Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tyler of 16 and Pregnant Tells FMF Off!

Tyler and Catelynn
Tyler Baltierra, of Sixteen and Pregnant fame, of Tyler and Catelynn, has found First Mother Forum, and basically told us we are full of it: for criticizing them for making an adoption plan for their daughter, whom he says isn't his daughter any more. He left us a comment which we're copied below.

Tyler is upset with what he calls Lorraine's incorrect information regarding the degree of openness that their "adoption plan" has, and that she used harsh language in reference to giving up a baby. But, Tyler, no matter what you call it, a child who is adopted is likely to grow up with abandonment issues, no matter how you paper over the decision not to raise your own child and give her up to a "better life," no matter how much you "researched" adoption beforehand.

Tyler, we get it that your own life, and that Catelynn's, was unsettled and troubled--you both say so on your website--and that you felt that placing your child for adoption and removing her from the chaos of your lives was the best for her. Okay, we get that. We're not going to quibble with that.

ABANDONMENT NO MATTER WHAT YOU CALL IT
Lorraine
But you give no indication that you researched the long-term, psychological impact of being transferred from one set of parents to another, that is given up--yes, that is how it is going to seem to Carly, your daughter, one day. What we don't get is how you don't seem to react at all to the mounds of information that shows that being adopted leads to emotional scars in a great many individuals, scars that are not easily scrubbed away with riches and a swimming pool in the backyard.

Hundreds of memoirs and blogs have been written and more are written every day by adoptees struggling with insecurities and issues that stem directly from being given up to be adopted, no matter what their natural parents call it. It's not just the personal experiences of adoptees. Child welfare experts agree that children should be raised with their blood family if possible.

Jane
In fact, that post that you stumbled along, What are the happy birth moms celebrating? was only peripherally about you and Catelynn. It was largely about the higher rate of suicide among adoptees, how many of them struggled with a variety of emotional issues, and may be afraid of intimacy in their own lives. If their own true mom and dad walked out on them, who's to say that isn't going to happen to anybody they try to close to?

THE SEARING PAIN OF ADOPTION
The people writing about the pain of being adoption, are not only those from the the era of closed adoptions; these are adoptees with both kinds of adoptions. Adoptees who are in fully open adoptions sometimes write us that it is not so wonderful being in an open adoption because of the nagging feeling that you belong with other people than the genetic strangers you are growing up with. They don't look like you, or share your talents and interests, any more than pure chance would put two people together.

Parents who lose their children to adoption suffer as well. You know this; we've seen your tears and Catelynn's tears too, as you insist that you did the right thing. What you may not know--or did not know when you placed Carly in Teresa's arms--is that for many parents the pain lasts a lifetime. This is true whether the adoption is open or closed as we experienced. Look at the blogs written by birth mothers. They tell of inconsolable grief even when they claim they did the right thing.

We know that part of the reason you and Catelynn gave up Carly was so that you two could go to college, embark on careers, and have a life different from your parents. We understand your desire to do this. We've found, though, that when birth mothers look back after a few years, many realize they could have had both--their baby and a career,  although it might have taken more time. They realize that sacrificing the life they could have had with their child was not worth the emotional scars they have themselves.

PAWNS OF THE INDUSTRY
Of course you cannot change the fact that Carly is gone, and you must make the best of it. What we at First Mother Forum (yes, we are mothers who relinquished children to adoption) object to is that you have become pawns to the adoption industry. With your talks and videos encouraging young girls to give up their babies, you have become shills for the billion-dollar business that adoption is, and Bethany Christian Services is in the thick of it.

Adoption agencies like Bethany can exist only if they convince parents to surrender their children. Bethany's adoption agents like Dawn are experienced in convincing parents-to-be to give up their children while making them think they are in control through "making an adoption plan." Dawn told you that "the most loving decision is to be selfless and let go." She didn't tell you about resources that might have helped you nurture your child. She didn't tell you that child welfare experts say staying with the natural family if possible is best.

We get emails constantly from distraught and anxious young women soon after they have signed the surrender papers and realize they made a huge mistake they cannot take back. We hear from them how they felt pressured to give up their babies once they began talking to the agency social worker, even when they expressed uncertainty. We hear from them in a month, or a decade later. Two blog posts earlier this year were written by such a woman: Former Bethany "recruiter" speaks up, and How adoption agencies 'turn' vulnerable women into spokespeople for relinquishing.

Yes, we understand that some adoptees are well adjusted individuals, but adoption always presents an issue that has to be accepted and absorbed; it is not the panacea that you want to think it is for the adopted individual. Carly is too young to tell you her feelings; and Catelynn, her first mother, her biological mother, is still in the early throes of having lost a child to adoption. Often the feelings of guilt and remorse surface years later.

You and Catelynn try to feel better by repeatedly telling each other you "made the right decision" even as tears run down your faces. We've watched the other teens on 16 and Pregnant. They struggle with relationships, finances, careers.  The one thing they never do is try to convince themselves they made the right decision in keeping their child. They know they did. --lorraine and jane

From Tyler Baltierra:
"This in fact, is Tyler from Teen Mom. What is amusing to me is how asinine and ignorant you sound. "Give Up" no, you give up something you don't care about, you give up something that has no more value to you, you give up an old pair of shoes. This is a child your talking about. I "Placed" my biological daughter for adoption. I made a PLAN for her, I sacrificed for her, and I made sure that no matter what the trials I may face, she would have the life that she deserved. Why?
Because she is, like all children, innocent and never asked to be brought into this world, especially the chaotic lifestyle that was inevitable for her considering I was a child myself. Is that not what parents do for their children? Sacrifice and do whatever is best for their children, regardless how it affects themselves? Putting that child first and always first, far above themselves?
"You have more than one statement wrong in this article as I will only point out a few, as I mentioned earlier, us birthparents NEVER "Give Up" our babies for starters. Catelynn and I's adoption with Carly is fully open. Do you even know the difference between semi-open and open? Clearly you do not. Semi-Open adoption is when the adopted child and birthparent exchange full range of communication, besides face to face communication. Open is the same thing as semi-open, except they have full range of communication AND face to face communication. Brandon and Teresa have given us their address, we know their last name and speak regularly. So regarding those FALSE statements, let it be clear that you have no clue about me, my daughter, or my fiance.

"The other thing I wanted to address that you are correct about, is that Brandon and Teresa could in fact close the adoption entirely. Yes they have complete control. Why? because they are HER parents not Catelynn and I. Why? because WE chose them to be her parents. Why? because we believe in those wonderful outstanding people, that they are going to raise her with the up most morals, values, and responsibility. Those things few sixteen year old kids are ready to do, because they barely have learned those things themselves at such a tender age. Faith is believing in something when everyone surrounding you tells you not to, well I have FAITH they are going to always allow us to be apart of their lives. What kind of life would you live if you never had faith in people? A lonely one.

"Another correction, I did all the research about adoption before even calling BCS. I took the time to distinctively learn EVERYTHING about adoption and how each type is different from the other. I informed myself of my decision based on pure fact, that I acquired through my own research. I decided on what was best for my daughter and acted on that immediately. BCS helped with grief counseling yes, but I took the initiative to educate myself on this lifelong decision before, well as you say "being brainwashed" by BCS. So another FALSE statement you ignorantly wrote.

"Let me tell you something Lorraine. Do not assume you know everything about someones decision or life, just because you have seen 20% of that life on the television. I in deed think you have been brain washed by reality TV. All of a sudden you know all about Catelynn and I's life because we shared four years of it on national television? newsflash, we had 15 years of traumatic life experiences up until that point and a plethora of moments that were never aired on the show. You speak about our lives as if you know about our lives, which clearly you do not.

"Stop being such a bitter woman about this subject. Just because your experience hasn't been the most memorable or what you envisioned, please do not make it seem like all other adoption stories are as sour as your experience with it, whatever it may be.

"Next time your going to write about some other strangers life, make sure to get the details about them first before spewing out ignorant, acridness, and completely  FALSE statements.

Sincerely,
Tyler Baltierra"

106 comments :

  1. Well, I guess Tyler does not know the meaning of Open adoption period. If he did, he would know that the couple who bought and paid for his daughter, can stop all cards, letters, phone calls,contact etc anytime they want to, and there is nothing that he or the mother of this child can do about it.

    I wonder if he was told that her original birth certificate is sealed forever, unless her state is allowing adoptees to get their birth certificate. The one she will see is the one with the AP female listed as the BIRTH MOTHER.

    You know when the truth hurts, because AP's,etc who finally begin to face the truth, the rage begins to come out. I wonder if tyler and the mother of this child will read The Primal Wound and do more research to find out how adoption is going to affect their child for a very, very, very long time

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  2. One of my very favorite boyfriends was someone I'd met in the Army who kept searching for me and coming back into my life even though life has more or less kept us apart for the past twenty years.

    He is an adoptee and he knew it twenty years ago but, until the past five years or so, had never inquired much about his mother. The last we had talked about it he was still operating under the assumption that she was a drug abuser or somehow otherwise unfit and that that was why he was raised by different people.

    About three years later we were back in touch and he had done some research in the interim and asked his adoptive mother about his adoption. He was startled to learn that not only did his mother want him and make the conscious choice to give him up, but she flew out East with him and spent a week at his adoptive parents' home saying goodbye to him before finally signing the papers.

    And don't think it hasn't affected his entire life, right down to his capacity for intimacy. In fact, one of the reasons we never worked out was he was always doing something to gain himself a little emotional distance between us. I had similar issues from not being raised by my mother (I'm not an adoptee but lived a very similar childhood), which didn't help matters.

    Even when they think they're OK, they often aren't. But it is not unusual for people to go into denial when they are hurting, or to not even understand they are hurting since it's been going on their entire lives and they don't know what emotionally healthy feels like.

    I'd be happy to give "happy adoptees" and "happy birthparents" the benefit of the doubt were I not exquisitely aware of the human capacity for self-delusion. You need to think you're happy because it helps you cope. But if it were natural or desirable for parents to give up their children, we would all be doing it, as with the cuckoo bird laying its eggs in other birds' nests.

    Something to think about, anyway.

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  3. Hmmm. Sounds to me like Tyler is not so confident/happy/pain free in his decision. Why would the opinion of strangers bother him so if he was at peace with what he did to his child? Me thinks the man doth protest too much.

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  4. Oh, Tyler.

    You show your naked behind with this post. How little you truly know. I promise you this: It may be a year, or three. It may be three decades. But you will eat these words. Oh yes. You will eat every last one of them.

    And perhaps you think that all three of your lives have been changed for the better, but I believe you will see that differently as time goes on as well.

    Signed - 18 years into my life sentence, and married to a man 39 years into his.

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  5. I just....I...just...there is is just so much I **could** say, but I will limit my comments to these three things:

    (1) Tyler believes he made a free-will choice and exercised his agency in voluntarily terminating his parental rights. After all, no one "held a gun to his head" and made him do it. However, Terryl Givens, PhD in comparative literature and professor at Univ. of Richmond where he holds the James A. Bostwick Chair in English, has this to say about agency and free choice. "An overwhelming preponderance of evidence on either side would make our choice as meaningless as would a loaded gun pointed at our head." (Givens, 2012, p. 7)

    Adoption brokers like Bethany, LDSFS, Catholic Charities, etc., remove free-will choice and true agency when they present their carefully scripted and crafted "preponderance of evidence" (produced by the likes of the NCFA) in an effort overwhelm one of the most vulnerable in our society: a pregnant woman. To "choose" an "adoption plan" when working with baby broker such as Bethany **IS** making a choice with a figurative gun to the head. It isn't a free will choice at all, but a coerced surrender.


    (2) The book, Trauma and the Avoidant Client by Robert T. Muller (2010) explains much about individuals such as Tyler and other "happy" birth parents who are party to a coerced (through the presentation of a preponderance of evidence) adoption. While the book is written for therapists, it provides great illumination into the mindset of those who continue to vehemently deny the depth of the trauma adoption loss brings into their lives. Additionally, the theories presented by Dr. Muller address and account for many of the traumatizing experiences natural family members affected by adoption may experience, both in their years apart and during reunion. I highly suggest FMF readers pick up a copy and read it - first mothers and adoptees alike. Just keep in mind it is written for therapists, but perhaps they can extrapolate some useful practices to help them on their way to understanding each other.

    (3) This is for Tyler: Tyler - Eventually the adoption anesthesia wears off. Maybe in five years, maybe in 10. For me it took 15 years for me to be fully awakened to the true cost of adoption, both to me, my relinquished child, my parented child, my relationship with my spouse, and my relationship with my mother and my siblings. Please remember when you and your fiance finally do begin to awaken to the true trauma of adoption and the true cost of adoption for both your daughter and you, there are those of us out here in blog-o land who are willing to help you deal with the fall-out. Please try not to burn too many bridges. You are going to need them.

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  6. Oh my goodness...I have SO MUCH to say here. Tyler, I do hope you are reading and I hope you take this post in the spirit in which it is intended...as one birthparent to another. My birthdaughter is now 27, and we have been in a fully open adoption since she was 9. When I say "fully" I mean overnight to week-long visits with her by herself, us staying with her at aparents house, days together at the beach, she spent one Christmas with us alone when she was 16, we attended her high school graduation, etc etc. Doesn't get much more open than that. We started semi open, and it developed from there. Let me tell you that my bdaughter grieved HEAVILY, even telling me through tears when she was 13 that she felt she belonged with us (her first parents and full blooded siblings...we married when she was 2) and that she would frequently get confused. According to her amom, after visits with us, she would grieve for a couple of days...crying all the way home in the back of their mini-van. And don't even get me started on how it has effected her (birth) siblings...losing their sister. It has been THE HARDEST, MOST HEARTBREAKING experience...for ALL of us including bdaughter. I sounded just like you for the first probably 12 years. It was a defense mechanism. To admit I made a mistake that actually HURT my child, well, ALL MY CHILDREN, was almost too much for me to take. I had a break down of sorts and finally sought professional help. That's when the gates opened up, and I couldn't live in denial any longer. We were told we were SAVING our child from hurt...not ADDING to it!! We were told at least the child would not suffer...BUT SHE DID!! We were told she had new parents, and we could be replaced...WE WERE NOT REPLACEABLE!! Does she love her aparents? Absolutely. But that didn't take away what my bdaughter lost. And it carries over today...27 yrs. later. For me, I'm in and out of counseling. I'm not so much "bitter" as I am utterly disgusted with the way domestic infant adoptions are carried out in our country. I am disgusted that I was only cared about by the social workers at my agency because of what they could get from me...a healthy, white newborn. Think my story is unique? It's more the norm than not.

    No one is blaming you, Tyler. You are a victim of the big adoption machine...as is Carly and Caitlyn. My true hope for you guys is that everything turns out great, with no one suffering or bearing any consequences from adoption. That Carly will not feel the way my bdaughter did/does, and the way other adoptees have vocalized. I hope your future children accept all of this with no issues or confusion, and that Carly will understand why she is the only one that was given up. Yes, as adults, our reasons seem logical. A child will most likely perceive it differently.

    I wish you only the best, but please don't attack the bparents who have been "in the trenches" and living with this for YEARS and dismiss us as being bitter or delusional because we speak out against the institution. Being defensive is normal, but I hope you can learn from the things you read...keep an open mind please. It will only help you in the years to come.

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  7. I have written about these two, and have followed their story since it first aired on MTV. I shudder when I see how Bethany is using them, and I know one day, they will see it for what it is- that they have been used.

    My "open" adoption is very similar to theirs. I was used as a spokesperson at LDS Family Services. And then one day, it all hit me. You repeat the catch phrases and the language to try to trick yourself into believing it really was the best decision. You blind yourself to the coercion, and the manipulations. You have to.

    I can only hope that one day, Tyler will see how he's been used, and will fight back against an industry that is profiting from him and Catelyn.

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  8. I read the comment by the boy and wonder if he understands yet.... But then, bless his little mercenary heart, he and his beloved are going to college and getting new lives....

    The facts are that almost any child that has the kind of life that adoptees and foster children have, well, they are a mess. Maybe not completely - yes, I know a few totally well adjusted adoptees and former foster children. But the truth is, all of us suffer in some way.

    I am emotionally distant and my daughter, well, I don't know, but I do know that she has massive trust issues and is so emotionally distant that even I, who love her more than life, can't reach her.

    So, sadly, the shills will continue and the pain will spread.

    The reality is that my daughter will likely never forgive me enough to even know me and that is very normal also.

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  9. Oh, Tyler, how your views could have been mine. It wasn't until I met my daughter again when she was 29 that all the lies were exposed. They told me she was better off with a married couple. Well the couple was divorced by the time my precious baby was eight years old and she was raised by a single mother. The adoptive father didn't even live in the same city.
    But worst of all was my baby told me she missed me the entire time growing up. I know, you will say that your adoption is open. But guess what? Day after day after day you are away and she misses you.
    I don't expect that you will be able to come to grips with all you have lost anytime soon. But the day will come and the grief will be overwhelming. And we will be here for you. We're all in this together. You will come to realize that giving away your child (adopto spin 'adoption plan') is not loving. The only reasonable reason for relinquishment is because you don't want to be a parent or you would harm your child. Otherwise giving up a child to give them a better life is delusional. And cruel. And darn right barbaric.

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  10. Tyler, I think the problem might be with MTV here, and not FMF.

    On one episode, you did go back to the agency and state you did not understand all of the details of openness. Dawn from BCS responded by saying that you should have known more about the levels of openness before surrendering your daughter. I have sincere critiques of this from a Social Work perspective. Regardless, if this is inaccurate, this is how MTV portrayed the situation--not how Lorraine is confused in relaying it. I interpreted the very same thing when I watched it. As did my mother who is a BCS first mother.

    All original parents have the right to self-identify. I think I can understand you feeling hurt if you felt someone was speaking for you or interpreting your experience. However, some original parents use the term "give up" to express their experience. That's their right to determine for their own narrative--as it is yours.

    Your dedication and advocacy for your daughter is amazing. I think where you can find common ground here with Lorraine, and other reformers, is to acknowledge the factors at play that lead parents, who would love to parent, surrendering their children. How can we remove those obstacles? Whether someone is happy with the adoption plan they made for their child or not, isn't this an admirable goal?

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  11. Tyler's words would seem more sincere if he wasn't pimping himself out for the adoption industry and cable TV; I wonder how much he's been paid? If he was secure in his decision to abandon his daughter to the care of others he wouldn't be so defensive and angry. I get it. I think many of us spent years drinking the adoption Kool Aide and we weren't working for and being paid by the machine!

    The sweet adoption language of agencies: brave, selfless, courageous, strong...which really means to those parents wanting desperately to change their mind and hold their baby close...you're a selfish, week coward...

    Tyler (we know you're reading) One of these days you'll be like the rest of us and wake up and realize you were used. When that happens we'll be here to catch you.

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  12. woah...https://www.facebook.com/tyler.baltierra.39/posts/413961068669976

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  13. VERY good comments everyone!! Very good to be sincere and RELATE to Tyler and make it clear that he hasn't done anything wrong, his adoption agency did.

    I don't blame Tyler for being defensive. He's had an adoption agency and an uninformed fanbase tell him for years how wonderful it was for him to "choose" adoption. Suddenly he hears something drastically different and he's put off by it. I hope he can understand more what you are all saying. I am also glad that through Tyler coming to this site, other people may stumble upon it as well and start learning. Even just making one more person AWARE of the other side of adoption... the side they dont see through glorified situations in the media... is a good thing. even if they don't fully understand or agree... having one more person be AWARE is a part of the chain. Awareness must come before understanding... and it all contributes to change.

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  14. He is going to have a very rude awakening one day. First of all, it seems as though HE is unaware of the different between semi-open and open adoptions...they are not the same thing. And if he had really researched adoption beforehand, and not just relied on happy statistics from agency websites like I did, he would have seen the other side of it. The adoptees' pain. The birthparents' pain. And by completely denying himself as the child's father anymore, he is probably causing even more harm to his child. I hope she never finds out that after the adoption her bio dad strictly said the APs were her parents and no one else. By law, yes, Tyler they are. By blood, no. Like it or not, everyone except the APs will eventually be negatively impacted by this decision. If you need to tell yourself you did something wonderful in order to cover up your true feelings of pain, then fine. But do not be surprised when your daughter comes back to you one day to ask why you-yes-gave her away, and she cannot comprehend the trite answers you are giving her.

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  15. It also makes me sick that HE is in fact the ignorant one as is everyone commenting on his Facebook post calling Lorraine a "hateful old lady" and "ignorant". Um...Tyler is just beginning this very painful journey. Lorraine has been living this for decades. No, not every adoption is terrible. But every adoption does have negative consequences in some form. He has been completely brainwashed by the agency, in my opinion...if I had kept on talking to my agency and not sought out other birthmothers, I would not know that half of the things the agency said and did were illegal or lies. I'll admit-I thought all these negative birthmothers were complete nutcases. I stumbled across a few angry birthmother blogs while pregnant, thought, "Holy god, it can't all be THAT bad" and gave my baby away anyway. But yes, it is that bad. And now I am one of those bitter birthmothers myself. We have a whole lot to be bitter about, and one day when Tyler grows up and matures and sees the agency for what they really did, he will be bitter too. That is, unless he just keeps living his life with his head in the sand. Because who wants to admit they made a mistake of such gravity? Very sad.

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  16. Just thought I'd mention that if you click on the link anonymous posted, you can send Tyler a message directly through FB. Not to bombard him with negativity, but just to hopefully get him out of his world of sunshine and rainbows a little bit and realize or at least be open to realizing the true impact adoption has on all parties involved.

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  17. from the tweets that Tyler and his fans are reading--

    Tyler Baltierra
    hahaha I know right! She [that would be Lorraine] is whack and this made me mad, which I usually never respond to haters, but this was different, putting an article out with sources as if that is going to justify her ignorance...pissed me off!

    Deluded much? Then "Dawn" [the social worker in their lives and on TV] pipes in and tells Tyler:

    Dawn Amann Baker
    Very proud of you and very proud of how well you articulated your response to so many mis-truths. Stay strong.
    Yesterday at 12:15am

    I wonder what "mis-truths" she is talking about? That Tyler and Catelynn didn't give up their baby but made an "adoption plan" instead? That he and Catelynn weren't confused as to how "open" their "open" adoption isn't? That adoptees and birth parents don't suffer long term?

    And has anyone seen the pictures of Tyler? He attempts to look like a rock star, with sun glasses, and one shot with wearing a rock star kinda jacket? I mean, come on, this poor kid is loving his status as a a rock star of the adoption industry. I almost feel sorry for him. It is interesting that Catelynn has not commented. Tyler will never really know how it feels to be a mother who lost a child. If they stay together, he will be the who convinces her that giving Carly up for "for the best." Best for who?

    Tyler Baltierra, that's who.

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  18. @Tyler and Catelynn,
    I hope that you are still reading these comments.

    I can understand why Tyler and Catelynn gave Carly up for adoption. As much as I support family preservation, I can see how Tyler and Catelynn did not want to bring Carly into their terribly dysfunctional homes and at the time felt that they had no other option.

    What bothers me though is that Tyler and Catelynn are encouraging other young expectant parents to also give up their children. And these other parents-to-be may be living in very different circumstances. For example, people like Maci who seem to come from a wonderful home and have parental support should never consider adoption. I'm afraid that other scared, vulnerable expectant single mothers may not make that distinction.

    Catelynn and Tyler, my heart goes out to you. I know how much you both love Carly and how devastated you were at giving her up. I'm sorry that your own parents were not mature enough, wise enough and stable enough to help you provide a good home for Carly.

    Do I think Carly will have issues from being given up for adoption. Most likely, yes. Teresa even said as much on one of the episodes. Adoption is not a one-time event that a person gets over. The effects on the adoptee last a lifetime. I hope that you will always be there for Carly. Carly is, was, and always will be your daughter.

    I think you are both good people who were caught in terrible circumstances. I wish it had been otherwise and that you had been able to keep Carly. You both would have made superb parents.

    Oh and another thing, please do not refer to Lorraine as a 'bitter' old lady. She is an admirable, courageous woman who was one of the first to speak out about the real experience of relinquishing a child for adoption. And this was at a time when everything about adoption was totally hush hush.

    Signed,
    An adoptee from the Baby Scoop Era. An era that we do not want to see make a come back.

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  19. Real classy. This is my kind of blog.

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  20. As an adult adoptee, and I think I'm the only one here, I'd like to share my feelings. Yes, I hate adoption. It has affected my life in ways that you can not even begin to imagine. I can remember longing for my bio. mother from the time I understood, which was about three years old. That said, I love my parents with all of my being, and they would give their lives for me.
    I searched when I was 19. She had been actively searching for me since I was 13, so it was an easy reunion to facilitate. My experience was horrific. Joan was an extremely ill - emotionally - woman. It was all about her pain, her loss, not her choice or responsibility in giving me up. She described an abusive father who 'forced' her...social workers...her brother...and if kept I would have been raised in an extremely unhealthy enviornment. OK. I get it, She proved that as well by stalking and harrassing me when she didn't get the relationship that she wanted. THANK GOD SHE GAVE ME UP. IT WAS THE BETTER OF TWO EVILS.
    Tyler was 16 years old people. 16. Come on. Do you think he is not grieving? That Kaitlyn is not grieving? Look at their situation. WHAT ABOUT THE CHILD???? I cried for them, watching their situation, so torn were my emotions - for all involved.
    I feel your pain - all of you bmoms. You can quote experts all you want. It's all true. But what I see is that it is really more about your pain for yourselves than about what we adoptees experience. Why is it not possible that Tyler and Caitlyn really DID love their child so much that they did what they thought was best in a horrific situation? How about taking responsibility for your own pain and stop using the pain of the adoptee as amunition to fuel your argument against adoption? Again, I hate adoption. And again, when does the child ever come first?

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  21. @Jerry Springer adoptoraptor:

    Yeah, real classy, especially adopters and baby brokers who gain via the suffering of mothers and their children and do not bat one eyelash due to that suffering. I would be willing to bet that you are among them.

    Real classy indeed.

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  22. Jerry Springer? Right. I assume you are using an assumed name and that you are being ironic with your opaque comment.

    I'm afraid your irony is lost on people in pain, those who know the whole cost of adoption.

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  23. Tyler, you can choose to use any terminology you feel to be appropriate when referencing your own personal experience. But you cannot expect everyone else to feel as you do. And the truth is that while some first parents might feel that they "made an adoption plan" the adoptee might feel that he or she was given away, abandoned, left, or whatever other words that he or she believes to be representative of how he or she feels.

    I was placed for adoption completely against the will of my first father. He and my paternal grandparents fought against the agency (Catholic Charities) and my maternal grandparents. But back in the day, fathers had no right to raise their own child. So off to strangers I went. My father most certainly did not "make an adoption plan" for me. And he didn't willingly give me away. And he spend YEARS trying to to find me.

    He and I found each other in 1998. And he was very sensitive to the fact that I *felt* as though he left me. That he had abandoned me. That he had given me away. Because in one sense, he had left me. I did not grow up with him. And this had hurt me and caused me confusion.

    As you are probably finding out, adoption is complicated for everyone involved. And it is my hope that you will open your mind and heart up to those of us who have been living it for a much longer period of time that you have thus far. Lorraine and Jane of First Mother Forum are not your enemies. They are your more experienced counterparts. Just as the adult adoptees commenting here are your daughter's much more experienced counterparts. And we'll all be here when you need us. Because we understand.

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  24. Mara writes: I feel your pain - all of you bmoms. You can quote experts all you want. It's all true. But what I see is that it is really more about your pain for yourselves than about what we adoptees experience. Why is it not possible that Tyler and Caitlyn really DID love their child so much that they did what they thought was best in a horrific situation? How about taking responsibility for your own pain and stop using the pain of the adoptee as amunition to fuel your argument against adoption? Again, I hate adoption. And again, when does the child ever come first?

    (I believe there is at least one more adoptee, Amanda, who commented above.) But ANYWAY, I do believe Tyler and Catelynn thought they were doing their best for Carly by giving her up for adoption. Maybe it was the best, BUT my objection is how they have become famous for it, are making money off of Carly's adoption (what will she think of that one day??), and are being used by a large adoption agency to PUSH THEIR CAUSE. Tyler and Catelynn are in the beginning stage of their journey. There is no reason to discount our stories, as many of us have lived this life, and this lie, for a long time. 27, almost 28 years for me...and I DO convey my birthdaughter's experience because it was intertwined with mine since it was a wide open adoption. I SAW FIRST HAND WHAT IT DID TO HER. I talked to her about it through the years. I told her during one conversation that the social workers convinced birthmothers that we could be replaced, and we wouldn't be missed by our child. You know what she said? "All we wanted was our mommas." Will Carly feel the same? It's possible. Tyler and Catelynn need to be prepared for it.

    I think most of us have been where Tyler is...defending our decision because deep down, we knew something wasn't right, and we couldn't look at it. I said the SAME THINGS he and Cate are saying...but it wears off. It's sad to me when first parents fight each other because in the end, we're all in this together.

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  25. @Mara:

    "OK. I get it, She proved that as well by stalking and harrassing me when she didn't get the relationship that she wanted. THANK GOD SHE GAVE ME UP. IT WAS THE BETTER OF TWO EVIL."

    We know, your adopters are sooooo much better than her. Whatever.
    So you honor her and losing your biological family by dehumanizing her on a blog titled "First Mother Forum. Very nice of you...

    There are plenty of adoptee blog where ADOPTEES talk about their experiences, loss and grief. If a first mother dare comment that how dare they not make it all about her, she would be ripped to shreds by all of them and called all kinds of names that can't be printed here. That seems to be okay, however in the double standard adoptoland.

    There are two sides to every story, but PLEASE don't come here and stir up the "my pain is worse and more important than yours was" rhetoric once again. That one has been played out time and time again here.

    Moreover, you do not need to tell anyone that their child has not suffered, too. We (or I for one) know that. Many of us have been around long enough that we don't need condescending scolding from people who feel the need to put us in "our place". Thanks.

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  26. I also want to mention that I think it is wrong that Carly's life is so public, that she has so little privacy and that she has been made the poster child for adoption without her consent.

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  27. ADOPTION IS THE WORST TRANSACTION IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND,WE NEED TO DON THE MANTLE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND BANISH ADOPTION TO THE ANNAL'S OF HISTORY. ADOPTION IS A NEVER ENDING ABYSS OF SORROW. TRULY A LIVING BEREAVMENT.

    FORGOTTEN MOTHER OF LOSS
    GRIEVING THAT LOSS 44yrs.

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  28. @Lisa
    Unless I am mistaken, this is an open blog. Your attack on me and MY experience is totally uncalled for. I spoke MY truth.

    "We know, your adopters are sooooo much better than her. Whatever."
    Nice, Lisa, very nice. But you know what? Where the hell would I be without them?? Why the need to attack my parents?? I did not ask for this situation, GOT IT??

    " Many of us have been around long enough that we don't need condescending scolding from people who feel the need to put us in "our place". Thanks."
    If you actually read what I wrote, Lisa, Without getting so defensive and personally wounded,I did no such thing. Isn't that what you have been doing with Tyler? And that's ok?
    Again, adoption is all about you, right? Your anger is frightening and overwhelming. Sorry you made a choice that wasn't right for you. Maybe it makes you feel better to try to rip into someone who has lived the consequences of your choice. I have worked long and hard at trying to heal...maybe you may want to do the same.

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  29. Just my 3 cents:

    I'm a 40 something year old adoptee. I've known that I was adopted since my earlist memories as a child. I was very lucky to have (adoptive) parents that loved, cared and provided for me everything I needed and a good bit of what I wanted. We lived paycheck to paycheck and even my parents got divorced when I was in 5th grade. I'm saying this because I went through the same things that other "regular" families go through. The bottom line is that my parents were there for me when I needed them even with them yelling and not being so happy with me when I fell on my face a time or two. You can call that growing up I guess.

    I was never the adopted child in my family. I was part of the family (gang) which I'm sure made it much easier for me. Many adoptees didn't have it this good. With having parents that were always there for me, I began to wonder about my natural family (my biological heritage) in my early teens. I didn't look like anyone in my adoptive family type stuff. There was always something missing. As much as my parents loved me, they couldn't give me my heritage and it wasn't their fault. Matter of fact, I don't fault my nautral or adoptive parents. Until I know better, I have to believe they both "thought" they were doing the best that they could under the circumstances & pressures they were working under at the time I was adopted.

    I repeatedly had thoughts of where I came from over many years but didn't know how or what to do about it. Probably because the internet wasn't up and running like it is now with the vast amount of info available. Last year my older child had to do a genealogy report for school. My wife was able to trace her family back to Italy via Ancestry.com down to the steamships they traveled on. She also found passenger manifests with her family members names on them. Wow, how cool is that I thought. Well, now me. I only can to do my side with my adopted info which was nice to see BUT it really wasn't ME. Again, now something REALLY is missing. I started to feel like "Adam" in "Adam and Eve" only in regards to my life and world started with me and there isn't anyone before me. But I know that wasn't the case. Two people made me and NY state has sealed MY birth records denying me MY heritage, roots, medical info, ect. It really Stinks!!!!!!!.

    The drive for me to search started early in my life and when I became a father, it bacame MUCH stronger. Now it isn't just MY heritage, it's MY childrens heritage too. The stigma of an unmarried pregnancy has gone. The stigma of a family adopting a child is gone. When we hear of someone finding a long lost relative, we say "how great, terrific, beautiful, family is so important"! When an adoptee asks for their birth infomation (original birth certificate) they are told "oh no. You can't have that"! It's like I have a disease or something. It's like I'm wearing a scarlet letter "A" on my chest. Instead of it standing for adultery like in the novel, it stands for "Adopted". What is the gov't hiding or protecting? I just don't get it. My rights as a citizen are being trampled on.

    I'm rambling. There is a place for adoption. But remember this. I consider myself to be a normal person with normal feelings. I'm not a crack pot. If I'm having these feelings about wanting & needing to know where I came from, most likely so will other adoptees at some point in there lives. Don't be suprised if they show up on your doorstep or in your mail box one day. I'm not something that can be forgotton about or sold as was in my case. I'm a person that has contributed much to society and will continue to do so.

    I am me, Michael Schoer an adoptee and I'm not going away until I get the info I need & deserve which is my heritage (original birth certificate). Adoption should be the last resort.

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  30. Tyler:

    DICTIONARY: Tyler Baltierra's above comment should be published next to the word, VICTIM, in every dictionary - a perfect example!

    PSYCHOLOGICAL DIAGNOSTIC MANUAL (DSM-IV): Tyler Baltierra's comment should be published next to the subject, DEFENSE MECHANISMS - a perfect example!

    FUTURE: We'll see what Tyler has to say in a few more years! He was convinced to trade a couple years of college for his child! We're sorry to be so hard on Tyler; but, we must stop the madness of separating families who will come after us! What does he get paid for the reality show? The money and fame are a good pacifier. Of course, other vulnerable moms & dads who will lose their children to the disgraceful adoption industry won't have that luxury! It's all about the money!

    First of all, let's start at the beginning:

    It would be in your best interest if you, Tyler, would stop demeaning, marginalizing, belittling, and victimizing yourself further by using the term, birthfather (biethmother). It's analogous to the n-word! The n-word killed Blacks and the b-word kills families!

    You are doing just what the adoption industry and society (RELIGIOUS & non-releigious) wants you to do. Infertile couples thought up that word decades ago when the adoption industry started in the mid-20th century to make it easier to finagle children from vulnerable natural parenst - easier for infertile couples to take the kids.

    The words birthmother, and birthfather, and birth family, and could you imagine, birthsister, and birthcousein... queslls the guild because infertile couples know deep down that it's not right to fool with Mother Nature. i doesn't feel right to take a child that doesn't belong to you; hence, infertile couples must make it look like, and feel like, (in their own minds) you are nobody, Tyler. "You only conceived (gave birth to) a child! Your child is not really yoiurs, Tyler!" They're saying, in essence, "You only screwed, dude!"

    That's how the industry wants you to see yourself, dude! You were groomed just like, for example, child victims of sexual abuse are groomed by predators. You and other vulnerable young people are groomed by the multi-billion dollar adoption industry via ads, reality shows... to give your kids away!

    What happens to victims? After awhile, the predators don't have to work so hard because the victims take over for the predators; for example, by using that filty word! You're the prefect example of the predators no longer having to work so hard.

    EXAMPLE: It's like parents constantly calling their child "dumb." Soon the child starts to call himself "dumb" and see himself, and think of himself, as dumb!

    Start by treating yourself with some dignity and respect -she the b-word! Call yourself the natural parent that you are! Nature or God or Spirit gave YOU your child!

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  31. @Lisa,

    Please refrain from telling others not to visit fmf to express their opinion. As a fm, I like to hear from all, and did not find Mara's voice offensive in any way. To the contrary, I found that it adds one more piece to the puzzle.a

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  32. ADOPTERS BRANDON & THERESA: Be ashamed yourselves of for separating a family! If you can't help families stay together, don't help so much by separating families that God or Nature put together!!!

    SOCIAL WORKER DAWN AMANN BAKER: How do you sleep at night? What do you tell yourself when you cash your paycheck!? Be ashamed of yourself for separating families! In the future, kindly allow families to find their own way in life! If you can't help families stay together, don't help so much by separating families that God or Nature put together!!!

    Rest assured, you won't have that job much longer, honey! You'll soon be joining the multitudes in the unemployment line! The tide is turning! Surely you must know that JUSTICE ALWAYS PREVAILS! Sometimes it just takes awhile.

    THE TWEETER WHO CALLED FMF "OLD LADIES": Is that the best ya' got? Is that the best you can do? Namecalling?

    ANYBODY WHO HASN'T LOST A CHILD OR RELATIVE: Keep your expertise to yourself! Stay out of the conversation and learn something!

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  33. I am not comfortable with all the negative and unkind comments aimed at these young people. I know what it's like to relinquish with the motive to want to give your daughter a better life. I have no wish to attack him for his motives. To label him as abandoning her and to call him mercernary is just nasty. It makes me feel ashamed to be associated with this forum.

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  34. Well obviously using "proper adoption language" makes giving your kid away to strangers all better. It's all in the spin, right Ty?
    And the fact that this "man" Tyler is able to cash in on his kid and make a "better life" for HIMSELF. CHA-CHING!
    As Charlie Sheen would say, That's winning!

    Tyler, if adoption is so great, why is you fiance always crying on T.V.?

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  35. K.

    Adoption brings forth hard feelings. Tyler is the one who has called me names--bitter old lady, is only one. No one would be so upset if he had not turned into a person who now has a life as an advocate for the adoption industry, and will persuade other teens to give up their babies. The MTV show--which I was called by initially when they were looking for girls--is a large part of why he became such a public figure. But then, as previous posts have shown, others have been used by Bethany to encourage others to "make an adoption plan" for their babies.

    Considering what I have read on other forums, this is a mild discussion and I appreciate all the varying points of view expressed here, even the ones we might not feel comfortable reading.

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  36. @Mara

    "Unless I am mistaken, this is an open blog. Your attack on me and MY experience is totally uncalled for. I spoke MY truth."

    So you can speak YOUR truth, but of course with the disclaimer that your experience and pain is so much more important and valid than that of the mothers who post here.

    Oh my god, calling me frightening and overwhelming? I said you seemed to get off coming to a blog called First Mother Forum to make a point to dehumanize and degrade the woman who made your life possible, your natural mother. Go back and read what you said about her. You know you did. GOT IT?!? You are so worried about how your "parents" are perceived while dehumanizing her. Yeah, so NICE. This being an open, public forum and all I shared MY opinion, just like you did YOURS.

    No, Mara, adoption is not all about me or first mothers and NO ONE said it was. GOT IT.

    I am not frightening or overwhelming. Do you read me threatening anyone here? You incessant need to paint natural mothers as big bad scary monsters ain't flying, not with me anyway.

    @Voices-

    I never told her or anyone not to visit here. This is not my blog. I said that there were adoptee blogs that if WE visited and said "it is about US and not you", we would be ripped to shreds. It is about us ALL. We have all lost in this, mothers and their children alike, but thanks for demanding that I don't tell people what to do. Perhaps you can take your own advice while your at it.

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  37. @Mara

    "Isn't that what you have been doing with Tyler? And that's ok?"

    Isn't TYLER the one who wrote that piece on his Facebook page attacking Lorraine and this blog, which is what this whole post is about? But that is okay???

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  38. Poor Carly is the real victim here. All a baby wants is her mother, and her mother seems perfectly able to care for her. The horror that is adoption should never have entered her life. Giving away children should be a crime. It is already a crime against nature.

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  39. Michele,

    I'm with you...Carly is the main victim, and imo, she is being victimized over and over again. One day, she will be able to watch the TV show and see her first parents driving nice cars, wearing nice clothes and jewelry, and that they were able to buy a large, new house. She will wonder "why." Carly will realize she made all that possible because her first parents gave her up very publicly, and profited nicely. Think she'll be able to understand it all??

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  40. Telling Tyler he's too young to understand the implications of the kid's adoption really isn't very helpful. That was a constant litany in my house when I was growing up (on the subject of everything) and it's not welcome.

    Ever since I've been at this gig I've heard over and over that birthparents should not feel guilty, they did what they thought best at the time. Why can't anyone accept this in Tyler's case? They may change their minds next year, or in 5 years, or 20, or never. Despite Tyler's nasty response and name calling, it's not our business.

    ...that said, however,it seems that Tyler and Caitlyn are everybody's business.

    As Amanda said, the real problem here is MTV. We are seeing the story (I'm not watching it so I'm not) through the lens of television. The media has constructed the narrative, It not only distorts our perception, but the perception of the main players: Tyler, Caitlyn,(and their families.)They are Tyler and Caitlyn playing themselves in a media constructed version of their lives created for the entertainment of a post literate audience. None of them are real except as light and shadows on the TV screen.

    Then add to this the celebrity status accorded the couple by the puff media and you've got a real mess.

    Finally,we can't dismiss the performative aspect of what is a real-life soap opera. A camera makes all the difference, It's why the Supreme Court won't allow itself to be televised.

    Adoption is a private matter and MTV has made a muck of Tyler and Caitlyn's lives, commercializing the intimate.One of these days, the cameras will be shut off and the gawkers will find other objects to fetishize. That's when the real problems will start.

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  41. For both adoptees and first parents, there is a "waking up" process. So thankful Lorraine writes and so many others who have been "touched" by adoption and who have been awakened to the life-long emotions we all journey.

    I pray that Tyler and his daughter will be able to navigate the roller-coaster they have been buckled into for a life-time. www.PeachNeitherHereNorThere.blogspot.com

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  42. I hope that Tyler and his daughter will be able to navigate the emotional roller-coaster of adoption through the years. As an adult adoptee in reunion, I can say that for both first parents and adoptees there is a "waking up" process.

    www.PeachNeitherHereNorThere.blogspot.com

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  43. Mara,
    Your birth mother's obsession with her pain from giving you up may be extreme but it is not unusual for birth mothers to focus on their loss when first reuniting their lost child. Somehow we think our child needs to know and will understand. Mothers turn to their child for sympathy perhaps because they can't get it anywhere else.

    Mothers don't apologize because they believe they did the right thing, the loving thing, the selfless thing.

    I suspect that it will not occur to Tyler and Catelynn to apologize to Carly.

    Let me suggest that if you ever want any kind of relationship with your birth mother, perhaps going to an American Adoption Congress conference with you or reading some memoirs by adoptees might help her understand where you're coming from and she might change her behavior.

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  44. Wow, talk about OD'ing on adoption koolaid. Really serious issue there.

    Yes, adoption is sooo loving - especially when one continues to talk about giving away one's child over and over and over again... while trying to convince others to do the same thing. Riiight.

    Poor Carly. Maybe she is better off without these two as parents... they care so much about themselves and what they are getting out of this that this little girl has never really been the focus except as a pawn. The whole situation is sickening really. Again, all this has done is show how adoption is all about the adults and NOT about the child stuck in the middle. No one gave a damn about Carly, not really. Not her parents, the agency, the show or even the adopters. This has been all about the adults involved and what they could gain out of it. Disgusting and quite frankly, it was child abuse to parade her on a hsow like this and glorify abandoning their child.

    I don't care what they think they did... they can gloss it up at the end of the day but really and truly it amounts to the same thing. Abandonment, giving up/away. If they cannot handle the truth of what they did then they have just proved its all about them and as long as everyone agrees with their decision and keeps telling them they are "inspirational" (oh pulease, pass the bucket - what rot) then they will come out with the bitter labels and the ignorant labels.

    Ignorant? LOL they don't know what the word means.

    I don't feel pity for them... i watched a couple of episodes and could not stomach the crap any longer. There are people out there who are truly in need of help because they WANT it... people like this guy do not - they want to tell everyone how it is and woe betide anyone who will not agree.

    My patience for these types of persons has gone. Not happy about what was said at FMF? Diddums. But not everyone is happy about what you said here so deal.

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  45. Marley wrote:"Adoption is a private matter and MTV has made a muck of Tyler and Caitlyn's lives, commercializing the intimate.One of these days, the cameras will be shut off and the gawkers will find other objects to fetishize. That's when the real problems will start."

    I agree with everything Marley said about this issue. Nobody can know how these kids will feel later, but the MTV has mucked up the situation beyond any normal adoption story.

    Also on the subject of Mara inviting her first mother to AAC as a remedy, there could not be a worse one for any shaky, troubled or stalled reunion. Mara described a woman who "stalked and harassed" her, from a very dysfunctional family. This is serious, not just a little misunderstanding or miscommunication. Going to an AAC meeting or reading adoptee memoirs is not going to fix this.

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  46. Hi Lorraine – great post taking on Tyler and Catelynn...

    I found these which are interesting to say the least as a less visible look behind the TV Reality.

    How to Plan An Unplanned Pregnancy: Tips from MTV's Catelynn & Tyler

    http://campus.collegegloss.com/2012/11/how-to-plan-unplanned-pregnancy-tips.html

    From there I went to the link in the article for On Your Feet Foundation. Noting that the two have been featured at the yearly retreats and what not. The org also helps them get schooling.

    http://www.oyff.org/Index.html

    I also found this study done by David Brodzinsky on OYFF’s behalf to see what mothers need after surrender. Very interesting, surprise it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns and they don’t just magically move on to a successful career like the adoption world likes to paint.

    http://www.onyourfeetca.org/files/pdf/bm_survey_report_6_10_2010.pdf

    So – why do they advertise that mothers go on to get educated and continue their plans - when so many are so very devastated and can only do so with a support org? Why the false advertising.

    Why don’t they provide the honest description of what they find in mothers in the first five years – to mothers considering adoption?

    Why don’t they just help them parent AND get their education instead of requiring they first surrender their child?

    Of course I know why - but it just breaks my heart that they can’t see what is right in front of them...they are being used.

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  47. I think the attacks against Mara are uncalled for. She was writing about HER adoptive parents and HER original family. She did not come here to attack all mothers, she was only speaking about her relationship with her own natural mother. It does happen that once an adoptee knows her whole story that she finds she came from a very difficult family environment and realizes it was better that she was raised elsewhere. At this point it is too early to know but Carly may come to the same conclusion herself.

    Mara also wrote at length about the negative aspects of being adopted. She hardly wrote a rah rah pro-adoption comment. I appreciate her sharing her story.

    Jane suggested that Mara attend an AAC meeting to learn more about her first mother's experience. Maybe this would help or maybe it would be counterproductive as Maryanne suggested. I don't know. But I do believe (ouch) that it is not an adopted person's responsibility to learn all about the first mother's experience. The natural parents have to meet us halfway.

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  48. On the linked post that Tyler actually responded to, there were comments complaining that Carly's adoptive parents are not allowing Tyler and Catelynn to post photos of Carly as she grows up.

    I totally agree with Brandon and Teresa's decision to not allow pics until Carly turns 18. Her privacy has been so grossly violated. She did not ask to be the "face" of adoption and she should not have her whole life chronicled in words and pictures for the whole world to see.

    Carly's 'fans' need to understand that she had no say whatsoever in being adopted. That this was something that was done to her. She should get to decide when she turns 18 how much of her life she wants to share.

    I guess it was the APs who released it, but I saw a recent picture of Carly (who I believe is 3 1/2 y.o.) and she looks exactly like Catelynn.

    Oh, and I would be appalled if I learned that my original parents had gained money and fame off of giving me up for adoption. I can't imagine how Carly is going to deal with that.

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  49. My cup runneth over with adoption Kool-Aid.

    Tyler and Catelynn are so young and just beginning their adoption journey. I have compassion for them and I know they believe they did the right thing. I don't think anyone can ever know if giving up your child is the best thing for them (except in cases of neglect or abuse of course). I can understand why Tyler would be angry when confronted with the fact that many of us first mothers feel differently about adoption than what Tyler is used to hearing. I get it, because I have been there.

    There are 2 issues with that I have trouble with. The first is that this couple is paid to be on a reality show about teen mothers. They are PAID to talk about adoption. Yes, we see the pain they endure, but both of them almost without expression seem to parrot their adoption "counselor", Dawn's, views on adoption. This is unnerving because young women of impressionable ages watch them and believe the nonsense adoption rhetoric.

    The second issue I have is that this couple not only cashes in from MTV, but they also make money doing speaking engagements. It is not only this couple that turns around and feeds the kool-aid to others, but they are the most visible. What adoption needs are more adult adoptees at these engagements and first mothers and fathers who are more entrenched in their journey. Of course, no one wants to pay for these people to speak.
    I hate to think of scared expectant mothers buying into adoption as a loving choice because of what 2 kids only a couple of years past their adoption have to say. It scares the hell out of me, quite frankly.
    I do tend to wonder, now that this couple has obviously made a ton of money and can self-support, if they think about the fact that the only reason they now have the ability to be financially stable and could indeed raise their child is simply because they gave her up. That has got to be a heartbreaking realization.

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  50. My heart has long been heavy for Tyler and Caitlyn. I fear for the additional pain they may one day face as a result of being so public with their story at this time, when they truly do not yet understand the lifelong implications of their decision. It makes me sad to see them exploited by BCS and used as a tool to encourage others to relinquish. :(

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  51. oh yay. here is a snippet from the web-site http://starcasm.net/archives/156658

    "But that’s not all! Catelynn has been working closely with Bethany Christian Services, the adoption agency that handled Carly’s adoption, to help provide emotional support and advice to expecting moms considering adoption, and one of the women she was working with was Carly’s little brother’s mom!"

    does this never end???

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  52. How does it feel to be a bystander watching someone else live out your life that Nature or God intended for you? How does it feel waiting for some dribbles?

    Tyler's little RATIONALIZATION (a defense mechanism) would be silly if it wasn't so sad. We know all about psychological defense mechanisms because all humans use them to survive the tough times. We're trying to prevent other young people from following in Tyler's sad footsteps. Not only young single parents; but, all parents need help and support in the first year or two to start them on the road of parenthood. Let's not act like simply a marriage license makes for good parenting.

    I'm starting to feel bad for him but that's the price you pay for putting yourself out there - being a public figure - for making the big bucks on the backs of vulnerable young people. We're working toward the greater good! I would assume Tyler would want that?

    In his comment, Tyler avers that he did not give up his daughter:

    " '...Give Up' no, you give up something you don't care about, you give up something that has no more value to you, you give up an old pair of shoes...."

    Tyler's rationalization is cute, but it just doesn't jibe!

    Adoption is all about COMMERCE (money) and the avenue by which this commerce is accomplished is largely RELIGION. Religious fanatics have set the tone and aura in our U.S. society as religious fanatics set the tone in other societies where we assume, for example, single mothers are killed. The impregnators - not so much!

    Here's how Tyler's comment doesn't jibe:

    In Christianity, during Lent, for example, Christians are pressured to "GIVE UP" SOMETHING THEY CARE ABOUT "ALOT" or the SACRIFICE is meaningless. If I loath spicy foods and give up spicy foods, it doesn't mean much in the eyes of God. Does it? So it's not true that "...you give up something you don't care about..." as Tyler is trying to (rationalize) get us to believe.

    When a people attempt to overturn or obliterate or abolish unacceptable behavior, politeness and meekness just don't work - just look at the harshness of the abolition of slavery and the fight for the women's right to vote. These were hardly pretty pictures! Wars were fought and women were beaten and jailed for demanding basic human rights - I see the right to raise our children without incestuous pressure and interference as the last frontier to be fought. Check out Spielberg's new movie, "Lincoln," and we'll see how polite this awesome man (Lincoln) was in getting an atrocity abolished! Adoption is the last atrocity that needs abolishin'!

    Tyler is trying to convince himself that he wasn't old enough to parent. No parent knows how to parent; babies don't come with instruction manuals.

    As I recall, didn't Catelynn's commendable parents try to step up to the plate and keep said families in tact? Her parents were there for her when it really counted!!!

    Before the adoption industry got its nasty claws into natural family business in the mid-20th century, families have always stepped up to keep their families together down through the ages.

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  53. I also wanted to add a bit about Dawn, the "counselor".

    This woman and all the other "counselors" like her out there are NOT YOUR FRIENDS fellow first mothers. This is their job. They get paid to procure your babies. Ask yourself this question, if Dawn were truly looking out for your best interests and failed to have you or others like you give your child up, do you think Dawn would still have a job? My God, the Dawns of this world have a vested monetary interest in getting your baby from you. They are not your friend, buddy, BFF, or therapist. They are indirectly (sometimes directly) making a living off of mothers giving away their children.

    This particular Dawn also has a vested interest in Tyler and Catelynn being "happy birth parents." They are the poster children for domestic infant adoption at this point. Can you imagine if Tyler and Catelynn came out of the fog and actually stood up for themselves and spoke out about Dawn and BCS? I would wager that would be the end of Dawn's career. If they spoke out on the highly immoral and unethical act of handing off their daughter in a PARKING LOT (all orchestrated by Dawn) alone, can you imagine the ripples? Can you imagine Carly's reaction to finding out she was handed off in a parking lot on national television? My heart bleeds for adult Carly.

    As far as Dawn's parameter, purpose, plan (the 3 P's as she calls it, how cute!) shouldn't all of that been discussed BEFOREHAND??!?!? Isn't it Dawn's job to insure the first parents know exactly what to expect post adoption? If the first parents and adoptive parents need the 3 P's speech post adoption, doesn't that say something about the quality of counseling the first parents received? Does it not speak to Dawn's capabilities as a counselor that Catelynn was unaware that they would not know the adoptive parents last name until post adoption?

    I truly hope that Tyler and Catelynn have under gone some kind of real therapy both pre and post adoption. Real therapy meaning a therapist with no vested interest in the outcome of adoption.

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  54. RESEARCH? Really? Tyler says he did a whole lotta' research about adoption.

    How could he possibly research adoption? The LOSERS of the children haven't been allowed to speak yet except for the last couple of years on blogs like FMF. So what kind of one-sided research did he do? Research from the TAKERS point of view? The adoption industry's point of view?

    Oh, we know your story EXACTLY, Tyler! The only difference: You're getting paid to suck in other young victims into following in your destructive footsteps. That's what we object to!

    We don't give a shit what you do with your own life! Just keep it to yourself and don't foist your trauma on other young mothers and fathers. Don't be a spokesman for family decimation!!! Is that what you want on your conscience? The decimation of the vulnerable?

    The adoption industry doesn't care about you - they just want the money to keep rollin' in - as does the network your television program is on! Ask your little adoption industry to explicate this question, "This is how you care about me? You separate me from my family?" Listen to their words and watch how they try to squirm out of that one!

    You call it "SACRIFICE." We call it, "You got screwed, dude!"

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  55. When we say, "The adoption industry (which infertile couples are a part of) should be ashamed of themselves for separating vulnerable families," we mean, "The adoption industry should be ashamed of themselves for separating the vulnerable - JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN!!!"

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  56. I want to thank all who have taken time to read and understand what I wrote, and very much thank all who have defended me...I certainly meant no disrespect to fm here. I feel the need to clarify a bit...there is nothing - NOTHING in the world that I wanted more than a relationship with the woman who gave me life. I listened, understood and had compassion for Joan. She had so much anger, and it became directed towards me, at the same time she was showing up at my job, at school at night and driving by my home, calling and writing me incessantly, angry that I didn't call her mom, and blaming me for her weight (350 pounds) because she didn't stop eating since she gave me up. I actually never spoke up to her...just withdrew...so much craziness - more than what I can explain here...and at 19 years old, I sunk into a deep depression and became suicidal. There was no fixing this. And there is no fixing it. Joan passed away 10 years ago.

    So yes, Lisa, your anger and sarcasm are way off the chart, and you are so blinded by whatever your problem is that you can not even understand what I wrote for what it is without seeing it as an attack on you. You will probably read this and interpret it as an attack as well. So sad for you.

    This is my story, I speak for no one else. No one wins in adoption, and I wish you all peace.

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  57. A user wrote, "...An adoptee realizes it was better that she was raised elsewhere than within her natural family...."

    Gee whiz!? WTF do we expect after the amputation of family members from a family tree!? What exactly do we expect from wounded families suffering from a lifetime of PTSD eminating from such a tragic event? We take the separation of vulnerable natural family members (via adoption) and its lifelong repercussions much too casually and cavalierly! We should be outraged to the hilt!!!

    That's totally insulting to the victims of adoption!

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  58. @Jane,
    I apologize. I misread your comment of 1:01 a.m. I see that you are asking each person to try to understand the other. My mistake. Sorry.

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  59. @Leenburke,
    I also remember a scene where Catelynn was in Dawn's office crying and Dawn said, "This isn't goodbye, it's see you later". How coercive! Does Dawn have a crystal ball? She can't guarantee that Tyler and Catelynn will have a relationship with Carly when she is an adult. Many first mothers and fathers have found to their surprise and chagrin that their relinquished child wants nothing to do with them.

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  60. Mara, and others, I answer some of the issues raised here in a new post.

    First Mother Forum is certainly open to adoptees and even adoptive parents who wish to comment, as well as birth mothers who, as our name indicates, are our main focus. We welcome all points of view. We do stop, however, at being harassed endlessly, which has happened in the past. But both Jane and I have learned so much from those who have commented here, and we thank you.

    Everyone is entitled to express their experience and point of view, even if we are troubled by it. I take what Mara says at face value, did not read it as disrespectful to all first mothers, or us, and when she says: No one wins in adoption, we understand what she means.

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  61. Dawn's response to Tyler's post on his fb page regarding Lorraine's blog:

    Dawn Amann Baker: Very proud of you and very proud of how well you articulated your response to so many mis-truths. Stay strong.

    Wish she would come here and personally point out all the "mis-truths." How well he articulated his response? Uh, ok.

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  62. Mara:

    Don't be ridiculous, as I don't even know you and don't think you were insulting ME. You WERE dehumanizing your natural mother while putting your adoptive parents on a pedestal, is all I pointed out. Adoption does indeed cause great trauma for all involved. If we natural mothers called said the very same thing about our own children, "THANK GOD WE DID NOT RAISE THEM", we would be monsters. No need for YOU to be defensive about what you yourself said about her. An attack on me? No, but I do feel for those who are spoken of that way who cannot speak for themselves.

    MY sarcasm is off the charts, but it is just fine for you to say THANK GOD I WAS NOT RAISED BY THAT WOMAN? Not sarcastic or degrading at all...

    I guess I am the "abusive, fringe crazy first mother" the following post talks about. I love how we are invited to comment here, then get chastised by the blog owners. She changes her tune with the changing winds.

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  63. The AP's and friendly "Counsellor Dawn" were in the hospital waiting like predators while poor Tyler and Catelyn were just beginning to bond with their own sweet little baby...Adoption agencies create a "hospital plan" because they know that when a mother holds her own child...she will naturally not want to surrender..this is all to ensure the the adoption "goes through" and fees are paid which is the goal of the Adoption Agency. Catelyn and Tyler appear to be a lovely young couple...through the show it appeared that it was Tyler's mother who wanted adoption and pressed it upon them...Catelyn's mother and Tyler's father, for all their problems, had this one right. This poor young couple lived this out in public..it will be difficult for them to extricate themselves from the adoption industry since to do so they would have to face not only what happened to them, but also the fact that they are convincing others to do the same...
    Valerie

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  64. In what other relationship do you express your love by abandoning your beloved?

    Exactly where in human history has love been equated with abandonment?

    If you were the child, regardless of how language spun things, wouldn't you feel discarded and rejected if you were "given away"? Of course, the child always feels that to some degree, and they figure something terrible happened to cause it (one reason adoptees don't search).

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  65. Another thing that occurs to me, is 20 years from now, the other show participants who kept their babies might look back, and think/say "yeah, we had a hard time back then" but the details may be fuzzy and it will all be lost in the haze of memory - something distant and long since passed.

    However, 20 years from now Tyler/Catelynn/Carly will still be defined by this .... and it will still be an active pain when thought about.

    Adoption is illegal in many countries and forced to be open in others for many valid reasons. USA seems to be pushing to be #1 in idiocy these days, in my opinion.

    The only *research* that is necessary is to put yourself in the child's shoes, but - unfortunately - while most people can read, mighty few can actually look at a situation from someone else's perspective.

    What a baby needs most is its natural mama. That used to be common knowledge, and it should be an obvious. In some cases, the only thing that can calm an infant down is its "birth"mother. If the baby doesn't get this, a part of them will long for it forever.

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  66. Anonymous, yes I saw Dawn's post on Facebook. Stay strong and don't feel bad! is the message.

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  67. I can't think of anything worse for anybody in adoption than to attend an AAC victim conference Last one I went to, I think I attended two sessions . I spent the rest of my time in my hotel room working on a legislative emergency or out in the bar with friends or wandering around Sacto.If you want to seriously scar somebody, send them to the AAC deformers.

    BTW, the AAC has lots of good people, it's just the cowardly leadership that sucks.

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  68. Although this is off-topic, I need to support my recommendation about attending an American Adoption Congress Conference. I went to my first American Adoption Congress conference in April, 1998, a few months after my reunion. It was, just what I needed. I had not talked about my surrendered daughter since she was born, 31 years earlier.

    Prior to my reunion, I had never heard of Betty Jean Lifton, Lorraine Dusky, Carol Schaefer, Nancy Verrier, AAC, Bastared Nation, etc and only a little about CUB. I had read only one book about adoption reunion.

    I had only a vague idea about why adoptees might search, what they might be looking for. It was fantastic to hear that other mothers shared the same feelings I had, to learn perspective of adoptees on reunions, and so on.

    At AAC, I met several first mothers who live in the Portland area who have become good friends. I learned about several support groups in Portland which have been very helpful and allowed me to net work with other mothers and adoptees.

    Since my reunion, I have met many first mothers, like me, who have no idea that these organizations and books are out there. I always recommend AAC where they learn so much in just a few days.

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  69. Jane, I know it's different for everyone, but prior to my reunion I had not heard about any of these people either, nor had I heard of CUB or anything to do adoption reform.

    Although many of these people have pertinent and important things to say, I'm GLAD I hadn't heard of them, because if I had, I'd have been encumbered by their emotional burdens as well as our own.

    I'm grateful that my adult child and I were able to work things out on our own terms.

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  70. Anonymous:

    So ignorance was bliss for you? Without BJ Lifton, Lorraine Dusky, Carol Schaefer, Florence Fisher, and ohters, there would be no one searching or reuniting and you are unlikely to have been able to "work things out on your own." There would be nothing to "work out." You son or daughter would not have thought of searching. Nor would you.

    I find your comment particularly strange--rude?--at FMF, written by one of the people you are glad you had never heard of. It's kinda like saying--we'd be better of without you, Lorraine and Florence and Betty Jean and Annette Baran, et cetera.

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  71. Sarah, I didn't say ignorance was bliss for me. That was your suggestion. Please don't read into other people's words.

    The details of the reunion between myself and my child are our own concern, but it's a fact that neither of us had heard of the people you mentioned. But in case you hadn't noticed, I did respectfully acknowledge their "pertinent and important" contributions to adoption reform.

    I'm sorry you feel offended my comment. Maybe you think it's rude to present an alternative point of view. I don't. I've read a lot ruder comments than mine on this and other blogs.

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  72. Hi, this is my first post at FMF, I am a 43 yr old female adoptee and have been in reunion with my mum for 12 years. I found FMF recently and I gain so much from hearing the mothers' perspectives It is keeping me on track with understanding my mum and our relationship. Tyler, if you are reading, please try to accept that there can be long term psychological issues for adoptees. No matter what you believe now, please be open to the fact that no matter the life and love that your daughter receives, she will be affected by her adoption.

    I 'appear' well adjusted and am a functioning member of society, but I have been mentally tortured by my adoption my whole life. I had the text book 'happy psuedo middle class loving family'. Normal and loving. The damage was all in my head and I couldn't tell anyone. I waited all my life for my mum to come back and thankfully, she did search for me and we have had a pretty good reunion (lots of bumps, but no long breaks). Our relationship is wonderful on the one hand, but very vulnerable on the other; at constant risk of problems by the two damaged minds that try to manage it. My point is this, I know I am psychologically damaged by my adoption and despite having a good relationship with my mum, the damage of grief and loss remains. It doesn't dissipate, no matter what, no matter how much we love each other; it has to be managed, just like adoptee anger, (can't be denied however much I want) it exists and it is always just below the surface.

    The saddest thing of my adoption experience? The silence of it. Being 'happy' and grateful and never, ever being able to tell anyone that every day of my life I wondered where my mum was and when would I see her again. Even now, every minute of every day is consumed with thoughts of all the issues and emotions of the separation damage. A happy, life, a happy family, 'normality' ... none of it prevented the enduring sadness.
    Jo

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  73. WoW, I just read through all of these comments crying, mad, sad and a little angry! I am a first MoM and met my now 27 year old birth son a few years ago. I remember the days 27 years ago when I too felt the same way that Tyler and Caitlyn feel. I was told the same things and heard the same lingo (my favorite, what a wonderful "GIFT" I gave to a childless family. I hate that one!!!!) from the Portland adoption agency that I went through. These two are young and only at the begining of this rough journey. Let's not bash them, we need to support them. Let them know that we will still be here when they mature and begin to see and experience thier own feelings. I know at that age, I was not ready or about to even listen to the negative side of adoption. I was already being told by society and hidden away in a group home what a bad and terrible person I was for getting pregnant at age 16 (I was date raped by the way, never even kissed a boy until a few years later). I had such low self confidence that I ate up any positive comments that I could get. I beleive that Tyler had some help writing that letter but also feel that for the most part that is how he truly feels or thinks he feels at this moment. At that age nobody wants to admit wrong or even think it could be possible. he has so much more life to experience and time to really understand his feeling now versas the future. I watched that MTV show, cried alot and thought out of all of the girls/couples on the show that these two could have made it and done a great job raising thier daughter. Breaks my heart for all of them! But I do really understand where they are coming from. Some how we must change our approach on how we explain to young birthmoms the effects of adoption. I have no idea how but it must be in a language that they understand and probably explained by other teens and young adults who they can immediately relate to. I really do not have the answers and only really know how my experience has affected me, my birth son and my other family members. The pain never ends and ya never know when and where it will creep back up!

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  74. I can see that attending AAC worked for you, Jane. It does work for many. I have been to many of these events as well, and for someone found who is already interested in adoption reform they are useful and a good way to meet others of like mind.

    What I do not recommend is inviting or taking either one's parent or child who was found to any adoption reform meeting if the relationship is at all shaky or reluctant, if the other person has no interest in groups and meetings, does not want to feel they are on display, or have no interest in adoption per se beyond their own experience.

    Nor do I think sending books to "educate" is a good idea, unless you ask the person first and they say, yes, I would like to read that. For some of us, adoption reform may be our thing, but it is not our mother or adoptee's thing. That has to be respected.Education in this sense too often comes across as proselytizing, no matter what the subject.

    I have learned very little about adoptees like my son from those who attend AAC and other events, much as I love the friends I have made there. One thing I have learned is that not all adoptees or mothers are alike, and the only one to really get to know and respond to and try to understand is one's own. People who have no interest in searching, who do not see adoption as the center of their lives do not attend these events, so the picture of "all" adoptees and their desires conveyed there is incomplete. Many of us who search are going to find someone who was not searching, who does not think as we do. We need to listen to them and try to understand them one to one, not try to shoehorn them into some stereotype.

    I do not see a huge public conference like AAC as a good place to enhance a private and fragile relationship as many reunions are. If both parties are interested in adoption reform and eager to attend, then that's fine, and these events always have some relatives attending together, by mutual choice.

    I still maintain that this is not a good suggestion for those in new reunions, or as something to try to get your found relative to do to show them that you are right and they are wrong and you have all these friends to back you up about how one is "supposed" to feel about adoption. I fear this tactic would make more people withdraw further than convert to your point of view.

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  75. @Robin Coercive describes Dawn's line about not saying goodbye, it's see you later, perfectly. My "counselor" pulled the same garbage with me. She told me in 18 years, I would be able to see my son again. There is no guarantee of that and to present it as fact to a mother is a downright lie. Infuriating!

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  76. Anonymous, you did say, "Although many of these people have pertinent and important things to say, I'm GLAD I hadn't heard of them, because if I had, I'd have been encumbered by their emotional burdens as well as our own." And although my own interpretation would not be 'ignorance is bliss,' I did find it a downright rude and dismissive statement to infer that any of the aforementioned pioneers were "encumbered by emotional burdens." Unless there's some deep South left-handed version I'm not aware of (kind of like saying, "Why, bless his heart..."), I'm fairly certain this is NOT a compliment.

    I also handled reunion with both my mum and my daughter on my own, but would never diminish or downplay the role of many individuals and groups in my learning and search process. I also didn't let my interest in adoption wane after both my reunions, as so many do. I stayed committed and involved.

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  77. Anonymous, you did say, "Although many of these people have pertinent and important things to say, I'm GLAD I hadn't heard of them, because if I had, I'd have been encumbered by their emotional burdens as well as our own." And although my own interpretation would not be 'ignorance is bliss,' I did find it a downright rude and dismissive statement to infer that any of the aforementioned pioneers were "encumbered by emotional burdens." Unless there's some deep South left-handed version I'm not aware of (kind of like saying, "Why, bless his heart..."), I'm fairly certain this is NOT a compliment.

    I also handled reunion with both my mum and my daughter on my own, but would never diminish or downplay the role of many individuals and groups in my learning and search process. I also didn't let my interest in adoption wane after both my reunions, as so many do. I stayed committed and involved.

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  78. Anon, didn't you just tell Lorraine you were glad you hadn't read any of the work that she did in the early days of reform when she was being attacked left and right by people who wanted nothing more than for her to shut up? Saying that is was "pertinent and important" afterwards is backhanded and thoughtless.

    What you said is I'm so glad that neither my daughter or I knew this stuff was going on--that people were fighting in the trenches for my daughter's right to search--forgetting that without what they did you may never had had a reunion.

    This is Lorraine's blog. Would you say the same to her face? It's one thing to say, none of this information reached me before I reunited, but it's another to say, and I'm so glad it didn't! What you are saying is that she shouldn't have bothered because it might have upset you. If you knew anything about the early days of reform, she upset a lot of people. It's the only way change is possible.

    In another context what you said was like saying, I am so glad I was freed from bondage, but also I'm so glad that I never heard there was a civil war--that was so awful and would have upset me. Think about what you are actually saying. It's insulting, and it's amazing you don't see it that way, even though what you have to say is "pertinent and important."

    I'm one of those people she did reach and she changed my life. I was able to tell my husband and be open to my son when he found me a few years later. Thank you Lorraine for your "pertinent and important" words.

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  79. Oh, Anon. I see you didn't say whether you had a son or daughter. Just an adult child. My mistake.

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  80. There's plenty of AUDACITY to go around within the Audacious Adoption System!

    SO? - Then adult adoptees go and search for their natural families to see (JUDGE their natural mothers) where they were better off. Within the adoptive family? Or the natural family?

    FAMILY TREE: Let's cut off one, or two, of your limbs (arms and/or legs) and see exactly how well you flourish, mofo!!!

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  81. @Arabella,
    I don't think any adoptee searches specifically to find out whether they were better off with their original family or their adoptive family. But, unfortunately, in a small number of cases the adoptee does find that s/he had been born into horrific circumstances and was better off being raised in an adoptive home.

    Here's an example. Let's say that Jerry Sandusky prior to his marriage had fathered a son out-of-wedlock by a girlfriend. The boy was given up for adoption. As an adult the boy decides to search and finds that Jerry Sandusky is his natural father. Well, if I was him I'd be thanking my lucky stars that I was raised in a different family and not the potential victim of an incestuous pedophile.

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  82. Mtsteed, I could be wrong (although I don't think so), but I think everyone who has lost a child or parent carries their own specific emotional burdens. Sometimes these individual issues can be very complicated, and for some people they are best kept separate from those of other people, at least while they are being sorted out.

    I have contributed in my own small way to adoption reform and shall continue to do so. Not everyone has to be - or is able to be - on the front lines.

    I repeat, I am very glad I didn't get swept up into the heat of other peoples feelings when I was sorting out my own. No insult was intended. I am sorry it was taken.

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  83. Anon 1:47, that's what I thought you meant by specific emotional burdens. It's very clear that people in real life deal with adoption in multiple ways, depending on who they are, the circumstances of relinquishment, and the relationship (good or bad) with a-parents. I thought this recent post from KAD Neverforgottenisfound really set it out well from an adoptee perspective: http://neverforgottenisfound.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/the-great-struggle-to-forgive-what-is-unforgivable/

    I think it would be a mistake to apply everything one reads in Adopt-o-land to all people all the time. Every story is different and giving your adult child the space to tell the story without you projecting one on him/her may have been helpful to both of you.

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  84. Carol G. said "What you said is I'm so glad that neither my daughter or I knew this stuff was going on--that people were fighting in the trenches for my daughter's right to search--forgetting that without what they did you may never had had a reunion."
    I didn't say that. You did. The circumstances of our reunion didn't involve the usual child searching for mother or the other way around. It was someone else who put two and two together - and brought us back together as a result.
    Also, not every reunion is an American reunion and the changes that made these reunions possible have been brought about by people of their own countries, not by Americans, as seems to be being suggested here.

    "What you are saying is that she shouldn't have bothered because it might have upset you."
    Maybe that is what you're hearing, but it is not what I am saying. What I'm saying is that, while I realize everyone is going to be different in this respect, I Myself Personally was glad I had not read anything about adoption reunion before because I really needed to concentrate on the particular circumstances surrounding *our* situation, as well as to hear my child's side without having been influenced by the experiences and opinions of others. I think I should be able to say that without being stereotyped as some kind of Uncle Tom.
    Since reunion I've found the writings of B.J. Lifton, Lorraine Dusky, Carol Schaefer, Florence Fisher, etc. informative and useful, and I know that they and many others - some not even mentioned in this discussion - have moved mountains to make it possible for adoptees and their natural parents to reconnect.

    I think it's great that Lorraine helped you to open up to your husband, and that you were able to extend that kind of openness to your son. I hope more women will find the courage to step up to the plate in that respect.

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  85. By next year, Tyler will be forgotten by all the little teenyboppers who are 14 now. There will be a brand spanking new teenage heartthrob to pimp adoption to vulnerable girls.

    His fame will be gone.

    His daughter already is.



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  86. Anon:

    "Although many of these people have pertinent and important things to say, I'm GLAD I hadn't heard of them, because if I had, I'd have been encumbered by their emotional burdens as well as our own."

    How do you interpret this, Anon? You come to this blog and say, I'm glad I never heard of you (meaning the person who writes this blog)..and thus "encumbered by their [her] emotional burdens" --what does that mean if not that "their emotional burdens" would have been upsetting to you personally? You seem to have a good grasp of the English language but not an understanding of sociological events that lay the foundation for other events. Nor do you have a generous heart that is thankful for the work that went before you. No, you didn't say that, I did. You don't seem to really grasp what you did say, or why it is an insult.

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  87. Carol G., the "work that went before me" and laid the groundwork for the changes that led to our reunion was done in another country by people other than the ones whose names have been mentioned here.
    I feel great personal gratitude to those pioneers, although I am glad I hadn't read their work either before reunion.

    And I didn't say I was glad I hadn't heard of *just* the person who runs this blog. What I wrote wasn't 'about' her. There were other names included. It wasn't even 'about' any of them either.

    I have already explained that the reason I feel the way I do is because being 'unprepared' freed me up to respond to our situation without pre-concieved ideas - in other words, spontaneously. It had nothing to do with finding other people's stories 'upsetting'; it had everything to do with not wanting to be influenced at such an important juncture of our lives.

    Your command of the english language is not too bad either. However, what you don't seem to really grasp is that not everybody thinks, feels, or deals with things in the same way. There is no script when it comes to reunion. We have to write our own.

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  88. Carol G said: "You come to this blog and say, I'm glad I never heard of you (meaning the person who writes this blog)..and thus "encumbered by their [her] emotional burdens" --what does that mean if not that "their emotional burdens" would have been upsetting to you personally?"

    If I can hazard a guess, nobody is dissing anyone, though that's what you seem to be implying. It's more an issue of recognizing that the specific issues people wrote about when they described their own surrenders, i.e., their emotional burdens, would not necessarily mirror everyone's emotional burdens and that applying their interpretation in advance of meeting one's child might not be so helpful. Time, place, culture, and circumstance shape those things and nobody is the same, nor is there any one adoption truth.

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  89. Carol G said: "You come to this blog and say, I'm glad I never heard of you (meaning the person who writes this blog)..and thus "encumbered by their [her] emotional burdens" --what does that mean if not that "their emotional burdens" would have been upsetting to you personally?"

    If I can hazard a guess, nobody is dissing anyone, though that's what you seem to be implying. It's more an issue of recognizing that the specific issues people wrote about when they described their own surrenders, i.e., their emotional burdens, would not necessarily mirror everyone's emotional burdens and that applying their interpretation in advance of meeting one's child might not be so helpful. Time, place, culture, and circumstance shape those things and nobody is the same, nor is there any one adoption truth.

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  90. We all have our own stuff to deal with as we do. Of course there is no script beyond our own. But what you tacked on was and remains, insulting to the people who did the work that laid the groundwork for you. Tact might be in order.

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  91. Anon 3:10PM said:"I have already explained that the reason I feel the way I do is because being 'unprepared' freed me up to respond to our situation without pre-concieved ideas - in other words, spontaneously. It had nothing to do with finding other people's stories 'upsetting'; it had everything to do with not wanting to be influenced at such an important juncture of our lives."

    That explained to me the previous misunderstanding that she was insulting anyone, along with the rest of her explanation. The use of the word "glad" in the original post could have been taken wrongly, that this person did not appreciate the named adoption writers, but that seems to not be the case. Just a different way of looking at her own reunion, evidently, not a slam on anyone else.

    Notheranon

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  92. http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2012/nov/22/john-triseliotis-obituary

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  93. I have been following this myself and I have to say that I am amazed Anon keeps coming back to defend and explain her rude remark.
    I do wonder if she would have said that to any of the people who did the spade work for her reunion, for that's what it was. She is glad it didn't bother her pretty little head.

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  94. Christy

    I am proud of what they did and who in fact is the judge of their choice? None of the people who don't agree are their judge. Back off they are not living your life get out of theirs!

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  95. Christy,
    Umm...no.
    Those two are putting their lives out there to be judged, ridiculed, critiqued or, in your case, admired.
    When you put your life on television, it is open for discussion.
    And C and T can cry all the way to the bank.
    Listen, C and T made a choice. They chose to give their daughter up on national television. They chose to collect huge paycheck from their celebrity gained from relinquishing.
    They have chosen this life for themselves.
    Now is not the time for them to go crying fowl because many people find what they have done abhorrent. They asked for this when they went on MTV.
    I see no reason to "leave them alone". They would stop getting paid if we did that.

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  96. @Christy,

    As public figures, Catelynn and Tyler have opened themselves up to criticism, judgment, analysis, etc. It comes with the territory.

    This blog is designed for first mothers, then adoptees and empathic adoptive parents for whom the experience of adoption is not the wonderful, beautiful thing that American society portrays it to be. We are telling the truth about how adoption has really affected so many of us rather than spewing the usual platitudes that one hears everywhere. And unless you are a first mother or an adoptee, you really do not understand the experience from having lived it.

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  97. I finally read the obituary for John Triseliotis that some anon posted without comment. I remember reading his book "In Search of Origins" in the 70s, one of the first out there and instrumental in getting open records in England. I think I heard of it in ALMA, so Lorraine, you probably heard of him as well. He sounds like he was a good man, a real pioneer and true friend of adoptee rights. May he rest in peace.

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  98. Tyler and Carly are still very,very young. After I gave up my son(sorry, Tyler, I was so emotionally beaten that's what I did-surrendered,waved the white flag,gave up) I believed all the adoption agency garbage and thought I wasn't good enough. Also I didn't see how I could work and take care of my baby(am I some kind of a quantum particle that can be in 2 places at once?) Not to mention that I always had trouble keeping jobs-never seemed to fit in anywhere. Everything is confusing enough at that age. So, I will not join in attacking him and Catelynn. I am happy that you are putting your lives together and that you are able to know(sort of) YOUR daughter. She is adorable and as someone else mentioned, looks just like her mother(Catelynn). Having lived through(sometimes barely) the heartache and sorrow sometimes bordering on torture of being a firstmother, I do agree with the blog authors that talking other girls into doing the same may be something you come to regret.

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  99. Dear Anon: Tyler has made a career out of giving up his daughter. I'm glad they are both (sort of) able to see their daughter, Carly. I'm upset that he and the baby's mother, Catelynn has become a tool of the adoption industry.

    the next post is about them also.
    The Lost Post regarding the issues of Tyler and Catelynn, reconstructed

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  100. Good for you Lorraine in your response to Tyler, and for moderating all these sincere comments. A thought occurred to me that I don't think has been mentioned here - there may be a brighter side to this very public relinquishment. That is, the public will get to see what really happens to these kids.

    This country is in love with adoption. Just a couple of days ago the Russians banned American adoptions. Fox News and all the major news sources were despondent for the poor orphans and especially for the poor Americans who wanted to adopt them. Why did they do this? Because people just eat it up. They LOVE adoption. Nobody thinks adoption is anything but "the loving choice" except us, the people whose families were destroyed, psyches traumatized and hearts broken. As many as we are, we are not mainstream enough to stop the dominant attitude. If only all of society were to react in horror to adoption and sympathize with the victims, and make laws to stop this tragedy! Alas, it is not so in America, just the opposite.

    Tyler wants to be an adoption rock star and Caitlyn's on board, and everybody loves it. Maybe everybody will still be interested when it starts to go sour, and it will, and will see the tears and the family tragedy. Maybe they'll even be listening when Carly is old enough to say her piece too. Maybe they are causing a few mothers to give up babies now, but it is my hope and prayer that as America watches, America will see what this does to human beings and choose a different path.

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  101. Barbara wrote:"Maybe they'll even be listening when Carly is old enough to say her piece too."

    You make some excellent points, Barbara. But adoptees are not always able to say what we really feel and think about adoption. We are more often TOLD how we should feel about being adopted. So I wouldn't hold my breath that Carly will feel she can be completely honest about how adoption has affected her. Especially with her being in the public eye, I wouldn't be surprised if she feels pressured to say things like " I know my natural parents did what they felt was best for me and I am grateful for that", whether she truly feels that way or not.

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  102. So sad. Children brainwashed by authority figures, making grown-up, permanent decisions which will follow them all their days.
    I weep for them.

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  103. This thread makes me sick!

    I see a bunch of women that want ALL people that have PLACED their child to be as bitter as they are. Does it feel that good to bash Tyler?

    I have news for you............ I too was adopted. Let me say that if I ever did decide to meet my birth mother and I found her crude language and judgment of others that did the same thing she did I would tell her to stay gone or I serve her with a paper that forces her too!

    The fact of whether or not Tyler will regret it years from now is NOT yours to own. It is none of your business.

    The truth be known, you ALL had a choice. If you want to bathe in your poor choice then so be it, but remember this......

    FOR EACH HATEFUL THING YOU SAY, YOUR CHILD PROBABLY THINKS YOU WERE A SELFISH PERSON THAT TOOK THE EASY WAY OUT TOO SO YOU COULD CONTINUE TO PARTY, GO TO SCHOOL, OR THAT YOU ARE JUST A WOMAN WITHOUT A HEART/SOUL THAT LIKES TO BRING MISERY TO OTHERS.

    Thank you to my adopted mother for always being honest and supporting MY DECISSION. Thank you for loving another womans child that was to busy thinking of how hard things would be for herself. Thank you for each kiss on my cheek, each hug, and important event in my life.

    Thank you to my adoptive mother for rescuing me from people like some of these hateful women!

    SHAME ON ALL OF YOU

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  104. Watching ’16 & Pregnant’ recently (Series 1 Episode 6), and seeing how the trusting youngsters Tyler and pregnant Catelynn get sucked into the adoption agency’s agenda without them having a clue that this is happening, the following conversation stood out:

    Catelynn and Tyler were given a batch of information folders from prospective adoptive parents to look through. The next day they meet with the adoption agent Dawn to discuss them. (So they are still just at the considering stage at this point).

    Dawn: ‘So you took home a whole bunch of profile books right? And then did you get a chance to look them over?

    Catelynn and Tyler: ‘Yep’

    Dawn: ‘Did anything stand out to you in them?’

    Catelynn and Tyler, in unison: ‘Brandon and Teresa’

    Dawn smiles incessantly, as if the most unbelievably exciting thing is about to happen. Catelynn bites her lip and Tyler gulps.

    Dawn: ‘Brandon and Teresa. Okay. What about them stands out as the right family for our baby?’

    (did you spot that? 'OUR baby'?)

    Catelynn gives the kind of answer that can be summarised in her odd, sad little phrase ‘ Everything I wanted they had’. She doesn’t mean it like this, but actually she does.

    What they have missed in that conversation, but which probably got caught somewhere in the howl of their subconscious, is the incredibly distracting, almost theatrical air-quotation marks that Dawn gestures extravagantly while saying ‘the right family’ just nanoseconds before using the term ‘our’ rather than ‘your’ baby.

    Already the baby is being lifted away from her parents without them even knowing it has begun.

    Already their daughter is not wholly theirs. Is partially someone else's. It is 'ours'. It belongs to adoptionland.

    Can you imagine someone saying that to a pregnant women in any other circumstance?

    Poor Catelynn and Tyler still think they are at the choosing stage – that they have some control. They don’t know, because they are too young and inexperienced (in life itself, as well as parenthood) to see that psychologically their fingers have already been prised from around their daughter. She is already not theirs.

    That final lifting of their daughter away from any possibility of remaining with them happens in the hospital, just as Tyler and Catelynn lovingly cradle their daughter as a new little family. The door sweeps open and in comes Dawn, smiling like a maniac, blasting apart that moment, that family, to ensure that everyone remembers that Carly is going to be adopted.

    Look at Catelynn's face when Dawn comes in. Her expression is one of a hunted animal, one whose young is threatened to be taken away. And that's just what happened.

    A long time from now, Catelynn will wake with a shock and realise that the choice wasn't as freely given as she believes. That, in fact, her daughter was winkled from her. That her and Tyler's own lack of confidence in themselves as the right parents for their daughter allowed the powerful adoption agency to do their crafty work.

    I feel so sorry for them.
    And so aghast that, in their lack of awareness, they are promoting this soul-hell to others.

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  105. Thank you, Cherry, for that run down of what you saw on that program when Catelynn and Tyler's baby became Brandon and Teresa's. This kind of transfer from one's own baby to a baby now already belonging to someone e, and occurs when the couple is still deciding what they are going to do. I fear this is all too common. And incredibly sad. As I said, I can't watch much of these shows; my stomach just turns.

    As for the previous commentor, Anonymous, who is so angry with us--it does sound as if she was not only adopted but also gave up a child, a phenomenon I wish were more thoroughly studied for it appears to be incredibly common. Think of us as you will, but we are not bitter as you say; we just accept how truly our lives were forged to a different kind of path once we relinquished our children, and how much it affected their own lives. If you reread your own comment, you will see the rage and anger we read in it from a vantage point different from yours.

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  106. Perhaps also Catelynn might look back to that conversation they had with Dawn, and think about that sob that suddenly and unexpectedly escaped from her young heart. I think that was the sound of grief, though Catelynn couldn't name it then.

    What did the mature, adult, experienced Dawn do when the young, teenage Catelynn uttered such a heartbreakingly lost sob?

    Did she comfort her?

    Did she say that it was clear she had conflicting and painful feelings about this, and was she sure about this course of action - ie the adoption of her daughter?

    Did she hand her alternatives to adoption? Information about ways she could be helped to keep her daughter?

    No. Dawn's smile maintained its blinding brightness, as if a despairing sob from a pregnant young girl was normal. Nothing was going to stand in the way of that adoption. Certainly not the pain of the unborn child's young parents.

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