' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Are the birth fathers pushing this depressing statistic?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Are the birth fathers pushing this depressing statistic?

Thanks to Reader Kippa for this link to Today's Wisconsin Woman where I found this: "According to the Wisconsin DCF, “Identity and location of birth parent(s) will not be disclosed unless an affidavit of consent has been signed by birth parent(s). If a court has legally determined paternity, or the father’s name appears on the impounded birth certificate, (italics, mine) affidavits usually will be needed from both birth parents.”

That may explain how the Adoption Search and Reunion team in Madison come up with that disappointing 50 percent reunion rate--the fathers are not agreeing. And my guess is that though Ms. Boldebuck and her team are sympathetic to the adopted person, it may well be beyond their legal purview, as well as how they see their jobs, to encourage the reluctant mothers and fathers to meet the adoptee.

Breaks my heart, this does. Everyone needs to remember that the adopted person never asked to be born, or adopted, and they should have the right of refusal, I guess, but writing that also breaks me heart. I don't know how I could have accepted my daughter not wanting to meet me. It would have been totally devastating, as it surely must be to adoptees who confront this personal tragedy. And I must add, that though my late daughter Jane professed not to want to be reminded of the daughter she gave up, whom she named Lisa, we found a baby picture of Lisa taped to the pull-out shelf on her desk--ya know, that thingie that used to be for typewriters. Kim, her daughter, found it when I was there a few days after her suicide, and Kim was surprised...but at least she knew who the baby was. Given that she kept the baby picture near her, I believe Jane would not have rejected meeting her.

I did hear from one search angel and confidential intermediary (who happens to be a birth mother) and said that in the thousand or so reunions she facilitated, only two led to rejections, and that was when the adoptive families were so eager to make contact they made the calls. Which is, to say the least, kind of freakin' nuts. But then, so is this whole anonymity-secrecy business.

I do hope that Ms. Boldebuck responds to my query. That number is just too high and out of kilter with what we know from other sources. In Oregon, the number of "no contact" preferences still stands at 84, while more than 9500 original birth certificates have been requested.

Incidentally, those I have heard from who went through Ms. Boldebuck have only good things to say about the experience, and she certainly was sensitive and prompt to my request that my name be on file for my granddaughter who was adopted in 1986. (Birth date, April 3rd, I think, in case, Lisa, you are reading this.)

Stay tuned. I hope to have the search angel write a blog for FirstmotherForum.--lorraine


  1. So if the father's names were on birth certificate BOTH signatures are needed, in order, for the intermediary to do their job?

    So some mothers who were not "allowed" to put dad on birth certificate will have an easier time than those of us who were allowed to put dad on original?

    Most of the time I would venture to say its the mother that searches anyway. Fathers have a way of disappearing, kind of like they wished, we mothers would have forever. Even with sealed records, we have found, and reunited.

  2. In my case both my name and the birth father were on the OBC.

    The CI tracked us both down and made initial contact with both of us simultaneously. It was not necessary for both of us to agree.

    This was in the state of Maryland.

  3. Your hypothesis is a good one, and certainly allows for the possibility that my speculations could be way off. OTOH I have a hard time believing that there are *that* many evil dads out there, screwing things up.
    It's curious that Boldebuck herself doesn't offer that up as a possible reason.
    "About half of the parents Boldebuck contacts say No to contact. That could be because a birth parent 'was hidden away in the home and shamed,' Boldebuck said. Sometimes the adoption file reveals the child was conceived as the result of a rape."
    It would seem then that the nay sayers to whom she was referring were approached and then refused.

  4. Okay, so perhaps I'm confused. If both parents names are on OBC the both parents MUST agree before either can have contact? Like if mom agrees and dad doesn't the adoptee can still meet mom? or not? or vice versa...

    That would explain a higher refusal rate. I absolutely think her figures should be clarified because I can see a group who is against open records (such as LDS Church, etc...) latching on to those statistics and quoting them in their arguments.

    :) Kristy

  5. As I said, I've emailed and asked Jacy Boldebuck to clarify but she has not responded.

  6. I would suspect that Jacy Boldebuck was making it up as she went along. I don't suppose that she has figures, which is why she doesn't respond.

    I don't think that there were that many fathers named on the OBC, at least from the BSE. Even today, unless a man acknowledged paternity legally, or by DNA Testing, in Texas at least, his name will not appear on the birth certificate.

    I think that the fathers of the children, in large part, are as absent today as they were in the past. I didn't see them lining up to acknowledge paternity then, and today, while they may not actively decline, they are still not lining up to find their children. I think for the most part the fathers are sort of a non-issue.



COMMENTS ARE MODERATED. Our blog, our decision whether to publish.

We cannot edit or change the comment in any way. Entire comment published is in full as written. If you wish to change a comment afterward, you must rewrite the entire comment.

We DO NOT post comments that consist of nothing more than a link and the admonition to go there.