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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Singer hopes to find birth mother through The X Factor

David Correy
Singer David Correy is hoping to find his birth mother by appearing on the The X Factor competition. Sounds bizarre, right? But what else is the 26-year-old from Brazil going to do when he feels he has no other way? Adopted from Recife when he was a toddler, Correy says: "...it's the curiosity of wanting to know where I came from, if she sings and what she looks like. I feel like the not knowing is why I sing with so much soul [and] every time I'm on stage I go on there knowing that I have the opportunity to reconnect with her though what God gave me and that's the voice.'"*

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Telling the family, and the world: I am a First Mother

Secrecy. It pops up in drama because so many of its incredible power to control lives and change history. Oedipus. Tom Jones. Romeo and Juliet. Lady Dreadlock. The birth mother in the closet down the street.

HBO is currently showing The Debt, a drama/thriller movie about three Mossad agents who are to capture a Nazi war criminal in East Berlin and bringing him to justice in Israel. But the plan goes horribly wrong, the "Doctor of Birkenau" (based on the real Josef Mengele)  manages to escape while the agents, (one woman, two men) are in hiding with him. However, instead of admitting what happened and coming home a failure, (spoiler alert ahead) the three make a pact to say they killed him, and that they must keep this secret forever.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A $200 gift allows Oregon mom to keep her baby

Cassandra Daniel and son Elijah
After hearing Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's crass statements about lower income  Americans, it's inspiring to read the recent story about Cassandra Daniel of suburban Portland, Oregon. 

Daniel was "unemployed and pregnant and struggling to decide whether she could be able to keep her baby or have to give him up for adoption" according to reporter Andrea Castillo of the Portland Oregonian. While browsing at a Portland consignment Shop, Just Between Friends, she met Brooke Unwin, the shop's co-owner (on the right with co-owner Tammy Boren-King). Unwin told a friend about Daniel's plight and the friend donated $200 to Daniel with a note: "God wants you to have this." That gave her hope, Daniel said, and with the money, was able to to buy everything she needed for her child from the shop, which specializes in children's and maternity clothes.

Friday, September 14, 2012

When an agency promises 'semi-open' adoption, look elsewhere

What is wrong with a "semi-open" adoption?

Just about everything.

As a birth mother, you are at the mercy not only of the agency, and its commitment to keeping the adoption semi-closed--let's be frank, that's what it is--but also at the mercy of the adoptive parents to keep up contact. If they do not want to, birth/first parents have no recourse through the legal system in most states to keep the information channels open. Whenever we write about this travesty, we get more comments from first mothers who were lied to by adopters, and whose contact with them ended without warning.

Monday, September 10, 2012

'Parent' as a verb is beyond irritating

I dislike the word "parent" as a verb, not because I'm a grammatical purist (although my BA in English should mean something), but becomes too often "parent" is a tool in the social workers' arsenal, used to induce vulnerable mothers-to-be to give up their infants. The adoption industry loves the word; the Institute for Adoption Information includes it in its lexicon of "positive adoption language" replacing the "negative" to keep. Today, mothers choose between parenting their child or making an adoption plan; in my days we kept our babies or gave them away.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Continuing Adventures of Being Out as a Birth Mother

Lorraine, not quite incognito
Last weekend at a party on a backyard deck in the Hamptons, I am introduced to a man I have no recollection of knowing. He immediately says, Oh, we've met.

I say, Oh really, where, when?

He says, At a party like this. When you wrote a book about adoption...are you still involved in that?

Well of course my ears prick up like a horse on high alert and I say, Oh. Yes, I am still involved in that, but how is it that you remember me?

We adopted a daughter thirty-five years ago.