' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Making "empowered" Choices...Not

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Making "empowered" Choices...Not

Thanks to Joyce Bahr from Unsealed Initiative for sending this:


A Free Half-Day Training for Professionals

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This conference is an integral component of the Options Awareness Project in Nassau County and enjoys the support of the Nassau County Department of Health and the County Executive’s Common Sense for the Common Good Initiative.The Project is coordinated by Spence-Chapin, a nonprofit adoption agency with a 100-year history in New York City and a significant presence in Nassau County. Spence- Chapin’s mission is to find adoptive homes for infants who need them, to promote understanding of adoption throughcounseling and public education, and to continuously strive to improve adoption practice.

Exactly what is an "empowered" choice for pregnant teens? Abortion? Keeping the baby? What do you think that the meaning of "empowered" would be at a conference sponsored by an adoption agency? Hmmm... I would guess that would be to make the "informed" choice to surrender your baby...not to keep it, because if you kept him/her, then how would the agency stay in business?

Yes, we would like to see the agency improve adoption practice by making it NON-EXISTENT EXCEPT IN THE MOST RARE CASES, where the parents abuse the children, where there is no possible other way, where there are no family members who can care for the children, and then we would like to see the adoption, with the force of law, be O-P-E-N.

If that is what Spence Chapin is promoting as "empowered" than I can support this conference...but somehow I don't think that is it. More likely it's a conference on how to make girls feel they are making the "right" decision by giving up their babies. Truly "empowered" would be counseling by first mothers who haven't gotten their lives back together the way the social workers said they would, so that those considering adoption could look at it from all perspectives; "empowered" would be enough aid from the government to be able to have good day care and food to take care of your baby and not give him or her up for adoption.

If Wall Street can go begging for aid from Congress, why not us? Oh, I see because we are not CEOs of financial corporations whose idea of hard times is to have to sell our art work worth millions, or unload that house in Hamptons in a down market.

Any readers who feel they made an "empowered" choice when they relinquished, please post a comment. Firstmother would be interested in hearing your thoughts. And first mother will not argue with you. Adoption, we know, adoption is always painful.

--lorraine (feeling feisty this morning)


  1. Empowered? Get outta here!

    Adoption is all about a preganant woman's lack of power.

    The only people "empowered" in adoption are the agenices and the APs.

  2. I have yet to meet any FirstMother that feels she was empowered at the time of relinquishing a child to the adoption system. Is that even possible? And in retrospect, empowerment is enjoyed only by the agency receiving the child to give the child to the next person, the adoptive parent, who in reality is also not empowered. Long term, the concept of empowerment is rare to non-existent in all corners of the adoption triad.
    Empowerment is about supporting the Mothers to keep their families together while pursuing avenues that produce longterm stability for their family. Empowerment is what we can do for our future generations by education and teaching our children respect themselves and human life. Both boys and girls.

  3. http://www.hopejoyandafewlittlethoughts.com/


    Just got these addresses through Linda's email, in case any of you know of any pregnant teens struggling with a decision...

  4. In my time, young women made the "loving" decision. Now it is the "empowered" decision.

    The adoption industry is no sloth when it comes to marketing.
    Using loving or empowering to convince women that giving their babies to strangers is worthy of a "Mad Men" award.


  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Jane said, "using loving or empowering to convince women that giving their babies to strangers is worthy of a "Mad Men" award."

    Can I add "shaming" to the list?

  7. Ha - if women truly made an "empowered" decision about adoption the agencies would be out of business in record time!



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