Saturday, October 20, 2007

Open Records Video

Produced by the WONDERFUL & TALENTED - Mia, Theresa, Andie & Kevin.

Please take the time to go to YouTube and rate this video - it's in a competition - and if it wins - it may be shown on MTV & other music shows.


The message has to get out - please pass it on.

Friday, October 12, 2007

When Is It Right To Hurt A Child ??

I'm finding that I'm getting more and more angry about it being OK for pregnant women to even CONSIDER relinquishing.

Why has society made it OK to hurt thousands and thousands of babies and thousands and thousands of mothers?

Deep, painful, life altering, psychological scaring - that stays - sometimes buried - for life.

Salt rubbed hard in those wounds when we're told - it was all for the best.

And that we should be happy that we have those scars - because that shows we are loved!

(that's some sick psychological bullsh*t right there)

Thanks Mum and Dad - you gave me my looks and my brain - and hey thanks for the trauma scares you gave me.

And thanks so much to everyone else for allowing that to be just A-OK.

Some days - yes - I am so very very angry at my mother, my father, my grandparents, and society for not sticking up for ME and keeping the baby - ME.

Some days - I think my mother and I should really just get a refund.

This is not what it's like in the happy adoption brochure.

It is NOT OK to allow this to keep happening.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Adoption U.S. Style - in the 21st Century

I am going to share with you THE MOST AMAZING post I have ever read - explaining what adoption really is like today.

On that silly and mind numbing Yahoo Adoption Questions - an adoptive parent - who likes to dismiss all and everything that anyone cares to hint about the down side of adoption that exists to this day - asked those that aren't all rosey about adoption - to give real examples of coercive and unethical actions in the adoption industry that exist today as he really thinks that we know NOTHING of what we speak of - and he's certain that we're referring to what we would call the BSE (Baby Scoop Era) of a time long gone!

(yeah - remember - I did say that it was all quite mind numbing - mainly from banging my head against my desk as I read - I know - I know........)

My gorgeous friend Rox - an adoptee AND a relinquishing mother came up with just the right words - and really I couldn't think of any more to say. (many of my readers may well know of more - I encourage you to say)

Here is what she said - as I'm so in awe of her amazing presence - this needs to be written about more - rinsed and repeated - rinsed and repeated - maybe until we're all blue in the face...........

Okay. Here is the thing. Let's not go into the realm of ILLEGAL. Let's go ETHICAL.

Is it ethical for an agency that claims to be offering AID to expecting mothers to be offering an option that is going to cause severe sorrow, anguish, trauma, PTSD, increased risk of suicide etc etc? Is it ethical to call adoption, THE "most loving option"? Meaning that keeping your child is not loving?

They ARE trying to sell their agenda to women. I don't think the motivation is always even money driven. I think many people have a vested interest in believing that adoption is worth the pain of women who place their children (even if they know how much it destroys most women to lose their children).

Often these are adoptive parents, women who have relinquished who want to believe there was NOW WAY they could have kept and and dealing with their loss by encouraging it to happen to other women (instead of helping put together resources to help women prevent the loss), or occasionally adopted people who also want to believe that adoption was the ONLY way they could have had a good life.

(Who wants to believe their mom went through eternal hell on their behalf without a necessary reason?)

LC, look at posts coming from women who placed just months ago and the pain they are going through, wondering if they can get their children back. We see them nearly every week, if not occasionally more often. Sometimes we can try to help these women get their children back if they are lucky enough to fall within the revocation period.

Otherwise, all we can do is offer support to a new member of the broken hearted biomom club that no one wants to be a part of. These women are not being counseled about the consequences of adoption.

That is not ethical. There are many government funded programs, and such like the National council for Adoption etc, that are literally working to counsel women toward adoption at any opportunity. The goal of convincing women to place their children for adoption is still very alive and well.

If a women is unfortunate enough to research adoption through nearly any agency, she will be bombarded with statements like, "women who place their children are more educated and more intelligent"

They do NOT mention that women who are more educated are more likely to read the adoption propaganda that leads them toward adoption, not to mention being persuaded by rich, middle to upper class family members that using financial aid, or going through a rough first few years is the end of the world.

These same women are also the same women who IF THEY KEEP are more likely to finish school ANYWAY, and not be caught in the cycle of poverty that single mothers are always proposed to be in.

Agencies/websites etc that are promoting adoption to expectant mothers provide "counselling" that involves things like writing a list of what the adoptive parents have to offer vs what the expectant mother has to offer.

Um, okay, duh, the adoptive parents are rich. How is that not a coercive tactic to convince women to "see the light" of how much their child needs adoption?

Ethical counseling would instead begin with "what do you want to provide for your child" and then move into ideas for how that women could ACCOMPLISH those goals. Providing positive reinforcement, new idea that may not have been considered and links to resources the client may not be aware of.

Real counseling would involve working on the clients fears about parenting in a way that is focused on success (you can do this, let's find a way) vs based on encouraging a sense of defeat and failure, and encouraging a client to feed into their own fears (you aren't good enough, so you should just give up now and let us place your child).

Also, allowing adoptive parents to buy the expectant mother ANYTHING should be illegal. The hormones that are going on in pregnancy, particularly oxytocin are the human bonding hormones. These women are vulnerable to trusting and bonding with anyone who comes near them. They are afraid and if the person who provides the most comfort and support for them also has a desire to take their child it is a conflict of interest.

It sets up a situation where the adoptive parents are saying "we'll make everything ok. We'll be there. We'll help you. So long as you give us your child"

It creates a sense of responsibility for the expectant mom to fulfill the aparents wishes. It promotes the feeling that the only real support she has is from people who will take her child.

Of course the adoptive parents do not continue the support once they get the baby. I have watched within the past few months women who go from being star struck over the adoptive parents being the most wonderful people in the world, to realizing that honeymoon period fades as the adoptive parents feel secure they have gotten full rights to the child and have no legal obligation to the biomom.

Suddenly she is no longer being praised for her "wonderful gift". Suddenly she is not receiving pictures and letters so often. She finds out the adoptive parents changed the child's name when they promised they wouldn't. Visits become less and less frequent.

These women start to realize they were used to get a child during the time they were the most vulnerable. Suddenly, she starts to realize that now all she has left is her own tears. She starts to realize what has happened as the shock and horror starts to settle. Her child is gone. What just happened?

How much would it have hurt for the people around her to have supported her in SUCCEEDING AT PARENTING instead of taking her child from her under the guise of "supporting" her? If you don't want to support expectant parents, that is fine, but don't pretending that paying for housing, medical bills, etc in order to procure a baby from a women is anything other than cruel bribery.

It doesn't matter if this is being done LEGALLY. Is it being done ETHICALLY?

The things that are being done now still result in women falling on the floor in tears of pain, for years and years. Children having to deal with knowing their mothers went through that kind of pain, dealing with abandonment issues.

What's being done still leaves a lot of people in pain. And to me, that means there is room for improvement. Adoption may be an ok last resort option when ALL OTHER MEANS of helping a women provide adequately for her child have been exhausted.

But it is truly the most horrific solution to a lack of resources that I can imagine.

It should IDEALLY be used to help children who are abandoned, abused, unwanted etc find loving homes.

And at times IT IS.

The way it is being practiced right now however.....

is NOT what you are imagining .

I think you are very intelligent and have the capacity to understand what is being said here AND I understand why it sounds very foreign to you. I hope you'll keep listening.

All of my experiences with adoption agency propaganda come from what I read PRESENT DAY on agency websites, the women I talk to that have placed recently, as well as my own experiences with agencies in the last 6 years.

All very recent. The tears are too many. The sad stories are too many. Too many of these women were just scared and didn't really want to lose their children, and should have been guided to resources to help them parent, instead of encouraged to believe they weren't as good as adoptive parents.

If you are ok with those situations happening as long as they're "legal", then I think that is really sad. To me it's not about cleaning the coersion up so that it's nice and legal, it's about making sure that women get sincerely non-biased counselling about the BENEFITS of parenting, and not only the benefits of adoption.

That is not a legal requirement right now AT ALL.

In fact even the kind of lawyer situation that you have described in the past is coercive. I understand why it doesn't sound like it to you, but trust me, it is very persuasive in making a biomom feel dependent on the adoptive parents (for medical bills, for lawyers, for housing etc etc) when she should be encouraged to find those resources herself or from people who are not trying to take her baby away. It also makes her feel more like the well being of her child is dependent on the adoptive parents as well, while her feeling of independence drops lower and lower.

I just watched this happen to a dear friend, and was unable to stop it. As she wakes up slowly it's very painful to watch her yearn for death and go through hell on earth over this loss and know that I couldn't stop it from happening. : (

Adoption - as it stands in the U.S. - SHOULD NOT be allowed to go on.

Why will not people even TRY to understand.

Thank you dear Rox.

You make me aspire to be bigger and better than I am.

I am so glad that you're here. (you know - in cyber-land!!)

Biggest hugs,
Poss. xxx

p.s. - spread the word dear peoples. Either copy it from here - link to here - or write your own thoughts. This shit has to stop. Adoption of children that DO NOT need it - should be left well alone. And we are the ones that have got to make people hear.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Raising An Adoptee Is A Very Hard Thing Indeed

I have been frequenting the boards of Yahoo 'Adoption' Questions (yeah - silly - I know!!) - and there was a question asked about the pros and cons of adoption - asking those that answer to carefully consider both sides and give at least one answer on each!

An adoptive parent wrote a very honest response to the question - and I have copied it here -

The pros and cons are constantly running through my head. I adopted 2 children who are now 8 & 9. They came to live with me and my husband (in foster care) when they were 23 months and 3 years old (brother & sister). At the time I thought that they were young enough that we could raise them as our own and they wouldn't remember much of their past. I was so wrong! The 9 year old had a strong bond with his mother when he was younger and now I have a hard time connecting with him at all. I have somewhat bonded with my adopted daughter who is now 8 but she makes references that if her mother was out of jail then she would want to live with her. It really hurts because she doesn't even know her mother and only knows what her brother remembers from being 3-4. They did have visitation for about a year with the birth mother and my adopted daughter would hide under the table and shy away from her mom at every visit. She wouldn't even let her hold her. I know her idea of a birth mother is 100% fantasy.

My husband works 2 jobs to support us and has built onto the house to make room for the kids. He has tried to do a lot of the work himself because we don't have the money to hire it all out. It has taken almost 4 years and we are almost done. Then the 9 yr old is constantly making reference that my husband doesn't spend enough time with him. We do more with them than my parent's ever did with me. The kid has never appreciated anything! We have gone away and taken them to an amusement park every summer for a vacation, they go to the fair every year, the movies, bowling, mini golf, batting cages, you name it...we do it! The more you give, the more he wants. I have since had a child of my own and the bond is so different. I never knew what that bond felt like. He just turned 4 and has started picking up the other one's negativity. I am constantly crying and asking my husband what he thinks our biological son would be like if he didn't have than influence. I wonder if I made the right choice to adopt.

A few years ago when we decided to adopt, I was all for adoption. I was in the mind set that I wanted to change the world and help children. It is hard to help children who don't think they need help. I have had some time to be in the situation and I still believe that adoption can be good, but there is a reason everyone wants an infant. I think that would have made a huge difference in the outcome of our family!

I think it is a very brave response - and one that should be looked at carefully by those thinking about adoption. Any adoption.

Adoption is NOT easy.

You're essentially dealing with a damaged child - no matter the age of the adoption.

This was my response to her writings -

Very open and honest answer - more stories like yours needs to be told - thank you for taking the time.

My thoughts - even an infant would still feel some disconnect - as the child has come from another mother - as you say - the link between mother and child is unique, strong and amazing.

Your adopted children probably have some deep wounds from their relinquishment. It hurts like HELL to be given away by your mother - even if it was in your best interests. (no matter what age the relinquishment occurred)
To an adoptee - young or old - knowing that you have been not wanted by your mother - really really hurts. (even if your mother 'did' want you - but for some reason couldn't keep you - everybody has a deep desire to be kept and loved by their own mother)

Children don't have the words to express this - that's why many adoptees act out as they grow and go through different stages.
Please refrain from the - they should be grateful for what we have given them. I don't mean that in a harsh way - that's just how your post came across to me - an adoptee - who is -and has always been told that I should be grateful for being adopted.

Think - it wasn't my idea to be raised by strangers - adults made those decisions for me. I had no say. I shouldn't be made to feel grateful for that - really.

Adoptees often need more reassurance that they are loved, that they are needed and that you are not going to leave them.
(all things which I had so many self doubts about growing up)
Yep - we adoptees are particularly HARD WORK!! (sorry)

Love your children for who they all are individually - and with everything you have got.

Also - my thoughts - don't sugar coat the real reasons behind their relinquishment to them - especially as they grow older.
It's their truth - they need the real facts. The truth can be painful for the adoptee - but how can they form proper opinions of the situation if they aren't given all the facts.

Yes - adoptees have many fantasies about what 'could be'.
That's part and parcel with not being allowed to live with the one you should have. (if life were all peaches and cream!!)

The most 'settled' adult adoptees that I know - have honest and open relationships with their adoptive parents - and their adoptive parents love them unconditionally and do not make them choose between the parents that they love. Because most adoptees I know love their parents - with all their heart - but they love BOTH sets - not just one. And they should be allowed to do so - no matter what an adoptive parents personal feelings are towards the adoptees biological parents.

Just my advice - take it or leave it.
I really wish you all the very best as you sail through the ups and downs of raising an adoptive child. It sure must be a hell of a lot of work.
Poss. xxx

I just wanted to put it out there.

(and yes - probably a lot more could be said - but I'm trying to change some minds - just one mind at a time!! Is it working on any???)

Side note - yes - I AM STILL ALIVE. I have been quite a neglectful blogger - I apologise - but I am out their in cyber space lending support where I can (often hanging out at the wonderful
AAAFC - if you're an adoptee - please come and join the party!) and banging my head against uneducated beings (uneducated in the 'real' side of adoption) at Yahoo Adoption Questions. I also keep updated on blogs through Bloglines - soooo I am here - I am listening - I'm never far away.

Reunion update - slow and steady. A little here and little there. Not as much as I'd like - but something - which is good. A is working on a letter. A long letter. Hopefully some good outcomes will come there.

A and I have spoken by phone again - and emailed here and there. He said this last phonecall that he really thinks that P (my mother) may never come around.

He's really just confirmed what my heart has not wanted to say.

Being adopted hurts sometimes.

It hurts really bad.