' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: The difference between the gay marriage movement and adoptee rights

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The difference between the gay marriage movement and adoptee rights

Jane, while I personally applaud all that you say (see previous blog*), in New York and New Jersey I believe we have tried everything we can do at this point--until huge numbers of adoptees and fellow travelers (first parents, adoptive parents, friends and relatives) come out in numbers. Big numbers. Like the gays did for the marriage equality bill. But here are some of the disparities between our population (of first mothers and adoptees with a small smattering of adoptive parents) and the gays:

a) Money: Gays have more money than the rest of us (or, the average); this has been demonstrated in various studies that look at income. It's often their careers, and the two-high income earners in one couple. Of course I am generalizing here, but in general...gays have more money than our population of first mothers and adoptees. Many first mothers would not have relinquished their children if they had more money.

So to start with they have more cash  to throw at a campaign. They have the clout to get corporations to donate to it. They give more money themselves. Even our organizations charge small annual fees to encourage women to belong, but that is indicative of their sense of how much money they have to devote to this cause. Every trip up to Albany for me, which requires an overnight and a second night on someone's couch in Manhattan, costs me over $300. So I've only done it twice myself, even though I enjoy going to Albany and working for the cause; it is exhilarating, and would go every time Unsealed Initiative puts together a lobby day--if I could afford it. I need to find a way to get there more myself, dammit.

And our population, especially the younger birth mothers, relinquished their children precisely because they did not have enough money to pay for child care while Mom went back to school. Celebrities who are adopted (say, Scott Hamilton or Kristen Chenowith or...don't come out for their rights as adoptees with no heritage--hell, Chenowith has written she isn't even interested in finding out who she is.)

So we have less money than gays to give; our celebrities don't associate with the cause...and that translates into small numbers at demonstrations. In Albany and Trenton and Sacramento and all the other states.
Demonstrating in Dallas--great, but not exactly a throng

b) Once gays are out of the closet, they have less difficulty in staying there--first mothers need only to come "out" to their families, and not to the whole world, and many are still ashamed and don't want to be public that leads to not wanting to be so public. Yes, 500 signatures is a good thing--and the American Adoption Congress hit a thousand after we posted the call for signatures at First Mother Forum, but there should be ten thousand of us willing to be counted.

c) And call me crazy, but the gays have more testosterone than we do, which leads them to be more confrontational, with their legislators, with their families and neighbors, if necessary. And all that translates into more swaying power.

d) And so many adoptees have been brainwashed into thinking that even asking for the birth certificates and knowing their real heritage is disloyal to their adoptive parents. So. while they might think that in the abstract they it would be "nice" of they had their birth certificates, they in general are not a rock-the-boat crowd. Until something wakes them up. And all too often, after someone has a reunion, they lose interest in the fight. The gay marriage thing is still a crazy-quilt of laws, and so their issue is not settled.

f) Then we run into this damn "birth mothers were promised confidentiality" which is the biggest lie of all, but that particular bit of baloney is what the legislators hide behind. Maybe Your social worker said that You could never be located by Your Own Child, but that was NEVER written into the law in any state that I know of, and certainly not in New York or New Jersey. I can promise you a rose garden, along with a million dollars, but there is no law that says I have to deliver.

And unless something major changes, we get someone like Chris Christie in NJ and Sheldon Silver in NY who just holdup the legislation because they can. It's emotional bondage, it's wrong, it's unjust and I hope to heaven this all changes before I die. We need to simply work for Information Equality, and bypass the whole concept of the birth mother who will drive her car off a bridge if she is "outed."--lorraine
*Gays have political clout; bastards don’t. Lessons from New Jersey and New York.


  1. There's another very important factor as well, Lorraine - the adoption fog. Until my daughter contacted me last year, I had no idea at all about sealed records. I truly didn't know that my daughter had another birth certificate or that she had no way to get her OBC. I think part of the reason the numbers are small is that many mothers have no idea that they should be fighting for these things, because they don't realize they exist. I don't think that's something that affects the gay community.

  2. Anonymous said...
    Lets get this straight. Contary to the idea that all gays live cool trendy lives and have money to burn, there are gays in all walks of life, who cross all sorts of economic and social strata. I know that for a fact. Invoking stereotypes only puts up obstacles.

    Restoring their OBCs to adoptees is an entirely different kettle of fish from the right of gays to marry the people they love. Not everyone is gay, just as not everyone is heterosexual, but *everyone* has been born and everyone has an identity that reaches back to and before the time of their birth through their biological family. It's about history, a word to which too may people pay only lip-service.
    Denying people their OBC is denying their history. It is about the right to know. It goes beyond symbolism, and cuts to the core of what it means to be equal.

    As far as the NY gay marriage victory goes, I do not find it a useful comparison. Gay marriage and the right to one's OBC are animals of a different stripe. I have heard that in NY there was a Pontius Pilate clause that reassured the churches that they would not be forced to perform marriages that went against their religious beliefs. There's no place for anything resembling such a let-out when it comes to restoring OBCs to adult adoptees.

    One more thing. Although the two causes are remarkable for their differences, one thing resonates through both. Cuomo's speech to the Republicans who visited him in the governor's mansion ended with these words, "And they are equal in your eyes to you. That is the driving issue."
    And that is why the focus has to be on OBCs for all, with no distractions.


  3. You may be right but you sound like Debbie Downer. The gays had Harvey Milk. We had lots of milk but it was stolen. We have to reclaim it. This fight is up to us first mothers. We are much mightier than the testosterone when it comes to fighting for our kids.
    Reunion is the best thing that ever happened to the "movement". I was asleep until my daughter woke me up. Now I'm on fire. It's been two years and the fire hasn't lessened. In November adoptees can get their OBC in the great state of Illinois. Hopefully reunions will occur and more bears will come out of their slumber. We can't expect most adoptees to get too worked up- their is no awakening to the brainwashing many have experienced.

  4. JMHO

    re: celebrities
    I think it is easier for an adoptee to just accept his/her adoptive family as his REAL and only family. Searching and reunion:

    a)you never know what you will find

    b)it certainly brings up a lot of unsettling emotions and uncomfortable issues to deal with. All of which may be even harder if you are in the spotlight with very little (if any) privacy in your personal life to begin with.

    For example, in my case it was very hard to learn that I was just a victim of a social experiment (the BSE). If I had been born 20 years later or maybe even 20 years earlier I can say with 99% certainty that I would have been raised by my fmother and her (our) side of the family. Learning that I was given up solely because my n-father (a single, employed ADULT ...well over 18)just didn't want to raise a child has not been easy or pleasant. My n-father is the definition of an asshat. That man had nothing, absolutely NOTHING more important to do with his short time on earth than to take responsibility for the child he created. Sorry for this tangent but I needed to go on a little rant :)

    Anyway,I wonder if dealing with these types of issues and emotions would even be much harder if your life is under microscopic scrutiny the way celebrities are these days.

    re: C in the blog post

    I don't think you are crazy at all. The ARM is predominately female and unfortunately even in the 21st century women are still being given flak for being "uppity". Needless to say, we certainly shouldn't and hopefully don't let that stop us but it is still more of a pain to deal with than what I think men have to put up with.

  5. I'm not sure where to leave this comment. I'm in such a rush to get to the hospital to visit. I haven't read your above post YET completely but it sure sounds interesting. My idea for the media article which will be pitched this week by Lorraine works right in with Jane's wanting to get out there in huge numbers. My idea of how the impending article for the media could go: the media could start out by including the list of questions (in some fashion) that adoptees of closed adoption struggle with daily (consciously or UNconsciously) which I have listed in my latest (June, 2011) post, entitled, "Adding Insult To Injury" at http://caleighbrookswatchingthewatchers.com. Then the media could CONTRAST that list with today's open adoptions which solve no problems whatsoever. Open adoption is a poor disguise - a TRICK! The adoption industry has no choice but to offer so-called open adoptions because no vulnerable mom in 2011 is going to be tricked out of her child never to see her child again. Isn't that insulting to the hilt: a vulnerable mom is asked to trust a bunch of STRANGERS (the infertile couple and the adoption workers) that would claw her eyes out for her child? Isn't that insulting!? And criminal!!! We must protect these vulnerable young mothers!!! Get rid of the trick of open adoption and preserve families in their natural state like God, Nature, Universe has intended! Wow, that feels good! Thank you so much, Lorraine, for this outlet to purge! You preserve our mental health one comment at a time! Thank you!

  6. I knew I was going to sound like a downer but I've been in this fight since the early 70s! And I'm frustrated and tired! And so has Pam Hasegawa in NJ..and here we are, way way past the time when we thought this would be over and everyone would have INFORMATION EQUALITY.

    So does this suck? Yes, and at this point I am a hard-headed realist about the differences between the two movements. An earlier comment was from someone who didn't even realize there was a movement until her daughter found her! Is that like the push for gay marriage? No. Today's NY Times (until it's in the Times, it's hard to make a big noise in NY and what is heard in NY is heard in the rest of the country) has a rather large story about RI passing a civil union bill rather than a gay marriage bill; well, RI also passed a adoptee-rights bill a few days ago but there hasn't been a line in the paper. I've tried numerous times to get a piece on the op-ed page in the Times about this, but to no avail. In the Seventies and Eighties, I wrote three such pieces for the paper and they were all in.

    Unless we have big numbers of people--adoptees and birth mothers--making noise, we are not getting covered, which makes it easy for the legislators to ignore us.

    Does that mean I'm giving up? No. But a girl can get discouraged.

  7. Gays have more testosterone?? What about lesbians? They have fought for and gained equal marriage rights too!:-)

    Adoptee rights and gay rights are very different kinds of issues in many ways. No, we are not going to get the numbers or the big bucks or the celebrities, so we have to find other ways. Is anyone even looking at what worked in Rhode Island? Because something obviously did, yet very little is being said, even in adoptionland.

    I think the fact that it is not big news can work for us, because it really is not big news, it is a small right that needs to be restored that hurts nobody and changes nothing for most people. Adoptees should be able to request and get their OBC just like the rest of us, that's all. It should have been done years ago.

    Maybe quietly introducing bills in states without years of entrenched opposition, as a normal, easy, small thing, is the way to go. Worth looking at, anyhow.

  8. What I've seen over and over is that the reformers put together a bill and take it to a friendly legislator (FL). FL suggests some amendments which may appease opponents and the bill gets introduced. The amendments cause a split in the adoption rights community with Bastard Nation now opposing the bill.

    Meanwhile the Catholic bishops, ACLU, NCFA, whoever, with their professional lobbyists who have given lots of $$$ to legislative campaigns swarm the Capitol. FL does what he can and the bill gets a hearing. Reformers fill the hearing room, present brilliant testimony, submit petitions with hundreds of names, and so on. We're all thrilled.

    During the hearing committee members sit back and take their cues from the lobbyists lined up against the back of the room. Maybe the bill gets out of committee --maybe it even passes ala NJ. Typically though, FL tells reformers that bill won't get out of committee without more amendments. Reformers argue among themselves over whether to agree to the amendments. By this time the legislative session is over.

  9. Regarding getting attention from the media, there are people experienced in developing messages and getting picjed up by the media. The trick is to find an adoptee or birth mother who has these skills (that is, has worked on political campaigns or in public relations) and get them to volunteer their time. Once you get some media attention, you can build a base of followers which in turn will get you more media attention.

  10. Oh yeah! The media really sucks! I see now that media only prints what will sell! Isn't that something? The media in the greatest country in the world isn't fair, ethical, and moral; media outlets think they'll lose business printing about our cause. After all, who is the vulnerable, pitiful, single mom from the other side of the tracks!? The haughty religious righters, and others, don't want to hear about sinners; God loves them best. Even liberals get real haughty when it comes to single moms. Every cheap person needs someone to look down on, and the single mother is it! For example, in 2010, I nominated Joe Soll from New York's "Adoption Crossroads" for CNN's "Hero of the Year" award. Didn't hear a peep from CNN! In 2011, only about 2 weeks ago, CNN advertised a nominee (adoption parent) for a whole day; CNN plastered the adoptive parent all over the place because she is making SUCH A BIG DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD! (I'm trying to remember that Lorraine says "cool your jets.) THIS ADOPTIVE MOTHER IS OUR TRUE HERO, CNN says! Someone separating VULNERABLE families is a true hero in America!! What the hell is wrong with this picture? Are you people nuts!? Foisting untold, lifelong, trauma on the members of a family and never looking back at the damage you've caused is heroic!? This young whippersnapper-adoptive parent helps separate natural families by offering grants to infertile people so everyone can adopt children more easily! How 'bout them apples? Yippee! How callous and selfish can you be? Joe Soll says, "I couldn't take a goldfish from somebody!" What ever happened to that ubiquitous aphorism that's bandied about so much when it's convenient, "THERE IS NO GREATER TRAUMA IN LIFE THAN THE LOSS OF A CHILD - PARENTS NEVER RECOVER!!! Why don't WE ever hear that applied to us? Aren't we human? Lorraine and everyone, we have to be slick about changing this! We will get our just desserts soon!!! We demand ethical and moral treatment of all mothers who will come after us! We're gonna' do it! It's our time! Yes, we can! I'm gettin' ticked!

  11. I just want to thank you "guys" for this outlet. I'm so glad I found you AGAIN; I'm learning so much! I feel valued! And supported! Thanks to all of you! I'll be baaaack! { Arnold Schwarzeneggar }

  12. I consider gays as guys and gals (lesbians) and yeah, I think the out ones have more chutzpah than MOST adoptees and MOST first mothers. So kill me, I'm generalizing.

    About why we cannot get our bills the attention they should have.

  13. I think Rhode Island benefited from having a simple bill; it dealt only with birth certificates, not social agency or court files. The bill allows birth parents to have their names withheld and encourages, but does not require those who do to provide cultural, ethnic, and other information if they had their names redacted.

    Heavy hitting opponents like the Catholic Bishops, the ACLU, and so on may not have had strong organizations. When Measure 58 was on the Oregon Ballot, if flew under the radar until it was too late for opponents to stop it. They made a belated attempt through a court action which failed.

    By these comments, I don't mean to take away from the hard work of the proponents and the commitment of the sponsoring legislators.

  14. The more I think about it the more I realize that it is not so far-fetched that their could be celebrity endorsements for the adoptee rights issue. Ray Liotta, Steve Jobs and Michael Reagan are a few who come to mind who have been outspoken about the fact that being adopted has caused them great pain. I don't know their status vis-a-vis search and reunion but I think it is fair to assume based on their public statements that they would support our cause. Also, singer Faith Hill while being pro-adoption has reunited with her first mother. I believe her n-father was already deceased but I could be wrong about that. It would certainly be hypocritical of her to deny adoptees their OBCs when obviously knowing her bio-heritage was important to her.

  15. Caleigh wrote:"What ever happened to that ubiquitous aphorism that's bandied about so much when it's convenient, "THERE IS NO GREATER TRAUMA IN LIFE THAN THE LOSS OF A CHILD - PARENTS NEVER RECOVER!!! "

    Many of us children never recover either from the loss of our parents and family.

  16. Robin: I think that sentiment (about losing a child to a death) is why I could not stand the movie Rabbit Hole with Nicole Kidman this year. Sympathy galore for losing a child to a freak accident but no sympathy for us, the poor devils of the Baby Scoop Era of Friggin' Closed Records....or the children lost to us.

  17. I don't know how Ray Liotta feels about having equal rights to his private info; but, he spoke very nastily about his first family quite awhile ago. He spoke in worse words than I'm going to say right now. During reunion, adoptee Liotta was horrified when his newfound brother pulled up in his truck; the brother had a rifle in one hand and, with the other hand, he was proudly showing off the beautiful deer in his truck that he had just shot, he was bragging about the killing - Liotta was completely repulsed! Liotta imitated his first mom very derogatorily, too, he said his first mom talked out of the side of her mouth in a male gangster-like voice, with a cigarette dangling from her mouth and cigarette ashes falling on her chest. Liotta was not a happy camper; he was laughing his ass off at his first family. I'm pretty sure he said that he is ecstatic about being adopted. Of course, he could still talk up for the equal right to his private info which is hidden from adoptees by "the state" in a free country. Hey people, I'm missing CNN's Piers Morgan because this site keeps pulling me back in. Like Al Pacino said in "The Godfather 3" about his role in the mafia, as he pulled in his outstretched fists, "Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in!"

  18. Societies have recognized that the loss of a child or of a parent is the greatest loss there is. We see this over and over in literature and religious texts from ancient times to the present.

    Everyone knew this until social "scientists" and religious authorities convinced the public that adoption loss wasn't a loss.

  19. Jane--I don't know about that...society, or some members thereof, may recognize our giving up our children as a loss, and I think many many individuals do, but society as whole chooses to tell us to shut up and be good, because after all, we sinned! So it's too damn bad but you got what you deserve.

    I can still see my "friend's" face when he asked, in reference to my finding Jane, "what part of your pie chart was not selfish when you searched for your daughter?" What a compassionless asshole. And the woman who came to visit last year and was surprised to learn that what I did was hard, horrible and a life-changing experience. She truly seemed surprised, and she was a mother herself. The zeitgeist does move culture and ideas, but what planet are these people from?

  20. I have a niece who pushed her daughter to give up her baby for adoption. I tried to convince my niece to help her daughter keep her child. My niece told me that she know other women who had given up children and she had never, never heard a word of complaint. "You're the only woman who ever had a problem," my niece insisted.

    Ladies, we need to keep telling our stories.

  21. I'm tellin' you, I'm getting really ticked, Jane and everybody! I was afraid to say this before: SOCIETY KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT US - nor do they care - but all this is going to change! This is my solemn vow! Those grandma's that do nothing to keep their grandchildren in the tribe are WEAKLINGS! I could almost say, "They deserve what they get!" That's a terrible thing to say and I don't mean it. (I guess?) The reason I'm writing in the middle of the night (I told you I can't stay away!) is: I BOOKMARKED THIS SITE! Yaaay!

  22. I fear the response this will get but the heck with it. Jane and Lorraine asked us to speak up and they're right.

    Okay, so the public and our own families don't respect us? So what? WE respect us and WE know that the push for Open Records for Adoptees is a right and just cause. So let people call us names. Let the rich and famous rail against us. (Ray Liotta? Seriously, who gives a damn what he thinks!)

    First and foremost we have got to stop caring what people say about us. In fact, if anything, we need to embrace the anger that words like "slut" and "babyseller" ,etc., etc. brings out in us and use that anger to promote change.

    Secondly, with the utmost respect to the gay community, why are we citing them when there is one lone group of people who understand the fight for civil rights like no other. They have fought to gain justice for two centuries now and have untold knowledge and experience in this arena. Is it possible to appoach the African American community for their support? Perhaps the NAACP or African American politicians with political clout?

    Though of course, adoption is understandably a touchy subject with African Americans because of slavery and what it cost their people, still that doesn't neccesarily mean they aren't willing to listen or to read any letters we might write to them.

    Yes, it may be a bit frightening to approach the African American community. And yes this may bring us to cross paths with the ACLU. Again so what? I don't know if this has been tried yet and failed. But if not, really, what have we got to lose? As first mothers, we've lost already.

    There was a mention of poverty being a stumbling block for first mothers in helping get the word out for adoptees. That's a brilliant point. I submit to you that African Americans did not let poverty prevent them from realizing their dream of equal rights under the law. Also, for centuries African Americans have suffered poverty far disproportiane to whites. They understand implicitly the scapegoating of the poor and they speak in a loud and unified voice against this.

    Perhaps then they will understand and sympathize with us in this particular aspect of adoption. It's at least worth a try to reach out to them from this vantage point isn't it? Imagine the shot in the arm it would be to Adoptee Rights organizations to have the backing of the Black Political Caucus.

    If nothing else, perhaps African Americans have suggestions on funding of marches; perhaps even one to Washington.

    If nothing else we need to DEMAND that, as first parents, we will no longer live in the shadows of other people's contempt. That we have committed no crime which requires a sentence of life in solitary confinement. And that we support, unequivocally, the rights of adoptees to their OBC's no matter the cost to us personally or as a whole.

    And it's us that needs to make those demands publicly on our sites, on our FB pages, on our private email signatories. We need to come out at work and I say that as a first mom who lost her job when my first motherhood status was learned.

    I was going to sign this anonymous because of the subject matter but that would be hiding and I'm not doing that anymore.

  23. Hey Jane Karr! I see absolutely nothing wrong with what you said! I'm going to study your comment when I come back from visiting in the hospital tonight. I'm rushed right now to the hilt! I lost all respect for Liotta, not that I ever had any one way or the other, but, he looked like a simpleton - the childish manner in which he laughed and mocked his first family. Killing a beautiful deer makes my stomach churn too, but, hey buddy, those are your genes! Show a little respect for yoursef and others! I'm under so much pressure to be at the hospital at 11:00 AM - I'm not doing too good! See how you "guys" are? You're too interesting! Drat!

  24. One should not overlook the fact that there is so much infighting within the open records movement.
    One group even goes out of their way to sabotage the work of others.
    Just a little over a month ago a member of one faction actually threatened physical harm on a first mother who supported a recent bill.
    How can we get anywhere when we can't even get along with each other?

  25. Bee:

    You're right about the infighting...some people wouldn't sign a petition of "birth" mothers for open records at the AAC because it uses "birth" mother rather than first...I mean, how are we gonna get anywhere fighting like that among ourselves?

  26. Ignoring that which is uncomfortable or emotional doesn't make it go away.
    Many of us were sent away and have spent years keeping the secret. I understand the earlier comment about being in a "fog". For some reason it seems that contact and/or reunion is what it takes to jar us awake to what actually happened to us and our cildren.

    While it sometimes feels as if no one is listening, that's the time to talk even louder. After 36 years of silence an denial I now tell almost everyone I know about my daughter and what a relief it is to finally have contact with her. I also discuss the things that we went through as pregnant "bad girls". Most look at me in disbelief but others respiond saying they never knew or even gave it a thoght as to what we have gone through.

    Our children have a right to know who and where they came from. I can no longer believe that the majority of first mothers want to remain in the dark. And for those who do they have no understanding of how reconnecting can change hteir life and teir childs life. Even when reunion doesn't go well it will always be better than the not knowing.

  27. Hey to Caleigh Brooks! And thank you for your comments. I was nervous posting what I posted.

  28. It's official! Rhode Island's Governor has signed the bill opening records to Rhode Island adopted adults 25 and older! Another state down, and congratulations to the team who worked to make it happen. Sometimes we do get some GOOD news.
    Bring out the champagne and start the celebration!

  29. Our enemies like nothing better than to see us infighting. It misdirects our attention and leaves us with less energy to fight the real battles. It seems this has happened in every reform and civil rights issue. It is a waste of our time. I thought those first mothers who wouldn't sign with the term birth mother were being short-sighted and damaging. Yes, those of us in the know realize that the correct term is now first mother but many, many (most) people still use birthmother and think it is the PC term. We need to educate but not bite off our noses to spite our face.

    Tryingtoheal wrote:
    " For some reason it seems that contact and/or reunion is what it takes to jar us awake to what actually happened to us and our cildren."

    I think that is so true. Before that everything is more like in a dream state or a fantasy. I think reality even if it isn't exactly what you may have hoped for is better.

  30. YAY Ocean State!

    You may be small but you're big in our hearts. Now if we could only get one of the largest or most populated states, CA, TX, PA.

  31. Don't forget there are many gay "ghettos" and zero adoptee ones.

    The constant affirmation makes for a lot of strength.

  32. So true, Joy. If you live in NY or CA, or the Hamptons--we are not quite a ghetto but a lot like Key West, but there are no adoptee conclaves.

    Strength and affirmation lies in numbers.

  33. Lorraine I don't blame you for getting discouraged. Thanks for being there fighting our cause. It's right and just. I started a blog and I was posting it on anti adoption sites and I thought "what am I doing". Why preach to the choir?". So instead I posted a link on my high school group. Before reunion I was holding my mothers secret. I am now free of her shame. I really don't feel bad about having sex before marriage. Of course I should have been more careful but if I was there would be no Christina (Staci) and the world wouldn't be as good of a place.
    I'm not in PR but I have some natural talents in that area. I'm going to try and get coverage in Chicago for adoptee rights day. Since Illinois is opening up in November, that might be a way to get coverage for the cause. One more thing on my blog I added advertisements. I thought you guys and Amanda had them so I was following your lead but then I realized you just have links not ads. what's your take on blog advertising. I dint mind making money but furthering the cause is much more important for me. www,motherhoodexpunged.blogspot.com. And yes the name is copied from motherhood deleted. I always loved that name. But is that tacky? It's early on so I could change the name.

  34. When I went to my blog their was an ad for an adoption agency trolling for young mothers. Took the ads off.

  35. When I went to my blog their was an ad for an adoption agency trolling for young mothers. Took the ads off. As far as Celebrities what about Justin Beiber and his mom. She was 18 and raised him. How could we get to them to get their support?

  36. Barbara,

    We had the same problem with ads, trolling for young women.

    Justin Bieber is only tangentially related to adoption by not being adopted. Save him and other notable successes born to teen moms like Oprah Winfrey and Barrack Obama as examples to whip out when needed.

    My thought is that adoption reform groups should get together and form a political action committee. The PAC could work on OBC access and position itself to work on other reforms in the future such as extending the time for mothers to decide on adoption.

    Once the PAC is established, leaders should begun to contact wealthy folks who may be interested.

  37. Jane, re your description of getting legislation passed;

    In Missouri that was exactly what had happened in the past. This year we sat down with the legislators and the lobbyists, put aside what we couldn't agree upon and focused upon what we could live with. Bastard Nation of course condemned our first step, but we got it passed and signed by the Governor with everyone looking forward to working toward opening OBCs next session. Contrary to popular belief, politics is not a winner-take-all contest, but a process in which building concensus is what gets lasting results!

    I am disappointed in the low numbers of men and first mothers who came forward to testify and take part in the discussions, however. Yes, it takes time nad money - but what better way to spend one's time on the planet? If it means taking unpaid time off from work, driving hours to Jeff City and spending a day dealing with politicians as people, that's how change occurs.

    Back to the old saying - "You're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem."



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