Monthly Archives: June 2010

Mothers of The Baby Scoop Era

I think most people would agree that Loss applies to the following: Death of a parent, spouse, sibling, child, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent, friend, pet.  Also recognized as a loss would be the loss of anything that you hold dear or necessary to your life, like a home, job, good health.  People will recognize the feelings of loss inherent in miscarriages, still birth, infertility, and not being about to give birth to and raise your child.

Those losses are real, valid, acknowledged and grieved by society.  Each persons grief is different and each loss carries a different magnitude to that specific individual, but yet all agree they have lost something precious to the person.

Society tells us the above losses are acceptable.  That it is okay to feel loss.  Yet society also has a dark side when it judges if a loss is valid.  Society judges people for their actions based on societies view of what is acceptable.  During the era I was conceived in, also known as The Baby Scoop Era, society deemed single motherhood as wrong.  By deeming women who became pregnant out-of-wedlock to be less than, bad, immoral, feeble-minded, flawed, society also reinforced that adoption was the right solution to their problems.  By making adoption the acceptable course of action, society deemed them redeemed (well almost) but refused to admit or acknowledge that placing a child for adoption was something that was an acceptable loss to be grieved.  Mothers were told to put it out of their minds, forget, move on, get married, be glad their mistake was rectified and never speak of it again, let alone grieve.

The American and Canadian governments have never acknowledged the harm, loss, anger and pain they caused to the mothers during The Baby Scoop Era.  Why not?  Britain acknowledged the mistakes made to the Home Children, so did Australia.  Australia has acknowledged the mistakes made during their Baby Scoop Era.  Why hasn’t the US or Canada?   

Instead society has moved on and recognized the ever-growing demand for babies for by parents who either are unable to have their own children or wish to save a child for whatever reason, and that adoption is a wonderful solution to those individuals and heals their specific loss.  A market where the demand is always greater than the supply.  A business model that already has the negatives already silenced by society, sanctioned if you will.  A business sure to be successful by ensuring that society continues to silence those most impacted.  That business model continues to ensure the voices of mothers are silenced by only allowing mothers who are willing to walk the walk and talk the talk be paraded in front of prospective adoptive parents as much to say – see – no harm – no foul – adoption was the best solution and everything is win-win-win…and of course they have the ‘happy well-adjusted adoptee’ who is grateful they were adopted instead of aborted…

The government and society needs to man up and own their role in the incredible injustice and harm caused to the mothers of The Baby Scoop Era…


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Posted by on June 22, 2010 in Ethics


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Adoptive parents should ‘get it’…

But some adoptive parents just cannot wrap their heads around the losses inherent in adoption, or that for there to be adoption, there is first a requirement that there be two families and the creation of one child for adoption to exist…Whether it is solely head in the sand mentality or what, but they refuse to take off those adoption sunglasses and that only allows them to view the world with ‘me’ mentality. 
Those that wear those adoption sunglasses believe – they have a family and it is good so everything is good so what is the problem and look at us we are so perfect, we have done all the hard work, and we deserve to be placed on the highest pedestal of the three tiered winners platform, like as in 1st place obviously, we are the parents, the one and only parents.  We are the winners…we don’t share…we earned this title, this right, this, this, this…
Thankfully there are other adoptive parents who clearly understand and respect that all members of the adoption triad are equal and have the right to the same playing field and that in adoption we all have to play nice, share, embrace, involve, coexist, listen and be listened to, accept and be accepted, and not a single position gets to claim what rightly belongs to both…or all…or none…because without each of us there would not be the other…
Can anyone spell DENIAL?  Perhaps those with the adoption sunglasses on should look it up and stop and listen to the definition, before denying the truth of the description – as not applying to me because I am the adoptive parent and I want it all because I deserve it all because I, I, I….
Of course those who this post is directed to won’t ‘get it’…but that is okay because I did not expect them too…but perhaps one day they will understand what respect means when their children don’t respect them because of their own actions and words of denial and refusal to realize what we have all be trying to tell them…
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Posted by on June 22, 2010 in Ethics, Uncategorized


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how parents insecurities impact everyone…

Mothers and fathers on both sides of the adoption triad have one thing in common…insecurity on whether or not their children will leave them for the other.  Which pull is stronger the genetics or the history.  What if I do something wrong – will they leave.  What if I say something wrong – will they leave.  What if I am not as good as the other mother, the other father.  What if they are nicer, better, funnier, smarter.  What if, what if, what if.
I completely understand this type of insecurity as an adoptee…I live it in every relationship I have, because deep inside of me I believe I am fundamentally flawed and others can see it and will reject me just like my first family did, by not fighting to keep me.  I get ‘it’ on such a deep visceral level that I can have empathy and continue reassuring anyone that has such gut wrenching fears that they are just that – fears.  Someone wiser than me once told me that fear was actually this (who originally said it I don’t know but)… 
F stood for False,
E stood for Event,
A stood for Appearing,
R stood for Real.
FEAR = False Event Appearing Real
Now when I start panicking I try to stop and remind myself of that – it works for me most of the time.  It allows my brain to pause and consider if the fear is real.
Caveat to the above I have witnessed one event that was sure to cause the subject (the adoptee) to consider leaving.  Whether he left I do not know but I would have been thinking long and hard if it had been me in his position.
Mom and I were sitting at the kitchen table talking to a long time family friend who also adopted a child – a son.  This son had grown up and moved away from home and had also searched, found and reunited with his first family.  This adoptive mother (sorry for the qualifiers) had gone to see him and told him – “if you see your other family again I will disinherit you – you have to choose – them or me”. 
Mom and I sat there in stunned silence and after a minute mom found her voice to tell her how wrong she was, and that wanting to know your other family was natural and she needed to get over it.  That adoptive mom refused to listen to moms words of wisdom and mom kept talking, but in the end this woman said her mind was made up and he could make his decision, she had done everything for him, and if he did not sever his relationship with ‘them’ she was not leaving him a penny (and she had plenty of pennies to leave). 
Personally – I would have left…because that is not love that is manipulative behavior by someone who thinks their child is a possession and is entitled to sole ownership…not the love a parent has for a child, that comes from the heart.

Posted by on June 21, 2010 in Uncategorized


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Try practicing respect instead of requiring to be the king of the mountain…
R – the person’s REALITY
E – the person’s EQUALITY
S – the person’s SENTIMENTS
P – the person’s POINT OF VIEW
E – the person’s EQUILIBRIUM
C – The person’s COLLECTEDNESS
T – The person’s TOTALITY
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Posted by on June 20, 2010 in Ethics


rambling thoughts circling…

Apparently I am having an angry and sad week all rolled up into one…there are many, many reasons for this and all of them seem to swirl and circle around in my brain, never-ending, never finding peace…but all for whatever reason seem to circle to the severing of mother and child.
Mama Squirrel died and left two babies behind, happens all the time I am sure, but this was one of the squirrels that frequents my backyard bird feeder filled with sunflower seeds and snitches the peanuts I conveniently leave on the railing.  I heard her cries the day she died but could not hear where they were coming from and then nothing, the sound of silence that told me it was over.  Thankfully her babies were big enough to have followed Mama on her daily foray into the backyard, and have faithfully come each day since to be fed.  I confess I am leaving the sunflower seeds and peanuts on the railing so they stop doing insane gymnastics (because they are so tiny) to snatch seeds from the bird feeder.  I forgot this morning and when I went to make another coffee – one of them was sitting on the railing peering in my window…guilt hit me like a ton of bricks – how I could have forgotten…
I forget the adoption part of my world for hours each day.  I refuse to allow it to consume my life.  I have a life outside of the adoption world that I treasure.  I am usually able to be neatly compartmentalized, have always been able to do that, brick that area up until I am ready to face it again, and yes, there always is an again.  This week though adoption has won the majority of my thoughts and I am not happy…I want it compartmentalized and it isn’t working.
I deal with my feelings of adoption online with people I have never met in real life, that are just as important to me as those I have known for many years.  My friends online know the real me in ways people in my life never will, because those people require different levels of the mask I have always worn in their presence, for the most part.  To them life is good and because they are good people, I wear the mask around them.  Why would I want them to feel my pain, regardless of whether it is adoption or relationship or illness pain…they are happy and don’t need it, so I won’t share it.  I only share what is necessary, and then it is stated in a monotone, devoid of feelings, like reciting something I read.  Never show deep emotion, it just causes problems, it gets messy…just show the person they need me to be.  I think this way of dealing is wrong and causes me more pain, but I am too old to change it – but it does cause me problems.
I listened to the testimony given in the NJ Human Services Assembly on Monday.  I was so proud of all those on the side to open records.  I was proud the NJ Medical Association made it clear that the closed records law makes adoptees the only group in NJ that are denied the right to personalized medicine that everyone else has the right to.  The woman running the session was great and did not allow CC to get away with the confidentiality they say was in the surrender by asking where in the papers she was looking at did it say they were given confidentiality.  Those who wanted the records to stay closed just regurgitated the same old lies that came across as lies…NJ Cares did a fabulous job of making sure they proved each argument as false.
I read an advertisement yesterday that was marketed to adoptive parents on “fast” adoptions.  They boasted about how they “aggressively market to birth mothers”, that they spend over $1 million each year marketing to birth mothers.  Then they list all the types of places they market to, crisis pregnancy centers, abortion clinics, high schools and universities, family planning clinics, physicians, chat rooms…the list was endless…I had such a deja vu feeling in the pit of my stomach, history repeating itself over and over and over again…it left such a bad taste in my mouth and a pain deep inside of me.
I also read an article from Time about respect for birth mothers and while I completely agree that mothers who surrendered are vilified, dismissed, talked down to, shut down, left out, treated without any respect or humanity (of course now-days they are saints before placement and fall from grace just as soon as they sign the papers) the statement that it should be considered natural to give your child up for adoption was so incredibly wrong on so many levels.  To start with it creates the false expectation that there is no loss in adoption and it is win-win-win.  Making it natural to give away you child will forever remove the right to grieve on both the mother and child/adult adoptees part.  Sorry, that doesn’t fly with me.  To make it natural to give away your child also feeds right in to the a) adoption professionals coffers (less aggressive advertising (insert coercive) needed, b) the right to lifers who don’t believe we should have any rights after we are born, c) the adoptive parents fantasy that they can magically erase the fact that we were born to another.  If giving away your child becomes something natural, it will erase all the time we (mothers and children/adult adoptees) have spent sharing are deepest most painful feelings about how adoption has affected us – all in hopes of a better outcome for the future generations that come after us.  It will all be done for nothing, states that stayed open or opened records will find a way to close records, states that were looking into it will file any such ideas away, generations will suffer the same fate we have suffered.  I hope giving away a child to be adopted NEVER becomes something natural… 
I am attending a family reunion this weekend and meeting more close relatives for the first time.  I don’t know how it will go.  I don’t know how I will feel after but I do know how I feel right now, that I lost something that can never be replaced – life growing up in my family by birth and all the memories that I would have.  I also know that I would have missed out on all the memories I do have of growing up in the family I was adopted into, and the war between those two thoughts never seems to end and cannot end.
I think I have ranted enough but this week just doesn’t seem to stop with adoption issues (some not mentioned here) and seems like real life everyday issues are raining down too.  Why could life not have been just plain old simple with rainbows and sunshine all the time?

Posted by on June 18, 2010 in Uncategorized


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questions I wish I knew the answer for…

In today’s domestic infant adoption…

what are the ways adoption agencies, crisis pregnancy centers,  brokers, lawyers, etc. persuade mothers to choose adoption?

is the promise of openness a carrot to get mothers to place?

  • are they told that only a few states have legally binding open adoption agreements and i’s need to be dotted and t’s need to be crossed?
  • do they really understand what semi-open or open means and is anyone advocating and making sure they are protected in this area?

does a mother choose a two parent stable family because she is told it is better for the child?

  • what if the PAPs marriage is in trouble when they match or in the process – do they tell her?
  • what if the PAPs are divorced before the adoption is final?

does a mother choose a family because she believes they can provide a higher education for the child than she can?

  • what if the PAPs do not have any intention of paying or helping the child get a higher education?

does a mother choose a family because they appear financially stable?

  • what if the PAPs do not have to disclose credit card debt on their home study and are not really financially stable?

where is the line in the sand regarding ensuring an ethical domestic adoption?

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Posted by on June 12, 2010 in Ethics


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