' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: The Wacky Website of a Woman in Hiding (from her daughter)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Wacky Website of a Woman in Hiding (from her daughter)

As this post is getting a lot of traffic right now because Kathleen Hoy Foley is publicizing her book and book in progress, I am amending this post (3/13/12) to add certain salient facts up front:

1. Kathleen Hoy Foley had a 1-1/2 year dating relationship with her boyfriend, Penn's father. He thought they were getting married and was stunned when Foley's mother slammed the door in his face.
2. The father's family tried to stop the adoption and wanted to take the baby (Elaine Penn) home with them. They were thwarted in their efforts by Catholic Social Services (CSS) and Foley's family who insisted the baby be adopted. Because they were not married, the father had no legal rights.
3. Penn's "non-identifying information report" from CSS contains nothing about any "rape" allegation and, in fact, is replete with touching details of how mother wanted to keep her baby and hesitated for several months signing the relinquishment papers. Thus, she had no warning or reason to think her mother would not want to be contacted.
4. Penn contacted Foley ONCE 15 years ago through the family attorney and NEVER again. She has kept Foley's privacy and silently endured Foley's abusive attacks ever since.
5. Penn has relationships with both members of Foley's and her birth father's family. He deceased before she found his family.
6. Foley is an "adoptee" only in the sense that while her natural mother raised her, her step-father legally adopted her for parental rights. That is hardly what the world knows today as an "adoptee."

 Now, the previous blog:

O What a tangled web we weave...Remember Kathleen Hoy Foley, the birth mother terrible--oh excuse me, she wants to be called "biological source" or even better, "biological cunt"--who is loudly and publicly opposing open records in New Jersey after being "FOUND" BUT NEVER CONTACTED by her daughter?

Apparently it is not enough to be quietly located by your own flesh-and-blood, through a son-in-law--it is important to go public and be in the papers, as the above link shows. Well, there's more--Ms. Foley has her own delectable website, Woman In Hiding, where she posts all sorts of venomous verbiage against adoptee rights, to wit:
Today these women [that would be us], many of them elderly [well, I am a grandmother of a teenager], face threats of being hunted down and found by stranger-adoptees [au contraire, I actually found my daughter] and the dread of their secret pasts being exposed to friends and family [I welcomed that], including their children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren [well, I hope my other granddaughter--the one my daughter surrendered to adoption in Wisconsin contacts me].  I was subjected to that naked exposure and it is an anguish unimaginable, practically unexplainable to those who have not suffered such inexcusable public humiliation.[Uh, really? You poor thing.]
Foley rants on in pages called "Mean and Nasty;" "Speaking the Ugly," and pathetically, under "Strategies," how to deal with the unwanted "stranger-adoptee" who might come knocking at your door after you hang up on them. As for what she wants to be called?
Birth mother—a slur that branded me a slut; a whore.  The label that blamed me for getting pregnant from rape.  The label that ignored the rapes; turned my torment into a hot and heavy teenage romance with me unable to keep my legs closed....Biological Source is a description I can force-feed myself, grudgingly accept.  It is, after all, the truth and nothing gets to change that.  However, I prefer Biological Cunt.  Biological Cunt speaks my personal truth.  It does not fake a smile and make nice.
She talks about her husband, Phil, who tirelessly campaigns against giving adopted people their birth right, as in, a name, and an original identity. It's all so sick sick sick but then, I guess we have to expect that people like Foley would pop up here and there. She could belong to the club of women seeking the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, with thanks to Pope for that great line. But most of them are institutionalized. I could go on but Osolomama, an adoptive mother extraordinaire and one of our regular readers, also wrote about Foley's folly at her blog and you can take it from there.

Well, amazingly enough, her daughter, Elaine Penn, rather than be abashed by her biological mother's scorn and outright rejection, is a staunch supporter of the legislation that would open records for almost all adoptees in New Jersey. After the Catholic Charities conception confusion of Phil Bloete, who thought he was reunited with his birth father, only to find out through a DNA test that they were not a match, Penn wrote this letter to Francis Dolan, head of NJ Catholic Charities, as he ponders whether or not his organization can support open records, as does, say, the archdiocese of Albany in New York.
I am a Catholic Charities Adoptee through  Trenton. Please help us convince Assemblyman Roberts to bring A752 to the Assembly Floor for a vote before 2009 is over.

It seems considering the recent news, it would be beneficial for Catholic Charities to help get this law passed. That way, your organization could focus on the positive contributions it can make to society, instead of draining your resources fighting old, worn battles. Bill A752 would give birth mothers a year to be able to black out their name, along with leaving medical history. It's a good compromise -- and this is the time for compromise.

I know something about your old fights because Kathleen Hoy Foley is my birth mother. She's been blasting away at me, my deceased birth father and Catholic Charities for quite awhile now. (I'm sure you've seen her in the Philadelphia newspapers and on CBS-NY news.) The sooner that this law gets passed, the quicker her soapbox gets taken away. These fights will no longer have anything to do with Catholic Charities.

Please consider helping us pass this Bill and finally having it behind all of us.
As a post script to this story, Penn was recently featured in a front page story in The [NJ] Star-Ledger:
Elaine Penn, a 45-year-old adoptee from the Trenton-based Catholic Charities, can’t get a passport with her current adoption certificate. Finalized in March 1966, well after her birth in Sept. 1964, it came later than the one-year gap the federal government allows in order to use adoption certificates as a form of identification.

And when she found a lump near her armpit after a mammogram several years ago, she wasn’t immediately able to provide her doctors with an accurate medical history. 

“I asked if it would help if the doctor knew my family medical history and she said ‘Absolutely,’” Penn said. “The insurance companies, they’re not going to pay for extra tests and treatments without a history.”

Unfortunately, attempts to contact Penn’s biological mother, Kathleen Foley, in 1998 were rebuffed, although Foley’s lawyer did provide Penn, who now lives in Howell, with a medical history. 
As regular readers know, I have little sympathy for those closeted birth/first/real mothers who will not acknowledge and meet the children they surrendered to adoption. If any of them are reading this, please consider what your rejection does to your child, who has already grown up with the sense of rejection that adoption can not help but infer, no matter how great one's adoptive parents are. I was struck by this once again in reading through a reunion story this morning, when a thrilled and relieved reunited adoptee Raymond Deschesne, of Boulder city, Colorado, says he blurted this out during his first phone call to his mother, Kathie Walker: he asked her what he had done wrong, why she let him be adopted. 
He added, I don't know why I said that, I was two or three months old when I was adopted. 

But there is hurt that comes before language, and that is the hurt that can not be erased. It can be accepted, but not erased.

My daughter, Jane

Oh, my baby, my daughter, you did nothing wrong. Nothing at all. I am so very sorry that you were adopted. Like I told your daughter, my granddaughter, I made a mistake.--lorraine


To stay in the closet, don't publicize being a 'maternal source'

A bill in New Jersey that would give adopted individuals the right to their own birth certificates passed the Senate with an overwhelming majority (31-7) but is stalled in the Human Services Committee of the Assembly. Speaker of the Assembly is Joseph J. Roberts, Democrat of Camden, who so far has refused to bring the bill up for a floor vote. (Live in his district? We need you to call him--now: 586-384-5862. Outgoing governor John Corzine has stated his support of the bill and will sign it if we can get it passed! The bill does have an out for people like Ms. Foley, as birth parents have a year in which to object, and their names will not be released, though updated medical information is asked for. The New Jersey Coalition for Adoption Reform and Education is holding a press conference at the capitol in Trenton on Monday, November 23rd. If you can attend, or otherwise lend your support, please contact birth mother Judy Foster (jfoster@optonline.net) or adoptee Pam Hasegawa (pamhasagawa@gmail.com). Anyone with a New Jersey adoption connection of any sort should raise your voice and act up now. This won't happen unless legislators hear from you. And you.


  1. I think Ms. Foley has said it best:

    "I am my own lunatic fringe."

  2. Wacky woman is right! How, in good conscience can someone even begin to believe her? She is a liar, obviously, and she is so full of her bull. What is she (please, no one get their panties in a twist) one of those Hard Ball Christians who still thinks God is going to punish them for something he designed into the human body?

    Talk about idiots stirring the pot! Has anyone or any group attempted to sit her down and talk to her? Have her committed? Something? And someone should stick a cork or two in that husband - what is it his business - if he wants to be pissed - why doesn't he punish is full of crap, lying wife? Why does he want to punish a woman who just wants a history, a face, something?

    Deception is ...........good grief - the definition of adoption.

  3. As if we needed more reasons to be horrified by this woman, there is also the fact that she graphically imagines a minor relative's rape in the guise of advocating for said relative. Exploitive, hateful and misogynistic.

  4. Dawn, I've gone back and forth on that one. Is she too nuts to realize it became exploitation? Is she so smart, actually (as people have suggested to me), that it's all grist for the mill. the memoir. the sizzlin' $$$$$ . . .

  5. Elaine seems like a really warm, caring and kind person. She does not deserve to be treated the way her mother has chosen to treat her.

    I think this woman is so terrified of having to come clean to her husband that she had a child before she met him and never told him that she has gone off the deep end and landed in wacky-town.

    I just think it's too bad that her daughter has to suffer for her own inability to deal with reality.

  6. I went to the "Woman in Hiding" website. She has written a book about herself. I think she has more issues than she is willing to admit.

    I don't believe that being found was the true issue here - I think being found raised a whole load of other issues instead and that being found simply triggered all the others off.

    It turns out that Kathleen Foley is also an adoptee who suffered abuse from her adoptive father. I think that explains a lot about her and that she truly needs some serious help.

    Here is a snippet from that site:

    " Woman In Hiding is a raw, haunting, first-person account of the destruction of a young girl’s spirit by a father who tormented her relentlessly. Inside the 1960s suburban home with roses meandering around the front door, John J. Allen, a handsome, jovial man, beat his four sons with belts and abused his adopted daughter, Kathleen, by humiliating and degrading her."

    Kathleen is having trouble trying to get this book published (I'm not too surprised after reading some of her other items on her site).

    It strikes me as strange that she seems to be a very public person for someone who claims she wants to be a private person - who would have known about her case if she had not gone to the media about it?
    Very strange indeed.

  7. I wonder if this woman is the first mother equivalent of Anita Tedaldi (the psycho adoptive mother who returned a child then used the experience to publicize herself). Perhaps Foley sees this as merely a great publicity angle for herself: a shocking true story that will elevate her to national news. If she was really concerned about privacy, wouldn't she have kept her identity, um, private?

    I feel for Elaine. She did not deserve this.

  8. Anon, I think that she is mentally ill. She has carried a heavy past, lied, and now faces life without boundaries - putting it all out as they say. I also think she is a very sick woman and the more attention she is given, the worse she will get.

    On top of that, she is just the kind of nut case that will torpedo any movement to open records - after all "are the needs of the many more important than the needs of the one" (Star Trek - Spock, I think! LOL) which is the foundation on which our country was built. To protect the few from the masses that overwhelm them.

    Truthfully, her spouse should, instead of running around talking garbage, get his wife some help.

  9. This woman is more than vile. And that gets me to thinking. "She doth protest too much." It makes me NOT believe her at all. I think she is so mired in shame that she has created a delusional alter-ego that she has convinced herself is true. I think she is shamed that she had a sexual relationship, shamed that she got pregnant, shamed she lost her child to adoption. She is so shamed by all of it that she has created this rape myth to justify her shame. It is easier because she need accept no blame whatsoever. I think she was brought up knowing that she would be cast out if her shame was exposed. She grew Catholic and this is something that is pervasive, and believe me I know. She married a man who would have cast judgment and likely have left her had she spoke the truth. So she created the lie and now she has to live it. I really do find it too over the top to be the truth. But this is just my take on it. Regardless, she is mentally ill, and she needs serious help. If I were Elaine I would honestly fear for my safety and that of my family.

  10. Personally, I like it much better when comments are about our similar experiences, examples, and knowledge on the topic, rather than trashing of the subject. This women clearly needs help, which she will not likely get, she is in such denial. Sounds like she was a victim of adoption as well. That she's written a book doesn't mean she's in it for the publicity or $$$. Authors of small books don't make much.

    I do feel for her daughter. She deserves more. But we all get what we get, right?

    Re: a similar experience. When I first revealed my birthmother status to all, shortly after I reunited with my son, one friend called me to say, "that's great, I'm glad you're happy about it." She then added that she had been pregnant and relinquished a son. She was so vague that I suspected it was as a result of incest (other info I knew about her pointed to this) or rape. She said she would reject contact from her child, and that she never wanted to speak of it again. I have honored that request.

    I am sad for her, the shame and fear that clearly put her there, and I am sad for her son (who so far, as far as I know has not made contact — and I hope he doesn't lest he face that rejection).

    There are a million different stories out there. Let's have compassion for all of the people who have been whacked by adoption. They aren't all going to do it right.

  11. Anon quoted:"Inside the 1960s suburban home with roses meandering around the front door, John J. Allen, a handsome, jovial man, beat his four sons with belts and abused his adopted daughter, Kathleen, by humiliating and degrading her."

    ADOPTED daughter?? So she is also claiming to be an abused adoptee??
    Did we all miss this piece before? Her whole story just gets more and more weird. Her daughter seems fortunate not to have inherited her twisted mind.

  12. Anon - thanks for posting that Kathleen Foley is an adoptee.

    That explains a lot about her. And her father was abusive? Having lived through an unplanned pregnancy as a high school student I can only imagine what hell she must have had to pay.

    She was raped. OK. I can get that. Back in the day there was no name for date rape which described my situation. And I think the shame surrounding my circumstances trumped pursuing statutory rape.

    On top of this she lied to her husband? He must be one mean man if she is going to such great lengths to cover her tracks.

    I have not to been to her site because I did not want to get riled up. She needs serious therapy.

  13. Ladies,

    While I understand some of the sympathy, I have been raped, abused and many other things, she has chosen her path. She rants about not wanting to be known and then writes a book? Her husband is so controlling that he thinks he can unring the bell by not allowing other children a past?

    I think, while this woman is sick, that sympathy is not the answer.

    I don't delude myself into crap - I was raped at 11 - abused for 6.5 years in foster care - sexually, physically, emotionally - and yes, I know each of us deal with it differently. I was abandoned to foster care, pretty much the way some adoptees feel abandoned.

    But, I don't go around talking about how much of a victim I am! I write about it, I write about standing up and dealing with it, I write about my tears and pain, but I don't pretend to be such a victim that I have the right to hurt others with my shame and pain.

    I know, totally unsympathetic. Wrong. Totally realistic. This woman is manipulating everyone. Her and her freaky spouse are doing something horrible because they are both ashamed. Her of being an adoptee that was abused and him for marrying a woman with a past.

    That is something that they need to work out in therapy, not in he media. And personally, issues or not, sympathy or not, I believe what this woman is doing is creating problems for the rest of us, the mothers and adoptees. Problems that will reverberate throughtout the adoption community. If this woman and her spouse have their way - None of the mothers and children stand a legal chance in heck to find each other.

    Again - the more attention - the more power. Let's simply boycott anyone that bothers to deal with this nutcake and her freaky spouse - newspapers, publishers, etc. Their power and their bull will end pretty fast - we are a bigger community than the AARP.

  14. A lot of talk about this Foley woman and her spouse made me curious. So I went to her site and was not only sickened by her art work - it depicts a seriously mentally ill person as the artist (Foley herself) - but her words. Some like these:

    Countless, faceless terrified women across New Jersey are hiding from the pursuit of their pasts. Pasts that we have kept hidden from our families and friends, colleagues, all those who know us. Pasts that involve an unwanted pregnancy and an adoption. These pregnancies resulted from a myriad of devastating circumstances, including rape and incest and other abuses. Some of us were coerced into carrying pregnancies to term by religious beliefs, social pressure or the unavailability of personally appropriate options; some choose to go forward with an unwanted pregnancy for private reasons. For all of us, adoption with its guarantees of confidentiality and expectation of anonymity granted us the opportunity to rebuild our lives.

    Who and what gave her the right to speak for those countless women? Not them, I am sure.

    Sadly, even her sick spouse is in on it. His controlling her has become her lifeline:

    “You will NOT refer to Kathleen as birth mother. Or biological mother,” Phil, my husband, warned our attorney, his voice revealing the twenty five years he spent patrolling the streets of Trenton. The cop voice I call it. The voice I’d heard him use only on rare occasions, the few dreadful times our daughters were threatened by eminent danger.

    I froze and stared at him through a fog so dense with anguish and confusion and such relief I could not see or hear anything but his words, echoing, echoing…You will NOT refer to Kathleen as birth mother. Or biological mother.

    My knees buckled and I collapsed into a kitchen chair. Oh my God. Oh my God. I kept staring and staring at him hearing only... You will NOT refer to Kathleen as birth mother. Or biological mother.

    Does the controlling factor of this man escape us? His rudeness to the reality of life. His wife was indeed a birth mother, biological mother, first mother - and nothing he wanted to pretend would change that. His talented, crazy, trophy wife was soiled. She was not pristine when she married him. So, he would erase it by proclaiming that she was not a "birth mother" to the world.

    Her blog reads like a bad, sick porn and her ability to pretend is amazing. She writes such graphic horrible trash, judgmental and religion based. She disgusts me.

    I think this woman is living in her own hell - enough said.

  15. Wow! You sure do have issues. And they're ALL about having given your child up for adoption. But don't think your "mistake" is considered so by all other "birth moms" or adoptees.

    Genetics does NOT make a mother and neither does birthing a baby.

    Raising, loving and supporting a child through all of the ups and downs does it - and you well know it!

    Yeah, I know this won't be posted and I don't care - because it's directed at YOU!

  16. Hey anonymous (ADOPTIVE parent perhaps?)right above me... why don't YOU stick it where the sun don't shine.

    Sorry to burst your biased bubble, but concieving, carrying a child to term and giving birth to that child DOES make you a mother. Millions of years of evolution says so. When a child is born, a mother is born. I could go on and on, but I think you catch my drift, IDIOT.

    I get so sick of people saying things like "Raising, loving and supporting a child through all of the ups and downs makes one a mother." And how do you suppose you got to do that?? You got to do that because a MOTHER lost her child to your selfish, entitled self and YOU WELL KNOW IT.

    You then have the nerve to come to this blog and berate and dehumanize us as if we are nothing but incubators. We are our children's mothers. Get over it. That will never change, no matter how much you try to wish us away. We are not going anywhere...

  17. 'Adoptee-lite' is my guess.
    She says somewhere that she is 1/2 adopted, which probably means John Allen was her step-father.

  18. Thanks for checking in, Kathleen.

  19. Does anyone think she's being paid by the NCFA or am I too cynical?

  20. It looks like she has suffered multiple complex traumas, and is projecting it all on her daughter. Her daughter is NOT the rapist. Her daughter is not responsible for what happened to her. This woman, Kathleen, needs therapy, ASAP to help her get over the trauma.

  21. Anon 1:27, your comment is irrelevant to the topic at hand. The First Moms in this thread are approaching this topic from their own perspective, just as you are from yours. No one here devalued the position of an adoptive parent in a child or adult adoptee's life. There's nothing wrong with admitting that you think you made a mistake and wish you could do something differently. A First Mom wanting to be treated and regarded as important in her child's life INSTEAD of as trash or someone who served a purpose to birth a baby and now you want to go away --there's nothing wrong with that. It's not up to the adoptive parent to decide who the birth mother is going to be in their child's life. It's up to the ADOPTEE. Quite frankly, it's people like you that keep adoptees afraid of sharing their true feelings about their birth mothers--all the shame and betrayal that we carry inside of us. There is a place for BOTH of my mothers in my heart. Yes, my adoptive mother raised me, she is my mom and I love her but I will not sit here and talk about my First Mom or ANY First Mom as nothing more than a breeder and for the sake of women everywhere YOU shouldn't either.

    I have positive regard for Foley because she is a human being. That is where any sort of positivity towards her ends and I certainly do not have sympathy. Just because someone is mentally ill doesn't mean they do not have a responsibility to seek help. She has the choice to seek counseling and help if she wants to but instead she chooses to make a website and tries to write a book in order to manipulate other First Moms and drag them down into her misery. Just reading about her angry husband sends shivers down my spine. The clearly detrimental and unprofessional advice they give literally demands that all First Mothers should feel is deplorable and there is no excuse for that. Her statements are libelous against adoptees and completely untrue. I hope she gets help and stops trying to hate and fear monger people with lies.

  22. Anon (2), since you aimed your ignorant tirade at me - maybe you should get a few facts -

    1 - I never agreed to adoption

    2 - I never gave my child to anyone

    3 - I planned her, breast fed her, was her mother - since I am the one that changed diapers, cleaned up puke, walked the floors - LOVED HER MORE THAN LIFE AND STILL DO.

    4 - I am not angry, just disgusted. I read this woman's blog - I did not come up with my thoughts lightly and rarely do.

    5 - since you are obviously an adopter - rainbowfarting fool - you have no clue what it is about and should remember this, if not for me, that woman that beat and abused my child for her entire life - after age 3 - who threw her into the street when she was a pregnant and confused teen, who was such a mother she did not even know how to change a diaper - would never have been a mother. And you darn well should get on your knees and kiss the feet of the woman that allowed you to be a mother - cause you don't know crap about it.

    A mother is not made out of a peice of paper - but out of pain, tears and love. Something that adopters have no idea about, unless they have their own child.

    And no one here, from my experience would have gagged you.

    Have you read this womans hate tirade? Would you want to know that the woman who made you a mother felt that her baby was garbage? I am sure that you could use that to sooth your obviously damaged belief that you are the perfect parent, but for that little thing - you did not give birth, so this is good enough.

    I do not belittle a woman's struggles and pain, that would be cruel. I don't know if she was adopted for real, do you? If so, why did she pretend that it was a surprise (I believe she actually said somewhere that she had looked for her bio mother)?

    Do you truly believe that children given up for adoption for whatever reason are yours? How sad. How very ignorant. The law says they are, their blood says they are not. Genetic material makes a person who they are, no matter what anyone thinks, facts are facts. Don't believe me - read something besides rainbow farting bull!

    I pity you - you are stupid. There is no cure for that.

  23. Amanda, BRAVO! You were blessed with a wonderful set of moms - or at least that is the picture I get. I am so glad to find out that there are more than one or two good adoptive mothers out there.

    You go girl!

  24. Anon 1:27, I invite you to follow my pic link and read my blog. You will find that not only am I not totally anti-adoption, I am my daughter's mother/mom - read it for yourself.

    I am not angry, I am sad and sick of lies. The attention given to a very mentally ill woman is feeding something that will, no matter if you are an adoptive parent or what part you play in the "adoption triad", hurt you in the end.

    How sad for you.

  25. Amanda, thank you for putting it so eloquently.

  26. We are not happy when a woman is raped but a woman being raped is no justification for denying adult adoptees the inalienable right to know the basic facts of their birth.
    Birth mothers who do not wish contact always have the option of saying"no". Women were empowered to say no in the 1960's. she said no to her daughter and she should leave it at that.
    Any statements that we who surrendered to adoption are not mothers rings of back on the days before the womens movement when women were not empowered. We our mothers and our children and most of society acknowledges we are. When I found my son he asked me if I knew his sisters mother. He didn't refer to his sisters mother as a baby factory or breeder.
    We were manipulated and not presented with options--social mores were very different then. We
    didn't make a mistake society did
    however, social mores changed in the 1970's and women were empowered to keep their babies.
    However to this day women are not informed on issues when they surrender and some are not presented with options. If a
    woman who surrendered after the 1970's feels she made a mistake there is nothing wrong with that.

  27. And Ms. Foley should know that women who gave birth after being raped have been active in the movement to open records, as Bobbie Beavers in Maine. And she was part of the movement that succeeded there.

    Yes, I think the anon who posted is..Ms. Hoy Foley herself. But she chooses to be a commenter-in-hiding.

  28. Hey Vanessa, I'm the Anonymous poster you blasted for pointing out the obvious - genetics alone does NOT create a mother. From a strict evolutionary perspective, yes; but from an emotional, societal and even legal standpoint, not even remotely.

    Around us are case studies of adoptees by the thousands. By and large, ask these people who their mothers are and you'll be very hard pressed to find one that responds with the genetic answer. Famous country singer Faith Hill was adopted and I recall an interview in which she described meeting her genetic mother and said she could tell right away how much she resembled her and that it was good to meet her but she quickly pointed out that she didn't have a need for parents, she always had them in the mom and dad who raised her.

    Here's an example, my family is Irish. I was born in Ireland and we moved here when I was a toddler. I've gone back because Ireland is my ancestry and I will always feel a connection to that. But make no mistake about it, America is my home. I love this country and am profoundly grateful for everything it's given to me. THIS is my homeland; I am an American.

    Now question yourselves honestly. If tomorrow you learned you were accidentally switched at birth, would you stop believing the woman who you called mom all of these years is your mother? Would you feel as though she were not your mom, suddenly? Would the knowledge of that genetic loss change every experience of love and the mother/child relationship you currently have?

    Absolutely not, and you all know it, which is why this website exists.

    It hurts to know you gave up the chance to be a mother, and that's understandable. But sticking your head in the sand and pretending the children you gave up are your children doesn't make it so. Not to those children, and not to anyone but you.

    Birth mothers don't "lose" their children, Vanessa, they give them up. Adoptive parents give the children parents, families and homes they wouldn't otherwise have had. There would be no adoptive parents without birth mothers who made them available. Clearly, the birth mother is the one who creates this availability. So don't get all pissed off at the people who provide a solution to a need YOU created.

    And, not that it matters or that you'd believe it but I'm both a genetic and adoptive parent, and I plan to do both again.

  29. Oh, we believe it.
    You are our worst nightmare.
    Your children will probably search out their first parents and never tell you.

    I do not dismiss that adoptive parents are "real" parents, but so are the women who gave birth to "their" children. Adopted people have two mothers, two fathers, no matter who bandages their scrapped knees, etcetera, and both should be acknowledged. By everyone involved--first, original parents, adopting parents, adopted person, for better or for worse.

  30. Anon (whom I do not believe to be Ms.Foley), not of all of us who surrendered a child believe that adoptive parents are not parents, adoptive mothers not mothers. In my view, we gave up the role of parent, the day-to-day being "mom" to a child. We have to accept that most adoptees mean the mother who raised them when they say "Mother."
    I agree that we gave up the role of parent whether we were pressured to surrender or not, but many of us did not give up our caring and concern for the children we surrendered.

    Although my surrendered son does not think of me as his mother, there is still a great deal of who he is that comes from his genetic heritage, good and bad, obvious like his looks, subtle like his love of cats and sense of humor. In that way, that genetic connection, I am one of his mothers, in a way that cannot be denied or erased.

    No, I am not the "only" or "true" or "real" mother, and I do not believe that giving birth automatically makes one a better or more fit mother than adopting.The reality of adoption is that adoptees have only one set of parents, those whom they identify as Mom and Dad emotionally, but they also have another genetic mother and father who make an important contribution to who they are, and in some cases, can become a valued friend after reunion.

    It does not have to be either/or when each side treats the other with respect, which some do not do, adoptive mothers or birthmothers. I have tried to listen to you, and hope you will listen to me as well.

  31. ". . . pretending the children you gave up are your children doesn't make it so. Not to those children, and not to anyone but you."

    Anon, that's not true. Many of us who are adoptive parents believe that adopted children have two sets of parents--both real. What about people in open adoptions--way open? (Look at Dawn Friedman at This Woman's Work.) Original mom and adoptive mom. Both moms.

    I think it's just silly to deny that adopted children don't have original parents, real parents, many of whom longed to raise them. It's also very cruel and shortsighted to deny that connection to your child. You also seem quite callous about how and why first mothers relinquish. First mothers--and fathers--do lose their children all the time. Nobody freely serves up her child just so you can go around proclaiming yourself the true parent and the solution to a *problem*.

    You know, I used to downplay genetics too but since living with my child-about-to-be-teen, I've come to wonder every day about all those ancestors standing behind her. Since we have started talking openly about her family in China and her feelings about them I've come to realize that during the early years when it seemed like my daughter never thought about *them*, I was just being clueless. Trust me, your child is thinking about his or her original but it's up to the a-parent to get the conversation going.

  32. Anon 11:53,

    You are making assumptions. I read those studies - and sadly, they also are written and developed by, guess who? Three guesses and the first two don't count! Adoptive parents.

    Do you truly believe that First Mothers think we are going to be "mommy"? You must think very little of the mother of your children. I know that my daughter and I are the exception to most of the rules, but at no time have I belittled her adoptive parent, prior to finding out what kind of "parent" she was.

    In fact, against my child's wishes, I called and thanked the mother for loving her - the woman had the nerve to lie to me, herself.

    No First Parent believes for one second that they are taking your place - and you need to know that not for once second are you taking your child's First Parent's place. It is not possible.

    You appear to have a lot of disregard for First Mothers - yet you claim to love your child(ren) - how does that work? Do you believe that intelligence came from you - better check that with geneticists/psychologists/biologists and a dozen other forms of educated individuals.

    Factually, genes make a child who they are. FACT: children are not a blank slate - there is no tabula rasa. When a person is conceived the genetic being that they are is the being that they will become. There is nothing a parent (either biological or adoptive) can do to change that, bar catastrophic events such as adoption.

    FACT: another woman gave you the right to "parent" her child. You don't appreciate that or respect her. You think of her, and this very obvious from your wording and thoughts stated, as a stupid little whore that made a mistake.

    Knowing this, I fear for another generation of adoptees. Living in shadows, lying, pretending to be something they are not.

    Sadly, you miss what is most important. Children can love more than one person of the same title - or there would never be more than one grandparent or set of grandparents, one sibling, one cousin, one aunt or uncle.

    I pity you. In your ignorance and close minded behavior, in the end, you will lose those children you believe are yours. Not because some sneaking whore of a First Mother came looking, but because you don't believe in your own child(ren).

    Open your eyes, your heart and your ears and close your mouth for once. Listen without your ego getting in the way. See without your emotional child running the show. Feel without putting limits on.

    Then come back and tell us how "wrong" we are.


    For you all I can say is how very sad your children must be inside, and I pray for the sake of their First Parents that they do not take their own lives before they can heal from your lies and RAINBOW FARTING BULL!

  33. Anon wrote, "...genetics alone does NOT create a mother."

    Then why does my son call me Mom?

  34. How about if your mother dies before she gets a chance to raise you, is she still your mother???

  35. Nice one, Elaine P :- )

  36. Elaine - if your birth mother dies before she had a chance to raise you and you were raised lovingly by another woman who took the role of "mother," then your birth mom would be that, your birth mom. Clearly you believe I assign some blame to a woman who places her child for adoption over a woman who is unable to parent because she dies. And I don't.

    Incidentally, I only commented on this post because it was the most recent in this blog but not because my comment related to this birth mother who doesn't want to be contacted.

    Despite the rabid accusations against me, I harbor no ill will towards birth mothers. In fact, I think the act of surrendering a child because you recognize the inability to raise that child is a selfless and excruciating act that can only be committed in the context of the most loving intentions.

    My son spent the day with his birth mother on her birthday this year and we are trying to figure out the logistics of his spending Christmas afternoon with her and her family this year. By the way, none of this was contractual, despite it being an open adoption. I want him to know his ancestry and his birth mother. I chose someone in my state so my son would have that person to talk to about his dimples. For goodness sakes - I chose his birth mother's surname for his middle name. Could I be any more pro-openness?

    But I would be shocked if my son, out of the blue, called her mom. I would be equally shocked if he called my sister mom.

    There are such hateful references on this blog, accusing adoptive parents of stealing and buying babies. It's disgusting that a woman who regrets her decision not to parent then attacks the very people who gave the child a loving home and 24/7 care.

    Birth mothers are good, loving women in desperate situations. But adoptive parents are no less good or loving. It isn't their fault that they are able and willing to parent. Again, they could NOT adopt a child that has not been placed for adoption to begin with. That "need" was created by the birth mother.

    Listen, I'm not trying to get through to anyone here - that would be futile.

  37. Lori, I don't think of birth mothers as "stupid little whores" who made "a mistake."

    You said that! Maybe, deep down, that's your own insecurity - your own fear - what you imagine of yourself. But I did not project that onto you.

    I had premarital sex plenty of times without the consistent use of birth control. I made plenty of "mistakes." I was just lucky not to get pregnant - but it was no doing of my own.

  38. I get soooo tired of adoptive parents like Anon who bury their fear that their child will love her birth parents more than her adoptive parents under all kinds of contempt for birth parents.

    And I'm an adoptive parent!

    There's more than one way to be a mom. Giving birth to my children made their mothers their mothers. Raising my children made me their mother. Why this need to make one way of being a mother better than another? We're mothers in different ways, but we're all mothers.

    And as mothers, we all try to make choices that are in the best interest of our children. And one of the best choices an adoptive mom can make is to freely acknowledge the role of other mothers in her child's life. And one of the best choices both moms can make is to acknowledge the child's right to know her full identity, including knowing her birth family.

    I wish anon and Foley could realize this, in interest of that child, now grown, who needs her mothers.

  39. Dear Anon:

    While you may feel that we accuse adopting people of "stealing" or "buying" their children, we are not doing that directly because they are not telling someone to go out and, say, kidnap a young child for a fee. However, this does happen--and happen often--in poorer countries such as Vietnam (where women were told they could not leave the hospital with their babies unless they came up with an exorbitant amount of money) and Nepal and India, where cases of outright kidnapping have been proven, and in China, where government officials are now on trial for extorting children from their parents.

    When the Guatemalan government investigated adoptions from a certain period of time in the Nineties, they discovered that over half of the more than 600 adoptions they looked occurred because the mother was killed for the purpose of taking the baby, or was kidnapped, to be sold to unscrupulous baby brokers who appear, to willing and anxious adoptive parents, as ethical adoption lawyers. Adoptive parents who willingly adopt from overseas without looking into why a country has so many children available then become part of the corrupt system, just as, say, people who collect stolen art without investigating its provenance.

    Does that make the adopters liable? Yes. Yes. Yes. If you doubt this, simply do a search at firstmotherforum.com [it's it in upper right corner or the bottom of the blog] for "corruption in international adoption" or any of the countries mentioned, and you will be directed to the original source of these statements. You will find that you will end up reading publications such as Foreign Policy or Mother Jones, or directed to CNN and NPR. The stories do not get a lot of play in this country because the public does not want to know.

    We have several adoptive mothers who regularly read this blog (see their posts above) and they know that we are not making this up, or accusing anyone directly of ordering someone to steal a child. But it happens. Adoption, particularly overseas adoption, is rife with corruption because there is a buck to be made by supplying the world with freshly-minted healthy babies.

    As for adoptions in this country, religious organizations such as the Mormons and those with a strong Christian connection (such as Bethany) encourage women to give up their babies in large part simply to grease the wheels and keep the business of adoption going. You can even find websites that list adoption "situations" and show a price tag--white infants go for much more than African-American or mixed race babies. Without "product," agencies would lose business and in fact, go out of business. And while you personally may be honoring your child's heritage and first/birth mother, many many adopting parents do not. In open adoption cases, they promise one thing and do another, and that is what happened to at least one of the people who has posted here. We do not hate those who adopt. We hate the system that takes babies from mothers and does not offer them the help they would need to keep and raise the child.

    One last thought: you refer to the decision to relinquish a child as excruciating and selfless. Excruciating, right. Not selfless. And not "loving," as many adoptive parents like to say, and believe. If the most loving thing a mother could do was to give a child up for a better life, many, many poor mothers would be offering their babies freely. Giving up a child is totally an act of desperation, and surrender to what seems the obvious: that the mother does not have the money or the support system to raise that child. But she remains his or her mother for all her life. While you have been disturbed by much of what you read here, I hope this at least has made you rethink some of your assumptions. And if your son finds himself calling the other woman "mother," please accept that this does not diminish your role as "mom" and "mother" in his life. He knows he has two mothers, and I sincerely hope you can come to accept this with peace and equanimity.

    peace to you--lorraine

  40. Anon -- it was my adoptive mother who died and didn't have a chance to raise me.

  41. Lo, that was a great post.

  42. "Elaine - if your birth mother dies before she had a chance to raise you and you were raised lovingly by another woman who took the role of "mother," then your birth mom would be that, your birth mom."

    Elaine didn't say that: she said if a woman (actually a mother) has a child and that woman dies before she can raise the child, what is she? She is that child's mother. Please.


    But what if this woman has made no formal adoption plans but doesn't know if she can parent? She is still that child's mother.

    The ONLY way someone becomes a birthmother is because adoption says she is. So your whole chicken-and-egg thing is off too. Adoption today drives the need for babies, not the other way around. *Birthmother* is a construct that serves the purposes of adoption.

    My daughter's parents are not her birthparents. The idea is ridiculous. I hope to meet them one day and have a good laugh about that.

    1. I know this is very late to post here, but I need to respond. My mother died when I was three months old. My father gave me up a month later, not because he wanted to, but because he didn't have supports to keep me. My mother is my mother. She is not my birthmother. You said, "*Birthmother* is a construct that serves the purposes of adoption." No, that is not how it works. You've got it all wrong. A mother is a mother forever. The only parent who needs a descriptive word in front of the word "mother" is Adoptive mother. Adoptive father. Adoptive parent. Foster Parent...Adoption did not say my mother is a birthmother. She died knowing she was my mother. Adoption took that away from her...and from me. Adoption said that she was no longer my mother when another woman's name was typed in as my mother by birth. It is all a lie. I have been fighting for 45 years to have New York State reinstate my mother AS my mother by releasing my revoked and sealed birth certificate to me. My adoptive mother's name belongs on an adoption certificate not a birth certificate.

  43. Anon thinks that if a woman dies before she's able to raise her child, that automatically makes her a "birth mom". Well, there's some truth to that, insofar as she gave birth.
    But then so does a gestational surrogate.
    Does Anon consider these two situations essentially the same?

    It seems to me that if we're going to draw distinctions (as we sometimes need to do, if only for clarity's sake) it has to go both ways.

    Anon, what would you call the woman who raises the child of another woman who'd died?
    For instance, a woman who'd adopted that child, or had married the child's father.
    Would she be simply "mother", without any qualifying prefix?
    Just curious.

  44. Hey Anonymous poster that I blasted for coming here and degrading and dehumanizing us MOTHERS. I have and will continue to say this until my face turns blue, yes, I am my child's mother. I created my child, I nutured my child in the womb and I gave birth to my child. I am his mother. Sorry that is so hard for you to come to terms with. Yes, adoptive mothers are mother's too and I never said they were not; however I get tired of being told that am NOT my child's mother; that I served the purpose of incubator and need to quitely go away and shut up. That is never going to happen.

    Why does my son's adoptive mother get the title of mother and I of BIRTHmother? Because I was vulnerable young woman who believed the brainwashing the baby brokers and the social wrecker fed me. Because I believed the OPEN ADOPTION LIE and the false promises of continued contact, which ceased when my son was 7.

    You want to come here all self righteous and entitled, then have the NERVE to talk about the "emotional, societal and even legal standpoint."? Where are my emotional and legal rights in all of this? You could care less, that is where.

    Your damn right it hurts to know that I gave up my rights to be a mother, especially when I woke up to the reality of what happened to me and realized that it was unnecessary. Your also damn right it HURTS (like being stabbed in the chest on a daily basis) that I was conned out of my child by people who would do or say anything to get their hands on a baby; then have no regard whatsoever for the woman who suffered on a daily basis without her child.

    PRETENDING the child I gave up is MINE? He IS my child. Your the one with your head in the sand... not me. The fact that you have to come here and try to diminish our roles as mothers speaks volumes.

    YES... we do "lose" our children. To baby brokers and to LIES. You can be rest assured that had I known then I what I do now, I would not even know this website existed because I would have never, ever "given my child up". My son WOULD have had parents, a family and a home. I mistakenly thought that just because his adopters had more money than I and a couple extra more rooms they would be the better choice to raise him. How tragic that thinking was. Financial situations change. Life situations change. ADOPTION IS A PERMANENT SOLUTION TO A TEMPORARY PROBLEM. Bet you have heard that one, haven't you, Ms. Anonymous.

    The only solution you provided was standing there with your wallets open. The only availablity I CREATED was that I was a vulnerable, scared young woman.

    People like YOU are the ones who play into that and are so eager to take someone's child as your own. My son's adopters knew I wanted to keep him and that I was having doubts and second thoughts. That's why they made promises they knew they were never going to keep. That is why I am now, 20 years later, defending my right to call myself my son's mother and he my son. I am a good mother to his brother who was born after him, and I would have been a good mother to the child I LOST as well.

  45. From the Los Angeles Times, Nov. 11/09:

    China has long been the most popular source for U.S. parents seeking to adopt from overseas. Since the early 1990s, more than 80,000 Chinese children have been adopted by parents from other countries, the United States leading the way.

    In the last five years, U.S. parents have adopted nearly 31,000 children from China. The conventional wisdom has been that the children were abandoned because of China's restrictions on family size and the nation's traditional preference for boys, who serve as a form of social security for parents.

    But adoptive parents have been unsettled by reports that many children have been seized through coercion, fraud or kidnapping, sometimes by government officials seeking to remove children from families that have exceeded population-planning limits or to reap a portion of the $3,000 that orphanages receive for each adopted child.

  46. "But sticking your head in the sand and pretending the children you gave up are your children doesn't make it so."

    What if the child - who becomes an ADULT adoptee - decides to consider both adoptive mom and birth mom just "mother"?

    What if the adoptee DECIDES they are both called mother?

  47. Mei-Ling "What if the adoptee DECIDES they are both called mother?"
    Exactly. Anon's or anyone else's opinions on the matter are farts in the wind.
    When push comes to shove, it's all up to the adopted adult to decide who to call "mother".

    Though I'd love to be able to understand Anon's logic. It's just so extraordinarily contorted.

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. Anon said: Again, they could NOT adopt a child that has not been placed for adoption to begin with. That "need" was created by the birth mother.

    ARE YOU NUTS??? You were just the next one in line. Agencies NEED babies to satisfy the unending demand of the adopters! It is the agencies that have the NEED. If not you, it would have been the next couple in line. YOU were nothing special, your number was just up. YOU did not "save" the baby you adopted. Talk about head in the sand.

    I did not "give my baby up" or "make an adoption plan" or MOST ESPECIALLY I was NOT UNWILLING TO PARENT! Those are the propaganda that adoption agencies feed to PAPs (prospective adoptive parents) to get them to feel better about legalized kidnapping!

    I was made to believe that becoming pregnant was the most LIFE SHATTERING ERROR I COULD HAVE MADE. I was made to believe that I was NOT mother material and that I could NOT raise my daughter. I was mind-controlled into believing that adoption was the ONLY option for my situation.

    BTW, I was almost 21 by the time my daughter was born. I was NOT a teenager. In fact, I was Valedectorian and I was in nursing school WITH A SCHOLARSHIP when I became pregnant. So I HAD resources, I COULD have supported myself and my child. BUT I WAS NOT MARRIED. That was the SOLE criteria for keeping a child, apparently.

    Your head-in-the-sand attitude, Anon, about the REALITY of adoption is going to continue to cause problems with your adopted children. Your refusal to realize that you are raising SOMEONE ELSE'S CHILD is going to be your undoing. Yes, your children became yours through adoption. BUT THEY ARE NOT YOUR PROPERTY. They are PEOPLE, human beings with feelings and thoughts of their own. If you were a good mother, you would be thinking of what was good for THEM and not just yourself. You would not be so threatened by the fact that your child has TWO MOTHERS because you would be secure in the love your child has for YOU. They will never leave you or your family. You have made certain of that. Why do you then deprive them of loving their First Mother who was the reason you got to have this experience in the first place?

    I searched for and found my daughter 11 years ago. She does not call me "mom" but she knows I am. I don't mind, really, because it's how she TREATS me that is important. You see, I know I am HER mom, too.

  50. I LOVE how so many "haters" who come to this website feel they have the "right" answers; that they seem to feel they have the RIGHT to TELL US how things are. I cracks me up to see how they seemingly KNOW EVERYTHING just because they have adopted & that somehow makes them an expert. In this age of preaching tolerance, I find people like that the LEAST tolerant & the most hypocritical. I truly feel sorry for their kids for the hatred they are teaching them (as expressed by their irrational rants on this forum)is far more worse than the "terrible life" we birthparents could have possibly inflicted.

  51. Legacy Of An Adopted Child

    Once there were two women who didn’t know each other.

    One you do not remember…the other you called Mother.

    Two different lives that shaped to make you just one.

    One was your guiding Star…the other became your Sun.

    One gave you Life…the other taught you how to live it.

    One gave you a need for Love…the other was there to give it.

    One gave you a Nationality…the other gave you a Name.

    One gave you a Talent…the other gave you Aim.

    One gave you Emotions…the other calmed your Fears.

    One saw your first sweet Smile…the other dried your Tears.

    One sought for a Home that she could not provide,

    The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied.

    And now you ask me through your Tears,

    That age old question, unanswered through the years.

    Heredity or Environment? Which are you a product of?

    Neither My darling…………....Neither.

    Just two different kinds of Love.


  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. Mary, I am another person who finds that poem to be nauseating. It promotes the adoption industry falacy that adoption is a warm wonderful thing. In fact, MOST mothers who surrendered babies to adoption were pressured and coerced, and/or fed lies and were hence defrauded! To sugar-coat this denies this fact. I know you posted this in all innocence, but for me adoption was a form of rape. I was violated against my will and cast aside like used garbage, to struggle with severe PTSD and depresion for years because of it. And the horrifying thing is realizing that NO-ONE CARES OR UNDERSTANDS because everyone believe that adoption is as 'wonderful' as that poem states. :(

  54. I just dislike it because it is a trite, cloying, bad piece of poetry. Rule of thumb: any poem that gets put an a plaque generally sucks:-)It cries out for someone to write a sick parody.

  55. Lorraine Dusky says: Adoption, particularly overseas adoption, is rife with corruption because there is a buck to be made by supplying the world with freshly-minted healthy babies.

    So, Lorraine or others, what about the children who are not healthy? What should we do? Leave them to die in an orphanage? Or should they be adopted?

    Yes, I am an AP and yes, I have a daughter who was adopted internationally. She was born with complex heart disease and cleft lip and palate, none of which was repaired in her birth country.

  56. 'Legacy of an adopted child', always reminds me of Madeline Basset to whom Bertie Wooster periodically found himself threateningly engaged. She liked to say that "the stars are God's daisy chain" (as well as " "every time a fairy blows its wee nose a baby is born").

    You'd think even Anonymous would be embarrassed to take credit for it.
    It's god-awful sentimental mush of the worst order, and Maryanne is quite right about it being the kind of poems that get put on plaques.

    I suggest some serious plaque burning.
    I volunteer to be Savonarola :- )

    Little Snowdrop

  57. Lousy Legacy

    Once there were two women
    Who could not stand each other
    They fought and scratched like alley cats
    Over who was really "mother"

    One said "I gave you brown eyes"(sorry that they're crossed)
    The other said "I wiped your butt, picked up the junk you lost"

    "I labored hours when you were born, and oy, the pain, it hurt!
    The other said, "I washed your socks that reeked of sweat and dirt"

    "You're MINE" both shrieked, You owe me! I am the One True Mother."
    "You damned ungrateful adoptee, come here and let me smother...."

    Do you come from your A.mom's heart, or from your B.Mom's guts?
    Neither, darling, neither
    'Cause both of them are nuts!

  58. That's beautiful, Anonymous.
    Really, really beautiful.
    I am moved to tears of laughter.

    Little Snowdrop

  59. Wife of the Pres, the average Chinese family can't afford even a cleft palate repair, never mind complex surgery. Children are abandoned because parents can't afford to get them medical care and insurance is dodgy at best. It's often hard to feed a child with a cleft palate at home, so just keeping your baby might not be an option. How's that for an unjust situation? Does that make adoption just or the "right" solution? It may be a solution one case at a time right now, but it is not a long-term one. How would you feel if you were given those two alternatives? Pay for surgery (which you cannot, by any stretch of the imagination) or abandon. How are those choices? And it would be interesting to see how many cleft palate surgeries are paid for after the child has been streamed into the system, not before, to make him or her adoptable.

  60. Little Snow (pure as the driven) and Maryanne, I'm ashamed to say we own one of those plaque poems--not that one but something equally awful. It was given to us at the time of our adoption and Sim actually likes it. I can understand why. It is accompanied by the obligatory picture of the babies on a sofa in the hotel lobby. Of course, it is link with the past but I await the day when she reads the poem and puts her finger down her throat.

  61. Vanessa said: "Why does my son's adoptive mother get the title of mother and I of BIRTHmother?"

    Because, being a mom is about doing the time, doing the effort. Ultimately, 90% of being a mom is just showing up every single day!

    That's why Vanessa!

    But if all you have is a genetic linkage, I can see how you'll desperately cling to that thread and weave it into a big fat "Mother of the Year" button you can pin on your shirt.

    I wonder if any of you birth mothers has any children you've now raised. And hasn't that experience illustrated its profound value and forever-bonding relationship? Or do you see absolutely no difference in your significance as mother to a child you've not raised to one you have?

  62. Anonymous said: "Because, being a mom is about doing the time, doing the effort. Ultimately, 90% of being a mom is just showing up every single day!"

    By that logic my adoptive mother should be Mother of the Year--the woman who wanted me only for the social status a child could provide, and who, yes, bought me clothes and food and schooling but remained emotionally unavailable to me my entire life. There is no guarantee of "forever-bonding" as you so nauseatingly put it.

    I have TWO mothers: my mother of origin and my adoptive mother. If an adoptive mother can't deal with the fact that another woman is the genetic mother of her child, she has no business adopting. As a mother myself I can tell you there is more to that genetic lineage that you so casually dismiss.

    To the Anonymous that penned "Lousy Legacy"--ROTFLMAO!

  63. Osolo, I can hardly imagine anything "equally awful". The mind boggles. But there are more things in heaven and earth, and I'm sure some of them are adoption plaques.

    Actually, re the "legacy" poem, I do think an adopted person can have 'two mothers', but I also think it's up to them to make that decision, not to have it made for them.
    I guess it comes down to the way it's framed.
    Or in this case, plaqued.

    However, I can understand why your daughter likes your plaque.

    Little Immaculate Snowdrop

  64. Anon (Nov 21) said "I wonder if any of you birth mothers has any children you've now raised."
    I do, Anon. I have raised an adopted son and a biological son. And I am reunited with my relinquished son, who was adopted in 1962.

    "And hasn't that experience illustrated its profound value and forever-bonding relationship? Or do you see absolutely no difference in your significance as mother to a child you've not raised to one you have"
    I have three sons, and two of them each have two mothers. Whatever difference in my significance to them as a mother is for them to say, not me.

    Little Snowdrop

  65. Well, you know, I already got in trouble here with one list for shooting my mouth off, so I will not repeat the poem should somebody from that group be skulking around here (as there is a connection), but suffice to say, the lines "conceived from a blessing and sent straight from above" are in there.


    But Snow, you are right. It is Sim's poem and she chooses to have it in her room. I seriously doubt she's read it through lately. It's more like the whole package of keepsakes. I have always referred to her folks as "your parents in China" . . .but again, it's her adoption story, not mine, and she is the orchestrator of these relationships. I'm just the information digger, although my imagination does fire up too at the chance to know these people.

  66. Hey Anonymous (who most certainly has it for me~ HA!) When you were quoting what I said, you so conveniently left out the most important thing, so I will copy and paste THE WHOLE COMMENT.

    "Why does my son's adoptive mother get the title of mother and I of BIRTHmother? Because I was vulnerable young woman who believed the brainwashing the baby brokers and the social wrecker fed me. Because I believed the OPEN ADOPTION LIE and the false promises of continued contact, which ceased when my son was 7."

    You so conveniently leave out, in your idiotic rants, anything to do with me being lied to and manipulated out of my child with the promise of an OPEN ADOPTION. Why is that, anonymous? Did the cat get your tounge on that little tidbit that has EVERYTHING to do with why I made that statement in the first place?

    "Because, being a mom is about doing the time, doing the effort. Ultimately, 90% of being a mom is just showing up every single day!"

    Yes, we know, you are so noble and wonderful for getting to DO THE TIME. YOU GOT TO DO THE TIME BECAUSE A MOTHER LOST that opportunity.. because of lies, vulnerability and deception. Your arrogance and entitlment make me sick to my stomach. Why don't you stop hiding behind your anonymity and tell us who you really are? I, for one would love to know.

    YOU ARE THE ONE who is desperatly clinging to something, by coming here and denouncing our motherhood. You will never see me on an adoptive mothers blog(s) doing such a thing. Never. I don't feel the need to have somethign I know validated by the likes of you, that I am my son's mother. Mother of the Year Pin? My son's adoptive mother can have it, since she is apparently so much more deserving and entitled to MY CHILD. Isn't that right, anonymous.

    As far as your question that is really none of your damn business, the only difference that I see in the child I am raising and the one I LOST, is a profound sadness at all that I unecessarily missed with my firstborn, that I shouldn't have.

    I feel so very sorry for the children that you have adopted, anonymous. It is people like you that make me regret my decision even more that I already have all of these years. You see us as nothing more than incubators for you. You are, in reality, nothing but threatened and jealous of the 'genetic bond' that you know you, nor anyone else can ever break.

  67. I saw an article about Catholic Charities adoptees. And hope someone can help me please. I have been looking for my baby brother for over 30 years now. And I have hit dead ends everytime. Catholic Charities will not give me any information about him since my mother is still alive and in a nursing home. Which is terrible. She has been looking til she couldnt any longer. So, I promised her I will not give up til I find him. I don't know what else to do. I have talked to people and nothing, also, people wanting thousands of dollars for finding a person is crazy when you dont have it. If I did I would spend it to find him. He was born at Margret Hague Maternity Hospital in New Jersey. Born October 9th, 1959 name at birth Kevin Brown. The adoption from what I could get was that he was adopted on Feb 5th, 1960 or 1961 to family that the father worked in the shipyard and mother as a telephone operator. This is all I could get and it hit dead end after that. Can anyone help me. I know this is a long shot but I don't know what else to do. I even asked this guy "Troy Dunn" to help and he said "sorry". Please any information that could help me would be wonderful. Thank you and hope everyone has the chance to find their loved ones.
    email me at Reba1970@aol.com, this is my friends addy so please serious enquires would be greatly appriciated.

  68. I wonder why everyone has to take sides. What is right and true for the owner of this site is not necessarily what everyone needs. Why must someone be evil if they have different perspective, needs, experience. There is no absolute right and wrong. Ms Foley experienced a horror of parental neglect, abuse and sexual abuse. Her decision /need to respond to that in a way in which she finally finds a voice - albeit a different voice from those posting here - doesn't make her a monster. It makes her different from you. If we all continue to look at those different from us and just paint in black and white there can be no real progress. The world is more complicated than that. Compassion for us ALL would be a good start at creating something different. What is here won't create any bridges or progress. As women, I think we can do better than this.

  69. Anon,

    We don't say someone is evil if they disagree with us on open records, just that they're wacky.

    Some issues have no middle ground and require decent people to take a stand. If abolitionists and sufragettes had compromised, we'd still have slavery in some parts of the country and women would not be allowed to vote in all states.

    If we accept that Foley has a valid point, we might as well give up the fight. Compromising with the likes of Foley would be like compromising with the Flat Earth Society by agreeing that the earth is a cube.

  70. I wonder why everyone has to take sides. What is right and true for the owner of this site is not necessarily what everyone needs. Why must someone be evil if they have different perspective, needs, experience. There is no absolute right and wrong. Ms Foley experienced a horror of parental neglect, abuse and sexual abuse. Her decision /need to respond to that in a way in which she finally finds a voice - albeit a different voice from those posting here - doesn't make her a monster. It makes her different from you. If we all continue to look at those different from us and just paint in black and white there can be no real progress. The world is more complicated than that. Compassion for us ALL would be a good start at creating something different. What is here won't create any bridges or progress. As women, I think we can do better than this.

  71. Hmmm, but is Foley saying that all must adopt her viewpoint? That is what I most struggle with as I read this. So many people seemed to find her "disgusting" etc. etc. because she chooses not to take a mother role post adoption. While I think it is an extreme feeling, some people in her circumstances could feel that way. I have to think that is very very difficult for her adopted daughter to come to terms with, but as many said, you are not starting with a blank slate with a child. And Foley seems a sensitive child particularly shattered by what she experienced and doing the best she can/what she needs to do to be able to get through it. I have never had to make a decision about giving a child up for adoption - I am slightly younger than her and thus post Roe v Wade. So I made a different tough decision post rape. So some might call me a murderer and all kinds of things because that is a different choice than they believe they would have made or did make under such circumstances. But why does what is right for one person have to define what must be right for another? That's what I don't get in the context of this discussion as well as others. If people believe it is important to give their child up for adoption for any reason, that is their valid choice. If they want to continue to have contact with that child, they can choose an open adoption. At least in the state I live in, an enforceable contract can be entered into regarding access to the child. I think having ONLY the choice of either closed or open adoption is wrong. I think people should have choices and other people should allow them that.

  72. Anon,
    You're totally missing the point. The adoption was never for or about Foley. Adoption is solely for the benefit of the child, not the birth parent or the adoptive parent. For many children, the benefit includes having contact with their birth parents both while growing up and when they become adults. Of course a child is better off being adopted than being raised by a parent who doesn't want him. Even those unfortunate children, however, may benefit from contact with their biological parents.

    Birth parents like Foley who refuse contact with their children are either selfish or ignorant. For more on the value of openness, read the recent E. B. Donaldson Report, "Openness in Adoption."

    Unfortunately, mothers are often misinformed when they surrender their children and view openness as some thing for themselves which they can take or leave.

    With regard to choice, read our 3/12/12 post. Choice is often an illusion when it comes to adoption.

    "I've answered three questions and that is enough; Be off or I'll kick you downstairs." -- Lewis Carroll,

  73. This blog is so awful. I can't believe how judgemental you are being about Kathleen Foley. She has a right to privacy. How dare you doubt her claim that she was raped, you misogynists. Ms Penn has parents - the ones who adopted her. I hope states pass laws protecting the privacy of people who put children up for adoption. Better yet, loosen up the restrictions on abortion.

    1. Thank you for saying so. I am shocked and dismayed at the ignorance, ideological blindness, callousness, and disregard for human rights (e.g. women's rights) that these comments reveal. If a woman or girl didn't have a great reason for abortion before, reading this will give her one.

  74. Okay before I have my say, let me just be up front. I'm an adoptive mother. Dear lord, I hate to say this but.... I am a teensy tiny bit like this idiot - whereas I identify as being an adoptee (older step parent adoption) but simply because of my own life experiences and how they seem to mirror those of many real adoptees. Okay, now on to the matter at hand....

    Thank you for posting this!!!! Believe it or not, this idiot came to my attention through a Guatemalan Adoption group posting on FB (as in check out this moron). I was infuriated this woman had the audacity to deny her child the most basic of courtesies and then turn around and write a book about it. Yes, it smacks of that Anita Tedaldi insanity a few years back.

    I have shared this post with my fellow adopters - I hope the author doesn't mind.

  75. Hey Foxxy: it's cool, welcome. and thanks for sharing this link! Everybody posts comments here.

  76. I have not read Foley's book but I have read the reviews at amazon and the opinions here. Of course, you have a right to your opinion! Most posters state their opinion that she was not raped. Unfortunately, we still have not come out of the era when most rape victims were judged as liars. Most people are saying she has mental health issues and this proves she was not raped. Their conclusion is that anyone with mental health problems is fabricating the account of rape. Actually, this is a defense most often used by a rapist in court.

    The statement: 'Penn's "non-identifying information report" from CSS contains nothing about any "rape" allegation' is at the top of this page. We should know by now that Catholic Social Services deliberately omitted information and even provided falsehoods. I wanted the social worker to put the name of the inseminator/rapist in my son's record. She refused to do so. Instead, she wrote "unknown" as I found out later. In fact, all babies at Catholic Charities were fathered by "unknown." I do not know Foley and I do not know her daughter. This post is strictly to point out the blatant misogyny of women toward other women.

    I am in favor of an adoptee knowing her history. For me, losing my son was life's greatest loss. I had to hire a professional searcher to find my son -- so great was my determination to find him. I spent a good portion of my life dealing with the loss and trauma. He said: "I'm glad you searched for me because I would never have searched for you." I was determined to make our reunion work out for the good. Tolerance, waiting and patience paid off. We are always in touch and I recently returned from a 5-day stay at his house. I know that some first mothers do not have successful reunions -- not because they did anything wrong! I am saddened for them and I wish they could have been as lucky as I was.

    I know first mothers and adoptees are very angry with Foley because she wants to keep records closed. Posters say Foley is vitriolic. I once heard a famous woman say: when they go low, we go high. Matching vitriol with vitriol does no good in the cause for open records.



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