Friday, February 25, 2011

Adoption Reform and the LDS Church

Jane

First Mother Forum has gotten some flak from folks asking why we are bringing the Mormon Church into its discussion of HB 2904, the Oregon bill which would give mothers considering adoption time and information to make informed decisions.

 Most of the negative comments which we received have come from people who identified themselves as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-Day Saints (LDS) or lived in parts of the country where many Mormons live. LDS Family Services in Portland opposes the bill. Families Supporting Adoption, sponsored by LDS Family Services, has posted inaccurate information about HB 2904 on its website. It encourages members to write to legislators opposing the bill. Interestingly, it tells its members NOT to portray themselves as part of Families Supporting Adoption. Blog sites which appear to be run by LDS members have slammed the bill for requiring that mothers have eight days in which to make one of the most important decisions of their lives. We recently wrote about an anti HB 2904 post on the R House

The blogger, Mrs. R, obfuscates facts about herself except for admitting that she adopted a boy over the objections of his natural father, and has apparently adopted in the state of Utah, the center of the LDS church. She does not disclose her religion, her name, or her location other than to say she lives in Utah--as we do here about ourselves. Links on the blog to LDS sites and the inclusion at one time of the Mormon hymn, Come, Come Ye Saints, strongly suggests that Mrs. R is Mormon. Mrs. R states she is merely reproducing the comments of an non practicing birth mother Mormon and adoption advocate. We have reason to believe the comments were actually made by a male Oregon adoption attorney, or one who has him as her source.

In the interests of disclosure, Jane was raised in a mainline Protestant Church and Lorraine in the Roman Catholic Church. Neither of us is affiliated with a church at this time. Furthermore, we have no issues with Mormon doctrine. 

However, for decades the LDS Church has opposed at every turn letting adopted individuals have the right to obtain their original birth certificates. Through the National Council for Adoption, LDS lobbies against such reform in states where open-records bills get a hearing; when a federal regulation opening the records to both birth mothers and adoptees was considered in the early Eighties, NCFA actively lobbied against it and brought a young weeping anonymous mother to Washington DC to testify against it. In Oregon, LDS attorneys representing six unnamed birth mothers--whom we believe surrendered through LDS Family Services--mounted legal challenges to overturn Ballot Measure 58, which allowed adult adoptees to obtain their original birth certificates and allowed birth parents add a note to the adoption file on whether they wish contact. Since the Measure went into effect in 2000, over 10,000 Oregon-born adoptees have received their original birth certificates without reported problems. Fewer than one percent of birth parents have asked not to be contacted. 

From the NCFA website today it is difficult to pinpoint the percentage of the member agencies that are LDS, although in the past it was approximately 40 percent. However, click on the state map for a list of member agencies in each state, and most come up with LDS listed at the top: there are seven LDS agencies in California alone, five in Idaho, four in Arizona, and so on. In reference to open records, the NCFA website says this: Advance the principle of mutual consent in adoption so that the rights of all parties to adoption are protected and privacy cannot be breached without consent. What this means is that they oppose anything other than passive mutual consent registries. This unequivocally strips adopted individuals of their civil right as adults to know their original identity if they so choose, and leaves the right of power of permission to the birth parents.

Waiting to Forget: A Motherhood Lost and Found
From various LDS websites, we read the LDS position that adoption is the responsible resolution for an out-of-wedlock pregnancy if the parents cannot marry. We believe, along with child welfare advocates, that children belong with their parents whenever feasible.

The LDS position appears to be based on theology although it bolsters its arguments with the “harsh” economic facts for “unwed mothers who choose to keep their babies.” Prominent on the LDS website is this quotation from “Guidance for Unwed Parents” published in the church’s magazine Ensign, in 1994:
“The Church has put people and programs in place to help unwed parents repent of their sin and build futures for themselves and their baby.”

The article goes on to say:
“On 1 February 1994 the First Presidency wrote a general letter on this very important subject. The letter reads, in part, as follows: ‘Priesthood and auxiliary leaders are again encouraged to renew their efforts to teach ward and stake members the importance of living chaste and virtuous lives. We note with alarm the continued decline of moral values in society and the resultant number of children being reared by unwed parents. … Every effort should be made in helping those who conceive out of wedlock to establish an eternal family relationship. When the unwed parents are unable or unwilling to marry, they should be encouraged to place the child for adoption, preferably through LDS Social Services.’” (Emphasis added.)
BirthmarkSome readers have written that they were not pressured to surrender. Based on the article cited above, though, it's reasonable to conclude they were the exception. It's clear that a culture of adoption permeates the church. Not only there are frequent articles in Ensign promoting adoption but wards hold meetings encouraging adoption. When Church authorities learn a single woman is pregnant, they meet with her and encourage marriage. If this is not possible, they encourage her to go to LDS Family Services to discuss adoption.

Others have pointed out that the Church endorses "free agency" meaning that it allows members to disregard the Church's own counsel and make their own decisions. This is, of course, true for most religions. With the exception of a few countries, religious authorities do not have the literal power to force their members to conform to any particular behavior. 

We encourage LDS Church members and others who support adoption reform to contact Church leaders.  Adoption is a truly wonderful gift for children who need families, but safeguards are necessary to ensure that families are not broken up needlessly and adoptees can learn their original identities.

78 comments :

  1. I am often surprised by LDS members. The church finances many causes like Prop 8 but it's members feign innocence or behave as if they do not have complete information on what their church is supporting.
    They come and spew such venom and yet the people who have commented against the bill here seem grossly misinformed as to the real meaning of the bill in OR.
    I wonder why that is.

    Why would someone be against a bill that protects people's rights?

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  2. LDS members have slammed the bill for denying mothers a relatively short period of time (eight days) in which to make one of the most important decisions of their lives." We're not DENYING their rights. If they need those 8 days, they can take them...we're fighting that they have the RIGHT to opt OUT of those 8 days if they don't need them.

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  3. Considering the fact that LDS has released a position statement against the bill with mostly the same claims as these anti-HB 2904 blogs are making, I don't think that it's that far fetched to assume that the opposition exists because of how the LDS has interpreted the bill or portrayed it.

    The LDS position is fraught with incorrect assumptions. My religious group makes a lot of political statements too--and I investigate each one. I hope others do the same. Religious groups often have lots of political power--but that doesn't mean they are correct about every political issue they take a stance on. It would be a shame if people were just blindly following instead of taking time to listen to the facts.

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  4. Anon,
    Can't you find a worthy cause on which to spend your time instead of fighting for the "right" to give up your baby as he comes out of the womb? Nothing in HB 2904 prevents you from going home, sans baby. The a-parents can take him home and the agency can collect your signature 8 days later.

    HB 2904 protects mothers from being pressured to sign while in the hospital, an all too frequent occurrence. Giving up a child is the most important decision mothers can make and they need some breathing room.

    OR law requires a three day waiting period before a couple can marry. Hasty marriages can be undone. Hasty surrenders? Out of luck.

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  5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not associated with the current bill in Oregon regarding adoption reform, HB2904.

    Families Supporting Adoption (FSA) is not the same institution as the LDS church. Many people who participate in FSA are members of the LDS church. Many people who participate in FSA are NOT members of the LDS church.

    This distinction is important and should not continue to be convoluted as the same entity in your articles.

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  6. Families Supporting Adoption:

    FMF did not say the LDS Church was behind the opposition to HB 2904. We said "Most of the negative comments which we received have come from people who identified themselves as members of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS) or lived in parts of the country where many Mormons live."

    What's Families Supporting Adoption? Who's behind it?

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  7. Anon questioned the one year time limit in HB 2904 for contesting an adoption in cases of fraud or coercion or failure to provide information or legal counsel. Anon asks: "What if boundaries are overstepped and the aparents want to pull back visits, or the OA isn't what the bparents envisioned and want more? Should they be able to abuse the "law" by claiming fraud because it's not how they want it?"

    Answer "no." HB 2904 does not allow adoptions to be contested because parents disagree on visitation.

    Current law sets a one year time limit for contesting an adoption for abuse or fraud. One court held judges could shorten this period but did not provide a specific time limit; another court suggested judges could not shorten the time. The bill clarifies that the limit is one year to avoid protracted litigation over the time limit so that issues can be resolved quickly. The only people who benefit when the law is unclear are attorneys.

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  8. "We're not DENYING their rights. If they need those 8 days, they can take them...we're fighting that they have the RIGHT to opt OUT of those 8 days if they don't need them."

    The purpose of the unwaivable time period is to prevent coercion. If the time period can be waived, what is to stop an unethical lawyer or agency from walking right into a hospital room and demanding or pressuring a woman to waive it and sign the papers prematurely?

    Does no one see that point?

    The law already technically allows mothers to take all the time they need. However, that is not the way some mothers have been made to feel or been informed about the process, and in turn, have made hasty, irrevocable decisions. A time period where she cannot be asked to sign those papers is in her best interest. If she has made up her mind, she has made up her mind. Why does having to wait 8 days (which does not force her to parent if she does not want to) to sign papers so horrible?

    About the LDS and HB 2904:

    "Families Supporting Adoption is an organization sponsored by LDS Family Services....."

    http://oregonfsa.blogspot.com/2011/02/negative-adoption-law-change-your.html

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  9. "Families Supporting Adoption is an organization sponsored by LDS Family Services which advocates a positive view of adoption and provides support to birth parents, adoptive families and all friends of adoption."

    from their website....

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  10. Thanks so much Jane and Lorraine for continuing to work for the well-being of adoptees and their mothers. I have more reading to do before I make a more significant comment but I do want to say, I followed a link from the Mrs. R house blog and was highly triggered by these slick looking PAPs who had two beautiful boys looking for a "little princess to adopt" as a little princess myself, adopted specifically because of my gender I was very upset.

    It is not about the child at all because the child comes with the requisite 'hold the penis' which is all about fulfilling adoptive parents. I mean really, I can understand that some people want to provide loving homes to children that would otherwise not have them, but to see that. To have to remember that the price placed on my personal head due to my gender, ethnic, and socioeconomic background stings.

    Yeah, all love alright. I was "rude" enough, because I know that if you ask about the kids, it is rude to ask, "why aren't your boys enough for you?" I mean imagine being one of those boys being put on marketing parade because mommy needs a 'little girl'. That woman doesn't care about the message she is sending her boys and how blessed is she to have two cute boys that apparently aren't enough for her? I would love to have two cute boys. I have one, but I would give my eye-teeth to have two.

    I just can't get over how uncaring and selfish I find these women. I could write a novel about the hyprocisy I have found in the LDS church in my brief intersections with them . Granted, I am a hypocrite too, so I don't want to throw too many stones, I guess the big difference I see is I am not trying to take babies from their mothers.

    But yeah, big money hurting babies. That is what I see from my perspective. Oh and p.s. the irl dear friend adoptee that I often mention here was raised LDS although now she has officially withdrawn from the church.

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  11. I would like to add some clarification here. LDS Family Services does not and cannot speak for the prophet and President of the LDS church who is Thomas S. Monson. The church has not taken an official position on this bill. To my knowledge, there is no letter signed by the First Presidency of the Church.

    It appears that LDS Family Services in Oregon has taken a position, however. It is fair game to challenge Oregon LDS Family Services, but don't attack the entire Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    btw, I have contacted LDS Family Services headquarters in SLC to find out if the church even has an official position. I honestly don't know whether the prophet and apostles sanction everything every LDSFS agency does everywhere. There are over 100 agencies employing well over 1000 workers. I am inclined to believe that many decisions are left up to local chapters.

    I can't believe that every LDSFS agency is filled slimy coercing social workers. During my time here in Illinois I have seen more single Mormon moms choose to parent their babies than relinquish them. We have known at least three different directors of the local LDSFS during our time in Illinois, and each one has run the agency differently.

    There are some policies that do come from the Prophet, including an admonition that unwed parents prayerfully consider adoption when marriage isn't an option.

    The new 2010 Church Handbook of Instructions neither encourages or discourages adoption reunions and open adoptions. It simply states that the emotional needs of all parties in an adoption should be considered when information is shared or contact made between birth parents and adoptees. Church members can interpret that statement however the Spirit moves them to.

    I will reiterate again that I am not an adoptive parent. I am a Mormon adoptee who searched for my birth parents several years ago, and didn't ask my church leaders whether it was right or wrong to do so.

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  12. No church or religious group should be allowed to have such power in influencing legislation concerning the rights of others.

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  13. I am an adoptive mom who is LDS. We have a pretty open adoption with our daughter's birth mom and her son. We see them on a regular basis, at least once a week in our home, and I hope you understand that we cherish this relationship. We love that our daughter knows and gets to love on her birth mom who lives 15 minutes from our home. Our daughter's birth mom chose this option for her daughter because the birth father wants to remain anonymous, and bmom grew up without an active father figure in her life and didn't want her daughter to grow up that way.

    I know there are heated feelings on both ends of the issue, but I want to share our story to bring to light a perspective that some might not see represented here.

    I have seen the pain that our birth mom endured while choosing adoption and I won't discount that. It is painful. However, I think it would have been even more painful if the law required her to do things that restricted her choice of when placement happened or parental rights were terminated. In fact our birth mom's decision was a very thoughtful, and carefully calculated plan before she even contacted the agency. Once at the agency, they encouraged her to look at all of the options. (Our birth mom is not LDS).

    Lots of feelings and accusations here. I just wanted to make sure that all sides are accurately represented and considered.

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  14. Anon wrote:

    "I think it would have been even more painful if the law required her to do things that restricted her [birth mother's] choice."

    HB 2904 does not restrict mothers choices. It requires that adoption agencies and attorneys assure that mothers receive sufficient information and adequate time to make an informed choice over the most significant decision of her life.

    Agencies and attorneys who are doing this today should have no objection to the goals of the bill.

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  15. Jane, keep telling it like it is, despite the objections of the LDS who have come here to comment. Most LDS are good sincere people, like most Catholics, but the hierarchy of both Churches is rotten, elitist, and politically dishonest. I am a life-long Catholic, not about to leave my church, but I am not blind to the abuses that its leadership has perpetrated, especially in the political arena, and having once lived in Utah, I am all too familiar with the virtual theocracy there and how it infects all aspects of life.

    I think the real saints in either religion stay on the parish or stake level, quietly doing good and ministering to each other, while the ambitious, hypocritical and in some cases evil rise to the top.

    This is a good bill for adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees. It harms no one, just like gay marriage harms no one, but that does not stop religious leaders from spreading lies and misinformation about both issues.

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  16. The Mormon attack on this Oregon adoption bill is just one more example of a religious organization trying to influence legislation. Tax exempt religious organizations that try to influence legislation are in line to lose their tax exemptions. The fact that it happens all the time is no excuse for an illegal practice. The Catholic Church is the worst in this regard, but the Mormons are not far behind. My proposal, a modest one, is that since this religion, and all too many others, cannot seem to keep their hands off legislation they don't like, all religions should be taxed like corporations, at the same rates, unless they could convincingly demonstrate that they never interfere in political life. That way the body politic would at least get some benefit from these blatant attempts to write religious beliefs into law.

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  17. I am sorry, I don't mean to be combative, honest. If you don't post this comment it is okay by me, BUT I almost have to spit out my coffee when I read words like "don't attack the whole Mormon church". Maybe it is because I live in CA. and the Mormon church has left a pretty bad taste in my mouth by abusing their non-profit status and sending all kinds of out of staters to fund prop H8te.

    The LDS church has shown no regard, respect for others, treats people like chattel (I consider adoptees people) and attacks the non-mormon's right to private enjoyment of their own lives all the time.

    They actively surpress adoptee voices on adoption.com and "AdoptionVoices" and participate in the abuse of children via misleading their mothers into unnecessary adoptions. The LDS church actively works to harm adoptees. I will shed a tear for them as soon as they stop attacking an already marginalized population.

    Although harming others seems to be so near and dear to their hearts.

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  18. Joyfuladoptee points out that in her ward she has seen more single moms keep their babies than surrender them. Assuming that 70 percent of the mothers nurture their own child, that rate is grossly disproportionate to the the national percentage. In the US each year about 1.7 million babies are born to single women (about 40 percent of births). About 14,000 single mothers surrender their babies, about .8%. Clearly the high rate of surrender in joyful's ward is not a coincidence.

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  19. I have been following the comments pretty closely to see if both sides are being represented. If you really want to have peoples views represented (like you claim you really care about the first mothers chance to really explore her options) than you should consider posting the comments that "oppose" your opinions. Of course, it would have to be done in a respectful manner. Personally, I see a lot of positives in the bill being passed. But I don't think the other side should be silenced or attacked. Every one is passionate about their "side." The LDS Church is so large, that honestly most decisions are made at the local level. The Bishops have guidelines (literally a book) that they can see the Church's Official position. It is no secret the Church strongly suggests a single mother place her child for adoption. I personally am completely against this position. The church has also recently come out against Vasectomy in Men. I am completely against this position also. I agree the Church does influence some of its members to strictly follow its teachings. It is sad when someone feels compelled to follow the Church's teachings when their instinct is to parent their child. The Church teaches that their sin becomes a beautiful thing by giving the child a Mother and Father sealed in the Temple for Eternity. LDS Family Services won't even represent a couple that is not "Temple Worthy." As much as the LDS church tries to influence its members with its doctrine I still believe that the decision ultimately lies with the individual involved. Now, here is the thing. If the individual is "strong" like myself, no matter what ANYONE else says I would do what I felt was best for the child and myself. But if the individual is not "strong" in their convictions and personality they could be persuaded to go the adoption route due to that being the Church's official position. For that reason, I support the bill. I want first mothers to have the opportunity to FEEL what it FEELS like to be a Mother. I want them to FEEL without drugs and hormones flooding out of them. But that being said, I don't blame the LDS Church. I blame the current legislation that is in place. The Church can influence but it CANNOT make the ultimate choice. The current legislation wants first mothers to do it quickly, so it won't be such "an emotional struggle." Well, you know what, most first mothers will struggle with their decision for the rest of their lives. What is eight days? Give them that. They are after all, the person that gave that child life. Without them, there would be no child.

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  20. In a previous post, you claimed to support what is in the best interest of the baby. But in reality you are advocating more for birth mothers than their babies. It is not better for a baby who has a loving family waiting to stay in the hospital or with an agency for a week just because an inflexible bill was put into place. That is why it makes sense to allow the mother to opt out. By trying to protect the rights of a few who are coerced, which is admittedly a horrible thing, you are denying the rights of the majority of women who have done their research and have made their decision. And birth mothers can always be coerced a week later. They have obviously had many months to consider their decision. At any rate, you have to admit to yourself that you are advocating for birth mothers, not their babies.

    On a side note, Mrs. R is an awesome person and she definitely disagrees with you on the issue of at least not allowing an opt-out but I think her objections are more that you haven't taken the time to get your facts straight when you have written about her.

    As an LDS person (Mormon), I can see where you and I disagree is that I believe an ideal family has a mother and father and if someone is having a baby unexpectedly and especially if she is young and unmarried, in most cases her best option for future happiness is to let a couple who is ready raise her baby. You seem to be prejudiced against adoption, whereas I see it as an option that blesses many lives. Open adoptions can be a beautiful thing, as Mrs. R has shown.

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  21. For those commenting:

    We are not publishing the comments that have the facts wrong.

    We are publishing comments we do not agree with, as you will see if you read them.

    We are also not attacking Mrs. R as many of you are writing, but noting she does not reveal who she is, or where she lives. That is her right, but it is then fair game to point that out. She mentioned in her blog that she adopted in a contested adoption, which we have noted. We are not discussing her adoption here, or publishing more personal details about her. That is not the topic under discussion.

    She only came to our attention as her blog contained a lot of incorrect information about the legislation proposed in Oregon.

    And that is the topic.

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  22. Anon 12:34 wrote: "As an LDS person (Mormon), I can see where you and I disagree is that I believe an ideal family has a mother and father and if someone is having a baby unexpectedly and especially if she is young and unmarried, in most cases her best option for future happiness is to let a couple who is ready raise her baby."

    It's a funny thing, I thought adoption was first and foremost about the child. In the majority of cases (barring abuse and neglect) it is better for the child to be raised in his/her own family rather than by genetic strangers.

    All of these arguments coming from LDS sound like they are straight out of the 1950s and 60s. I guess we'll have to wait 20 or 30 years to see all the damage done. Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.

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  23. "By trying to protect the rights of a few who are coerced, . . . you are denying the rights of the majority of women who have done their research and have made their decision. . . They have obviously had many months to consider their decision."

    Sure, they've had many months while pregnant to think about their decision. And then they give birth. They shouldn't have to make a decision mere hours after becoming a mother and seeing their baby. If the law allows them to opt out, there WILL be APs and lawyers demanding them to sign the papers early. It is totally naive to think otherwise.

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  24. Mrs. Redfern's post stated:

    ~HB 2904 will require that a mandatory time period of 8 days pass after the birth before a birthparent can relinquish the child for adoption.

    The 8 days cannot be waived and the verbiage used in the bill clearly states that the child cannot be placed in the adoptive home prior to relinquishment.


    Is it true the baby would not be able to go home before the 8 days?

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  25. Anon said: "In a previous post, you claimed to support what is in the best interest of the baby. But in reality you are advocating more for birth mothers than their babies."

    Please, anon, read my previous writings.

    Recognized child welfare experts have found that the best place for a child is with his natural family if possible. Being older, married, and more affluent does not make people better parents for a child than his natural mother. These experts include the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute (funded by adoptive parents), the Child Welfare League of America (an umbrella organization for adoption agencies), and Anne Babb, Ph.D adoptive mother and social worker.

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  26. There will never be a perfect law that's always fair to everyone. HB 2904 may pose an inconvenience to moms who are eager to terminate their own rights immediately after birth, but the current law makes it too easy to exploit ambivalent mothers when they're most vulnerable. If we must choose between these two extremes, why not choose the one that's most likely to prevent the unethical treatment of new mothers?

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  27. Anon, thanks for asking.

    Contrary to what Mrs. Redfern says nothing in the bill says the baby cannot go home with the prospective adoptive parents during the eight day period before the mother can sign a surrender.

    The claim that the baby will have to go to foster care or home with the mother is just another misrepresentation by opponents designed to cause alarm.

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  28. @Jane,

    Although the APs will always be older (as long as they are still alive), they may not always be married or more affluent.

    @Tryingtoheal (re: comment on last article),

    I can certainly understand how after a crisis pregnancy it could take 2 months for the fog to clear and for you to be able to see clearly again.

    It really is outrageous that there is so much opposition to this bill. 8 days is such a short amount of time.

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  29. It seems like this subject keeps going around in circles. One person states something, another disputes it. Can you please do another post explaining what the bill really does? On a different note...Another sad day in the adoption world. A family is suing their attorneys because the child they adopted has special needs. What is this world coming to???

    http://www.hollybaby.com/2011/02/23/adoption-sick-baby-lawsuit/

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  30. A family puts up a billboard in hopes to adopt. So much for a baby needing a family. They need help.

    http://www.hollybaby.com/2011/01/05/couple-billboard-adopt-baby-michigan-josh-wendy-rougeau/

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  31. Jane, not sure what your point is with your 70% scenario. According to the Guttmacher institute, almost 50% of unintended pregnancies in the US result in abortion. I think you will find that rate to be much reduced with Mormon women, probably less than 10%. At the same time, you will find the pregnancy rate amongst unwed Mormon women to be one of the lowest in the country. So your 70% statistic is a nonsequitur to my point, which is that Mormon women are not coerced into their decisions to plan an adoption for their baby.

    There are too many differences in the population and too many variables to draw any conclusions about coercion vs choice.

    Lorraine, I had to laugh when I read your post, "we are not publishing the comments that have the facts wrong..." Really? Then how did Joy's comment get through? "The LDS Church actively works to harm adoptees..." Really?? Have we stooped to that level of mudslinging? Go out and interview 10 Mormon adoptees at random and see how they respond to that. But until you have proof, please stick to printing facts.

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  32. Rosie said this:
    Rosie went on to say, ”I have to say it’s interesting. My daughter is 13. I watch it with her.” Rosie was talking about her daughter Chelsea, whom she adopted and co-parents with her ex, Kelli Carpenter. “I think the fantasy for adopted children is to have a baby of their own, and then keeping it, which their mother did not do.”

    http://www.hollybaby.com/2011/01/26/teen-mom-rosie-odonnell/

    Do you think that is a fantasy for adopted children?

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  33. People need time to think clearly. Here is more proof.


    A little more on Ashley's experience. If she were to give advice to other teen moms facing the same painful choice, Ashley would tell them one thing: “Do what you think is best for your child.” “Think long and hard about what you really want. Weigh out your options — pros and cons,” Ashley advises. “Think long and hard about what you want for your child, first of all. Try not to be so biased when your feelings get in the way, and try not to listen so much to other peoples’ inputs. It’s not worth it. It’s too confusing. You and of course, your child, are what matter the most. Lastly, I’m going to be honest, because I believe that teens need to know this beforehand: adoption hurts like hell. It could possibly destroy you for a while. You won’t be able to sleep. You won’t be able to eat. You won’t be able to look at other babies, and there will be days you might feel like you can’t go on living.”

    http://www.hollybaby.com/2010/12/23/ashley-salazar-16-and-pregnant-talks-adoption-callie-mtv/

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  34. Anon asked if I could do another post explaining what the bill really does. Here's a link to an earlier post explaining the bill in detail. I'm putting the link on the sidebar as well. http://www.firstmotherforum.com/2011/02/reforming-oregons-adoption-laws.html

    In sum the bill does these things:

    Gives mothers eight days after birth before they may consent to adoption and 30 days after consenting to revoke the consent. Currently mothers may sign consents on the delivery table, revocable only if they can prove fraud or duress.

    ---Assures mothers receive independent, fact-based counseling.

    ---Assures mothers have legal counsel.

    ---Grants mothers legal remedies if their consent is obtained by fraud or duress.

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  35. I work in a hospital on a mom/baby floor in a predominately LDS area. We adoptions that take place all the time. Every on is different. Every birth mother is different. We have moms that do not wish to see their babies, moms that go home with their babies for a time after, and moms that place in the hospital setting. We in no way persuade our moms to place, we take a very neutral standing on the matter.

    I am a mom to both children I carried and given birth to and to a son we adopted. When we went through training to adopt (we ended up adopting through foster care) with LDS family services, they reinforced how important it is to be supportive of the birth mothers and how important an open adoption is for both sides.

    In our position, we have a relationship with our son's birth grandparents, but not his mom as she does not want a relationship at this time. I think forcing a mother to have to wait 8 days is torture for some. I feel LDS family services, although naturally not perfect, is supportive and understands that each situation is different. They offer counseling all the way through, something a birth mother needs before, during, and after placement. I have seen other agencies and none have as phenomenal case workers as I have seen with LDS family services.

    And I happen to know Mrs R outside of adoption and she is a wonderful person and an amazing mom. You do not know her story, you know only the one side of the birth father, someone who was physically abusive to the birth mother. We adoptive moms are not all evil. We are just trying to be the best moms to our children, just like any other mom.

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  36. What if the adoptive father died or if they got divorced? The real mother might have gotten married later on. What a terrible reason to give your child away. She was already a good parent to her son. Why not force the father to not be anonymous rather than give your daughter away. And to live 15 minutes away, pure torture. What a horrible and disturbing story.

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  37. In sum the bill does these things:

    Gives mothers eight days after birth before they may consent to adoption and 30 days after consenting to revoke the consent. Currently mothers may sign consents on the delivery table, revocable only if they can prove fraud or duress.

    ---Assures mothers receive independent, fact-based counseling.

    ---Assures mothers have legal counsel.

    ---Grants mothers legal remedies if their consent is obtained by fraud or duress.


    This is where I am confused? I don't have a problem with the eight and thirty day waiting period, a mother DOES need time to make a decision. What I DO have a problem with, and what you did NOT include, was the ONE YEAR OPEN WINDOW the mother and father have to claim the baby. After the grace periods of eight and thirty days has passed, and the papers are signed, the bparents CAN STILL have up to a year to challenge the adoption!

    Again, it's nothing more then babysitting a child on someone else's time & dime! After all of the legalities are done, the bparents have one year to challenge the adoption, that doesn't make sense NOR is it in anyone's best interest except the bparents.

    If I am not correct, this is why the bill may fail. Because it seems as if the parents are putting the responsibilities of "parenting on hold" while they get it together and still have the legal "window/right" to. JMHO

    Jane, can you please explain in LAYMAN terms?

    ReplyDelete
  38. We really don't want to have a personal fight with Mrs. r about her own adoptions, which is not the subject of this post. Jane and I, in our statement: What We Think About Adoption (link at sidebar) have stated that we understand some adoptions are necessary and good. (And as readers know, I have said that about the adoption of my granddaughter, Lisa.)

    We have not published the additional personal comments we have received from Mrs. r--chirpy little "gotcha" comments with smiley faces :)--informing us she did not adopt in Washington or Oregon (without say where), or comments about her telling us that she is a good person, that she has been through a lot, telling us where we are wrong but not telling us, in fact, the correct facts about her adoption. We did not mean to discuss Mrs. r's character here, though we understand that she has said disparaging remarks about Jane on her Facebook page.

    Mrs. r's adoptions, according to her blog, are open ones, and we are pleased to know that. She may indeed be a lovely person, even though we almsot certainly disagree about some aspects of adoption law.

    Mrs. r seems to be particularly incensed about our noting that she adopted in a contested adoption with the father, which was a statement she simply made on one of her blogs. As readers know, we have written about how father's rights have been routinely usurped in contested adoptions.

    Apparently we received a comment from the first mother, Joniece, of the child in the contested adoption, which stated that the father was in prison and that he had been abusive. Since we had no way of verifying this, and since Mrs. r's personal saga was not the point of the blog, we did not publish it. Someone this morning sent us a link to the blog on which Joneice's comment appears with some changes and corrections.

    Also, others have informed us that apparently Mrs. r is Lindsey Wheatley Redfern (the pictures looks amazingly the same, if she is not) and she lives in Salt Lake City, rather than simply Happy Valley: USA, as her blog states. Oddly enough, she and I share Facebook friends.

    In response to the errors of fact as to where Mrs. r adopted, we have made the changes in the original blog, and we wish Mrs. r good health and good luck. We certainly did not intend to set out on a personal vendetta as she has implied.

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  39. As a natural mother , what upsets me the most in this discussion is those who act as if we have no love or emotions for OUR children. This is a life altering decision for both the mother and child. How can anyone who believes that they are a caring, religious, person think that allowing someone eight lousy days to make this decision can be wrong?
    In my personal situation I had two weeks and still made the wrong decison for myself and my daughter. I realized that within two months of signing. ( Robin, thanks for your validation of this)

    It appears to me, and I speak from experience not just opinon, that the problem is the fact that until the paperwork is final the baby belongs to its mother and not to the adoptive parents.
    Why do all those in support of adoption have the false impression that all adoptive parents are any more wonderful than the natural parents. My daughters adoptive parents divorced just after she graduated from high school. The environment she grew up in was far from a fairy tale. All three of their adopted children have many unresolved issues as adults.
    A decision to relinquish your child is lifelong and agonizing and one that takes years if ever to fully come to grips with. Most of us here can agree with that and to minimize our feelings by thinking that allowing a mother eight days to make that decision is nothing short of abuse.
    I actually think it should be at least six months before anything is final.

    ReplyDelete
  40. @Anon, regarding your statement that the church can't make a woman make that choice - Uh? What? You are not mormon - I will not glorify the church by giving it the title it chose for itself to nullify the horrors of the past. I am and was!

    I would not go back to the church for any amount of money or blessings! It is pathetic that people think that being "temple worthy" suddenly makes them a good person to adopt - OMG - my parents were sealed in the temple - and divorced by the time I was 9. The mormon church tried to force my father, a number of times throughout my and my siblings youth, to give us up for adoption. They even sent church "social workers" to our home to take us from him and then called state social workers to try to enforce it. They tried to force a marriage to a local church woman when they could not get us that way.

    The one thing that absolutely disgusts me in all of this is the amount of BS and crap that church members of low standing buy into and spread to the public. First off, have any of you lovely people that are lowly "members" of the church ever really looked at how your leaders, your prophets live? OMG - use your heads! All that tithe you pay - 10% and more - that doesn't go to you! It doesn't even support your local ward, except in a very minor way. It goes to the church coffers and pays for those big houses and temples that most of you are not even be allowed to enter into the inner sanctum.

    Adoption is a force issue in the church - don't even lie to yourself. The elders, once a woman who is unmarried and pregnant is discovered, very kindly put in all kinds of "help" to make the decision to adoption..... they send their wives, their brothers wives, they pressure the family, telling the parents how they have a lovely family that will raise their grandchild/nephew/niece/child in the church to be good mormons.... and they do it until the mother capitulates, runs or marries a man that is "suitable." I grew up watching it - so don't even start on that crap that the church has changed!

    My own mother has tried to pressure her 9 - yes 9 - children to return to the church. Withholding, at the behest of family and the church members, love and even the knowledge of our mother from us to pressure our return.

    So, yes, the church is more than capable of doing what they are claiming that they don't do.... the Elders, the male faction of the church, are in charge and women are not even supposed to get into heaven without their man allowing it - so don't go there.... the church is and will always back the adoption of children.... they can't publically have 9 wives, so they adopt children to bring them the huge family that they seem to think is necessary.

    Give me a break!

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  41. Once again, I will second Jane... The law does not provide for WHERE the child will go during the 8 day waiting period - she can certainly go home with her adoptive parents. Also, the one year revocation period can only be invoked if the first parent can PROVE duress. Working in law enforcement, I realize this is very difficult to prove.

    In my opinion, adoptive parents should be the party to take on ALL of the risk, emotional and financial, during an adoptive placement. The APs benefit the most from the transaction.

    Lastly, before you assume that Jane is a rabid, fire breathing anti-adoption natural mother- let me say this: I have great respect for Jane, and would even call her a friend- and I AM an adoptive parent! In my experience Jane has been very open minded in listening to my viewpoint as an adoptive parent. I had input during the development of this bill and (again) as an ADOPTIVE PARENT I take no issue with any of the provisions of this bill.

    This bill, by ensuring natural mothers have sufficient time to decide, can only strengthen adoptive families by reassuring both parent and child that the decision to relinquish was made in the healthiest emotional environment possible.

    -Ansley

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  42. Lorraine or Jane,

    There is no way you will convince those who
    have adopted, or in the process of adopting, or
    on a list to adopt, or are thinking about adopting
    to listen or even care whether a mother has time
    or as some have said here "get it together" to
    make a decision that will affect her life along with
    her babies' life forever after.

    Oil and vinegar don't mix. Just like naturall mothers
    and adoptive mothers don't mix. Opposites sides of
    a real life issue. An unnatural issue.

    Frankly, this is boring going back and forth.
    I did type the two factions families for adoption
    and LDS they look and seem to be interlinked by
    Morman faith.

    As far as there being good in Catholic or Morman
    religions that is not relevant to issue.

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  43. Lorraine, You should include in your 'disclaimers' that I HAVE commented, explained many things that readers have asked and explained why my name wasn't given in mrs r's original post, yet you have chosen to not post.
    ~Ms Diligence

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  44. Jane said ...
    "The claim that the baby will have to go to foster care or home with the mother is just another misrepresentation by opponents designed to cause alarm."

    You don't know that. You don't know what will happen after the baby is born, no one does. You can write all the legislation you want, but in the end there are far too many hands in the process and those hands can find the LITLLEST thing to void all that was agreed upon before the birth.

    I speak from experience here. I had no idea that MY state would come in and put my daughter in Foster Care for almost two months over a BS claim. Please do not say things that you cannot back up 100%. This is the PROBLEM with adoption laws! Things promised that cannot be followed through.

    ReplyDelete
  45. "Oil and vinegar don't mix. Just like naturall mothers
    and adoptive mothers don't mix. Opposites sides of
    a real life issue. An unnatural issue."

    Mother,

    Clearly you didn't read my comment. Evidently, Jane and I are defying your self-imposes laws of nature.

    By making sweeping assumptions about what kinds of relationships people are capable of, we inhibit the human ability to evolve and deepen the antimosity between groups who have much to gain by becoming allies.

    -Ansley

    -Ansley

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  46. I am an adoptive parent and an adopted person as well and I fully support this bill. I was rather shocked to read some of the comments on Lindsey Redfern's facebook wall (open to anyone)on the link to Jane's blog post that were from LDS members that were very vile and nasty.

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  47. Adopters should have no business period participating in this as it is totally self serving.

    They are oil and water in this big time.

    I hope the law goes through to prevent PAPs and vile baby brokers from coercing any more mothers into this bizarre and freakish experiment.

    Adoption is not good for children what so ever and should be prevented.

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  48. Anon said she is still confused about the year period to contest the adoption. Thanks to Ansley for her excellent response.

    Let me add a little more. Current law says no one can contest an adoption after a year and only for fraud or duress. Fraud and duress are not defined.

    Attorneys believed this gave them a year to contest an adoption. "Not so" said the Oregon Court of Appeals in 2006. "The time limit is up to each judge based on the facts of the particular situation." In 2010, the Oregon Supreme Court (a higher court) wrote an opinion suggesting parents did in fact have one year to contest an adoption.

    Unless the law is clarified, attorneys will spend a lot of time arguing whether a law suit was begun in time. This will put money in the pockets of attorneys but will cause delay which will harm the child, the birth parent, and the adoptive parents.

    HB 2904 clarifies parents have one year to contest an adoption based on a violation of the adoption laws. Nothing in the bill allows a mother to contest an adoption just because she has changed her mind or has differences with the adoptive parents.

    All laws need to have some way to make them enforceable. Otherwise, they are meaningless.

    The best way to make sure adoption pratitioners follow the law is to allow parents to sue to overturn an adoption that occurrs illegally.

    HB 2904 allows adoptive parents to know that the child came to them through ethical practices.

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  49. Sorry that these PAPs and abusive adopters wrote so many hateful things about you Jane. In my estimation you are to be credited for trying to bring ethics and good law into a cesspool that serves only adopters.

    The various blogs and writings about adoption from them is some of the most irrational, asinine and pure filled junk that I have read in years. As an adoptee I find it to be repugnant.

    I do hope that young mothers will contact older mothers for advice, support and resources before their precious babes are farmed into the adoption mill.

    There is a massive amount of child abuse in adoption as well that they should be warned of just for starters. Babies if they could talk would not want to be adopted either.

    I hope the laws pass to protect people from the vultures preying upon young, vulnerable parents and their babies.

    And yes, those who do what is tantamount to kidnapping should be sued - including both the adopters or PAPS and the brokers!

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  50. Well, Anne, much to your dismay- I am participating. And I am also hoping HB2904 passes.

    -Ansley

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  51. I wasn't adopted but I was in a rather similar situation, as my father got custody of me when I was three and a half. For some reason I forgot about my mother, who did not at that time have visiting rights (or, at least, not any rights that my dad respected). My stepmom out and out lied to me about being my natural mother. So it went and I believed her until I was seven and my mother had found me and demanded to see me else she would take my father back to court.

    It came out that she had apparently neglected me while she had custody of me, and then asked my dad if her new husband could adopt me, which was the final straw for Dad. On top of that my stepmother took me on as her personal cause because she was abused as a child and saw herself in me and my situation with my mother.

    I don't actually know the facts. My dad's sister later apologized to my mother in front of me. It's possible that the neglect my father heard about was something his family made up, but I will never know, because I don't remember being with Mom at all.

    In any case, here's how it turned out when the judge handed me over to a "better family."

    -My dad was active duty Navy and was deployed on a ship for four and a half years, most of which time he spent away from us. I was not returned to my mother during that time and my stepmother had no legal rights to me other than as the spouse of my custodial parent. So I wasn't even raised by the parent who had custody.

    -I was both neglected AND abused by my stepmother while my father was gone. So much for her trying to protect me from a crappy childhood. I suppose she told herself that since it wasn't the kind of abuse she suffered, that made everything OK.

    -Even when my dad was home, he was an alcoholic (still is to this day) and while he had a greater capacity for kindness than my stepmother did, he still had his moments, like the time he knocked me to the floor or the time he punched me in the shoulder or the several times he drove while intoxicated with us kids (me and my half-brother) in the car.

    -In the midst of all this I had zero biological family nearby to blunt the effects of what was going on at home. No sympathetic aunts, uncles, grandparents or even my mother to talk to for several years because we were too far away to visit often. Had I stayed with my mother I could have grown up with two other brothers and lots of extended family and a better sense of who I was, where I came from and what my heritage was. (I'm Cajun, and my stepmother is not.)

    Even when you are in a crappy situation with your original mother there is no guarantee anyone else can do better for you. I lost years with my family that I can never have back. And for what? I don't feel like I belong anywhere now. Everybody who should mean something to me is a stranger except my own daughter.

    And, speaking from experience, there is a HUGE difference between raising a child you gave birth to yourself, and taking care of a child who comes from someone else. HUGE. Anyone who says otherwise is lying--to you for sure, probably to themselves as well.

    I still maintain adoption is never necessary. Permanent guardianship, sure, but not the pretending "as if born to" and the changing of the birth certificate and all that.

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  52. Lorraine,

    I am not going to do your research about me for you, but I will correct things that are wrong.

    I have never told you that I was a good person. I have never told you that I have been through a lot. I don't need you to like me nor do I need you to feel like I am a good person.

    I have never said anything disparaging about Jane on my FB page or blog other than calling her Coo Coo and wishing I could send the LDS missionaries to her house. I do say that the photo that appears on my FB page when I link to the posts is a great one of her and she looks like a nice grandma. That's about as personal as I got even though since Megan emailed me this morning, I could say a lot more. I choose not to as I have been a FMF reader prior to this time.

    I am no incensed about you noting that I celebrate that we won our contested adoption! I cannot celebrate that fact enough! I just wish you would have gotten that state right.

    Joniece's ex-boyfriend and the birth father of my son has never been to prison.

    Just a few more corrections for you. ;)

    Again, thanks for the shout-outs!

    P.S. Please tell Laurie Staley that I have no idea how to make my wall private, but would appreciate any tutoring.

    Thanks!

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  53. Dana, I feel the same way as you do, and sorry that you had such a rough time.

    Adoption is about identity amputation and there are without question better alternatives such as guardianship. I fully agree.

    The barrage of hateful comments certainly show the true colors of who this is really about, and it is of course all about PAPs and adopters, it always has been.

    Ansley, no I do not agree with adopters being involved with this at all. I have no interest in debating with adopters period.

    In the end I hope that laws come with severe and massive fines and penalties for PAPs and the brokers as if not they will royally take advantage, they always do!

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  54. "All laws need to have some way to make them enforceable. Otherwise, they are meaningless.

    The best way to make sure adoption pratitioners follow the law is to allow parents to sue to overturn an adoption that occurrs illegally.

    HB 2904 allows adoptive parents to know that the child came to them through ethical practices."

    Jane:

    The second paragraph is open to interpretation, and some will use the fact that the OA isn't what they envisioned by claiming fraud to get the child back. I think one has to be very careful when submitting a law that allows a person to place a child and have one year to claim "fraud or duress".

    Again, not all BUT some people will use this to blackmail a couple who's only desire is to be parents. I have read many stories of baparents asking aparents for money to "help them out" after the child was placed. Can you imagine what would happen if this one year provision of the law was passed? Talking about blackmail and coercion. I've also read about how some bdads mysterious reappear after the child was place, because the bmom told him about the child, and tries to "strong arm" the aparents.

    There are many good people in this world but there are also many bad ones too, and this law also needs to protect them as well.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Correction to Mrs. r's correction about herself: I never said you stated to us that you were a good person, or that you said that you had been through a lot. You ought learn how to read carefully when you are correcting others and--get your facts straight! :o When a comment is "about" somebody that usually means she did not write it herself.

    And if not calling someone Coo Coo on FB is not negative and demeaning (and then keeping up nasty comments about her that others have added) is not negative, as well as pointing out that she is not of the same demographic as you, my lord, I'd hate to be on your wrong side. :) We are not going to call you Coo Coo because we do think that is less than honorable.

    Sorry about mistaking Joneice's baby daddy as the man in jail but she did say that he was abusive in her comment, and you so graciously thank her for pointing out how awful we are on some other blog, but didn't I read that the father of someone in your Happy Valley: USA (aka Salt Lake City, according to Facebook) home is getting out of jail? Sorry that I mixed up the individuals involved. Or maybe no one is in jail and that was all a mistake? Please inform us since you are coming back to the blog. Now we are especially curious to know the state and county where you won the contested adoption since you are so distrubed we haven't read your blog long enough to discern if indeed you state at all where this contested adoption took place since this detail makes so much difference...to you. I'd like to say Utah, where father's rights are routinely usurped but--Hey, I'd be guessing! Inquiring minds want to know.

    Laurie Staley? Megan? We don't have these names on our comments.

    And as you say, thanks for the shout outs! :)

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  56. I don't understand why this Mrs. R is making this all about herself. What do I care about her?

    This bill should be about protecting a child's right to be raised by her mother. At least giving the mother a fair shake and ethical treatment. To take time to decide if the life-altering decision to give her baby to strangers is really the best one in her circumstance.

    I can't believe people are against this. As to the woman who complains that leaving the year window in the case of fraud or whatnot is babysitting on someone else's dime, well what about the child's best interest? These people that see children as so interchangable shouldn't mind, it doesn't conflict with their belief system----that babies are just toys and don't matter until they can speak. Perhaps if the aparents are so worried about wasting money on someone else's child they can leave the child in the system for a year or so.

    I find it very unfair that the LDS continually try to push their values on everyone.

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  57. In answer to your questions. Nicole is the first "birthmother" to Lindsey's son Tyson. He is the one in Prison. He is getting out soon and Lindsey is beyond thrilled to connect Tyson with him. The second "birthmother" is Joniece. She was flown in from another state to live with Mrs. R. while she was pregnant. When the "birthfather" opposed the adoption it took place in Utah courts. The reason the other states were involved is because the "birthfather" lived out of state. The "birthmother" did also until she moved in with the Redferns at the end of her pregnancy. Mrs. R. is a really great gal. Jane and Lorraine are too. This is sad this is becoming personal.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I just realized it seems like Nicole (the "birthmother") is in Prison. The "birthfather" is. :)

    ReplyDelete
  59. Anon (Ms. Diligence). We're not sure which comments that you are referring to that we didn't post. We receive many anonymous posts. If you wish, you send them again.

    Since you claim expertise in adoption law, I encourage you to identify yourself and provide your credentials.

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  60. joyfuladoptee,

    Your argument about opposition to abortion being a factor in the high surrender rate by LDS women is not well-taken.

    LDS Family Services does over three times as many adoptions in Oregon as Catholic Charities. As you know, the Catholic Church also opposes abortion. There are more Catholics in Oregon than Mormons.

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  61. Mrs. Redfern's adoption is now worse than Lorraine thought it was--when she thought Mrs. r opposed a father who was in jail. No, it is much worse than that: Lindsey Wheately Redfern flew in a pregnant woman from another state, kept her in her home while she was pregnant, this making it difficult for the mother to think straight about the baby since she now owed Redfern and company gratitude for housing and feeding her, and then Mrs. r was able to adopt the child OVER THE WISHES OF THE BIOLOGICAL FATHER...
    because uh, this was is Utah and whatever Mormons want Mormons get from Mormon judges, particularly when what they want is a child from an unmarried birth mother. We have seen this time and time again.

    Mrs. r's story about her contested adoption now stinks to high heaven.

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  62. "As to the woman who complains that leaving the year window in the case of fraud or whatnot is babysitting on someone else's dime, well what about the child's best interest? These people that see children as so interchangable shouldn't mind, it doesn't conflict with their belief system----that babies are just toys and don't matter until they can speak. Perhaps if the aparents are so worried about wasting money on someone else's child they can leave the child in the system for a year or so."

    Joy:

    Do the math: if a woman has a year to claim her child back, then some shady character will do it so she can "by pass" the early morning and late night feedings.

    Let's be honest, there have been many bmothers who say they will place, and have people spend money on them for the " baby's needs", when in reality they have no intentions of placing. Or how about the bomom who's mad at the father and one year later they get back together and now they want to be a "family" and get the child back after one year? I have read countless stories like this many times: the bdad mysteriously reappears and now he/she wants the child back( because the bmom told him about the child and their back together).

    Children aren't pieces of wood you can put back on the shelve until you get it together or "decide" you want to parent.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Jane, you need to brush up on research methodology standards.

    If you are going to compare two agencies side by side you would also need to compare client demographics side by side. Can you compare the demographics of the population Catholic Social Services serves to the demographics of the population LDSFS serves? Abortion rates are only one variable to consider and knowing the policies of the affiliated religion won't even tell us whether or not the clients' abortion rates are similar. One must also look at age distribution, income level, ethnicity, religiousity, personal beliefs, education, structure of the extended family, birthfather involvement, unwed pregnancy rates, that sort of thing. There are too many confounding variables here to support your premise.

    Divergent populations will have divergent adoption rates. It does not prove anyone is being pressured into a decision.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Done with the HatersFebruary 28, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    Viktoria,

    I'm assuming you haven't read Mrs. R's blog or you would have gotten your facts straight.

    Joniece's best friend is Mr. R's little brother (which happened long before adoption ever entered the picture). Being in an abusive situation, Joniece chose to flee the situation for HER safety and the safety of the BABY and go stay with friends. The R's were wonderful enough to let her stay with them. Once she decided to place for adoption, and she had chosen them, the R's found Joniece her own apartment, knowing that she would need her own space to make the most private and difficult decision of her life.

    They never flew her out and Joniece never felt obligated to give them her baby in return for room and board. To even suggest it is so ridiculous and frankly, obnoxious.

    And yes, the birth father contested the adoption. And the R's fought him for custody with Joniece's full support.

    I'm a little shocked that some of you would want that innocent little boy to be raised with an abusive father over the family Joniece CHOSE for him.

    Thank God it was up to Joniece and not you.

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  65. Anne,

    Thanks for joining our blog. I share your frustrations about adoption as it is practiced today.

    Someday guardianships may replace adoption but not any time soon. We need to repair adoption now so that it truly becomes a program for children who need families.

    Ansley and adoptive mothers like her are part of the solution, not part of the problem. I so much appreciate Ansley's support.

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  66. On Redfern's blog she talks about one of her son's birthmothers is only a 17 year old girl at the time of placement and needed to be appointed an guardian ad litum in court and that held things up and irritated/frustrated her as she felt SHE knew this 17 year old child better than anyone else. Was this the girl held at Redfern's home I wonder? Shady indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  67. In answer to anon at 5:25pm. The 17 year old "birthmother" is Nicole. She is the first "birthmother" who placed with the Redfern's. She lived out of state (My recollection says Virginia?) and the Redfern's flew there to stay until they were allowed to bring Tyson home to Utah. I believe they stayed for a month or two? The "birthmother" who lived with the Redfern's is Joniece, the "birthmother" of Gavin. Joniece did indeed move into another apartment soon before delivery. The Redfern's were HONESTLY just trying to do the best they could.

    ReplyDelete
  68. @ anon:

    Joy: Do the math? Srsly? lols, this has nothing to do with math.

    Babies aren't math problems and I don't think money makes up for lack of mother.

    Why can't you post under your own name anon? I am not impressed.

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  69. Speaking of "birthfathers" rights being taken away; this is a very sad story. It does involve LDS Family Services but if you read the letter from them to the "birthfather" they pull out when they realize he wants to parent his child. But boy, it sure seems sad.

    http://www.babyselling.com./

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  70. People who have had BAD experiences with LDS Family Services posted their comments here.

    http://www.babyselling.com/?p=48

    Wow. Pretty horrifying stuff.

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  71. In the UK, consent for adoption cannot be legally taken until 6 *weeks* after the birth. It is not considered informed consent before that time. No agreement or papers for adoption can be signed before this time. Pre-birth adoption agreements are illegal and void under UK law. I don't understand how 8 days is considered reasonable in any place, especially if the mother has had a very difficult birth.

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  72. this whole posting is really sad to read. some of you, including jane and lorraine, failed to have all your facts straight before you posted. one thing is clear to me, and that is that you both have posted incorrect info about the lds church and mrs. r.. the lds church does not brainwash their members and does not take away their free agency and right to chose for themselves. i see all too often the results of children who were kept by their mothers or grandparents instead of being given up for adoptions. sure, nothing is perfect and even though at the time the adoptive parents look like they are the best choice, sometimes they too are human and make mistakes. this too happens to children who are born and raised by their own parents. there is no perfect answer to children being born to single moms in their teens who made a bad choice, but there are plenty of people out there that want to make a difference and make the sacrifice to raise those children. i have never been involved in an adoption, but my brother has. there is way too much red tape and tons of money spent in order to adopt these children. i admire those people who have made the sacrifice to adopt and spent their life's savings or go in debt to make a difference. btw, i had 2 sons before i had my daughter. there is nothing wrong with mrs r. wanting a daughter. i considered myself blessed to have 2 healthy sons, but there was nothing wrong with wanting a little girl. that little girl is my best friend now. i'm glad i wanted her.

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  73. Anonymous at 9:29,

    when LDS Family Services learned that the father wanted to raise his child, they dropped out of the adoption. What exactly did they do wrong, in your opinion? If anything, you should blame the birthmother who then went to a different agency who apparently didn't mind usurping the birth father's rights. Why aren't you blaming her and the other agency? Why go after an agency who saw the ethical conundrum and chose not to be a part of it?

    As a caseworker for LDSFS, I do everything I can to support the decision of my clients if they want to raise their child. Just ask the ones I've worked with. I consider myself an expectant parent caseworker first.

    But I guess it's just easier to make inflammatory untrue statements than try to research the facts.

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  74. I have a question, but first let me share my stance so hopefully you can understand where I am coming from. First let me start by saying I am an adoptive mother. I am pro adoption. However I share as I know other adoptive couples do the feelings that potential birthmother/first mothers should not be coerced into placing their child for adoption. I feel adoption can be a beautiful thing WHEN done correctly. When promises are kept and when decisions are made in the best interest of the child. I feel sad when I hear of a birthmother/first mother who felt that their decision to place was not their own, but rather they were forced, coerced or tricked into placing. In my extended family adoption is all around. There are adoptive couples, birthmothers/firstmothers, and adoptees. I know the bithmother/first mothers felt they made the best decision for their child. Does it hurt? How could it not, but each of them say they would do it over for them. I understand their story may not be the same as others, everyone has a unique story and no one should ever assume that everyone that has gone through a particular situation will feel the same or hold the same beliefs. My question is knowing that yes there are some birthmother/first mothers who do not regret their decision and did it out of what they know to be love for their child, then why do so many individuals hate and oppose adoption. Why instead of battling the pro adoption world, why can’t birthmother/first mothers, adoptees and others who have had unfortunately not so great experiences try to educate other’s.

    Education is better than just getting certain bills passed. Why are we (yes I am speaking about the whole adoption community here) so insistent upon where we stand that we can’t see another’s point of view. Why can’t we all come together and try to get bills and laws passed that are beneficial for everyone such as making it a requirement that all potential bithmother/first mothers learn about types of coercion used, and resources available to them to take advantage of if they feel they are becoming a victim. I would support any adoption agency and would not understand why an adoption agency would oppose a program like this that is run by an independent group (neutral to adoption). Why can’t we come together to help these girls this way instead of throwing hurtful remarks around about individuals, religious groups, others decisions, and etc. So I guess in a long about way that is my question why are we fighting instead of all of us on either side trying to inform and educate potential birth parents?

    On a side note, I don’t support the law that has been discussed. I would probably support something more along the lines of still letting the potential birthmother/first mother place as early as 48 hours or more after birth, but also giving the birthmother/ first mother that same time frame to change her mind. For example if you live in a state where you can’t relinquish for 7 days, then the birthmother/first mother would have 7 days after relinquishing to change her mind. I feel that this gives birthmother/first mothers that option, while still protecting the child in the sense that if a birthmother/first mother changes her mind in that time frame the child goes back to her instead of filing with courts and having long drawn out custody battles.


    *Sorry I just realized how long this is.
    *Also I know this will come up as Anon because I am a blog stalker rather than and author =O)

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  75. Anon Adoptive Mother,

    Thanks for your articulate and sensitive comments. Yes,we need to reason together. We are trying to put together a group with all interests represented to create a model act.

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  76. I am a birth Mother who gave her child for adoption.Every day I think of her & miss her but I know I did the right thing for her.I was in no position emotionally, financially to raise her.
    I had six months to sign the final papers(I am from the UK) but I have no regrets about signing.
    I wish circumstances had been different but they weren't.
    My daughter is now grown-up & a Mother herself.We had brief contact when she had her first babies but nothing since.That is her choice-I made mine about her life now she is choosing to live hers without me.
    I stated that I wanted a LDS family for my child but they were unable to comply with that & instead she went to a RC home.Her adoptive Mother was unstable & her parents divorced when she was 5 & her Father remarried a wonderful woman when she was 8 who is LDS.So my daughter finally got her forever family & my prayers were answered in a way that I could not have forseen.
    8 days to decide? I really think that Birthmothers need at least six months to make the most momentous decision on somebody else's life.
    What to do in the interim? Place them with prospective adopters- hard if it doesn't work out but a child needs love & bonding from the outset.
    I am also in favour of Open adoption but there are circumstances where that is not possible or safe for the child.
    I wish Laws could be more flexible & not just "One size fits all situations" because as humans we come in a variety of shapes & sizes & we all need different things.

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  77. I gave my daughter up for adoption in 1995. I grew up in a very strong and active LDS family. I can't imagine that my relinquishment could have been handled any worse than through LDS Social Services. They never once asked me what I wanted to do. I had no options, no counseling, I was young and didn't understand I had rights. They TOLD me what to do. I think it's find if someone wants to place their child in an LDS home. But go through another agency. I believe had I gone through another agency, I would have been told my rights, treated with respect, prepared for what was to come, and allowed to make the decision that "I" wanted!!!

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  78. COMMENTS ARE CLOSED ON THIS POST

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