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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cast Your Vote for Your Favorite Demon of Adoption

Mitt Romney
Halloween is the last day to vote for your favorite demon. No, not Mitt Romney, but one of the nominees in Pound Puppy Legacy's (PPL) annual contest to select the Demon of Adoption. Romney, who threatened a young unmarried woman with excommunication from the Mormon Church if she didn't surrender her baby, certainly deserves a vote but, alas, he's not on the ballot.

PPL's Demons of Adoption contest mocks the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute's Annual Angel in Adoption Award. Created to raise awareness of children in foster care needing homes, it has become  "an adoption industry love fest lauding agency executives and adoption attorneys simply for running a business." Past angels include convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky, since stripped of his halo.

Friday, October 26, 2012

I was raped and I gave a baby up for adoption. Guess which was worse.

Okay, I was raped by someone I knew. We had been dating for a few weeks, but nothing serious. I didn't want to see him anymore. He came to my apartment, which was a six-floor walk-up in a tenement; the lock on the door to the outside was broken and so he could get all the way up to my apartment. At one a.m. when he began banging on my door, waking up the neighbors on my floor. Doors were opening, people were looking. He was shouting: I know you are in there!

I was embarrassed. I let him in, thinking we would talk about this sanely. But no. He had been drinking, he was furious I was the one who called it quits, he threatened me and forced himself sexually on me before he left. It was clear his whole reason for raping me was to show me that he was in charge, that HE, not me, go to decide when whatever relationship we had was going to be over. In the malarkey-filled brains of some Republicans (see chart), my rape would not qualify as "legitimate."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How birth mothers are intimidated by unscrupulous adoption agencies

To find examples of today's we-need-babies-for-adoption culture one not need go to poor countries such as Ethiopia where so called Christian agencies--such as Christian World Adoption--find ways to get parents to offer up their children to be adopted. It's happening right here at home.

Rachel Sousa, 32 of Inverness, Florida, says she was bullied into relinquishing her three-day old newborn in September after she was threatened with jail for expenses incurred while she was in talks with representatives of an agency in nearby Brooksville, "Angels of Love." In order to avoid jail, she signed away her parental rights in a hospital parking lot around midnight, three days after giving birth via C-Section.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Modern Handmaid's Tale: Duping a woman to have your baby

In The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood introduces us to a future world in which fertility rates are low and the babies are often defective ("unbabies") due to environmental decay. To increase the population, the government assigns fertile women ("handmaids") to wealthy couples. The handmaids are forced to have sex with husbands ("Commanders"). The resulting children are given to the "Commander's Wives."

The Handmaid's Tale was written in 1985; if it had been written a decade later, it might have dispensed with the sex part of reproduction, and told a story like that unfolding in Texas where Cindy Close claims she was duped into producing twins for Marvin McMurrey and his partner, Phong Nguyen.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The GOP stand on abortion is hollow at the center

Thinking cap
The inference that the Romney-Ryan camp has the moral high ground regarding abortion is baloney. Their tacked-on exceptions that make abortion allowable in cases of rape and incest belie their stance that preserving life itself is the crucial factor. One can include the exception to "save the life of the mother," in this analysis, but rape and incest? That doesn't fly.

If the purpose of opposing abortion is to "save the life of the unborn,"--how does the poor soul conceived through rape or incest, or both, count for less? He or she didn't do the rape, commit the incest. Innocent little sperm cells and an ova got together on a date with fate with nary a thought about whether it was a good "idea" or not.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Romney's convenient stand on abortion: Flip. Flop. Loop holes.

Hard-hearted Romney then, no friend to women in trouble

More troubling information about the man who would be president, Mitt Romney, and his relationship to women is emerging. We wrote earlier about his encouraging a single mother to relinquish her child for adoption--threatening her with excommunication if she did not--but another story has come to light. It happened in 1983, the same summer that Romney infamously drove to his house at his gated lakefront community on Lake Huron with his Irish setter, Seamus, in a dog carrier lashed to the roof of the car. This became political fodder--cartoons, gags on late-night comedy, even a satirical song--but another incident that summer has been largely ignored until now. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Oregon man finds first family thanks to new Illinois law

Brian Wheeler and his parents
Brian Wheeler, the play by play announcer for the Portland Trailblazers, always wondered about the teenage girl who gave birth to him 50 years ago and placed him for adoption. And he wondered if she wondered about him, Wheeler told KGW-TV (Portland) reporter Pat Dooris.

Wheeler was born in Chicago and, thanks to a new Illinois law, he obtained his original birth certificate in August and discovered his mother's name. A searcher helped him locate his mother in Chicago. He called her and learned Yes, she had been wondering about him all through the years. "She had looked for him a few times over the years, but she was really shooting an arrow in the dark. She had no name, nothing to go by."

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Reproductive exploitation--one more way to abuse women

The other evening as I watched the PBS special Half the Sky, a documentary spotlighting the outrageous treatment of women in many parts of the world, I thought of another abuse of women which needs to be put front and center, reproduction exploitation.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Biology is irrelevant, judge rules in gay custody battle

MILESTONE: Allison Scollar (left) won custody of her daughter in a legal battle with the girl’s birth mother, Brook Altman (right).
Schollar and Altman in better times
If there is any doubt that in the mind of some, being the biological mother doesn't count for much--particularly if you are a lesbian parent--consider this: A Family Court judge has awarded full custody of a young child to her adoptive mother, instead of her biological mom, in what is believed to be the first such New York state case involving a same-sex couple.

From the New York Post: "Manhattan Judge Gloria Sosa-Lintner said, 'Although . . . [Brook] Altman is the biological parent, this does not give her an automatic priority over the adoptive parent. This is analogous to a father getting custody of his own child, where only the best interests of the child are paramount.'” Custody was awarded to Altman's former partner, Allison Scollar, who had formally adopted the girl.