Tuesday, April 17, 2007



Makin' the move...

I have decided that AdopTalk has outgrown it's name. Inasmuch as I want to talk about Family Preservation and family preservation ONLY...I thought it fitting to begin a new blog with a more appropriate name. And so...I am packing up and moving to:


This will be the official blog of www.PPFFPP.org. We will begin by creating goals, missions, definitions...

I hope you'll join me in this exciting new venture!!

See ya there...the doors ALWAYS open!

Monday, April 16, 2007


Family Preservation!

Followers of this blog and/or my writings on other blogs and lists might have noticed the following:

- The art/logo on this blog has changed several times as have my attempts to change the status quo of adoption and existing post-adoption approaches.

- I attempted to persuade BN to be more open to including and end to falsified birth certificates along with their primary goal of opening records for ADULT adoptees….

- I dialogged with OUSA and CUB about attempting to see past their differences and work together on mutual goals…

- I dialogged with CUB in an effort to get them to carry out more of their family preservation, outreach and educational mission…

I did what I could in all of these areas - and will continue to...albeit on a more limited basis. I recognize – once again – life’s biggest lesson: the only one you have any control over or can change is yourself.

There is a place for BN in its solitary pursuit of the rights of adult adoptees, and a place for CUB in its support of mothers and fathers who have lost children to adoption (as many fathers did NOT relinquish). Those are both needed and worthy goals (not that I ever thought otherwise or was suggesting either goal be stopped or even diminished, only added to.)

What has become crystal clear to me at this juncture is that:

FAMILY PRESERVATION needs its own separate group/organization to focus PRIMARY ENERGY on THAT specific goal! Those of us who do not need or want to focus our primary energies solely on support or open records of other purists but have more zeal about the PREVENTION of UNNECESSARY adoption, need our own vehicle to focus PRIMARILY on FAMILY PRESERVATION.

I would like this blog to focus on brainstorming the best way to focus efforts of the willing on family preservation!

Please stay tuned. Step One (tomorrow) will be the formation of a definition of “Family Preservation” – input WANTED!!!

It is no easy task, as...in order to define family preservation, one must first define "family"...and, in order to do that terms like mother and father need to be defined in today's technological world!

So, please put on your thinking caps and tune in again tomorrow...same time,same place! :-)

Why is there a need for FAMILY PRESERVATION?

“I feel Adoption in a larger perspective now. It goes way beyond my personal experience and I think as my knowledge of adoption has increased, my anger has increased and it’s gone way beyond the anger of a mother who’s been robbed, exploited of her child.” Laura Watkins-Lewis

“… this is not about my relationship with my lost son or even my raised children or any other mother/child in particular, but the larger, less specific issue of the lack of respect for women and children, the broader sense of entitlement that people with more wealth and power are allowed to exploit those who are weaker and less powerful for their homes, their families and their dignity. [Family Preservation] is now, for me, a Social Justice Issue.

“I still need support for my relationship with my damaged and angry lost son, but that relationship is what it is, and no amount of my wishing that I could make the past 40 years end up somehow different will make it so. But, the larger issue to me is that it happened at all. Not just to me but to the many. The larger issue to me is that [unnecessary family separations] continue to happen today, as evidenced by the Stephanie Bennett case (www.sendevelynhome.com) …. To me, infant adoption in America is Human Trafficking. Go to www.adoption.tk/situations and look at the ads there. It looks, for all the world, like a used car ad, and yet, these are living human beings. Small, powerless and fragile. You can almost sense the dealers (child recruiters) out kicking their tires and checking their low mileage! They even list the price. Some look as if they can be driven right off the lot! This is vile and repugnant to me.....I can't take on the entire world, but adoption and my own loss made me aware of the larger sense of greed and entitlement that allows these evil practices to continue. …I must make my own pain, my own misery, my own loss count for something…. “ Sandy Young

Check out: www.PPFFPP.org

AND...Bring Baby Evelyn Home!!!


Guest Blog


ED NOTE: As we continue to support Stephanie and her family in their rightful pursuit of reclaiming Evelyn...following is a great response to the lunacy of the Grahams. I encourage all of us to use the "opportunity" of both of these events - Baby Evelyn's return and the Grahams family using their personal family tragic loss as a hypocritical and conflicting platform for their agenda. Both of these are excellent opportunities to flood every newspaper in the country with a REALITY CHECK on the necessity to prevent family sanctity!

April 16, 2007

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Re: "Daughter of the Rev. Billy Graham to speak at adoption fundraiser" (April 15), Ruth Graham was quoted as saying, "The tug of your heart is you want to raise that child. But I also know that when you truly love someone, you want what's best for them, even if that doesn't include you." In the next breath Graham calls these infants "unwanted" and claims that the best option for children born to single mothers is for them to be provided to adoptive parents.

I would really like to know, how is it that a child who is truly loved and selflessly surrendered to another family can at the same time be called "unwanted"? This use of language is hurtful to both the natal mother and the child who will one day read many of these comments in the media, comments which frame an unplanned or unsupported pregancy as equivalent to
an unwanted pregnancy or yet more egregious, implying that a child who was adopted, was unwanted.

Robert MacNeil, in Language in Thought and Action writes, "Hayakawa made me understand for the first time what it is in language that makes one statement a report and another a judgment; one objective, another subjective. That is the most elementary lesson of journalism, and of all disciplined writing." Making such generalizations as Graham does by using
the term unwanted is no more than subjective opinion and judgement, as she has not walked in those shoes, not even her daughter's shoes. I wonder, would she call her grandchild who was adopted out, unwanted?

Graham also leaves out the fact that most mothers, including those who are young, unmarried, or resourceless, have physiologically and emotionally bonded with their unborn child throughout the pregnancy, and that separating them at birth or afterward causes unspeakable pain -- the effects of which will ripple throughout their lives.

What makes a pregnancy a crisis? When an expectant mother is abandoned of any and all emotional and provisional support by her family and her surrounding social environment, including her church and her community.

Please note well that special interest groups are working towards shifting funds away from unsupported mothers who greatly desire to keep and raise their children, towards adoption promotion efforts whose goal is to persuade
and convince them, and the general public, that they are less than capable and should "do the right thing" by surrendering their newborn infants to adoption.

In order to accomplish this transfer of children from poor, single, young or otherwise disadvantaged mothers to those individuals or couples of higher socio-economic status, they will use inaccurate or biased language such as "unwanted pregnancy", "crisis pregnancy", and "parentless or unwanted children" to allow singles or couples to feel entitled to the infants born to these mothers.

Mary Rigotti, RN, BScN
Pediatric Nurse
and advocate for mothers and children

Sunday, April 15, 2007




Sunday April 15, 2007 8:30 PM (EST)

Listen to the show at


In September 2006, after serious threats to Stephanie and her family by her child's putative father, 17-year-old Stephanie Bennett, while afraid and in an extremely vulnerable state, was coerced and pressured into surrendering her five month old daughter, Evelyn to A Child's Waiting adoption agency in Ohio, USA.

The people who took Evelyn have stated they will not give the baby back to her mother. Since September 2006 the Bennett family has been fighting to bring Evelyn home.

Michelle talks to Judy Bennett, Stephanie's mother, Jennifer Lowry, the lawyer handling Stephanie's case, and Sandy Young, a reunited mother and director on the board of OriginsUSA www.ousa.org who, along with OriginsUSA, other organizations and individuals, have been advocating and gaining support for the Bennett family since the story was first published in December 2006.

Michelle interviewed Crissy Kolarik from A Child's Waiting agency, but at Crissy's request the interview was not recorded.

The purpose of this show is to support the Bennett family while they fight to bring Evelyn home. We also want to bring awareness to the methods used by a counsellor at Stephanie's high school and the adoption agency, which resulted in Stephanie surrendering her child for adoption.

To help the Bennett's with their legal costs for this case, please visit www.sendevelynhome.com to make a donation. This will be greatly appreciated by the Bennett family.

The petition site: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/828030483


MORE Graham "Crackers"


PLEASE NOTE: "Crackers" is used here not as racial slang, but rather as British slang denoting insanity, from "cracked." Note the progression from "He's cracked!" to "He's gone crackers!" A playful jibe equivating "nuts, crazy, silly, gone crackers, round the bend". An additional meaning of the term is "A person who boasts."

Two song dedications. One by Madonna...the other by Cher. These are dedicated to the granddaughter and great-grandchildren of the most famous Preacher Man: Billy Graham...

Seems that taking away his granddaughter's first "illegitimate" out-of-wedlock" bastard child didn't teach her a lesson. She went an' done it agin'...and kept the second one! Guess she showed them!

Now the first one gets to hear publicly from his very own birthfamily, how UNWANTED kids are better off given up for adoption, while his sib got kept and it didn't cause any great harm to any of them! And mother, Ruth, has the AUDACITY to expose her daughter as this wanton teen, and applaud her (Ruth's) decision to give her first grandchild away, while perfectly able - obviously - to have kept and helped care for a child born to a teen mother! How can she justify the first action in view of the second!?

Papa Don´t Preach

Papa I know you're going to be upset
'Cause I was always your little girl
But you should know by now
I'm not a baby

You always taught me
right from wrong
I need your help
daddy please be strong
I may be young at heart
But I know what I'm saying

The one you
warned me all about
The one you said
I could do without
We're in an awful mess
And I don't mean maybe.. please

Papa don't preach..
I'm in trouble deep
Papa don't preach..
I've been losing sleep
But I made up my mind..
I'm keeping my baby
I'm gonna keep my baby mmm

He says that he's going to marry me
We can raise
a little family
Maybe we'll be all right
It's a sacrifice

But my friends keep telling me
to give it up
Saying I'm too young
I ought to live it up
What I need right now is
some good advice.. please

Papa don't preach..
I'm in trouble deep
Papa don't preach..
I've been losing sleep
But I made up my mind..
I'm keeping my baby
I'm gonna keep my baby ooh oh

Daddy daddy if you could only see
Just how good he's been treating me
You'd give us your blessing right now
'Cause we are in love
We are in love.. so please

Papa don't preach..
I'm in trouble deep
Papa don't preach..
I've been losing sleep
But I made up my mind..
I'm keeping my baby
I'm gonna keep my baby

Papa don't preach..
I'm in trouble deep
Papa don't preach..
I've been losing sleep
Papa don't preach..
I'm in trouble deep
Papa don't preach..
I've been losing sleep

I'm gonna keep my baby
Ooh don't you stop loving me daddy
I know I'm keeping my baby

Son of a Preacher Man

The only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was, mmm, yes he was

Being good isn't always easy
No matter how hard I try
When he started sweet-talkin to me
Hed come and tell me everything is all right
Hed kiss and tell me everything is all right
Can I get away again tonight?

The only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was, lord knows he was

How well I remember
The look that was in his eyes
Stealin kisses from me on the sly
Takin time to make time
Tellin me that hes all mine
Learnin from each others knowing
Lookin to see how much weve grown

And the only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was, oh, yes he was
He was the sweet-talking son of a preacher man
I guessed he was the son of a preacher man
Sweet-lovin son of a preacher man
Ahh, move me


Graham Crackers!

Billy Graham - the pillar of Christianity for many....has sacrificed his own grandchildDaughter of the Rev. Billy Graham to speak at adoption fundraiser

Dana Clark Felty | Saturday, April 14, 2007 at 12:30 am | (see enhanced version)


Fear and uncertainty can overwhelm any family dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.

The family of legendary evangelist Billy Graham is no exception.

When Graham's daughter, Ruth Graham, learned her 16-year-old daughter had become pregnant out of wedlock, she was hurt and terrified.

"The statistics are not on the side of single parents. They're just not," Graham said in an interview. "The tug of your heart is you want to raise that child. But I also know that when you truly love someone, you want what's best for them, even if that doesn't include you."

Graham's daughter decided to give the child up for adoption.

Now Graham works to encourage other unwed women to consider the same solution as an alternative to abortion.

"I know the heartache of that. But I also know the joy of knowing my daughter did the best possible thing for that child," she said.

On Tuesday, Graham will be in Savannah to talk about her family's experience and to support the mission of Covenant Care Services Fifth Annual Fund Raising Adoptions Banquet.

The dinner takes place at The Armstrong Center, formerly the Publix Shopping Center at Abercorn and Apache streets.

Covenant Care Services Inc. is a Macon-based nonprofit agency that adopts unwanted children to two-parent Christian homes.

The agency employs five caseworkers around the state who counsel pregnant women who are considering adoption. One of those caseworkers works in Savannah and surrounding areas.

"A lot of the money that will be generated at that event will financially support us having a caseworker there," said Loren Rae Easterling, a director at Covenant Care.

Graham said she has worked in support of many programs like Covenant Care that counsel unwed pregnant women interested in adoption and provide unwanted children to prospective parents.

"I really think that's the best option, but it's an option we don't talk about a whole lot. It's really the forgotten piece," she said.

Graham is one of five children of evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham and his wife Ruth. Rev. Graham, 88, and his wife, who is bedridden, live in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Ruth Graham lives in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and tours the country speaking in support of Christian programs. She has also authored a children's Bible storybook and contributed to several articles on faith.


A letter-writing opportunity!


As one Catholic friend said: I used to respect the guy as being more sincere than the current crop of televangelists.


Here is my letter. I hope each of you writes!

I am writing regarding Ruth Graham – and others – who work to encourage “unwed” women to consider adoption “as an alternative to abortion” as if there were no other alternative.

The term “unwed mother” is outdated and pejorative. Single parenthood is very viable option and many single women are parents by choice, even through adoption…which Graham promotes.

More importantly, adoption – the legal abandonment and permanent dissolution of the parent-child relationship, should be a last resort. UNICEF recently said: “Families needing support to care for their children should receive it, and that alternative means of caring for a child [i.e adoption] should only be considered when, despite this assistance, a child’s family is unavailable.”

What a shame Graham could not find it in her heart to support her daughter and her grandchild; to do the loving “Christian” thing and care for them, love them and provide them rather than give her grandchild away to strangers. Jesus taught caring for orphans, not creating and encouraging more!

Graham says that she knows her daughter did the right thing. I wonder if her daughter agrees? I wonder how her daughter will feel as years go by and she pines away the unresolveable, lifelong limbo loss of her child? And, most importantly, I wonder if Graham’s grandchild – the great grandchild of Billy Graham - will agree that it was the “right” or “best” thing...when surely the Grahams have the resources to raise this child and not banish the child for “sins” of the father.

Mothers in crisis pregnancies – and their families - need to reach out for support to prevent tragic separations such as this. Concerned United Birthparents www.CUBirthparents.org and Parents & Professionals for Family Preservation and Protection www.ppffpp.org are two resources.

PS On the subject of pro-adoption radicals...word is that what the NCFA is claiming that "demonstrators" were removed by the police at Lincoln Center on April 11th. I and Jessica D. were there and saw neither any demonstrators, demonstration, or police!



Stephanie Bennett of Canton, Ohio signed adoption surrender documents on the second meeting with a representative of "A Child's Waiting" adoption agency, when daughter was five months old. She had been introduced to an agency representative by her high school counselor on the grounds of Oak Glen High School in Canton. Stephanie, who was 17 at the time, was advised by the adoption agency representative to run away from home and sign documents in another county.

because it would be easier to sign the paperwork out of sight of her parents. She received no viable counseling. Stephanie had been introduced to an agency representative the day before by David Saltsman, a guidance Ranza and Judy Bennett, who were providing care for Evelyn while Stephanie attended school, were unaware that Evelyn had been turned over to A Child's Waiting until the deal was done. In fact, when they went missing, the Bennetts called the police. Within hours of the signing, Stephanie regretted her decision.

Stephanie Bennett's parents went to court in Stark County and were awarded temporary custody of their grandchild, Evelyn. When the couple went to the agency with a police escort to take custody, the agency refused to return the baby or even say where she was located. Stephanie and her parents brought separate suits in Stark and Summit Counties to regain custody. On February 2, 2007 the Stark County Family Court dismissed Ranza and Judy's suit saying that Stephanie had signed surrender papers "knowingly and voluntarily." Stephanie's suit in Summit County is pending.

The prospective adopters have physical custody, have spoken to Judy, Stephanie's mother, and to Stephanie's sister thinking it was Stephanie, though, and they have sent some pictures, of themselves holding Evelyn, who does not look happy or content, just confused. They told her that they were aware of all the things that the family was doing to get Baby Evelyn home, but the agency had told them to hide her for as long as they could, and that was what they planned to do.

Stephanie Bennett's parents went to court in Stark County and were awarded temporary custody of their grandchild, Evelyn. When the couple went to the agency with a police escort to take custody, the agency refused to return the baby or even say where she was located. Stephanie and her parents brought separate suits in Stark and Summit Counties to regain custody. On February 2, 2007 the Stark County Family Court dismissed Ranza and Judy's suit saying that Stephanie had signed surrender papers "knowingly and voluntarily." Stephanie's suit in Summit County is pending.

For more information go to OUSA.org. If you want to blog for Evelyn and Stephanie, contact and other information on how to do it will be there.

SHAME on the agency and shame on those holding this child HOSTAGE and away from her family who wants her and were obvious victims of coercion and deceptive unethical adoption practices!!! Know that if you continue to try to hide this child you will have to answer to HER someday! How will you tell her that you kept her from her a loving family? Do you think she'll thank you - or hate you - for that?

AND, A Child is Waiting Agency should be closed for fraudulent, coercive, exploitive practices!


Friday, April 13, 2007


A Prescription for Morality?


Morality refers to the concept of human ethics which pertains to matters of right and wrong — also referred to as "good and evil" — used within three contexts: individual conscience; systems of principles and judgments — sometimes called moral values —shared within a cultural, religious, secular or philosophical community; and codes of behavior or conduct morality. Wikipedia

Sex and Morality: All in a Day’s News

The Washington state board of Pharmacy ruled – on Friday the 13, 2007 – that druggists could not refuse to fill morning-after pill prescriptions. Only in Bush’s America are regulations required to protect us from moral judgments overriding the sanctity of patient-physician treatment and confidentiality.

Why not have the cashier at the supermarket scan your groceries selections and pass judgment on your choices. If she feels you’re too fat for ice cream – refuse to ring it up!

How about if your gas station attended decided it was against his moral convictions to fill up your Hummer?

These are not life and death comparisons, you say? The do not affect innocent unborn children? Oh contraire - obesity contributes to diabetes, heart disease and death - AND infertility. And just ask an environmentalist what we're doing to the planet with gas guzzling cars.

Many of us believe war and the death penalty are blatantly immoral and violate the sanctity of life...yet we are not allowed to redirect our tax dollars away from killing many innocent citizens, including children. But pharmacists can prescribe morality?? Is that in the pharmaceutical code of ethics - thou shalt force your values on others?

Where is the morality in the pharmaceutical industry that pumps children full of meds to keep them "behaving"? Where is the morality in the FDA which approves medications that then subsequently are proven harmful to all who take them - including at times, their unborn children?

My druggist's job is to fill the prescriptions as prescribed by my physician and when I want a lesson in morality, that is the job of my clergy....or more to the point, between me and my personal relationship with my God or higher power, or the Universe...or none of the above!

Ironically, this Washington state story was reported the same day the federal government released the results of government-funded abstinence programs, which found that those who attended the abstinence classes reported having similar numbers of sexual partners as those who did not attend the classes, and they first had sex at about the same age as the control group. Of course, as with victory and democracy in Iraq, the feds ask us to give it more time, while in the meantime we can continue to refuse any meaningful help for those who will do what nature and their hormones intend for them to do.

Meanwhile... no one is guarding the morality of high tech reproductive technologies that border on sheer sci-fi! On the flip side of this bizzaro world, it was also reported the same day that the first baby conceived by frozen sperm and frozen egg was born to a single 36-year-old woman in California. No mention of who’s egg it was or if gets thawed before or after insertion….BRRRR! And, seemingly no concern about the morality of helping this single woman to conceive while not helping others who wish not to do so…nor any moral concern for the child conceived by an anonymous DNA and raised by a single mother who said she could not afford other infertility treatments.

And, as if all that wasn’t enough…the BBC reported sperm made from human bone marrow in Germany, giving a whole new meaning to man being created from a rib, eh??

It was, after all, Friday the 13th.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Polarization, Positions and Presentations

In January 2006 I began blogging about a need to “Bridge the Gap” between seemingly polarized and disparate points of view within the post-adoption community.

Once we were all the adoption reform community. We aligned, albeit with differences, around the common goals of: search, reunion, support, and open records. As with any grassroots movement there have always been disagreements, mostly concerning political strategies even among those clumped under the label “adoption reformers”. Bastard Nation takes a hard line on one end of the open records debate. Some mothers’ organizations take a different hard line, only wanting legislation that opens the records to all parties of the adoption. Still others are of the belief that any open records legislation is better than none, and still others at varying points on the continuum of what they will or will not support in proposed legislation. Rather than a solid wall defining and separating positions, there is far more permeable doorway.

This is true in movements other than adoption. If you look at even the most seemingly contentious issue allegedly “dividing” our nation – pro-life vs pro-choice – you see it even there. Look beyond the rhetoric and speak to INDIVIDUALS. When I do, I find that the vast majority who define themselves as pro-choice – those who the opposition to that position would like to define as “pro abortion” – are far from being arbitrarily PRO abortion! They believe it is a right that should not be taken lightly, overused to abused. When I speak to those who identify themselves as pro-life – those whom others may define as anti-abortion – I find that there are moderates there too; those who make exceptions for special circumstances such as rape or incest.

The old familiar bell curve we all learned about in school is true for all issues. The vast majority of people are somewhere within the continuum, with far fewer at the extreme ends, and a few extremely extreme “outliers.”

It is important to remember these ‘rules’ of human opinion formation. They are flexible, flowing, changing…not hard-fast and static. Many times people have a hard time putting themselves into one category or another because the “label” – or the perceived impression that identification carries with it. This is true of political and religious positions, as well as the types of examples discussed herein.

And so, I no longer see a gap needing to be bridged, as if some of us were on one side of a great divide, and the rest on the other. When we get past the rhetoric we find that the distance between us is far more penetrable, or at least I do! I find often that rather than a polarizing opposite position, it is far more about the way the position is being PRESENTED.

Digging deeply into Jessica’s antiadoption.org for instance - if you can navigate to her FAQ page (not immediately apparent) - you find the bottom line answer to questions such as: Do you really think there should be NO adoption at all? What about orphans? Are they better off in institutions? Do you think even abusive parents should maintain custody? There, in the depths of her webpages is the answer:

“In the tragic event that no extended family members can be found to care for a truly abused child, legal guardianship is an honest option that already exists in America. The child in a guardianship arrangement is able to maintain his or her name and identity, and is not forced to live with a set of falsified birth records.”

This is becoming a far more acceptable position among some who once believed adoption could be “opened” and have became disheartened to see open adoptions become an unenforceable farce, for the most part. And so, it is not so much a polarity of POSITION, as it is in the way the position is presented; or the political strategy that separates us.

Last night, at an anti-Safe Haven event I felt the need to physically separate myself from Jessica and her adorable children, when her little girl began waving a sign high above her head that said simply “ADOPTION HURTS CHILDREN.” I am of the firm belief that you have to meet people half way and show some courtesy and, yes, even agreement with them on SOME level to have them even hear, let alone listen, to ANYTHING you have to say.

There is a great deal of truth and wisdom in the cliché ”you only get one chance to make a first impression.” Few people walk up to the man on the street corner carrying sign proclaiming “The End is Near” with any intention of having a meaningful enlightening conversation about his religious beliefs.

Perception and the words we use are very important. That is why we have the terms pro-life and pro-choice. Pro-lifers were EXTREMELY savvy when they chose not to call themselves anti-abortion! In just that simply labeling of their cause they positioned themselves to be all about saving precious, innocent “unborn” victims rather than being opposed to a woman’s right to control her body! In just one word! How cool is that! Liberals/progressives, lagging behind as usual in the “art” of using language creatively, followed suit and called their movement pro-choice, for certainly they are not anti-life!

For myself, I am no more anti-adoption than pro-choicers are anti-life. When I have the time to give a complete explanation of my positions, as I have done on this blog (Saturday, March 17, 2007 Q & A) and elsewhere...I explain that I am against adoption “as it is currently practiced in the US.” I am against secrets and lies, starting with the falsification of one’s birth certificate. And I am firmly against money in adoption. I find that many of my old “reformer” friends and cohorts are on the same page. It is a position that for me, and many of us, requires a more complex answer, not a simple yes or no/ for or against answer.

And so, while Jessica begins with her hardest hit first, and others of us would not...underneath it all, we are really not far apart at all in our BELIEFS...only in how we approach and present it.

I am of the firm belief that to be openly anti-adoption is political suicide and will continue to distance myself from those who are because I firmly believe that it closes down all further communication rather than opening it. One should not – IMHO – have to dig through page after page to discover what it means to be anti-adoption, and what is being proposed in place of it.

Family preservation, on the other hand, is not at all difficult to understand or embrace by ANYONE! I know of no one involved in post adoption who is not pro-Family Preservation, or for that matter few people in the nation or world. It is not more radical than UNICEF. Family Preservation not some newly contrived "newspeak" or code for anything other than exactly what is it: providing the support, education and resources for families to remain intact. Family preservation is a long-standing goal of many of us. It is maintaining family cohesiveness and integrity to the fullest extent possible.

I feel a collective shift taking place. Instead of trying to bridge the gap between the ideological extremes, I see the vast majority of us in the same boat. Some of us are sitting on the left side of the boat, some the center or the right. But we're on the same boat just as we always were on the same reform boat... with slight differences. The course is veering slightly to the left of it's original reform stance of merely "opening" adoption to a realization that there is far more wrong with adoption than opening records or so-called open adoption alone will ever fix. Many are becoming aware that you can no longer simply ask: are you anti-adoption? but rather where on the anti-adoption continuum do you stand? We are asking one another: Are you against ALL adoptions...what do you propose we replace it with? These are the new questions being asked and requiring each of us to formulate our own thinking and new decisions around.

As always, your thoughts welcomed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


April 11th FOLLOW UP

Got to Avery Fisher later than I had intended despite leaving two hours driving time for a one hour trip. Traffic was insane for midweek, both getting into the city and once there.

I knew that it hadn't gotten any press, and that the main thing was the ad, and that was IN, so I didn’t really sweat it. I figured I do what I could...

Avery Fisher itself is a madhouse. There was, it seems more than one concert there and no way to determine who was going to which without asking..... Outside was a madhouse of people going everywhere and inside I didn’t want to be obvious and get kicked out or worse.

Saw one group of men in priestly collars – about half a dozen of them, so I asked them if they were there for the pro-life benefit. They said yes. I smiled and handed them each a flyer, and thanked them.

The I saw another group of men and women with name tags and the name TOM ATWOOD jumped off one tag! Not surprisingly, the NCFA was there in full force. There was a planned reception following the concert and they may have been speaking or presenting or being presented...thus the name tags. I approached them in the same fashion and with a big polite smile and a “thank you” gave each of them a flyer! (I later snapped a cell phone photo of the NCFA group ...but have no idea how to download it!)

Jessica of Do-Not-Adopt was there with her two ADORABLE kids. her little girl - about 3 had a sign above her head that said: “ADOPTION HURTS CHILDREN.”

We spoke briefly and then got lost from one another in the crowd again and I left shortly after that.

I met a dear friend, a reunited mother named Janet who I’ve known since the 70s and don’t get to see too often. We had fun catching up on our lives. Then we went to a cute little restaurant not far from her apt. It had an old movie theme – posters on the walls and a large screen showing old black and white movies...

We were engrossed in our conversation and paying no attention to the movie screen, when all of a sudden something caught my eye! There on the screen, was a woman walking down the street holding a baby wrapped in a blanket in her arms. It was a silent movie, so the actors are very expressive. I could just tell by the look on her face! I told my fried: LOOK! I think she’s going to abandon her baby! I couldn’t believe it! The next minute, she did just that – left the child in the back seat of a car and kissed him goodbye...then walked off...sullenly...

Turned out it was a Charlie Chaplin movie I had never seen nor heard of before – any of you? It’s called “The Kid.” Charley Chaplin finds and raises the abandoned baby – after he tried to dump it two or three times... Didn’t see the end...have to try to rent it or something... But it was SURREAL!!! Coming from an Safe Haven event and watching that film! Though we didn’t see the end, there were scenes of the mother missing her child and wanting to hold other babies...it was painstaking.

The "kid" was played by Jackie Coogan!

Many of Chaplin’s admirers regard The Kid as his most perfect and most personal film. Yet it seems to have been born out of a state of acute emotional turmoil in his private life.... In October 1918 Chaplin had compromised himself into a hasty marriage with a 17-year-old actress, Mildred Harris. ... Mildred became pregnant and gave birth to a malformed boy, who died after only three days. Chaplin evidently suffered acute trauma from this loss. But the responses of the creative mind are unpredictable. Only ten days after his own child was buried, Chaplin was auditioning babies at his studio.... The emotional element of the film reaches a peak of poignancy in the scenes where the social workers try to take the boy away to an orphanage. The anguish and ferocity of the Tramp’s fight to keep him are unquestionably inspired by memories of Chaplin’s own childhood heartbreak at being taken from his mother at seven years old and placed in a home for destitute children.

Watching it last night, I felt as if I had entered the Twighlight Zone!

The good news is the ad is in. We will get one copy of the journal mailed to us and the whole mailing list of this foundation will get there’s.

Be sure to check out: www.ppffpp.org



Wed. April 11

Press releases were sent, though I got no responses so I doubt this wil make the news! :-)

Heading off to the city soon with about $100 worth of copied literature to hand out (request a copy of handouts via comments and I'll be glad to send it to you).

I also drew up a very brief - 5 question Y/N Survey that I am hoping to be able to ask those entering the event:

1. Are you pro-adoption?
2. Do you have adopted child(ren)?
3. Do you intend to adopt?
4. Do you have children?
5. Would you consider giving one of your children to a couple who desperately wanted to parent?

Watch this space tomorrow for any results!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


UnSafe Havens

Been thinking about safe havens...getting myself into "character" for tomorrow. Thought for a second or two about street theater - wearing a diaper and a big sign saying "Don't Dump Me." Scratched that idea when I checked the weather forecast for tomorrow in NYC: low 32. Brrr.

Also wondering why we don't have teen dumps. Any parent of a teen knows there are days we want to throw them out! That in turn got me thinking about spouses. Who hasn't thought about killing theirs for even just a split second?

THAT led me to this argument against Safe Havens:

Divorce is a legal option that doesn't stop crimes of passion or plotted, murderous rages, or the premeditated hiring of a hit man between those who promised to love one another..well, until death!

Funny, isn't it, that no one in a jealous rage stops to think rationally that - gee, instead of bludgeoning him to death, I could pick up the phone and call an attorney and find out how to file for divorce...or, just LEAVE!

But how could pro-lifers connect the dots between divorce and baby dumps, when they have yet to figure out that the death penalty is neither a deterrent for crime (for the very same reasons stated) nor that it is a contradiction to be pro-life and in favor of said death penalty.

On the other hand, I thought, why not have a baby dump right on every maternity dept. of every hospital. Nurses could hand you your baby and ask: breast or bottle? Keeper or a dumper? Signs could be posted about the hallways, letting all the new moms know that they don't have to wait to get their little brats home and then go looking for a convenient dumpster...there was one right down the hall, just past the nursery of all those horrible creature who never stop screaming! On the day of the mom's scheduled departure form the hospital, the nurses would again inquire: Wrap him to go, or will you just be leaving him here?

Of course, there's still be the drive-by window - open 24/7 to catch the home - and toilet - births. I picture a row of containers like the ones you place discarded clothing in. A LONG row...each one for a different race, age and gender. Male toddlers in this one; Caucasian infant girls in another. All neatly sorted. With grpahics on the front of each for non-English speaking dumpers. And a sound proof one for drug-addicted babies, to muffle their cries from neighbors in close proximity. Don't want to any of NIMBY protests.

Amusement parks might be a good location, along with school yards, of course! The mall...anywhere slutty teen girls hang out. Perhaps get stores like the Gap to offer a discount on post pregnancy pants for every baby dumped in their dumpster!

Well, I best be printing out all these ideas t hand out to those pro-life, pro-adoption, pro-safe haven folk! They need all the help they can get. They just can't find enough ways to keep up the supply. I mean, they restrict access to birth control, sex ed, abortion, day care, welfare...they create Catch-22 hoops for fathers to jump through that Houdini couldn't accomplish...and yet, still not enough babies being dumped...

I'll have to ask then why each one of them doesn't do the the "right" thing and have a baby to give to a "deserving couple"...AND/or adopt a REAL orphan from foster care! Yah, that's the ticket. I'll have to ask each of them that...for REAL!

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