' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: How binding are open-adoption contracts?

Friday, February 12, 2016

How binding are open-adoption contracts?

Jane
Open adoption is the adoption industry's answer to all the woes that beset adoptees and natural mothers by their forced separation. The more we know, however, the less we like about it. Let us be clear: Open adoption agreements (continuing contact agreements in legal parlance) aren't enforceable. They do not lessen the angst of loss suffered by mothers and children, and they may even make it more intense.

FMF has just learned of a new pitfall. Mom has an agreement with her child's adoptive parents allowing her periodic visits, ("designated parenting time" in social work speak). The adoptive parents decide they don't want the kid and plan to pass him on to another adoptive family. Does the mom still get to see her kid?


In the law of property, if I sell you my front 40 acres, and  you give me an easement so I can get to my back 40, the easement is valid even if you sell the property. But children are not property--although they are treated as such when it comes to birth certificates, pieces of paper which have become certificates of title reflecting to whom the child belongs to--rather than the child's genetic parentage, or an real and accurate certificate of birth.

The question of whether an open-adoption agreement follows the child was asked recently on a legal forum, because the situation described above happened. A mother gave up a child through the state child welfare agency with an agreement for continuing contact; the adoptive parents decided they could not handle the child and are trying to arrange an adoption with another couple. If the child is adopted by another couple is the agreement with the mother still valid?

Probably not, unless this was expressly included in the agreement. It's unlikely that it was since adoption, according to advocates, promises a child a "forever family" it would be a contradiction to include a provision for what happens if the adoptive parents dump the child. The mother in this case could ask a judge to order visits--but there's nothing in the law that covers this. In addition, the mother may not even know where the child will go. These "re-homing" arrangements may take place in a Starbucks--or a parking lot.

The new adoptive parents may not know about the designated parenting time that the original adoptive parents agreed to, or even who the natural mother is. Unlike the law of property, open adoption agreements are not recorded on county deed records available to the public, but contained in sealed court files.

Open adoption agreements, while used by the industry to induce mothers to give up their children, were originally created primarily for the child. As adults tussle over these agreements, however, the child is soon forgotten. We know that the vast majority of open adoptions are not truly "open," and that most, for all intents and purposes, actually close up within five years.

Open adoptions can be a vast improvement over the closed-adoption system of yore, but they are not the panacea that they appear to be on first impression. If a woman is considering keeping her child, and the option of "openness" is seen as a viable alternative, she should stop and seriously consider how it will feel to have her child raised by someone else, and leave her with no say-so if something bothers her. And she needs to be mindful that if a "forever family" does not hold, and there is a subsequent adoption, the child may be in the same position of those adoptees of yore who are forced to beg and plead to learn their origins, and she will be left out in the cold.--jane
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RELATED POSTS FROM FMF:
Open adoption--does it really solve all the problems?
The promise of 'openness' lures vulnerable mothers-to-be
What is an 'open' adoption?
Catelynn and Tyler's open adoption closing?
Is it a 'Birth Certificate or a Certificate of Title?
Re-homing: Dumping unwanted adopted kids

TO READ

The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole
By Lori Holden
"The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption, is a welcome addition to the adoption "bookshelf" for pre- and post-adoptive parents as well as adoption professionals. Written with her daughter's birthmother, the author uses her personal experience with open adoption to offer a new way to look at openness in adoption. This is not just about letters, photos, and/or visits with birthfamily - this book suggests an approach to emotional openness, even in families for whom contact with birthparents may be neither possible nor advisable.The book is well-written, personable, and filled with illustrative stories from bio- and adoptive parents that bring to life the various strategies as well as potential pitfalls to the process"--Jeff at Amazon

82 comments :

  1. How horrible to hear that this actually happened, people in an open adoption tried to re-home the child to other adoptive parents! That is just ugly. Was the natural mother in this case still not in a position to raise her child? Did anyone ask her? If it was CPS adoption, where was the state agency in this deal?

    I know of a couple of cases of closed adoptions that had failed where the natural parents actually got the child back, because they had searched and knew where the child was. The default in these cases, especially with the state involved, was that the child went into the foster care system. A very famous case where the mother got her child back was Travis, the boy in the Steinberg murder case, where the adoptive parents abused, neglected, and eventually murdered their illegally adopted daughter Lisa. Mirah Riben heroically was able to find the boy's mother and eventually get him returned to his mother and grandmother rather than being put into foster care. Another child was returned to his mother at age 12 because the adoptive father and stepmother no longer wanted him. When the mother searched to see if he was ok, they just said "you can have him."

    I do not see the major issue here as the open adoption contract which is not really enforceable anyway in real life, but the idea of re-homing and any adoptive parent in a closed or open adoption just being able to hand the child over to another family with no real oversight or supervision.

    In general, I have questions about extended visitation in open adoptions sometimes being more for the natural parents and sometimes the adoptive parents, to assuage everyone's guilt, than an actual benefit to the child who is put in the middle and is made to feel responsible for the happiness of both sets of parents while still a child. It is hard enough in reunion when both sides are in competition and tugging on the adoptee from opposite ends. Like divorce split custody, sometimes it can really work and be good for the child if all the adults involved are mature and always put the kid first, but it can also go terribly wrong. It is not only open adoptions closing that is problematic, but how they are conducted and if what the child really wants and needs is taken into consideration.

    I think you are absolutely right to warn that open adoption is not a panacea, it is not having someone babysit your child, that it may be more painful to see your child raised in ways you do not approve, and that such contracts are not really enforceable and that attempts at enforcement can mean extended time in court with no good outcome.

    Also when an adoption fails and a child is going back into the system, the first thing done should be to contact the natural parents and see if they are now in a position to raise their child. Most of all, open adoption is not a substitute for raising your child if you are able to nor does it guarantee anything in the long run.

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    1. "A very famous case where the mother got her child back was Travis, the boy in the Steinberg murder case, where the adoptive parents abused, neglected, and eventually murdered their illegally adopted daughter Lisa."

      One correction: From my reading on this case, Elisabeth "Lisa" Lauders, better known as Lisa Steinberg, was never adopted at all. That's why her natural mother, Michele Launders, and Lisa's biological father were able to make the arrangements after she was murdered. Michele and the unnamed father were still Lisa's legal parents.

      Ms. Launders wrote a book about her experience titled "I wish you didn't know my name: The story of Michele Launders and her daughter Lisa.

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    2. The was a Child Protective Services case. My understanding is that CPS is no longer involved. I do not know if under the arrangement brokered by DPS, the mother could take the child. The mother is aware that the adoptive parents are talking to others about taking the child.

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    3. I had no idea Mirah Riben was instrumental in reuniting Travis with his mother. That is noble, indeed. Last time I read about him, he was doing very well in college.

      On a slightly tangential note, the widely acclaimed children's show, Doc McStuffins, is adding the "adoption" element to it's story line. I am disappointed that it will be a brand new baby adoption (prospective parents rushing off to the hospital when "their" baby is being born), although I will withhold judgment until the episodes have aired. Here is the link:

      http://www.laughingplace.com/w/news/2016/02/11/doc-mcstuffins-family-adopt-new-baby/

      I hope the story plays out in a way that doesn't convey adoption as something that should take place casually.

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    4. Maryanne: There's a blog written by an adult adoptee raised in an OA (sister wish). Out of her bmom's children, she was the only one placed. She talks about the tug-of-war and the happy face she had to put on to please both sides.It's really sad, to me, because its seems like the very same thing you wrote about. The child put in the middle to please and assuage the guilt of both the aparents & bparents,which I don't think is emotionally healthy for a child.

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    5. I highly recommend reading the Sister Wish blog. I have read every entry, and as an AP in an open adoption, it gives me much to consider. I would never, ever want my daughter feeling that tug of war, but it's stupid to think that any child can so easily process all these feelings and challenging situations... somewhere, somehow, it has to give. She shares a really eye-opening perspective, I think.

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  2. I really like this post. I'm glad to see FMF isn't having a love affair with open adoption. It would have been a horror for me. My insecure adoptive mother would have tried to manipulate me to show I loved her best. Since she was the one who was there for me and providing my security, I'm sure I would have complied. My natural mother would have been so devastated at seeing me in another family, and not being able to raise me, she probably would have stopped contact a la Heidi Russo. And that would have been a devastating (second) rejection for me.

    Maryanne mentioned something about assuaging the parents' guilt. I'm not sure if it's guilt that's operating here, but I agree that open adoption could place too heavy of a burden on the child by putting her in the middle and making her feel responsible for the parents' happiness (which she would).

    While I can hardly support a totally closed adoption where the adoptive parents get to think they are the child's only parents, I'm glad open adoption didn't exist in my day. With few exceptions, I think open adoption is more suitable for kinship adoptions.

    I appreciate that FMF is continuing to highlight the pitfalls of the open adoption arrangement and the fact that it is mainly a new tool in the adoption industry's armor to get more mothers to surrender their babies.

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  3. "Also when an adoption fails and a child is going back into the system, the first thing done should be to contact the natural parents and see if they are now in a position to raise their child."

    Common sense that is all too uncommon, I'm afraid. It would not work out in every single case but it should definitely be proposed. Also agree that the central problem in this case is APs taking it upon themselves to transfer their children to other people without oversight.

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  4. Yes, you are right Robin, in the case of Lisa Launders and Travis there was no legal adoption because the coked-up lawyer adoptive father neglected to file adoption papers and just kept the two children that the birthparents had trusted him to place with decent families. He also beat his partner Hedda Nussbaum and both of them beat and neglected the children. Our NJ Origins group and especially Mirah Riben were very involved in that case once it broke and Mirah was in touch with Michelle as well as with Travis' grandmother.The first thing we did was to organize a candlelight vigil outside the Steinberg apartment that got lots of media coverage. I am just sorry that Nussbaum got no jail time and Steinberg did not spend the rest of his life in jail for the brutal murder of an innocent child

    Certainly in some cases where the original parents had serious ongoing problems that led to surrender, they would not be able to take back the child, but it seems to me that option should be eliminated before seeking others to take him.

    Another thing I wonder about though, can open adoption really work or be to the child's advantage with seriously dysfunctional birthparents, and in cases where the mother is healthy enough to participate fully in an open adoption, why is she not able to keep her child and getting help to overcome temporary obstacles to taking her baby home? I do fear open adoption is being oversold as a panacea when it only works well in some cases where all the conditions are perfect, which is seldom the case.

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    1. Yes, Maryanne there is a paradox. How can a mother be healthy enough to participate in a fully open adoption but unable to keep her child? Once a child gets into CPS's clutches it can be very difficult if not impossible for a mother to get her child back. Promised services are not provided, social workers manipulate the mother, particularly if the child is "adoptable." States get bonuses from the federal government for every adoption they do. A mother, not wanting a drawn out court battle where her legal representation may be marginal at best, gives up and gets what she can, i.e. "designated parenting time." In the case I described in my post, the mother is in danger of losing that.

      There's an excellent article in the February 1 issue of the New Yorker on the failing of CPS agencies to provide preventive services which would enable children to stay in safely in their own homes. Instead child welfare agencies take the kid and run or ignore horrible abuse. States go through cycles of foster care, family preservation, foster care, family preservation, etc.

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  5. No matter which way CPS leans, too soon to remove children from biological parents and into abusive foster homes, or too eager to preserve families at all cost where children are in danger from bio relatives, it is the children who lose and in some cases die, due to abusive foster or adoptive parents, or abusive natural parents. At either extreme the system is self-perpetuating and blind; it does not really see people as individuals, just as pawns of whatever policy is politically correct at the moment. It is all quite depressing. The cycle goes on but nothing really gets better.

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    1. Everything you wrote about CPS, and the re-homing story Jane described in this blog post, are two of the best reasons for encouraging every mother who is able to keep her child. This is the best way to ensure that the child will be safe.

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  6. The more I know about adoption the less I think it is a good idea except in the most extreme cases of need, and then--leave that birth certificate alone! Another piece of paper can be substituted for legal custody and responsibility. If you are going to have a baby, choose to raise that baby.

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  7. Robin, yes, agree that if the birthfamily are normal decent people, even with some problems, the best way to keep the child safe is to keep the child with the mother, or in the family. There should be far fewer infant adoptions then there are today at the hands of high pressure coercive adoption providers.

    The one tragic exception, the extreme case, is when the natural parents have serious mental illness, chronic addictions, are abusive,or the whole natural family has multi-generational dysfunction, then the child is not safe with them and some kind of other secure arrangements to raise that child needs to be made. Keeping a child with biological relatives does not always guarantee the child's safety. That is where adoption is actually necessary. Like taking kids out of a home for trivial reasons, family preservation and giving natural parents too many chances to reform can also go too far with awful consequences.I agree with Lorraine that the birth certificate should stay the same, and a certificate of adoption be issued for legal custody and as legal ID.

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    1. Family preservation is much maligned but when done right, it is the best thing. Critics of family preservation often come from the adoption and substitute care industries. They point to a celebrated case in the media as a rational for "getting tough with mothers"; presuring decision makers to cut back on family preservation.

      The problem often is not giving the natural parents too many chances, it's child welfare workers who do not do their job. In some states these workers have no formal training; they're hired out of the clerical pool.

      In several recent scandals in Oregon involving both foster care and natural parents, the workers did not visit the home as often as they were supposed to. When they did visit, they didn't ask to see the children, taking the foster mother's word for it that the kids were doing well in a recent case. In fact, the kids were starving. Workers also ignored complaints from neighbors and teachers.

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    3. Without a doubt there are cases in which a child's original family environment is so toxic that it is in that child's best interest to be permanently removed from original family. In cases such as these, it is my opinion that foster care is rarely -- if ever -- the best option. In foster care, social services has legal custody of the child, and assumes ultimate responsibility for the child. Social services, as an adjunct of the state, is by definition impersonal and bureaucratic. With adoption, custody and responsibility for the child belong to the adoptive family. Foster families in the whole do not make the same kind of long term emotional commitment to the child's wellbeing as do well-chosen, informed and properly prepared adoptive families. Assured permanency within a healthily functional family environment is always the best option for children who need homes.

      It is surely possible to put emphasis on the importance of ‘family preservation’ while at the same time balancing it properly against what might -- with good reason -- be called ‘child rescue’ on the basis that it is the right and proper thing to do, rather than as a knee-jerk reaction against the (all too common) tragic cases reported in the media.

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    5. Foster care is appropriate in some circumstances, such as where the family situation is not dire and likely to be be only temporary. In such cases, all being well, a child should be able to return to his or her original home after not too long a period -- undoubtedly the best and most desirable outcome. Children deserve to grow up within their natural families if at all possible.

      However extended foster care is not appropriate to situations where there has been serious physical, psychological and/or sexual abuse - the kind of cases which in my previous comment I called toxic. Parents or carers of any description who wilfully abuse or seriously neglect children forfeit any legal rights (to those children) they may have had. Traumatized children have the best possibility for recovery when they are entirely removed from their original abusive environment and given a safe place in which to grow up. Following a life of chaos and abuse, security and permanence become increasingly important. This is not to say that adoption should deprive children of their original birth certificates and knowledge of their natural family, because, no question about it, those are civil and human rights. Nor is it to say that in every case where children have been removed for their own safety they should be denied contact with (or at least updates from or about) one or the other of their original parents. That's something that would depend on the reason why they'd been removed in the first place.

      Of course adoption is not a reproductive right. Adoption has nothing to do with reproduction. It is, or should be, the last recourse for a child who otherwise would not have a safe and secure home in which to grow up. Guardianship, like foster care, is appropriate to some situations. It is not to all.

      I have a friend who was in foster care from infancy until he was eighteen years old. He had six placements. He turned out great -- but in spite of, not because of, foster care. Resiliency, luck, talent all played a part. I also know of someone who endured thirteen placements. He said he was always the new kid in the school, and it left him in a constant state of mourning. The state does not make a good parent in the long term.

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  8. Jane, certainly untrained, incompetent social workers overburdened with too many cases and cutting corners in their work are a big part of the problem. What they are missing is abuse and neglect in foster homes,which is all too common, and in the homes of biological family who are under the scrutiny of CPS. It happens in all kinds of homes, and when children are left there, they are abused, neglected, and die. Family preservation done right includes knowing which families cannot be preserved without putting children in danger, as well as providing support and resources to those families who can be safely preserved. Neither foster, adoptive, nor biological parents should be given more chances if they are hurting children. Safety of children under care should always be the first priority, but often it is not, given whatever the current social work model is, rapid termination and adoption or family preservation at all costs.

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    1. Maryanne, no state does or has done "family preservation at all costs." That's a myth perpetuated by the adoption and substitute care industries to get kids into care and adopted. These industries toss around that phrase to scare people equating family preservation with condoning child abuse. These industries also emphasize the unimportance of blood ties, in fact suggesting these ties are a per se negative influence.

      Again I encourage our reader to read the material on the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform's website, nccpr.org.

      And yes, Kaisa, I agree with you. Adoption is rarely necessary. This is the guiding principle in western Europe and Australia which is why these countries have far fewer domestic adoptions than the US.

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    2. Maryanne, social workers are not only "missing abuse and neglect in foster homes and in the homes of biological families". Adoptive homes are just as likely to have issues of abuse and neglect. Please, let's not continue to give adoptive homes a "free pass" once adoptions are finalized. There needs to be some sort of assessment set up for adoptive homes as well. Adoptive homes are labeled "best interest of the child". If there is to be an adoption, then there needs to be a follow-up through the years. If that is offensive, how offensive it is to read of adoptees being abused and neglected, rehomed, discarded in boarding schools or juvenal facilities, or killed? How many of these tragic stories of children dying, or being abused, or rehomed sometimes into abusive homes could be prevented or avoided? Once again it seems to be the story of the sinners and the saints. How often are biological families vilified as the offensive abusive parent and no good in television programs? They seem to often come up short. The person or persons wanting to adopt are portrayed as almost as perfect as someone can get. Come on. How many, at reunion, found out their children had suffered abuse or severe neglect at the hands of the adoptive families? How many adoptees recount stories of abuse and neglect? and no one listens, no one hears. Why? What about the mental anguish and suffering of adoptees through the years? Is that not a form of abuse? I sure think so.

      I agree with Lorraine, Kaisa and Jane in this Feb. 14th thread.

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    3. Jane:

      Western Europe and Australia have lower adoption rate BUT more children in foster-care that age-out because their parents couldn't/wouldn't get it together. It's fact that "family preservation" comes at the cost of the child. Who is forced to grow-up/age-out of the system because their"parents" don't do enough to get them back.Also, adoption is necessary. Lot how many children are born exposed to drugs/alcohol, do you think their safe with parents that are junkies? Also, as Maryanne said, some families are just plain dysfunctional and NO member can take-care of the child. People will always have children but just because they can, doesn't mean their the right people to raise them.

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    4. To "this just hurts", see my further comment below: I do not give adoptive parents a free pass and am well aware of abuse in adoptive homes by cruel and/or mentally ill adoptive parents. My son had a mother like that. He did not call it abuse, but I do.

      Adoption is no guarantee that a child will not be abused, and adoptive parents should not be glorified. I suspect abuse is as common in adoptive homes as in biological families, and the present methods of screening prospective adopters do not really prevent abuse in the long run. Adoption is sometimes a better option for children already in dangerous situations with abusive biological families, but it is no guarantee abuse will not happen in the future in the adoptive home. Adoptive parents are prone to all the ills that other parents suffer, including substance abuse, mental illness, personality disorders, death, divorce, etc etc. I absolutely believe that unwed moms and other moms in situations that are truly temporary distress should be helped to keep their children. Adoption placements, especially of older kids from foster care, should continue to be monitored. Unnecessary adoptions should cease, but some will always be a lesser evil when children are in danger where they are, and where there are long-term serious problems, adoption is still a better option than long-term foster care.

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    5. According to an article forwarded o me by Evelyn Robinson of Australia, natural mother and author of several excellent books on adoption, officials in the UK are taking children from families under pretenses in order to feed the adoption trade.

      The number of kids in foster care doesn't tell you anything about whether adoption rates are too high or too low. Foster care placements depend as much on arbitrary policies as on the needs of children. The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 has resulted in more kids adopted but also more kids in foster care, and more kids awaiting adoption from foster care.

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    6. Maryanne wrote:"Unnecessary adoptions should cease, but some will always be a lesser evil when children are in danger where they are, and where there are long-term serious problems, adoption is still a better option than long-term foster care."

      I would agree with that.

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  9. Is it a myth perpetuated by the adoption industry that some children are abused and killed by biological relatives even when CPS has been called in and either returned or refused to remove the children? Are stories of such events as reported in the media all fictional "to scare people"? In an earlier comment you said "States go through cycles of foster care, family preservation, foster care, family preservation, etc. " That implies they go from one extreme to the other, not that family preservation at all costs has never been tried. Some adoptions are necessary, although many are not.

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    1. Of course kids are killed in their own homes. It's not "family preservation at all costs" to blame -- it's the incompetence and in some cases down right fraud on part of the adoption workers. The workers are leaving the kids in their dangerous homes or returning them to their dangerous homes because not because of some doctrinaire belief about family preservation but because they are understaffed or too lazy or too dishonest to take the appropriate steps to protect the children.

      Yes, state agencies go through cycles of family preservation and take the kids and run but the family preservation cycles never include family preservation at all costs.

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    2. OK, it is just "family preservation" as one end of the cycle that returns children to homes that are sometimes unfit and dangerous. We can drop the overly general "at all costs" and we are still left with a flawed policy implemented by incompetent social workers that endangers some children, and helps others where the biological relatives they are returned to are competent and non-violent. That is one end of the cycle. Mistakes are made, children suffer as much with a one size fits all family preservation policy as with a policy of rapid termination of parental rights for less serious issues that could have been resolved with help.But where there has been long term addiction and substance abuse, serious recurrent mental illness, previous physical and sexual abuse of children, at some point enough has to be enough. Childhood is short, children can not wait years for seriously impaired parents to get their shit together. Bouncing them back and forth between unfit natural parents and questionable foster care is not the answer.

      The other end of the cycle is placing children who should have been left with biological family in unsafe and abusive foster homes, with little or no supervision, all too common, also driven by a policy of rapid placement and termination, and implemented by the same incompetent, dishonest, and in most cases grossly overworked and underpaid social workers.

      The issues are compounded by willingness to let virtually anyone adopt hard to place bargain basement kids out of foster care, with no oversight at all once the adoption is final, another policy that leads to gross abuse and in some cases death of kids at the hands of their "forever family."

      There is no easy answer to any of this without a complete overhaul of our child welfare agencies and policies, and putting some real expertise and real government money towards keeping kids safe and in healthy families, however that is best accomplished in each individual case, whether family preservation, temporary safe foster care, or adoption with open records when the adoptee is an adult. Underlying the abuses of CPS are race and class issues and a lack of caring about children who are not a prime product for the adoption market like healthy white newborns, but are, as the children of the poor have always been, disposable.

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  10. The industry does dangle the open-adoption carrot and purposely fails to explain the details that the adoption is a contract that can be legally enforced in a court of law, but that the openness is only an AGREEMENT. Agreements are NOT enforceable in a court of law. They mean nothing except in the states that they are recognized (maybe a handful recognize them at this time). Then, even if the natural mother decides she wants to enforce the agreement.....she needs to a) find an adoption attorney who will take the case (seen by his/her peers as biting the hand that feeds them) b) need to have deep pockets as said attorney makes way more money doing adoptions rather than supporting natural families c) truly cosine how thesee actions will be detrimental to the future relationship from the adoptive parents side since they are the ones with all the power and who can continually force her back to court and render her penniless - if she wasn't already

    Basically, the point I'm trying to make is that.....it isn't good. It isn't better. It isn't a carrot to be dangled, but all of this never gets explained. Also, in most cases open is described in what is actually a 'semi-closed' state. You get pictures, maybe a visit, but you go through the agency....you don't know their last name, where they live, or their phone number.
    Deceit. Withheld information and even outright lies are used to persuasively coerce mothers today.

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    1. I agree with everything wsbirthmom has said here. This is how unscrupulous adoption providers use open adoption to lure in mothers with crisis pregnancies, making it sound like there are legal guarantees in open adoption agreements when there are none, and downplaying the fact that the mother loses all legal rights to the child when she signs a surrender, open adoption or closed. She is literally at the mercy of "the kindness of strangers" who are often not very kind nor very honest and pretend to be her friend to get the baby, then cut it all off shortly thereafter. There are some open adoptions that continue to work, but they may be the exception rather than the rule, and any mother entering into an open adoption needs to know the hard cruel facts before signing anything. This is where Saving Our Sisters is providing a service for mothers considering surrender and dealing with agencies that are not being straight with them.

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    2. Ws & Maryanne: I don't know? Adoption is adoption be it open or close, so how can a woman think other wise ( as OA's being cohesive)? When you (general) are giving up the responsibility of raising your child to someone else, when you sign the TPR, you know you will no longer be responsible for the welfare of the child and have no rights. There's no difference in an OA except you get to pick the parents. I never understood how a woman could say that she was deceived when she knew she was signing away her parental rights? Yes, I get the fact that aparents closed adoptions after promising visits ( which is wrong if there were no other factors in them closing it), but adoption is adoption and women who sign those papers know what it means. Coincidentally, I am against enforceable OA's with visits because the aparents are the parents and it's they're parental right to decide who comes in contact with their child. I have read some stories about boundaries being overstepped and what not, and how the aparents are torn when deciding if they should scale back or discontinue visits because of boundaries. It's a tough call, but as the parents, they do have the right to make that call and no court in America would rule against that.

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  11. Amina, some of the younger birthmoms this has actually happened to can can answer better than I can about being deceived about what open adoption meant, and I hope they will also answer you. The fact is that many adoption agencies and entrepreneurs today DO NOT tell mothers that when they sign a TPR they lose all parental rights, and many ignorant young girls expecting adoption agencies to act in their best interest do not know that. It may not be explicitly stated, but moms are led to believe that open adoption means extensive contact with their child and a place in his life as beloved birthmom. Pictures speak louder than words. I invite you to look at some agency websites offering open adoptions and see what you think. Even the best of them are full of pictures of happy adoptive couples with their baby AND "their" birthmother, in the hospital, at birthday parties and picnics, just one big happy extended family forever. Mothers are led to believe that since they are signing a legal-sounding agreement, that it is legally binding from both sides. They do not find out until after the fact it is not worth the paper it is written on.

    Add to this the problem of pre-birth matching of prospective adopters and pregnant moms, and you have love bombing and in some cases financial support of the desperate mom, leaving her emotionally indebted to give her child to that "wonderful couple" who have been so good to her and so want a child. And of course they will continue to want her in their lives. Until they do not. And as legal parents, they do have that right. Some mothers also cut contact, finding it too painful to see their child grow up with other parents, sometimes with a lifestyle they do not like but cannot say anything about. None of the downside of open adoption is presented to pregnant mother by many agencies, just the supposed benefits to all, with a few sappy words about grief, but how brave and noble birthmoms work through that.

    I would be all for the brutal facts of what surrendering a child really means be presented to every mother considering surrender, open or closed. You are giving up ALL parental rights. You are legally NOTHING to that child. All else is conjecture and all too often lies. I also think the idea of enforced visits is problematic, agree with you on that piece. What cannot be guaranteed should not be promised to anyone. It also has the potential of putting young children under pressure to please ALL the parents, too much for a kid to handle in many cases. Before you assume that all surrendering mothers know what they are getting into with an open adoption, pretend you are young pregnant mom who does not know what to do and go visit lots of open adoption agency websites. I think you may be surprised.

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    1. Maryanne: I've read the website and also have read websites of surrendering mothers, and for the life of me, I still can't see how a woman doesn't know that adoption, be it open or close, means the severing of parental rights, which means you have no rights? I've also read that many of today's bmoms are aparenting children already when they place, so how can they not know what adoption means,and that you have no rights to the child ( promises or not) once you ( general) sign those papers. I think there's a lot of regret and misplaced anger once reality hits home and they realize OA isn't co-parenting or shared joint-custody.

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    2. Amina, if you do not understand how mothers in a crisis pregnancy can be conned and coerced by an adoption agency, I guess you have never been in that position. It is a position of weakness and desperation, not of strength and confidence in one's own abilities and resources. It is a situation where the distressed pregnant mother does not think of herself as the expert,fully in command of her own life, but turns to others who are supposed to help her, trusts and believes what they tell her. All to often, what they tell her is that adoption is the loving option, and that keeping the child is selfish. They are given impossibly perfect profiles of couples wishing to adopt, and told to compare themselves and their resources to these affluent, older, professional people with a big beautiful house, lots of money, lovable pets, who only need a baby to complete the perfect picture. Yes, in some cases there is "regret and misplaced anger". But there is also a lot of totally justified anger at being coerced, used, and cast aside by those who were supposed to care and provide real options, not a one-way trip to surrender.

      My own experience with an agency, over 40 years ago when there were only closed adoptions, is that they were clear that once you signed a surrender, that was the end, even though legally in those days mothers supposedly had 6 months to change their minds. I do not know any mother from that era who was ever told that. In my case, since I would not even discuss adoption before my son was born, I was persuaded to place my child in foster care, but the legal ramifications of this were never explained to me, and I swear I did not know what trying to get my baby our of foster care would involve. I was a young college student unwed mother, my child was not taken by the state, he was never in any danger, but once I signed papers before he was born that he was to go straight into foster care, we were doomed as a family. Eventually I did literally give up and surrender. To put it simply, I did not know my rights and nobody explained them to me from that agency that was supposed to have my interests and those of my child at heart.

      Today things are even worse for naive young moms, and even for slightly older moms where the child is not their first and poverty and lack of services are the main issue.It is not just sour grapes on the part of mothers who were told that open adoption agreements were legally binding, and that open adoption was the next best thing to raising their child, and not like the "bad old days" of closed adoption. It is not just imaginations that agencies promised services to open adoption moms that they never delivered once the adoption was final, and they no longer wanted to hear about the surrendering mom's problems or that the adoption had closed. You have said some good things here, Amina, but do not presume to speak about what you do not really know.

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    3. "Amina" must be an infertile adopter vulture who lied to a vulnerable pregnant woman to coerce her out of her child. That fake piece of paper birth certificate you hold doesn't mean anything. Also, that child you covet does not see a mother when he/ she looks in your face (because you look nothing like them and because you AREN'T really their mother!)

      Piss off, witch.

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  12. I totally disagree with Robin concerning open adoption. Yes, that system still has many problems but as an adoptee I would of rather been raised in open vs. closed because at least there would of been some hope of knowing who my real parents were. Granted it hurts, to see your mom when she gave you up for adoption but I would rather of dealt with that than the madness caused by not knowing who my parents are. My adoptive mother abused me so much though that if there had been open adoption back then she never would of agreed with it. I think she loved having all the control over me and getting away with the hell she inflicted on me, which she has. Child abusers LOVE closed adoption so no one can interfere with their sinister agenda.

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    1. Anon,
      You misunderstood what I wrote. I never advocated for a totally closed adoption where the adoptee has no idea who his or her natural parents are. As a matter of fact, I wrote: "While I can hardly support a totally closed adoption where the adoptive parents get to think they are the child's only parents...."

      In my case, knowing the personalities of both of my mothers, it would not have worked. I would not have wanted to be put in the middle, as I would have been, and it would have been too painful for me to have my natural mother occasionally visit (or not) while seeing my siblings (all bio-kids) get to live with their natural parents. I believe I would have wanted to leave and go live with my bio-family but that would not have been possible.

      Also, very sad to say, but as this post demonstrates, and others had found out, it is a simple matter for adoptive parents to close a previously agreed upon open adoption. And, tragically, in such a case, abuse can still happen.

      I am so sorry for what you went through. Yes, the premise that adoptive parents are always wonderful because they want a child so badly and have to wait so long is a crock of sh*t.

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    2. Anonymous, please choose a name. Please read the instructions for comments.

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  13. I also wanted to say that I can't believe and I am furious that rehoming is not illegal but on the opposite note I think both fostering and adoption should be illegal. We need Guardianship as the only option if a woman and her whole entire family and the father of the baby and his whole entire family (eyeroll) could not care for the child. Guardianship should always include the names of the child's parents given to the child however, with visitation.

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    1. There actually are children who have no one on either side of the family who is capable or willing to raise them. I can't agree with these comments that talk about fostering or guardianship. I wanted a family and a home, not foster parents or guardians. It is unnecessary adoption and expectant mothers in crisis being fed a load of crap that denies so much of the reality about adoption that I object to.

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    2. That's right Robin, some whole families are unable or uwilling to raise a child, and foster parenting and guardianship are not replacements for adoption; they are different methods of providing care for children in need, as are institutions like group homes, not suitable for all cases. Adoption provides permanence and legal stability of belonging to a family. If guardianship has all the legal protections of adoption, then it IS adoption by another name. If surrendering parents retain parental rights, then it is something else, and often less secure for the child. Most mothers healthy enough to be is some kind of open arrangement with frequent visits are probably healthy enough to keep their babies, given proper temporary help to get over temporary obstacles.

      What needs to change in adoption is what you said, none that are not truly necessary, no lying and coercion to expectant mothers, and fully open records for adoptees, in some cases with some form of open adoption, in others, exchange of information only, but full access to records and identity to every adopted adult who requests them.

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    3. Nothing will change until advocates for change become involved in the political process. Learn the laws of your state, work with like-minded reformists to develop legislation, ask your legislator to introduce a bill, and lobby for its passage.

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    4. maryanne said: "Adoption provides permanence and legal stability of belonging to a family."

      Except when it doesn't. Adoptees are re-homed (legally or not), sent away to schools for "troubled children" or, in some cases, simply abandoned/kicked out by a-parents when the kids reach the age of majority. Sometimes before -- remember the boy whose "mother" decided she couldn't handle him anymore and put him on a plane, alone, back to Russia?

      I can cite numerous instances when adoptees were deliberately disinherited, while bio kids were not.

      If an adoptee is lucky enough to end up in a good family, it can be wonderful. But for far too many of us, adoption is simply hell.

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    5. Kaye, no argument with what you say here. The reality of adoptee lives sometimes does not match the legal theory of permanence. My son inherited nothing from the adoptive parents, their bio daughter had ripped off most of it before the mother finally died and got whatever was left. He has nothing to do with her. He did not want anything from them either. He is in my will and my husband's who is not his bio father but we are both grandpa and grandma to his kids. His adoptive mother can rot in hell in my opinion, but at least his father was decent but died when my son was 21 and everything went to his wife.

      Re-homing should be outlawed, as well as those awful ranches for "troubled" kids that are often full of discarded adoptees. Adoption is only better than foster care or guardianship in terms of stability for the child in the bare legal sense, but if the home is not a good one and the adoptive parents are crazy or uncaring, it can be hell. Calling it guardianship would not make it better if the guardians were the same lousy people. I do not think anyone would want the kind of life that kids who age out of foster care get, nor the kind of life that abused and neglected kids get in some crappy adoptive homes. There needs to be much more stringent screening of prospective adopters, and many fewer adoptions by people with unrealistic expectations who should never be parents.

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  14. Lol,@ what Amina said:
    "Coincidentally, I am against enforceable OA's with visits because the aparents are the parents and it's they're parental right to decide who comes in contact with their child. I have read some stories about boundaries being overstepped and what not, and how the aparents are torn when deciding if they should scale back or discontinue visits because of boundaries. It's a tough call, but as the parents, they do have the right to make that call and no court in America would rule against that"
    I would like to know why no one ever thinks what would the child want? Why don't adoptive parents or the court system ever feel that in their hearts? As an adoptee I find it repulsive how selfish these adults are. The child SHOULD BE ASKED. This should be done according to what the child wants, after all isn't THAT in the best interest of the child? Adoption is so selfish to us, so immature, so emotionally unhealthy it goes beyond words. And yours didn't help much either Amina.

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    1. Anon: What if the child doesn't want it? Or what if it's too painful to see the kept children your bmom had before you when she come's to visit? I'm all for semi-open because it allows the child to decide if they want a relationship with the bio-family and it keeps the lines of communication open.

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    2. You know Amina, you and your boundaries crap. Most "birthmothers" have been coerced into and broken down to give their babies away. They didn't want to, even in this day and age of open adoption rainbows and unicorn happy wappy bullshit. What if? what if? what if the child wants to see her parents when she is older when maybe once she said no (possibly due to psycho stares and boo-hooing from her control freak adoptive mother). Should the deal been written in stone that she couldn't see them now that she wants to? Again, adoption is a disadvantage for adoptees. We are the little match girls and the adoptive parents are the tyrannical spoiled brat kings and queens. Some life. You and Tiffany really piss me off you know that? Eh.

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    4. Anon@ 2/17@10:33am:

      You sound like a birth mom who thought OA meant co-parenting or, better yet, free babysitting? OA is just that-adoption and you ( general) have NO rights after you sign those papers( and rightfully so. What did you think? That you could have your cake and ice cream too when it comes to parenting?

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  15. There's a lot here in the comments... it's interesting to read through and see so many different perspectives. I will only comment on the guardianship angle- I've only encountered adoptees online who want that to be the option instead of adoption. My friends who are adoptees are horrified by the concept, and feel that that means belonging to no family instead of belonging to two families. I personally think that it is evidence of the caution we all need to have that people, especially adoptees, have their own personal takes on this that is heavily influenced by their experiences. It's easy to make blanket statements, but blanket statements don't take into account individual needs.

    My other comment in regards to your post, Jane, is that another thing that parents do not think about is the deaths of the APs and what happens to the adopted child in that circumstance, and the open adoption agreement. This isn't something I have read talked about anywhere. We have in our will/trust that our open adoption agreement will continue in the event of our deaths. Our guardians are aware of the importance of this to us and our daughter, and contact info has been shared all around (including sent to my daughter's other parents) and put in the will. No one likes to think about these things, but they happen, and then it's too late.

    This whole rehoming thing should be illegal, also. I don't understand how adoption has to go through official channels, but this can just happen in the dark of night. It's really quite disturbing to me.

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    1. So you and the rest of you actually think being adopted means you are in or part of a family? Rotflmao. Adoptive families are FAKE families. They are not real, and no adoptee is a part of anything but lies, control, manipulation and deception at our disadvantage. It is better not to have to endure all that BS because with guardianship at least the adoptee is in REALITY, knowing their real mother and father, are their only parents and not forced into insane role playing which makes us feel like a monkey in a cage or a dog on a leash. With guardianship an adoptee gets the control we deserve. So many adoptees and first mothers talk about the phoniness of adoption, so these comments blow my mind, due to the hypocrisy of them. They contradict everything bloggers have written for years on this maddening subject. Adoption was designed for infertile couples and greedy entrepreneurs, not for children. Family preservation only has a shot if it lies outside the bounds of closed and open adoption, and guardianship is the only way that could happen. It kind of makes my stomach hurt that none of you see that, especially when all of you do see all the pain and trauma adoption has caused for decades.

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    2. Being adopted would not be "fake" if the original OBCs weren't amended to say that the adopters were the actual parents, and the "real" parents (barring those who were proven to have been severely abusive) were able to have some variant of openness in the arrangement.


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    3. Anon@2/17:7:54 am:

      If the aparents are "fake" then why aren't the bparents raising the child? Think about it, if the bmom wasn't force ( like during the BSE when her parents were behind forced adoptions), then why aren't today's bparents raising their children? Because many don't want to!

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    4. Amina, It sounds like you are here to be angry and just argue with everyone. Perhaps another venue would suit you better.

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    5. Amina, I think you are an AP? If that is true, I am going to give some unsolicited advice: adoption isn't about you. So don't take it all so personally when first moms and adoptees vent about their frustrations with the system, especially those who had a horrible experience. They are the ones who have to live with it. My daughter has to live with it. My daughter's parents have to live with it. I have to understand and support their feelings because I am the least impacted.

      Most especially don't take it all so personally when you are visiting a blog specifically created by and for first mothers to "share news and opinions. And vent." Just step back and take the opportunity to listen to those who represent people most impacted by adoption. Just my two cents.

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  16. Why is there an assumption that adoption has to mean sealed records and the adoptee never knowing their heritage or having the chance to meet biological relatives? That is what most adoptees today have grown up with, but who has decreed that this is the only way it can be and still be adoption, not foster care or guardianship? Why can't we have adoption that respects both the adoptee's biological heritage and their adoptive family's contribution to their life? Many have suggested replacing the amended birth certificate, which is the big lie in adoption,with retaining the OBC with the original name as certificate of birth, and adding a certificate of adoption as legal ID.

    Also, why must adoptions be construed as either fully open with frequent visitation, or sealed and closed? I do not believe that mandate that all adoptions be fully open with contact is a realistic goal. Why not envision adoptions with varying degrees of contact and exchange of information, depending on individual situations, with open records for adult adoptees always guaranteed as a civil and human right? I think that in a world where there were no adoptions that were not necessary, there would be very few fully open adoptions with visitation, because the moms who could fully participate in a healthy way would be keeping their babies and never get involved in adoption at all.

    Adoption should be a last resort for parents that are truly unfit and will remain that way long-term, and for those few who, after being offered real options, really do not want to raise a child. Those who feel that way and those who are unfit need to understand that all their rights to that child are gone with termination, and not be offered pie in the sky hopes of visits and continued contact, unless the child, when he or she is old enough to understand the situation, really wants it.

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    1. Very few women actually do not want children--I think it holds steady from generation to generation at something like 6%. After accounting for all those who would have successfully prevented pregnancy, the number of women who do not want to raise a child would be very, very small, and the number who should not, perhaps slightly larger. I agree that with such a small but defined group, the need for open adoption would probably be pretty minimal too. This should not prevent any child from having all of his or her information or legal adults from calling whomever they wish "family."

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  17. While we're on the subject of abuse in adoptive families, here is another tragic and very current story of a boy who did not survive being adopted. Anyone who gives a child up for adoption cannot be assured of where s/he will go or what will happen to him.

    Texas shooting called double murder, attempted suicide

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    1. Well, I think you are overstating the case somewhat. In reality, no one ever knows what the future will hold but adults are still entitled to make decisions that are the best ones for them, whether or not other people like it.

      Coincidentally, a Canadian researcher recently looked into the subject of filicide (killing of a child under the age of 18) by poring over Statistics Canada data from 1961 to 2011 and concluded that most of the accused were the biological parents. This in no way diminishes the awfulness of the case or the fact that several adopted children have been killed by their a-parents.

      I do wonder about this adoption. It doesn't seem typical as the mother was old enough to be the child's grandmother, which vaguely made me wonder if it was a kinship adoption. In any case, by all accounts, their relationship was a good one and the husband was the cause of the tragedy.

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    2. Jess, this bald statement "most of the accused were the biological parents" does not indicate that if this was the statistical conclusion. Since way more children are not adopted, but raised by their biological parents, this makes sense in terms of gross numbers. Clarify?

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    3. Yes, I was quoting from a summary, Lorraine. I too paused at the word but I am not sure that in this case it is disguising or distorting anything. I would have to get hold of the study itself.

      What it does suggest is that children may be at risk in different kinds of circumstances. For example, when step-children were killed, nine out of ten accused were step-fathers. (Again, the summary used the word "accused.") So there you have within a certain parenting situation a risk associated with gender, it seems, with respect to filicide.

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    4. The purpose of adoption as marketed by its practitioners, social workers, attorneys, adoption agencies, is to ensure the child of a better life. The crapshoot of who a child is born to is not in the same category as a purposeful, volitional act to place a child in a family other than the one s/he was born into in order to improve his life. For that reason, I find arguments that bio-parents also abuse or murder their offspring to be a red herring.

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  18. Actually, Amina, you sound as if you are an angry adoptive parent who is upset/pissed off with open adoption for your own reasons, perhaps children you have adopted with one of those "semi-open" agreements that you wish to slam shut. This is not the forum for you.

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  19. Lisa-adoption will always be fake. A mother was always what a mother meant BEFORE adoption ever existed. A mother means the woman who carries for 9 months and gives birth to the baby inside her. NO other woman was ever called that word pertaining to the baby because only one woman could be that and every person alive only has one mother. A mother also meant raising that baby, no matter how much money was available to her, no matter if she was a widow. Female strangers off the street who have nothing to do with conceiving and birthing an infant were only called mothers after adoption started and they paid the fee for that tittle. Adoptees are supposed to feel these strangers are as important as our mothers (which they are not) because we were bought by them. That is called NOT being in reality. Yup, adoption is fake and always will be but the resentment, frustration and pain adoptive mothers cause us will always be real. Incidentally mental health professionals and others are conducted many studies that concluded that many infertile women develop a schizophrenic type condition due to infertility and a ton of them have drinking problems. That makes most of them unfit to be around kids anyway and why they so easily can delude themselves with all the adoption agenda crap.
    http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/07/03/fertility-problems-increase-risk-for-mental-disorders/41093.html

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    1. Actually, it's the other way around. Schizophrenia is associated with impaired fertility. It is unlikely that the infertile "develop" schizophrenia because of infertility--more likely that the woman is going to develop schizophrenia anyway, since there is a genetic factor. The study simply identified more hospitalizations for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, in other words, the disease manifested itself. By the way, schizophrenia does not automatically make anyone unfit to be around children. There are plenty of people with schizophrenia who take medication and are good parents. Some of the other things you said are just plain offensive.

      Another study says women with schizophrenia are now having more children because the second-generation antipsychotic drugs don't interfere with conception as much as older medications.

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    3. @AnonymousFebruary 18, 2016 at 1:35 PM
      The OBC is a factual document which states the truth about a person's natural parentage, insofar as it is known. When an adopted person retains their OBC and grows up in the knowledge of, and with access to, their family of origin, adoption is not fake. It is a legally binding custodial arrangement. No deceit. No fakery. The OBC is the ultimate reality check in adoption. As Maryanne said, there is no good reason for adoption to include secrets and sealed records. The identity can be known to the adoptive parents and to the adoptee, and in most cases the original parents can have contact.

      For your interest -- and you may already know this, but just in case you don't, French law includes two types of adoption; one is "adoption simple" which is closer to what North Americans call guardianship, but not the same. A child retains some legal connection with its family of birth, and the birth family continue to have certain obligations towards the child (Such as, as far as I can remember, should the adoptive parent cease to be able to care for the child, the birth parents have some legal responsibility. Also, the child may inherit from both families). The other type of adoption under French law is "plenary adoption" which is more like the North American model in that all links to the original family are severed, I think some South American countries have similar laws to the French.

      Incidentally, in the late Victorian era, my husband's grandmother was adopted into a family called Scrivener. We don't have the documents so it may have been closer to a wardship, although she did use their surname throughout her life and is recorded on the parish register (marriage certificate) under that name. She considered the Scriveners as her mother and father and loved them accordingly. In the absence of her natural parents they filled that role, but she always knew they were not her biological family. Nothing fake about that. So certainly there are alternate legal arrangements that can be made for children who would otherwise not have families. Some are more flexible, some more secure and permanent, depending on the particular nature and the need.

      Your comments about schizophrenia and mental illness are clearly intended to hurt and offend. As Kaisa rightly says, it is untrue that many studies have concluded that many women develop schizophrenia as a result of infertility. There is a strong genetic component to schizophrenia and as somone else commented, women who develop the illness after being diagnosed as infertile might have done so anyway. Also, a recent study indicates that fertility rates are on the rise among women with schizophrenia,
      http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca/feature-articles/feature-articles/fertility-rates-are-rising-in-women-with-schizophrenia
      to the point that they are hardly less fertile than women in the general population. It also gives reasons why this seems to be the case. The same study concludes by saying women with schizophrenia can, with proper care and the treatment they deserve, be good mothers.

      Excuse me now while I go and get another glass of wine ;-)

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  20. Re the study about infertility: "Danish researchers have found women who remained childless after their first work-up for infertility...
    They went for a workup--which is rather a big deal physically, as I understand it, because they wanted children...so they were disappointed. They were not women who simply did not have children.

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  21. Kaisa Gwendolyn, why are you laughing at me? All adoptees are the little match girl when it comes to rights. And all adoptive parents are the kings and queens. They get to buy all the power(which they don't deserve). (The following is a general statement and not said just to KG). I am over 40 and still do not know the truth about my real parents and it is to the point now I want to punch someone in the nose, I am so pissed off and so sick of this crap. Maybe that is the problem,, none of us give them what they deserve, arrogant ap's, social workers, adoption agency employees and so on. Maybe if we beat the hell out of them like they deserve they'd finally take us seriously. Sitting around bitching and blogging doesn't seem to do a lot of good.

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  22. Anon--I agree that the slowness of the legislatures to change the laws is inexcusable, reprehensible, and I have always thought that a really dramatic action that most would condemn would make people take notice and effect change. Sit-ins, marches, Black Panthers--they moved the Civil Rights Movement forward. I have often thought that a break-in to some state's records files --to steal original birth certificates--would get a lot of attention and maybe make some legislators move.

    I am not adopted so I have always had no questions about my heritage. But I have been working for unsealing the damn OBC's for more than half my life--and I am in the Seventies! Along with other women, I have been advocating for this since the mid-Seventies! So many of us share your frustration. Blogging does turn people on, as well as provide validation for those hurt by adoption, so it does good.

    But how many are writing, lobbying their legislatures, educating others, talking about this more critical facet of their lives? Too many are afraid to speak up--mothers are in the closet, adoptees don't want to rock the boat--so we get situations like the adoptive mother in Texas who seemingly single-handedly was able to block a bill. In New York we have same situation--Helene Weinstein, who has done the same. After the death of a recent friend who turned out to be a natural mother in hiding--she would go bananas over unsealing the records, we had epic battles, etc.--I now believe that Weinstein herself had a child and is in deep denial of what that did to the individual, or she is protecting someone who is close to her.

    States are beginning to change their laws, but lord how long must we wait?

    Maybe it is time for some sort of attention -grabbing action!!

    On another note: PLEASE USE THE NAME/URL FUNCTION WHEN YOU POST. You do not need to enter a URL.

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  23. Lets punch them in the noseFebruary 19, 2016 at 10:04 AM

    How about that for a name Lorraine? (lol). I have tried talking to elected officials and they say they will look into it, consider it, etc and then nothing ever happens. It is a proven historical fact that violence is the ONLY effective way to end oppression. The blacks got violent, the indians fought also for a long time. I agree with you. I think it is time to overtake a vital stats office, or walk into an adoption agency and just start taking our info, and if the case workers get in the way, then kick them, hit them, who cares. The hell with them. There are those who say violence is the wrong way, but THEY are violent to us, sealing records is a barbaric act and so is grabbing someone's baby from them. So many adoptive parents are violent against us as many adoptees have been horribly abused, sexually many times too which is the most violent act against a child there is. Social workers are also violent, the way they grab children kicking and screaming away from their parents and shove them into a car. The list goes on and on. I have heard of single mothers tied to beds in maternity homes and given thorizine so they can't fight back. Also violent. All of us have to stop being doormats and victims because they started this war against us first I think it is way beyond time to change the way we protest and I would happy to throw the first punch. Damn it would feel so good! Beating them up would be the best therapy for all of us! It would show all of them they can't push us around anymore the shitheads. Anybody else with me?

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  24. No, am not with you if you are advocating violence. Against whom? Random adoptive parents? Social workers? This is not funny, it is frightening. I hope you are not armed, whomever you are.

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  25. I doubt she is taking up arms but just expressing her anger. Which is justified.

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  26. Let's punch, I've been admiring your candor, and your rage is justified - although you now have more venom than rage. Rage is a positive thing, venom is calculated and destructive. That's you.

    You are spinning your wheels in attacking another FMF member personally. Your arguments are hollow. I won't even get started on Maryanne's history of being out there, in organizations, legislative houses and even the street, working to help adoptees and change the laws - for literally years. You are ignorant of all that. Yikes!

    To quote you above, "Sitting around bitching and blogging doesn't seem to do a lot of good," as you said to Kaisa. I also laughed at the same post by the way, as it was direct, candid and you said what you think. That's pure honesty, and it provokes a laugh as it is so rare to encounter.

    I think it's OK to express fantasies about beating and killing. There are several people in my life (my family and the father of my children) who I have wanted to stab, shoot, or kick, and I came very close to doing so on a few occasions. In my view they deserve it. The only thing that has stopped me is the reality of jail. I would remind you that you could make more progress on this issue, if you do not land yourself in jail.

    Why don't you lay off the "hypocrite honey" argument? It won't help you be heard, it does not clarify your points.

    Let's punch, you have a good sense of humor and I hope some of it will come through, and we can know you a little better. Perhaps there is more to you than a mad dog. Perhaps not. Up till now you've said some interesting things.

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  27. Lisa, you think as an adoptee I don't know what an OBC is? Lmao. You obviously don't get that we adoptees can't HAVE our OBC's even when we are adults. All we see is that FAKE amended birth certificate. And you are wrong about those studies, Infertility DOES cause women not only neurotic behavior but legitimate mental illness, mainly because they refuse to accept it. MY AP was NUTS and a drunk so I know all about this. Don't speak for we adoptees, you have no idea what we have been through and have to go through everyday, especially without knowing the truth about our own heritage. In my life it is about ME now, not immature self absorbed infertile women and if any truth I say hurts them, well, tough shit. They sure as hell don't care about hurting us (and natural moms).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You seem to be lumping schizophrenia with all
      neurotic behavior" and "legitimate mental illness." There are hundreds of specific diagnoses of mental illness. They have many different causes. Schizophrenia, referred to specifically above is not caused by infertility. I do believe that infertility can contribute to depression and anxiety, which is a completely different diagnosis than depression. An infertile woman would have to have several risk factors concurrently to develop any mental illness diagnosis.

      Delete
  28. Lets punch them in the nose.February 20, 2016 at 4:55 PM

    And btw, I am not saying I want to beat up, hit etc, adoptive parents, I am talking about physically taking our information from agencies, social workers, etc., even if it means we have to push and shove them to do it. It means NOT taking no for an answer. I would go to jail for that, would any of you or are you just a bunch of wimps who are to lazy to fight off the dragons and sit beyond a monitor shaking and whining? I think I know the answer to that question and that is why the records aren't going to open. Because people like you just scream out we are submissive, walk all over us, which is exactly what they are going to continue to do.

    ReplyDelete

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