' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: As with same-sex marriage, difference of opinion on adoption is way beyond 'disagreement'

Thursday, November 21, 2013

As with same-sex marriage, difference of opinion on adoption is way beyond 'disagreement'

Lorraine
The Cheney sister squabble over gay marriage in the family broke out full throated this week, and it was clear from the beginning this blood feud was about way more than a difference of opinion, as Liz Cheney tried to make it. Asked about same-sex marriage on Fox News, Liz, running for the Senate in uber-conservative Wyoming, said that she opposed it, and when asked about her lesbian sister's marriage to her partner, Liz added that it was “just an area where we disagree.” But it was way more than that--it was a repudiation of her sister's life. 

Politics and recipes for the stuffing for the turkey are areas of disgruntlement and disagreement. But when someone in your own family criticizes the very core of your being, it's a way more than "an area where we disagree." Adoption falls in this same category. For first mothers like Jane and I, who are out and involved first mothers, who speak and write about the longterm--
hell, lifetime--emotional scars of giving up a child, when the issue comes up in our own lives and families, it is a punch right in the gut. We think: How can anyone support adopting anyone but the most neediest child in the world, after what we--and other mothers like us--have been through? Don't they understand what adopting is doing to another mother, and by extension, me?

'I DON'T WANT TO DEAL WITH ADOPTION CLOSE TO HOME...
For years, as I watched my step-children grow up and not have babies quickly, I worried: would adoption cross their minds? How would I deal with it? Thankfully, my husband understood my fears--and did not criticize them--and doubly thankfully, grandchildren were born. In my immediate family--including my two brothers--there are no adoptions, for which I am truly grateful. My gay friends have not adopted, nor have they hired surrogate mothers. A cousin who is an adoptive grandmother lives far away and I don't have to confront her, or the children. I have found that although I have friends and acquaintances who have adopted, it takes a great effort, and time, for me to feel comfortable around them after they adopt. I quickly dropped a friend I was becoming close to when, after knowing my story, after reading what I had written, she proceeded to adopt from Guatemala, at the height of the baby-lift from that impoverished nation, a baby-lift we know now was rife with corruption and kidnapping. I can clearly remember how I cringed when acquaintances who were in the process of adopting got pregnant, and decided to proceed with the adoption anyway. They smiled as they showed off their two girls a year later; I just wanted to get away. 

With friends who have adopted, I find I do not inquire so much about the child as I might otherwise. I instinctively withdraw: it is just to damn painful to be reminded of adoption and I am reminded of adoption every time I see them. It is as if I am mentally holding my hands to my ears to block out more information about this adoption. I can sense that they are less likely to share certain things with me, and that, my friends, is fine. Now I am fervently hoping that the grown daughter of a close friend gets pregnant soon--she's past the age at which fertility starts on its nosedive. I really don't want to deal with an adoption so close to home. I don't want to look at the baby and wonder who the other mother is, how that first mother is doing, and how this infant will grow up and deal with the shock of learning his parents are not the ones he was born to. To have to quietly accept yet another adoption is a massive repudiation of my life. Adoption is the worst thing that ever happened to me, that I ever participated in, and I would do anything to stop this crazy world where adoption is seen as the cure-all for gays and lesbians and women and couples who can't conceive, or as an alternative but nonetheless worthy way "to build a family."

Another first mother described the intense discomfort of seeing her own cousin urge her daughter give up a child for adoption, even though my friend did what she could to discourage it. My friend's entreaties fell on deaf ears, and the child was relinquished. However close my friend was with her cousin before, now they actively avoid each other at family gatherings. It's too difficult. 

...IT HURTS WAY TOO MUCH'
Fabulous essays 
Because we who are not cheerleaders for adoption are in the great minority, it is harder for us to raise our voices when adoption threatens to engulf us personally. Despite all the ruckus over same-sex marriage in the last few years, progressive attitudes about it have galloped forward with speed and the next generation finds it even less objectionable than the current generation. But today few of us could ever write, as did Mary Cheney on her Facebook page after Liz made the hurtful comment: “Liz—this isn't just an issue on which we disagree you’re just wrong—and on the wrong side of history.” 

What Mary Cheney wrote was true, but the real source of her displeasure was not because her sister Liz is on the wrong side of history. It is because Liz was condemning her sister's very life. It is the same way with adoption. It is the reason that some adoptive parents find FMF so very objectionable--we are censuring their way of life. Editors who find FMF too strident, I have been told, want to believe adoption will always be available to them, should they ever "need" it. To tell them otherwise is more than simply having a disagreement, even at a distance. It cuts to the core of their very being, their attitudes about what they expect as a matter of course.  

Because adoption--no matter what part of the triad you fall in--is such an emotional, primal issue, people directly involved, such as first mothers like Jane and myself, can never be cool talking about it with people who "disagree."Yes, there are some adoptive parents who " get it," and I am totally comfortable around them, and can share my feelings and listen to theirs without anxiety, because I know we are on the same page on this subject that is so triggering for me. But when I feel I will be challenged because someone "disagrees," I click into anxiety mode. The moment is charged, my blood pressure is going up, my heart rate increases. So please don't ever tell me calmly that "adoption is something we just disagree about." It is way beyond a simple disagreement.--lorraine 

COMMENTS CLOSED
_____________________________
The Adoption Reader: Birth Mothers, Adoptive Mothers, and Adopted Daughters Tell Their Stories "With eloquence and conviction, more than 30 diverse birth mothers, adoptive mothers and adoptees tell their adoption stories and explore what is a deeply emotional, sometimes controversial, and always compelling experience that affects millions of families and individuals." -Amazon  (These are amazing essays and the book now costs pennies. Full disclosure: Lorraine has the first essay in the collection.)


The Declassified Adoptee Essays of an Adoption Activist 
Amanda Transue-Woolston writes that she regrets she did not speak up more to her friends about the realities of being adopted when she was growing up, but certainly she is making up for that now. Her essays--32 in all--cover the big questions anyone might have about what it might be like to be adopted in a good family, feel the need to search, do the search, reunite with that original family, and integrate both families into her life. She writes that she can be honest about her feelings to both, but that honesty needs to be 'delicately balanced with acceptance of my families," and that should no one should be "barred or talked out of sharing grief.'" 

ORDER ANY BOOK (OR ANYTHING!) THOUGH THE PORTALS ABOVE (BOOK JACKETS OR TITLES) AND FMF WILL BE CREDITED. THANK YOU. Same is true with the sidebar on the right. 

108 comments :


  1. Completely agree with you.

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  2. Really well said, Lorraine - and nice analogy with opinions about gay marriage. It is the reason why natural parents who have relinquished and adoptive parents like myself can never truly be simpatico. When we engage in constructive and educational dialogue it is a good thing, but neither side can claim to be simpatico with the other. That just is the way it is - sad, but true.

    I might be a bit more simpatico because I have "relinquished" a foster daughter to her mother, but that is still far from being like a relinquishment experienced by a natural mother who gave birth to her child.

    Reading your post, one thing that jumped out at me is possibly the single most important factor that makes natural parents repel adoptive parents: the view of adoptive parents (or prospective adoptive parents) and indeed the entire adoption industry that adoption is an option to fulfill the lives of those seeking children. That is why it is insufficiently analyzed for its impact on the children.

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  3. I know adoptive parents who "get it" and I'm comfortable with them. Where I suffer is with adoptive parents and those who have not adopted who are cheerleaders for adoption. This includes close relatives.

    These people do not see or care that losing a child to adoption cuts to the core of first mothers just as Liz Chaney's dismissal of a fundamental part of her sister's life was deeply hurtful to Mary.

    Even those who express sympathy for first mothers often follow up with "but the child is better off," putting no value on blood ties, oblivious to how painful the remark is.

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  4. I agree Jane, there are adoptive parents I am quite comfortable with. As you say, they get it. I need to add this to the post.

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  5. Saying to a first mother "you need to get over it" or "you're too hung up on adoption" reminds me of the sick joke "other than that Mrs. Kennedy, how did you enjoy your trip to Dallas?"

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  6. I could really relate to this post! I didn't go to my family reunion this past June because of this very issue. It was a case of self-preservation. I couldn't bear to be in the same room with family who think it's so wonderful to adopt a newborn and shop for another one. I remember the adoptive mother actually saying that they considered adopting from another country so they wouldn't have to deal with a "birthmother". I got into a discussion with one of them here on FB and was actually told, even after my many explanations and shared links, that "those babies are just going to end up in foster care anyway". My question then was... "so you think that had I been able to keep my daughter she would have ended up abused, neglected and in foster care?" I never got an answer and we haven't spoken since. It truly is sad that even though we can explain these life experiences and back it up with facts and resources, people are too afraid to face the truth. It means they would have to re-examine the beliefs they hold dear.

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  7. Adoption was one of the topics of conversation when I met my son for the first time in over twenty years. After giving him an idea of how he came to be surrendered and adopted, he asked me about my opinion on adoption. Inside I was blown away that he didn't understand that even if HE had a great and fantastic experience (he thanked me profusely for "making a plan to place" him, when in actuality I was threatened with police action and institutionalization, even though I begged and begged and pleaded "Why?") that it was apparent that I had the opposite experience. He no longer speaks to me and I suspect it's because I don't agree with their stance on adoption. It's seen as an affront to his mom. The fact that I am grief-stricken over the loss of my child is considered an insult to his mom . . . and they cannot handle that.

    Another situation that garners disagreement is the one with my ILs, who informally fostered a little girl, raising her for over 18 years. Her mother -who probably just needed help- dropped her off one day when she was two and didn't show up to take her back home. No one changed her name; no one told her her mom was a whore; no one kept her from her family; and my ILs were certainly not seeking a child to adopt. She was not removed by CPS or anything like that, either. They simply helped a child in need. I have explained it to them over and over that foster care adoption for children in need is a good thing; that newborn adoption and foster adoption are NOT the same. But they still tell me I am insulting them even though they never adopted my youngest SIL and she was always considered her mother's daughter.

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  8. I can barely stomach hearing the word "adoption" spoken out loud.

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  9. Lorraine, I think your post is perfect as is. There is a difference between being comfortable with adoptive parents who "get it" and embracing their adoption. Adoption is something that brought pain to your life, much pain, so I don't see how you could embrace that event, no matter what the circumstances are (for example by congratulating an adoptive parent on their adoption, even if it is an adoptive parent who "gets" it).

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  10. How about "Oh, Mrs. Kennedy, why can't you just enjoy the good times you had in the White House and get over that unfrortunate incident in Dallas?" Or "Mrs. Kennedy, why are you hanging on to that pink suit? Just toss it; that will help you put that incident in the past and get on with your life."

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  11. Besides being a "first" mom, I am surrounded by adoptive parents in my family as well. I have an aunt, who I love dearly, that adopted 2 newborn boys (grown now). When she found out about me giving up my daughter (10 yrs. after the fact) she hugged me and said, "Thank you! It's because of girls like you who give people like me a chance to have a family." UGH. I don't remember my response, but it wasn't what I would have liked to have said. They simply don't get that it isn't ABOUT THEM!! Even my wonderful, very kind Aunt...

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  12. And "What happened to your husband in Dallas was unfortunate, Mrs. Kennedy, but don't let that turn you against guns."

    "Gun control is just something we're going to have to agree to disagree on, Mrs. Kennedy."

    "Yes, a gun was miss-used against your husband, Mrs. Kennedy, but that doesn't negate the good things that guns do."

    "Look on the bright side, Mrs. Kennedy. Your husband is now in a far better place."

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  13. An incident I didn't add: A neighbor telling me that the neighbor who lives in-between us, having finally gotten married in his mid-thirties, was considering adoption because a baby was not yet on the way. My friend knew my story in and out, read my memoir etc., and she unthinkingly and reflexively held up her hand with her fingers crossed.

    I ran out of her house--how could she was all I could think. We didn't speak for weeks. People can understand other grief, but seem to block out ours. Goes against the grain of the happy adoption story.

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  14. Jay,

    no matter the circumstances, I could not "congratulate" an adoptive parent on their adoption. It would make me physically ill. In fact, these insensitive incidents do make me "ill."

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  15. Maru67:

    The reaction your son had is not that unusual; in fact, I'd say common. Because adoptees who had a "good experience" feel that seeing it any other way is a direct insult to their whole life. This great clash is one of the things that makes reunions so difficult. Our sorrow is a direct affront to them, and removes the foundation upon which they have lived their lives. Certainly it is not the fault of anyone--but adoption in general, and specifically in each case.

    It's like first mothers and their found children are speaking a different language. It takes a lot of understanding to breach the language gap.

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  16. I really, truly, and profoundly to not understand this post.

    Mary Cheney and Heather Poe have donor children. You all despise the use of donor gametes & do not approve of their family. This family is not genetically connected -- it's not a man, a woman, and a child -- all biologically related to each other.

    You agree with Liz Cheney in that you don't recognize the validity or morality of their family structure.

    I find this post so odd-- don't you recognize that you are similar to Liz Cheney in your approach to Mary and her family?

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  17. I have an instinctive dislike of aparents who say they get it....when in all reality they dont and never will........it is nothing like a child dying either......I have experienced both and I know which has the most long term effects...... " it is people like me " that give " birth" mothers a bad name.......

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  18. Anonymous: I am not truly, deeply confused. Same-sex marriage and another other laws that give everybody the same rights are a good thing. We generally are opposed to children born without knowing who their fathers are. Period. Who those people have sex with is not our concern. Perhaps Mary Cheney and Heather Poe's children will one day know who their fathers are.

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  19. I understand why adoption would be very painful to someone who regrets their decision to relinquish a child for adoption. Quite honestly, though I am an adoptive mom, I cannot imagine giving up a child for adoption. But I don't understand why the pain of your decisions would want to prevent children who need homes and families from finding them. Adoptive parents aren't the bad guys; we don't initiate or cause the adoption. We are undoubtedly the member of the triad who has not suffered the loss. I hate that my child lost birth mother. Yet I am grateful that the birth mother allowed my child to be born and to be provided with a home and family. Every day I am reminded how blessed I am. I do understand the pain but I don't understand wanting to prevent children who need homes and families getting them.

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  20. Anon at 12:10 am,
    We appreciate that you're come to our blog to learn more about adoption. We hope we can be helpful.

    While your child may have needed a new home and family, many, if not most, of the infants given up for adoption do not need new homes and families. They would do fine with their natural families.

    Adoptive parents cause these unnecessary adoptions because their money fuels the adoptive industry and its deceptive marketing that induces vulnerable parents to give up their children. In the US, adoption is a multi-billion dollar business run by adoption agencies, lawyers, and facilitators. Take a look at the internet ads for "birth mothers," read the stories of first mothers, and you'll see how manipulative adoption practitioners can be. The industry has successfully lobbied for laws that give new mothers little time or information to decide about adoption and cut fathers out altogether.

    The high rate of adoptions in the US attests to the fact that infant adoption exists primarily to provide children to families, not families for children. Adoption rates in other western countries are much lower because adoptions are arranged by the government, thus eliminating the profit motive.

    About 15,000 newborns are lost to adoption every year in the US. In the UK, the number is less than 150. The US population is about 5 times that of the UK but the number of infant adoption is 100 times that of the UK. In Australia and the Netherlands, the number of domestic infant adoptions is virtually nil. In these countries, adoptions are arranged by the government so no profit is made from them.

    Again, thanks for coming here and commenting. Sharing information is key to making adoption child-centered.

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  21. On a scale of 1 to 10, I wonder how comfortable FMF and its readers feel about these UK adoptions (and these adoptive parents?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/9646811/What-does-it-take-to-adopt-a-child-in-Britain.html

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  22. Dear Anon: Please take 15 minutes to read two of the permanent pages listed under the logo of FMF at the home page: Response to The Adoption Option and What We think about Adoption.

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  23. Jane,

    Do you happen to have statistics on teen pregnancy rates in the US compared to the other Western Countries you mentioned? I'm just guessing because there is little in terms of teen pregnancy prevention in the US beyond non effective "abstinence only" programs that teen pregnancy in the US is higher than other more progressive Western countries.

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  24. No one can take away your viewpoint, experiences and feelings - they are your own.

    But I find it interesting that you freely opine and support such issues as abortion publically on this site, but shudder at another's adoption decision.

    Another trigger issue, but one open to debate then? For so many abortion is an absolute too with exceptions for the mother's life being endangered.

    I find this post to be a bit odd; it's like telling people what is acceptable to do and discuss and what is not. Why is one subject like same sex marriage okay to discuss but not adoption?

    Your response would most likely be because YOU experienced the grief, pain and long term consequences of it. I understand that. But......

    Isn't that true for most people then? Even those you accuse of being insensitive to you - are they not simply sharing their own set of experiences? You presume that even those who know of your personal loss and story continue to make it a headline in their own day to day. Folks forget, they move on...they become distracted. It may not be an attack but rather an oversight or inability to place themselves into your shoes.

    Julie
    Adult Adoptee

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  25. thanks for responding to my post - I am the AP. I don't intend to cause any pain to the posters here who are obviously suffering but I don't think adoptive parents cause the industry or fuel adoptions. I think there are some people who need adoptive homes for their babies. The adoption can only exist if all people involved are involved. I am sure there are unscrupulous people in all walks of life. I agree if a birth mom is able to keep her baby that is wonderful but sometimes not possible or best. Some of the stuff on this site seems to be more about birth mother rights not children's rights. I believe children have an equal right. Also I don't know about abortion in UK and other countries but perhaps more babies are aborted rather than adopted. I don't see adoption as an evil as a general rule thought I am sure there are some that are not good. If it brings you any comfort, children are not "lost" to adoption but many grow up in wonderful loving homes. Some of the choices you propose in some of the brochures don't seem best to the child to me - foster care, informal guardianships. Not very secure. My child has a life that I work every day to make enriching, loving, and full, with so much love, excellent education, so many opportunities, so much fun, in a safe and loving world. She is not lost. I hope her birth mom can know deep in her heart somehow that her child is in a very good place. I pray that she knows that so she can have peace. As I said, I understand the anguish but anger towards APs seems misplaced to me....but I do agree in a best case world children would not be adopted. We just don't live in a best case world. Sometimes the adoption truly is the best thing thought not without pain and loss. Peace to those of you who are suffering especially during the holiday season....

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  26. Okay...how about this? Except for the fact that your date got drunk and raped you, how was your date?
    --isn't that restaurant great?

    All we are saying here is the adoption was such a traumatic experience it forever changed our lives, just as say, that rape would and only a true jerk would be as insensitive as above. Some readers apparently find out point of view, our sensitivity, disturbing.

    But because we have been told we are supposed to "get on with our lives," that is, don't mention it, we don't quite feel like "congratulating" our families and neighbors when they adopt a newborn from say, the next country where babies are a crash crop. Sir Lanka?

    We are expressing how we feel about having adoption encouraged and applauded by others around us. We know there is a woman in pain. It's so hurtful, we stay away. Some of us don't go to high school and family reunions.

    What is so hard to understand about that?

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  27. Anonymous and anonymous, please choose a name and use it.

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  28. Dear Anon AP,

    By reading your comment, I see that you are operating under the faulty assumption that the majority of first mothers are FREELY choosing to give their child up for adoption. That they have several choices and are choosing adoption without being coerced or deliberately misled. You seem to think that some mothers simply end up regretting the decision sometime further down the road. I also read that you are pro-life (which is fine with me), but you are making another erroneous assumption that if the first mother didn't relinquish the child, she would have had an abortion instead.

    Our bloggers, Lorraine and Jane, my own mother, and so many others, did not CHOOSE adoption. They were pregnant out-of-wedlock in a time when society offered women no other option but relinquishment. I also find it interesting that you write that you could never imagine giving a child up for adoption. Well, believe me, my natural mother felt the same way. Yet, she was forced to. And no, she never wanted to have an abortion, she very much wanted to have me and raise me.

    Then you wrote, at length, about the wonderful life you are providing for your adopted daughter. That may very well be true, but you also called Lorraine out for not focusing more on the child rather than herself. Your adopted child may very well have some serious emotional and psychological issues from being adopted. Issues that even a loving upbringing filled with great experiences and fun can't overcome. I hope you will be open to listening to her POV, and not remain stuck in how you think adoption should be for everyone involved.

    I suggest you read the Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier which many (not all) adoptees have found helpful in describing and understanding the adoptee experience.

    I would also recommend a recent post at the Musings of the Lame blog which describes a more recent experience of giving up a child.

    http://www.adoptionbirthmothers.com/what-i-didnt-know-about-
    adoption/

    Also, you can check out the blog rolls on this and other family preservation blogs which will give you a more balanced picture of what adoption is really like for those of us who live it.

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  29. @ anonymous 12:10 am:

    "But I don't understand why the pain of your decisions would want to prevent children who need homes and families from finding them. Adoptive parents aren't the bad guys; we don't initiate or cause the adoption."

    First of all, many children who are adopted do not "need homes and new families"; their MOTHER'S needed support and encouragement to keep their infants, (not coercion and manipulation to give up their children for some so called "better life.)"

    Secondly, yes, you most certainly do drive the demand for adoptable infants, when you work incessantly with baby brokers to procure them.

    I believe you aren't so concerned about children who you think need families, as much as you are concerned about finding babies for needy, desperate infertile couples.

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  30. To Anonymous November 23, 2013 at 5:46 PM,

    I truly believe that you have good intentions.

    However, I urge you to do more research on the adoption industry.

    Back when I was adopted (1971), society shunned unmarried pregnant women. My grandparents did not want to help my mother. Raising a bastard would have shamed the family and lessened their social status.

    And, now, because there is not the same level of shame on single motherhood, there are fewer babies and young children available for adoption in this county. That's one of the reasons international adoptions have become so popular.

    Please do not summarily dismiss the women on this site. Please start to research the adoption industry. I think you will be floored by what you find.

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  31. Victoria, there shouldn't be exceptions for rape. I can think of several adoptees who are wonderful people and have made significant contributions to adoption reform.

    Abortion is the killing of a developing child. If you doubt this, take a look at the recent viral youtube video made by the father of a 5 month preemie (some call fetus) who is now a happy, bubbly toddler.

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  32. People just do not want to hear that we haven't "moved on". People want to believe that adoption is GOOD, that it is a win-win-win situation. Anyone who is living in direct opposition to that idea is just an exception to the rule (to most people). It couldn't possibly be the actual rule that we live with grief, torment, depression, etc. for the rest of our lives, because that would completely blow the whole win-win-win rule out of the water.

    About 2 weeks back, I was sitting in my class and heard 2 women talking about a co-worker who "finally got her baby" through adoption. Sighs of relief for the adoptive family followed, oh thank God, she has been waiting for so long, etc. I was trying so hard not to say anything that I started to feel physically ill.

    I thank my lucky stars that no one in my immediate family has talked about adopting. Thankfully, we all seem to be hyper-fertile along with our husbands, so it has never come up. I don't think I could ever be close with, or be around people who chose to adopt. It's just self-preservation.

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  33. I hope I'm not being inappropriate here But as a firstmother, I find those comparisons to the Kennedy assassination in Dallas too wickedly funny and right on I'm sorry if I'm offending anyone here, but I can't stop laughing Maybe you have to be a "birthmother" to "get it" Yeah, I also can't stop crying,too, watching the TV coverage of those days. I remember that awful day like it was yesterday(I was 13 at the time) We didn't have a color TV so when I see Jackie's pink dress I "know" that it is just a flashback.

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  34. O/T, but...I just finished a gripping new crime thriller, called, "The Cuckoo's Calling," and thought about FMF all the way through. Without spoiling the plot, the London setting's major characters feature adoptive children, adoptive parents, a grown adoptee who finds her birth parents and half-brother, and an Afghan war veteran/private investigator who sorts out the whole fascinating web of relationships and consequences.

    This book initially was published by "Robert Galbraith," but reportedly a lawyer's slip-up revealed that its true author is J.K. Rowling. I cannot recommend this book highly enough: it is full of APs, adoptees, first parents, and other relatives, and so closely plotted that I was taken on a wild ride for grownups, having no idea where it all would end.

    Jo Rowling is simply brill, as is her insight into the psyches of those formed/influenced by adoption.

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  35. Thanks to Robin, Stacy, HDW, and Leenburke for your excellent responses to the anonymous adoptive mother.

    Anon added to her original comment with this: " I hope her birth mom can know deep in her heart somehow that her child is in a very good place. I pray that she knows that so she can have peace."

    Knowing your child is with a good family is comforting but does not bring peace. A mother's feelings of loss are primal.

    I also wonder, Anon, if you have an open adoption, and if not, why not.

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  36. Regarding the question of teen pregnancy rates in the US. These numbers are readily available on the USHHS website: http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-health-topics/reproductive-health/teen-pregnancy/trends.html

    You can see that they have gone down significantly in the past 30 years. I do not know the teen pregnancy rates for the UK but I suspect they can be found with a Google search.

    Teen pregnancy does not drive adoption. The overwhelming number of teens either have an abortion or keep their babies. According to the Donaldson Adoption Institute's 2006 report on Birthmothers, most are older mothers. And it is to these women--college students, those starting careers whose babies are most attractive to would-be adopters--that the industry markets to most aggressively.

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  37. Thanks Mrs TB,
    I'll put "The Cuckoo's Calling" on my Christmas list.

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  38. If adoptive parents got it, they would not adopt.

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  39. I need to add that today's first mothers also include women, often married, who have several children and fear they cannot afford another. They see the only way out of poverty is to give away a child. Again, these women are not teenagers.

    Many of these women live in the rural south and are targeted through religion-based adoption practitioners.

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  40. Adoptomuss wrote: "If adoptive parents got it, they wouldn't adopt."

    True, true. The ones who get it, got it after they adopted.

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  41. I'm sorry for the pain you are in.

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  42. I don't believe the tragedy of adoption loss gains anything from being compared to that of a woman who has cradled her dead husband's freshly exploded head in her lap. Such a comparison diminishes and trivializes both experiences and does nothing to further understanding of the kind of suffering associated with adoption loss. It may feel like a satisfying "vent" for some, but it comes across as flippant and dismissive of the experiences of others in a way that can only destroy empathy, not encourage it. Rather than helping people "get it", it is only going to turn them off.

    A Girl Who Went Away.

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  43. Jane:

    This is what I do not understand: if adoptees had families and a home then why didn't their family members "step to the plate" and raise them? I hear it all the time "adopted children have families and a home already". Ok, so why don't their families kept and raise them.

    To "me" the only thing driving the demand for adoption are women who find themselves faced with an unplanned pregnancy, which was due to them not being careful.

    Let's face it, birth control is easily available and sometimes FREE to the those who cannot afford it. And in this day and age of life threatening STD's women should demand their partners use condoms not only to avoid becoming infected, but also to avoid becoming pregnant.

    It is very hard, as a female, to have sympathy for a grown woman who finds herself facing an unplanned pregnancy when she is struggling as a single mother already? She's a grown woman not a irresponsible teen.

    There has to be some personal responsibility on her part-not laying "blame" on the aparents, society and adoption.

    ReplyDelete
  44. To Anonymous November 25, 2013 at 6:39 AM,

    Many who post here are BSE first mothers and adoptees. So, for us, YES!, society played a pivotal role. Good, unmarried girls weren't supposed to have sex. Instead of being supportive, families often shamed them and sent them away. (I would highly recommend that you read The Girls Who Went Away. It will help you understand the adoptions from the BSE, and hopefully it will give you enough insight to allow you to develop some empathy for (rather than judgement toward) first mothers.

    You want to take complicated family dynamics and societal pressures and simplify them. It's not that easy. My mother wanted me. I know that. But, my mother was just out of high school and had just started college. She felt ill-equipped to raise me without her parents' assistance.

    As far as your condemnation of these women because they weren't careful, come on! Unless you are perfect and have never taken one misstep, you shouldn't be so judgmental.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Sometimes I feel that at the bottom of every post I ought to post a link to the page here at FMF that notes that a) my daughter and I reconnected when she was 15; and b) we had a good reunion with various hiccups along the 26 years we knew one another; and c) she joined the statistic of people who are adopted, and people who have epilepsy who commit suicide. Near the end she said to me: you are my true family.

    And too all those who wish us "peace," which, no matter how you look at it, is condescending, I wish you all "peace" too. Now do you feel better with that good feeling in your heart?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Anon asks:
    "This is what I do not understand: if adoptees had families and a home then why didn't their family members "step to the plate" and raise them? I hear it all the time "adopted children have families and a home already". Ok, so why don't their families kept and raise them."

    Of course I cannot answer for all families. I know a case in my own family about ten years ago where a teen got pregnant and her mother insisted upon adoption even though the family was well off. She believed the myth that her daughter would put it past her and go on with her life.

    I know of other cases where families did offer support. Social workers convinced these women that adoptive families would be much better in part because they had more money. The SW's undermined the mother's confidence and took control. Read the blogs of younger first mothers such as "Musings of the Lame" on how mothers can be convinced of their inadequacy to such a degree that they give up their child.

    Once a pregnant woman starts down the adoption road, it can be very difficult for her to turn back. Both the prospective adoptive parents and the social worker are trained on how to overcome a mother's resistance. In some states she can sign surrender papers before the birth. In others she can sign immediately after birth when she is still under the influence of drugs.

    Sometimes religious authorities convince mothers to give up their children using a combination of God's will and sociological babble.


    "To "me" the only thing driving the demand for adoption are women who find themselves faced with an unplanned pregnancy, which was due to them not being careful.

    Let's face it, birth control is easily available and sometimes FREE to the those who cannot afford it. And in this day and age of life threatening STD's women should demand their partners use condoms not only to avoid becoming infected, but also to avoid becoming pregnant."

    Birth control methods are not perfect. The pill is expensive and is not covered under some health plans and, of course, some of these women have no health insurance. Some men dislike condoms and promise to "take it out." Lots of reasons for unplanned pregnancies which are about 50 percent of all pregnancies. There's 800,000 abortions each year compared to a million live births.


    "It is very hard, as a female, to have sympathy for a grown woman who finds herself facing an unplanned pregnancy when she is struggling as a single mother already? She's a grown woman not a irresponsible teen.

    There has to be some personal responsibility on her part-not laying "blame" on the aparents, society and adoption."

    I absolutely support personal responsibility but punishing women for being indiscreet or careless by taking their children is extreme.

    Again, look at the adoption websites and you'll see how clever marketing snares these women. The Donaldson Institute issued a report recently documenting these ploys. Add that to the laws titled in favor of adoptive parents,a stingy welfare program, the growing economic gap between classes, and the result is unnecessary adoptions.

    The fact is while free will is a great concept, our behavior is strongly influenced by advertising. Otherwise the tobacco and fast food companies wouldn't be in business. Marketing takes money and the adoption industry gets its money mostly from those willing to pay $30,000 to $50,000 for some one else's child.

    If money were removed from adoption, the numbers would plummet as it has in the UK, Australia, and other countries.

    Do you know the mother of your adopted child? Why did she give up her child?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Let me add, Anon, that adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents are not immune to manipulation and sometimes downright deception by some segments of the adoption industry. It preys on their hopes while it preys on the fears of pregnant women.

    ReplyDelete
  48. @anonymous 6:39 am
    "This is what I do not understand: if adoptees had families and a home then why didn't their family members "step to the plate" and raise them? I hear it all the time "adopted children have families and a home already". Ok, so why don't their families kept and raise them."

    Let me help you understand. I suspect you already do, yet play the role of one who does not so to feel better about coveting another's child.

    As Jane already said, once a young vulnerable woman even considers adoption, she is almost always backed into a corner by the agency, counselors (many of whom are themselves adopters, prospective adopters.)
    The brainwashing and manipulation that goes on is astounding.

    Moreover, you speak of the "families" that may "step up". You fail to mention the measures baby brokers take to keep a young woman AWAY from her family, to deter communication. Moreover, please make note of all the FATHERS as of late, e.g. Dusten Brown, who have been raped of their own children due to this very method. Please don't play the "I didn't know this card." It doesn't fly.

    You also said:
    "To "me" the only thing driving the demand for adoption are women who find themselves faced with an unplanned pregnancy, which was due to them not being careful."

    Of course you don't recognize or take any responsibly at all for YOUR cause in driving adoption, the hefty fees you pay to baby brokers and your desperation for an infant if you are infertile.

    May I ask why someone else's sex life is any of your business? May I ask what method of birth control you do or do not use? May I ask you if you think someone who may have gotten pregnant unexpectedly deserves to have her child appropriated for adoption by the likes of you, because her birth control method may or may not have worked? WHAT DAMN BUSINESS IS THIS OF YOURS, OR ANYONE'S!!?? That is the problem. You need to stay out of the lives, sex lives and wombs of complete strangers. You are not compelled to help women and their children stay together. You want to help yourself to the misfortune of another and it is quite sadistic and sick.

    Of course it is hard for you to have "sympathy" for anyone other than yourself, who thinks you are entitled to the infant of another. You, for some sadistic reason, think some woman you don't even know should suffer while you gain from that suffering. It is woman's inhumanity towards her fellow woman. Thank you for partaking. NOT REALLY.

    I think you will read many woman taking "personal responsibility" on this blog. Who are you to denounce that? Oh that's right. You are an almighty adopter who feels you have the right to the narrative of the natural mothers of the world.

    How very disturbing and creepy...





    ReplyDelete
  49. Jane and all:

    I get mothers from the BSE and a stigma of being an unwed mother, but today's bmoms are grown women raising child already- has it ever occurred to you that maybe she didn't want the responsibility of raising another child? Also, maybe even if the bmom isn't parenting already maybe she feels too young to parent. In short, there are many reasons why women place their child but to place blame on aparents,society and adoption is not where you should place blame( in my opinion. As I stated before, birth control is available and free for many poor people, its just a matter of using it especially if you(general)know you're struggling or not ready to parent.

    Sincerely,
    Can't understand

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  50. "To "me" the only thing driving the demand for adoption are women who find themselves faced with an unplanned pregnancy, which was due to them not being careful."

    "It is very hard, as a female, to have sympathy for a grown woman who finds herself facing an unplanned pregnancy..."

    My heavens, Anon AP, those are probably the worst of all the things you wrote. I hate it when women have no empathy and compassion towards other women. I wish we lived in a perfect world, too. I wish there was no such thing as hormones and 'in the heat of the moment'. I wish that birth control was free and always available, and most of all, that it never failed. But, unfortunately, I don't live in that world. I'm all for carefulness and responsibility, but if things do not go exactly as planned, I don't think a woman needs to be punished by having to give her helpless infant to strangers. And I certainly don't think the baby deserves the punishment of losing his or her entire biological family.

    Actually, it is your attitude that drives the adoption industry. It makes young women feel bad for being human, and that they can somehow redeem themselves by giving their child to people who are supposedly more deserving. Though as I mentioned before, I never understood why the child needed to be redeemed, too. Your sanctimonious attitude is really too much.

    ReplyDelete
  51. To make it easy for you, Anon,

    Econ 101: Demand drives supply; supply does not drive demand.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Anonymous, as an AP, I'm very upset by the statements you are making against my daughter's other mom by generalizing, assuming, and judging every single first mother all in one fell swoop. Jane and Lorraine were so polite in their responses to you, and I really commend them for that. I'm beyond offended by your characterizations on so many levels (as a woman, as a mother to daughters, as a human being...), and as a fellow AP who must be lumped into the same category with you, I'm calling you out on it.

    Your statements were misogynistic, elitist, ignorant, and simplistic. I echo Jane's response to each of your points. I also raise it one by asking if your adopted child is a girl or a boy? If a girl, and she was to get pregnant, would you apply the same harsh attitude of "well, you did the crime, now you must do the time?" Would you push her to place her child for adoption? Would you blame her for not being on birth control? (I'd like to point out the scientific caveat that birth control of any kind is never 100% effective, so maybe it's not always fair to assume none was used in cases of pregnancy.) If a boy, would you hold him accountable for getting another girl pregnant? Would you stand by her and support her if she chose to parent the child? Or are you the parent who would stand by and allow not only the parties who engaged in sex to be punished, but an innocent child as well, all in the name of consequences for their actions?

    I am not going to get into specifics regarding my daughter's other parents' situation or why we ended up adopting their daughter. It's not anyone else's business. But it's infuriating to me to hear someone blithely toss out "There has to be some personal responsibility on her part-not laying "blame" on the aparents, society and adoption." My daughter isn't a punishment. She is not the result of some existential judgement sent down to condemn her parents' "irresponsible behavior" and "bad choices." She did not deserve to lose her parents in order to be some larger life lesson in how every choice has a consequence, and we must accept the blame and responsibility for those choices. She was innocent. She was perfect. She was the beautiful and amazingly perfect result of an unplanned decision. And I will NOT accept the pseudo-religious-moral-puritanical rhetoric that seeks to justify the removal of a child from her parents for no other reason than that they engaged in sex and had an unplanned pregnancy as a result. daughter didn't deserve that, and I will fight against this attitude wherever I see it expressed. It's wrong. It damages. It inflicts punishment and pain on far more than the person who "did the deed."

    It angers me enough that these attitudes exist and cause women to give up their babies for adoption. But to hear it from a fellow AP is just downright infuriating. To condemn the mother of your child?? I cannot understand that. There is no justice in continuing to use children to inflict a lifelong punishment on all involved parties for the mistake of a woman having sex. God, when are we finally going to move beyond this nonsense?!

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  53. Tiffany:

    Your child's bparent chose to place their child up for adoption-regardless of the situation, it was a choice. This is my point: today's bparents have many choices and when you ( general )sign those papers relinquishing your responsibility to parent it is a choice- no one forced you. Many bmothers from the BSE had no choice because their parents forced them to place. So to lay blame on adoption and the aparents, is unfair because no one forced you.

    I get the regret and guilt but to misplace that on people who had nothing to do with you getting pregnant, continuing the pregnancy, and placing your child is unfair

    -Can't understand

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  54. Anonymous:

    It would be more conducive to conversation if you wouldn't make assumptions about why my daughter's other mother asked us to adopt her child. You personally have absolutely no way of knowing her reasons. You are inaccurate in your assumption that there wasn't some level of involvement from external forces outside of her personal control.

    I'm sorry you are still unable to see what I was saying. I never said anything about me being to blame (or not to blame) for my daughter's need for a home. You made incredibly offensive statements about women who have unplanned pregnancies- that is what I was calling you out on. You have a very narrow view of adoption. As an AP, it is probably in your child's best interests to try to see the situation from more than one side. I would also suggest that you guard the words you use to describe first mothers very, very carefully. You are describing your own child's origins with your descriptions. Something to keep in mind as you go forward.

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  55. @ anonymous 4:56pm
    "I get the regret and guilt but to misplace that on people who had nothing to do with you getting pregnant, continuing the pregnancy, and placing your child is unfair."

    And I get the need for you to want another woman to suffer because of YOUR infertility, but I will never "understand" it. That is right. You had nothing to do with it, so why do you feel the need to covet something you had nothing to do with? That is a bit unfair to the mother and her child, don't you think?

    -Can't understand you either

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  56. Stacy,

    You are 100% correct that another woman's sex life is no one else's business. But when that sex life leads to the conception of another human being and they then need help of others to raise that child it becomes others business. When others have to help that woman because of her mistake it becomes a larger global issue in our society of people needing to step up rather than having to selfishly use others.

    No expectant mother with an unplanned pregnancy is obligated to provide their child to another woman who is unable to have one. Same goes for that woman who is unable to have a child, she is not obligated to enable the other woman to raise a child she MIGHT NOT be fit to raise. Each woman needs to step up and deal with their own problem and not bring down others to do so and that includes infertile women who adopt a child before they have dealt with their emotional state due to infertility.

    And BTW, no one wants another person to suffer. My AParents didn't want my BParents to suffer. Both sets of parents got caught up in the societal pressures that still exist today that you and the FMF completely miss. As someone who is infertile I understand my AParents side. Five years ago I didn't but now I do.

    Robin,

    It's funny that you bring up what you wish was the case and the demand for adoption yet fail to bring up what is mostly driving the demand for adoption which are women who for whatever reason are not able to conceive a child. You talk about empathy for all women yet fail mention this group of women which tells us you have no empathy for that group. You are just picking and choosing which group you have empathy for.

    If we lived in a perfect world my BParents would have been able to raise me and my AParents would have been able to conceive a biological child. But then again I would never met my AParents who are amazing people. And most important to me now, if we lived in a perfect world I myself would not have endometriosis and would be able to conceive a child. But then again as Jane put it in another post this is just the world's way of controlling the overpopulation by making me and my husband suffer.

    -An Infertile Adoptee

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  57. O/T but please read this for Baby Desirai.

    http://authormarjoriesimmons.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/agreement-needed/

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  58. @Infertile Adoptee

    "But when that sex life leads to the conception of another human being and they then need help of others to raise that child it becomes others business. When others have to help that woman because of her mistake it becomes a larger global issue in our society of people needing to step up rather than having to selfishly use others."

    So what are you saying, that every woman who becomes pregnant unexpectedly becomes a "welfare mom" for the duration of their lives? Wrong. While someone may need temporary help at times, I for one have a son and do everything to care for him, including work very hard for the both of us. There are many mothers who work, go to school, whatever it takes to better themselves and the lives of their children. How dare you sit on your high horse and accuse anyone who does not fit your cookie cutter mold of someone who "deserves" the child she became pregnant with.

    Moreover, you don't think any young vulnerable mother should ever get any "help", but you have no problem expecting her to "help" infertiles have family. It's all good when they get help from someone, at the expense of her very soul and being.

    I'd much rather help the mother and her child stay together at all costs, rather than "help" self entitled people make off with a child that was never theirs to begin with. I would call that a healthy global society and not at all selfish; unlike the many adoptive parents who selfishly think they are owed the infant of a mother who you think make some "mistake" by conceiving them. Who the hell are you to call someone's child a mistake? No one's child is a "mistake" for you or any other adopters to covet. That is how you sleep well at night, but many of us know better.

    No one wants anyone to suffer? I beg to differ. I absolutely 100% know better. I have lived it. I know for a fact this is not true.

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  59. Anon, 6:47, 11/25/2013

    I agree with you 250%.

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  60. From one of the anonymous: "BTW, no one wants another person to suffer." Yes. We agree.

    This post started out about the triggers that people say that remind us of the worst thing that ever happened to us. Those triggers often cause us to suffer. Some adoptive parents who have responded here say, well, why take your pain out on us? We just want a baby, and surely there is one for us.

    All we are saying here is give compassion a chance. People keep defending the right to say things that we find so personally hurtful.

    I never said that being infertile was not the cause of suffering, and hurtful. Famine, pestilence, and yes, infertility, is painful. But so is losing a child because you can't afford to keep that baby. Because you were prevented from getting an abortion. Because you were convinced by a social worker for say, Bethany, that giving up a child is an act if love. But it is rather an act of desperation. That seems hard for some adoptive parents and people who are infertile to grasp. We were desperate when we relinquished and thoughtless reminders of it by family are unnecessarily hurtful. This, apparently, was shocking for adoptive parents, and would-be adopters, to grasp.

    Should I say, I hope you find peace? That is what how some like to end their comments here. Apparently they do not realize how condescending they are.

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  61. Stacy:

    Are you also a birthmom too? If so, then I understand you anger but to place it on others is unfair and uncalled for.Just because you could not parent your child when they were born, and other woman could, does not mean she "stole" your child.

    You signed the papers relinquishing your child to someone else. Unless you were a mother from the BSE then I would understand your anger
    ( because most likely your parents forced you to place).

    Lorraine:

    I don't think aparents think what you wrote. I think for most,its: "why dump your anger on us when we didn't get you pregnant or force you to place your child?"

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  62. I have to say that when I hear adoptive parents say don't blame us, I think of people who buy ivory saying they are not responsible for the slaughter of elephants.

    The pressures on vulnerable expectant mothers to surrender their babies today is different than the pressure placed on us BSE moms, but there's pressure nonetheless. Mothers today may be told that adoption is the courageous thing, that their baby is entitled to a better life, that it would be wrong to disappoint the PAPS; they're given artificially high numbers of what it costs to raise a child, they're not told about governmental benefits or charities that can help. The practitioners promise open adoption knowing full well that the agreements are not enforceable. Practitioners lavish money on pregnant women and then threaten them with a lawsuit to re-coop the money if they keep their child.

    There are, of course, some ethical agencies that work with expectant mothers to help them keep their babies, and it is not until it is clear that the mother will not be able to care for the child that an adoption plan is developed.

    There are some fantastic adoptive parents who take a child only when there is no alternative. They work hard to keep the natural parents in the child's life. On the other hand there are despicable people like the Cocobianco's who go all the way to the US Supreme Court to take a child from his loving, natural father.

    There is a lot of exploitation in infant adoption, both here and abroad, and adoptive parents contribute to this exploitation.

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  63. I am the AP who posted at 12:10 and 5:46 on 11/23. I am not the other anons. I did not post to hurt anyone. I was just sharing my views. I have read all the posts and I do wish you peace! Don't meant to be condescending at all. I just find it sad to read such raw anger and hurt over things that cannot be undone. Seems like a horrible way to live so I truly do wish you peace.

    I don't agree with all of your views on adoption. I think the anger towards APs is misplaced. We do not cause the adoption. I did not covet another woman's child but when faced with the ability to provide a child who had no home, no family I was honored, blessed, and thrilled to become this beautiful child's mom. I am blessed everyday. I will do all I can to help my child be healthy emotionally and we'll do the best we can as a family to deal with any problems that come up. I did not come here to comment and cause hurt or anger. I do think people who choose adoption not abortion are very generous and brave, opening their lives to heartache but allowing their child to live. I do pray for my child's birth mom. I will also pray for you! You don't know all the circumstances of adoption so don't look upon families created through adoption as bad or evil ....there is a lot of love out there and good will. And if we did not take in homeless children, where would you have them go? I know this is a conversation that will never end in agreement, I understand that. I wish you well and I am truly sorry for people who felt backed into a corner and made a painful decision that haunts them everyday. I am just speaking from the heart and I apologize if any of my words hurt you. Not my intent.

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  64. J, there is no anger towards adoptive parents who adopt a child who is a true orphan and has no biological family. But I think the anger towards APs is NOT misplaced when it comes to domestic infant adoption. Adoptive parents are driving the demand for adoption, not women with unplanned pregnancies. They are out there with their big wallets looking to buy a baby by marketing themselves with their “Dear Birthmother” letters on special PAP profile websites, Facebook, Craigslist, some of them even on billboards. Just go to a discussion board for adoptive parents, for example “http://www.cafemom.com/group/115128” It’s nauseating. Some of them lie to the expectant mom that they will have an open adoption, and then close it once the papers are signed, because they know that agreements regarding open adoption are legally not enforceable. The Capobiancos (Baby Veronica Rose) and the Bixlers (Baby Desiray) are one of the worst examples for adoptive parents.

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  65. "I have to say that when I hear adoptive parents say don't blame us, I think of people who buy ivory saying they are not responsible for the slaughter of elephants."

    So True!!!

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  66. Heidi:

    For every demand there will always be a supply. Adoption will always be needed because millions of women face unplanned pregnancies everyday. Some parent,some abort, and some place their children. In this day and age, when a woman signs away her responsibilities to parent its a choice( unless she's young and still living with her parents). No matter how 'slick' the agency marketing campaigns are-its up to the mother to make a choice to place her child.

    Jane, as you said previously, today's birth mother are GROWN WOMEN parenting children already they know what they are signing.

    It seems all that I am hearing are excuses and no accountability

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  67. @Ellis:
    I am a mother of open adoption fraud, yes, from well over 20+ years ago, but spare me the "bitter bombs", as so many of you love spewing at us. It is your tried and true method of attempting to put one in their place; of denouncing the horror of lies and manipulation so many have endured. Spare me.

    While we are talking about "anger" however, (interesting you mention that word), my child's adopter mother went on an on in the blue "dear birthmother" folder about how ANGRY she was that she could not conceive. Why "poor her??!!" Why could other women conceive but not special, perfect her?" I suppose you will say that her anger at that situation is well placed, yet mine at her raping of my child via lies and fraud is unfounded?

    Yes, she very well did "steal" my child via fraud and lies and turned my child into a shell of human being with no ability to think for himself. He has been brainwashed and manipulated too, only in his it is to ensure all loyalty and love stay within the adoptive family. Yeah, that "love and acceptance" of his natural family sure went by the wayside. I never seen two more threatened, jealous, possessive people in my life as his adopters are. That is the "thank you" I got after entrusting these people not only with our agreement, but with my child.

    Also, those of us from another era who were defrauded out of our infants with slick marketing of open adoption promises have just as much right to be "angry" and sickened by what happened to us than anyone else. You not "understanding" that is due to your own closed mind and looking the other way at domestic infant adoption, even as it is practiced TODAY.

    I am a well rounded, content person who lives a full life with many interests, not some angry, foaming at the mouth woman who can't get over something that happened to her; but it is hard to contain my contempt for sanctimonious people who can't stand the fact that many of us are speaking out about these atrocities. My hope is that some other young, vulnerable woman won't endure the same thing.

    You will NEVER find me on an infertile woman's blog, trying to control her narrative. I truly marvel at the sheer number of folks I see on natural mother blogs who have everything to gain from her loss, attempt to denounce what she has lived. That is truly astounding to me on so many levels. The gall of some of you.

    You said:
    "You signed the papers relinquishing your child to someone else"

    Were you there? Did you witness me signing papers still drugged from a morphine drip? I wish you could have been. I don't even remember it. The whole lot of them were, though (agency, social wrecker, and the like), to ensure they go their signatures. How easy it is to sit on your high horse chair of judgement and think you have the narrative of natural mothers of the world when you clearly do not.

    Now if you will excuse me, I need to get ready for work. Don't want anyone calling me a "welfare mom" or anything. (See, I have a good sense of humor, Ellis!):P

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  68. I just want to say thank you to Jane, Lorraine, Tiffany, Robin and everyone else who have taken the time and huge emotional effort to say such important things about adoption.

    You articulated things I would've liked to say myself, and things that are very healing to hear.

    I'm speechless sometimes at the wilful ignorance displayed in some of the Anon postings here. It is simply denial to see yourselves and your role in adoption as you do.

    What I love more than anything is the love that somehow survives all this nonsense. A lovely phone call with my son last night reminded me of the miraculousness of our connection which survived decades of separation.

    So judge all you like from your self-appointed podium. Below the radar of your superior, judgemental gaze, the unique love between a mother and child survives (and survives everything) for those who want to reclaim it.

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  69. 'It seems all that I am hearing are excuses and no accountability'

    Can you hear yourself?
    How superior you sound?

    I'm embarrassed for you.

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  70. "That is the "thank you" I got after entrusting these people not only with our agreement, but with my child."

    Stacey:

    Like you said you chose adoption. I see where you are angry because the open adoption did not go as planned (according to you). However, I have seen many open adoptions close because the bparents were overstepping boundaries and trying to co-parent. Maybe you thought the same? That OA mean's co-parenting/ guardianship and the aprents didn't want that.

    Based on what you wrote, you must has some kind of contact with your bchild or you would not describe him as a "shell of himself".

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  71. Adoption today...

    I would challenge any of you to recognise that Adoption Agencies use SEO to target pregnant women to get them to click on their "pregnant" pages. One agency even has a statement on the front page that even if you are sure you want to parent we want to talk to you. Why? You have to ask why they would spend operating costs to speak to someone who doesn't wish to consider adoption. It's the way they get them in the door - then the drip-drip-drip counselling that under minds their self-esteem. You see they had to create a special Infant Adoption Awareness counselling program designed to "steer" them to the only "acceptable" conclusion. The link at the end takes you to an article on how to get women to stop being self-deceived and breaking that so that they will bow to your choice. It's part of the training package.

    http://ncfaeducation.org/BirthparentCounseling/pdf/AdoptionPracticesInTheHumaneWorld.pdf

    I challenge you to approach an agency as someone pregnant - see what they send you. See what they offer you. Especially see what they don't tell you...

    One national agency on the prospective adoptive parent advertising page BOASTS that they spend over a million dollars a year advertising for "Birthmothers" - you don't think they would spend that much if they didn't have a game plan to ensure at the end of the day the profits are realized. If adoption is the choice for expectant mothers then why the need to advertise? They would end up at an adoption agency anyway - because that is the choice they want.

    Moving the expectant mother to another state, to stay in apartment and have daily contact with the SW. Cut off from all family and friends. What happens if she doesn't sign? Will the agency pay to get her home or is she dumped on the street in a state she where she doesn't know any one.

    Too many unethical things happen today - like telling her she is in charge and can determine the amount of contact post adoption...sure...even if told the AP's hold the cards they have such a close knit relationship that she "trusts" them...but fails to understand it may only be until the papers are signed that they want to be her friend.

    Final note: prospective adoptive parents are told to create a relationship with the "Birthmother" and attend doctors visits, text and talk regularly, attend the birth and "cut" the cord. Do you really think that does not exert a concerted force for the expectant mother to follow through? Do you think that the SW showing up as soon as legally possible for the mother to sign the papers is right? I don't and even if she knows she can wait - a few well timed comments early on will put a halt to that happening. The mother should initiate that call saying she is ready to sign - whether she is still in hospital or already home - if she is sure she wants to place then it will happen - there is no need for ANY pressure by others.

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  72. @ anonymous-8:36am
    Wow you are quite creepy to insert yourself into lives of natural mothers and what happened in their lives. "According to me?" Really? I know what happened and what type of people made off with my child. Sorry you can't conceive, anonymous person, but it is not my problem, nor anyone else's problem.

    For you to stalk this blog and try to control the narrative of myself and others is disturbing. Get out of my womb, my life and that of MY child, thanks. I overstepped not one "boundary". I was not even given the promised pictures/ updates after a certain amount of time. I had no "boundaries" to cross. It is all about control for them, hence the few crumbs they throw and take away at any given time. Get your facts straight before you comment on MY life, thanks. Unfortunately you will never be able to do that because my life and that of my child is none of your damn business.

    Moreover, he is not my "bchild", he is my child. He can call his adopters what ever he wants to call them but I will never call them his parents. They don't deserve it.

    Why don't you fixate on someone else now. You are starting to creep me out, as adopters usually do.

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  73. Some AP above wrote, I am tired of trying to figure out who is whom with Anon after Anon AP:
    ..I do think people who choose adoption not abortion are very generous and brave...

    Generous?

    I'm sorry, right there you belie the true feeling you have--first mothers give up their babies out of feeling generous and brave. Wrong. They give their children up because they are desperate. People who give "gifts" are "generous." Babies are not "gifts" no matter how adoptive parents want to think of them. No one--I repeat, no one--gives up their child because she is feeling generous. Or brave. Think of it this way: Would anyone think: I am so brave I am going to give up my child!

    I hope you can find understanding in your heart. I feel you did not start the comment to anger so many people, but your commentary does indicate a lack of understanding of what is going on with adoption today, and what it does to the women who relinquish their children. Jane's analogy about the blood diamonds is a good one.

    Instead of peace, I wish you compassion for the women who are too poor to raise their own children, and understanding.

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  74. J here - Lorraine just have to say that you have misinterpreted the meaning of my comment that I think people who choose not to abort their babies are brave and generous. I do think that. It has nothing to do with adoptive parents at all. The generosity is the gift of life to their child, whether she will raise the child or not. That is the generosity and braveness. That is my true feeling.

    I do have compassion for people who give up their children for adoption, maybe more than most as I am an adoptive parent. I cannot imagine how painful that is.

    I am sorry wishing you peace causes you so much distress. I just am sad to see so much pain and anger and rawness and think it would be a very hard way to live, so I wish you all peace in spite of your hardships so you can make the most of the life that you do have.

    I don't want to cause pain so I will exit. I do hope that you don't see all APs as bad. Adoption takes two parties to make momentous decisions. The APs that I know have adopted severely handicapped kids no one wanted; kids removed from their biological parents because they were not feeding them and their lives were in danger; kids who were not cute babies but teenagers siblings needing homes. Adoption has provided children with loving homes in many cases. Some children have no good option but adoption. It literally saved their lives.



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  75. One last thing! I am truly and deeply sorry for those of you who were tricked and manipulated into adoption.

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  76. Wow! Some people have a lot of nerve. If you read here regularly, you would see that the mother's here are not looking for pity and sympathy from anyone. They are looking for understanding and validation. There is a difference.
    Lorraine, I admire the fact that you let these insensitive adopters ramble here about the "blessing" of adoption when we all know, they would not afford the same kindness to you. They would label mother's here as trolls and make their blogs private.
    I don't know how you put up with it, especially when the blog is called First Mother Forum and not Insufferable Adopter Forum.
    Aps find it so easy to judge while reaping the benefits.
    J, your condescension is appalling. I hope some day, you learn some compassion for others, it's different than unwelcome pity.

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  77. Anon 510

    Enough with comparing a bmom's decision to rape or witnessing the violent death of your spouse. Rape and murder are not a conscious decision made by the victim. No rape or murder victm is given nine months to decide these issues and given the option of signing a legally binding contract to participate in same. They are horrendous crimes of violence and not comparable to adoption. To make such a comparison is insulting to bmoms, amoms, adoptees and the victims of these crimes. I get the I need to vent, but that does not give you a license to be cruel.

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  78. '...given the option of signing a legally binding contract...'


    At 16 I wasn't permitted to sign hardly anything that was legally binding. I was considered a minor and therefore too immature to be given such legal responsibility.

    So why do you think I was permitted to sign the adoption papers?

    With no parent present?

    With no legal representative?

    Accompanied only by the social worker who also represented the prospective adoptive parents.

    Whilst remaining completely unaware of the social help that was available, which the social workers knew existed but never told me.


    My experience was common.


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  79. Anonymous Nov 26:

    "Like you said you chose adoption. I see where you are angry because the open adoption did not go as planned (according to you). However, I have seen many open adoptions close because the bparents were overstepping boundaries and trying to co-parent. Maybe you thought the same? That OA mean's co-parenting/ guardianship and the aprents didn't want that."

    Seriously, so you are making rampant assumptions that it could only be because Stacey was overstepping or doing wrong that the adoption closed? It couldn't possibly be the APs insecurity or disinterest in maintaining the relationship?

    I would like to hear these examples of "co-parenting" you mentioned happening with "many" other adoptions. Were the first parents coming over and trying to help with bedtime routines? Were they showing up at the doctors for office visits? Excpecting their beliefs in to vax or not to vax be followed? Were they weighing in on which jumperoo to purchase? Inspecting the carseat for proper install? Seriously, I'm really interested in this "co-parenting" you have seen attempted by first parents in "many" open adoptions that caused them to close because no other action (like, say, talking like adults) was possible.

    Baloney.

    There are very rare circumstances where a previously open adoption needs to close to protect the adopted child or even more rarely, the APs. I can think of only instances involving dangerous drug use or stalking (and I don't mean a first mother sending emails asking about the pictures she was promised that never came). Those are going to be pretty rare and unusual cases, and I can understand those if all other possible options to handle the situation have been attempted and failed.

    However, APs are the legal guardians of their adopted children. There is no such thing as what you are proposing because it's not the same situation as say, a divorced couple sharing custody. First parents have given up their legal rights, so there is no co-parenting, and thus your claim is pointless. To close an adoption is a serious thing. Open adoptions are meant to be for the benefit of the child, and I view with extreme skepticism any AP who says they closed their adoption because of "co-parenting" issues on the side of the first parents. I further take issue with them if they promised an open adoption to the first mom as a part of the adoption; they are going back on their word, and in some cases, legal agreement (even if not technically legally enforceable, which is another issue).

    Open adoptions aren't meant to be easy for the APs. They aren't for the benefit of the APs. They are for the benefit of the child, and any AP who does not put 110% effort into maintaining the relationship for the sake of her child is behaving selfishly (excepting in the extremely rare cases I mentioned). It has nothing to do with the first parent and everything to do with the APs being the kind of parents their child deserves and the kind of parents they promised they would be.

    If I had an AP tell me she closed her adoption because the first mother was attempting to co-parent, I'd tell her to get over herself, talk with the first mom like an adult, and deeply consider why open adoption is not at all about her, but about her child.

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  80. J:

    I still wish you understanding. I do not think you can comprehend how much giving up a child totally skews--and screws up--some mothers' lives. Legions of women never get their lives back on track.

    Today religion keeps some women from having an abortion, but that does not mean that they have the baby because of a sense of generosity to the fetus, which may be the size of a pinhead. I think you are unable to mentally walk in our shoes, or imagine our mindset upon relinquishing a child that came out of our bodies, that carries our DNA, a child that we blindly love beyond all reason. People who adopt children with disabilities, or older children from foster case--these people can be called generous.

    I continue to wish you compassion. The only distress you are causing is that I know you represent millions of people who do not understand the true issues of adoption to the first mother, or the adopted. And so I wish you a great breath of understanding. And peace. In real life, we might actually be able to talk things over a cup of tea.

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  81. "There are very rare circumstances where a previously open adoption needs to close to protect the adopted child or even more rarely, the APs. I can think of only instances involving dangerous drug use or stalking (and I don't mean a first mother sending emails asking about the pictures she was promised that never came). Those are going to be pretty rare and unusual cases, and I can understand those if all other possible options to handle the situation have been attempted and failed.

    However, APs are the legal guardians of their adopted children. There is no such thing as what you are proposing because it's not the same situation as say, a divorced couple sharing custody. First parents have given up their legal rights, so there is no co-parenting, and thus your claim is pointless. To close an adoption is a serious thing. Open adoptions are meant to be for the benefit of the child, and I view with extreme skepticism any AP who says they closed their adoption because of "co-parenting" issues on the side of the first parents. I further take issue with them if they promised an open adoption to the first mom as a part of the adoption; they are going back on their word, and in some cases, legal agreement (even if not technically legally enforceable, which is another issue)."

    Tiffany:

    Since you're an expert can you please shown me proof of your claim?

    And for the record, the AP's ARE NOT the legal guardians of the child, they are the parents. Your mentality that AP's are guardians and not parents is probably why some OA's close, because AP aren't seen as the parent when they are. I think some BP's think OA means co-parenting or something similar to joint custody when it is not.

    I have read many online discussions about boundaries being crossed repeatedly, despite open communication. I can see why some Ap's scale back or close an OA (temporary)after exhausting ALL attempts to keep it open.

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  82. There is no reason under any circumstances for an Open Adoption to close. It's up to the APs to work it out with the BPs if they feel uncomfortable. If it's a matter of their child's safety they need to bring in a third party to mediate visits. But under no circumstances is it justified for an Open Adoptiom to ever close. In the long run no one benefits from an Open Adoption closing including the APs. One day they will have to give an explanation to their children and it's doubtful their children will buy it.

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  83. Oh anonymous, possessive, threatened adopter@ 6:31am... Puhleeezzee. You got your prize now you don't want to share. You want it ALL for yourself and don't want the pesky NATURAL parents around to rain on your fantasy.

    Your insecurity is so great you have to stalk natural mother blogs and stake your almighty claim to a child of another woman and man and it quite pathetic. Man made laws don't trump nature's law, no matter how badly you wish for that.

    Your ADOPTED child has another set of "parents" too, no matter how much you shut them out. If you can't handle that fact you should not have adopted and most certainly should not have promised and open adoption if indeed you did. People like you are all that is wrong with adoption. You probably lied, manipulated and conned a woman out of her child with false promises; procured her child with those lies, then go to online forums and wine and cry (would you like some cheese with that)that she is "oversteps" your precious boundaries that she is not even aware of. The only "boundaries" are your sick and pathetic insecurities.

    My good god I hope some young vulnerable woman reads your comments and doesn't make the same horrible mistake many of us have. You are truly doing the family preservation community a huge favor by showing your true colors, after all is said and done and you get what you want. You are disgusting, truly. I feel so sorry for that child you are coveting that has ANOTHER set of parents. YES, I said another set of parents and get way over it, lady. That will never change, hoarder.

    I love the line about "exhausting all options to keep it open." I got a good laugh at that one. I would be willing to bet in your case she would day or do ONE thing wrong in your eyes and POOF, you'd be gone. Yeah, so exhausting for you I am sure.

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  84. Anon BP: 7:42 11/28

    Please, you signed the paper relinquishing YOUR responsibility to parent. The Ap's don't have to "share", as you put it.

    You chose not to parent-and you probably thought OA would let you have "your cake and ice cream too." I don't agree on AP's promising things with no intention to follow through, but I have read many stories when the AP's would bend over backwards to accommodate the BP for the sake of having an OA and the BP would continually cross boundaries.

    As a parent, one has the right to decide who has access to their child and family,regardless of bloodline. Millions of parents do it all the time if it is not in the child's or families best interest.

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  85. ' The Ap's don't have to "share"...'

    The child has another mother who is not you, whatever you may think about that.

    The child also has a right to an exclusive relationship with his or her original mother, no matter what you think about that.

    She belongs to him/her.

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  86. It's really odd seeing an AP still doing the 'as if born to' routine.

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  87. " The Ap's don't have to "share"...'

    The child has another mother who is not you, whatever you may think about that.The child also has a right to an exclusive relationship with his or her original mother, no matter what you think about that.

    She belongs to him/her."

    Cherry:

    If you feel so strongly about this then why do today's bmoms sign those papers? It seems to "me" that many of them see OA as an "out" for parenting- they think they can have their "cake and ice cream too" and become angry then the AP's refuse to co-parent ( as they should, because adoption is not foster care or joint custody)

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  88. @Anonymous-November 28, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    You said:
    "Please, you signed the paper relinquishing YOUR responsibility to parent. The Ap's don't have to "share", as you put it."

    And how do so many adopters and baby brokers get those "signatures" you speak of? By lying, conning and manipulating young vulnerable women. Once they get their "signature", they sure change their tune. Of course, you already know that, right? A lot of these "signatures" are given during great duress, stress, raging hormones and even under the influence of very strong pain killers, as I myself can attest. Your attempt at it all being so cut and dry doesn't fly here. We all know better on blog called FIRST MOTHER FORUM.

    You said:
    "You chose not to parent-and you probably thought OA would let you have "your cake and ice cream too." I don't agree on AP's promising things with no intention to follow through, but I have read many stories when the AP's would bend over backwards to accommodate the BP for the sake of having an OA and the BP would continually cross boundaries."

    It is not about having "cake and eating it too", you insensitive, cold-hearted excuse for a human being. These are people's FLESH AND BLOOD CHILDREN they carried for 9 months and brought into this world. When one faced with an unplanned pregnancy believes for a time they may be doing the right thing and go into something believing that they will still have a connection to THEIR CHILD, we are not talking about boundaries. We are talking about deliberate and utter fraud and made to feel like we are doing something wrong by asking for WHAT WAS PROMISED. You can take your invisible boundaries (I mean your possessive, hoarding jealousy) and shove it.

    You said:
    "As a parent, one has the right to decide who has access to their child and family,regardless of bloodline. Millions of parents do it all the time if it is not in the child's or families best interest."

    And as a parent, one also has the right to realize that she made a huge mistake by entrusting her child to people who are liars. People like that should have never had 'access' to someone else's child to begin with. Like I said, it is not about protecting a child from his own damn mother and family. It is about protecting you and your fragile ego; your disdain for that child's family. It is about protecting your possessive need to stake claim to something that is not really yours and you know it. Children don't need protecting from their mother's in most cases, but they do need protecting from the likes of you being in 'possession' of them.

    Like I said, you do us all a favor by showing your true, greedy colors. I hope many young women happen upon your comments and realize what open adoption is really about...

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  89. Anonymous November 28, 2013 at 6:31 AM

    "Since you're an expert can you please shown me proof of your claim?"

    What claim? That APs are insecure. Jeesh, I think you have provided ample proof of that. And why do I have to show you proof? You have yet to give even one example of all the "coparenting" issues happening with "many" first parents where the APs have no choice but to close the adoption. The burden of proof here is certainly not on me.

    "And for the record, the AP's ARE NOT the legal guardians of the child, they are the parents. Your mentality that AP's are guardians and not parents is probably why some OA's close, because AP aren't seen as the parent when they are. I think some BP's think OA means co-parenting or something similar to joint custody when it is not."

    Semantics and hair splitting. I mistyped. You know perfectly well what I meant- APs are the legal parents. Open Adoptions close because APs close them. Period. If birth parents thought their open adoption was going to be something it turned out not to be, then that is unethical on the part of the agency and the adoptive parents. else ever told them. It is trickery and deceit to promise something if you have any intention at all of not fulfilling those promises 100%.

    "I have read many online discussions about boundaries being crossed repeatedly, despite open communication. I can see why some Ap's scale back or close an OA (temporary)after exhausting ALL attempts to keep it open."

    Like what? What boundaries? What attempts were made?

    I think you and I have polar opposite views of parenting. I have one biological child and one adopted child. I do not place restrictions on either of their feelings. I do not demand love and loyalty from them. I do not expect that they will love me above all else. I do not limit other adults in their lives who are caring and loving. My adopted daughter DESERVES to know her parents. I have a deep obligation to her which I fulfill to the very best of my abilities willingly because I love her. Love is freeing. What you, and many APs, want by closing adoption is to limit and control.

    I love my two daughters with all my heart. Two, not just one. I choose to trust that my daughter's heart will be big enough to love two mommies and two daddies. Two, not just one.

    I'll end with what my husband said when I read all your comments to him.

    "Bullcrap. That's just pure selfishness and insecurity. This is a child, and she's talking like some 6 year old fighting with a friend over a toy. "It's MINE and you can't share it!" Pathetic. You would think someone claiming to love their child would understand the real parental love means putting your own emotions and needs last, and your child's first. I feel so sad for people like that. One day, she will wake up to her child having a lot of anger and resentment towards her. And she will have only herself to blame. And she will deserve it all."

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  90. "You would think someone claiming to love their child would understand the real parental love means putting your own emotions and needs last, and your child's first

    Amen to that! From reading this chain and this blog, that is something I think both first/birth and adoptive parents should keep in mind!!!! I don't see that sentiment reflected in a great many of the posts here and it really bothers me. It is all me, me, me and it should be the child, the child, the child.

    Adoptive parents and first/birth parents should realize we are partners! Whether like it or not, we are joined by the child. One set of parents has created the child and then relinquished to other parents. That set of parents raises the child.

    It does no good to do all the tedious name calling on this site! Birth paretns -- your children LOVE their adoptive parents. Your calling them names and slamming them and spewing hatred toward them will not help YOU, the APS, or more importantly YOUR CHILD who is being raised by these paretns and who deserves to think of them as mom and dad.

    AP- slamming Birth Moms won't help at all as these are the people who created your precioius child and the beloved features/characteristics and talents of your sweet baby are the BM/FM.

    So why don't we all recognize the partnership that exists instead of the nasty bickering?

    IT WON"T HELP YOUR CHILDREN!!

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  91. Please tell your husband that my husband said:

    " everybody claims to be an expert on OA and wants to dictate and guilt trip others when they don't agree with them. They should know not all aparents are the bad guys who are insure if they don't see the bparents as the "other parents" or have the achild call them "mommy and daddy, and fully include them in the nuclear family."

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  92. RK: There are very few places where first mothers can open up and talk about their feelings that are not closed list serves. I have noticed that first mothers do not go to adoptee sites and tell them how they should behave. The name of this blog is FIRST MOTHER FORUM. Not First Mother Doormat Forum.

    The amount of emotional damage that occurred to us--not diminishing in the least the powerful implications of being adopted--because of relinquishing a child needs to be recognized. Many of us who have reunited have found that reunion can be bumpy, difficult and strewn with hurt and more. Adoptive parents come here sometimes and tell us that we are bitter and raw, and then wish us "peace." Then some adoptees come here and tell us that we have no right to even admit that giving up our children fucked us up.

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  93. @RK
    You said:
    "Amen to that! From reading this chain and this blog, that is something I think both first/birth and adoptive parents should keep in mind!!!! I don't see that sentiment reflected in a great many of the posts here and it really bothers me. It is all me, me, me and it should be the child, the child, the child.

    Adoptive parents and first/birth parents should realize we are partners! Whether like it or not, we are joined by the child. One set of parents has created the child and then relinquished to other parents. That set of parents raises the child.

    It does no good to do all the tedious name calling on this site! Birth paretns -- your children LOVE their adoptive parents. Your calling them names and slamming them and spewing hatred toward them will not help YOU, the APS, or more importantly YOUR CHILD who is being raised by these paretns and who deserves to think of them as mom and dad."

    Partners?!???! So they don't want us butting in and expecting co- parenting, (whatever the hell that is supposed to mean), but we are all "partners"? How is that? When they want to throw us some crumbs? They sure don't want us around for anything else, regardless of how much their asses are kissed.

    Excuse me, but many of us HAD decent (or so we thought) relationships with our children's adopters. They are the one's who cut natural parents of the picture, dehumanize and degrade us and send us packing for any perceived infraction.

    Don't you dare sit there and tell me to respect people who lied, conned and manipulated me out of my child. They deserve no respect from me and will never in my life get it. They had it at one time when they are being fake nice to me. Never again.

    My son can call them/ love them or refer to them however he likes. I will never call that my son's "parents". They don't deserve it. If not for ME they would have never had that opportunity. They will be nothing else from me, including ass kissing at every turn. Give me a break.

    As far as your "me, me me" comment, NO, we are not just talking about OUR losses. We are also talking all that we have missed out with OUR children, them included. Unfortunately, the adoptive parents have to insert themselves into that equation to and make it all about them, them, them.

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  94. 'If you feel so strongly about this then why do today's bmoms sign those papers?'

    If you have adopted a child, I believe it is beholden upon you to find out why. (Otherwise, what on earth will you be telling the person you have adopted?)


    'It seems to "me" that many of them see OA as an "out" for parenting- they think they can have their "cake and ice cream too" ...'

    Ah, I see, you've already decided what their reasons are. Without actually knowing (as you admit above).


    My view is that anyone who thinks a woman can choose to give up her child has absolutely no understanding of motherhood.

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  95. Lorraine, I am not one of those adoptees who says that mothers have no right to mourn. I think most of us are fucked up on the original family side of the fence. Most of us, absolutely. We miss each other, broken pieces and all. Sometimes we hurt each other with our jagged bits, but we love each other. The tragedy is that we lost parts of ourselves and relationships we can never get back, never have again. Some of us are willing to try harder than others to fix things, some of us are too fucked up to manage. But under it all, I do believe there is love.

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  96. @December 2, 2013 at 3:22 PM
    Your comment made me cry, right here at my desk.

    So true...

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  97. @Tiffany,

    You want examples of coparenting?

    1. Disciplining child without approval of adoptive parent (e.g., spanking or hitting hand when the adoptive parents do not spank)

    2. Excessively affectionate without regard to the child's comfort level (e.g., refusing to release a child from a hug, even when she is crying and trying to get back to Mommy).

    3. Giving permission or restricting the child's behavior (e.g., telling the child that she can play on playground equipment that adoptive parents think is inappropriate for her age or telling the child that she cannot play until she finishes eating)

    4. Inserting herself into parenting decisions, including decisions about discipline (e.g., corporal punishment), feeding (e.g., nursing, bottle, organic, vegan, kosher, etc), bonding (e.g., cry it out, attachment parenting, etc), education (e.g., religious-affiliated school, whether to retain the child, etc).

    5. Visiting the home without calling or making plans.

    6. Demanding that the child sleep at her home.

    7. Pushing visits on a child who doesn't want them, assuming that the child is older.

    Keep in mind that both anon and I are talking about repeated offenses, even after open communication.

    In addition to coparenting, there are other behaviors that may cause the adoptive parents to believe that contact is not in the best interest of the children:

    1. Criticizing the adoptive parent, whether in a blog, to the child, or to others.

    2. Showing up for visits while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    3. Failing to show up without any reason and disappointing the child.

    4. Using excessive profanity or discussing matters involving inappropriate violent or sexual topics.

    Tiffany, may I ask how old your child is? Before you judge others, please keep in mind that open adoption is a process. Issues present themselves over the years. Managing an open adoption with an elementary aged child is very different from a pre-teen or teen.

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  98. Anon at November 30, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    "
    "everybody claims to be an expert on OA and wants to dictate and guilt trip others when they don't agree with them. They should know not all aparents are the bad guys who are insure if they don't see the bparents as the "other parents" or have the achild call them "mommy and daddy, and fully include them in the nuclear family."

    I never, ever claimed to be an expert.

    I never stated what titles HAD to be used.

    I didn't dictate and any guilt felt from my words is your own reaction.

    Let's keep this to your precise comments. You have continually stated that "many" open adoptions close wholly and completely through the fault of the birth parents attempts to co-parent and disrespect of boundaries. You have yet to give even one example, just lots of blame against birth parents.

    Open adoption IS involving the birth parents in the nuclear family. That's pretty much the general definition. To what extent that involvement is should have been determined prior to adoption with very frank and honest discussions between all parties. Yes, it is totally and completely the responsibility of the adoptive parents to fulfill their promises of openness 100% if not simply because that is the right and ethical thing to do, then for the sake of their child. This includes not closing the adoption because of anything less than incredibly severe issues that absolutely cannot be resolved (mediation and counseling options should be fully exhausted).

    We could go around and around, but you will likely never see how damaging and immoral your viewpoint is in spite of much evidence to the contrary (not my own- just do your own research). I simply cannot stand to see APs rage against first moms on a blog meant to support first moms. I would like first moms to know we do not ALL believe those hateful things and act in such an underhanded manner. Like I said in my first post, I would never let anyone talk about my daughter's other mom in that way to my face. To insult her is not only generally demeaning and unbelievably rude and unacceptable to me, but it also insults my daughter, too, and diminishes her intrinsic worth and value.

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  99. "We could go around and around, but you will likely never see how damaging and immoral your viewpoint is in spite of much evidence to the contrary (not my own- just do your own research)."


    Tiffany:

    Here you go again "judging and playing the OA police"

    "I simply cannot stand to see APs rage against first moms on a blog meant to support first moms.
    "I would like first moms to know we do not ALL believe those hateful things and act in such an underhanded manner."

    No one said it is "ok" to close when they had no intention of keeping the OA open( read one of my original post and you will SEE what I wrote). What I did say was MAYBE the OA was scaled back or closed AFTER communication was tried and it failed. Would you allow to be spoken to rudely or your parental decisions underhanded repeatedly? If you would then good for you if like being a doormat.

    "Like I said in my first post, I would never let anyone talk about my daughter's other mom in that way to my face. To insult her is not only generally demeaning and unbelievably rude and unacceptable to me, but it also insults my daughter, too, and diminishes her intrinsic worth and value."

    Really, who said anything bad? The bmother experienced an unexpected pregnancy and she chose adoption. If she thought OA meant still being "mommy" and having a say in how the child is raised, who's fault is that?

    Like someone said and I agree, OA is different for everyone.

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  100. @Anonymous December 3, 2013 at 2:16 PM:

    WOW. Control freak much? You do realize you are talking about someone ELSE'S child, right? You realize YOU are the one inserting yourself into the lives other another family? That is not your child and you sprout off all these rules and regulations like you own someone else's child. Truly sick and disturbing. Unbelievable...

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  101. But that is the truth of adoption. The child is now the adoptive parent's child. To think other wise is not facing reality. And she did not insert herself into the life of another family. The birth family started it by giving away parental rights. That is just the reality. Facing reality though hard is a better less painful way to live.

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  102. Anon 11:32am wrote:"But that is the truth of adoption. The child is now the adoptive parent's child. To think other wise is not facing reality."

    Well, as the CHILD, I can tell you that you are absolutely wrong. That is the brainwashing of the adoption industry and it's not true. My adoptive parents are my social parents, but my biological are, always have been, and always will be, my parents. You can never change a person's DNA. It's not possible. I will always be my natural parents' offspring. I can never get my medical history or my ancestry from my adoptive parents.

    That is why so many adoptees from the closed era are searching for their original parents. We could not buy the lie that are adoptive parents are our only, real, true parents and that our biology is meaningless. The minute an adoptee tells someone s/he is adopted, the first thing s/he hears is "oh, so those aren't your REAL parents?" It seems most people instinctively think of biology as conferring parenthood, no matter how hard the adoption industry tries to encourage people to think otherwise.

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  103. @Anonymous
    Actually, no that is not their child. Man made laws don't trump natures laws. Sorry, but you are the one who needs a reality check. Buying a child does not make it yours. That is the REALITY I came to know.

    Of course, if you really felt like this was your child and yours only, you would not be here spewing your reality against our reality. Our children are still ours, regardless of who thinks they own them. THANKS!

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  104. I personally am feeling very intrusive now as this blog isn't meant for APs to air their disagreements with one another, so this is my last post on the topic.

    There are too many Anon APs to keep tabs on. I have no idea who posted what or said what as everyone is posting as Anon. There were disparaging remarks made about first moms by some Anon. I don't know which one of the several it appears are posting said it.

    All the examples given are ones also dealt with by divorced couples on a daily basis. With mediation and counseling, I have a hard time believing the "many" claim made by some Anon. Perhaps some result in crossing so many boundaries that it just cannot be worked out, but "many?" I highly doubt it, and few of the concerns mentioned warrant such extreme measures as complete closure. The only ones that are serious concerns that would cause me pause are the drug/alcohol use before visits and slapping/spanking- as I already said, there are sometimes serious issues and I would put those in that bucket. As for the rest? I have a hard time believing they can't be worked out like so many other families (step families, divorced families, families with multiple parents) manage to do for the sake of their children. I also have a hard time believing these kinds of things happen "many" times. Some, yes. I understand it happens sometimes for good reasons. Many, no. I cannot believe that the many open adoptions are not workable.

    I'm not judging by sharing my thoughts and opinions. How long I have been in open adoption also doesn't change the reality of what it is- an agreement between adults made at the most difficult time in at least one of those parties' lives. Even the agency we used for the legal aspects of our adoption are huge advocates for open adoption, not just as a carrot to hold out to the pregnant woman, but as a lifelong process. They have ongoing education sessions for APs of older children, counselors, mediators, all available to help families maintain the open adoption they promised. (I don't often have praises to bestow on adoption agencies, but I will put that out there.) In all likelihood, if the first mom had known that her adoption would close, would she have given the child to the APs? It is a grave decision to go back on an agreement of such seriousness. I'm not sure why that is causing such consternation here? Advocating that open adoptions remain open is nothing new or strange, and I'm not alone in believing that only very serious issues should cause the closure of an open adoption.

    I see a lot of selfishness displayed here-
    "they gave up the child" "they aren't the parents" "they have no rights." What about the child? Open adoption was never, ever about the adoptive parents. It is primarily for the benefit of the adoptee and secondarily for the benefit of the first parents. We wanted an open adoption for our daughter, not for us. Is it sometimes very challenging? Yes. But it is not about me. Someday, I want my daughter to be able to completely and wholly determine her relationship with her other parents herself. I am laying the groundwork for her to do that by knowing them from the beginning. To try to act and believe that blood ties are not important to the majority of people is simply not reality. Ancestry dot come would not be in existence if so many people didn't care about such things. Simply reading adoptee blogs and knowing adoptees in real life informs me that it will likely be important for my daughter someday. So, I do it for her, first, and for her other parents, second, and we will work through our issues as they come up together for the sake of our child.

    Finally, I am no expert. That's one reason why you find me here and on adult adoptee blogs... learning, reading, and respecting the voices of those who have lived through it. My opinions are informed by others far more experienced than myself.

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  105. "WOW. Control freak much? You do realize you are talking about someone ELSE'S child, right? You realize YOU are the one inserting yourself into the lives other another family? That is not your child and you sprout off all these rules and regulations like you own someone else's child. Truly sick and disturbing. Unbelievable..."

    Anon-BP:December 3, 2013 at 2:16 PM:

    Your mentality is the very same thing I was talking about with Tiffany. This maybe reason why OAs are scaled back or close-your sense of entitlement and lack of acknowledgement that the APs are the parents and NOT the nannys or babysitters.

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  106. Facing reality means different things to different people.

    My reality as an adoptee is that I have THREE families to contend with: my adoptive family, my mother's family, and my father's family. It's very complicated. My aparents do not get to dictate or control how I feel about what happened.

    Yes, my mother signed TPR. But it was a tragedy for her, and for me DESPITE all the wonderful things in my life that have occurred since she signed. She never knew I was safe. She didn't know anything. She was anxious. Yes, I had every advantage, and parents who love me. But I also suffered from depression and anxiety that are probably tied to being separated from my families. On top of that, I still have other parts of my identity even now that my aparents cannot control, and to which, frankly, they don't belong. It would be lovely if there were just one big, happy family, but it generally doesn't work out that way.

    I have to negotiate how the identity I lost fits into who I am now (it's hard work to figure that out). It's a struggle also for my families, the majority of whom had no idea I even existed (until recently), to begin know what to do with me.

    No one is suggesting that any part of this is easy.

    For adoptive parents to say that we all need to "face reality" is like saying, "Acknowledge the ice cube!" when there's a fucking iceberg to be dealt with. It shows a skewed sense of what's important.

    Yes, adoptive parents get an infant or child, but we (those children, who grow up) have a lifetime to deal with what it means to be put into other families. We have the job of making sense of core relationships that were torn asunder (if we want to do that--some adoptees don't). Our families also have to deal with the our loss (and sometimes they don't deal well).

    To say to our parents, "Oh, that's your choice, you did it, you signed TPR," is really not understanding the big picture for your child or his or her families.

    This isn't a situation that can be resolved neatly by urging what *you* see as rational thinking.

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  107. Tiffany,

    I agree with a lot about what you have said about Open Adoption and wish that both sets of parents were able to work through the challenges of open adoption w/out closing them.

    The one thing I wasn't sure if you were trying to get at that it was also in the Adoptive Parents best interests to do everything in their power to make an Open Adoption work. I don't think it's in their best long term interest to have their child grow up into an adult and then find out the truth of why their biological parent was cut out if their lives causing the adoptee pain and potentially killing their long term relationship with their child.

    Now doing that doesn't mean the adoptee won't have any pain from their adoption but at the very least the Adoptive Parent will have done everything in their power in the best interests of parenting their child.

    ReplyDelete

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