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

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Does My Natural Mother Ever Think of Me?

It's the little everyday things in life that remind you of being a natural/birth/first mother. It's noticing how I always look at kids when they are with people I assume are their parents, and make a split-second decision: related by genes, or not? It's being alert to every mention of a celebrity adoption: Denise Richards, Charlie Sheen's ex adopting a newborn when she already has two girls (ages six and seven) with Charlie Sheen, (really?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Corruption in Foreign Adoptions: China, Again

Once again, corruption in baby snatching in China is in the news: Chinese police rescued 81 children from a major child trafficking ring operating throughout eastern China. The rescued children, mostly girls, were from ten days to four months old. Another raid earlier this month resulted in eight children being rescued. Unless the children were

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mothers of stolen babies demand more than an apology

More on the Catholic apology in Australia: women whose babies were taken and given to others want more than an apology, they want justice. But a few days later, Perth's Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey told a television interviewer in Australia on The Morning Show he knew of little evidence of such practices.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Catholic church apologizes for forced adoptions in Australia

Why was I adopted? That's the question Jane wrote so well about in her previous post,* and while neither she nor I were tied down during delivery, nor did we sign surrender papers immediately after when we were still under the influence of drugs, many mothers endured such a fate elsewhere in the world. Apparently this was common practice

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Adoptees ask: "Why Was I Given Away?"

“Why Was I Given Away? What were the circumstances of my adoption?” are often the first questions adoptees newly in reunion ask. We find that people Google such a question frequently. Lurking beneath these questions is the fear that

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Utah rules against natural father. Again. And again. Adoption is big business there.

Nothing to smile about today
Why do I hate Utah?  Let me count the ways:
 a) The Utah attitude towards single parents is "Grab and Go," as in, We'll grab the baby from any state and then make it nearly impossible for the natural parent--either one--to get the child back, even mere minutes after the papers are signed.

Monday, July 18, 2011

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

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

Before we leave Catelynn and Tyler, America's most celebrated birth/first parents, it's obvious that their decision to relinquish their

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.

Friday, July 15, 2011

PS: To the Terri Vanech story

No, we did not find her mother yet.

I posted her guest post (see below, or Adoptee learns to live out loud by finding herself)  late last night but forgot to add how Terri and I became acquainted. After reading another story of hers about her growing need to find her biological parents, I wrote about her in Adopted People Are Not Allowed Ancestry Because It Might Upset Somebody.  She found the blog, contacted me, and thus began a friendship. She was born in 1966, the same year as my daughter, whom most of you know committed suicide. The fact that Terri was the same age as my daughter added a special poignancy to our friendship.

I put her in touch with a searcher friend, also Jennifer, who tried, but she could not find the "Jennifer" she was looking for. Later later, Terri wrote a piece for Newsday that I put up as a permanent page: Looking for my birth mother. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guest Post: Adoptee learns to live out loud by finding herself

Terri S. Vanech 
I'm up to my eyeballs in work and my right hand is still not cooperating. Seems I've had too many hours at the computer and that led to back and shoulder muscles collapsing under the strain and like the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone, et cetera, that has led to a problem typing. So Jane is doing more posts and in the meantime, we have a guest blogger today.--lorraine 

By Terri S. Vanech
The dutifully recorded D'Nealian cursive words in the baptismal registry at Christ Church in Tarrytown, NY, are among the most beautiful things I've ever seen: No. 34: Jennifer Elaine Clark.

Monday, July 11, 2011

President Obama's mother making an adoption plan? Unthinkable.

President Obama
Before President Barack Obama was born, his parents may have considered putting him up for adoption reports Sally Jacobs, author of The Other Barack, The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father. The senior Obama told immigration officials that he and his wife, Ann Dunham, would “’make arrangements with the Salvation Army to give the baby away.'”

Friday, July 8, 2011

Is there a universal right to know one's heritage? Part 2

Whether or not there is a universal "need" to know one's specific origins, or an inborn natural curiosity that we all carry within our breast, has been the subject of an ongoing debate at the previous blog,* The universal need to know who you are. 

Little children--before they know they are not supposed to ask--all ask the question about the beginning of their lives. How did I get here? Where did I

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The universal need to know who you are

"The sperm donors, they agreed, had no place on the family tree."

A couple will have four children: the first was conceived naturally; the second with donor sperm; two are in the process of being adopted. "All four of our children are 100 percent in our family tree....The genetic connection has never mattered." (Emphasis added.)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Unalienable rights of parents

“The right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children is among the ‘unalienable rights’ with which the Declaration of Independence proclaims all men … are endowed by their creator.” Justice Anton Scalia

A powerful statement given legal authority in a series of  Supreme Court decisions holding that the United States Constitution protects “the fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child.”

Nonetheless, states treat these basic of rights as expendable, allowing mothers to sign irrevocable consents to adoption within minutes of birth, or, even worse, to sign consents before birth with only a short revocation time. Fathers have even less protection. Unless they can navigate complicated legal procedures before the birth of their child, they may not even have the opportunity to contest the adoption. Once children are adopted, most states deny them the right to know who their natural parents are.

On this Fourth of July, as we enjoy our hot dogs and beer and fireworks, let’s dedicate ourselves to repealing these unjust laws.

Friday, July 1, 2011


A CLEAN BILL--no vetoes--has been signed by the governor today and now all those adopted on Rhode Island can get their original birth certificates at 25. Let's toast everyone who worked on this bill tonight! Thanks Paul, and the rest of you.

When adoptees change their names back to their birth names

Thanks to one of our readers, we saw this gem of misinformation in Dear Abby’s column of June 27.
“DEAR ABBY: My wife had an unhappy five-year marriage to her high school boyfriend. They divorced when their son, "Noah," was 20 months old. Then she met me, and we have been married for 34 happy years.