Friday, May 26, 2006
Then someone told me a book called, "The Four Agreements" by don Miguel Ruiz from which these is very apropos teachings are extracted:
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Evelyn Robinson speaks on word usage...
I have been corresponding with Evelyn about our struggles here and this is what she replied:
"I'm delighted to hear that you feel that my work is so generally respected in the US. Yes, I'm happy for you to post my comments, as long as it's clear that they are general comments and not intended to apply to any particular, person, group or country for that matter.
"With regard to the term 'birthmother', the situation in Australia is similar to that in the US, in that there are some groups who place a great deal of emphasis on terminology, while I believe that there are other much more important factors. I agree that language is powerful but we are only talking about words after all. And you're right, of course, that adoptions take place and have taken place regardless of the terms used. Having said that, I have never felt comfortable with the term and have never used it. However, I accept that there are some mothers who are willing to be called by that name. Sadly mothers who have lost children to adoption and have been marginalised by society in general are now being marginalised by other mothers, because of those choices. Mothers have become very much a divided camp, which is sad as, of course, it dilutes our power. In Australia, 'natural mother' is probably accepted by most (although not all), 'mothers who lost children to adoption', is fairly common and 'mothers' can be distinguished from 'adoptive mothers'.
In a subsequent email she elaborted further:
"I was reading an article recently about schoolyard bullying and how bullying by girls takes a different form from bullying by boys. Girls tend to use rumour, gossip and exclusion ie you're not part of our gang any more. Unfortunately, I've seen such behaviour in support groups for mothers - seems some of them have not given up the bullying tactics they learned in the schoolyard - how sad.
"I think things have to be seen in their historical context. If it hadn't been for the brave parents years back who were prepared to go public about their experiences and who banded together to support each other, who knows where we'd be now. This is a quote from the question and answer section of my second book:
"There seems to be some conflict and rivalry among support groups for mothers who have lost children through adoption. I expected that mothers would support each other and work together and I have been disappointed to find that group members sometimes criticise and insult each other. Why do you think this happens?
I think that these unfortunate rivalries often occur because of jealousy and the desire for power and control. Unfortunately some mothers who were bullied into giving up their children for adoption have learned to become bullies themselves. Other mothers learned from their experience to be compliant and submissive and so they do not challenge this behaviour when it occurs in their groups. In this way insulting and bullying can become acceptable behaviour and this means that some groups take a very negative direction. Those groups generally do not survive, unless members are able to recognise what has happened and take steps to repair the damage. Ideally, group members will learn to be confident and considerate and to work together towards the same goals of supporting and educating each other and increasing community awareness of adoption issues. Support groups can be very productive, but if the members are not vigilant, they can become destructive."
I am in 100% totaly agreement with Evelyn, and call for PATIENCE. Change does not happen overnight. I also ask that ALL of us concentrate on the second highlighted statement Evelyn makes: that we diliute pur power whe we spend our time and energies arguing over this one difference in semantics instead of focusing on what is so much more important. We need to focus on our common goals and work together toward them!!!
In Peace, Solidarity and Sisterhood,
Monday, May 15, 2006
Anger is sometimes a justifiable and appropriate reaction to injustice, but finding fault and feeling hatred and grudges is not. Also, klobbering someone with a peace sign is not the answer!
It is human nature, and thus true of ALL, that we’d rather be right than happy, or we’d let go of our anger much more easily. But, each thinks “the other” is wrong. The only way to create change is to understand “the other.” Getting enraged is not the answer.
We don’t have to like the aggressor or oppressor, but again, it is negative to hold grudges and hurts the one holding the anger far more for often those we perceive as ‘enemy’ have no idea we are even holding such anger. And when one seeks to get to know others, you still may not agree or like them, but you can reach some understanding. Mothers love their kids even on the days (weeks, or years) they are very difficult…that’s because we KNOW them so well!
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." (Philo of Alexandria)
This saying could not be more true of all mothers who have experienced loss.
I am away yet again...learning more about peace and reconciliation...more later
In peace, solidarity and sisterhood,
Love, adoption and a search for answers
Daughters make peace with their biological mothers
By Brian Saxton THE NEWS-TIMES
Honoring birth moms
By Christina Vanoverbeke, Tribune
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
The Golden Link Foundation openly offers to pay women up to $10,000 to surrender their babies to one of their agencies (Adoption World, Birth Hope Adoption Agency, and Easter House). The payments are couched as charity for any woman who “needs to put her life together”…but not together with her child, and is paid only after placing a child with one of their “agencies” none of which have any physical address, just 800 phone numbers, and are all owned and operated, as is Golden Link Foundation, by Seymour Kurtz of Chicago, IL.
Seymour Kurtz has been under investigation since the 1960’s for baby brokering here and in Mexico and has been indicted for fraudulent adoption practice, and yet still operates. In 1980, Lynn McTaggart, author of The Baby Brokers: The Marketing of White Babies in America wrote: “Kurtz has found a way to circumvent the laws and regulations of the entire world." In 1985 Easter House, one of Kurtz’s agencies still operating today, was charged with a dozen violations of state laws and regulations intended to protect children, mothers, and people who wanted to adopt. Friends of Children, another Kurtz operation was denied license renewal in Arkansas in 1986, as was Birth Hope. The agency has been denied licenses in Florida, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and 11 other states have reports of misconduct or noncompliance.
Michele Galen, writing for The National Law Journal , called Kurtz "the most controversial" of three well-known adoption attorneys whose methods are somewhere between ethical and illegal, "where laws are cloudy and professional ethics are fuzzy." The article described Kurtz as "a charming yet litigious Chicago-based attorney who heads a multi-state adoption network attacked by regulators and prosecutors nationwide for alleged tax and licensing violations, excessive fees, and coercive adoption practices. Galen continues: “Attorney Kurtz, to many experts, illustrates the [adoption] laws' weaknesses."
Despite this he brazenly puts up a website to buy babies! So lax are our laws and p
punishments for baby brokering that he can do this with no fear.
I have reprted him to every agency posisble from child abuse hotlines to the state attorny to the FBI. AND I have bene in touch with Mauree Flatley who brought the case of Masha to the public eye, and we are working on getting a TV expose of this bad boy!
This speaks LPUDLY for the need of a federal agency overseeing the interstate and online trafficking of children for adoption.
Monday, May 08, 2006
A MOTHERS' DAY TRIBUTE
It is appropriate that it is on the BN pages, as Jean Paton was also the first to reclaim her bastard status PROUDLY! Enjoy reading...
Sunday, May 07, 2006
A MODEL of what adoption could be
a Comparison between North America and Australia
by Evelyn Robinson, MA, Dip Ed, BSW
I am often asked about current adoption policy and practice in Australia and how this differs from policy and practice in North America. Although I have never worked in a situation where adoptions were actually taking place, I have had considerable experience in post-adoption services for the last fifteen years and, in that time, I have counselled many whose lives have been affected by adoption. I have also been able to acquire some understanding of current adoption policy and practice from colleagues in the field. During my visits to North America and through my contacts with colleagues there, I have also gained some background information on current adoption practices in North America. It seems to me that there are fundamental differences between what I perceive to be happening with domestic adoptions in Australia and what I perceive to be happening with domestic adoptions in North America.
I recognise that adoption policy is, in both places, subject to state rather than federal legislation and so there are variations in policy and practice from state to state (in this article, for simplicity, I have referred to 'state' legislation, although I am aware that in both North America and Australia there exist states, territories and provinces). My comments are, therefore, of a general nature only, as I appreciate that there are many local variations. I am most familiar, of course, with policy and practice in my home state of South Australia, but I am aware that most other states in Australia operate in similar ways.
Adoption policy and practice in South Australia are based on the South Australian Adoption Act (1988) and have been in effect since that act was passed in 1989. Since 1989, it has been possible to appraise and monitor the outcomes of this legislation and the act was officially reviewed in 1994. At that time, submissions were invited from members of the public, as well as groups with an interest in adoption. Some minor alterations to the act were made on the basis of this review and there have been no official moves to make any alterations to the legislation since that time.
South Australia was the first state in Australia to put in place adoption legislation which seeks to protect and support the relationship between a newborn child and his or her families of origin, as well as allowing equal access to adoption information when the adopted child becomes an adult. Other states have followed with similar adoption acts.
Private adoptions are illegal in all states in Australia. All domestic adoptions are enacted by State Government departments. There are no commercially-based adoption agencies which are licensed to manage these adoptions, which means that there are no payments of any kind connected to the adoptions of these children.
In contrast, in North America, private adoption agencies are licensed to arrange domestic adoptions. Because adoption has been allowed to acquire a commercial status in North America, there are financial advantages for agencies in arranging as many adoptions as possible. Agencies in North America, therefore, have an incentive to attract customers, just as any other business does.
Many people have expressed to me that they find the fact that money and children change hands in the same transactions to be at the very least distasteful, if not, in fact, immoral.
Expectant mothers in Australia, regardless of their circumstances, are generally encouraged and supported to prepare for raising their children. After the birth, a Parenting Payment is available from the Federal Government to anyone, regardless of their gender or marital status, who is a permanent resident of Australia and who has custody of a child. This payment, which is means-tested, is a recognition by the Australian government that children are the basis of a country's future. The government, therefore, makes financial support available to parents to assist them to provide for their children. As far as I am aware, there is no corresponding payment available at a Federal Government level in North America, although I have been advised that there may be tax benefits for parents who are in paid employment.
While there is still a degree of disapproval in some quarters towards single parenthood, there is a much greater level of acceptance in Australia than there was in the past. This has resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of adoptions in Australia over the last thirty years. Last year in the state of South Australia (which has a population of more than two million people), for example, only one Australian-born child was adopted.
The term 'birthmother' (or 'birth mother') is currently out of favour with many of the support groups in Australia and certainly would never be used, as I have heard it used in North America, to describe an expectant mother. I have even heard the term 'birthmother-to-be' used to describe a pregnant woman. This sinister use of the term 'birthmother', before the birth has even taken place, implies that the separation of mother and child is a foregone conclusion. Expectant mothers in Australia, on the other hand, are generally encouraged to concentrate on their approaching motherhood throughout their pregnancies and no decisions regarding their child's future are expected to be made until after the birth has occurred. This is an acknowledgement of the fact that it is not possible for a mother to know how she will feel about her child until after the child has been born.
I know that, in North America, fathers who are not married to the mothers of their children have a difficult time being heard. In South Australia, an unmarried mother who is considering adoption will always be asked to name the child's father and attempts will be made to include him in the decision-making process. If the father is named on the birth certificate or if a man is recognised by the court as being the father of a child, then his consent is necessary before that child can be adopted. The father will be allowed time to establish paternity. If the father wishes to raise the child, he has the right to do so. If the mother and father do not agree with regard to the child's future, the matter may be decided by the family Court. This would happen before any consent to adoption had been completed.
Consent to adoption
Under the South Australian Adoption Act (1988), consent to adoption cannot be given until the child is at least fourteen days old. Counselling after the birth is compulsory and must be completed at least three days prior to consent being given. The mother of the child must also be given information in writing regarding the consequences of the adoption, prior to any taking of consent. After the consent has been signed there is a period of twenty-five days during which the consent may be revoked. This period can be extended by up to fourteen days, but it cannot be shortened.
In practice, the consent to adoption is sometimes not finalised until several months after the birth. While this may not be an ideal situation, it is felt to be of prime importance that children have every opportunity to be raised within their families of origin. This will prevent the long term complexities in the lives of those children and their parents, which would occur if an adoption took place. During this period the child may remain with the mother and/or father.
I have heard of cases in North America, tragically, in which adoption consents have been signed even before the birth, or very soon after the birth. I have also heard of cases where attempts to revoke the consent the day after it had been signed have failed.
Meetings with prospective adopters
In Australia there is never any contact of any kind between expectant mothers and
prospective adopters. I know that there are many who agree with me that such contacts are intrusive, disempowering to the expectant mother and potentially exploitative. They may even serve to encourage an inappropriate sense of 'ownership' in the prospective adopters, which, I believe, shows a lack of respect for and understanding of the sanctity of the mother/child bond. I am aware that this shocking practice is considered by many to be unethical.
In South Australia, only after the consent to adoption has been signed and after the twenty-five day revocation period has expired will the government department involved select adopters for the child. After this decision has been made, a meeting may take place between the prospective adopters who have been selected and the mother, if the mother requests such a meeting. Prospective adopters will not have any contact at all with the child until after the revocation period has expired and they have been notified that they have been selected to adopt.
I find it hard to understand how anyone can support the practice of having prospective
adopters meet with expectant mothers and try to induce them to consent to the adoption of the child they are carrying. I believe that prospective adopters are sometimes even allowed to be present at the hospital while the birth is taking place. I was appalled to hear that this happens in North America. I find such behaviour totally inappropriate and unethical. It concerns me greatly that prospective adopters who behave in this way are not thereby considered as unsuitable to adopt.
In South Australia, if the adopters are willing, they can have their names added to the child's original birth certificate instead of having a new one issued. This means that, after the adoption, the names of both the parents and the adopters appear on the same document, which is the child's legal birth certificate. The mother of the child has access to the original birth certificate from the time that the adoption takes place. The father also has access if his name appears on the birth certificate.
Regardless of the type of birth certificate issued, adopted adults in South Australia have access to their original birth certificates and other documentation pertaining to their adoption, when they are eighteen years old. The original birth certificate has details of their parents, including their names and addresses at the time of the adoption. They may have access prior to the age of eighteen with the consent of their adopters. The mother of the adopted child also has access to the replacement birth certificate when the adopted child becomes an adult, at the age of eighteen years. This document has details of the child's adopted name and the names of the adopters and their address at the time of the adoption.
These documents are also available to the children of the mothers, either if the mother gives permission or after her death and to the children of an adopted adult, if the adopted adult gives permission or after their death. Similar access to adoption information is available in all states, although in some cases, the release of information can be prevented by a person involved in the adoption. Fathers also have the right to access information about their children under certain circumstances. The legislation which allows this access has been in effect in South Australia since 1989.
I know that there are some states in North America where adopted adults are allowed to access their original birth certificates but there are no states, as far as I am aware, in which parents are allowed to access the replacement birth certificates once their children are adults. I look forward to the time when equal access to adoption information, such as exists in South Australia, will be accepted as a basic human right everywhere in North America. This is an on-going issue of social justice.
The right to raise a child
There seems to be an unhealthy attitude in North America that there are some people who are 'entitled' to raise children (whether their own or someone else's) and that there are others who are not. The result of this seems to be that, rather than adoption existing to serve needy children, adoption seems to exist to a large extent to serve needy adults. In some sectors of the media in North America, the idea that certain people have a right to acquire a child, by any means at their disposal, seems to go unchallenged. Although this misguided notion does, no doubt, also have some support in areas of the Australian media, I find this attitude to be much less prevalent in Australia than it is in North America.
Removing children from families
I was very shocked to learn that, in North America, parents who are married and already have children are being persuaded to relinquish newly-born infants. The subsequent separation of such a child from a previously intact family is causing enormous losses, for the child, for the parents, for the other children in the family, for the grandparents as well as many other members of the extended family. This does not, to my knowledge, happen anywhere in Australia.
Apparently, having children while on a low income is now perceived as such a crime in some parts of North America, that this dreadful punishment has been devised. If poverty is considered to be a disadvantage to such children, then government initiatives which address the issue of poverty would be more useful to them than replacing the complications created in their lives by poverty with the complications created by adoption.
In my professional opinion as a social worker, any prospective adopters who would be willing to acquire a child in this way, from an established family, would be considered to be unsuitable candidates to be entrusted with child-rearing responsibilities. It seems that a 'supply' of such children, who already have an entire family of relatives, is being engineered to meet the 'demand' created by affluent strangers, who wish to attempt to manufacture a family through adoption. I cannot comprehend how anyone could consider such a transaction to be anything other than exploitative and socially unjust.
Adoptions of older children
While there are many in North America who are working in family preservation programmes to prevent separations of mothers and babies, I am saddened by the fact that there are still those who believe that adoption is an appropriate outcome for older children who are unable to return to live with their families. Adoption is rarely considered to be an appropriate outcome for such children in Australia.
I have heard it said in North America that adoption can provide such children with a sense of security. In fact, in my opinion, the opposite is the case. Children such as these know who they are and to whom they are related. These realities do not change, no matter where the child is living. To deny that identity and those connections by issuing the child with a false birth certificate has, in fact, the potential to create an enormous sense of insecurity. If their identity and their family connections are so dispensable, then how can a child in this situation develop any sense of reality and permanence? We all know that being part of an adoptive family does not provide protection against abuse, death or divorce. Adoption, in fact, does not guarantee permanence of any kind and is actually an attempt to create relationships where none existed previously, rather than honouring those relationships which already exist.
In Australia, children who are unable to live with their families can be provided with a safe home environment, based on an arrangement which accepts and honours the reality of their identity and their existing relationships. This, I believe, can allow them to heal and recover without involving them in the deceit and denial associated with adoption. Some of these children have already been traumatised by the abuse or neglect which they have suffered. In my opinion, it is unnecessarily cruel to add to their trauma by subjecting them to an adoption.
I am not, of course, suggesting that every child in Australia lives in an ideal family
environment. However, it is not considered to be appropriate in Australia to try to solve the problems of poverty and abuse in families, by removing children and arranging for them to be adopted.
Adoption is not a commercial transaction in Australia and it is gradually being replaced by other, more effective means of providing homes for children in need. This suggests to me that Australians respect the advantages in life which cannot be bought, including a sense of knowing who we are and where we fit, a sense of heritage and ancestry and a respect for the intrinsic value of family membership.
I look forward to the day when children all over the world will no longer be removed
from what are perceived to be dysfunctional poor families and placed in what too often
turn out to be dysfunctional affluent families.
Copyright © Evelyn Robinson, MA, Dip Ed, BSW
This article may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes only, providing that
it is reproduced in its entirety and without alteration.
Evelyn Robinson, who is a counsellor, speaker and author of
What History Teaches us....
Being called Lenore’s natural mother – and not a birthmother – did nothing to help Scarpetta legally or in the court of public opinion where she was ripped to shreds and would have been tar and feathered or burnt at the stake if the public had been allowed to!
Women all over the world are exploited for their children in countries no matter what the language is for them, or whether they are called birthmother or not.
In the thirty plus years I have used the term, I have never heard anyone outside of a small group of mothers (mostly anti-adoption mothers in Exiled Mothers and OriginsUSA) make the birthmother/breeder connection. Those who think less of a woman who relinquishes a child to adoption do so no matter what she is called, as was done to Olga Scarpetta, and those who are kind people will not.
Sure words have an effect on attitude and policy. But those who are vehemently opposed to the word birthmother are unable to present a single shred of evidence to draw a connection - let alone a cause and effect - between the use of the term birthmother and the exploitation of women for their children which was occurring long before it was used. In fact the largest cohort of women to be pressured to relinquish all took place prior to the word coming into existence.
Loosing a child for adoption is painful. That pain causes anger. The challenge is to focus that anger on the real enemies, not to get hung up in an obsession about a name being the root of all evil. It's just not logical, and over simplistic, and wastes so much time and energy that could be directed at baby brokers and others who exploit women for their children, no matter what they are called.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Right On, AMY!!!
Can't we just agree to disagree on the name thing and move on? Are we going to argue the name thing while the adoption industry moves on and running over younger women? This is about fighting for the rights of those involved in the adoption triad. This fight is about remembering the child and the mother. This fight is about honoring that bond. Are we going to allow the adoption industry to make money off all of us? Adoption is a necessary function in our society. I for one wish that every woman and child to be loved and respected. Our society on the other hand still runs us over daily. Lets get over this and fight to reform adoption law where it is not about profit.
I offer this food for thought... an analogy:
I have a friend who is dying of ALS also known as Lou Gehrigs disease. It is a horrible slow death as the muscles on the body atrophy. You slowly become more and more crippled and loose breathing capacity and even the ability to swallow. It is devastating and needs much money for research. What if those who worked to bring attention to this disease and raise money for research spent all their time arguing over whether it should be known as Lou Gehrigs disease – named after the baseball player who had it, or by its medical name ALS which stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. And they argued and argues about this while people continued to suffer and die instead of fund raising or doing anything to help those suffering? Wouldn’t that be an awful shame?
This is why I keep asking over and over…. can we STOP fighting amongst ourselves and get on with doing what needs to be done??
Adoption Abuse, and Being Exiled?
I want to express my sincere an deep regrets to you, and to you daughter, for the abuse she experienced. That is truly awful. You have every right to be very angry. I would like to encourage you to speak out publicly to draw attention to such abuses and help debunk the myth that adoption guarantees a “better life” for our children. The public and especially those considering adoption need to have cases of adoption abuse documented. There is also a great need to document such cases and gather statistics on the percentages of adoptive parents who abuse - and kill – children they have taken to love as their own.
You end your comment by suggesting that: "Exiled Mothers Mobilizing Actively" (EMMA) would be a good alternative name for CUB, if you ask me."
I would think that focusing your energies on some of the areas just suggested would be a far more worthwhile cause for you to peruse than worrying about what names we or our groups are called. Do you think that had you been called Mother and her adoptive mother not, that she would not have experienced such abuse?
In terms of CUB’s name and changing it – are you a member ohttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.giff ? Membership in CUB is $40/year. CUB has branches in several US cities that hold in-person support group meetings. As a member, you also would receive the CUB Communicator, a quarterly newsletter, and the CUB Chat, a more frequent and informal newsletter. We hold an annual retreat each fall, this year it will be in Tampa, FL. on Columbus Day weekend. CUB also has a toll free hotline, and a network of members throughout the nation who are available to be a support resource to anyone who seeks help. Most importantly, as a membership is required to coordinate a CUB support group or hold an office on the board of directors.
Once on the board, you could then propose your suggestion for a name change. Otherwise, it’s kind of like Coke asking Pepsi to change their name. If you prefer Coke, just buy Coke! What I mean by that is, if you prefer the term Exiled Mother – just stick with the group that already exists by that name...a name I, and others, dislike greatly and see no relevance to our situations whatsoever.
The definition of exile is:
1. Enforced removal from one's native country.
2. Self-imposed absence from one's country.
3. The condition or a period of living away from one's native country.
4. One who lives away from one's native country, whether because of expulsion or voluntary absence.
Exiled: To send into exile; banish.
I have not been exiled and I do not see any relevance whatsoever to our situation of having lost children to adoption in this name. In fact, it brings to mind lepers being exiled to a leper colony, not an image I want to bring to my mind or have anyone else relate to me as a birthmother as being a leper! ECH! Very negative, not empowering at all. I have no idea why anyone would want to identify themselves as being exiled, or what it has to do with adoption at all, BUT I recognize anyone's right to be calld whatever they choose, and would just appreciate the same in return.
Again, I want to say how sorry I am that your daughter was abused and also to say that I am happy for both of you that you have been reunited. I was wondering how she old she was when you found her? Hopefully you found her sooner rather than later to spare her as many years of abuse at the hands of her adoptive mother as possible. I know of mothers who found their kids in horrible situations when they were teens and were able to be a real resource for them and regain custody in several cases.
Good luck to you.
Friday, May 05, 2006
I think you are sincere in your beliefs and that you do want to accomplish
your agenda of abolishing adoption, in which case you will need to present
your views convincingly and factually in the political arena, again and
again, as well as to the general public to gain support for any legislation
you may introduce. I know this is the goal of those of us who support
adoption reform; not just to talk endlessly to ourselves and each other,
but to actually effect some change where we can.
If you are serious about abolishing adoption, which is a legal construct,
you have to be ready to deal with the world of politics, which is not a
kinder, gentler place. As Harry Truman said, "if you can't stand the heat,
get out of the kitchen."
You may be upset at some of the challenges to your beliefs you have
encountered here, but believe me, this is NOTHING to what you will
encounter in the political arena and outside world. You seem so shocked
that some of us who share your experience as surrendering mothers have
drawn different conclusions from that experience, and do not share or
understand some of your jargon. Just think how people who have never heard
of our issues will react to your arguments! We have really done you a favor
in giving you the opportunity to debate and look closely at the arguments
you are presenting. Do they convince people? Are they logical? Do you have
real facts, not made up statistics, to back them up? How will "I am the
only real true mother" play out in legislative testimony? Especially when
some of the legislators are adoptive parents, and most people who would
support many reforms still will not accept that adoptive parents are not
parents in any real sense.
How many of you have testified at legislative hearings, appeared on TV talk
and news shows with hostile interviewers, spoken to angry adoptive parent
groups, in person, given interviews in either print or other media where
the one bad thing you said in a two hour interview was made the headline?
How many of you have come out your local community, spoken at your church
or synagogue about adoption issues, tried to understand and work within the
political system to get anything passed? How many of you have stood up
against the representatives of NCFA, the Catholic Conference, Right to Life
and others in public testimony about adoption issues?
Many of us hear have done this, some of us for 30 years when you all were
deep in the closet.
This is the very minimum of what you will have to do to have any hope at
all of changing things legislatively. If you expect to do more than blow
hot air at each other and preach to the choir, you have to take your ideas
and beliefs outside of your own "safe space" and see how they stand up to
the heavy pressure that is out there. Are you up for that? It is not fun.
It beats you into the ground with frustration and tears again and again and
again. But it is what has to be done to really change things, although most
of it is painful, boring, and far from glorious. Maybe when you actually
try to do something besides pat each other on the back on closed email
lists, you will develop a little respect for CUB and those who went before
you in speaking out for mothers who had surrendered, and for our children.
As for support, there is lots of support here, for anyone, in dealing with
their own personal pain and post reunion issues. if you want to discuss
those things and leave your political agenda for your own lists, we are
always glad to hear from you and will try to be as helpful and supportive
as we can.
I posted this for MaryAnne, because despite being the poet laueratte of adoption, and very politically savvy, through years of hard, dedicated work...she has not been able to post comments to this blog. It was too important, so I posted it for her...