' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: February 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Illegal Immigrant Fights for Custody of Young Son

PHOTO: Encarnacion Bail Romero and attorney
David Stonner/Joplin Globe
Encarnacion Bail Romero confers with attorney Omar Riojas during a custody hearing
One of the nightmare custody battles got underway today--mother loses custody of her baby, another couple is allowed to adopt him, but mother wants her child, now five, back.

Guatemalan-born Encarnacion Bail Romero, who came to the U.S. illegally in 2006 while pregnant was working at a poultry processing plant  in Missouri in 2007 when Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers conducted a raid looking for illegals. Along with about 100 other undocumented

Monday, February 27, 2012

'Fessing up and running straight into a fresh adoption...

Lorraine spills the beans
Last week in Virginia I met a woman whom I immediately liked and as we were together over the course of several hours, I ended up telling her my involvement with the Big A. You know, it's always a question: to tell or not to tell. And stay silent and avoid the slings and arrows of misfortune that may come your way when meeting new folks. When she first asked what I wrote about, I said, "feminist issues," as I have a long history of writing about women and the glass ceiling and gender bias in the legal system.

As we were in Virginia, just as the nutty bill to invade women's vaginas with an ultrasound probe before they may have an abortion was the issue de jour, she was eager to hear more. She herself had been at a protest rally the morning before. Incidentally, Gov. Bob McDonnell (who initially said he would sign the bill) and the anti-women Republican-dominated legislature backed down.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Utah adoption laws becoming more hostile to birth fathers?

Robert Manzanares only wanted to nurture his new daughter. But for the past four years he has had to run the gauntlet of Utah’s byzantine anti-father adoption laws. Although the Utah Supreme Court ruled in his favor in January, he still faces more litigation before--if ever--he can have custody of his daughter.

Meanwhile the Utah legislature is on its way to passing a bill drafted with the assistance of the attorney who represented the adoptive parents in Manzanares’ case making Utah’s anti-father adoption laws ever harsher. SB 55 which passed the Utah Senate makes it legal for mothers-to-be to deceive fathers about their intent to place their baby for adoption.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

How the daughter I gave up forever changed my life

When did I decide that I was never going to have another child, or more correctly, when I did I know that I never would?

As soon as my daughter was born.

I knew this in my bones. I didn't voice this to anyone, and at the time my daughter's father, Patrick, kept saying that we would be together. Later. After she was given up is what he meant.

Friday, February 17, 2012

An aspirin for birth control? We are not laughing.

Foster Friess
We at First Mother Forum are rather riled by the current controversy on contraception, and have felt the need to write about it, detouring for a few posts here about what is quite simply, bugging us like crazy. It's not enough the all the conservative religious leaders are lined up on the side of making it more difficult for employees of religious institutions to get birth control; now a wealthy investment manager, Foster Friess, and a major backer of Rick Santorum, has injected himself into the fray with a vulgar adolescent joke.

His prescription for birth control? An aspirin. "Back in my days, they used aspirin for contraceptives." he said. "The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly." 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bishops bally-hoo over over birth control is a blow against my freedoms

So a group of old white guys aka, Catholic bishops, are having a major snit over whether they have to provide contraception to their workers of all faiths, as the Obama administration is demanding. Since a great many Catholic institutions--hospitals and universities--were already providing contraception to their workers of all faiths--including a good many Catholic women--this ought to be a no-brainer. And no problem. Instead the bishops are stomping around like a bunch of angry kids who have just had spring break cancelled.

The Catholic Conference of Bishops in the U.S. say including contraception as a benefit of their insurance policies this violates their faith, since contraception of any sort other than just saying No is against the rules. And it doesn't matter if the workers they are talking about are Catholic or not. The bishops don't want to let them have The Pill. Hell, if I'd had The Pill back in the day I wouldn't be spilling my

Monday, February 13, 2012

Washington representatives sell adoptees and birth mothers short

Birth Mother sell-out WA State Rep. Ann Rivers
Are Washington birth mothers in need of more protection from their lost children and the prying eyes of neighbors than Oregon mothers? Washington lawmakers seem to think so.

Since 2000, adult adoptees in Oregon have had unrestricted access to their original birth certificates (OBC) thanks to a ballot measure spearheaded by adoptee Helen Hill and passed by Oregon voters.* 

Cross the Columbia River into Washington, it’s a different story. Original birth certificates are locked up tighter than a miser's purse.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A second child doesn't replace the one lost to adoption

“You can go on to have other children.” As a young woman, I had heard these words in countless soap operas, read them in teen magazines and advice columns, as social workers urged young women into giving up their children for adoption. After I placed my first daughter Rebecca for adoption in 1966, I did go on to have three more daughters that I raised. The oldest of these Anne, was born five years after Rebecca and turned 40 last month. As our family celebrated Anne’s birthday, I reflected on the circumstances of her birth, so different than that of my first daughter.

Rebecca was conceived in Fairbanks, Alaska.  Several months before her birth I went to San Francisco where she was born and surrendered.  I knew no one there. My family was in Illinois and Southern California and I did not tell

Friday, February 10, 2012

What birth mothers can learn from Mimi Alford, President Kennedy's intern

Mimi Alford photographed during her 18-month affair with Kennedy
Mimi Alford during her affair with Kennedy. She kept silent for 40 years.
Mimi Beardsley Alford, once a teen-age lover of President John Kennedy, has been all over the tube this week talking about how our boyish, young, handsome president seduced an intern four days after she joined the White House press room. There's plenty of dish in her interviews and in her book (ONCE UPON A SECRET: My Affair With President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath) apparently, with some seamier stuff than just losing her virginity at nineteen on Jackie Kennedy's bed. Yes, really.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Writing the First Letter to your birth mother (or a sibling)

What to write in that first letter to your birth mother? if that is how you are making the initial contact. It's your introduction to a woman you hope will want to know you and have a continuing relationship with. It's an advertisement for yourself to the woman who gave birth to you--but hasn't seen you since, or nearly so.

Chances are, your mother has been hoping for this day all your life and will welcome you with an open heart. She may have already searched for you and been unsuccessful. She may have contacted your adoptive parents and been told to leave you alone. They may have even threatened her. Or she may have been afraid to search because social workers told her she could not, or should not. She may have been afraid that you did not know you were adopted, and that it would "destroy your world" if she showed up, something many mothers--even today--are told by friends and relatives who say she should to "leave well enough alone."

Monday, February 6, 2012

Adoption is a critical part of women’s history

Mothers who lost their children to adoption deserve more attention in Gail Collins’ otherwise entertaining and informative account of the transformation of the condition of American women over the past 50 years, When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present.

Between the end of World War II and the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade nullifying laws prohibiting abortion, hundreds of thousands of mothers lost their newborn infants to closed adoption in a radical social experiment, the effects of which reverberate today in the damaged lives of these women, and often, their children and the fathers of their children. While women with unplanned pregnancies have more choices today thanks to Roe v. Wade and more enlightened mores, unnecessary adoptions continue.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

How are gay marriage and adoptee rights connected?

member photo
Daniel O'Donnell
Today in the New York Times one can read about the marriage of Daniel O'Donnell and John Banta, who, under New York's newly passed legislation allowing gays to marry, tied the knot on January 19.

O'Donnell, Rosie O'Donnell's brother, is described as a Democrat "whose impassioned pleas in the Assembly chambers and Albany's private corridors were considered instrumental in humanizing the push to legalize same-sex marriage, as New York Lawmakers did last June."Later one reads: "Mr. O'Donnell's speeches on same-sex marriage were both comic and profound. 'I don't want a seat in your synagogue. I don't want a church pew,' one of them went. 'I want a license that all of your have....'"

Friday, February 3, 2012

Should birth mothers shut up and stay in the closet?

Are birth mothers encouraged to stay in the closet?  

Damn straight they are. Coming off the philosophical pap of Professor Kimberly Leighton last week on the Diane Rehm show*, the other day at the "I Love Adoption" page on Facebook, I ran smack into a poem called Emotions. It is our understanding that the I Love Adoption page, with its more 4,972 "likers" at this writing is administrated by "The Adoption Center." A quick perusal of the website of The Adoption Center yielded no physical address, no last names of anyone, and only 800 phone numbers, so their location requires more digging but a source tells me they are situated in my least favorite state, Utah. Where signing away your baby can be done as quick as you can have 'em.