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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Is Scott Simon Angry with us?

Scott Simon, author of Baby We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption is upset over three posts* critiquing his memoirs and media appearances.

The gist of our posts was that while Simon found adoption to be “a miracle, the work of divine agency,” it is catastrophe in someone else’s life that led to the child being available to be adopted, and that this aspect of adoption is once again ignored by pleased-as-punch parents, which he and his wife claim to be.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Newsday and the backlash.......'More Adoption Information may not be good'

Help adoptees reach first parents

Photo credit: iStock | Adoption
Lorraine Dusky of Sag Harbor is the author of the memoir Birthmark.

Ask the man on the street if people who were adopted as babies should be able, as adults, to find out the identities of their original parents, and the typical answer is: Sure, isn't that their right?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sperm donors in the news again

Normal human sperm morphology picture
looking to mate
In case you think that all sperm-donor daddies want to stay behind a closed closet door...a father in Australia is doing his best to do just the opposite: he is fighting to keep his name ON the birth certificate. The gay partner of the mother wants to put her name on the birth certificate in his place. We say, if birth certificates were not so critically important as both a real and symbolic document of identity, this would not be happening.

In the current dust up Down Under, Neil Richards, 58, of Sydney, answered a gay couple's magazine advertisement more than 10 years ago for a sperm donor and provided sperm to Jesse Star, 49, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. This is a man who wanted to have a child:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kudos to Walmart

Walmart's Robin Morse
Thanks to Walmart for selling hope and opportunity to teen moms. In a series of ads in the Portland, Oregon area, Manager Robin Morse tells us that as a single, 19-year-old mom, she took a job at a Walmart electronics department. She worked her way up the ladder becoming Manager of the Walmart in Hood River, a town of 7000 50 miles east of Portland. She met her future husband there.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Anonymous baby making in British Columbia is outlawed

Sperm donors will no longer be allowed to be anonymous in British Columbia if a decision from a Supreme Court judge there today stands. Judge Elaine Adair wrote that anonymous donation, "is harmful to the child, and it is not in the best interests of donor offspring." The ruling found sections of the B.C. Adoption Act and Adoption Regulations unconstitutional. Anonymous sperm and egg donation is already outlawed in Great Britain.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sympathy for the Other Woman

Why do I feel sympathy for the women caught up in sex scandals? Because they never get over it. It will be a long time for the woman to have a second act. Arnold Schwarzenegger will have a movie career apparently. Patty Baena will always be "that woman." I hope the boy can have some kind of meaningful relationship with his father.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

'Love child' is preferable to 'adopted child'

I admit to a certain sympathy for the women who bear the children of married men, famous or otherwise. Arnold Schwarzenegger's revelation that he fathered a son with one of the household employees, Mildred "Patty" Baena, more than a decade ago is making front-page news, even in gray lady of journalism, The New York Times.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Abandonment issues in adoption on America's Next Top Model

America's Next Top Model is not the place where you would expect adoption issues to be discussed but this season features Molly, a young woman Tyra Banks told repeatedly that her mean, sourpuss demeanor when the camera wasn't on her would lose her bookings--even though she took totally fab pictures. Molly is one of the two finalists, the winner to be revealed on Wednesday.

Then, a few weeks ago in her talk-to-the-camera segment the 22-year-old from Charleston, South Carolina, comes out with:
"I think I have a couple of places where the anger comes from. I've had a lot of sadness, a lot of hurt. You know I think being adopted gave me some issues, you know, abandonment issues

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Help Adoptees Reach First Parents

Ask the man on the street if people who were adopted as babies should be able, as adults, to find out the identities of their original parents, and the typical answer is: Sure, isn't that their right?

Only for the fortunate few. In all states but six -- and New York isn't among that half-dozen -- individuals adopted at birth are still denied the unrestricted right to even look at a copy of their original birth certificates. Without that piece of paper, it's hard to have that longed-for mother-and-child reunion.

Adoption: Aussies and US

Jane and Evelyn Robinson
 Australia puts the United States to shame when it comes to domestic adoption. By removing profit from adoption and implementing reforms demanded by Australia’s ugly past, domestic adoption rates have plummeted to near zero benefiting both mothers and children.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Justice Scales ClipartIt's not over yet, but this afternoon New Jersey took one step closer to allowing people adopted as infants to obtain their original birth certificates, and with that the right to know their true identities.  We congratulate our friend Pam Hasegawa and Judy Foster and the others in New Jersey who have fought so hard and worked so long for passage of this bill--31 years.  We hope that the passage of this bill may lead to similar action in our neighboring state of New York. (See blog post of May 8.)

B. J Lifton's Mother's Day card

In my earlier post today, I wrote about adoptee Betty Jean Lifton's negative reaction to a Mother's Day card her birth mother sent her shortly after their reunion. A reader commented that "it's kinda byzantine for a (reunited) mother to send a Mother's Day card to her own daughter." 

In trying to be brief, I did not do justice to the Lifton's account. Here's the full quote:

Adoption Reunion: The Gift/Card Quagmire

This Mother’s Day I was truly blessed. My first daughter, Megan, whom I surrendered at birth, sent me a beautiful plant – actually four beautiful plants all together in a basket. My youngest daughter, Julie, sent me wonderful treats and flowers. I had brunch with my two middle daughters, Amy and Lucy, and two grandchildren who gave me charming cards. I am thrilled with everything! More important than the gifts and cards, though, was being recognized and remembered.
From Megan
Our calendar is filled with gift-giving/card-sending days --- Mother's Day, Christmas, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, many others--promoted by purveyors of candy, flowers, jewelry, clothing, cards, gadgets, nagging us to do what we want to do, remember those we love. These occasions can send those of us separated by adoption into a tailspin.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

NYC Press Conference for Open Records for Adoptees

Press Conference for the Bill of Adoptee Rights from Flower City Media on Vimeo.
If you can get through this without getting a tear in your eye, you're a stronger person than I am. If you are in any state that has a bill in the works get involved!

I'm going to email both David Weprin and Richard Gottfried and thank them for their support. And by the way, Unsealed Initiative is collecting money (and size donation welcome, and we mean any amount) for Weprin's election campaign. He is a staunch supporter and we need him in Albany. If you have any NY connection with your adoption, please contact Joyce Bahr at unsealedinitiative@nyc.rr.com. 

We have around $400 at this point; I'd love to see us get to a thousand.  And check out UI's page too: Unsealed Initiative.  

On another note, I just read a blog by an adopter looking for a second child and she writes she feels
incredibly "sad" for me. Argument going on under earlier blog:
Why I'm not celebrating "Birth Mother's Day"

It was weird to read, I admit. --lorraine 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mother's Day: The Holiday from Hell, Part 2

"Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother."

Ah yes, Mother's Day, the drumbeat continues: On the way back from my morning Starbucks, I am tuned into the local NPR station, Peconic Public Broadcasting, and hear Bonnie Grice on The Eclectic Cafe after she makes some remarks about the upcoming holiday from hell, Mother's Day, say:  Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Why I'm not celebrating "Birth Mother's Day"

Proud Birth Mother Angel Design cards
A really bad idea
The world's worst "holiday" is just days away--Mother's Day. For many mothers who lost their children to adoption, it is a day of miserable reminders of the children we do not have, and we approach it with all the joy of someone on her way to her own execution.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Writing a letter to the child you gave up for adoption

How do you write a letter to the son or daughter you gave up for adoption? Before you know her/him? How to begin, what to say? It's a question first/birth mothers are faced with if they must make contact through a confidential intermediary. At the end of my memoir, Birthmark, I have a letter to the daughter I did not know yet--she was thirteen at the time the book was published in 1979, and as many of you know, I did reunite with her less than three years later. No letter was necessary, I made a phone call and spoke to her adoptive mother, and then her adoptive father, and within ten minutes or so my daughter was on the line. Yep. That was, in a sense, the easy part.

But what would I say today if I had to write such a letter? How would I introduce myself?