' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: February 2011
Join Lorraine in Indianapolis! She will be opening the IAN conference on Friday morning. See details on sidebar.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Should Birth Parents Be Allowed to Sue to Get Their Babies Back?


HB 2904 introduced into the Oregon legislature amends Oregon’s adoption law to ensure that parents have sufficient time and information to make informed decisions about adoption for their children.  A reader posted the following comment:

“’I don't have a problem with the eight and thirty day waiting period [in the bill], a mother DOES need time to make a decision. What I DO have a problem with … was the ONE YEAR

Friday, February 25, 2011

Adoption Reform and the LDS Church


First Mother Forum has gotten some flak from folks asking why we are bringing the Mormon Church into its discussion of HB 2904, the Oregon bill which would give mothers considering adoption time and information to make informed decisions.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Legislation to protect the birth/first mother AND child

My bridge partner asked me the other day about the legislation I was working on. I explained that it was a bill,  gave mothers time to decide upon adoption of their newborn child (HB 2904). Under current Oregon law, mothers can sign consents to adoption immediately after delivery.Her first question:

“What about the adoptive parents?" Surely such a bill couldn't be good for them.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rosie O'Donnell Learns What a True Heritage Means

First mothers and adoptees everywhere who know that Rosie O'Donnell is an adoptive mother three times over. We have never seen any support of any kind for adoptee rights coming from Rosie. Her kids are still young but are adolescents now. Was she ever going to wake up? Signs did not point to Yes.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

West Not Impressed by Adoption Practices in Nepal

Nepal continues to be on the front pages of the international adoption scene. Last summer the UN allowed adoptions to open again in Nepal and approximately 60 children were adopted during that time, most to the United States. This was after well-documented cases of kidnapping and child-trafficking, and allowing children who had been left at orphanages temporarily to be adopted out of the country. Supposedly the unethical practices such kidnapping and faked papers had come to an end.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The bittersweet reality of being adopted

What effect does being surrendered for adoption do to the individual so surrendered?

Being adopted approximately doubles the odds of an adolescent being diagnosed with a behavior or emotional problem. Yes, the vast majority of adopted people grow up to be fully functioning, well adjusted individuals, but a 2008 study at the University of Minnesota has found that a small minority of those kids--about 14 percent--are diagnosed with a behavioral disorder or have contact with a mental health professional as adolescents--roughly twice the odds that the non-adopted face.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Opposition to the birth parents rights bill: distortions, lies, and more lies


The websites springing up to oppose HB 2904 which would assure birth parents have the time and information to make informed decisions on adoption would be amusing except that some folks might actually believe the untruths and distortions they spew out. I’ll be writing about these sites for the next few days. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Reforming Oregon's adoption laws


Oregon mothers are losing their children to adoption even though they and their families can and want to nurture them. Oregon has twice the national rate of domestic, non-related infant adoptions.

      After Lorraine and I wrote about Oregon's adoption-friendly laws (Are Laws Tilted Towards Adoptive Parents?), I received calls from folks interested in working on amending these laws. We formed a work group, Oregon Birth Mothers, and drafted a bill to assure that mothers have sufficient time and adequate information to make informed decisions about adoption. Rep. Margaret Doherty, a smart, forward-looking member of the Oregon House introduced our bill, HB 2904. This bill:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The real end of The Deep End of the Ocean: Boy returns to his first family

This post falls into the category of never write about a book until you've read the last pages--which I did last night finding that The Deep End of the Ocean (written about in previous post) has one last surprise in store for the reader:

The Deep End of the Ocean (Oprah's Book Club)The abducted boy, Ben/Sam after being found/reunited with his natural family/moves in with them but wants to go back to the father who raised him (his kidnapper "mother" is in the loony bin)/custody is transferred back, but then, a few weeks later...the boy, who's twelve comes back late at night to his natural family...with his suitcase. He shoots some hoops

Friday, February 11, 2011

What's the difference between being adopted and being abducted?

What's the difference between being adopted as a baby or abducted and raised by people who do not abuse you but treat you as...one might treat an adopted child? Carlina White, who was abducted at three weeks from a New York City hospital and renamed Nejdra Nance, and her mother, Joy, are obviously going through the kind of complicated and fraught reunion tango that many of us natural/first/birth mothers* are so familiar with post the gushing joy of reunion.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wondering how one's "adopted" that is, relinquished, daughter is

 For a review of Didion's Blue Nights see:
Joan Didion's Blue Nights is really an adoption memoir

What is it like to find a child given up for adoption--a son or daughter of any age--who has serious and debilitating physical or emotional problems? It's less than "perfect," whatever that is, but it is an answer to a grief-filled question; it is the end of not knowing; it is the way to a reality, no matter hows painful, that can be dealt with.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tell birth FIRST mothers the truth about adoption

 USA Today published two letters today following up my viewpoints piece (I share Oprah's mom's shame and pain) of last week: "Counsel birth mothers about the realities of adoption" reads a headline I can only think of as stupendous--as it is over a terrific letter by Jeanine M. Biocic, president of Origins-USA, and a email friend of ours at FMF. 
"Birth mothers believe, in fact are told, that relinquishing their child is the best thing all around. Rarely do they comprehend, until it is too late, that they may live the rest of their lives with secrecy, grief, and

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Some happy endings have a twist mothers don't expect


“YOUR SON IS A CRACK ADDICT AND A SCHIZOPHRENIC” was the first thing Patti Hawn heard about the son she had not seen in 40 years.

Other than this bone-chilling revelation, Hawn’s memoir, Good Girls Don’t, is the oft told and sad tale of a Girl Who Went Away. It’s a story, both simple and profound, which needs to be told again and again, both as catharsis for thousands of first mothers and as a reality check for those who, like NPR weekend host Scott Simon, write in Praise of Adoption

Friday, February 4, 2011

Do birth mothers/first mothers have the right to search?

NOTE: If you read the blog since last night, there have been several ads at the bottom.
Should first/birth mothers search for the children they gave up for adoption? Or should I say: Surrendered to forces greater than one's ability to resist--maybe we should start substituting that every time someone uses the damn phrase "made an adoption plan."

But the question remains: Do first mothers, or birth mothers, or whatever we are called have the "right" to search for our children?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Do First/birth mothers want to be found?

Birth mother - do you want to be found?

With all the attention focused on Vernita Lee, Oprah's mother--a reluctant-to-acknowledge birth/first mother, who denied being Patricia Lloyd's mother for years--this is the what a lot of adoptees want to know: Do their mothers want to be found? This is what someone goggled yesterday and found her way to First Mother Forum. Answer:


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dear Abby encourages searching for first/birth family

I stand corrected. Denise posted the following comment re Dear Abby:
"I too was pleased to see what the New Abby has written. Although I have to say that the original Abby was quite open to search and reunion. As I wrote on this topic on my blog, it was because of a letter she published from a first mother who found her son through Soundex, that I learned about that registry. I saved the letter until my son was 18, then