Talking About the Tough Stuff

April 15th, 2009

I've been avoiding discussions of the tough stuff for birth parents in open adoption and reunion for awhile. Why? Every now and then I need to turn my focus to more positive topics in order to survive. I'm now in a great place and able to look at the harder concepts of life for birth parents without fear of finding myself drowning in overwhelming emotion. And so, for the next week or two (or three, if necessary), I'm going to tackle some tough subjects. I felt the need to start the discussion with a warning. Why? When I'm writing a series of positive posts, people complain that I'm ignoring the "realities" of adoption. When I write a series of posts that tackle subjects that can be perceived… [more]

Bargaining Chip? What?

September 15th, 2008

I know I've been harping (yes, I chose that word on purpose) on language as of late. The written word, of course, is even more adept at lingering as is the point of written word. And that's why I have a problem with this article. The article is talking about the "shortage of infants." (Of note that the article does mention the number of waiting children languishing in our foster care system but says, and I quote, "few can compete with the appeal of a just born bundle." That quote is juxtaposed with a picture of this particular family standing in an empty nursery, looking very forlorn.) We hear about the plight of the long waiting lists. We see birth mother used in the wrong way… [more]

Warning: I Probably Won’t Be Quiet

September 13th, 2008
Categories: Adoption Reform

Some questions have come up regarding the last post and whether or not we should just let those who are unintentionally removing expectant mothers considering relinquishment from their children have a free pass or not. You know, because they aren't intentionally offending. My answer is a resounding, loud, "NO!" Ignorance is not an excuse. It's just not. It is especially not an excuse when you factor in the point that adoption agencies should be educating families (expectant, birth and adoptive) on how words do affect others, respect and proper communication. That's the real problem, folks. And I have a problem with the "roll over and ignore it" attitude simply because the offender didn't know they were being offensive. No. It's not going to happen. If we did… [more]

Adoptees and Father’s Day

June 13th, 2008
Categories: Adoption Reform

While I've discussed how birth mothers and adoptive parents view Father's Day in varying ways, I saved the most important group for today: the adoptees. Like the other groups, their experiences vary widely! Quite a few individuals replied on the forums and I had a few e-mail me privately, saying that they didn't want to be attacked by others for their views. (Of note, a few birth moms did the same but no adoptive parents. Interesting.) Some adoptees in reunion did reply that they do acknowledge their biological father on Father's Day. A few had a discussion within the thread that "appropriate" cards are hard to find. One user had the answer. I am coming up on four years of reunion with my father. This is… [more]

Opening Records and Opposing Arguments

May 16th, 2008
Categories: Adoption Reform

I was happy to see a news story out of Canada. Seems that some adoptees are going to be allowed to access their original birth records and, as such, find out the identities of their birth parents. I was really gearing to jump up and down as I started reading. Ontario's new law will help adoptees find out what their original names were, as well as who their birth parents were. It could also help birth parents learn the name their child was given after he or she was adopted. I was nodding my head, thinking of the way that various forms of government are finally starting to treat adoptees the same as other citizens by allowing them to have this access. Then I kept on reading… [more]

How Parenting Affects My Birth Parenting

May 2nd, 2008
Categories: Adoption Reform

A recent (and frequent) discussion about the ways that birth parenting affects how we parent our children got me thinking. While it is true that being a birth mother has changed the ways in which I might have otherwise parented, I think that another train of thought needs to be visited. And so, I pose this question: How does parenting affect your birth parenting? While I maintain that I would have been a fine parent for the Munchkin, the truth remains that prior to the birth of my oldest son, I was somewhat clueless as to the ins, outs, whys and wherefores of children and parenting. These are obviously things that you learn as you go and, as I hadn't yet learned them, I didn't always get the… [more]

Oklahoma Reviewing Ethics in Adoption

April 2nd, 2008
Categories: Adoption Reform

My interest is always piqued when I see an article discussion adoption ethics. I am mostly familiar with the ethics in Ohio and Pennsylvania as those are two states in which I live. Apparently Oklahoma is a state known to have lax adoption laws but some lawmakers are hoping to change that fact. In the article, this little piece of information alarmed me! Eight years ago, Drwenski had a daughter, whose adoptive parents were surprised to be charged $30,000, including numerous hours Drwenski spent talking with a caseworker and had no idea were billable to the parents. Goodness! The article goes on to say that if financial disclosure existed in the state, that whole situation could have been avoided. Can you imagine how guilty the birth mother must… [more]

And We Wonder Why Ethics are Hard to Come By

January 18th, 2008
Categories: Adoption Reform

You can read two great write-ups of the hearing regarding HB7, the bill written to open adoption records for all adoptees in the state of Ohio as well as make open adoptions legally binding. In Dawn's post, we see that a representative "rolled his eyes" during an adoptees testimony about the bill being a civil rights issue. I wondered, "What kind of adult, representing any kind of constituent, would roll his eyes during testimony?" Dawn wondered as to the ins and outs of his attorney profession. Minor research lead to the answer. The guy is an adoption attorney. He's up there, rolling his eyes as an adoptee talks about civil rights and informing others that mothers (who relinquish) do want closed adoptions, all the while fearing… [more]

If You’re a Birth parent, Your Voice is Needed

January 16th, 2008
Categories: Adoption Reform

As birth parents, we all have varying experiences. While some differences are because of generational changes, even those who placed in the same eras have differences due to any number of reasons. Those who placed in the Baby Scoop Era have different stories to tell than those who have placed in the past ten years as will each mother within each generation. And yet, there are similarities as well. Similarities from mother to mother, father to father and generation to generation. And that's what this survey is all about. The Surrender Survey Project is for parents (mother and fathers) who have voluntarily relinquished and/or had their rights (involuntarily) terminated. And so, in that way, it is all inclusive. More over, the questions pertain to both… [more]

Ohio Birth Parents (and Other Triad Members): Read This!

January 15th, 2008
Categories: Adoption Reform

Remember when I recently unleashed some verbal fury on Ohio, my state of residence, while reviewing Post-Adoption Contact Agreements? Well, I've got good news. Not only is the state addressing a bill that would change how open adoptions are viewed and dealt with but they're pushing to open records for all adoptees, not just those born prior to 1964. Yes, I'm kind of giddy about it. As the bill itself is rather long and wordy, a look at the analysis is much easier to understand. Let's take a look. First and foremost, it would be a great improvement for adoptees who were adopted in the state. It's plan is to toss out the current system and open records to all adoptees. Eliminates the three-tiered system… [more]