Yes!!!! Thank you!!" 
BUT, Kathy's admission of selfishness is not the end of her very brief post.  She adds:
It cost huge amounts of money, and five years later we are still dealing with the financial aftermath. We did it because it is what we wanted - not to be noble or selfless or save a child - but because the thing we wanted most was to be parents, and this was how it had to be done.  
If you offered me the chance to do anything else – travel the world, buy a brand new car– and told me it would cost as much as we spent on an adoption, I would tell you no because it would be too expensive, no amount of money was too much to bring our son home and into our family. 
Such unabashed WHINING or, is it bragging?!

Who had a gun to her head?  Kathy - like every adopter - had the option to adopt from foster care and save herself all of this expense. But she CHOSE not to, and CHOSE to pay the fees she paid.

With all her talk about selfishness, Kathy - and the vast majority of adopters - see it only in terms of themselves and miss the most selfish aspects of adoption:
  • that every person who pays the outrageous fees increases the demand and thus increases baby brokering and child trafficking to meet the demand
  • that a good portion of the dollars they pay go to bribes and unscrupulous baby brokers and child traffickers
  • that the same amount of money could be far better spent supporting charities that help FAMILIES in crisis and impoverished villages throughout the world by building schools, digging wells and helping to provide medical care and supplies....
But instead, adopters like this choose to bring home a prize to commemorate their liberalism, or their Christianity; their altruism and their humanitarianism. Kathy could have chosen - heaven forbid - to foster a family... or, to "adopt" a child on paper only and send money to help his entire family, not leave them behind ad she selfishly chose one to "rescue" as a a hunter who mounts his trophy.

Worse still, she writes with total lack of thought, posts all of this in public where her child(ren), when they are old enough, can read it. Kathy displays utter, selfish disregard for how any adoptee reading it might be made to feel? The GRATITUDE! The indebtedness for the huge investment...the expectations they must live up to to warrant such an expense!

Most of all...what about her adopted child? If she writes this because this is how she feels, I don't doubt for one minute Kathy is not projecting it, AND saying it within earshot of her adopted child(ren)! 

And here's the kicker!  The blog which posted this guest blog post - without comment is Kristen, mom of four children "within four years via birth and adoption."  But, hold onto your hats. Kristen
is not JUST a mom and a blogger (whose credits include Huffington post)...she also describes herself as.... get this: A Marriage and Family Therapist!

And yet despite her education, her training and a certificate hanging on her wall... she posted Kathy's "all about me, me, me" essay without any without a one word of her own as a preface, a footnote or any commentary whatsoever.

Does family therapist, Kristen care how this blogpost - posted on HER blog - sounds to adoptees? Is she unaware of all the jokes about Jewish and Catholic guilt from mothers who complain: "Oy, you should only know the pain I suffered to deliver you!  Twelve hours in labor!"

In this case money is the guilt-inducer. We could have had a new car or a vacation but instead we CHOSE YOU...because we love you so much!  (Now be grateful!)

No adopted child chooses to be taken form his family, his roots, his heritage. Kathy chose to do that TO him because SHE - selfishly - wanted to and has now let him know that loud and clear.


Kathy is far from alone, as the responses to her post indicate... and, as one can read every day on adoptive parent blogs.

Why is it, I ponder, that SO MANY who adopt need to seek public attention and play victim?  

Why do they seek sympathy for their infertility, sympathy for their infertility treatments (and the cost), sympathy for the "imposition" of a home study and the "scrutiny" that they alone must endure and natural parents do not have to go through, sympathy if a planned abuction adoption falls through....and now this?  Are we supposed to feel sorry for Kathy's choices as to how she spends her money, too?

Why does the blogosphere just explode with so much adoptive arrogance, pomposity, entitlement and need to play victim all at the same time??  Even when they CHOOSE to terminate an adoption and DUMP their kid, they write about what a difficult choice that was FOR THEM, and expect - and get - SYMPATHY and understanding for doing the unthinkable to a vulnerable child they committed to caring for !  Outrageous!

Is it a deep-seated RESENTMENT in paying these fees to adopt that gives them the haughtiness, the air of superiority that leads some to sue for wrongful adoption or return "goods" they find "unsatisfactory"?  Or to just whine, bitch, moan and complain about the cost.

As a mother who lost a child to adoption I find it all quite disgusting, in very poor taste and THOUGHTLESS for the feelings of anyone but herself. Thoughtless to how her words might hurt the very child she selfishly took from his family and culture.

Adopters like this need to look in the mirror and see and hear what they sound like.

We were the ones victimized by adoption. We LOST in the alleged win-win process. Adopters use their money to grab our kids. They won and yet it is THEY who play victim and call us bitter. How ironic is that?

You may seek my sympathy but you get my revulsion. My pity is for your adopted child or children, subjected to being raised by a  total narcissist.

And shame on Family Therapist, Kristen, for posting it without any comment whatsoever!  In doing so her total agreement is implied.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Journeys to Healing Adoption Loss and Devastation

Laura Dennis writes an interesting blog post about “Coming Out of the [Adoption] Fog.” She uses an airline safety message metaphor to tell us to put on our own oxygen masks first before helping others.

Circumstances, however, do not always allow for us to do things in a neat and orderly way. 

I lost my firstborn to adoption in 1968. My first jolt out of the stupor of "I did the right thing" brainwashing I had received came just three years later when I met, by chance, an adoptee who had completed his search and was taking his birth moms name. I was shocked. The words that blurted out of my mouth that day were: "You don't hate your mother?"  I didn’t realize this is what I thought until I said it. I was apparently living with so much self-incrimination about having lost my child in this manner, that I naturally assumed SHE would hate me for having let her go – not fighting harder to keep her (with no support and in defiance of being told it was the “best” and “loving” thing to do and to not do so would be selfish and hurtful to my child.)

That encounter led me to ALMA and a meeting with one other birth mother, Mary Anne Cohen. I was thrust into the world of adoption reunions and now had POSSIBILITIES.

I had absorbed well my brainwashed messages including that I had “no right” to ever THINK of her again, much less seek her out and interrupt her wonderful new life.  My world was turned upside down as I contemplated HER wanting or even needing to know ME!  

I was among the first members of CUB and in 1980 Mary Anne and I along with three other NJ birth moms formed the original Origins and I was helping others AS I helped myself.  We held in-person meetings in those days and were able to give real live hugs – not cyber ones – and help dry one another’s eyes. One by one women came through the doors of our homes – or libraries – where we met and expressed the ultimate relief in learning each of us was not ‘”he only one” this had happened to, as we had lived with feeling.

My healing came as I helped others heal.

It was another decade after that – and after having published my first book, shedding light on…The Dark Side of Adoption (1988), that I had yet another major aha wake up moment. It came, appropriately enough, from a book entitled Wake Up Little Susie. Ricki Solinger awakened me to a new level of self-healing. Not only was I not “the only one” but what happened to us, and our families, did not happen in a void. Not only was not our “fault” – or our families’ fault – what happened was a sociological phenomenon that occurred within in a far broader context of morality and social engineering to reduce single households by punishing mothers for their sins and removing the children we were judged as “unfit’ to raise.

My education into all of the forces that work to promote adoption continues to this day. Awareness of the exploitation, corruption, deception and commodification that underlies what is presented to – and believed by – the public a noble, altruistic, saving grace simultaneously heals and enrages me.

My healing comes to me through my activism.

In the introduction to The Dark Side I relate my passion to reform adoption to the work of people like Cindy Lightner who founder Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the mom who got amber laws in every state to help find abducted children. These mothers never had a spare second to metaphorically put on their own oxygen masks before going to work to prevent other losses. Their healing – like mine - IS in working to prevent other atrocities through education.

Each of us has our own path through – and perhaps – out of the fog of denial. Some never make it out. Some find the fog a warm blanket that keeps them safe from the pain they might face if they lifted it.  

Like Laura Dennis, I too sometimes find myself wanting to shake some free of their kool-aid (yes, kool-aid, not ade!) daze. (Sometimes it infuriates me.) 

I have fought for equal access for adoptees from the very beginning back in the late 70s and early 80s.  I signed the full page as in Oregon to help that state break free of discriminatory laws…I testified at NJ hearings, met with congress people, and have written more letters than I could count in our state’s thirty year long battle to restore adoptee rights, wrongly denied them.  I thus want to scream at adoptees to break free of their fog of indebtedness and gratitude and stand up for their rights!  I watch the gay equality movement gain marriage rights in sixteen states while we have varying levels of “open records” on eight – and we’ve been at it since the 1940s when they became sealed and Jean Paton began the fight.  I want to scream and cry and many days I want to throw in the towel and give up.

But I cannot.

In The Dark Side introduction I write about Bonnie Lee Black, author of Somewhere Child, about the abduction of her daughter by her estranged husband. When asked why she wrote the book, she said:
". . . I want to live a normal life, but find I can't. Someone shot me in the back of the soul and made me a cripple from here down. The dead legs dangle from the wheelchair, lifeless— see? I can no longer dance or make love. Only the hands of my heart can move. They move along the smooth paper, dragging a pencil, leaving a trail of jagged marks that spell: I AM STILL HERE.”
If “healing” means we get to live a normal life, the answer for me is what is normal. I am forever impaired by what happened to me in 1968 just as if I were run over by a truck and lost my legs. Rather than oxygen, I found what I needed: crutches, wheelchairs and orthotic legs – even some pretty nifty blade runners that let me run marathons and speed races!  I am a fighter! I get it done! But at night I take off all the equipment that helps me through the say and in my bed I am an amputee who lost her daughter and can never, ever change that or what it meant for her life. And the next day, I get up and do it all over again.
That is my journey. All are different. 

Some run toward the fire in an effort to put it out and save whomever we can; some run from it to safety.  Some find the loss to overwhelming to ever get out of bed, out from under the warm blankets and the peace of sleep. Some mothers - mostly older women - obediently go to their grave never telling anyone. Even some of my contemporaries never told their husbands until decades later - or until they were found!  I cannot imagine living with the fear of having such a secret "found out" but such is the nature of denial. If I do not speak of it, it doesn't exist.

I have known some of the many mothers who suffered secondary infertility - never able to bear another child after the loss of a child or children to adoption. Some tried and were crushed. Others have told me that they consciously refused to "replace" their lost child. They felt it disrespectful; like it would render their loss meaningless. I have also met double-surrender mothers who shared an after-the-fact hindsight awareness that they got pregnant almost immediately after their first loss in some subconscious effort to replace the lost child, only to lose another.

I heard one adoptee say their medical history was their adoptive family's medical history! That's beyond denial and into delusion - dangerous, life threatening delusion.  I have also known of both adoptees and birth parents who go beyond denial and into justification. These are the adoptee/birth parent adopters and social workers who arrange adoptions.  

Whether our choices are conscious or not, the underlying devastation is the same. Whether it happens to us with or without or knowledge that it is happening.

Beyond the sheer physical pain of loss there is the day-to-day reality of how much was lost to us when adoption severed us from our loved ones. The effect it has on our choices; the poor choices we make. We didn’t loose limbs; we lost huge chunks of our self-esteem! Adoptees are constantly reminded by societal messages that they are lucky not to have been aborted; mothers that we were shameful and unfit. Mothers can never heal as long as we worry about the well-being of our child(ren). For both us of us the loss is devastating to our souls. We all feel like damaged goods and effects all of our choices or creates an inability to make any decisions lest it be as wrong as that monumental “choice.” The ripples affect our families and all we come in contact with.  We are forever wounded, even if we form layer upon layer of layer of scar tissue.... and with or without our conscious awareness.

Many of us wait for reunification to heal us only to find the sad reality that what is lost is lost and cannot be replaced.  For too many reunion results in secondary losses or loosing again and again as the reunion open and closes; starts and stops for endless, painful periods of time lest we close ourselves up once again - protectively revert to lie under our safe warm covers in the dark. What else can one do? 

For me, the answer is to fight back with activism. I am here now, 46 years later, still running back into fire-engulfed building. I am not "healed" and never will be, or can be, but I must keep on fighting because I didn't fight enough in 1968... and because if I ever stopped I don't know what would be left of me.

Much as I would love to see more soldier sin the fight against adoption discrimination and corruption, I understand that in terms of healing - as with religion - there is no ONE WAY.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Philomena Penomenon: So Much More Than a Movie

I am Philomena. 

We all (birth parents) are Philomena, the mother portrayed in the film that bears her name.

In the film Judi Dench portrays Philomena Lee, an Irish woman who, never forgot the child she birthed as a teenager and she was forced to watch walk away from her while she was captive in a convent in Sean Ross Abbey for 4 years,  in the 1950s.  

It is loosely based on her true story and falls short of depicting the fact that 10,000 women and girls as young as nine were punished for the "sin" sex outside of marriage - even those who had raped or incested.  Mannix Flynn, Dublin City Councillor, calls it "sentimentalised through a naive catholic spiritualism" and writes:
...Mr Coogan, producer, co-writer and star of the movie, didn’t really understand the politics of the issue of the banished babies and the criminal trafficking of children for profit out of Ireland and other countries that was perpetrated by the Catholic Church and religious congregations.
...Nobody so far has been held to account for this practice; there have been no Garda investigations or Interpol investigations; nobody from the national Airlines (Aer Lingus) or Pan Am airlines that actually trafficked the children out of Ireland have been confronted. Indeed, this whole issue has been slightly saccarined and turned into a warm human interest story rather than a story of organised, joint-venture criminality. 
 ...Despite the warmth of the film and the good reception that it received at all the film festivals so far (Toronto, London, Venice) somewhere, the real issues that are at the centre of this story, the hard cruel facts, that unheard story, that brutality, uncomfortable as it is, has to be heard, has to be owned has to be accounted for.  It is not just the story of Philomena and Anthony Lee, it is the story of a society and as such the secret history of Ireland and the Irish State and religious institutions cannot be so simply packaged in a feel-good, heartfelt portrayal of real events that have not been dealt with so far.
Read Mr. Flynn's full critique here.

Every woman who lost a child to adoption can relate to this mother's tragic loss and irresolvable grief. Fathers too who struggle against a system designed to take their parental rights without their consent share her painful loss. Loss is loss. Grief is grief. Both are universal emotions suffered equally by mothers in Los Angeles and fathers in Sierra Leone. The loss to adoption has been called a limbo loss and the pain irresolvable. It is socially unacceptable to lose a child to adoption and thus has no ritual or comforting support as does the loss of a child to death or miscarriage. Mothers like Philomena have traditionally been told to keep adoption loss a secret and act as if nothing at all happened which adds to the shame. Rather than heal, studies (quoted here) indicate a mother's pain may exacerbate over her lifetime.

Other than intentional - and usually paid - surrogates (a practice which represents a who other level of exploitation), no woman becomes pregnant with the intent of "gifting" her child. Women do not chose to carry a child for nine months, risk their lives in delivery, with the fear of never being able to conceive or carry another pregnancy again…only to loose the current child. Expectant mothers are subject to social, cultural and religious pressures to do so. Some are coerced, exploited, and deceived; alone, without any support, their lack of resources exploited.

In many parts of the world natural disasters or wars leave families vulnerable, as we saw in Haiti. In industrialized nations, poverty, youth and marital status are factors in judging who is and who is not deemed “worthy” of motherhood. Those on the losing side of that equation are persuaded that others are more "deserving" of a child than they themselves, they are told their baby deserves more than the love and continuity of heredity that they alone can offer.

In 1980 I co-founded of Origins, a NJ-based national organization for women who lost children to adoption. I was also involved with the AAC (as Director) and CUB. Through those organizations, as well as later online support groups and social media that connect adoptees and birthparents and blogs where they share their concerns...I have had my finger on the pulse of this marginalized population who were called the invisible side of the adoption triangle.

What happened to Philomena is not at all unique. It happened - and still happens - to women of all faiths throughout western Europe and here in the US as documented in Ann Fessler's book, "The Girls Who Went Away." In homes for unwed mothers in every state in the union during the 50s and 60s American woman tell of being spoken to exactly as the nun in the movie spoke to Ms. Lee during labor....with utter disdain, blame ans shame.  Nuns, priests, ministers and Rabbis told us to lie to the men we might marry lest they wouldn't have us. We were stained and damaged.   Today in America, the Religious Right that preaches love for fetuses shows similar contempt for the single mothers who bear them and deems them unfit to raise their own children.

Back then it was sin and shame. The stigma of "unwed" pregnancy has dissipated in the US since the post WWII years known as the "Baby Scoop Era" because of the large number of forced adoptions. Yet today, women who are deemed to young or too poor are still pressured, coerced, their temporary crisis and lack of wherewithal exploited. Fathers have their rights abrogated daily. The headline grabbing story of Baby Veronica is unfortunately not uncommon.

Currently, Allesandra Pacchieri, an Italian woman living in the UK is currently fighting for the return of her child and suing for having had a forced cesarean birth in order to take her child from for adoption.  This flashback to the days of lobotomies occurred in the industrialized world in 2013 and warranted this observation:

The scale of public outrage has once again thrown the spotlight on family courts, which authorise the adoption of thousands of children, many forcibly removed from their mothers at birth, under strict secrecy.

Many forcibly removed....and many of those for questionable "cause" in the UK and the U.S.

Adoption is admired as a win-win that rescues orphans and "unwanted" babies. The truth is that it is a billion dollar demand-driven industry that is far too loosely regulated, lacking in ethical guidelines and rampant with corruption and child trafficking. Adoption is racist and classist. In what has been called "Reverse Robinhoodism" it takes the babies of the poor and provides them to those willing to pay an average of $40k per child. Children are a highly sought commodity and there are not enough being placed truly voluntarily to meet the demand so the pressure is still on with adoption agencies spending millions on "marketing" to young women, inducing them with promises of openness. Some even offer college tuition. Expectant mothers are matched with prospective adopters who befriend, enmesh, and woo them with gifts, then hover over them at the moment of delivery denying new moms any time to bond...all orchestrated to create obligation and indebtedness, diminishing the mothers' ability to refuse to hand their child over despite strong natural inclinations not to.

I am Philomena and every day Philomena's are created to meet the demand of the adoption industry.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Holiday Giving: Preserve Families and Prevent Unnecessary Adoption Loss

Every year at this time we are inundated with donation requests. I know I am.  I have in the past used this forum to recommend some good charities like SOS for Children, Feed the Children, UNICEF who help provide for families in crisis and thus avoid them being snatched by baby brokers or "well-meaning" missionaries.

This year I am very pleased to share a very special and unique giving opportunity that will help support 5 mothers and 16 children who have been saved from the adoption industry....and hopefully provide 
enough funds for Lynne Johansenn to continue this most valuable work.

Every year (as applicable) I also award a Family Preservation Hero of the Year Award. And this year it goes to Lynn Johansenn:

I commend Lynn for putting her beliefs into action!  I personally housed two moms keeping them and their chidren from becoming victims of adoption rhetoric. Their stories are told in The Stork Market, chapter 9: Preserving Parenthood, pages 163-170. Also on those pages is my most proud "save" - the rescue of the toddler found in the squalid Steinberg NYC "house of horrors" where illegally adopted Lisa was murdered after years of abuse. In addition to reuniting hundreds of families, these are my proudest moments!

Not all of us are blessed with the opportunity to be able to physically rescue families in needs, but we 
can give $5, $10 or $100 to help these families and others like them.

Please donate as you are able. It will make YOUR holidays brighter as well as theirs.

Pro Adoption = Family Dissolution

The adoption reform community is well aware of - and grateful to - the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute (EBDAI) for their support of open adoption and equal access for adult adoptees.

Most (some?) are also aware that besides fixing those two issues and giving lip service to ending corruption and exploitation that is endemic in adoption, EBDAI is totally pro-adoption.

The American Adoption Congress (AAC) is likewise pro-adoption as long as it is open and adult adoptees get their birth certificates. Both organizations rely heavily on the financial support of adopters.

The AAC holds warm-fuzzy support groups workshops at all its conferences, which along with membership are the source of the organization's self-sustaining existence. Such support groups are very helpful and always needed as long as there continues to be a steady flow of new adoptees, new LDAs and new birth parents, siblings etc.

Both EBDAI and AAC are very good ambulances at the bottom of the cliff....there to dry your tears and bandage you up after you were torn apart by the very thing they promote.  Just like adoption agency businesses who also provide fee-paid post adoption support, preventing the tragedies, the loss, the grief, the guilt, the shame, the lack of self-esteem...would put them out of business.

They are both as disingenuous as BP oil company which runs TV ads on how they are restoring the Gulf - without mentioning that it was they who destroyed it!  They are analogous to cigarette companies running anti-smoking campaigns and state lotteries adding a note at the bottom of their ads that if you have a gambling problem call 1-800-GAMBLE!

The facts are very clear and they are not hidden. Donaldson Institute owes its existence to Spence-Chapin Adoption Agency which founded the "think tank" and is still a partner along with the Cradle adoption agency. See "History" under "About":
The Adoption Institute was established in 1996 through the initiative of the Board of Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children, which saw a need for an independent and unbiased adoption research and policy organization. 
Evan B. Donaldson was a member of the Spence-Chapin Board of Directors continuously from 1977 on, serving as president from 1986 until her death in 1994. She was energetically involved in the planning of the Institute. Dedicated to the value of families, Evan Donaldson worked tirelessly to enable infants and children to have permanent loving homes.
 All EBDAI partners here.

(A bit less transparent, is the story of EBDAI's  Executive Director, Adam Pertman's personal adoption journey. Read on...)

But first, be aware that EBDAI also receives support from Hugh Jackman and his wife, the Aussie couple who adopted from the US and are well known for trying to overturn Australia's family Preservation policies:
HUGH JACKMAN's actress wife DEBORRA-LEE FURNESS is challenging politicians in her native Australia to relax adoption laws so more prospective parents can take in orphans
Jackman's wife, Deborah-Lee Furness serves as executive director of the Worldwide Orphans Foundation in her native Australia, and wrote an opinion piece for, detailing her frustration at the "global orphan crisis." 

Of course the real crisis is the FAMILIES failing to receive the support and resources they need, whether it is a single Mom of three in California (see below), an AIDS victim in Africa, or street urchins in Mumbai. But why prevent a "crisis" when it can be exploited to the advantage of so many "deserving" couple and those who earn their livelihood in transferring kids...and come off as saviors at the same time? What a win-win adoption is -- for all but the children and their families -- for whim its a trade off a material possessions and advantages for heritage, truth....
Click "Adoption Gear" tab above to get your own sticker and more.

How does a mother of multiple children - or her other children - benefit from losing one of their kin? One less mouth to feed in exchange for a lifetime of guilt and grief?  And the public applauds the Jackman's and the Pertmans (read below) and the Joneses and the Smiths as "heroes" and "rescuers" for nobly snatching a child they covet, lust after and feel entitled to because they are somehow judged as "better."  And our laws continue to promote and encourage more and more family deconstructions and recreations.

What Has EBDAI Done?

Adam Pertman has been quoted as calling American adoption practice "The Wild West" referring to the lack of governmental oversight and regulation. Ann Babb, in her book The Ethics of American Adoption, states that adoption agencies in the US are less regulated that nail salons. What has the Donaldson Institute done or suggested be done - as think tanks do - to change this?  What does EBDAI suggest needs to be done and by whom?
Why is it that Real Estate brokers and agents have a code of ethics, but none exist for child adoption agencies and their employees and contractors as well as adoption attorneys who are adept at finding loopholes and state-directing clients? What has EBDAI to SUGGEST any such ethical guidelines within the adoption industry?  

How is it ethical for adopters to pay the attorney fees of the mothers whose babies they seek?

Adam Pertman's reaction to the recent Reuters report on re-homing was to call for more help for families who adopt troubled children. Again - attempting to "fix" life altering problems rather than prevent them. Why did was not more and better vetting beforehand suggested?  Does not having adopters pay for their own home studies create a conflict of interest? Why has EBDAI not set guidelines for adoption agencies to ensure that prospective adopters understand the difficulties they may face? And why were no penalties suggested for those who re-home?

There is also a conflict of interest - and distorted expectations - in domestic adoption when adopters pay the legal fees and expenses of expectant mothers. Could this not be resolved by having such funds held in escrow or in state repositories rather than used to intimidate, coerce and instill feelings of indebtedness?  

Who protects the best interests of the children being transferred via adoption that is entrepreneurial and caters to the one paying client? Does EBDAI see a need for more protection for the children? What are they doing in that regard?

The EBDAI supports adoptee access to their original birth certificate, but the institute has been silent on the falsifying the vital record of their birth in the first place. When a child needs extra-familial care, is falsifying their birth certificate - sometimes changing date and place of birth - in their best interest or should that practice be stopped as well?
The institute favors open adoption but are not open adoptions in most states  a disingenuous promise to make to an expectant mother since there is limited enforcement in a limited number of states? Does EBDAI support enforcement of such contracts?
Where was EBDAI stand on cases of fathers' rights abrogation such as Baby Veronica and now Deserai? Why have they not submitted briefs to the courts denouncing these practices?

FINALLY, what is the relationship between the Evan B. Donaldosn Adoption Institute and Spence-Chapin Adoption Agency, and The Cradle Adoption Agency?  Do these relationships not create a conflict of interest for this "think tank"? Is Adam Pertman, the Exec Dir of EBD, a paid spokesperson for the adoption industry and its member agencies? 

Adam Pertman the Executive Director of EBDAI: 

With all due respect for the venerable top US media go-to "expert" on adoption today - with no training or credentials in social work or anything related... The following were his thoughts, his words, in 2001 when he adopted his second child - taking her from her Mom and two siblings in California, and leaving her to explain to explain their baby sister's disappearance from their family: 
"...after bonding with a pregnant Erin in 1997, the [Pertmans] leaped at the chance to attend Emmy's birth and spend a week with Erin and her two kids. "Zackie played with his sister's siblings, who aren't his siblings," says Pertman. "It's a modern American family."
Pertman was one of the early "open" adopters in what seems to be - or were - in actuality identified adoptions.
"We can now tell him things about her." 
Read it all in "One Big Happy Family" by Joanne Fowler in People, June 18, 2001, Vol. 55, No. 24.

The justification for taking a child such as this from a family is that if they don't, someone else will. NOT if the family was fostered. All they need is a year or two help. It's so doable.  See Sponsor a Family.
  • Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because his conscience tells him that it is right. ~ Martin Luther King
  • All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ~ Unknown
  • I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. ~ Elie Wiesel, Nobel Price for Peace, 1986

We all have to chose to be part of the problem of part of the solution. Holding hands and lamenting is not a solution.

It's amazing how when adoptees or birth parents speak out we are called bitter or it is noted that we have an agenda.  But adoptive parents such as Pertman - with credentials no different from mine - personal connection to adoption, passion about it, and an ability to write articles and a book (or two) given a title and a salary and backed by an "institute" as their paid spokesperson.... and the media looks to him as "THE expert" on all things adoption! Just a guy who got two kids he wanted and made a career of it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Truth About Veronica Brown Capobianco and her Daddy Dusten Brown

As if they have not caused enough harm, Matt and Melanie Capobianco have named 4-year-old Veronica - the child they took from her loving father - as defendant in their million-dollar lawsuit.

They - incredibly - seek repayment of legal service that were reportedly performed pro-bono, and child care costs for the period of time Veronica was in her father's custody!

I am told that Veronica is named tin order for the Capobiancos to get a judgment against her estate
to control any money due her in the future as a movie about the case is likely.

I encourage all bloggers to share this link and expose this injustice to show these people for what they are and to leave a trial of their unending vengeance for Veronica to find.... these people who sat on Dr. Phil saying that they were all getting along and having visitation now that it was all over.

UPDATE: Ya' gotta be kidding! Reportedly the Capos are trying to get all social media to remove all photos of Dusten and Ronnie. What a joke. The photos are in the media which covered this story. And,    they are on Google Images!!!  Good luck with all those lawsuits to have them taken down.


And Dusten's website, Keep Veronica Home has ALL their photos
and I hope it's never taken down! 

This blog post will FOREVER be here for Veronica to find. 
I used her adoptive name to help her find this page.

Other resources with details of the case:

Share the link to this page and feel free to REBLOG!!! PLEASE!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

National Adoption AWARENESS Month: Myths and Facts

Lauren Casper is an adoptive parent whose National Adoption Month blog post, It All Starts With Ashes, exhibits her sensitivities to the losses that precede adoption.

Recognition of the loss, pain and trauma that precedes every adoption is a very good FIRST STEP. Reunification with original family, whenever possible, is a far more important step for adoptees and the families they are born into. 

But, we cannot simply recognize the losses of adoption and continue to perpetuate them. All of us who have become enlightened have an obligation, I believe, to educate others to PREVENT as many future losses, pain and suffering as possible. 

We can either be part of the solution or part of the problem.  To see wrong and not do right is to be party to that wrong.  Far too many adoptions begin with good intent on the part of the adopters, but are accomplished with corruption, coercion and exploitation on the part of those meeting the demand for children for adoption - unbeknownst to well-intentioned adopters.

We who are enlightened about the truths of adoption need to educate those who are still in the dark. 

What better time than National Adoption Awareness Month to help dispel the myths and bring light to the lies perpetrated by the adoption industry and its practitioners whose livelihood depends filling a demand for children. Adoption is romanticized and glamorized (as smoking once was in our society!).  It's encouraged, promoted and supported by laws and policies including tax breaks. Yet, by and large the children used as the face of those in need are left behind as adoption serves its paid clients' desire for young babies, or children from overseas. 

MYTH: Adoption is a win-win. It matches unwanted children with families who want them.

FACT: Unplanned is not unwanted, nor is being pressured to relinquish your rights, or coerced to.  No woman - American or foreign born - dreams of conceiving a child, carry and birthing that child, and giving it away. The vast majority of adoptions are a result of the exploitation of a temporary crisis, most often poverty that could be resolved in ways that help the entire family and allow them to remain intact.
“Unwanted” is a euphemism applied to children and their families who are too poor and have too few social supports. The making of money as a prerequisite for parenthood in a society that privileges the White heterosexual individual is a key component of the continued disenfranchisement of the least powerful. Trading in Babies by So Yung Kim, Aug. 13, 2009, Conducive Magazine
FACT: Worldwide adoption exploits natural disasters, war, and unstable governments.
“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 . . .” The Special Rapporteur, United Nations, Commission on Human Rights, 2003.
On an individual basis, adoption exploits poverty and ignorance, taking advantage of people's inability to read or understand english to even the concept of adoption as permanent. Parents are lied to and deceived to believe their children are coming to the US for an education and will be returned to them.

Domestically, mothers are given unenforceable promises of open adoption and are pre-birth matched getting them enmeshed in relationships with those vying for their child in ways that make them feel indebted and obligated.

MYTH: There are 140-150,000+ orphans available for adoption.

FACT: Nearly ninety percent (88.7%) of the children in orphanages worldwide are not orphans but have at least one living parent and/or extended family.  Families in many nations use orphanages to provide services for their children such as education and medical care that they cannot afford but have no intention, however, of having their child taken for permanent adoption. Nor are these children available for adoption.

"...95 percent of orphans are older than 5. In other words, unicef’s “millions of orphans” are not healthy babies doomed to institutional misery unless Westerners adopt and save them. Rather, they are mostly older children living with extended families who need financial support." E.J. Graff. The Lie We Love, Foreign Policy, Nov./Dec. 2008

The numbers of 'orphans' are intentionally inflated by the adoption industry which uses terms such as "half orphan" or "social orphan" to tug at heartstrings, and encourage religious and humanitarian adoptions.  A half orphan in the industrialized world is a single parent, who ironically can adopt!
"Defining the child as an orphan is frequently done by people who have a vested interest in the final outcome." In an Era of Reform: A review of social work literature on Intercountry adoption, Rotabi and Bunkers
FACT: If there were truly so many children in real need of adoption placement, why do nations such Guatemala, Vietnam, Russia, Nepal, Ethiopia stop International adoption (IA) because of corruption, specifically child trafficking for adoption to meet a demand? Worldwide, babies and children are abducted by child traffickers and passed off as abandoned to foreign orphanages. Consumers - and even reputable US adoption agencies - have no way of verifying that children being offered for adoption have not been stolen, kidnapped, or coerced from unwitting parents.
"Over the past 30 years, the number of families from wealthy countries wanting to adopt children from other countries has grown substantially. At the same time, lack of regulation and oversight, particularly in the countries of origin, coupled with the potential for financial gain, has spurred the growth of an industry around adoption, where profit, rather than the best interests of children, takes centre stage. Abuses include the sale and abduction of children, coercion of parents, and bribery." UNICEF's position on Inter-country adoption.
FACT:  When nations have shut down their IA programs the number of orphans has not increased indicating clearly that demand creates the "supply." Adoption is market-driven and serves those who are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a child, not the children in need who remain behind in orphanages and US foster care.

FACT: The average cost of an adoption is $40,000. If your goal is altruism, there are many better ways to help orphans rather than plucking them one at a time from their homeland, their culture and heritage while leaving their siblings behind in the same conditions. Donations to organizations such as save the children, Christian Children's fund and UNICEF provide much needed medical provisions, wells, schools and school books.
"...overseas adoption is a kind of child abuse by the state. ....Overseas adoption is the forced expulsion of children from the society where they are supposed to live. In this sense, overseas adoption is a social violence against children. As humans, we exist as part of a gigantic ecosystem. The existence of the biological parents of adoptees can never be annihilated nor denied."Overseas adoption is a forced separation of children from their natural ecosystems, as well as a way of forcing them into compulsory unity with settings different from and unnatural to their genetic and original social systems. Through this forced separation and compulsory unity, not only the adoptees, but also their biological parents, adoptive parents and their family members suffer trauma." Pastor Kim Do-hyun, director of KoRoot 
MYTH: Children who could be adopted from foster care are likely to be "damaged" in some way.

FACT: There are half a million children in US foster care. More than 100,000 of those have no identified family to be reunified safely with and could be adopted. While these are in fact "older" children and some may have disabilities, the same is true of children adopted internationally although the truth of IA child's developmental problems are far more likely NOT to be revealed truthfully or fully.

Many development delays and behavioral problems are not evident until after international adoptions have been finalized. Any child who has been institutionalized is "damaged" and many of the children form Eastern Europe suffer fetal alcohol syndrome. Utilizing foster-to-adopt programs prospective adopters can live with a child before making a lifelong, permanent commitment and it is also easier to obtain family medical histories which are non-existent on children claimed to have been abandoned.
"There is an almost inexhaustible demand for very young children to adopt. People looking to adopt are generally looking to adopt children under the age of three, and preferably under the age of one. That's your essential problem. In America, which is the biggest importer, if you like, there are 23,000 children in the foster system waiting for adoption, but most of them will be aged five to 16. There's a very rich, powerful and well-resourced inter-country adoption lobby in the United States."  Andy Elvin, of Children and Families Across Borders
MYTH: Adoption is the same as if the child were born into his family.

FACT: While the system was aimed at creating and perpetrating this myth, even falsifying birth certificates to list adoptive parents as parents of birth, it is not the same. Adopted children have their own heredity and genes that effect their physical appearance and health as well as their psychological development.

Even legally, adoptees are not equal to children born into their families as the vast majority of US states deny adopted persons access to their own birth certificate for all or part of their lives.

MYTH: Adoption provides children a better life because those who adopt are highly motivated, of higher socio-economic status and better educated, etc.

FACT:  Adoption is a trade-off which usually provides more material "privileges" in exchange for a loss of heritage and genealogical connectedness, often with feelings of abandonment and rejection.
"Adoption Loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful"The Reverend Keith C. Griffith, MBE 
FACT: Adoptive parents die and divorce at at least the same rate as all parents and this often leaves a child in a single-parent home with the same disadvantages that brings.

FACT: Because adoption in the US today is privatized, and entrepreneurial, home studies are paid for prospective adopters and are less than thorough. Children have been adopted by pedophiles and other abusers. Children have been beaten, caged, burned, starved, tortured, sexually abused and murdered by adoptive parents.

FACT: Adoptees suffer a disproportionate rate of substance abuse, are disproportionately seen in all types of treatment facilities, and suffer a higher rate of suicide than non-adoptees.

Read about "Post Adoption Issues" in Impact of Adoption on Adopted Persons from the US government's Child Welfare Information Gateway here.

FACT: Approximately 10-25% of adoptions fail and adoptees are abandoned or given to total strangers as detailed in a 5-part Reuters investigative report, Sept, 2013.

The FACT is that every adoption starts with a tragedy - a family who failed to find the resources they needed to remain together.  To promote or encourage more loss is immoral. Chemo helps many people survive cancer, but we don't stop seeking a way to prevent this horrible disease and simply put more and more people on harsh drug, and radiation therapies or expose them to surgeries.

Humane societies need to regulate adoption so that it is safe for the most vulnerable of their citizens and enact Family Preservation measures to reduce the number of children redistributed.
"The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which guides UNICEF’s work, clearly states that every child has the right to know and be cared for by his or her own parents, whenever possible. Recognising this, and the value and importance of families in children’s lives, UNICEF believes that families needing support to care for their children should receive it, and that alternative means of caring for a child should only be considered when, despite this assistance, a child’s family is unavailable, unable or unwilling to care for him or her...." UNICEF's position on Inter-country adoption
The FACT is that adoptions based on lies and government committed fraud to promulgate those lies in the form of falsified birth certificates and denied access to the accurate vital record of the birth, are a violation of human and civil rights and need to be outlawed.

How can any society promote what amounts to indenture and laws that discriminate, applying only to SOME citizens and not others, based solely on what was done TO these people without their knowledge or approval? 
"It should matter to everyone that adopted people, on reaching the age of majority, cannot automatically obtain their own original birth certificates like the rest of us. We should care, and we should feel outraged, for the same reason so many men supported suffrage for women and so many white Americans joined the civil rights struggle -- because we should find it offensive when any minority group in society is deprived of equal rights." “A Civil Right: Adoptees Should Have Access to their Birth Certificates” by Adam Pertman, The Huffington Post, 1/12/11 

  • Profit, not care: The ugly side of overseas adoptions
  • Adoption as Supply-and-Demand for Infertile Couples
  • Profit not care: the ugly side of overseas adoptions
  • Orphaned or Stolen:
  • Duped by Indian adoption agency, US family cautions couples.
  • Julia Rollings story at:
  • The Lie We Love by E.J.Graff
  • The works of David Smolin on child trafficking:
  • The Child Catchers by Kathryn Joyce
  • Finding Fernanda by Erin Siegal
  • Romania: For Export Only by Roelie Post
  • The Language of Blood by Jane Jeong Trenka
  • Outsiders Within by Jane Jeong Trenka
  • Fugitive Visions by Jane Jeong Trenka
  • The STORK MARKET: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry by Mirah Riben
Many good articles exposing the underbelly of adoption are published at DissidentVoice. To see a complete list, use this link.


Inside Ethiopia's Adoption Boom
"To focus on these children without focusing on their families or communities thus becomes an ignoble hypocrisy; as if to say, 'give us your huddled masses–but only if they are cute children and can be indoctrinated from an early age'.” 
Nineteen Russian children have been MURDERED by American adopters.

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