A Sad News Story + Two Warnings for Birth parents

September 16th, 2009
Categories: Articles

NewspapersI debated writing about this story for a few days. It's typical news coverage, right in line with the "if it bleeds, it leads" motto of many a newsroom. It's not happy. It's not good. It does nothing for adoption reform or the cause of adoptees gaining access to their original birth certificates. For all of those reasons, however, I believe it needs to be discussed. The first sentence of the story is hard to read, especially as both a birth mother and a mother who daily parents two children. Michigan police say a 35-year-old mother used the Internet to track down the son she gave up for adoption a decade ago, seducing and raping the teenage boy when she found him after… [more]

Literally Losing Your Child to Adoption

August 30th, 2009
Categories: Articles

Many mothers from the Baby Scoop Era prefer to say that they "lost their child to adoption." These particular mothers were never offered the option of parenting, being forced into relinquishing their children by their families and the maternity homes which housed them during their pregnancies. You will also sometimes hear mothers who have had their children removed by Social Services use the same term as technically they lost their rights due to issues of abuse or neglect. Even some mothers from the open era who were coerced into relinquishment or simply not offered any emotional or physical support from family will tend to use the phrase to show that, had things been different, they would have chosen the path of parenting. However, one birth family in… [more]

Suing Over Contact

June 29th, 2009
Categories: Articles, Reunion

A story out of Philadelphia has various sides of the triad along with random members of society going at each others' throats regarding topics like search, reunion and an adoptee's rights versus a birth parent's right. In short, a rape victim who placed the child conceived as a result of that rape for adoption is suing over the fact that she was contacted. Of course, she wasn't just contacted. Her child showed up on her doorstep. I think that's part of the rub. On December 13th, the adult adoptee knocked on the rape victim's door. I think in any adoption situation, surprise reunions are neither the norm nor the desired outcome of placement. Usually a non-face-to-face contact (letter or phone) precede the in-your-face type of meeting. So… [more]

Fear and Loathing in Adoption

March 30th, 2009
Categories: Articles, Reunion

Perhaps some of you caught the gem of a question and answer session on Slate's Dear Prudence column this past Thursday. My husband is actually the one who caught it for me and forwarded the link to me. We then had a lengthy discussion on the letter itself, the answer and our opinions on the subject in general. What? You didn't read it? Go read it first. Basically, the shortened version: mother relinquishes her firstborn daughter for adoption twenty-three years ago. Birth mother initiated the reunion. Through email and phone call conversations, birth mother decides that she doesn't like the daughter in question because she is "immature and bratty." (Note: the girl in question is twenty-three, a known selfish phase of life for a large number.)… [more]

Would Reunion Complete Your Life?

January 12th, 2009
Categories: Articles, Reunion

A friend of mine sent me the link to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette yesterday. She didn't say what it was about, just sent the link as if it was a dare for me to click it. I wasn't disappointed. The article is about a birth mother reuniting with her relinquished child 46 years after the birth and subsequent placement. I'm always nervous when I see articles about adoption, especially reunion, in any form of mainstream media. You never know how it is going to go. You never know if the journalist has a negative view of the topic and will let that seep into the piece. This article, however, was a joy to read. In fact, this family is a joy. Reading the article made me want to… [more]

Happy Story To Kick off Your Weekend

May 30th, 2008
Categories: Articles, Reunion

I love happy reunion stories. I really do! We hear, so frequently, the stories that go wrong. This is partly due to the fact that when people have a good experience, they'll likely tell one or two people but when people have a bad experience, that number jumps to the double digits. We're more likely to rant and rave than we are to applaud. Human nature. This is only further compounded by the fact that the mainstream media isn't all that quick to report the good news. Stories of happy reunion don't fall under the "if it bleeds, it leads" motto of newsrooms everywhere. And so, this particular reunion story made me smile. How could it not? This little gem of a quote gives birth parents… [more]

Very Sad News Out of Utah

February 20th, 2008
Categories: Articles, Reunion, Search

This article makes me want to look up every adoptee and every birth parent in the state of Utah and offer big hugs. Granted, not every adoptee and birth parent would want my hugs but they could have them if they wanted. And that's the point. If they don't want a hug, then they can decline. If they do, then we both win via hugging. Right? Utah doesn't seem to get the idea of the ability to decline hugs. Or, ya know, reunion contact. A bill that would let adoptees find out the information about their birth families was shot down. Now, mind you, this is one of the most conservative bills I've seen as it doesn't allow adoptees to get that information until thirty years… [more]

Beautiful Reunion Story

February 13th, 2008
Categories: Articles, Reunion

It's been kind of doom-and-gloom up in here lately, no? Thankfully, I have a nice little reunion story to share with my readers. This one hails out of India. (Be sure to visit the article because the pictures included are beautiful.) Minda, a nineteen-year-old adoptee, and her (adoptive) mother Catherine traveled back to India to celebrate the 25 year anniversary of the home from which she was adopted. Many other adoptees and family members traveled for the event as well. As she traveled to India, she believed she would get to meet her biological mother. A rarity with this home as the director can only remember a handful or so of successful reunions as the information leaves searchers with very little to go on. Minda was… [more]

Reunion Takes Courage, Too!

February 7th, 2008
Categories: Articles, Reunion

I like happy stories, especially happy stories that talk about reuniting adoptees and their biological parents. So let's talk about one! In 2006, a Canadian adoptee received an award called "The Courage to Come Back" award. It was featured in the newspaper. Well, his biological Great-Grandmother saw his picture. And that's all it took, folks. One picture in the newspaper. Apparently the adoptee looks quite like his half-brother. And apparently Great-Grandma is observant! How many times have you skipped an entire page of the newspaper? Kudos to Great-Grandma for reading and taking a closer look! It just gives me chills to read this: "She contacted her granddaughter, my birth mother and says, "Go look in the paper." So my birth mother and her family pick up… [more]

A Reunion Gone Right

November 13th, 2007
Categories: Articles

Having worked for the television news media, I'm all too familiar with the general gloom and doom that is normally reported. Journalists, print or broadcast, know that "if it bleeds, it leads," and producers often push ratings and subscriptions (quantity) over things that viewers and readers would like to see or read (quality). However, sometimes that quality comes through and I'm always pleased to see when adoption is presented in a positive manner. A reunion story out of Vermont had me feeling some warm-fuzzies after reading the story. It turns out that (placed) daughter and (birth) mother had been living in close proximity to one another for eight years and had actually been in close contact. The daughter had been going to the hair salon where… [more]