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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Does one adoption spawn another? Too often for comfort.

Jane & I bought the same black stone washed jeans independentl
As many of the comments regarding the previous post about "I'm Having Their Baby" centered around whether or not adoptees are more likely to give up their babies than the non adopted, I wanted to follow up and am posting below a section of the memoir I'm working on that covers that very issue. The court case in which I first heard of any adoptee also being a mother who surrenders occurred in 1976, and that is where this section begins:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

'I'm Having Their Baby' turns into 'I'm keeping MY baby'

I'm Having Their Baby is yet example of how a thriving business (adoption) can spawn one television show after another, especially when around every corner is someone searching for their 15 minutes of fame, even if 13 of them are spent in tears.

The Oxygen channel (started by Oprah, now owned by NBC Universal) features this latest weep-fest for the weary, and lord knows, I am tired of stupid television shows that appear to glorify or encourage adoption. I say "appear" to because I am not sure that this one does because the mothers-to-be spend a lot of time with the blues: Claudia hates her baby daddy--he has six other kids by four women, and he cavalierly indicates he might fight her for custody, which you know at the time he says it that he is just being a shit for the camera and his ex, who is only weeks away from giving birth.

Monday, July 23, 2012

An adoptive mother asks "How can adoption be less horrific on first mothers?"

An adoptive mother wrote to First Mother Forum apologizing for “intruding” and asking a series of questions, trying to get her head around first mothers’ pain and how it might be lessened. She has a fully open adoption with her daughter's first mother, who has told this adoptive mother repeatedly she is so glad her daughter is happy and safe. She closed by saying “I just want to commend you for speaking out so courageously about your grief.”

First Mother Forum thanks Anon for writing and assures her that in no way is she intruding; FMF welcomes all readers. Her questions are excellent and FMF appreciates the opportunity to respond. 

Those who have suffered so terribly, were your adoptions closed?
Fellow blogger Lorraine and my adoptions were closed. Knowing that my child was gone irrretrievably—and that I caused it-- made the pain almost unbearable. I consoled myself by telling myself I would find her someday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guatemalan mother loses son to American couple

A judge in Missouri ruled today that a mother from Guatemala who got caught up in a government raid of illegal immigrants will lose her son to the American couple who want to adopt him. Carlitos, the five-year-old at the center of a protracted legal battle, will stay with Seth and Melinda Moser of Carthage, Missouri.

Circuit Court Judge David Jones ruled that the mother, Encarnacion Bail Romero, had abandoned her son while she was in jail after the raid in 2007. After she was jailed, her six-month-old son was looked after by family members and then others, and arrived at the home of the Mosers when he was two. They proceeded to adopt him, even though his mother never gave her consent, and in fact, with limited resources from jail, made it clear that she did not want him to be adopted.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Catelynn and Tyler--still grieving over the loss of their daughter

Catelynn and Tyler talk to Carly on her birthday
When Catelynn and Tyler relinquished their newborn daughter Carly to Brandon and Teresa Davis on the reality show 16 and Pregnant, Catelynn said as she left the hospital, “I’m at peace with my decision.”

That peace was short-lived. As they are preparing for Carly’s second birthday, presented on Teen Mom, Catelynn tells Dawn, their counselor at Bethany Christian Services, “I’m definitely more at peace than I was a year ago [on Carly’s first birthday].” Tyler blurts out the hard truth, “Adoption is a constantly coping process. I don’t know when you fully cope with it” Catelynn adds “I think it goes on for your whole life.”

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The longterm impact of giving up a child

Does relinquishing a child have long-term negative effects on a birth mother's life? In the previous blog we began exploring that question. Here is a run down of several studies that indicate the way to a healthy, happy life is not having a child and giving it up for adoption. Yet everywhere today we see adoption as only a good thing. Celebrities adopt and the media thrives on the stories: See Sandra Bullock on the cover of People

Anti-abortion groups and all sorts of churches--evangelical, Latter-Day Saints, Unitarian, Catholics, you name it--promote adoption not only to prevent abortion, but as a way to control population. Instead of further burdening the world with more children, adopt a needy baby! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

When the adoptee says: No Contact

"How is that granddaughter of yours we met?" a friend asks over a crowded table of others, some of whom met her, one new acquaintance sitting on one side of me having no idea whom he is asking about. We are at the beach with the sun going down, wine is flowing along with pleasant conversation. The friend asking had met her at a Sunday brunch two years ago, almost exactly to the date.

I remember precisely how the last minute invitation to brunch came--Come to brunch, Ted and Joanne are here this weekend, they'd love to see you, says Lynn on the phone. Lynn and Robert live a five-minute drive away, Ted and Joanne used to have a summer home here, and the six of us had been close. Ted and Joanne are hoping that we will come. It sounds like a pleasant time, a way to keep the bonds with old friends alive.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Natural parents have the natural right to nurture their children

Declaration of Independence
This Fourth of July will again celebrate liberty, one of the unalienable, natural rights with which we are endowed by our creator as declared by a small group of men in Philadelphia 236 years ago. This Declaration gave rise to the greatest nation the world has ever known. Subsequently the authors of the United States Constitution declared through the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments that liberty could not be taken away without due process of law, that is through fair procedures.

In a long series of cases, the United States Supreme Court has held that the right to liberty includes "the fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child."

Bill of Rights
Nonetheless states  effectively abrogate this right through laws allowing natural parents to lose their children through procedures that are far from fair. States allow mothers to sign irrevocable consents to adoption, often within minutes of birth, or even worse, to sign consents before birth with only a short revocation period. States do not require any counseling for mothers about the effects of adoption on themselves or their children or about services which would help them nurture their children. States effectively deny fathers any process at all. 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 passing laws to protect parents' fundamental right to the care, custody, and management of their children and to the right of children to be raised by their human creators.

"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." United State Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

"The birth family constitutes the preferred means of providing family life for children." Child Welfare League of America.

The Declaration of Independence
The United States Constitution

From FMF:
What We Think of Adoption

NOTA BENE:  I tried to fix the font of this post and ended up deleting some language. I've re-written it but unfortunately lost the original posting of the comments. We've reposted the comments, but of course the original time when they were posted has been lost and there are a few other idiosyncrasies you may see. Please excuse us lowly and lame bloggers. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tell Dear Abby: Birth mothers think of their children lost to adoption.

Jeanne Phillips ("Dear Abby")
In advising a brother not to talk to his sister about the baby she lost to adoption, Jeanne Phillips, aka Dear Abby, joins the sorry parade of media personalities whose ignorance about adoption is no barrier to giving advice on the subject. These charlatans include Marguerite Kelly, Carolyn Hax, Ann Landers, and deadly doctors Laura, Phil, and Drew. They mislead the earnest souls seeking help as well as perpetuate popular stereotypes about adoption.