' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Catelynn & Tyler's open adoption will stay open; for other first mothers, not so much

Monday, July 18, 2011

Catelynn & Tyler's open adoption will stay open; for other first mothers, not so much

Breaking News: First Mother Carla Moquin lost her case to have the adoption of her daughter overturned because the adopters, Susan Englert and Demyn Platenberg, went back on their open adoption promises. Carla is planning to appeal to the California Supreme Court.  Now back to the regular programming:

Before we leave Catelynn and Tyler, America's most celebrated birth/first parents, it's obvious that their decision to relinquish their
daughter to an infertile couple is being applauded by many bloggers. Here's quick sampling of what I found:
"The program (Sixteen and Pregnant and Teen Mom) has forced them to become obsessed with baby Carly, even though she’s not in their care. Both Tyler and Catelynn have tattoos of her name, and they continue to think of themselves as parents. They’re not parents. They chose other people to play those roles. And while I think this was a good decision, I don’t think dwelling on the fact that Carly isn’t with them is emotionally healthy, especially since her (the baby's) adoptive parents can cut all ties and disappear whenever they want."
Teen Mom's Catelynn and Tyler: 'We're Not the Best Parents for Carly Right Now'
says it all...
At least this blogger knows what's what about "open" adoption; it means the adoptive parents are totally in control of all mother-and-child contact and they can go back on their so-called promises at any time. For most (birth/first) mothers giving up their children this would be true, but these adoptive parents, Brandon and Teresa Davis, reality TV stars themselves, are not going to be able to disappear into the woodwork, as has happened so often. Far too many women are suckered into giving up their babies with the thought that the adoption will be open--there will be numerous visits, shared photographs and a continued, warm relationship through the years among all parties, and the child will grow up loving all comers as parents. Oh, someone send me a fairy tale like that; it would be a burst of good news.

Back to reality TV: The adopting couple live several states away from Michigan where Catelynn and Tyler are from--in North Carolina where Brandon is a financial planner in Charlotte--and in real life that would make it difficult for a teenager to gather up enough cash to make the trip across the country to visit frequently--if at all. If I could give one piece of advice to a woman who feels she must give up her child--other than tell her NOT to do it--it would be to find a couple who lives near by, who have strong ties to the area, and if possible, are RELATED TO YOU. That's probably the best insurance the adoptive parents won't take the goods (that is, your baby) and run into their own Adoptive Parents Protection Program.

Open adoption? Since I have asked for first mothers to come forward to tell their stories about how it worked out for them for a magazine story, I have read no shortage of heartbreaking tales. They all start the same: much contact between the parties was promised, but after a year or three, the adoptive parents decide "it isn't working for them," and so they cut contact, and the mother--the biological/birth mother who trusted them with her child--is left wondering what the hell happened and where her child is. Or if she does know, she may feel they have no legal right to contact the child until he or she is eighteen. Facebook has led to numerous (first/birth) parents finding their children and making contact that way before eighteen, without any legal ramifications that I am aware of to date.

Legal right? Unless you are arrested for stalking, or harassment, I wonder about that. Right, the adopting parents have legal control of the child, but...well, I don't know. What I do know is that there is so much duplicity in open adoptions today that a little civil disobedience might just be called for. Besides, are there actual laws that say that the birth mother cannot contact a child she relinquished after birth parents reneged on their promise for openness?  If there are, let me know.

If you are a woman considering surrendering your child in an open adoption here are some safeguards to put in place:

You should act as if they might go back on all their rosy promises. Just say, It's for everyone's protection, when they ask you why you are being so vigilent. Tell them you have heard stories, in as sweet a voice as possible. And while it still might not hold up, write out a contract laying out the conditions of visitation, photographs and updates, have a lawyer do it for you if possible, and have it signed by you, the agency social worker if there is one (that ought to freak out a few of them and make them take notice) and any lawyer who is involved--your own, or the agency's, or the lawyer for the adopting parents or parent, and then have it notarized. At least make them aware that they are agreeing to certain conditions, not just making bedside promises interspersed with fuzzy platitudes. And it will put the lawyer and the agency on notice that you are serious.

Any adoption that does not put you in direct contact with the parents is not an open adoption, it is a con to get your baby away from you. Visit their home, don't just meet at the mall and let them take you shopping and a nice lunch; meet as many family members as you can. A friend of mine who is an editor at a major consumer magazine said that another editor on the staff, a man, announced that he never wanted to appear on television promoting the magazine...because their child's mother might recognize him....What went unsaid was: and then the birth mother would be able to track him and his wife down. This is undoubtedly an "open adoption," otherwise the first mother wouldn't know what he looked like. The guy's a shit. I do want to add here that I have also heard from adoptive parents who fully intended to keep the adoption open--and want to--but it is the mother who disappears. It happens.

The situation for Catelynn and Tyler is so different because the Davies will not be able to hide; the show will certainly arrange visits between the two couples and the baby to heighten the poignant drama. The Davies cannot disappear. This open adoption is pretty solid.

Back to the other bloggers:
"...it hasn't been easy for them, given the lack of support and guidance on at least two of their parents' parts. Catelynn's mother has, at times, seemed bitter over her daughter's desire to better her life."
The Mistress's DaughterThis last comment refers to the fact that Catelynn's mother (April Lowell) has been against the adoption apparently from the beginning, and because she would not sign the adoption papers, the hand-off of the baby had to be in a parking lot. The decision also seems to have been the nexus of much dissension in the household; I'm not saying that April is a model mother, as any watcher of the show will tell, you but on some level she understands that giving up a baby is not a Good Thing.  (Understand I could get some of the plot details wrong because I have not been watching--it just was too sickening and depressing to think about. I like to watch escapist TV, such as In Plain Sight until sigh...the lead character got pregnant and is talking adoption as if it had no repercussions. In The Least.)

Ithaka: A Daughter's Memoir of Being FoundBut "her daughter's desire to better her life"--ah, that is going to sound really great to baby Carly one day. One of the other girls from some show talked about being able to go to the prom because she gave her baby away. O vey. My head hurts just hearing that. Carly herself is destined for a "better life," if that is measured in silver spoons and pony rides, and if adoptee memoirs are any clue as to what might happen, she will end up with a standoffish relationship with her lower class parents (Ithaka, The Mistress's Daughter, to name two), and be ever so glad she was adopted and fall all over herself telling that to her parents by nature, Catelynn and Tyler.

Who are just going to feel great about that, right? "Thank you for giving me up" are the saddest words a real mother can ever hear. What it means is: I'm so glad I didn't grow up with you as my mother.

What would be the counter response with the same kind of intent? "I'm so glad I gave you away. I had a much better life without you. And look how great you turned out! Gosh, I'm proud! You wouldn't have had a chance with me as your mother!" 

We all need to be aware of the true meaning and intent of our words.--lorraine
 Carla Moquin's website discusses the case in detail at her website: Bring Peri Home.


  1. It makes me so sad to think that the Carla Moquin decision is going to look like a victory to most people. After all the APs are the only parents the child has ever known. Carla made her decision and should get on with her life and let Peri have a stable (read non-interfered with) family life with her APs. And as we know all parents are capable of loving an adopted child as much as a bio-child and the only thing that matters is love. I just can't understand why Americans never seem to get the profound importance of the biological bond. I do hope though that when Peri grows up she is at least comforted by the enormous effort her first mother made to get her back. I know I would be.

  2. Hey Lorraine,

    Thanks as always to you and Jane for this outstanding site!

    Personally, I don't give a hoot what Bethany's excuse was for conducting business in a parking lot. As the saying goes, it's still an excuse and not a reason.

    Even car dealerships conduct signing of legal contracts indoors in their offices. They do not ask clients to stand outside on the tarmac like so much trash.

    Surely then Bethany, an adoption agency legally entitled to do business in the State of Michigan, could find the wherewithal to act with the same amount of professional decorum towards the principals it serves. Especially when one considers that these are first parents; human beings making the most difficult decision of their lives.

    Obviously Bethany has offices. Unless we are to believe they are door-to-door salesmen. Then again, given Bethany's flagrant disregard for Catelynn and Tyler in the way this matter was handled, that is an insult to door-to-door salesmen.

    As for Carley? I would not want to grow up only to learn that I was parking lot fodder for the media.

    The only television show where you are likely to see "business" being conducted in parking lots is on Cops. But perhaps that's Bethany's point? Perhaps Bethany is trying to reinforce the age-old and tired notion of first parents as prostitute/drug addicts?

    Don't know. I guess someone would have to ask them.

    (Shaking my head angrily as I sit at computer.)

  3. Just watched slimy social worker pushing these young parents wtf if they have to wait the adopters shouldn't have been there to begin with they are trying to seal the deal. Just pathetic how these wreckers work like they are prodding these young parents to a lifetime of grief. That is cruel and inhumane not helping them. She wants her s.w.money seal the deal so she can get her baby selling money!!!
    Tyler's mom was also pushing him instead of helping him. Catelyn will be the one to suffer besides baby. All others will move on but cate will be stuck at 16 with a lifetime of trauma missing her baby everyday. I cried for mom and her baby the lifelong affects.
    I detest adoption buying things doesn't make things better not even for the wealthy it takes more than that for true happiness. Sadly, cate will see sooner than later.

  4. Differences with car dealers is THEY don't let minors sign
    legal contracts. Adoption agencies do ANYTHING to take
    a baby.

  5. @Mother - "Stuck at 16" - OMG - I lived in age 19/20 and younger for almost all of my adult life! So darn true.

    All I can say is that I have to hope even a single child is not being delivered up on the altar of BS Adoption.

  6. Adoptee as commodity, sickening, unethical and from this distance totally weird - what happened to that understanding of the biological bond, is everything about money?

  7. I don't know what has happened to the blog and I'm too tired to rewrite it and I don't have another copy of the text.

  8. Okay, we're back to normal.

    For some reason trying to post a link to Carla's page resulted in my getting a bog gray blob all over the blog, and then an error message. I had to delete the attempt to link.

    No can link.

  9. Mother wrote: "Differences with car dealers is THEY don't let minors sign
    legal contracts."

    Well said, Mother! Well said!

  10. From what I've heard, open adoption agreements are not legally enforceable... in ANY state. It ends up in the adoptive family's hands, whether or not to cooperate in the long term. They can cease contact, move and not be found, and the birth family has no recourse.

    This is another area of adoption reform that must be addressed, Mothers today are being lured in by openness that can be cut off whenever the AP's choose. The equivalent to sealed records. You may know your child's name, the adoptive parents' names, but what good does that do you when the law is on their side?

    I'm a mother from the non-open era, totally sealed and closed, so I can't speak from personal experience. But I've met my share of mothers who fell for the open promise and then been cut off. I can't believe that anyone can do that in good conscience,

    But that's just how desperate some AP's are, how afraid they are of "sharing" their child, not owning them completely.

    Very sad. And wrong.

  11. States very regarding enforceability of open adoption agreements. Even where they are enforceable, birth parents may not be able to afford an attorney to take the adoptive parents to court if they fail to comply.

    I'd like to see laws giving courts the authority to enforce open adoption agreements and require adoptive parents to pay birth parents' attorney fees if they have to sue to enforce the agreement.

  12. Well, one of the 199 adoptions in that Dutch report was a very nice OPENED adoption. Mother was mentally ill, adopters became only nicer after finalization of adoption.

    Of course, that sort of thing only happens in jurisdictions were OPEN adoption is illegal for obvious reasons...

  13. Theodore--does your last comment make sense? What does last sentence mean?

  14. I'm no longer going to preface [ sure ] my comments with "I'm in a hurry and I will be studying all of your comments." Just know that I'm always running off somewhere as we all are.

    JANE & DENISE, I've added the following to Cedar's list of issues that would be included/discussed in OUR OWN TELEVISION SHOW: Laws must give courts the authority to enforce open adoption agreements and require adoptive parents to pay birth parents' attorney fees if they have to sue to enforce the agreement

    You never know what the future has in store for us! Look at history, justice always prevails - and we will get ours! It just will take another year or two, or three, as I see it.

  15. Do you know what irks me!?

    We welcome everyone but what we sensible mothers are talking about is the millions of young vulnerable moms through the 20th century in the United States whose children were able to be finagled from them ONLY because of their marital status.

    It bothers me - but not for long - that people will bring up the 2 moms who lost kids to adoption out of the millions I just mentioned above. Do you notice how people like to mention the 2 or 3 moms who did require their children to be adopted by strangers? The 2 or 3 moms who had no capable relatives to guardian their children are constantly shoved in our faces.

    Albeit, quite frankly, I even doubt that there were any moms who didn't have relatives who would care for their kids?

    I'm so elated for Ashley that, at least, her daughter is in the family! Wow!!!

  16. I know of three first mothers who were slapped with frivolous restraining orders when they attempted to keep contact after adoptive parents closed open adoptions.

    In one case, the adoptive father turned out to be a paranoid schizophrenic. In the other case, there had been abuse going on in the adoptive family and the first mother had genuine concerns after the adoption closed. In another case, the adoptive parents divorced and the adoptive father wanted to maintain a friendly relationship with the first mother and continue to allow her visitation with their son. The adoptive mother felt threatened by this and went the restraining order route.

    All that needs to be said to get a civil harassment order is that the requester feels "harm" has been done or even may be done. A mentally unstable woman got one against David Letterman, for goodness sake, for telepathically "harassing" her over the T.V. Lucky for him, he had a team of lawyers at the ready.

    Fighting one costs plenty of money and sometimes requires the sued party travel extensively.

    Ever tried to get a lawyer to represent a "birthmother"? Not easy ... unless they think you're pregnant and smell money.

    Frivolous restraining orders are already used in ugly custody battles. It's not a stretch to assume they're the perfect way to close an open adoption.

    It's happened already. As long as open adoption is not legally enforceable in any state, as long as there are no repercussions for adoptive parents who lie and close them, it seems like an easy and cost effective out.

  17. My question is this: Why is the so-called promise of confidentiality allegedly made to us sacred whereas the promise of an open adoption is not.

    When there is no written evidence of a confidentiality promise the powers that be talk of the social contract that must be upheld. Why is there no preservation of the contract when it comes to open adoption. One is between an individual and the state or agency, the other is between two (or three) individuals. That's the only difference I can think of.

  18. Unsigned Masterpiece:

    Brilliant question but the answer is obvious: Becaue ALL THE LAWS ARE TILTED TO FAVOR WHAT THE ADOPTING PARENTS SUPPOSEDLY DESIRE (no birth mothers at a dance recital, ever), whether or not that they actually think this way. It is all about upholding the sanctity of the ideal, nuclear family regardless of any particular family. And we first mothers are the providers of the babies, just like in The Handmaid's Tale.

  19. UNSIGNED MASTERPIECE: Wow! Touche' that's a masterpiece! I could clearly see why they call you "masterpiece." As my favorite Piers Morgan of CNN would say, "Spot on!" CONFIDENTIALITY PROMISE vs OPEN ADOPTION PROMISE: Your erudite question in a previous comment I'm going to include in Cedar's list of issues that I'm compiling for OUR OWN TELEVISION SHOW. Or, whatever is in store us down the pike of ADOPTION ABOLITION!

    Look - society at large knows NOTHING about us! No matter how successful we are in Life now, we were DISCARDS at one time! And, actually, we still are! Society does not value or respect our losses and grief! Society just wants us gone - go away!

    I always want to give my take on Dr. Phil. Even though some of his programming is salacious for ratings, he seems pretty good about the stuff he airs on television and I'm sure it helps alot of people; BUT, he knows absolutely nothing about US! How? I don't know. Seein' as how he's a parent and should surmise what the loss of a child would be llike!

    If he knew how ignorant and callous and arrogant he sounds in his CASUAL and flamboyant promotion of adoption from the highest rooftops, he'd be looking over his shoulder! He treats and counsels SINGLE moms like they're less than human! Dr. Phil knows nothing about us just like the rest of society knows nothing about us! If he knew we were out here, and that WE'RE HUMAN, he may still feel the same way; but, he'd show us more respect and stop his idiocy - BECAUSE HE'D HAVE TO!

    I always got bland, weird, vibes from what's-the-other-idiot's-name? Oh, yeah, Pinsky! I've just started seeing him lately, here and there, and never respected him at all. I never knew he had a radio program.... Now that he's been exposed on First Mother Forum, I see why I never respected him! My vibes were spot on!

    I'm not a disrespectful person; but, I feel ok about talking about the 2 goofs as I do because look at how they disrespect us!

    I can describe what's coming down the pike for adoption adorers with the apt words of Malcolm X and Obama's Jeremiah Wright, "The chickens are comin' home to roost!!! Yeeeeaaaaah!

  20. Oprah, too, has been pretty disrespectful about "the other side of adoption."

    In 2009, I attended an American Adoption Congress conference and in a workshop, or somewhere, perhaps in a hallway, I empathized with, and felt so bad for, a young and sweet female adoptee as she told a group of us about being on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" for only about 5 minutes not long before that conference.

    The adoptee told Oprah about her successful reunion with her original family, to which Oprah, rolled her eyes, as only Oprah can do, and unfeelingly quipped, "People, don't be callin' me to find your relatives. Most reunions don't go well." Very disrespectul! I could see the hurt in the adoptees eyes. It just shows that adoption truly is THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD SUBJECT IN THE WORLD!

    I surmise that Oprah MIGHT feel differently having connected with her lost sister, Patricia, who had languished in foster care for 7 years and then was mistreated within her subsequent adoption? Although, you know, sometimes a ton of bricks has to fall on people for them to understand!

    People, watch your heads, the "bricks" are comin' Hm-hm. You're gonna' stop discounting us!

  21. I have a story to tell as well about open adoption...RIGHT!!

  22. As a firstmother from the open adoption age I thank you for your post. This talk of open adoption made me think of this article. I thought it was out of print but found it here:


  23. I'm expecting new visitors. This may help visitors to our Forum who are not totally familiar with adoption. It's an example of how adoption-adorers keep changing, and making up, twisting, so-called "rules" as they go along; adoption-adorers do whatever they feel like works for them at any given time! The last sentence I just wrote is a great definition of adoption.


    CONFIDENTIALITY PROMISE - A promise that WAS NOT MADE (to mothers of adoption loss) IS now being kept.

    [Out of the blue, because adoptees are asking "the state" for their REAL birth certificates, adoption-adorers are saying that their natural moms don't want to be found or known by their lost kids - this is not true! It's not true that moms want their identities kept confidential. Moms were never promised any type of confidentiality. Adoption-adorers are really worried that adoptees finding out about the crude manner of their family separations might turn the adoption business on its ugly little head.]


    OPEN ADOPTION PROMISE - A promise that WAS MADE (to mothers of adoption loss) IS NOT being kept.

    [One of the 21st century tricks in the finagling of kids from the poor and the vulnerable is the adopters promise to keep a connection going between the natural mother and her severed child, such as, pictures, monthly or yearly visits... such promises are seldom kept; adopters often surreptitiously change addresses and even move to different states so the natural mom can't find them.]


  24. "Lorraine Dusky said...
    Theodore--does your last comment make sense? What does last sentence mean?"

    Well, I was just being cynical. Open adoption has a number of aspects:
    1) Pre-adoption (pre-placement) contact between PA & B-parent(s).
    2) A degree of contact between real parent and child after adoption.

    Allowing 1) has the following disadvantages:
    - It hurts the interests of the child as it increases the likelyhood that he or she will be adopted.
    - It encourages the mother to consider the interests of the potential adopters, rather than those of the child and herself. It also fives her the illusion of control.
    - The potential adopters are put in an emotional rollercoaster, possibly for nothing.

    If only 2) is present, the adoption is not open, but could be considered as "opened".

  25. Theodore:

    Excellent comment as I can see how getting to know a likeable couple desperate to have children--who are undoubtedly putting their best faces forward--would lead to birth mothers feeling pressured to relinquish in order not disappoint "that nice couple." Yet I do think that the parties considering adoption should meet beforehand; possibly only in the neutral setting of an agency and maybe only with a social worker present, to keep the meeting more formal and structured. That would also guarantee, unless the social worker or attorney is corrupt, that information exchanged is true.

    There are so many places where adoption can go awry, where the relinquishing mother can feel pressured and used, or conversly, where the adopting people are scammed or taken advantage of, as cases we hear of sometimes where pregnant women are really offering to sell their babies to several couples.

    Oh, wouldn't it be best if adoption was saved for those very rare cases where there are no family members who can take the child? But just think --that would shut down a whole billion-dollar industry. Think of that.

  26. LORRAINE said: "Oh, wouldn't it be best if adoption was saved for those very rare cases where there are no family members who can take the child? But just think --that would shut down a whole billion-dollar industry. Think of that."

    Yeeeaaahhhh!!! That's definitely the goal I AM working toward! Abolition!

  27. Abolition of adoption is not a realistic goal. There will always be a need for some adoptions. Elimination of those adoptions that are not necessary, and support for openness and honesty for those that are is a better goal to strive for.

  28. Well,I was talking about the Dutch system, you know, the one in which a mother has still at least a year to block the adoption after placement of the child with the adoptive parents...

    And anonymous, though adoption as such cannot be abolished, in all likelyhood, there is no reason why the adoption INDUSTRY cannot be abolished, slave trade got abolished too, didn't it?

  29. THEODORE: What you said is exactly what I mean when I use the phrase ADOPTION ABOLITION, of course! Thanks for explaining it better than I did!

  30. Well, I was checking the Dutch news...

    A rather weird case involved the buying of a Belgian baby and passing that child, "Jayden" of as a biological child. Even though there was nothing in Dutch law prohibiting the buying of the child (remember that that happened in Belgium), the sentence would have been a tear in prison, if the prosecution had not taken more than two years since "interviewing the suspects", so they got of with merely 240 hours of forced labour.

    There is something else, some time ago a 12 year old girl gave birth, while on a school excursion, the age and maturity of the children was such that the pregnancy must have started while the mother was 11. With the dad from St.Maarten (anglophone) and the mother from Surinam, the news went pretty much global soon...
    OK, the father of the young mother turns out to be the father of her baby too. The adoption related part of it is that the prosecution seems to suggest that because the victim has NOT lost her baby to adoption or abortion, the rapist should get punished as much as the law allows, 12 years in prison. Putting rapists behind bars for a long time, OK, but suggesting that getting a girl pregnant by rape is a worse crime if the mother is unable, either by law, conviction, honor, sound maternal instincts or a decent character, to give the "evidence" up for adoption, has somewhat weird echoes. It may have been mostly rhetoric, we are dealing with a repeat offender and all that, but still, the idea is interesting, victim shows virtue by NOT "selfishly" giving up her child, so the rapist should get more punishment...
    I'm just wondering whether that could work in the USA...

  31. Theodore asked whether punishment for child rape in the US would be affected by whether the mother kept the child or placed it for adoption.

    What happens to the child should have no bearing on the severity of punishment for the offender.

    As an aside, something that has surprised me is that first mothers grieve over the loss of children conceived through rape as much as first mothers grieve over the loss of children conceived through love.

  32. I asked "could", not "would" or "should". Of course it should not, but Justice is done by human beings.

    I'm surprised by your surprise, there is no reason to surmise that conception by rape, would make a woman react differently or less to another, possibly even more cruel trauma. Same pregnancy process, same hormones, same bloodties, possibly more worries... Why would you expect a different reaction?

  33. JANE said, "...first mothers grieve over the loss of children conceived through rape as much as first mothers grieve over the loss of children conceived through love."

    Very interesting! Something we don't think about.

    THEODORE said about adopted children conceived via rape, "...possibly even more cruel trauma for the mother." Excellent point! A double whammy of grief and abuse!

  34. Now that we are on the subject of rape. I read Abby Johnson's book "Unplanned". She's the former Planned Parenthood Director who did a 180 and is now an ardent pro-life advocate. She wrote that it brings DEEP HEALING to a woman who gets pregnant by rape to carry the child to term and give it up for adoption. That sounded far-fetched to me but I have no personal experience or expertise in this area.

    She also mentions several times in the book how noble it is to give an unplanned child to loving adoptive parents (in her world all PAPs are loving and perfect) who have waited so long for a child. Personally, I never thought anyone deserved a child just because they waited a long time to have/get one.

  35. Robin:

    Boy, does that ever reek of absurdity! It helps you to heal to carry to term and give the child up? She is so full of malarkey I am out of words.

    She is just another misguided adoption pusher who has all the religion of a convert. Too bad she must be too old to practice what she preaches.

  36. My daughter came into this world through an incestuous rape. I was the baby's foster mother while the bmom made her decision. The ignorant social workers at the time felt that it would be in b mom's best interest to have limited/ no contact. At the time, I was relieved because I was insecure and was glad to at some level ignore the presence of bmom. Now that I have had time to bond and feel confident, I would really like to have an open and warm relationship with bmom. Now, I don't know how to begin and even if it would be appropriate, considering the trauma she experienced. Am I further continuing the abuse?

  37. Anon,

    Thanks for your for your warmth and sensitivity to your child's birth mother. No you're not furthering the abuse. After meeting many birth mothers, I've found that those who gave birth to a child conceived through rape have just as much affection for the child as those who had a child conceived through love.

    Let me suggest that you talk to a counselor experienced in adoption issues or join a support group. The American Adoption Congress has links to support organizations throughout the country on its website, americanadoptioncongress.org. The counselor should give you some ideas on how to approach the birth mother. The important thing will be to let the birth mother know how much contact with her will mean to her child.

    Please write again and let us know what happens.

  38. Thank you for your thoughs and I will contact a counselor. Just so you know, as per the original agreement, I faithfully send letters/ pictures twice a year. Something that was not part of the agreement, I have given her access to my Facebook account so she can see real time pictures. As a previous post suggested, she has all my identifying info...name, address,place of employment. What confuses me is that she never reciprocates the communication (which was part of the original agreement.) I would like to see some visitation, but I don't want to push if she is trying to heal in her own way. Make sense?

  39. Dear Anonymous above:

    Mothers are all different and some may not be able to deal with the contact with the child at this time. From what you say it sounds as if some time (years) have gone by and she is sticking to the idea that it is best for her to sty away. Whether or not you use a counselor (and I am not always a big fan of them as they sometimes just confuse the situation further), the advice to let the natural mother know how much contact would mean to the child is key. Why not send her a sympathetic but clear message through Facebook? Perhaps you could suggest that she talk to another mother who relinquished her child.

    You should be able to find a mother whose child was the product of a rape through AAC. I do know one if you are unlucky; I can be contacted through Facebook.

    You are doing the right thing.

  40. I didn't know how to send an email, but I wanted Lorraine and Jane to be aware of this, if they hadn't already seen it:


  41. Anon,

    Thanks for the link about the BBC documentary on the baby stealing in Spain.

    We have seen it but we're posting here to pass along to our readers.

  42. Unfortunately your article leaves out much of the story. If you did watch the show, you'd know that Caitlynn and Tyler's parents have problems with substance abuse and the law, among other things. Growing up in that environment would have been not only dangerous but irresponsible, and breed another person who would have fallen into the same patterns as her parents/grandparents.

    Your article also attacks birth parents for cutting contact, but what you fail to mention is that many of the people who give their children up are people with substance abuse and legal troubles. Many times these people could be a negative influence on the child or dangerous. Your article was very biased and I agree with almost nothing in it.

    1. No more dangerous than religious nuts adopting someone's child, then proceeding to brainwash them so severely they have no critical thinking skills of their own. Drug addicts can and do get help to go on to being productive members of society. Those on the "opium of the masses", not so much...

  43. Anonymous, please tell us who you are, please assume an identity, if you have any trouble with inventing one, I can help you.

    If the homes of both child-parents are unsafe, they should have been removed from those homes with Carly, Carly should not have been removed from them while leaving her parents in that mess.

    It is true that many parents robbed by adoption are in need of treatment, on the other hand, the "Kick your addiction and you will get your child back"-treatment works miracles sometimes, while being robbed of children is known to CAUSE all sorts of problems.

  44. Well, you know, that being relinquished can cause addiction problems in adolescence and adulthood without any biological history of addiction. And, it always causes issues for the adoptee, in one form or another. Sometimes growing up with substance abusing parents is enough to convince you to stay away from that!

  45. I was a victim of an open adoption in New York State. I was told that it was enforceable by the lawyer that supposedly "represented" me. They minute the coulple had my child, they put their house up for sale. I took went back to court to annul the adoption based on the fraudulent nature of the adoptive parents and the attorney(s) involved. I was told after about $10,000 in court costs that NYS is a best interest state, and all the judge would have to do is rule that the adoptive parents were better to take care of my child rather than me, and he probably would, since the attorney and the judge had a long-time history of friendship between their families, and that the judge would not rule in such a way as to get the attorney in trouble!! I lost my child completely, and to date, I have never stopped feeling victimized and raped. Here I thought I was entering an agreement that would better OUR lives; instead, my child was stolen from me and I was cast away like the unwanted husk off an ear of corn. I have never felt like a whole person since that time; I would like everyone out there to know, it is one big LIE. At least in NY...contrary to what "my" lawyer told me, it is NOT enforceable....because the mom's rights are GONE once the paper is signed, and so are the theives.

  46. I know someone who is pregnant and considering putting her baby up for adoption through Bethany's Christian Service. What are some good artciles, blogs etc to point her to to convince her not to go to Bethany's?

  47. Alyssa: I don't know about other articles or blog, but we have written numerous times about how Bethany handles adoptions and their so-called "semi open" adoptions. To find those articles, use either one of the search functions at First Mother Forum (one at the top left, the other at the very bottom of the blog page) and search for Bethany.

    No matter what she does, she should insist on knowing their accurate names and addresses--have her insist on looking at their drivers' licenses at the very least--and urge her to have an enforceable contract to maintain contact with the adopters. Far too many "semi-open" adoptions are merely scams to get the baby. Or the adopters do not realize how difficult it will be for them to share the child and accept that they are not the only parents the child has. She needs to find out whether the state where she is giving up her child enforces open-adoption contracts. Most do not.

    Good luck. Questions like this are so depressing; if she opts for adoption, she has a life a sorrow ahead of her. Life is not going back to the "normal" life she knew. Ever.

  48. Alyssa,
    I Googled "Bethany Adoption scam" and an FMF post from 4/28/2010 came up.

  49. It would be a good idea to pass a law that made open adoption a binding agreement, where whoever (A. parent/s) signs/agrees to an open adoption must keep their promises.



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