' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: May 2012
Join Lorraine in Indianapolis! She will be opening the IAN conference on Friday morning. See details on sidebar.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Crittenton today: Serving marginalized teens

Florence Crittenton moms and babies today
Last month fellow blogger Lorraine wrote about the responses of the Crittenton Foundation, Catholic Charities, and the Salvation Army to Dan Rather Report: Adopted or Abducted. The program was critical of the role these agencies played in the Baby Scoop Era (1945 to 1973) in seducing young mothers to relinquish their infants for adoption. In their responses, only the Crittenton Foundation acknowledged the pain caused by the past practices of its affiliated agencies. Crittenton, it should be noted, operated about one-third of the approximately 200 confidential maternity homes which existed during that sad period.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Normal in one family may be seen as abnormal in another

Jane and Lorraine,
Disparate thoughts about adoption creeping in today, based on comments. A adoptive mother writes about the problems her adopted daughter has (ADHD, OCD, god-knows-what-else) and and I immediately remember my daughter whom I relinquished had epilepsy, and the social problems that stem from that. But what I did not expect is that when I met her adoptive parents, her adoptive mother would ask if there was mental illness in my family. This was after I had assured them that there was no history of epilepsy either. Here I am, the "New York Career Woman, "as she told me she had described me to her friends...being asked about mental illness. Heritable mental illness. 

I was like, What? What gave you that idea? And of course it was daughter Jane's epilepsy, and her other mother had wondered then if--since they knew so little about me, nothing other than I was Polish--if maybe...since Jane had seizures...maybe there was a history of mental illness. She said that for a while they thought that I might have been in a mental hospital when I had...our daughter. You just sit there and listen, stunned, but betray nothing. I suppose it's not an unreasonable assumption.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

American Dilemma: What happened to one's right to know one's birth parents?

The Irish are considering insisting that fathers be named on the birth certificates of children born to unwed mothers. Those backing the new legislation believe that the inclusion of the father’s name would help to reinforce a child’s right to know who their parents are.

The push for the new legislation comes following a report by the Law Reform Commission which found that having both the mother and father’s name on a birth certificate could help reinforce a child’s right to know their parents. The Law Reform Commission also warned that without knowledge of who their father is, children could run the risk of “striking up relationships” with people they are unknowingly related to. [Emphasis added.]

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kidnapped in Guatemala, 'adopted' in America

Guatemala Mother Searched for 5 Years for Adopted Girl the head reads at Huff Po. It ought to read: Guatemala Mother Searched for 5 Years for Kidnapped Daughter and found her alive and adopted in America, because that is the whole story. We have written about the terrible corruption involved in Guatemalan adoptions several times before, but this one is different in that this is the first time the Guatemalan government has ordered a child returned to her mother, Lodya Rodriguez Morales. 

The girl was two at the time of the abduction, she spent a year under a different name in an adoption mill before she was adopted by an American couple, Timothy and Jennifer Monahan of Liberty, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Utah's anti-father policies an offshoot of Mormon agenda

Wes Hutchins, a Utah adoption attorney wants to change Utah’s laws which allow a mother “to travel from any state to Utah and be in Utah for two or three days and then give birth to a child with the sole purpose of cutting off the right of the biological father.”

David Hardy, a Utah adoption attorney affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), asserts the laws are fine the way they are. “The Utah laws may be harsh but they are looking at what’s best for the child: stable families and two parent families, ” he told The Washington Post. Hardy’s claim supports an agenda to abet and encourage Mormon practices in the state. Is he attempting to make Utah a theocracy? There is supposed to be separation of church and state in the United States of America.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Utah adoption attorney exposes corruption in Utah adoption agencies

Wes Hutchins
Wes Hutchins, a Utah attorney who has done more than a thousand  adoptions, decided to follow up on an “unsettling hunch” that “the way some adoption agencies handle birth mothers …‘is an invitation for birth mothers to lie, cheat and defraud birth fathers into thinking they don’t have anything to worry about’” according to a May 9 report on Denver TV station, 9News.*

"'The idea that the birth mother can travel from any state to Utah and be in Utah for two or three days and then give birth to a child and then leave the state with the sole purpose of cutting off the rights of the biological father has to stop,’ Hutchins said.”

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Does Mother's Day make birth mothers blue? YES.

Mother's Day, that extra holiday from hell for many of us, is Sunday. And in some cities and places a new holiday the day before has sprung up: BIRTHmothers Day. (BTW, when is Adoptivemothers Day? We are waiting.)

I've made myself pretty clear about how I feel about "birth mother * celebrations" and "birth mother" cards (nix to both, see links below) partially because they are generally the misguided concoction of adoption agencies to "give back" to the wholesale suppliers (that would be mothers) of the commodity they deal in, babies. I say this with the understanding that the Birthmother Day to be observed the day before Mother's Day was the brainchild of birth mothers in Seattle in 1990.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

When your adopted child wants to visit her birth mother....

Marguerite Kelly
Washington Post columnist Marguerite Kelly’s advice to adoptive parents whose nine-year-old daughter wants to live with her birth parents is among the worst advice that fellow blogger Lorraine and I have read about adoption since we lost our daughters 46 years ago.

At one time we thought nobody could be worse than the late Ann Landers and Dr. Laura, both staunch opponents of open records and reunions. But then along came Washington Post writer, Carolyn Hax. She published a guest opinion by a grandma who regretted that her daughter had kept her child, the writer’s grandchild, totally oblivious to the pain and loss that adoption brings to mothers, children and grandparents.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Deconstructing the responses to Adopted or Abducted with kudos to the Crittenton Foundation

Lorraine, recently in DC
The morning started out with a bang with the first clue in the New York Times crossword puzzle today was: 2007 Ellen Page movie. Answer: JUNO, the most irritating movie about adoption known to woman or beast.

Then I moved onto trying to download the Dan Rather Report: Adopted or Abducted from iTunes for $1.99 and after giving Apple my name, my birthdate, answering security questions such as what was your first car (answer for anybody who wants to know my deep secrets, Karmann Ghia); your favorite car (MG); and where I had my least favorite job (ah! at that hash house where the owner drove me home one night and wanted me to put out, and when I didn't, fired me the next day, but there wasn't room for all that), my billing address, telephone number, a user name and a password with at least 8 characters, one Capital letter and at least two numbers! and no two of the same characters in a row, and my credit card number...I had to go back and re-register and ah ha! I kept getting error messages. Kinda like what I was hearing from my daughter's father when I tried to talk about keeping our baby...but then he would have had to get off his duff and leave his wife like he said he was going to. By the time he did, it was too late. Way too late.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In the Sixties: Was I 'forced' to give up my baby?

Lorraine at work, 2 years later. I was engaged to be married.
Was I "forced" to give up my baby? The question lingers in the air today because Dan Rather Reports produced a documentary, “Adopted or Abducted,” about forced adoption that will be aired tonight. Bloggers we know, such as Claudia, of Musings of the Lame, are included, and while Jane and I can't wait to see it, neither cable company that we use, on opposite ends of the country, me on the East Coast, she on the West, carry it, and so alas, we will have to see it later somehow.

But of course I've thought back about that time in the Sixties when I felt I had no choice other than to relinquish. My baby's father was a married man--and not married to me; I was so embarrassed that though I was less than a year out of college, I did not tell my parents, back in Michigan, while I hide in secrecy in Rochester, New York. Who even knew I was pregnant? Only a few: Patrick, the father, my lover; eventually our boss, the