' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: August 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Money, not marriage, is the answer to black poverty

Pandering to racists (“Lack of two-parent homes still the biggest hurdle for African American children”), Washington Post columnist George Will once again attributes high unemployment and incarceration rates among black men to illegitimacy and absent fathers.

According to Will, “high out-of-wedlock birth rates mean a constantly renewed cohort of adolescent males without male parenting, which means disorderly neighborhoods and schools.”

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Birth" grandmas are still grandmas

No matter what you call them, birth grandmas are still grandmas. My surrendered daughter Megan’s daughter Chelsea visited this past week. We took a quick trip to the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon to see Hamlet, traveled to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, got our hair cut and our nails done (mine in sparkling silver; Chelsea’s in turquoise blue). I took full advantage of the opportunity to indulge Chelsea and myself.

After all, that’s what grandmas are for – to spoil their grandchildren. Five years ago, when Chelsea and her sister Rachael visited, the airline agent joked as he issued their boarding passes, “Now that your grandma has spoiled you, she’s sending you home to your Mama.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other and other fallacies of adopting internationally

A lively debate is going on in the comments over at the NPR site over NPR weekend host Scott Simon's new book: Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other. When I first got wind of the title a couple of weeks ago, I gagged. It's more of the same that we hear from adoptive parents all the time: this child was "meant" for me, totally subverting the catastrophe in someone's life that led to that child's being available to be adopted.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Maness Moms Equal Fatherless Children, Part 2

A further clarification regarding donor children, and the research of the Institute for American Values, after Jessica left a comment at the previous blog: Manless Moms Equal Fatherless Children.  (It was too long to be merely a comment.)

We know that the ideal two-parent family is impossible for everyone; we also believe that women today ought to be given all the help they can to be able to raise their children, with or without fathers. We do not encourage adoption except in extreme cases, and then never with sealed records. We at First Mother Forum believe that whenever possible children should full knowledge of who each parent is. This is an unalienable, unassailable right, and to deny it to anyone is to commit a grave moral failing.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Manless Moms Equal Fatherless Children

“I don’t need a man to be a mom” Jennifer Aniston proclaims on the cover of People. Aniston recently starred in a new comedy, The Switch, in which she plays “a single woman with a ticking biological clock who turns to a sperm donor to have a baby.” This movie, on the heels of The Kids Are All Right telling what happens down the road when the man’s seeds sprout and seek him out, may portend a new Hollywood genre, trendy reproduction.

Monday, August 16, 2010

When Daddy's Name is Donor...

We're heading back into murky waters today taking another look at a report, "My Daddy's Name is Donor," from the conservative think tank, the Institute for American Values (just the name alone sets off alarm bells), but nonetheless, their findings are at least worth analyzing. One of the authors of the report, Karen Clark, is a child of donor sperm herself. One of the major findings is summed up here:
Children of anonymous sperm donors "are hurting more, are more confused, and feel more isolated

Friday, August 13, 2010

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Adoptee/Birth Mother Reunion

Why do adoptee-birth mother reunions fail? Why do so many problems occur when the seeker finds who is sought? How can those still searching avoid the traps that foil so many relationships right at the start? I was musing about this with my friend, Thomasina, who does searches (mostly for adoptees, but sometimes for first/birth parents) and she sent me a thoughtful reply.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Doubly Damned by Adoption turns Victim into a Fighter

Janette Barcenas has been doubly damned by adoption, first when she was taken from her mother in Guatemala and brought to the United States and then when she lost her son to the American adoption system. Her loses have turned her into a fighter for adoption reform.

Janette contacted me several years ago. I’m not sure how she got my name – perhaps through Concerned United Birthparents. We met at a hole-in-the wall pizza place near my home.

Over pepperoni pizza and soda, Janette told me that she had given up her son through PLAN (Plan Loving Adoptions Now) a McMinnville, Oregon based adoption agency which has since shut its doors. (According to PLAN, it ceased operations because the bulk of its business was foreign adoptions and fewer foreign children were available due to the unwillingness of other countries to let their children leave, stricter immigration laws, and concerns by humanitarian organizations.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Call it what it is: Child Trafficking as "Adoption"

Pro-adoption forces do not want to call taking children from poor countries in great quantity: trafficking. They are wrong. It is child trafficking, plain and simple, and only the "not necessarily for sex" codicil applies; though as we know, sometimes it is for sex. But those cases are rare. Most people, one assumes, go to great lengths to get a child simply because they want to have a child, and treat that child as their "own."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

International Adoption: Corruption as Usual

Mistake! Adoptions from Nepal only halted last Friday! (Not a month ago as originally reported here.) We so deplore the wholesale adoption of kids from poor countries to supply the American market with children. We do not contend that all such international adoptions are wrong; we believe it is better for a child to be adopted into a family anywhere than grow up in an institution. However, the pressure on poor countries to fill a worldwide demand from rich nations has led to all kinds of abuses, as the following report shows:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Read All About It...in The New York Times

The story of Lisa and Lorraine appears in today's New York Times.
Click on link below:
Adoption, Reunion, Connection

Writer Sue Dominus, an old friend, was meticulous in getting the language right and the story straight. She did a great job in cramming in a long story in the amount of space she had. We spoke last night as the story went to bed. To keep adoption reform in the news: write to Letters@nytimes.com

The sun is shining. Have a great day. --lorraine
Those of you who have followed FirstMother Forum know I've written in detail about finding my granddaughter, Lisa, who was adopted. (The link will connect to others with the full story.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Gay Moms Want Sperm Limits in The Kids Are All Right

We're late to the gate with The Kids Are All Right but nevertheless we are putting our own spin on a movie about two lesbian moms and the kids they bore via a sperm-donor dad. It's not the same as everybody's else's.
Rotten Tomatoes, a web movie rating system that collects movie reviews, found that reviewers gave the movie a 96 per cent approval rating, meaning four percent (5) of the 121 critics culled gave it a negative review.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Making the adoption industry accountable

Until mothers can bring lawsuits for the return of their children, the adoption industry has no financial incentive to assure that mothers are fully informed before consenting to adoption. While adoption agencies are licensed by state authorities, the penalty for coercion or fraud is loss of license, not undoing illegal adoptions. State authorities move slowly and corrupt adoption agencies often continue their wrongful practices for years before states take action.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Justice for birthmothers is an oxymoron

Lately, I’ve been involved with a mother and daughter who are those pariahs of civilized society, parents trying to get their kids back from the only family the child has ever known. Irony all intended.

Last month, a woman called me and asked me to help her 15-year-old daughter get her infant daughter back. The story she told was this:

When Leticia learned her daughter, Ashley, was pregnant, she went to her pastor for advice. He referred her to his wife who conveniently happened to run an adoption agency.