' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: (Pro) Adoption Special: Dr. Drew encourages teen moms to give up their babies

Saturday, July 16, 2011

(Pro) Adoption Special: Dr. Drew encourages teen moms to give up their babies

“Adoption is a loving and courageous decision.” Dr. Drew (whose real name is Drew Pinsky) parroted these words at least half a dozen times on the MTV (Pro) Adoption Special, an offshoot of MTV’s popular 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom which aired July 12. I think I first read these words in an Ann Landers column in the 1950s.

Lest viewers think adoption is all give and no take, Dr. Drew threw in something for the moms who make these selfless decisions, repeating the questionable claim that statistically mothers who give up their children achieve more education and land better jobs. I read that in Ann Landers too.

Dr. Drew, a physician, has no training in adoption and only recently got into the business. He has made his career as a media personality giving advice about drugs and sex and offering professional opinions about celebrities whom he has never met or examined. Actor Tom Cruise’s attorney likened him to Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda.

Drew Pinsky, MD
Dr. Drew is clearly unaware (or paid to ignore) that adoption experts agree that children should stay with their natural families when possible. (“Every attempt should be made to preserve the family of origin, and when family preservation is not possible, to safely place the child in the extended family,” L. Anne Babb, Ethics in American Adoption, 1999.)

The July 12 show featured three birth mothers: Catelynn, Ashley, and Paige. My heart went out to all three as I saw them trying to cope with their loss. Catelynn insists she has no regrets but it's clear that she and her daughter's father, Tyler, live for the letters and pictures and yearly visits with Carly, adopted by Teresa and Brandon. Tyler, Teresa, and Brandon appear with Catelynn on the show. Catelyn's adoption counselor, Dawn, also makes an apperance. Catelynn is proud that she gave a couple who could not conceive a “gift.” Catelynn is so much in denial, that she's been co-opted by the adoption industry. She visits high school, talking to teens about adoption and reports that four teens told her they were “choosing adoption because of her story.” She doesn't say whether she volunteers or is paid, but so much for whether these shows do more harm than good. 
Ethics in American Adoption
For all Adoption Practitioners

Catelynn and Tyler explain that they gave Carly up because Carly deserved better parents. (No one suggests humane ways of providing more for children such as improved services to low income families.) Dawn, the adoption counselor, concedes that Tyler and Catelynn could have “parented” Carly but they wanted “more” for her than they could provide. Encouraging adoption by a couple capable of “parenting” (IE, they have more money)  should be considered malpractice and some authority ought to look into the ethics of Dawn’s counseling.)

Teresa and Brandon let us see the “more,” playing a video clip featuring their big house, Carly playing the piano, riding a rocking horse, and searching through her ample closet for a pair of pink crocs. The video closes with Carly holding a book which plays a recording of Catelynn and Tyler reading [All Things] Bright and Beautiful. When the video ends, Catelynn and Tyler are wiping away tears; say how much they appreciate the film. Catelynn adds that “Tyler always wonders what’s she doing right now. Dr. Drew comments on how lucky Carly is and everyone agrees. Dr. Drew breaks out in tears.

Judas Goat (Catelynn)
While Catelynn’s brims with superficial confidence, Ashley is mired in remorse. Ashley, whose book Bittersweet Blessings is due out this fall, placed her daughter with her aunt and uncle, Lisa and Kenny, who also appeared on the show. Ashley cries most of the time she is on camera, repeating that she wants her 18-month-old daughter back. "I wish someone had stopped me from giving her up." A clip from an episode of 16 and Pregnant shows Ashley trying to care for her daughter while her mother insists that she is on her own. "I've raised my children," she shouts. Ashley gives up and calls the prospective adoptive mother to come for the baby.

“I feel selfish” [by not raising my daughter] Ashley sobs. Catelynn responded with “If you were selfish, she would be here right now.” Ashley countered with the most perceptive statement of the hour: But doesn’t that “mean that the other teen moms who kept their babies were selfish?” Dr. Drew quickly took over: “Catelynn means she understands the deep impulse to want to be with a baby but it’s not selfish to make a choice that’s painful for you but is better for the child.”
George Orwell

Dr. Drew bullies Ashley about not continuing in therapy. He runs a guilt trip on her, telling her that “all that pain and ambivalence you’re feeling; they [children] absorb this; they feel responsible for it.” He accused her of undermining the adoptive parents, that her ambivalence raises doubt on them as parents.

Paige is new to the series; she came on the show through Catelynn who took her to a birth mothers retreat. Paige gave up her son through the notorious Bethany Christian Services, which uses “crisis pregnancy centers” to indoctrinate women into giving up their babies. Paige is accompanied by her mother, Ruth Ann, who encouraged the adoption. Ruth Ann acknowledges that she had not anticipated her daughter suffering in post adoption. She agrees with Dr. Drew that, without adoption, their lives would have unraveled. Paige adds that giving away her son gave her the chance to go to the senior prom. When Dr. Drew asks whether Ruth Ann talked to Paige about birth control,  Ruth Ann admits she told her daughter only about abstinence.

Joseph Goebbles
The show concludes with Dawn making a pitch for “adoption language” eschewing “giving up your baby” in favor of “making an adoption plan.” Adoption is “active parenting.”

I turned off the TV shaking my head. Other than allowing some contact between birth parents and the adoptive family, adoption hasn't really changed in the past half-century. It's still an Orwellian world, complete with its own newspeak, where wanting to raise your child is selfish and requires therapy to cure, giving away your child is loving and courageous, and everyone sheds a lot of tears.

Meanwhile, young mothers will be suckered into giving up their babies (oops, making an adoption plan) as Dr. Drew (Goebbels) spouts adoption industry propaganda. There’s a little irony here because the redistribution of children “to give them a better life” has roots in the same thinking which led to the eugenics promoted by Goebbels’ crazed employer.

Lorraine here: You know sometimes I just can't handle watching every adoption show that comes along and so I passed on this one when Jane pointed it out. I think I would have been enraged as the hour unfolded. Social worker Dawn is a tool of the adoption agency and ought to be in some other business, such as running diamonds from Africa; Dr. Drew ought to be drawn and quartered for his Orwellian opinions on the redistribution of children; and I couldn't help wonder how the show would have been to be watching as a grown-up adoptee who is less than thrilled at being given up...and then adopted. Let's all remember that every adoption starts with a catastrophe in someone's life. (Someone did comment about how this affected her at an earlier blog--she was bawling through it.)


Is little Carly going to be "thankful" she was adopted when she turns out to be like her natural parents? Is  Ashley ever going to not regret her decision? Are people going to ever stop thinking that abstinence is the only route to teach their daughters and sons? Why does the world still think that being adopted comes without its own set of unique problems? We've been preaching that adoption is way more complicated than the average woman on the street thinks it is, but seemingly to no avail. We write the blog and then we get hammered by even folks who largely agree with us.

In the meantime, I gird for Sunday night when the main character of In Plain Sight, Mary Shannon--who inadvertently got pregnant when she slept with her former husband--has been talking about giving up her baby as if she were giving away her cat's kittens (if she had a cat, which she doesn't). Mary already turned down her sister as a prospective parent, though she is about to be married to a nice guy. Mary's mother doesn't want the child adopted. The writers have made not even a nod to father's rights--will he show up? Mary has said she doesn't even want to let him know. Will there be an unscrupulous social worker who fails to tell her that she must tell the father? That he has rights? It's weird that Mary Shannon is even pregnant because in real life nearly all women like her (a tough talking federal agent in the witness-protection program who doesn't want kids) would have had an abortion. Her pregnancy totally strains credulity.  

In Plain Sight had been a merely escapist show for me until this pregnancy came up; now I have to see what the hell the writers and producers are going to do with this baby. I sometimes feel that there is no where we can go now where adoption does not rear its unfortunate and unhappy head. It's on Sunday night at ten; nine, central time on the USA network. Stay tuned. If you hear screaming on High Street Sunday night it's because the writers have their head up their asses. Along with the adoption-promoters at MTV.


  1. BCS was also Catelynn's agency. One episode Catelynn and Tyler express dissappointment when they realize the lack of actual information they have on the couple they gave their daughter to. Dawn retorts that they knew this when they surrendered, they should have known to ask more questions before signing the papers.

    Nice counselling, huh? When those being counselled are expected to know what to ask when the agency, who clearly knows more about adoption policy, practice, and law is right there and SHOULD be providing adequate information (and yet there are people who will lobby against making disclosure manditory...*sigh*).

    The participants on both Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant are all paid. The participants in the seasons of Teen Mom that Catelynn and Tyler appeared all made 6 figure salaries.

    MTV is horribly irresponsible, not only for following young people around during a tough part of their life with cameras and having them wind up on message boards and tabloids everywhere, but for broadcasting the advice and opinions of Pinsky who is clearly not an adoption-competent mental health professional. He's covered everything from drugs, to sex, to adoption...umm...what exactly is his alleged specialty??

  2. Thanks for the info, Amanda. For six figures, I'm not surprised Catelynn and Tyler swallowed the kool-aid. Amazing that Ashley still remains true to her emotions.

  3. For the record: Before these horrible shows were made (Sixteen and Pregnant), I was contacted twice by the producers and asked me if I could steer them to girls who might be young and pregnant and considering adoption. I told them no way, but I'm sure the horror in my voice reached only the young production assistant who phoned me.

  4. I have never watched the show - nor will I ever watch the show. It would be too painful to watch new mothers knowing what the short and longterm outcome will be for them.

    Like Amanda said the expectant mothers are supposed to know what questions to ask and to have fully researched everything and that is the standard answer spouted by anyone not in the mothers position. It is sickening.

    Lorraine you should have agreed to pre-interview candidates so you could warn them of the reality.

    I am also sad that In Plain Sight may possibly turn into an adoption thingy...we are delayed in seeing shows from the USA network by about a season I think, although Mary is starting to look pregnant. Very sad if they go the adoption route as I do my best to avoid shows that focus on adoption.

    Great post!

  5. I haven't read the article, yet. I just saw the words "Pro-adoption," and my heart literally sank! I GOT SICK TO MY STOMACH! I may have seen the word "special," too! Just sayin'

    We gotta' get out there and counter these guys, including Dr. Phil.... They will NOT take advantage of our beautiful single mothers! And their families. Why don't these men stay out of the sex of our young women!? Is business really that slow!?

    We will! And, yes we can! In due time. Give me a chance - to heal a little more!!!

  6. The only way to counter these creeps is to use the same medium, to produce a TV show about the atrocities of the adoption industry, how it exploits mothers, the fraud it employs, and how mothers can recognize its lies. Also interviewing young mothers who keep their babies and are doing FINE!

  7. Theadoptedones, I saw that on In Plain Sight and was absolutely nauseated.

  8. The problem I have with shows like this and with idiots like Dr. Drew is the misguided information it feeds our children. Our young daughters and sons. The adoption industry, with all it's billions, is allowed to send such messages to our youth and nobody cares, but instead seems to encourage it.

    There are so many warnings we have to teach our children already, and unfortunately, because of the adoption industries own policy to encourage adoption before young girls are even old enough to become pregnant, we now must also educate our sons and daughters about, not just the reality of adoption and the pain it brings, but also the message that tells our young girls that money and material items are what make a good mother and if they do not possess such things, they have no right to their children. To me, it's a terrible self-esteem issue we are creating with our younger generation.

  9. Amanada: I wrote about In Plain Sight in the addendum to the blog because I am totally angry about the way they are treating the Mary Shannon's pregnancy and desire to give the kid away as quickly as possible. I wonder if they have message boards we can post on.

  10. So the advantage to Carly is that besides getting to be the poster child for adoption (whether she wanted to be or not) she gets ample closet space and pink crocs. Well let me tell you I spent some of my formative years in an affluent neighborhood in a spacious home with a swimming pool and not one but TWO ponies. Would I have rather stayed with my first mother? You betcha!

    When I watched T & C's episode I remember thinking how much Dawn the social wrecker was taking advantage of their youth and naivite. I mean, really, they weren't even told the AP's last name or where they lived. And then Dawn assured the couple that this isn't goodbye it's "see you later". Well how does Dawn know that? How does she know for sure that Carly will want a relationship with them when she grows up? Maybe she won't be so thrilled about having lived her life in the spotlight without her consent or for having been given up in the first place.

    Actually I am a little bit surprised about Ashley since she (thank heavens) kept her child in the family. Also, what is it with these grandparents who won't help with the new baby. Don't they understand the concept of FAMILY?? And don't they read FMF? :)

    I am starting to get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach they we may be heading into a BSE II. Oh, please Dear Lord, NO!

  11. I gave my twin daughters up 26 years ago because I was convinced - by others and my own complete lack of self-confidence - that it was a decision made for the good of these girls. That I was incapable of being a good mother to them, and that somehow, some anonymous couple selected from a few pages of form rhetoric would be better parents. Now my own three daughters are young women, and I have come to realize that I am a good parent, and that I learned how through the day-to-day practice of being one. It breaks my heart every day to know what I missed and how the adoption changed all of our lives forever with loss, no matter if you are a birthmother, adopted child, or the sister of a child given up, or the husband of a birthmother. We are all touched and grieve and perhaps, will always grieve.

  12. I used to listen to Dr. Drew on his radio show loveline when I was a teenager. He seemed like he was a very nice guy. From what I know about him is that he and his wife had fertility problems so they had IVF and got triplets. His kids may or may have not been concieved with donor eggs who knows?

    Alot of people who have had fertility problems are pro adoption. They probably at one time during their IVF treatments considered adopting if IVF failed.

    Dr. Drew admitted in an interview that he has major co-dependancy issues and has been in therapy for years. He seeks out people with drama and becomes overly invovled with their issues to his own personal detriment.

    He has the same personality disorder that aflicts would be birth mothers.

    Another thing is that IVF kills off embyros by the dozens. More embryos are destroyed in IVF treatment centers than abortion clinics. Abortion is also a safety net for IVF because if too many embryos implant many women have "selective reductions."

    Many infertile women who go to those anti abortion christian adoption agencies to adopt babies from pro life birth mothers have destroyed multitudes of their own embryos.

    If these pro life adoption agencies believe that embryos are babies and that killing one with an abortion is evil. Then why are most of their infertile clients failed IVF cyclers who didn't care about killing dozens of their own with IVF? Hmmmmmm.... maybe because every healthy white infant nets those disgusting hypocrites between 20 - 30 grand.

    MTV is only using those teen girls. I think what they are doing is highly illegal because the girls are minors. MTV is constantly selling sex, sex,sex to underaged teenagers with their degenerate shows that glamourize it. MTV is a sleazy network because it's constantly promoting unheathly destructive lifestyles. I'm not surprised that they are now trying to shove adoption down teenaged girls throats. It fits in well with the rest of their sleazy shows.

  13. Dr. Drew said:" but it’s not selfish to make a choice that’s painful for you but is better for the child.”

    The belief that adoption always provides a better life for the child is what has to be countered. While I did have a lifestyle a la Brandon and Teresa for a time, divorce put the kibosh on my princess-ly existence. And I'm sure it would have really sweetened the pill to know that my mother had gotten a better education as a result of not raising me.

  14. Thanks Ladies! The picture you've painted of the brainwashing that's out there in television land is extremely helpful. Great food for thought: How will I contribute to the abolition of adoption? [Like the Dutch people abolished adoption - cool!]

    Thanks for SUMMARIZING that info! I don't have the time right now to watch those shows, nor am I in the frame of mind to watch them; albeit, I just may give them a glance now that you've called them to my attention. I love the Nazi and Orwell analogies! Isn't that Nazi an ugly blankety-blank! Yuk!!! [I am definitely biting my tongue!]

    How shameful our illustrious society [our friendly neighbors] made it for single females to bear children - that's how shameful I'm going to make it for infertiles to take children that don't belong to them! That's right! Infertiles are gonna' think twice before putting their fangs on other people's kids! [I'm really biting my tongue!] I don't want to say slimy paws instead of fangs because I don't want to offend our beautiful 4-legged friends.

    I can't say infertile couples anymore because everybody's getting on the taking-other-people's-kids-and-ancestries bandwagon, by hook or by crook, surrogacy, egg and sperm donation.... The way the vulnerable are being hoodwinked is a DISGRACE of the highest order. It's criminal!

    Beautiful children have so little value that they're just tossed around from person to person without batting a single eyelash while moms grieve for a Lifetime! The industry - that includes infertiles because they're the demand in the market - has had free reign heretofore! You're talkin' brainwashing of the highest order!

    BUT - GOOD NEWS - not too much longer! There is justice!

  15. YES, WE CAN, Cedar! In due time! Soon!

  16. What kind of IDIOCY is this:

    “I feel selfish” [by not raising my daughter] Ashley sobs.

    Catelynn responded with “If you were selfish, she would be here right now.”

    Ashley countered with the most perceptive statement of the hour: But doesn’t that “mean that the other teen moms who kept their babies were selfish?”

    Dr. Drew quickly took over: “Catelynn means she understands the deep impulse to want to be with a baby but it’s not selfish to make a choice that’s painful for you but is better for the child.”

    The above scenario is truly right out of "One Flew Over The Coo-Coo's Nest!" Dr. Drew is a CON-MAN! He should be in jail with the rest of them! That last sentence up there is such double-talk that inmates-conmen in jail would do well to take pointers from the illustrious Drew Pinsky!

    What the hell is Pinsky talking about out of both sides of his neck? Notice how he says, "...we understand the deep impulse to want to be with a baby...." What kind of deliberate talk is that? He would never say that to a confidant, savvy, woman! She'd slap him!

    Pinsky doesn't even have the courtesy and decency and ethics to say to the young mother, "...there's a deep impulse to want to be with YOUR BABY!" That's how indoctrination and brainwashing work - keep all emotion out of it. Ashley is not the mother of HER baby. She's the mother of A baby. That's the TRICK!

    Too bad poor Ashley didn't, and doesn't, have anyone to help her! What a shame!

    Come on, how imbecilic is our society to watch such stupidity that doesn't even make common sense!?

    I say a healthy selfish is a must!!!

    [Which is what most vulnerables lack! That's why they're easy prey for predators!]

    These are gonna' be some angry women when they become older and see how they were tricked out of their children! Yes, THEIR children! Not, just some children.

  17. I totally agree. Dr. Drew sickened me throughout the show and I do think he bullied Ashley. Let her have her grief.

    To be fair though, they did an abortion "special" a while back and it was very pro abortion.

    Dr. Drew is supposed to be an addiction medicine specialist, so how he ever got involved in these 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom shows is a mystery to me.

  18. As a senior adoptee I never watch any of these shows including the reunion lovefests.I find them sickening, untruthful and always an expose of the worst features of the adoption industry...how many times to you need to see that to know it's corrupt and unethical?
    the American NCFA promotes the normalisation of the adoption concept amongst children, it will keep rolling as will the glamourisation of teen pregnancy.
    If I had heard that my mother had got to go to the prom because she made me an adoptee I would have immediately discarded the idea of reunion.
    Money and possessions don't make good parents; good parenting makes good parents and that includes many precious things that can't be purchased and have no price.

    1. Hi Von, Comments like -"If I had heard that my mother had got to go to the prom because she made me an adoptee I would have immediately discarded the idea of reunion."- I can see that as ''educating'' adoptive parents on key phrases to say to their adoptees throughout their growing up years so as to 'groom for prevention of reunion possibilities'...and can also pack a whole lot of 'extra' resentment/anger/disgust into the young adoptee, as your comment to only the thought of that, clearly attests to.

      The, said to be so important high school diploma that everyone else thought was sooo necessary for a ''successful'' life that I got just 5 horrific months after I lost my son.. it ain't worth as much as toilet paper to me. It never was..not in comparison to being mother to my son. People have / get their stinking priorities turned all upside down. Being a mother is what mother's were made to be. ..even if they aren't a high school graduate so what. That diploma did absolutely nothing for me... the loss of my son destroyed any ambition I had. Rather HE was my ambition.

      I absolutely agree and beautifully said, "money and possessions don't make good parents; good parenting makes good parents and that includes many precious things that can't be purchased and have no price." As a child, I remember eating ketchup sandwiches, I also remember a whole lot of love. Money isn't love and love isn't money. Maybe that's the problem for folks who promote this stuff... they don't know what love ****really***** is.

  19. Lorraine, I meant that I saw the actual show where she non-challantly announces that she will surrender her child and that's what nauseated me. The fact that her character seems to think it's such carefree thing is outrageous.

    We need to find if they have some message boards indeed!!! :-)

    To add to the Teen Mom discussion, I absolutely feel that MTV is taking advantage of the teen parents as well as their teen viewers. Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant are their highest rated shows second only to Jersey Shore. They follow these parents around with cameras, intruding on their lives. Then they pay them 6 figures but tell the teen viewers that this is "reality." The Teen Mom, Amber, who causes the most drama on the show, makes the most, topping over $200,000 per season, I believe.

    Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant are nothing more than adoption propaganda. There's no education on contraception. There's only been one abortion featured. And the rest of it is showing the struggles of teen parenthood with adoption as the glowing gem of responsibility in the midst of each season. I've seen clips of 16 and Pregnant used to promote adoption on more than one agency website and it sickens me.

    I feel for the adoptees who subsequently have become poster children for adoption via this show without their consent. When your story is not your own to tell....will you ever be able to own it and tell it how you please?

  20. I bought the whole "loving choice" bull and could have seen myself doing the high school circuit about how great adoption was. It wasn't until my daughter found me at 31 that I figured out how despicable my "choice" was. It's so discouraging to see these shows and these jerks ala Dr Drew and Dr Phil. I just want to scream. I like Cedars idea. When can we ever get the truth on one of these shows.

  21. Yuck, just that. I agree with Cedar... if only we had the resource to produce a truthful show about adoption pain. But no network is going to take that on. The industry, the kool-aid, is way too powerful. I am just sad about this...

  22. The term selfish seems to be predominantly hurled at females. You rarely hear it used as an insult against males. Males are encouraged and admired for standing up for themselves and doing what they want. Only females seem to be controlled by this term. After all, what is so "selfish" about wanting to take responsibility for one's own child? It sounds very mature and conscientious to me. The guys who abandon the mother or who want to be out partying, etc. and aren't there for the kid, they are the ones who are selfish.

  23. To see how congratulatory folks are about the "brave" decision of Catelynn and Tyler are, see their website: and the message board; http://tylerandcatelynn.com/discussion.htm

    and you can inquire about their availability to speak

    and read this gem:

    It was the hardest thing we will ever do but as parents we made the sacrifice of not raising her and being with her all the time to only better her life and give her to a Christian family who has longed and waited for a child of their own after having been unsuccessful in having their own biological children.

  24. from the website:
    Please e-mail contact@tylerandcatelynn.com for any media, press, business, or
    speaking engagements for Tyler and Catelynn. Please include your contact information.

    So their giving away their child has become a business. I'm sure little Carly is going to appreciate knowing all this when she grows up.

  25. Yeah. Dawn's a tool all right.

    As for Bethany? I watched their agent of destruction help Caitlynn and Tyler relinquish their beautiful baby daughter in a damn parking lot! My heart broke for them! Signing away their parental rights in a parking lot, all at Bethany's say so. (Shaking head in disgust) Bethany is a disgrace. The only other people who conduct "business" in parking lots are pimps and drug dealers.

    As for MTV, I have had to constantly deal with theirs' and Drew's BS in my own home. I have a 15 year old daughter who watches this show and I am constantly having to explain and re-explain the horrors of adoption to her. Here I am a first mom; she has seen what this has done and continues to do to me. Yet the power of the media is such that they are selling my impressionable young daughter on the idea of adoption as a selfless act. (Sad sigh inserted here.)

    Now I spend my days trying to reach my daughter because she is of the age when pregnancy could be an issue for her, even though I have educated her on birth control and had long talks with her about sex and boys and all the rest of it.

    She used to say, "Would you help me raise my baby if that happened to me?" Now she says, "Would you help me get through it if I decided to adopt out my baby?"

    I am having to tell her that I would rather she have an abortion than relinquish a child. That I would drive her to the clinic myself. Which leads her to argue that I'm a hypocrite because I didn't choose that open.

    Adoption; a hell like no other.

  26. Adoptee take away. I am.....

    a)less important than the prom

    b)less important than education and jobs

    c) a consolation prize for people who would really rather have their own biological child

    d) a great business idea

    My only question is if Catelynn and Tyler are getting paid 6 figures per episode, why couldn't they use that money to support Carly?

    And I remember that scene in the parking lot. Brandon and Teresa looked like the cat that swallowed the canary as they practically did wheelies high tailing it out of the parking lot as fast as they could. Were they afraid Catelynn and Tyler might change their minds?

    As for the message board over at their website. There is one comment where a first mother finds her daughter and it turns out she didn't have the perfect life with the amazing parents. Surprise, surprise! Although she still says that in the long run she thinks that adoption was the best choice. *sigh*

  27. [I think it was "Anonymous" if my memory serves me correctly. Let's see how good my memory is?]

    I LOVE what one of you Ladies said, [something that meant], "Parenting is on the job training. You learn as you go along." I don't know of anyone in the world who went to school for parenting!

    Isn't that so immoral! To equate the loss of one's child with going to a prom or a college education! I'm tellin' you, the United States of America truly is a free country - everyone is free to be as imbecilic and evil as they wanna' be!

    Also, I definitely envision a television show countering the b---s--t that's on the programs we're discussing. Society has a way of evolving on its own. Some producer is always looking for something salacious to put on television. It will happen! The only drawback is who wants to look at a bunch of senior moms on television. You know how our society reveres youth and discards the rest of us. BUT, I think it'll happen! Our side will be presented. I'm going to write down the points Cedar described for a show and keep them in mind as I continue on my journey of getting my just deserts. I/we must protect the vulnerables who will come after me!

    Remember: WHAT YOU THINK - HAPPENS! [eventually]

  28. Isn't it DEVIANT and EVIL!

    Pinsky knows the value of a child and how much he reveres and cherishes his children; BUT he has no qualms about pressuring you to just throw away YOUR offspring!!! In addition, he's at the age in Life where it should be pretty CLEAR how SHORT Life is, and what is truly important!

    I'd like to ask him, "How in good conscience can you do what you do?" $$$$$$ I'd like to stand real close and look him in the eye, and say, "How do you sleep at night, Pinsky!?"

    He'd probably say, "Pretty damn good, thank you!"

    [Hey, how'd like how I'm staying on topic? I like it!]

  29. @Caleigh, I love your enthusiasm! :)

    @ Lorraine,

    Why did they ask you if you knew young girls who wanted to give their babies up? I have seen this phenom before where they think that pregnant ladies without support run in packs, if they ran in packs they would have support...

    Just goes to show you how "other" those of us in the adoption hellagon are.

  30. Slightly off-topic perhaps, but for anyone who is interested here's the background history behind Tom Cruise's attorney Bert Fields' comparison of Drew Pinsky to Joseph Goebbels. It had nothing to do with adoption or even eugenics, but with the ongoing battle between Scientology and science, specifically psychiatry and psychology.

    A few years ago Tom Cruise gave a speech to a bunch of fellow Scientologists in which he asked if Scientology should should clean up the world. His query was greeted with a roar of approval. German 2nd World War historian Guido Knopp responded in a German newspaper that Cruise's approach and manner reminded him of a notorious speech made by Goebbels in 1943.
    Cruise later boasted (about Scientology), "We're the authorities on getting people off drugs. We're the authorities on the mind. We're the authorities on improving conditions ... We can rehabilitate criminals. Way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures."
    It is relevant that Tom Cruise has spoken openly about his emotional difficulties resulting from the abuse he experienced as a child from the hands of his father. It is also relevant that Scientology is opposed to psychiatry and psychology, but supportive of adoption (Cruise and Nichole Kidman are the adoptive parents of two children).
    After Cruise's infamous couch-jumping incident on Oprah, Pinsky commented "A lot of people in the public eye who behave strangely have mental illness we can learn from, and much of it is based on childhood trauma, without a doubt. Take a guy like Tom Cruise. Why would somebody be drawn into a cultish kind of environment like Scientology? To me, that's a function of a very deep emptiness and serious neglect in childhood — maybe some abuse, but mostly neglect."
    Bert Fields then retaliated by lobbing the insult originally directed by Knopp at Cruise toward Pinsky, who is of Jewish ancestry.
    "The last time we heard garbage like this" he said, "was from Joseph Goebbels."
    Pinsky responded through his representative that he "meant no harm to Mr. Cruise and apologizes if his comments were hurtful."

    It also seems to me that Orwell is a questionable choice for unraveling the alleged double-talk surrounding adoption, since he himself was an adoptive father - one who actually removed the names of his adoptive son's biological parents from the adoption papers by burning them away with a cigarette.


  31. Joy--why did they ask me?

    a) Hell if I know.

    Or b) Because they were out to lunch when they read the blog.

  32. The old adoption line used over and over

    "Loving and courageous choice my ass"

    Line should be when it comes to making a choice or an "adoption plan"

    "Adoption being used and abused for a a better life"

    it works for mothers and adoptees

  33. JOY: Thanks for the compliment! I needed that! We don't get too many compliments in our "business" [adoption]. That's why I'm so glad I found you "guys" again! We're gonna' get it did this time! You'll see! It may take awhile. I just want to iterate that I wrote down Cedar's 5 issues to include in OUR television show and I'm going to re-read them until they become second nature. You never know who I'm liable to PITCH!

    I'm glad I found my PACK, Joy! I won't run alone ever again! I love words, I gotta' look up hellagon in the dictionary!

    LORRAINE: You are so funny! I love it! We sure need some humor in our line of work - making change!

    All of you "guys" make such great points, I don't have time to comment on each one but know that I'm studying all of them! I must be prepared for - YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT THE UNIVERSE HAS IN STORE FOR US! I foresee justice! Sometimes it just takes a longer time to get our just deserts!

    Gotta' run and visit a sick person! Aaaawww!

  34. Less than 1% of teens put their babies up for adoption. Yet look how MTV is trying to normalize this freaky behavior.

    I wonder how Dr. Drew would of reacted if the people at the IVF clinic asked him and his wife to do the kind and courageous thing and donate thier excess unused embryos to another infertile couple. I be there is no way in hell that hypocrite would ever let another couple raise his biological children. I bet their excess embryos were probably dumped down a sink drain rather than allowed to be donated to another couple so they could have a chance to become birthed babies.

    Dr. Drew is a media whore. I remember his co host Adam Carolla saying on the radio show when Drew was out that "Why does Drew do these nickle and dime graduation speech gigs? Ya know why? He doesn't want to be at home with his wife. So he avoids her doing these gigs.....

    Drew's wife suffered severe depression when she had the triplets and was withdrawn sexually from Drew. How do I know this? Drew Pinsky can't keep his damn mouth shut and broadcasts all his personal info out to millions of strangers. This media whore has been on just about every TV channel there is running his mouth for years.

    This deeply neurotic co-dependant man needs to shut his damn trap for once and stop being such a damn media whore and stop discussing issues he is unqualified for.

    He and his wife didn't care about having alot of their embryos destroyed with IVF yet he tries to pressure young women pregnant with a single unwanted embryo to go through nine months of pregnancy drama and god awful childbirth just so she could give it away to a rich infertile couple and scar herself for life. If a young woman wants to abort that is HER CHOICE and she shouldn't be pressured into being a broodmare by entitled wealthy infertile couples and greedy adoption agencies. So many of them have killed their embryos off by the dozens when they had IVF before they settled for adoption.

    If she chooses to parent that is HER CHOICE she shouldn't have to deal with some entitled selfish infertiles telling her she would suck as a mother so they can hustle her baby from her.

    Young women who put their children up for adoption are so traumatized that statistically up to 20% of them suffer secondary infertility and never ever have another baby. They suffer high rates of PTSD, drug use, alcoholism and other self destructive behaviors.

    Only 1% of teen girls put their babies up for adoption and out of that teeny tiny percentage look at how many of them deeply regret it. Infant Adoption is not normal or healthy in any way shape or form. The adoption industry in America has a long history of human rights abuses and needs major reform.


  35. Damn, Jill! Touche'! I gotta' study that comment!

    I laughed at something you said or the way you said it. Funny! I'm going to re-read all of your generous comments tomorrow! Too depleted right now close to midnight. I barely have taken off my windbreaker!

    What I don't do for you "guys" - I'm reading your comments after a hectic, draining, day at midnight before I do anything else, right after the windbreaker comes off! [ ha-ha ] I'm lucky!

  36. Jill,

    Some very valid points about IVF once they are successful they wouldn't think of helping another couple. Destroy their
    own eggs to insure they don't get used. If they don't succeed in getting pg they then want someones baby no
    second thought there.
    Once the media bug gets hold of some people they can't stay off tv he is one of those types. Wonder how much time
    he spends with his kids with his work schedule. If his wife is depressed wonder how much time she spends with them. My bet is they are being raised by the nanny.

  37. Top a' the mornin' to ya'

    As I'm about to start my second cup of coffee to wake up, it occurred to me that we're all in AA - Adoption Abolition!

    Noooo, the coffee's not spiked! Silly!

  38. I had the same awful feelings while watching that BS "adoption special." Pinksy definitely bullied Ashley...I guess he feels he has to becasue she appears to be the most willing to question the adoption koolaid. Gotta put her in her place.

    And I found her mother's behavior unforgiveable. She wouldn't even help her learn how to handle the most basic baby-caretaking tasks - what kind of grandmother will she be in the future? I sure wouldn't want her around, she is one cold fish.

    Parenting is truly on-the-job training, as someone astutely noted above. All new mothers need help (and the need for support doesn't ever really come to an end).

    The whole show was a trainwreck and made my heart bleed for these young mothers/un-mothers. I fear for their futures after the lights and the fame have faded. Will we see them in 20 years on an episode of "Whatever Happned To...?" That's when the real fallout from these adoptions will come to light.

    BTW, Ashley has a blog at http://ashleydsalazar.com/

  39. To Caleigh - I'm glad you're here, you have a positive influence on my feelings about adoption reform!

  40. ANONYMOUS: I don't think your comment is off-topic at all! How can we thank you for all that great and valuable information? Topics often veer off so we can see the complete picture.

    Cruise's boasts about Scientology are freakish, "You freak! [Cruise]" It's mandatory that we know the complete mindset of adopters! Even though we already do, it's good to be educated about the idiosyncrasies and specifics of this entitled group. I've even noticed that adopters kind of all look alike and they all carry themselves the same way.

    [You've heard me mention that interesting quirk of studying people that I possess (or that possesses me). I don't know where that comes from? Perhaps it comes from being oppressed and marginalized my complete adult Life? Perhaps I've only been a spectator? Yes, that's it! See, how therapeutic all this writing is. I'm verbalizing and compartmentalizing what I already know in my mind! This may lead to oratory, eventually. Practice. Yes, I think that's it!]

    I don't mean that adopters are bad people, they just feel ENTITLED to other people's kids! Is that wrong? You be the judge. A mental health professional and adoptee avers, "I couldn't take a goldfish from somebody!" I think that just about describes adopters to a tee. Don't you? Hell, yeah!

    Should I feel bad about discussing adopters in this manner? Should I feel loving toward people that have oppressed me? Should I speak lovingly about people that have victimized me? Should I revere people that were the reason I was denied a Life? Let me just clarify that I would never be rude to my son's parents were I ever to meet them; I wouldn't even mention the word, adoption! I'm not a moron! But, please, "I implore you, just allow me my therapy and this therapeutic setting in which I can attempt to sort out the damage you've caused!"

    Back to Cruise: Cruise's boasts right away remind me of Islamist extremists! Don't they ALSO purport to have the ability to rid the world of all its ills by imposing Sharia Law onto the world! I must say, Cruise, you're in good company! ["Now don't you (Cruise) feel ashamed and stupid?"]

    It reminds me of that old aphorism that means, "Don't open your mouth and prove how stupid you are. Keep your mouth shut and leave some doubt."

    [We all know that there are good and great and decent Islamists. Are Islamists and Muslims the same thing? There's good and bad in every nationality and religion.]

    I feel like I'm getting an online college degree in adoption abolition! Keep up the good work!

    [Look what happened! I was just going to write a line. Am I gonna' get any work done today? Yes, I will.]

  41. Thanks for letting us know about Ashley's blog, Maybe. I've posted a comment applauding her for telling the truth.

  42. JILL: Your comment is so educational, too, about it's ok to kill off embryos in IVF but not in abortion! I'm tellin' you: all these people tryin' to get pregnant are full a' s--t! Thanks for bringing that to our attention. And I love all the scoop on Pinsky: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!

    Now, I really gotta' go - and get some work did! I haven't gotten to all the other comments, yet, I'm sure they're just as terrific!

  43. Look at me - I'm still here! Hey! I deserve this therapy! Right? Right. It's about time!

    MAYBE: Thanks a million for your kind, encouraging, and inclusive words in that comment you directed toward me! I needed that!

    JANE: When you commented on Ashley's blog, did you include the address of First Mother Forum?

    MAYBE & JANE: Yes, I'm going to check out Ashley's blog, too, right now, even though I don't have time to read much. I'm just going to see what it looks like. Perhaps we'll be the ones to support and help her during her sad time? She's lucky in the sense that, at least, her child is within the natural family! That doesn't lessen her grief, though!

  44. Caleigh,

    Yes, I included the URL for First Mother Forum and a link to this post on my comment on Ashley's blog.

    Thanks for your comments here.

  45. This blog post has seriously bothered me. As a person who does not usually leave comments I am compelled to comment. First I find the pictures of Nazi leaders striking and derogatory. You cannot know the heart of these people assisting someone who has chosen adoption.

    I work as a labor and delivery nurse and if I, or any of the nurses I work with have a patient who has chosen adoption we ask repeatedly if this is the choice they want. I have also heard social workers like Dawn ask that question repeatedly as well during the labor process and even after delivery. I commend Dawn and Dr Drew for bringing this option to the attention of the public. For many of these girls they feel that their options are adoption or abortion. I applaud them for not choosing abortion!

    I am not saying that this choice that they make is not difficult, or that they question their choice possibly daily, I am sure they do, however it is all their choice! No one railroaded them into it. If it is a matter of family members making them feel like they are not capable of parenting or offering support then shame on the family!!!! Don't condemn the people that are trying to help them cary out their choice!

    This is a difficult issue, but the process has had great outcomes too!!!! Families including the birth parents have a positive relationship with the adoptive families and vice versa while being certain that they made the right choice. Lets not forget those families while condemning a reality show and their master editing for the effect of ratings!

  46. With all due respects, Kathleen, asking women giving birth who are on the adoption road if this is their choice doesn't mean that they have been given a real choice. At that point, the die is often cast.

    They have likely had biased or misleading or in come cases downright fraudulent or coercive counseling. The prospective adoptive parents may have been in the delivery room and are hovering nearby. The new mothers don't want to disappoint them. The mothers are unprepared to take their baby home.

    Responsible social workers such as those who work for Catholic Charities in Portland, Oregon start by helping mothers-to-be to nurture their children, giving them emergency assistance, information on programs that can help them, and so on. Only if nurturing is impossible, do the social workers even discuss adoption.

    Dawn, Catelynn's and Tyler's social worker was an "adoption counselor" working for an agency, Bethany Christian Services which offers only adoption. Dawn's job was to sell adoption. The counseling was about adjusting to adoption, selecting the adoptive parents, and the logistics of handing over the child.

    It's easy to say "it was their choice" but as many women who gave up babies as teenagers will tell you, they really had no choice.

    It's clear from the show that none of the young mothers had any idea of the continual pain they would suffer. I doubt that any were aware of the issues their children would face being raised by biological strangers even in the best of circumstances.

    Adoption is necessary in some cases but is used far too frequently in the US which has by far the highest voluntary infant adoptions in the western world.

  47. Jane,
    I appreciate your response to Kathleen's comment. First of all, many first mothers have mentioned how different pregnancy is from actually having the born baby in one's arms. Kathleen says she is a labor and delivery nurse so she is talking about adoption before the new mother has really had any chance to spend time with and bond with her baby.

    Also, she mentions that the first and adoptive families do so well together and have such great relationships. Has anyone asked the child if s/he is so happy with this arrangement? I wonder if from the child's perspective being given up for adoption was such a great thing. I even wonder if the child would feel comfortable being honest about his/her feelings if they were not what the APs wanted to hear. And what about talking with adult adoptees who have been through this. Are they so sure it was the best thing for them or would they have preferred being raised by their natural parents?

    After all adoption is supposedly all about what is best for the child.

  48. And knowing what we do about adoptive /natural birth family relationships down the rocky road, I question that Kathleen is familiar with these relationships ten, fifteen, twenty years later.

    As a nurse involved with baby delivery, she would be in on the scene when the adoptive parents are making nice to make sure they get the child. We have heard many sad stories about such "relationships" here. We need to fast forward and see how life works out for Catelynn, Tyler and Carly, and well as the Davises, decades from now.

  49. Question for Kathleen - Dawn stated on the show that Tyler and Catelynn were capable of parenting. If that is the case, why would adoption even be considered? Wouldn't the ethical solution be to help those capable parents get started with raising the baby and providing support as needed? In my opinion adoption should only be offered in those cases where the parents are clearly not capable, ie. severe mental illnees, etc. And in those cases, placement within the natural family should be given priority over strangers with big bank accounts.

    Another question for Kathleen - as a labor an delivery nurse do you not encourage mothers to spend as much time as possbile with their babies, bonding, feeding, soothing the baby with skin to skin contact? It's has become common knowledge that the mother is immediately recognizable to the baby and she provides the most comfort via her scent, voice, heartbeat. Does it concern you that this automatic, natural biological bond which is most comforting to the baby is immediatley broken when the baby is transferred to the replacement mother, the one who is a complete stranger to the baby?

    I can barely stand to watch kittens and puppies being taken from their mother...how on earth can you stomach a baby being removed from mom?

  50. Uh, Touche' Jane Edwards!

    Kathleen wrote about adoption, "This is a difficult issue, but the process has had great outcomes too!!!!"

    With all due respect, "WTF!?"

  51. For labor and delivery nurses, and social workers, like Dawn, to intrude on such a sacred event as the birth of a child [before, during, and after] and badger a mother with questions like, "Are you sure you want adoption for your baby?" is like asking someone going thru a carwash, "Are you sure you want a carwash?"

    With all due respect, "Where am I? One Flew Over The Coo-Coo's Nest!?"

    Come on? You're kidding me? Right? Right.

  52. * Savvy, and astute, renowned, adoption mental health professionals aver that, "The adoptive family is by definition dysfunctional!" Just sayin'

    Who would those "professionals" be? More accurate would be to say all families are dysfunctional by someone's definition. This comment is a bit extreme and insults adoptive families.

  53. Kathleen,
    Just because you are a labor and delivery coach means absolutely zero. You do a job a rewarding one but also a cruel one in the aspect of seeing young moms being asked if they want to go through with adoption. As you know giving birth throws women into a range of emotions. How can any qualified "adoption" expert in good conscious ask such a question? How can anybody with any knowledge of separation of mother and baby justify and support such a practice of doing this at birth? I would question the humanity of any person. Cruel and unusual punishment!

  54. I just watched Teen Mom season 2 episode 12 called "see you later". This is the episode where Catelynn and Tyler have their 1 year visit with Carly. I would bet my life that that child recognized Catelynn and Tyler. I have never seen a 1 year old so willing and wanting to snuggle and kiss adult "strangers" as Carly was with her first parents. They didn't seem to be strangers to her at all. It really irked me though that the show referred to Carly as Catelynn's "birth" daughter. I hate that term. I'm not even sure I understand what it means. This poor child has adoptive parents and birth parents and she is either an adopted child or a birth daughter. Does she have any family that doesn't require a modifier? It would be so much nicer to just be a daughter and have parents.

  55. Let me add to my response to delivery nurse Kathleen who has heard social workers ask new moms if adoption is their decision: asking this question in front a witness (who just helped deliver the child, no less) is a way for social workers to cover their tails. If the mom sues trying to get her baby back, adoption-friendly nurse will testify that she heard the mom say it was her decision.

  56. I'd have to research where I read something about adoptive families being dysfunctional by definition.

    I'm not sure but I think the pros mean that it's not according to Nature's Plan to be raised outiside of one's own tribe - such an arrangement has its own - how shall we say - set of issues and tribulations.

    I don't think these pros mean that the adoptive parents are doing anything wrong. I don't think they mean dysfunction in the same vein as alcoholism in a family, or infidelity, or parenting via corporal punishment, and the like. I'm pretty sure that the Psychological Associations define dysfunction differently than society-at-large and pop-culture does.

    Hey, I'm just the messenger!

  57. With such a sweeping comment, it would be best to have those "pros" cited by name and the quote in context.

    Most people do not think of themselves as belonging to a tribe any more, much as it is important to know heritage.

  58. Aren't we being a bit hard on Kathleen the labor and delivery nurse? She did not say she pressured any mother toward adoption or treated unwed mothers badly. She was just reporting what she had seen on her job. I do not think it terrible to ask a mother who is planning on surrender if it is really her choice. Many mothers who surrendered, if asked that by a nurse in the hospital, would have gladly said "no, it is not what I want" and then the nurse might be able to help the mother get assistance to keep her baby. The truth for most of us that nobody ever asked us what WE wanted, just told us what we should do.

    Also I agree with Kathleen that the Nazi references were not necessary; they never are unless you are actually speaking of WWII and the Holocaust. See Godwin's Law:

  59. @Robin re: "I have never seen a 1 year old so willing and wanting to snuggle and kiss adult "strangers" as Carly was with her first parents."

    I noticed that immediately, too. And I'm sure it wasn't lost on the adoptive parents who typically feel threatened by the natural biological bond between a baby and her natural parents. I think this is why so many "open" adoptions close or result in extremely limited contact - the APs have to do everything in their power to break the bond.

  60. If anybody following this notices that the show is going to be on again, will you let me know? Just leave a comment. Now I really want to see Carly respond to her ah...birth...ah, real parents.

  61. @Maybe,
    Thank you so much for responding to my comment. I could have sworn I wasnt' imagining that. I haven't been around a lot of 1 year olds lately but I remember them as being wary around strangers nothing like Carly was with Catelynn and Tyler.

    Just go to http://www.mtv.com and type Teen Mom in the search box. It will give a link to all of the episodes and you can watch online. C & T started on season One. The episode I was referring to was on season 2, episode 12 called see-you-later. I'd love to hear your take on this phenomenon.

  62. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/
    9. Teen-mom shows. Replace them with “How Not to Get Knocked Up” public-service announcements."
    Couldn't agree more.

    Also agreeing with Anon July 24, 2011 8:26 AM about Kathleen, and with both of them about the Nazi references, which, as well as being unnecessary and offensive, have, as has already been pointed out, have nothing to do with adoption at all but only with the decades old battle between Scientology and psychiatry .

    A much better example of the kind of propaganda used to separate parents from their children would be The Right Brain People:
    " Non-profit clients include National Council for Adoption, Family Research Council and Vitae Caring Foundation. Clients hail the company's work as fresh, innovative and essential to building their brands."

    For more about The Right Brain People and their association the the National Council for Adoption you can't do better than to read Claudia Corrigan D'Arcy's article:

  63. Well, I have to say, I had a lot of reading to do when I got back on to this blog site, and I suppose I have to say a bit in response. Although I will not respond @ anyone only because there is too many posts to respond to. In general, my knowledge of positive out comes with adoptive families comes from personal not professional knowledge.

    Secondly, I feel that I am responsible for my patients well being. That includes asking, not badgering, the patient with the difficult question such as are you sure you want to go through with your adoption plans. As a labor and delivery nurse my job is to be an advocate for the mother and the baby! This includes asking if that continues to be her plan and going through with the patients plan if that is her wishes. For this I will not apologize for! At any time during the patients stay she is encouraged to see the baby, feed the baby, do skin to skin with the baby, have the baby room in with her at all times if that is what she wants. It continues to be her choice that I will gladly honor!

    I have had patients choosing adoption where they are caring for their baby in their room and we praise them for the great care they are giving and offer our social work resources to help them in taking baby home and raising their baby themselves only to have the patient say that she is moving forward with her adoption plan. Why she chooses that way, I don't know, but it is most definitely her choice!

    As for the past I don't know the process how birth mothers would have been asked, or encouraged to choose adoption that is not in my knowledge base, what I do know is my practice where I work. Often it is encouraged so much that the birth mom bond, that the adoptive parents are looked down upon. For what? Adopting a baby that a birth mother has chosen to give to them.

    I think it is possible that many of you are being hard on the adoptive parents as well. Are there families that are dysfunctional as a adoptive family, of course but tell me if there aren't families with birth parents present that aren't dysfunctional.....Of course there are! I am not sure of any family that doesn't have some dysfunction. And if you think there are some without, they lie!!!!

    I am sure there are birth moms and children that were adopted that are bitter about there circumstances, however in my personal knowledge i know several families including the birth mom and the children that are thankful for the process and very happy with their circumstances.

    In closing, In my experience, the birth mom is given plenty of opportunities to reconsider her options encouraged to explore those alternatives and offered assistance if she changes her mind. I have never seen a social worker lay a guilt trip because of the adoptive parents are down the hall in the waiting room or around town waiting for the news. There is always care, tack, and gentleness in discussing a birth mothers choices, and in the end it is always her choice... In my experience!

  64. Thanks, Kathleen,

    We appreciate your going the extra mile to help mothers considering adoption.

    We agree that adoption can be the best outcome in some situations. Even in the best of circumstance, however, birth mothers and their children have to deal with the pain of separation for the rest of their lives.

    We oppose unnecessary adoptions where mothers are not given the support they need or are misled into giving up their child. This is far too common an occurrence in the US today. We wrote about one such case (Carla Moquin) on July 18.

  65. I say abolish adoption like the Dutch did and respect families enough to let them find their own way in Life!

    Somebody wanted documentation, or something, I think it was Anonymous. Here's some for ya': Annette Baron, renowned expert in adoption, averred during her 4 or 5 decade social work and adoption career that, "Adoption was a 20th century experiment that failed." Who am I gonna' believe?

    I hope I'm not expected to write a dissertation right here and now.

    As Jane and Lorraine so aptly say, "We do have Lives!"

  66. I don't mean to pick on Kathleen because she's right on target - she thinks about adoption much the way the rest of society thinks of it. I commend her for joining us and educating us. How can we educate if we don't talk to each other. I profusely thank you, Kathleen!!! You, perhaps, have more courage than me?

    How could society know any differently since we haven't talked up on a large scale yet. We can't even touch the big media, like CNN.... Moms have not yet put themselves out their vehemently to say, "Stop it! You will no longer separate the families of our vulnerable! Find another line of work!" Social media is a God-send to any cause or injustice. I see it as a training ground for me, personally, from which I will seek to correct various wrongs - not just adoption.

    I do have to get things did in my real Life so I'll very briefly express a couple of bones of contention that I may expound upon in the future if time and neurons permit. I really appreciate this venue. This may sound kind of clumsy but I gotta' get the heck outta' here:

    1. Pertaining to moms and families who appear to be happy with their separations from their children [to survive]. Any family that is happy about a family member being "lost" is in survival mode.

    Victims don't know when they're being victimized - that's why they're victims.

    i.e. Warren Jeffs' devout followers are still worshipping him to the hilt even after he has been shown sexually embracing and kissing 12 year-old girls, and the like.

    Jeffs' followers stand in the courtroom when he enters; people are only supposed to stand when the judge enters.

    Jeffs' followers are extremely happy, happy, people. Now, I ask you, do YOU think that the sister-wives of polygamous sects are victims? They exude such joy!

    2. It is an INSULT of the highest order to call me, and other mothers of loss, BITTER. [I realize society does not know this.]

    LET ME PREFACE THIS WITH THE FACT THAT THERE IS NO OTHER HORROR LIKE THE CRUELTY OF THE JEWISH HOLACAUST [I shudder as I write this.] and I am in no way equating it with the loss of our children. I'm very uncomfortable even using it in my example. I'm just telling you of my experience with a therapist:

    Once I described something about my intense grief over the loss of my child this way, "Look at, i.e., Holocaust survivors really have something to grieve about. I have no right to be such a 'crybaby.'"

    A male adoptee and mental health professional merely advised me, "Yours is a personal holacaust."

    Now, I ask you, would you dare to call Jewish Holocaust survivors BITTER! [You better not! It would be highly insulting!]

    3. The use of the term, birthmother, is highly insulting! I heard on FMF that you "guys" went all through the use of the breeder term before I got to this site a couple weeks ago. We use that term here to be inclusive because the rest of the U.S. uses that term.

    I would just like to say to newcomers and those who don't know: the use of the dehumanizing and marginalizing term, birthmother, was conjured up by an adoptive parent and the adoption industry in the 1950s - her name is on the tip of my tongue - to make single mothers feel like non-mothers and to have them viewed by adopters and society like non-mothers, hence, a more easy finagle of the children. Ah, her name was, or is, Pearl Buck, I think. [I don't know how to refer to the deceased?]

    [This comment is continued in my next comment; then I'm taking a break. (It's no wonder I get little done.) I apologize for the length.]

  67. [This is a continuation and conclusion of my previous comment. Thanks for bearing with me and helping me heal!]

    3. Before you start espousing how much you choose not to be viewed as a victim, I would like to say, "How can I not view myself as having been a victim of the societal mores of my youth?"

    4. The help and counseling provided moms who put their kids on the adoption block is so illusive. How about something concrete like, "...Here, Sally, let me take you by the hand to such and such an office where all you have to do is fill out a form and you'll get financial help and guidance to keep your family together. We know the unspoken societal pressure on you even today, in 2011, to give your baby away. We know the shame you might feel about disappointing your family by giving birth to a Gift.

    We have support groups that will help you parent. It's on the job training. Noone that we know of has ever taken a class in child-rearing in the recent past.

    Besides, Sally, our forefathers looked out for you in the U.S. Constitution. Washington and Jefferson... guaranteed that your society will help you financially to keep your baby. You won't need help for long. It's not like you're going to be alone all your Life.

    Don't be fooled by the societal aura that the religious fanatics and the powerful adoption industry has spent big bucks to put out there. Come on, it's time to get a little healthy-selfish! Your child will thank you.... Don't put the noose of separation on the Gift that God gave to you! Yeah, YOU! Our God doesn't make mistakes, Sally!"

  68. @ Caleigh, First, I am sorry if you feel insulted that is never my intention. In my own personal experience I have several friends that made choices of adoption in one form or another, ie, choosing adoption for their child, and choosing to adopt a child. So I am speaking from my personal perspective. I definitely did not mean to insult you or offend you, for that I am deeply sorry.
    Furthermore, regarding people who have adjusted well to an adoption situation, how can any one person know the hearts and feelings of those people unless you know them personally? It is possible for someone to be ok with their decision, and the life that they currently live in.

    Second the term bitter may fit in certain circumstances,I did not say yours.
    The definition is:
    bitter |ˈbitər| adjective : angry, hurt, or resentful because of one's bad experiences or a sense of unjust treatment.
    Doesn't angry, hurt and resentful fit with the stages of grief that one might go through in this situation?

    As for offending you with the birthmother comment, I am sorry you are offended. Again not my intention, however in my defense, what should I say when referring to someone who chose adoption?

  69. If you do not like the word "birthmother" don't use it.

    There is no such thing as a "personal holocaust". Giving up a child is a personal tragedy, not genocide. You say you are here to learn. Try listening.

  70. Kathleen, no need to apologize. Thanks for your input.

    What would be the natural and logical name to call a mother who has been given a child through Nature? Aaahh? Hmmm? Let's see?

    How about calling it what it is? It's not rocket science! Natural mother would be a good start!

    [I'm not directing this comment to you, Kathleen, you've been more than gracious. This is for new readers.]

    Or, how about? Let's see, the child had a mother once. Gee whillikers? Would that be his first mother?

    Oh, look at that? Another term? First mother.

    [Oh come on, we can't respect the wanton woman that much? Look at the rest of us. We follow the rules. We wait until marriage to engage in sex. She must be punished. We will not give her respect.]

    A couple of decades ago, in the beginning of the adoption reform and healing movement when the country of moms began to slowly exit the closet of shame that was foisted on them by their illustrious neighbors, I was sitting in that dingbat adoption support group, the helm of which was a bunch of HOLD-BACKS. The helm was comprised of adoptees and social workers. What did I expect?

    One day in the circular support group setting, the President and adoptee was thinking aloud, "What should we call mothers who lose kids to adoption? We can't call them natural mothers because it makes the adoptive mother appear unnatural...."

    Mothers have always had to defer to the whims and wishes of others, namely adoptive parents and adoptees, and, of course, society-at-large. How sick is that!? Why do you think that is? Why are only WE so kind and accommodating? While everyone else is looking out for their own behinds.

    Jane and Lorraine, what happened to my 2nd comment, the CONTINUATION of my July 28, 2:31 PM comment?

    It might have gotten lost; I just don't trust computer technology.

  71. Thank you Kathleen for that definition of bitter.

    Words are extremely powerful! Words hit hard as a fist and our illustrious society is very tricky with the verbiage and namecalling that its members use; in particular, society is real good at twisting definitions of words when society wants to demean.

    Society has twisted and made up its own meanings for normal, respectful words, i.e.:

    1. bastard simply means the child of a single mother
    2. bitch simply means a female dog

    And look at the connotations that our society has given these beautiful creations of God. There are others that elude me at the moment.

    So, we know that when society uses the adjective BITTER to describe a mother who has lost a child - A CHILD - we know this is derogatory talk. Society means to demean!

    I was sitting in that dingbat support group a couple of decades ago, that I often refer to and I would very often overhear the dingbat helm [adoptees & social workers] quickly quip about a mother who lost, "Is she angry!?" Like WTF kind of derogation is that? We know when we're being screwed! Young victims of bullies in the schoolyard even know when they're being bullied! It's not rocket science!

  72. Caleigh,what happens to comments is sometimes the administrators do not print them for various reasons, redundant, insulting, off-topic, incoherent, or personal attacks among others.

    It has happened to me, it has happened to others, it is the blog owner's prerogative what they print and what they remove or block. They are not obliged to print all comments they receive. They have been more than generous with you. It is not personal.

  73. Yes, Lorraine and Jane are definitely generous! Not only do they READ, trudge through, all of our gripes and comments and exultations; BUT they also keep the blog FRESH with exciting and informative, educational, material. That is pretty time consuming - not an easy feat!!! I particularly love that there's the two of them!

    We appreciate you, Lorraine and Jane!!!

  74. Caleigh wrote:"I was sitting in that dingbat support group a couple of decades ago, that I often refer to and I would very often overhear the dingbat helm [adoptees & social workers]"

    You have made it perfectly clear that your former support group was not the place for you. However, I do not appreciate adoptees being lumped together under the term dingbat. Also, for your edification adoptees have been quite profoundly marginalized just as first mothers have. We have not been able to speak out about our experiences but instead have been told how to feel and what to think about being adopted. We are also frequently still referred to and treated as children even though as you stated previously many of us are between 40 and 50 years old.

  75. Hey Robin! The amateur support group in my area was a poor excuse for a support group. I wasted alot of time when I could have been healing somewhere else but there was nowhere else. Perhaps, I have mentioned it too much? I conjecture I've been doing so for newcomers. In the back of my mind, I'm always expecting new readers to pop in.

    I was extremely touched when I read what you wrote, "We have not been able to speak out about our experiences but instead have been told how to feel and what to think about being adopted." I never heard that before and I sure hope that changes soon because your freedom means more freedom for moms who lost. Thank you for sharing that!

    Wow, I've always been led to believe that adoptees were so superior and they have it made in the shade. We, moms, were to stay in our place, or else be ostracized once again. I don't attend those support group meetings anymore. They made me feel like I had to be "punished for giving away my child" - that's the aura that the helm exuded.

    I apologize for making it sound like I lump all adoptees together! I'm trying to think if I even know any adoptees other than those few. I can't right off hand think of any. Noone stands out in my mind. How weird? [I won't mention that group, again.]

  76. Caleigh wrote:"I'm trying to think if I even know any adoptees other than those few. I can't right off hand think of any."

    What about the AAC in 2009? Didn't you meet any adoptees there? You are in some kind of therapy with an adoptee, presumably have access to that group and lists and website. It seems you have been involved for many years with adoption reform. This is confusing.

    There is no need to repeat anything for new readers. This site is archived and it is all there for anyone to read who wishes.

  77. Caleigh wrote:"They made me feel like I had to be "punished for giving away my child" - that's the aura that the helm exuded."

    I am sorry you had to experience that. That kind of attitude helps no one. Adoptees and first mothers need to work together. We were both hurt by what happened.

    Stick around.... there is probably lots more surprising information coming your way.

  78. "Wow, I've always been led to believe that adoptees were so superior and they have it made in the shade."

    I'm a mom whose child was taken for adoption, and I have never thought that way, even though that was and still largely is the dominant social message.
    It was always my thought that no-one would want to be born in order to adopted, whatever material "advantages" adoption might confer.
    Just sayin'

  79. Kathleen,

    Just how many women do you know that chose adoption?

    Adoption is an act of desperation for any mother. No one gets pregnant and then says I am giving my baby away!
    Many women were forced just in case you haven't been reading news. Catholic church apologizes for forced adoptions!! Canada and it's 40 year secret all reported here.

    You said this:
    "however in my defense, what should I say when referring to someone who chose adoption"?

    In our defense call us what we are mothers if there should be a need for a modifier why not for the person that adopted? I was forced to give my son up my son was still my son and I his mom if not true he wouldn't be alive I gave him life hence I am mother!

    Oh and in your defense we have played the name stigma here too.

  80. Mother, I don't think this is the way to treat Katherine, a non-triad member who came here to learn. Katherine, not all of us are offended by the word "birthmother". Some prefer "first mother" or another designation, but the idea that "birthmother" is an insult is not universal. Sometimes there is need to differentiate which mother you mean, as in adoption there are two, birthmother and adoptive mother.

    Your experience of adoptions you have witnessed on the job is different from some of our personal experiences, but that does not make it wrong or false. Some adoptions do work, some do not, and many should never have happened. Adoption, like life, is varied and complex.

  81. Maryanne,

    She made a point to ask what she should call us
    I responded. Are you not mother to your son?

    I know there are happy adoption stories I am as
    old as you are I don't need you to tell me that.

    Women who work in medical field should have
    more than average knowledge of pro and cons of
    adoption. In fact there is and was training for
    those that work in that field to encourage adoption
    government paid training!

    I am sure this won't get posted but i don't think it is fair
    That many times after posting I get reprimanded by you.
    I am mother it's what I am you can call yourself anything
    you want your choice. She Asked and I told her
    Why ask if you don't want an answer?

  82. "Wow, I've always been led to believe that adoptees were so superior and they have it made in the shade."

    "I'm a mom whose child was taken for adoption, and I have never thought that way, even though that was and still largely is the dominant social message."

    These comments surprise me. I thought the dominant social message was that adopted kids are troubled. Unless "made in the shade" refers to the fact that APs are generally more affluent and therefore the child will have material advantages. As for having emotional/psychological advantages not only do adoptees not have it "made in the shade" but I thought the prevailing attitude was that we were at a disadvantage.

  83. Thanks for posting my view really thought it wouldn't get posted.

    I Do believe anyone in the medical field should be educated and if Kathleen wants to know another view
    I should be able to express mine because some hear believe adoption maybe necessary.
    Just as NFCA is trying to promote adoptions for their
    agencies I feel we moms need to tell the truth of living
    without our babies. Didn't know if my son was alive or dead
    being abused or happy that is wrong imho.
    Thankfully after 26 years I found him and he was cared for by a "single" mom!!! Hey, I could have done that! As I was single.
    So adoption is not always BETTER my son I feel would have done better knowing his family. I think adoption creates a lot of emotional problems in both adopttees
    and mothers. I never had problems with my emotions till my son was taken. When I look at why he was taken I am
    appalled at the lack of understanding and caring that go into taking a baby.
    Recently I joined a social site one man who was at least my age has big ADOPTED letters in his profile. Do you think he might be affected? I think so or why would he even mention it. When Maine adores got their original b cert and were just staring at them and elated with seeing them does one question that it doesn't AFFECT them.

  84. " I thought the dominant social message was that adopted kids are troubled."
    Depends who is commandeering the discourse at the time.

    "Unless "made in the shade" refers to the fact that APs are generally more affluent and therefore the child will have material advantages. "
    "Made in the shade" is an expression that means being in an excellent or ideal situation.

  85. "Mother",

    Yes, I am a mother to my son. He also had another mother, the one who raised him. For good or ill he thinks of her as his mother. But she is dead and now I am the only mother he has.

    I did not say I was not his mother, just that I do not mind being identified or identifying myself as "birthmother" when that clarifies things. To me "birthmother" means the same thing as "first mother" and neither of them means "not a mother."

    Katherine asked because she was chided for using the word "birthmother". Why was that necessary in the first place?

    I do not think any of us can generalize our own situation to all adoptions.

  86. As a response to a question: how many people do I know that chose adoption, I said I know several people that chose adoption in one form or another... 2 friends that chose to have their child raised by adoptive parents and 3 very close friends that have adopted children as well as several other friends that chose to adopt as well.



COMMENTS ARE MODERATED. Our blog, our decision whether to publish.

We cannot edit or change the comment in any way. Entire comment published is in full as written. If you wish to change a comment afterward, you must rewrite the entire comment.

We DO NOT post comments that consist of nothing more than a link and the admonition to go there.