Monday, September 5, 2011

Adoption is a good thing. Really?

Wack-A-Mole
We can't escape adoption. It's like the Wack-a-Mole game, rearing its head in conversations with new acquaintances, popping out in television and radio news reports, bubbling forth in magazines articles. (For those who haven't been to Chuck E. Cheese, Wack-a-Mole is an arcade game where the player hits pop-up moles with a mallet. As soon as the player hits one, another pops up.)  References to adoption, if not overtly positive, are almost always tacitly accepting of adoption as a good thing. Last week fellow blogger Lorraine listened to NPR for five minutes on the car radio and heard a report on how Hurricane Irene affected people's lives. What did she hear? A prospective adoptive father saying that he and his wife had been on the way to the Ukraine where they planned to pick up a baby for adoption--but their Aeroflot cancelled their flight!

On the same day, a player at my local bridge club mentioned he was changing jobs; closing down his adoption agency and becoming the Oregon representative for a Texas agency. The other players at my table, nodded, indicating that indeed, adoption is a noble career. 

Read the New York Times TV listings for tonight and you come across this: "In Rizzoli & Isles at 10, Jane (Angie Harmon) examines the death of a female dockworker and her connections to the mob--and just maybe to the biological father of Maura (Sasha Alexander)." I don't know if "Sasha" is adopted or not, but the theme is clearly a broken connection to her natural father. And maybe adoption. On Law & Order SVU every third episode seems to have some sort of adoption connection. One of the stars of the show, Mariska Hargitay, and her husband adopted in April.

While I was at the car dealer having a minor repair on my car, I came across the story of Didi and Mark while browsing through the September Ladies’ Home Journal. It seems that Didi, 37, was in “premature ovarian failure” (and not, at 37, normal declining fertility?) and could not conceive. Mark, 35, wanted to use “donor” eggs and his sperm to try for a baby. Didi objected, opting for adoption. The counselor suggested Didi deal with her sense of failure over her infertility by reframing her thinking from “’I’ll never have a child of my own’” to “It’s challenging, but with time and effort, I will have a baby to love.’”

Ultimately the couple decided to try IVF, but when they were unable to obtain an Indian donor. Didi was Indian and wanted a baby to look as much like herself and her husband as possible. The couple settled for adopting an 18-month-old boy from an Indian orphanage.

Jane
The author, Cynthia Hanson, ignored the impact of egg donation on the donor, or adoption on the child’s natural parents. Not surprising since this story was part of the “Can This Marriage Be Saved” series which almost invariably comes to a happy conclusion. An ending which stated well, yes, the marriage was saved, but noting that this was at the expense of a poor family on the other side of the world wasn't the "right" ending for LHJ readers.

The public’s casual acceptance of adoption as a good thing is a major stumbling block to those of us who work for adoption reform. After all, if adoption meets the needs of an infertile woman by giving her a baby to love, it can’t be a bad thing. Those of us who push for legislation assuring that mothers have the time and information to make informed decisions about adoption are viewed as spoilers, best ignored. 

The pain all mothers, and I mean all mothers including the giddy Mormons who write “Birthmothers for Adoption” and Catelynn of “16 and pregnant,” suffer is hidden to most of the American public.

How can we catch the conscience of America? By telling and re-telling our stories. A good place to start is Origins-USA Parents’ Stories which the media may pick up and spread. We need to join together with a common message and stop our senseless squabbles over nomenclature and other trivia significant only to mothers and some adoptive parents. I admit I’ve engaged in meaningless arguments here and elsewhere but (knock on wood) I still have time to change direction, moving outward, moving forward.
__________________________________ 

Due to a discussion about adoption that started in the Comment section, let's start listing here the references to adoption/unknown biological parentage that pass through our lives--the good, the neutral, the inconsequential, the bad, the truly horrible. This will be a purely unscientific survey, but interesting, anyway. I do not mean of course, the stuff that is posted on Adoption News Service, or posted on Facebook because it is about adoption, or anything from another blog that has anything to do with adoption. I mean the references you come across in your daily life. And rate the reference yourself: positive, neutral, negative.--lorraine
Adoption and Loss: The Hidden Grief (Revised Edition) 

Evelyn Robinson's powerful memoir, Adoption and Loss, is about losing her son to adoption and the grief which she and thousands of women were forced to keep hidden. Eveyln resides in Australia and has been a strong voice for reform.

 

48 comments :

  1. For me, it's impossible to educate everyone I casually know about the true impact of adoption. So many think that adoption is just this wonderful thing and that mothers are just pleading for someone to take this baby off of their hands. I do find myself rolling my eyes a lot at the rainbows and lollipops that some of the public think. I'm hoping that they just don't realize how arrogant they sound when they are talking about being wonderful people for taking a baby from a 3rd world country and allowing this child to come to the U.S. It makes me ill just thinking about it.

    Watching all the egg donors and sperm donors being paid for their dna material is just exhausting. We are set to have a new wave of angry people -- donor children/now adults. The public think that adoptees are angry -- ha ha -- all we can do is wait and nod because as long as people in their fertility decline want babies, they're not going to listen. They are focused on 'getting a baby' and that's that.

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  2. Declining fertility, in the animal kingdom, is a response to over crowding and dwindling resources. Humans, on the other hand, seem to think that it is simply a way to find a new way to over crowd and stretch resources to the snapping point.

    Life, like all things, finds a way. Each time we find a way to stop nature from killing off the excess population, nature comes up with a new way to do it. From the plagues of Europe to the current battles with infertility and life threatening diseases and disorders... it truly amazes me that people just don't get it.

    Not saying I don't respect life, just wondering at what point we are going to respect the world we live our lives in. After all, there is only so much and then the planet starts to die.... oh, wait, it already is!

    Women that are infertile (and I am one of them) need to work out their issues, help and parent those children that ACTUALLY NEED PARENTS and stop doing idiotic things to obtain yet another child.

    Sigh... Human ignorance knows no bounds.

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  3. I don't think that looking at adoption as " a good thing" or "a bad thing" is really the answer. Adoption is problematic. There is a great deal of corruption and greed involved in our present adoption system. There are people who adopt who should not. But that does not mean that adoption in and of itself is bad, or that those who adopt are bad as a group. It is an institution in need of reform.

    We as mothers who surrendered are very sensitive to adoption issues and references, but we do not have to take every one of those references as a personal affront. We do not have to whack every mole, sometimes it is better for our mental health to just let most of them be.

    I do not see the story of Didi and Mark, the Indian woman who ended up adopting a toddler from an Indian orphanage, as in any way offensive. The child was already in an orphanage. There is no way to know what his family circumstances were or whether anyone in his natural family was harmed by his being adopted.

    Sometimes adoption is a good thing. Sometimes it is not. If our goal in dealing with the public is try to get them to see adoption as always a bad thing, then we are doomed to failure. Much better to stick to our own stories and honestly point out what has been bad in our lives than see every adoption as a crime against nature and all adoptive parents as villains.

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  4. Thanks for the shout out! Hugs and Kisses! xoxoxo

    p.s. correction...not all of the authors on our blog are Mormon. And I am not super giddy...in fact today I feel a little tired and think I may need a nap.

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  5. Maryanne:

    Your comment mystifies me because I guess where you live adoption is not ALWAYS calmly accepted as a universal "good thing," like on the Martha Stewart show, without question. That's what I hear.

    And you know full well that Jane and I are not against all adoptions. See our page (what we think about adoption) if you have forgotten.

    Adoption is usually presented as "a good thing" in magazine articles, on the tube,(maybe not on Law and Order, where adoptions cause problems), when a neighbor mentions it, and there is not a thought about the person and situation who produced the child. It's seen first as a "blessing" or "miracle" that this poor orphan will be given a home in the US of A.

    And it's everywhere, and that was the point of Jane's post. We might not want to think about adoption but Hey! here's a new story today!

    Yes, we first mothers are sensitized to hearing about it, but lord I wish it didn't pop up all the time. It's really popular on the weekend shows (This American Life) on NPR these days.

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  6. Where I live, suburban NJ, adoption is seen as mixed thing depending on who I am talking to and depending on how well they know me, and other adoptees and birthmothers, and our stories. It has been many years since anyone in my real life has been critical of me when I tell them I gave up a child, and reunited, or even when I tell them his adoption was not a good one. Maybe folks are more polite here? Anyhow, all I have gotten for a long time is sympathy and interest. Maybe it helps that I no longer lecture those who talk about a good experience with adoption. Their experience is not mine to define or criticize. I offer connections to search help if someone wants it, but if they say they have no interest in search, I let it be. Someone else having a different take on their own life is not about me.

    Even in the media, yes there are the all-rosy adoption stories and celebrity adoptions, but there are also the killer adoptees and abusive adoptive parent stories, the criticisms of celebrity adopters; not to mention the countless reunion stories, those good, and if there is enough dramatic effect, those gone bad.
    What I see is a mixed bag. The media looks at adoption in sensational extremes, the sentimental blessing on one side, but the dark side gets plenty of play as well. It is all out there, just a matter of where you look and what you notice.

    I gave up on NPR when they became too much talk and blather and not enough music or Car Talk. I listen to the classical music channel instead, in between listening to classic rock stations. I don't read "women's magazines" and I barely watch TV. Mostly I read stuff I find fun or interesting. If something comes up about adoption anywhere and it bothers me, I turn it off or stop reading, although I find things less and less bothersome.

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  7. The news is not all rainbows and unicorns about adoption:


    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/26/nyregion/new-look-at-city-lapses-in-adoption-abuse-case.html?_r=1

    Right here today's paper, an adoption abuse horror story.

    On a related subject from yesterday, an article critical of anonymous sperm donation, one guy with 150 kids!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/health/06donor.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all?src=tp

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  8. Maryanne wrote:"If our goal in dealing with the public is try to get them to see adoption as always a bad thing, then we are doomed to failure."

    I don't see how this post can be interpreted this way. It is simply designed to chip away at the never ending glorification of adoption in U.S. culture. If those of us who were hurt by adoption don't take a stand against then, then who will? We might as well just go back to the 1950's. Any woman who gets pregnant out of wedlock is mentally unstable and unfit to parent. All children are better off with two MARRIED parents even if they are strangers. And the sense of entitlement that every person should be able to have the family size of his/her choice regardless of age, relationship status, etc. If we don't let our voices be heard then there are probably some modern-day Georgia Tanns who would be happy to step in.

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  9. @Lorraine how do they think about the export of baby US citizens to the civilised world?

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  10. Interesting discussion, Lorraine and Maryanne, what I hear is something that seems to be ignored. Lorraine is saying that she is tired of getting hammered from every direction with regard to adoption.... by the way "Law and Order SVU" - Hargitay (now almost 50 yrs old) recently adopted an African American baby out of New York.

    Maryanne, no offense, but all you seem to be saying is "Hey, don't rock the boat, but let the works out there stand for themselves and the issues" - which is, simply put, a cop out to "I am tired and don't want to even think about it anymore" with a touch of "who cares, it isn't about me" - and possibly being defeated. Respectfully, that is just my thoughts and my take on what is being said.

    The fact is Lorraine is right - you can't go anywhere without adoption being an issue. This morning I got to listen to a teacher tell me and my nephews all about the beauty of her adopting an infant..... fun fun fun. The boys looked at me and made faces when she started talking about adoption. They know that it is nasty.

    Sigh... being tired is not an excuse for apathy, it is a reason for failure.

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  11. Maryanne: I was going to respond but thankfully Robin and Lori have done that for me. I do think you misinterpreted the gist of Jane's post.

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  12. One more addendum:

    Most of the people who hear my story here, there, anywhere, are immediately sympathetic. It's a far far cry from how I was excoriated when Birthmark was published and my first My Turn in Newsweek came out in 1979. Then I was fair game for pot shots anywhere, anytime. Exhausting!

    Today only a rude lawyer--with no kids but lots of friends with adopted kids--had the compassion of a bat. Or an angry, scared adoptive parent.

    And yes, I saw the story about the sperm donor daddy of 150 kids and counting. Sick, dangerous, and an industry in need of control.

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  13. Theodore, not sure what your question means. Of course we are not in favor of exporting kids elsewhere but I do think that racial prejudice here in the US has led to some being adopted elsewhere.

    And some children in the past were definitely sent to other countries without the mother ever knowing until much much later. This came up at the blog eons ago.

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  14. No Lori, I am not apathetic, I am still doing my part, but more and more in real life and away from the poisonous atmosphere of the internet as much as possible. I am only "outraged" at things that are truly outrageous, like that foster care story, or like the Utah fathers, but I do not see every adoption that I happen to hear about in that category. I find it works better to allow others their point of view, and to talk with them like human beings works better than always being in outraged attack mode. And no, I do not mean on the internet, I mean in real life.

    You do it your way, I do it mine. It has not been my experience that everyone in the general public thinks adoption is wonderful. If that has been yours, ok. Go fight the good fight.

    I think sometimes adoption is good, sometimes it is bad. You have to look at the individual story and situation. Meeting sweeping generalizations with the opposite sweeping generalizations adds to further polarization and animosity, not understanding. Being realistic is not the same as being apathetic.

    I do not believe I misunderstood the original post, which was to say that adoption is not a good thing and to bemoan that many people think it is. That was quite clear.

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  15. Lorraine wrote:" It's a far far cry from how I was excoriated when Birthmark was published and my first My Turn in Newsweek came out in 1979. Then I was fair game for pot shots anywhere, anytime. Exhausting!"

    You are such a courageous woman, Lorraine. I admire you immensely.

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  16. I have an idea--let's start listing here the references to adoption/unknown biological parentage that pass through our lives--the good, the neutral, the inconsequential, the bad, the truly horrible. This will be a purely unscientific survey, but interesting, anyway. I do not mean of course, the stuff that is posted on Adoption News Service, or posted on Facebook because it is about adoption. I mean the casual references you come across in your daily life.

    I'll post this notice on the blog for the new readers of the post too and see what we come up with. I'm only sorry we didn't do this initially. For me today, it would be the sperm donor story on the front page of the Times science section that Maryanne referred to.

    And Robin--Yo, thanks. As you and others here know I've been through the wringer recently at other blogs.

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  17. Well, Lorraine, you say "some", I would prefer "hundreds", but I meant with "They" the folks who do the seeing in "It's seen first as a "blessing" or "miracle" that this poor orphan will be given a home in the US of A."

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  18. Maryanne, You're missing the point. The story you link to about the woman who abused disabled children she adopted from foster care while collecting $1.68 million from New York City for their care does not cast a negative light on adoption. It says only that the adoptive mother was bad and the child welfare officials were incompetent.

    Stories about children being abused in adoptive and foster homes are, sadly, common place. However, these stories do not cause the public to lose faith in adoption as the proper way to care for these children.

    The incidents that Lorraine and I wrote about show the adopters AND adoption in a positive light.
    The author of the LHJ feature about an infertile couple adopting a boy from India does not tell us why the boy was in an orphanage; what's important is that the couple found a child to love. How the child came to them and the impact on him of being taken from his culture and his country is irrelevant to the author and, presumably, to LHJ readers. Adoption is assumed to be positive for the boy.

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  19. I think the problem is that people think of adoption positively because they only ever look at the adoption part of relinquishment/adoption. They see all these people adopting and only ever see that side of it, they just never think of or hear about the relinquishment that had to take place for the adoption to come about. I think when the media talks about adoption, it would be good if they could make it clear that adoption doesn't happen in a vacuum.

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  20. Jane, I think what you are looking for is anti-adoption editorials, not stories in the news. There was no place in the story of the Indian woman who adopted from an orphanage in India to go into the whole international adoption issue. No more than on the wedding page ending the description of a recent wedding with "of course 50% of marriages end in divorce." There are some excellent articles out there specifically about the problems and abuses of international adoption, like those of E.J. Graff, that are very critical of the process.

    Also, the story about the monster mother who abused and killed foster and adopted kids went on and on about the flaws in the adoption system that enabled her to do that. I'd say that was "critical of adoption". It was critical of a flawed system that allowed someone like that to get kids, not of every adoption and every person wishing to adopt.

    I did not misunderstand your original point, which was that you want all mentions of adoption to point out that adoption is in and of itself a bad thing.

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  21. Wow, Maryanne, did I not get from Jane's post that she wants all the stories about adoption to say that it is bad.

    But you've made up your mind and
    and you're sticking to that position.

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  22. So we agree to disagree, Lo:-)Can you or Jane think of a real life adoption that you know of that you think was a good thing, or at least the lesser evil given circumstances?

    I like your idea of people submitting adoption mentions from everyday life. Here is my latest.

    A woman from our water exercise class lost her home in the recent hurricane and floods. She and her adult son and two dogs have been living in a motel since last week.
    She is an adoptee, and her son is an adoptee from South America. Neither has any interest in searching. She knows my whole story and has always been sympathetic.

    We are raising money from our class to help her out, and another woman from the class, an adoptive mom, has offered her an apartment in her home rent free. This mom had asked me for information to help her daughter search, and I told her where she could get help.

    Adoption often comes up in murder mysteries, my favorite reading matter. Currently reading one where the hero detective is a mixed race dumpster baby who grew up in foster care.

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  23. "How the child came to them and the impact on him of being taken from his culture and his country is irrelevant to the author and, presumably, to LHJ readers. Adoption is assumed to be positive for the boy."

    Adoption is positive for the boy. He will be have parents finally, and he will be raised in his culture, most likely within an Indian community. At 18 months old, he is not a kidnapped baby either.

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  24. Maryanne:
    You amaze me. Jane's post is about the fact that adoption pops up in our lives all the time, just as you say--and your comment makes that point.

    A secondary theme in Jane's post is that most of those references look upon adoption uncritically. Your comprehension is that she wants all such references to adoption to be bad. How you read that in what she writes--or what we say at the blog over time--is beyond me.

    Your example of what she is talking about is an apt one. Adoption is everywhere in our culture today.

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  25. Maryanne:

    Your other question--about whether we have seen good adoptions--misses the point entirely, and yes, we know there are positive adoptions, but we rarely write about them here. There are many other blogs for that--including one Jane mentions in the blog.

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  26. Anon,

    India is not a homogenous society. It has many cultures, many languages, many religions. We can't assume that just because the adoptive mother comes from an Indian family, she and the boy share the same culture.

    The boy may have been placed in the orphanage because his family was poor. The orphanage may have falsified documents to make him eligible for adoption in order to reduce its costs or to make money from wealthy potential adopters. At eighteen months, the boy was still young enough to be attractive in the adoption market.

    The boy's mother may now be wailing outside the walls of the orphanage, begging to find out what happened to her son. We don't know.

    The point is that the article glides through the adoption event with nary a second thought, reaffirming our biases that adoption is good and foreign adoption is especially good.

    Of course the article was not about adoption but about saving the marriage of an infertile couple. Adoption as the solution, however, just perpetuates myths about adoption.

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  27. Jane,

    Your post to anon was very good response to
    her happy ever after scenario that all adoptees
    just need a mom and dad no matter what even
    at the expense of the child.
    My son was put into a married couples home which
    had procurred another child before my son. Soon my
    son was in a single woman's home because I am assume
    the adoptions didn't cure the marriage problems or created
    a whole new set of problems. Too many adoption are done

    while the "two paps" are trying to save a marriage or at least acquire a child for the person that wants one usually
    the female person. I know of two such adoptions in my
    own family including the adoption of my son.

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  28. Lorraine asked for instances in our daily lives where adoption comes up.

    I watched the 60 minutes interview last Sunday with Julian Assange and decided to check out his bio on Wikipedia. It turns out he is probably an adoptee-lite. Assange is actually his stepfather's name and Julian refers to him as his "real father". I am not familiar with Australian law but I am assuming that if this is his legal surname that he must have been legally adopted.

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  29. Jane and all,

    In your previous comment, you expressed some skepticism about the Indian adoption you recently read about.

    As the mother of a child from India, I'd like to share what I know about the process, and what I've observed visiting multiple orphanages there in different parts of the country.

    In toddler-aged children, girls outnumber boys 10 to 1 in any orphanage, reflecting societal preferences for boys, the economic pressures of the dowry system that make difficult to afford girls etc. A baby boy who lands in an orphanage either has a medical problem of some degree or is the child of an unwed mother who fears a social stigma about raising a child alone.

    There have indeed been some problems with trafficking in certain regions of India, but changes to national adoption procedures in the past 10 years have sought to prevent these. If a child is relinquished, the mother and/or father must appear before the region's child welfare committee and verify the relinquishment. If the child is abandoned on the street or via a safe haven "cradle," the child's photo is published with info in multiple papers in multiple Indian languages, broadcast on TV etc Lost/Abandoned children are sometimes reunited with family as a result of these efforts, and actually witnessed one such reunion of a mother with her three children at an orphanage.

    In the case of the story you read, the fact that the boy was 18 mos at placement likely reflects at least in part the long, mandated process of searching for bio family. I'm sure the boy's first mother is feeling a tremendous loss, and we can be frustrated and saddened at the lack of support for keeping her child with her, but I don't think that we can assume that this adoption was the result of trafficking, malfeasance etc. I know that in the case of my own child, adopted at age 5 1/2, it took years for the authorities to clear her for any sort of adoption, domestic or foreign. Had the process been completed more quickly, when she was younger, she probably would've found a home in India.

    Just an FYI -- when we are looking at children of school age in Indian orphanages, the majority are still girls but the number of boys increases because these are boys who are runaways/street children who've often been picked up by the police and brought to the institution. Whether a child ends up in an orphanage that does international or domestic adoption is sort of random; most of the country's orphanages don't place kids for adoption at all. Currently the Indian govt is working to make more of these older children available for adoption, either domestically or abroad. The country has millions of unparented children, some with living relatives who might be able to care for them with support, and some without. Many, many homeless kids are running away from unhappy situations. As with all things adoption, it's very complicated.

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  30. Thanks, Sharon, for providing this information. You're right, both the causes and effects of adoption are complicated and we can't assume anything about a particular case.

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  31. adoptees are wanted when cute and inarticulable, but shunned when mature; as children, they provide fun and give adults a sense of purpose, if not a downright feel-good factor, which the general public feed off - not sure? well look at the homeless adults in the world not rescued.

    http://about-orphans.blogspot.com

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  32. It just occurred to me that there is a modern day Georgia Tann in our favorite state.

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  33. Robin: Do tell. Who is it?

    And here's my adoption moment for the day--falls in the neutral category, as far as my personal involvement goes.

    You know that new show "Revenge" that is being heavily promoted on ABS, about a wealthy young woman who comes to the Hamptons to seek revenge on the woman who murdered her father? Well, it's somewhat based on a murder in East Hampton a dozen years ago: Wealthy man is murdered by the new BF of the wife, who worked on construction of their mansion. The couple has 2 kids. Bad BF, in collusion with wife, installed computers to even spy on the guy after wife moves out. Lots of money involved, better if husband is dead ASAP before divorce in final. It's a brutal murder, involving as I recall a Taser...Eventually BF is nailed for the murder; the wife dies a few years later of cancer.

    The kids? Twins adopted from Russia. A boy and a girl. They were young adolescents at the time of the murder. They are left in the care of their nanny (not related to them at all) who is left a bundle for their "care." Nanny immediately ships them off to separate boarding schools. The murder was the subject of a long story in Vanity Fair and a Lifetime movie.

    Every time I see the ad for "Revenge", I think of the twins, adopted from Russia, and wonder how they fared, and how they feel when they see the ads for this new series.

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  34. Lorraine,

    I would guess Robin is referring to the latest headline / news report in the papers in the state of Utah on a case just heard by the Utah Supreme Court.

    Jane,

    I agree that it seems adoption pops up wherever you look and it gets old and triggers you and you cannot avoid it. Good post.

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  35. What made me think of that, Lorraine, was the Sept 7th post at The adopted ones blog.

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  36. Ok, this made me cringe! Reading my Natl Enquirer - it says Lindsay Lohan wants to adopt... per article:
    Shocked pals revealing Lindsay desperately wants to be a mom.. and is already "moving forward" with adoption... whatever the hell that means! Loony LiLo, who can barely take care of herself, told pals "she loves kids and honestly feels being responsible for a baby would keep her on the straight and narrow forever". Her pals think she's crazy! They've told her she needs to get her own life in order before she can even think of raising and taking care of another human being. But headstrong Lindsay says she's moving forward with adoption plans. Ignoring warnings that she'll never qualify as an adoptive parent through legitimate programs, Lindsay says she'll make it all work "privately"... which sounds scary, whatever the hell it means!

    God I hope THAT doesn't happen...

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  37. Oh there is a sort of adoption related story in the scandal press in the Netherlands at the moment.

    It concerns Connie Witteman AKA Connie Breukhoven AKA Vanessa. As artist she was better known and remembered for her breasts than for her voice, she did have some hits, nevertheless in the 1980's. An example to describe her impact on Dutch culture I remember best is that in the Dutch version of the Hulk comics, a couple of very ugly, warlike alien robots were compared with her. She has had three weddings and three divorces, the trouble she is in is with a daughter adopted from Colombia during her second marriage, the poor girl was renamed Constanza, a marriage later another three were adopted too. The girl ended up in the sex industry, and stole a lot of bling from the vault owned by the last husband of her adoptress, who herself still is fostering Constanza's children, you know thieves go to jail, for 38 days in her case, if and she is writing a book exposing stuff. The story is somewhat complicated, but it seems that Constanza tries to get her children and her name back from the adoptress. Do understand that this is playing in the kind of magazines in which it is news when an actress in not getting a boobjob.Altough the press tends to side with the former star, reactions are divided between "ungrateful adoptee" all the way to "adopters are an untrustworthy lot".

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  38. Adoption crossed my path again. Jillian Michaels of the Biggest Loser is on the cover of Redbook magazine. She has been trying for 2 years to adopt a child and if it doesn't happen by November she is going to look into foster care. Seems she will do anything to become a mom. *sigh*

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  39. RE: Lindsay Lohan stating "she loves kids and honestly feels being responsible for a baby would keep her on the straight and narrow forever".

    For the love of Christ, I give up.

    Oh wait, I have an idea...she should do a stint on "Celebrity Rehab" with our beloved Dr. Drew who will help her clean up and then lay claim to one of the babies on "16 and Pregnant." Then on the "Teen Mom" reunion show, Catelynn and Tyler can congratulate whichever young mom gets duped into adoption with gross platitudes like "you did such a brave thing by giving your baby a better life with Lindsay." Yeah, I see it coming full cirle now.

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  40. I just want to mention that there is a difference, in my opinion, between adoption and egg donation, in terms of the impact on the "first mother." My grandmother, who inherently raised me, was adopted. She's Native American, adopted by a half-Native American father and a Daughter of the American Revolution, old money white Southern Belle mother. I have seen the impact of adoption on her, and based on what she's told me, the impact on her "first mother."
    As for me, I am in college, and I donated my eggs. There is a HUGE difference between a woman carrying a child for nine months, giving birth, and then releasing it for adoption, and a woman who had a tiny procedure to remove some eggs to allow another woman who otherwise couldn't to experience the miracle of pregnancy and having a child. Yes, their child might have my DNA, but I am not their mother. I didn't give birth to them.
    Egg donation is an anonymous agreement, however, I signed a release that will allow the child who carries my DNA to contact me should they wish to upon their eighteenth birthday.

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  41. Chaya, there is indeed a great difference between the impact on the ovarian mother and a birth mother, though the procedure is unfortunately not as minor as in their male counterparts, there is no other reason why semen and egg donors would be ethically or emotionally any different. Nevertheless, adoption of rest embryos is in my view an ethically more satisfying way to achieve pregnancy.
    From the point of view of your child however, there is very little difference between the importance of your up-to-date medical family history, whether you are only the ovarian mother , or also the one whose was used for gestation. An 18 year period of anonimity can thus be seen as child abuse, which cannot be excused by your right on privacy, of course, updating only medical family history, would already be an acceptable compromise.

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  42. @Chaya,
    I see you have thought this through from the first mother's perspective but have you ever thought about it from the child's point of view? Any child created from your egg will carry your DNA and you will be that child's genetic mother. The child will share your family's health history, ancestry, looks and most likely your mannerisms, personality traits, talents and abilities.

    Saying "had a tiny procedure to remove some eggs to allow another woman who otherwise couldn't to experience the miracle of pregnancy and having a child." is exactly what the agencies want you to think. The agencies stress that to donors to make them feel that they are doing something noble and loving. What you wrote sounds like it came straight out of an ART brochure. Actually the agencies real goal is to make a lot of money with the donor, of course, getting paid some part of that, too. With so many children languishing in foster care I don't see why this service is needed at all.

    I am at least glad you have chosen to forfeit your anonymity. Even having the OPTION to remain anonymous is cruel to the child.

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  43. Chaya from your post it seems you thought nothing of the child you helped bring into this world. You intentionally created an adoptee. Shame on you.

    BTW did the fert clinic tell you about your high risk for ovarian cancer? Is abandoning a child worth that?

    Disgusted.

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  44. How does adoption cross my path? After listening to that lawyer blovate the other night at the wake (see later post Adoptee (lawyer) argues for first (birth) mother's right to privacy), I later heard that evening a longish story about a reunion with a BIRTH mother, and how the adoptee gave her Mother a lot of trouble in high school. Since meeting her BIRTH mother, however, daughter is much much happier and closer to her Mother, who is the friend of the person who told me the story. The adoptive family has more money and the girl is aware that she has advantages and good schools, all things she would not have had if she had been raised by her BIRTH mother, and so relations with the adoptive Mother have much improved. I've read this story somewhere, haven't I?

    Just once I would like to hear a story from the perspective of the first natural birth mother, who was a friend of a friend of mine. But I only hear about adoption from friends and relatives who are friends of adoptive parents, and hear the story from that perspective. I imagine it is partly because more natural mothers are not sharing their secret, and because of the socio-economic class I ended up in, with so many adoptive parents.

    I must have heard BIRTH mother 15 or 20 times before the story was over. It never bothered me so much as it did that day. Writing about the word usage has made me more sensitized than I was before.

    So today I called a good and old friend of mine in Hawaii: a natural mother. We were friends before I told her my truth, and she immediately told me hers. Love you, Kiana.

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  45. Every time I tell a new acquaintance that I gave my child away when I was 21, they immediately state "She went to a wonderful home" (head bobbing ) followed by "Right?". Every stinking time. They never say what I think they should "How could you have done that to her". Only my then seven year old child had the nerve to say that to me when I told her about her older sister. When I go on to tell them that it's not all unicorn farts most people get the down side.
    As far as adoption always popping up...I was at a conference and was trying to post a blog entry about a most unsettling encounter with an adoptive mother the night before. I was having technical trouble and the helpful techie - you guessed it - was an adoptive father. I can not get away from adoption for a second.

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  46. Oh, Barbaraa, you got that right...about how they always assume the home was great. But I think it's because they want the happy ending. What am I going to say? Her parents were good people who ultimately did not like her much, the amother came to hate me, and her grandmother's live-in BF abused here? Well, the truth is, he did!

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  47. Last night on the new episode of "Parenting" a charcheter wants to adopt. Well it just so happens that the low wage, single "Latte girl" is pregnant. I am not sure that I am quoting this exactly but the converstaion went something like, I want to buy the latte girls baby. Response.. Well, I guess if she sells lattes/coffee she would probably sell her baby. Response..That was my thinking. Again in the show the same character repeats "I want to but the latte girls baby"

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