' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Deported Parents May Lose their Children to Adoption. Who's surprised? We are not.

Lorraine
In the last couple of days, a heart-wrenching story about a little girl named Alexa who had been separated from her mother by U.S. immigration authorities at the border crossing into Texas has popped up. She was just two--28 months old--at the time she and her mother were separated; the mother says she was forced to sign away her rights to her daughter. More than a year would pass before Alexa was reunited with her mother. Adoption came into the picture--of course--through the notorious Bethany Christian Services who, not surprisingly, placed her with a couple who ultimately wanted to adopt Alexa.

This sounds like the same old story we've written about before: Separate a child from his or her mother, find a willing couple, and soon enough, the couple wants to keep the child permanently. It's an  old story.

In this case, the girl's natural mother, Araceli Ramos Bonilla, was back in El Salvador without her daughter within ten weeks of arriving at the

Sunday, September 23, 2018

So if Roe is overturned? What happens to women who give up a child? In contrast to women who have an abortion.

Dusky's jacket photo on Birthmark
1979 
What happens to a woman when she is coerced--by society or circumstance--to relinquish a child to adoption?

Even though I know a significant number of these women do not wish reunion, a fact that was foreign to me but I've heard from enough adoptees to accept its reality--let's look at the emotional damage that the act of losing a child this way leaves in its wake. I'm fearful that if Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate--and he may well be--Roe v. Wade is in serious trouble. He's called the right for a woman to control her own reproductive system "settled law," which sounds comforting, but as far as I know, he's never added that Roe was "correctly decided," which apparently is key. In fact, I think he's likely to be the pivotal fifth vote on the Supreme Court that would overturn Roe, and give Trump's base what they are so anxious to have: control of women's bodies.

So with Roe in jeopardy--and already had to get in seven states that only one one legal abortion clinic--let's examine what happens to women who lose a child via adoption.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Once again women's voices ignored as Kavanaugh goes slippen' and sliden' to the Supreme Court. SNAFU.

Dusky testifying at a NY legislative
 hearing on sealed records in 2014
This was going to be a blog only about what will happen to the women who end up with a forced pregnancy if Roe V. Wade is rolled back by the anti-women's rights judges Trump and the Republicans are sending to the Supreme Court. One more vote there and Roe is toast--just as Trump promised on the campaign trail. The blog in question was written more than a week ago when technical difficulties swallowed it. (I will get to that later.)

Life then intervened (related to the ankle issue, getting two new-to-us vehicles that do not aggravate said ankle, a local political commotion we are involved in, and finally, relatives visiting for the weekend which provided a welcome respite from the aforementioned political firestorm) and here I am. But so much has changed since then with the allegations of basically a fumbling, attempted rape by a drunken, 17-year-old Brett Kavanaugh. The incident occurred 36 years ago, and so there's not enough for a conviction, but his actions do speak to the character of the man who would be on our highest court.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The question that never goes away: Who do we tell we are first/birth mothers?

Lorraine
When do you tell strangers that you are mother of a child who was adopted--and then make them understand what you mean? That you are not the adoptive mother that statement might lead them to assume. You are the "other mother."

One would think that for me at least this question would be settled--after all, I wrote two books and more than three dozen magazine pieces, opeds, letters, etc. over the decades I've been involved in unsealing records for adoptees. So one might think I'd spill my story at any possible opening. Not so. Once in a while I meet someone who wants to know if I am "that Lorraine Dusky," and well, yes I am. Done and out.

But mostly I'm like everybody else, juggling this piece of information as a gauge what the response might me--mild

Friday, August 17, 2018

Review: Gus Van Sant's film about John Callahan doesn't shy away from adoption theme

John Callahan
Don't miss director and producer Gus Van Sant's new bio-pic about cartoonist John Callahan, Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot. A story of loss and redemption. Callahan's witty and sardonic cartoons were an armor to protect himself from the pain of two immutable disabilities, adoption as an infant, and quadriplegia when he was 21. He told everyone who would listen: "Here's the four things I know about my mother: She was unmarried, she was Irish American, she was a teacher, and she didn't want me.

Born in 1951 in Portland, Oregon, he was placed in a convent home, adopted a few months later, and raised in The Dalles, a small town 80 miles east of Portland. He never fit in with his adoptive family.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

A first/birth mother on opening the door to her child after secrecy ruled her life

A comment too good to leave as simply a comment that will be shared with more people if I make it a full post. It's too good to not share widely:

My family did not know that I had a child that I relinquished. My other children did not know. Very few of my closest friends knew. When the call came that my son was searching for me, I hesitated for an instant. And then I opened the door to this young man who carried a burden his entire life. He thought he was unwanted, unloved, and all alone in the world. He had parents who loved him dearly, gave him all that they had to offer but it still wasn't enough. I too carried a burden. A burden of regret and shame. An unbearable sense of loss. The best thing in my life has been to say "yes" to my first born. No matter what it has cost me, it has cost him more. I would encourage every first mother to say yes to your child. 
Amen. That about says it all, right? --lorraine 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Slate's "Prudence" gets adoption all wrong; advice columnist ignorant about adoption--again

Daniel Mallory Ortberg
aka Prudence
Daniel Mallory Ortberg, the 32-year-old child of evangelical pastors, spews advice under the name "Prudence" in Slate Magazine. His skill as a writer -- nothing more --qualifies him to dig into the human heart and mind, and thus he's an advice columnist at Slate. Ortberg is not married and has no children. He transitioned from female and says he identifies as queer but has dated women. Nonetheless, Ortberg, aka Prudence, has no problem telling a women who identifies herself as "What Do I Owe Her?" who had just been found by the daughter surrendered to adoption over 30 years earlier that  "you do not need to tell her anything and, in fact I'm inclined to think you shouldn't have any further communication with her." (Emphasis his)

What Do I Owe Her? explains that the daughter is the product of years of sexual abuse by her half brother. She says she feels nothing for the girl and doesn't want a relationship. She concludes with "I have told no one in my current life about my past. You are the only one I can tell."

Friday, July 27, 2018

Analysis: Three Identical Strangers separated at birth for a social experiment now in theaters!

"Disaster," "havoc,""pathology," "harmful" were words that peppered the language of a disgruntled, staunch opponent of unsealing the birth records of the adopted when I testified in favor of doing just that. The year was 1976, the place was the capital of New York, Albany, and the venue was a joint Senate-Assembly hearing titled: Sealed Adoption Records and Identity. I was there with Florence Fisher, founder of the Adoptees Liberty Movement Association, Betty Jean Lifton, and a few others.

When I'd spoken a few minutes before this old guy who used the language above, had made audible, disgusted noises that were heard throughout the chamber. Who was this rude asshole? Now that he was speaking, I learned he was the attorney, Shad Polier, representing the Louise Wise Agency in New York. And yes, one of the adoption agencies who were fighting unsealing records with an iron fist.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Megan's story: An adoptee fills in the pieces

Megan and Jane at the old Courthouse in Bloomington, Ill 2018
For adoptees in closed adoptions like my daughter Megan, life is a puzzle. "Where did I come from? How did I land here? In a recent blog post, Megan, referred to in FMF posts as Rebecca the name I gave her when she was born, tells of assembling the pieces of her origins. These pieces constitute the borders, the frame for our relationship. We're still filling in the middle.

After searching for over ten years, she connected with me in 1997 when she was 31. Despite an ecstatic beginning, our relationship like so many others--including Lorraine's with her daughter--has been rocky at times. Like other first mothers newly in reunion, I asked myself over and over "Where do I fit in? What does she want." "Not a new family," I was assured. She told me she needed "to know" but surely I told myself it had to be more than that.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Dear First Mother Forum: Should we adopt through Gladney?

Lorraine

Dear FMF: My husband and I are new to adoptions. We recently decided we want to adopt due to fertility issues. I met a lady at the airport recently who recommended Gladney. I decided to read reviews online before contacting them. I did see on their website they ask for payment for the babies on a Huge sliding scale. So my question is.... do the mothers get a majority of that money? It seems that the center gets paid for the Medicaid and welfare benefits of the mothers, so what happens with the $40,000 the adoptive parents pay? I have a problem paying that kind of money with these horrible stories especially if the mothers do not profit. Could you give me advice? xxxxxinbrazil@gmail.com

Thursday, July 12, 2018

PTSD--Everyone else can have it, but not birth first natural mothers

Lorraine
I love that the 13 people got out of the cave in Thailand. I love that they are all right, basically. But now on TV they are talking about how they boys will have PTSD. However first mothers are supposed to give up our children and not even talk about, yet it is a lifelong arrow to the heart that bleeds and bleeds....

Personally, if I tell someone my story in a single sentence, they immediately understand the pain involved, and that it must be a lifelong tragedy. It's just not supposed to be talked about because it is still shameful, no matter that there are "proud birth mothers," or that we have supposedly progressed as a open society. It is still understood as a terrible blot on the trajectory of one's life, no matter how the agency-speak gobbledygook tries to obfuscate and diminish the pain of losing a child to adoption.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Think all those separated children are going back to their natural mothers? Think again. Guatemalan woman lost her son in 2012

                                          David Stonner/Joplin Globe
Encarnacion Bail Romero with attorney Omar Riojas
Today's emails brought a link to the story of a Guatemalan woman--an illegal immigrant when she was taken into custody--who lost her child to adoption in the United States. It was a terrible, sad injustice done to her and her son when this occurred in 2012. I wrote several posts about the boy's journey from his mother,  Encarnacion Bail Romero to  adoption and the parents who fought her every step of the way, Seth and Melinda Moser of Carthage, Missouri.

Since America is in the middle of a large-scale problem of separating mothers and their children--one baby is reportedly nine months old!--the likelihood that all the

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Separating children from their mothers: the connection between Trump's immigration policy and adoption

Daughter Jane and Mother Lorraine after
reunion, 1982. We look happy there but
the trauma for both of us was indelible. 
I have been avoiding writing about the crisis of all the children being separated from their parents--fathers as well as mothers, but the likelihood that it is more mothers is a given--because the parallel to the separation of mother and child via adoption is so clear, and so heartbreaking, I haven't been able to really dive into it as I am recovering from surgery* earlier this week.

The public outcry over what Trump did by executive order seems to have stopped the continuing separation of families, but now the problem is: how to get them back together. Mothers and fathers do not even know where their children are. Horrific stories about the traumatized children are now burbling up from his well of beginning to burble up from the miasma of human grief that Always Lying Trump has wrought. (And he does--always lie.)

Well, take away Trump, and doesn't that sound like adoption? I write as a someone who entered into a closed adoption for my daughter, fully aware at the time that such a closed system--take a child, erase her

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Human rights going down again in New York; Sometimes anger is justified and this is one of those times!!!

Lorraine testifying in 2015
I am so f&^cking angry and upset. This is not a regular blog post but instead I want to tell you why I am so angry, Dear Reader.

Again it appears the 2018 legislative session will end in New York, and again we are getting shot down in New York--unless Joe Lentol, chair of the Codes Committee in the Assembly, is struck by thunder and enlightenment, unless the what's-in-it-for-me governor of New York, Cuomo, sees a political advantage in our bill over the next few days, our bill to end the tyranny of sealing original birth records of some people will again die.

It is a clean bill--no hide-behind-the-skirts of women in the closet bill; no, the bill, (A9959-B; and S-7631-B)) would give adopted people over 18 the right to their own birth certificates. That's all it would do. It wouldn't bomb anybody, cause panic in the streets, destroy the environment, cost an appreciable amount or anything at all,  but no, once again some people will lose out of the full freedoms that the rest of us know because we are: not adopted. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Review: "You Don't Look Adopted" rips away the fairy-tale image of adoption to reveal the painful truths of being adopted

Heffron's book at home
on my desk
Anne Heffron's searing memoir "You Don't Look Adopted" is not a book that I, a woman who relinquished a child, could read at one or two big gulps. Too painful. Way too painful. It's short--only 159 pages--but in those pages, Heffron plunges the depths of the long-term impact of being given up for adoption, and growing up in a new family, with such relentless pain in the prose that I had to do it in a long couple of weeks, a few pages a night.

For what Anne Heffron has wrought is nothing less than a full-blown indictment of taking a child away from their* natural mother--the one whose body has nurtured this being, the one whose DNA the baby shares--and sent it out into the world, tetherless, tied to no one. Despite the fact that Heffron was adopted by good people who she loved, nothing has ever overcome or diminished the deep sense of abandonment that courses through her veins and onto the printed page.

I thought I understood quite a lot about the pain of being given up and adopted, having spent the decades since I gave up my daughter in 1966 studying and learning and writing about adoption, but nothing prepared me for passages like this:

Monday, June 4, 2018

Writing to Gov.Cuomo about unsealing records--just do it!

Lorraine and daughter Jane, 1981
Sent today via the post office

June 9, 2018

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Dear. Gov. Cuomo:

When you were nine, I had a child in Rochester as an unmarried woman of 22. I felt I had no choice at the time but to give her up for adoption. I was horrified to learn during the process that she would never be able to have her original birth certificate, and that if I wanted to do a legal adoption in New York, I had to agree to take away her right to know who she is, who she was at birth, what her story is—for her entire life.

It wasn’t my birth certificate that I was sealing—it was hers and I was participating in this obviously unwarranted and unjust system of social engineering by making this unholy bargain with the state. The state and I were making a lifelong decision over a third party. I anguished over this but in the end had no real choice in that era and signed the relinquishment papers at North Haven Terrace—the euphemistic name for the adoption agency in 1966—and tried to put my life back together.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

An action alert for New Yorkers (or anyone) connected to adoption in any way!

Lorraine at a hearing on unsealing
records, 2015
THIS IS AN ACTION ALERT.  While the New York legislature is winding down, and again we have bills to do away with the archaic laws of the 1930s ending up in the dustbin, there is one bill that might have a chance of making even a small difference. A crack in the New York sealed door, you might call it. I refer to the bill that would allow adopted people to find their biological siblings (S2939). That ought to be a no-brainer, right? Why was this crucial information even denied adopted people in the first place? Because people have cockamamie ideas about the importance of knowing your roots and having a sane life. Because people who know their own roots, who are familiar with people who look and act like them, who do not question their biological place in the world, do not comprehend what it means to lack that. They do not understand or empathize the need for everyone to have the same comfort of true identity.

So this morning, I get an alert from Joyce Bahr of Unsealed Initiative to make a call to Sen. John Flanagan (518-455-2071) and ask that the adoptee-siblings bill (S2939) be moved to the Senate floor for a vote. Since I have been crusading on a sometime lonely soap box about unsealing the birth records of adopted people since the fucking Seventies, since I was forced to reluctantly agree to sealed records when I signed the relinquishment papers for my daughter, since sealed records are detrimental to the mental health of millions of adoptees, since they absolutely discriminate against all adopted people, I was in a fighting mood when I made the call.

So I dial 518-455-2071 and go into a short and heated rant about why at least bill S2939--the adoptee siblings bill--ought to be moved to the floor. I said I was a 75-year old birth mother who had been lobbying for this since the Seventies, had found and reunited with my own daughter, criticized the legislature for letting these open-records-for-adoptees bills die one after another, called sealed records emotional slavery--YES, I DID--said that we mothers should not be protected from our own children, that that was crazy!

Then said you can tell I am pretty passionate about this, and she said, I agree with you completely, I am an adoptee! and I will let the Senator know! SO MAKE THE DAMN CALL AND FEEL YOU HAVE DONE ONE THING TODAY FOR YOUR RIGHTS! Don't forget to give her your name and location. My own senator, Ken LaValle, has put his name to the bill. Action can have results! 

And after you make the call, have a nice long weekend everyone. 

 Sen. John Flanagan's office (518-455-2071). --lorraine

Friday, May 18, 2018

Queensland man believes his parents are Charles and Camilla

Lorraine
Along with the rest of the English-speaking world, let us now visit the British royal family while the Prince Harry/Meghan Markle wedding is tomorrow. Not only are there stories in the gossip magazines about who Harry's real father is--not Charles, but someone who has been close to Harry most of his life, and especially since Diana died. Former Welsh guard, Mark Dyer, took on many fatherly duties to Harry over the years. Photos of young Harry and Dyer show them together at sporting events; Harry was himself a groomsman in Dyer's wedding. Harry apparently introduced Meghan to Dyer soon after the engagement, and Dyer most definitely will be a guest at the wedding. As for the James Hewitt paternity story about Harry, that has been denied and debunked numerous times. Hewitt wasn't even around when Harry was conceived. We all know that Charles and Diana's marriage was rotten from the start. You never saw pictures of them being touchy-feely, the way Harry and Meghan are.

Personally, I think Dyer and Harry look enough alike to consider that they are connected genetically--beyond their shared red hair--as Harry really doesn't resemble Charles in any way we can see. But whatever the truth, the Crown sees Prince Charles as Harry's legitimate father and heir.  I love that Meghan is divorced and biracial and American and an avowed feminist and has an adorable rescue dog named Guy. Enough of that.

The story that has fascinated me as a first mother much more is that of Simon Charles Dorante-Day, an Australian man who was born in Portsmouth, England (in a hospital that did not normally do births), on April 5, 1966. He was adopted at 18 months by a couple whose parents were servants in one of their royal households. The couple moved to Australia, and mysteriously had plenty of money. He looks very much like a son of Charles and Camilla; one of his daughters resembles the Queen. Not only does he look like Charles, he also resembles a brother of Camilla--someone who would be his uncle.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Notice to adoptive parents: Your child is not a gift

Jane
I hoped I could go one Mother's Day without reading a piece by an adoptive mother expressing her gratitude to her adopted child's first mother for "the precious gift you gave me" and also insisting that giving up a child is a brave and loving act. No such luck. There it was on the first page of the Portland Oregonian's Opinion section "A message to my daughter's birth mother" by Ann Grimmer of Boring (that is the actual name of the town outside of Portland), Oregon.

The characterization of children as gifts given freely to deserving strangers is just nonsense. Children are not baubles to be passed around. It's wishful thinking on Grimmer’s part when she writes that the birth mother “made the decision that she [the daughter] was better off without you, better off with me, thousands of miles away.” If Grimmer had read even one book by an intercountry adoptee or an inquiring journalist, she would have known it is unlikely that the surrender was a voluntary, thoughtful decision.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Is Mother's Day the worst day of the year for both birth mothers and the adopted?

Lorraine
Here it comes again, Mother's Day, impossible to delete from the calendar or ignore totally because of the incessant ads that pop up everywhere, from the internet to the newspaper to the super bargains on the Today show that are just "perfect for mom." All if it reminds us of our own fractured motherhood. I've been through the gamut of emotions about Mother's Day, beginning when I did not know where my daughter was (call it a nightmare), and my own mother did not even know my daughter existed (no one to share the blues with), to those years after reunion when I tried to ignore the hoopla the week preceding the big day hoping she would remember me in some small way, but alas, she often did not. (A good day to dig in the garden.)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

What if our son's birth mother wants a relationship with him--but not us? Why mothers should be leery of 'open adoption' contracts

Lorraine and daughter, Jane, 1982
In a sign of the times, The New York Times ethics columnist Kwame Anthony Appiah is tackling adoption again, after a recent debacle in a column a few months ago.

This time, the subject is exactly what the first part of the headline reads, for that is the headline in the New York Times Magazine over his column as The Ethicist. The kicker in this adoption story is that the son in question is "about 25" and the contract was a deal which stated that the adoptive parents could somehow can control the adopted person's relationship with his natural mother up until he was 25. The contract stated that he could search--with the adoptive parents' permission--for his birth parents (mother and father) after he was 18, but not search for them without their permission until he was 25.

Clearly this was a so-called "open adoption" contract that relied completely on the agency staying in business, and that fire or flood or other natural disaster did not destroy any records that connected Mother A with Son B. The letter writer goes on to say that the birth mother somehow found the family's home address (quelle horreur!), wrote them and asked to open up the adoption further.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Arizona law forces parenthood on the unwilling

Three-day-old embryo--8 cells in toto, 
barely visible to the naked eye. At
implantation (between 5-8 days), an 
embryo is approximately one-
hundredth of an inch long.
A bill signed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on April 3 requires that frozen embryos go to the party who wants "to develop them" in the event of a dispute. In other words, the non-consenting partner is forced to become a parent, sort of. The law  provides that the unwilling parent would have no parental responsibilities and would not have to pay child support.

The bill was supported the Center for Arizona Policy, part of the anti-abortion Family Research Council. To tell the truth, the anti-abortion people drive me nuts. They love babies (or embryos) until they're born. Then it's "tough luck, parents" if they need some help raising the kids. Arizona won't even pay teachers and support staff a living wage--they rank 47 out of 59 in teachers' pay--and they are staged a one-day strike today.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Dear Mom~A wonderful, uplifting, emotional conference in Indy put on by Indiana Adoptee Network! Kudos to all!

From left; Jennifer Fahlsing, Suzanne Bachner, Lorraine Dusky
and Marcie Keithley at the IAN 2018 conference in Indianapolis,
Racing to Records, The Final Lap
Dear Mom~

Just back from a  conference in Indianapolis organized by the Indiana Adoptee Network where I talked about you in the keynote speech. I told everyone how understanding you were when I told you about Jane in 1974, six years after she was born. I can still see us in the restaurant--you picked the place--on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn. We ordered drinks and lunch and between the drinks and the time the food came I told you that I'd had a child and given her up for adoption and furthermore, I was going to be public about it. It was time somebody had to be public, and that was going to be me.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Facebook allows me to connect with my adoption tribe--mothers and adoptees, and some adoptive parents too

Corrected image--thanks to Facebook
Should I stay or go on Facebook has been on my mind recently as the revelations about the lack of privacy and the shared information about me that is whirling about the world. I run ads here and I see immediately ads for products that I looked up mere seconds earlier.

But to leave Facebook? Never. For people like us, with a particular tragedy in our lives that likely does not resonate with our neighbor, the connections Facebook provides have been an emotional lifeline. First mother or adoptee--and some adoptive mothers--we share an involvement in a life-changing experience, one that set us apart from the rest of humanity. We need each other. We gain from this ease of communication.

This morning I connected with a woman who found her biological father's family (he is deceased) and they all share a love of animals, in particular, dogs. As I do.  She happens not to live far from me, we met at a reading I gave at the local library, and she came back to my house for tea; but our connection this morning almost certainly would not have happened if not via Facebook.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

CT's Judiciary Committee passes open access bill for all adoptees; a good start but still a way to go

Just sent this off to the legislators in New York who support releasing sealed birth records: 


Lorraine
Dear Men of Good Will and Understanding Hearts: 

Connecticut's Judiciary Committee yesterday (4/4) passed a bill that will give all adoptees in the state access to their original birth certificates. The vote was 24-16, one absent. CT  has a crazy quilt of various laws that opened the records for some, kept older adoptees in the dark (supposedly protecting natural mothers like me). The purpose of this bill is to clean up the holes in the previous legislation which created a dual class of citizenship. The goal is of course to give all individuals the right to know their original heritage. 

NY continues to lag in this regard, as you all well know. Now nine states (Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas [never sealed], Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island) have unrestricted access to original birth records for all citizens, and another 20 have some sort of legislation that gives some adoptees some right to know who they were at birth. 

The sky has not fallen in any of these states, suicides have not gone up, abortions do not rise, life has gone on. New York is one of the backward states sitting on the wrong side of history, despite what I know are herculean efforts on your part to change that. 

When can we convince legislators to empathize with the adopted individual and not the man or woman who is a parent in the closet? Because that is the real problem. 


No one should be denied their ancestry because someone will be embarrassed. 

Lorraine Dusky
Relinquished a daughter in NY in 1966; reunited in 1981, grandmother of two. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

How adoption narratives encourage eternal separation of mother and child

Lorraine
Why do some reunions fail? Or never get started? So much has to do with how the adoptive parents have cleared the cobwebs away from the warm fuzzy feelings about adoption, and dealt with the idea of reunion as a positive that might occur someday. Others in the last two decades have participated in open adoptions, which began to be popularized slowly in the 1980s. My own daughter gave up a child in 1986, but even I could not convince her to have an open adoption. I believe it was because she was not strong enough to deal with the idea that by knowing who the parents were, she would still feel obligated to be involved. My daughter had a lot of physical and psychological issues due to her epilepsy, and I know she thought about suicide a great deal, so when she talked about her reasons later, I could understand. I'm getting off the track here because I wanted to dissect a piece about adoption that was forwarded to me today.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Why legislators balk when unsealing original birth certificates of the adopted

Access Connecticut is running into static with their bill that would fill a loophole of adoptees born before in that state born before October 1,1983. The problem? Legislators still "worried" about those birth mothers and families who will be put in a tizzy if mom's adopted-out child comes knocking. 

They are concerned that most of their testimony comes from adoptees. And secondly, from searching mothers who found their children. They need now to hear from found mothers and other found family members who were glad to reconnect with their blood kin who had been adopted out of the family. They want to hear from a siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles. I heard about this a few hours ago, and posted a call out on FMF's Facebook page and immediately found a few mothers who fit the bill, but--more is more, and more is better. So if you are a found mother, no matter where you reside--someone from Great Britain responded, and she's writing too--write and write immediately. Ask your family members if they will write a short note--two or three grafs is all it needs. Be succinct, and write from the heart. The bill is under the judiciary committee's microscope as I write, and so timing is of the essence. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Reconnecting with first mother after an emphatic shout: Don't Call Me Again!

Lorraine
What to do after a first mother gets an emphatic Get-Out-of-My-Life response from an adult child who was adopted, and then a decade later, hears that he is interested in communication, possibly a reunion?

Such a request for help came through FMF's Facebook page the other day, and  it's a story that is not unusual. I've heard from both adoptees who walked away abruptly and now, years later, wish to resume contact, and mothers who put aside any hope of contact to find that door opened. Now they are a tad dubious. If they say yes to reunion, will they be shut out again, and go through the same windfall of hurt emotions as before?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Write for Adoptee Rights! States considering legislation unsealing original birth certificates

Lorraine
It's that time of the year again when anyone who cares about giving the adopted the right to own their birth information to get to their keyboards and let legislators know your feelings! We've come a long way since all states but two had sealed up the original birth records of all adopted individuals, but there is still work to be done. 

Connecticut will have a public hearing tomorrow, March 9, 2018, on a bill that takes care of the adoptees in that state born before October 1,1983. Since 2014 adoptees born after that date had the right to their original birth certificates, but not those unlucky enough to be born before, which covers thousands of individuals. You don't have to have a CT connection to adoption to make your voice heard! You don't have to be brilliant to write a note and let your feelings be known! Just do it! 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The new adoption narrative: 'I love you so much I gave you away'

Lorraine
Have you seen the video of the woman who gave up her son in march of 2016? The handover is that day, and she videos her infant son telling him that she is making the video so that one day he will watch it and know that she loves him. She is weeping the whole 9 minutes and 36 seconds of the video. It is hard to watch. 

I had to force myself to see it all the way through, as I stopped a couple of times at a minute or two, as it is repetitious and in the category of "I loved you so much I gave you away." In today's zeitgeist, making such a video is the logical expression of this 18-year-old's pain as she prepares to give him up. The woman, Hannah Mongie, now 20, is a Mormon in Utah--she mentions her boyfriend's mission--and so to simply say that in today's world she would not have endured the severity of the opprobrium of women of earlier generations like my own is not appropriate. I assume that Mormon women, if they do not marry the fathers, are encouraged to give up their babies rather than keep them. From what she says, it appears that the couple would have gotten married; nothing is said about her parents, or if they were involved in her decision.