' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: September 2010
Join Lorraine in Indianapolis! She will be opening the IAN conference on Friday morning. See details on sidebar.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Transition Time in Contested Adoptions: Just Another Excuse for Delay

Tuesday, FMF was excited to report that Benjamin Wyrembek, the natural father of “Grayson Vaughn” --the name given to a three year old boy by his would-be adopters, Jason and Christy Vaughn--would soon gain custody of him. Unfortunately there’s been another setback in the chain of events which has kept the boy and his father apart for almost three years.

After a closed hearing in an Indiana trial court where it had been expected that Grayson would be turned over to his father, both sides released a joint statement agreeing to "resolve this matter in a way that meets the child’s best interest," and avoid further comment to the media.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Biological Father Wins in Court, Again; Will the Vaughns Comply?

The natural father of "Grayson Vaughn," not the boy's his legal name since he was never adopted, will be able to raise his child,  and the couple who have been holding him for the last three years must turn him over to the father, Benjamin Wyrembek, within twenty-hours, as ordered by the Ohio Supreme Court this afternoon. The court referred to the "right of a natural parent to the care and custody of his children (as) one of the most precious and fundamental in law."

Hooray!  Christy and Jason Vaughn, who have been making the rounds of the media hoping to drum up sympathy for their keeping the boy,

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Adoption, the third rail of politics

Adoption reform may be the new “third rail” of politics, replacing abortion and gay marriage as the subject lawmakers fear touching. We’ve certainly seen this in the many failed attempts of adult adoptees to gain unrestricted access to their birth certificates. The American Civil Liberties Union, the National Council for Adoption, and Right to Life yak about "birth mother privacy" and legislative support collapses like pricked balloons.

Recently, I was at a political fund-raiser, talking to a progressive, feminist legislative leader. I told her I was working with a group interested in legislation to require time after birth before a woman could surrender her child.Her response stunned me.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Biological Dad Seeks Return of His Son; Adopters Resist, Claiming: Best Interests

Sellersburg family continues fight for adopted son
Talk about courts that delay and laws that are stacked against natural parents of children! This is another case of what is out-and-out child snatching passively approved by our slow-moving legal system in America. But at least in this case an Ohio judge saw the light of right and has ordered that the three-year-old in question, now called Grayson Vaughn, be returned in 48 hours to his rightful, natural father. However, since the prospective adopters live in Indiana, they have been fighting the return of the child to his father in both states.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Case for More Time Before Signing Surrender Papers

Why does a mother need time after a baby is born before she irrevocably signs him away? What is wrong with prospective adoptive parents being at the hospital when the baby is born, wrong with them cutting the physical cord that connects mother and child? Just about everything. The pressure on a mother to "make a nice couple happy" and relinquish her child can be overwhelming. Recently one of us heard a legislator say: "Why does she [a mother, a birth mother] need time after the baby is born before she signs the papers? She's had seven months to think about it."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yes we can reform state adoption laws!

Birth mothers, adoptive parents, adoptees, and others in Oregon have formed a Coalition and drafted legislation which would assure mothers have adequate information and sufficient time to make informed decisions about adoption. The bill creates a clear path to the courthouse, eliminating confusing and conflicting legal procedures and giving mothers one year to file actions to set aside adoptions where the mothers’ consent was obtained unlawfully.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Power of First Mothers Speaking Out

We got an interesting comment the other day from someone in the Netherlands, and I'm posting it here so that more of you can read it, because it is about the power of speaking out. The sealed-records laws would change quicker, make no mistake, if more first mothers spoke up about the pain of relinquishment and wanting to know our children one day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Inconsolable grief

“We miss our baby” trumpets the cover of People (9/20/10) with a large picture of attractive teen parents Catelynn and Tyler, and an insert of them smiling with an equally attractive older couple, Brandon and Teresa holding baby Carly. We learn from the article that the Detroit couple placed their newborn daughter with the North Carolina couple whom they selected after seeing a YouTube video Brandon and Teresa made for “prospective birth parents.”
“Catelynn and Tyler have struggled with the complex web of feelings that comes with any adoption.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Adoption: Then, and Now

When my daughter was born in 1966 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, I shared a room with another young mother, also unwed. She was undecided over whether she should give up her child for adoption.  From a work in progress: 

By Lorraine Dusky
copyright (c) 2010

My particular roommate turned out to be a chubby teenager with acne and over-bleached hair the color of white sand. That afternoon there had been three women crowding around her bed, talking low. Yet at some point our eyes caught each others across the room as eyes sometimes do.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Blood Relatives: Why They Matter

This is from another blog, Completely out of My Mind, with the author's permission.

Blood relatives

by Anthony Brandt

September 8:

Last few days I've been hearing from Cindy, my cousin Joan's daughter. Joan died this year, having lived out her last years with senile dementia, which also made our grandmother's life at the end something you might imagine appropriate for monsters or Nazis or the like, but not for human beings. I had been sad to hear it. Joan, in fact, had a tough life all through.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Explaining Adoption Reform Issues to the Hip, Educated Masses

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the reaction I get as a birth/first mother from people who are not familiar with adoption as it is and what's wrong with it, (Telling a Stranger What It's Like to be a Birth Mother), and how I frequently avoid the issue because it is rather wearing to have to jump on a soapbox and educate against possibly hostile reaction when you'd rather just kick back and relax. So here we are, Labor Day weekend, and good friends have a party, but a party with a fair number of people I know only slightly, or not at all.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Birthmothers Right to Privacy -- An invention of the ACLU?

The American Civil Liberties Union seems bent on trampling on rights it doesn't like and inventing new rights to suit its purpose. Executive Director of the New Jersey chapter of the ACLU, Deborah Jacobs, claims that birth mothers' promise of confidentiality is not relevant to the debate surrounding the reform of  New Jersey's adoption law that would give adult adoptees the right to know their original, true identities:
“I also wanted to mention that I have never made any statements about whether birth mothers were promised confidentiality or not. I don’t think it's relevant to the debate,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

ACLU Tramples Adoptee Rights & First Mother Protections

By Lorraine Dusky and Jane Edwards

Politics definitely makes strange bed fellows. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey has lined up with Right to Life and the National Council for Adoption (NCFA) to oppose a bill which would allow most of the adoptees in that state to have a copy of their original birth certificates. The ACLU and its unusual fellow travelers claim opening records would a) invade birth mothers’ privacy and b) cause adoptions to go down, presumably because women would choose abortion rather than adoption.