' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Troy Dunn responds to First Mother Forum

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Troy Dunn responds to First Mother Forum

Troy Dunn saw our post on his show The Locator, and had this to say about our blog and the comments:

Hi Lorraine,
Troy Dunn here. First let me thank you for having this blog as an outlet for others to share and communicate about this very important facet of life. Let me also take a moment (while I wait to fly to San Diego for my next case) to answer some of the questions posted here.

My goal whenever I enter somebody's life is to leave it better than I found it. I am not always successful in that effort but it is my goal. That includes everyone- first moms, adoptive mothers, adoptees, sibs, spouses, etc. It's a juggling act to say the lest but I do attempt it. There are certainly times when, as I am sitting and talking with people I am having internal conversations that include thoughts like, "I don't believe her" or "I don't think this is the whole story", or "I wonder why she is scared to tell me everything", etc...

BUT, I as I attempt to facilitate a reunion, I also try and determine what can I do to leave all relationships intact. And I also feel it is not always my place to be the "big news" guy to each person. Some things are better left for mother-daughter to discuss later naturally, as it comes up. It's never about the cameras for me, it's all about the healing, or the potential for healing.

Additionally, some of you mistake "permission for "respect". I do like to involve other family members in the process when possible so that the adoptee has a support system in tact when the dust settles. That's not always the case, but again, it's my goal. Triona mentioned my entry into the "search and reunion" space, as if it had happened recently, or perhaps for the show. The show only began in 2007. I have been trying to rebuild families and hunt for answers for adoptees since 1990 when I assisted my own mother in her search. I viewed the TV show as an opportunity to share the messages we all believe so important- one of which is that bio moms, (first moms in your vocab) are in most cases, heroes who made an extremely difficult and selfless decision and deserve their own brand of closure, answers and peace.

Let me repeat, I am not always able to deliver on that goal, but I will die trying.
Thank you all for your voices and I hope you will continue to let yours be heard. Not sure how long America will embrace our show, but I will still be here doing what I feel is right, long after the camera crew goes home.

God bless you all.

LORRAINE: Troy Dunn's explanation about why he doesn't castigate anyone involved (no matter what he finds) made sense to me. He isn't trying to be Dr. Phil, and that is a good thing. And although the adopted woman in the scenario above is certainly going to have questions of her adoptive mother, they are probably best left off camera. The story made it clear that her adoptive mother knew the facts about the birth mother's life turn-around. To those of us involved in adoption search-and-reunion and reform, of course the adoptive mother's sin of omission screamed out at us, but maybe not to us alone. I don't think you could have been watching and not had the same questions that I did

PS: For an interview with Dunn, read post at Mormon Mommy Blogs.

JANE: I like what Troy Dunn wrote for the most part but I believe that his characterization of firstmoms as "heroes who made an extremely difficult and selfless decision" perpetuates false images.

Firstmoms were not heroic Loretta Young types who as a tear rolled from the corner of their eye signed the paper assuring their child's happiness at the expense of their own. This makes a great movie scene but it's a myth. Firstmoms for the most part did not make any decision; they took the only option they were offered. Adoptive parents are not per se better parents than the mother nature designated. The trauma of being adopted outweighs the benefits of having married parents. And of course there is no guarantee that the adoptive parents will stay married; over fifty percent don't.


  1. I know that Troy does not want to get into the specifics of many of these situations. I understand why he would. I would like to see him touch on these subjects.

    I realize that he would rather glorify than look at the real issue. I personally would like to see more honesty in this. I think when an adoptee is an adult. I do not think that the adoptive parents should really have a say. Now if he did my story, I would not mind my adoptive mother being involved. But my adoptive mother supports the reunion and would want to be a part of it. I think just about every mother out there both adoptive and first would want to be a part of my reunion.

  2. Actually, as I have my DVR set to record all new episodes that Dunn does, I have seen quite a number of his reunions, and I have yet to see an adoptive parent be against the reunion. If they are around, he does talk to them before.

    Reunion is a fearful thing for many of them, or at least makes them apprehensive...about what will happen after. I don't see how it can be otherwise.

    Despite drawbacks (and the shows are only twenty-some minutes long), I am in favor of all reunions shows on television. Even the ones that seem tacky, and Dunn's don't seem that way to me.

    All of them raise public awareness.

  3. I wonder what he thinks about the blogs I wrote about him.....I wish he hadn't made that statement about Real Mothers being heros too-that only perpetuates The Birth Mother Privacy lie that keeps our records closed and keeps discrimination against we "dirty little bastards" alive and well. I wish Mr. Dunn could of seen some of you as young women screaming for their infants or lived that nightmare himself...perhaps he would be singing a differant tune...As a Father I doubt if he could give away one of his children and then bask in the glory of "selflessness". I will give him credit however for helping to reunite Adoptees and their Real Parents, and I do appreciate him seeing our dilemna with more realistic eyes than most Christian clergy has, and for that I thank him. Now if only others would follow suit....and all evolve together finally being aware that with Christ's forgiveness we are ALL to be proud of what we are and who brought us into this world, hence destroying once and for all, the secrets and the lies...

  4. I wonder if Mr. Troy Dunn would like to plug our adoptee rights demonstration in Philly in July of 2009.

    That is what I wonder.

  5. I have never seen this show on tv. But have went to website and watched it.

    I do think Troy probably walks the adoptee line even though he wasn't an adoptee. He has been taught the way it is in adoption. Those who adopt get utmost respect and those who lose their babies get called on the hot plate. Its respect, but it doesn't work both ways in adoption.

    The forever children myth, forever grateful myth, the forever respected adopter myth is still intact as there are "billions" of orphans that NEED adopting. Another adoption myth, even when the child has family it is an orphan it makes those that adopt feel wonderful.

    I just don't go for this agenda but it does help the adoption machine reaping babies, children for the $$$.

  6. We have taken down a comment from someone who said she was a friend to someone who hired Troy Dunn, but was unhappy with the result. Since there is no way to verify the comment, since we do knot know all the facts in the case, it does not seem judicious to post such comments here.

    This does not constitute a recommendation of Dunn's search services. This is to clarify our position. We will not be posting comments that are merely comments, good or bad, about the worth of any search service. All searches are individual, depend on the information available, the willingness of the one searching to be involved, and the skill and commitment of the individual searcher assigned the case.

    So we repeat: this is not a place to post gripes about any search service.



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