Adoptive Parents and PAL

16 Mar

I was going to do a post on adoptive parents who stood up. I started delving into old posts because I know those parents are there and just need to be pulled out and talked about in a post. One old post I didn’t remember was on Gertie’s Babies, which led me to click the 2015 NYT link on the story, which led me down the rabbit hole of reading the comments; on the whole, well thought out comments and discussion on adoptions that happened back in the day.

(from the article)Their lives are diverse, connected only by a common thread, Ms. Pitkanen. Sometimes known more grandly as Gertrude Pitkanen Van Orden, she delivered and sold babies, performed abortions — and mostly evaded legal consequence — in Butte from the 1920s through the 1950s.

I enjoyed reading thoughtful comments and the conversations that follow back and forth, a perfect way to step away from the real world and enjoy my coffee. Until I got to this comment on a article about 1920-1950’s sketchy adoptions.

(from the comments) Would the NYTimes Style Book consider more modern words when referring to adoption? To wit: women place their children for adoption. NOT: women give up their children.

Adoption runs in the family for me. As the father of two adopted children, and with one adopted brother, two adopted nieces, and one adopted nephew… I can say that words matter. I am not the father of two given-up children. The Times can do better. Thank you. (413 people recommended)

The next commentor, Pecan disagreed.

Euphemisms about adoption just add another burden that adopted people must bear. Sometimes on message boards when this comes up, posters who are not adopted jump to insist that “the adoptive parents ARE the real parents!”

And the conversation devoled further and my lovely coffee time reading the comments and discussions that followed ended. Ended because some AP in this century in the year 2015 wanted the NYT to apply current adoption speak to an article about the last century circa 1920’s – 1950’s. Goodness gracious, could AP’s just give PAL a rest, especially for adoption stories that happened when their grandparents or great-grandparents were growing up?

‘Gertie’s Babies,’ Sold at Birth, Use DNA to Unlock Secret Past

If you are interested Gertie’s Babies 



Posted by on March 16, 2021 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , ,

4 responses to “Adoptive Parents and PAL

  1. swiftabc

    March 16, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    Language is so powerful. It is important that we not sanitize the reality that adoption is rooted in loss and grief.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TAO

      March 16, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      I’m not sure PAL would even be able to say in a pretty voice – I went to the local abortionist/midwife/chiropracter to deliver my baby. Then she created a birth certificate that swears two other people created my baby and gave my baby to them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • beth62

        March 16, 2021 at 9:39 pm

        I want to see that movie 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • TAO

          March 16, 2021 at 11:25 pm

          There are so many versions of stories like this back then. Hurts thinking about all the lies.

          Liked by 1 person


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