Saturday, September 09, 2006

On the b-word again: the argument for "reaching out to adoptive moms too..."

This comment was posted, by a mother whom i highly respect, "If we ever expect to change adoption, we need to find ways to reach adoptive moms too ...." Unfortunately, I must respectfully disagree with her. I especially do not believe that must denigrate ourselves by calling ourselves "birthmothers" in order to reach out to adoptive parents, or even that reaching out to them will succeed in changing adoption in the first place.

First, gentle reader, a few analogies: My guess is that enslaved African-Americans never said to their brothers and sisters, "If we expect to change slavery, we need to find way to reach slave owners too. Like it or not, they have a lot of power." Or followed it up with "So we can't go around calling ourselves 'people.'"

Because being a mother is like being a person. It recognizes you a human being. Right now, adopters only are happy when we choose to define ourselves as organs of reproduction, a.k.a. "birthmothers."

Another analogy: What if victims of rape were labelled "vagina-women" by the courts, the rapists, and society? What if they decided they needed to get the support of rapists in order to effect change? if once you got raped, you were no longer a woman but were a "vagina woman"? Yes this analogy is gruesome, but it is the same type of analogy as between "mother" and "birthmother." With the term "birthmother" you are reduced to being a body part. In this case, a uterus and birth canal. in the case of rape, a vagina.

I do not wish the support of my rapist. She has none of my best interests at heart. She wanted my baby and that is why I lost my baby, because I was powerless to stop the system she had hired.

NOT ALL adoptive parents fit this analogy, but it is a very rare few that see us as being human beings and not just the means to producing a baby. Those that acknowledge that I am still a mother and not a "birth mother" (with or without a space it makes no difference), i respect them also. Because the term "birth[ ]mother" reduces a human being to being a bodily function, to not have a role in the life of her child other than gestation and delivery.

Read any article on "Positive Adoption Language" and you'll see how they differentiate between "birth mothers" and mothers.

As well, adoptive parents have a very large and powerful and wellfunded lobby group that they are involved in: it is called the NCFA and is comprised of baby brokers and adopters. They have come together to form other groups as well to reform adoption. These legislative reforms (below) are what they lobby for and have lobbied for in the past as a socio-demographic group:
  • Lower adoption agency fees to make adoption more affordable
  • More private adoptions so that there is a larger chance of them obtaining a baby than being stuck on an agency waiting list.
  • Shortening and eliminating "revokation periods" that the mother is allowed to "change her mind" after signing surrender papers.
  • "Pre-birth consents" that eliminate a mother's right to make a decision about adoption after her child is a reality, in her arms.
  • Shortening and eliminating "waiting periods" that give a mother a chance to (theoretically) recover after her child is born before she has papers shoved into her face to sign.
  • Using "Positive Adoption Language" in legislation to further dehumanize us.
Will people who are involved in this ever listen to us? Will we ever be able to "convince them" to see our point of view? I highly doubt it. No, because we are at odds. We want our children. They want our children. They want adoption to "build" them a family as similar as possible to a natural family, ignoring all the differences.

Like the slave owners above, they have all the power and everything going for them and no reason to change. There is nothing though that prevents those with a heart from becoming "former adoptive parents" in the same way that slave owners often voluntarily released their slaves. Often people do things without realizing that another group has been seriously violated and traumatized and abused in the process. Adoption is one of these instances. It is possible for people to recognize their role, however indirect, in this abuse. Wipe the slate clean. help the natural family reunite, repair, and rebuild. And sue the pants off of the adoption agency that lied through its teeth about "forever families," "As If Born To," and the "lifetime guarantee" that the adoptee will never search or reunite or want 4 parents in their lives. Because that is where the information was ultimately held, and withheld, while babies were sold for a profit even by supposedly "nonprofit" agencies.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Amputated at the waist ...

I got slapped on the wrist today for trying to express a gentle comment to an adopted person. She posted a comment on Musings of the Lame saying that she used term "birthmother" as a term of respect.

I meant her no disrespect when i told her that it was not respectful to call her mother this word, and it also disrespected her as well as a person, dehumanized her, when she used this term, as it reduced her to not being a daughter but to being a "product of conception." I thought i was expressing compassion and trying to let this adopted person know that she deserves more, and that she is not just a "product of conception."

But then again, the way that the adoption industry portrays and treats us, my critic is just mirroring what the industry wants: Walking uteri aren't supposed to be vocal or have mouths, hearts or brains!

We're supposed to put up and shut up. Analogous to the way the sheet was draped over our knees when we gave birth, not permitting us to see our babies, and the professionals not caring about anything "beyond the blanket" -- all they cared about was happening between the legs that were up in stirrups -- that image frames how we're portrayed and treated for the rest of our lives. "Birthmother" -- the uterus and birth canal. The rest of our bodies and our humanity amputated with our motherhood.

This was my full comment:
dear adoptee, there is nothing respectful about reducing a mother to being a walking uterus, to saying that she is (was) only your mother for the purposes of gestation and being strapped down to the delivery table to have you exit the birth canal, but never afterwards.

calling her your "birthmother" also means that you consider yourself to NOT be her daughter any longer. this would mean that you are reduced to being a "product of conception." which is just as dehumanizing for you as for her.

i know that this might be new to you, but this is what social workers promote the term to mean. they don't want to displease their paying customers (adopters) by any word that suggests an ongoing bond or relationship between the natural mom and her lost child.
Dear "Daughter of Two Women," I meant no disrespect for you, or for either of your mothers.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Motherhood Deleted.

I found a new blog today, called Motherhood Deleted. Written by Robin Westbrook, whose writings I first encountered on the BEBA website.

Robin is right -- we are still mothers to the children that the adoption industry took from us. We discover this truth in reunion, especially. That the bond between mother and child did not disapate.

The adoption industry is a 20th century phenomena. It is driven by big business profits and big government grants. It IS a big business -- selling infants to needy sterile people who have lost their fertility (usually due to age or STDs and those are facts). The adoption industry stands to gain financially if it can convince people that it will sell them parenthood without strings attached. Parenthood with no other parents to "share with." This is a lie, completely and utterly. It invented "Positive Adoption Language" including the term "birthmother" in order to sell the product. No other reason.

But we know the truth: We are still mothers to our lost children. The bond is still there, even if they feel too guilt-ridden and beholden to their adoptive parents to call us "Mother." Like Robin's article, "View from the Back of the Bus" where she talks about our children sneaking behind the adopters' backs in order to visit us. I know THAT scenario all too well!

The term "birthmother" means "former mother, a mother for breeding purposes only." It is a vile insult. Too bad that CUB decided to use it without realizing its true meaning, what Marietta Spencer and Annette Barran and the other "Positive Adoption Language"-promoting baby-brokers knew it meant. Because they and adopters such as Pearl S. Buck knew EXACTLY what it meant, and they were probably overjoyed that natural moms were telling the world that they were content with being "no longer mothers."

Robin, you are a mother, not a birthmother, because you are STILL a mother. You cannot be a mother AND a birthmother because one excludes the other. Like being alive or dead. If you are alive, you cannot be dead. Dead means "previously alive."

And yes, my child now calls me Mom. And wants to shed all legal ties with her captors, her "care-givers." She says that I am her mother. The bond between us is nothing unusual, nothing special, yet everything sacred and special. I am her Mother.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

My daughter and my blog

Not that this is a very active blog, but six months after starting it, i finally told my daughter about it. Don't know why I hadn't told her about it before. Well, she was positive about it, and said she liked it. She said she thought it was a good place for me to post my writings. But she did then give me a serious look and ask if I really did feel like roadkill. I said yes, I do. I really do. As my friend A. says, "They killed us inside, left us the walking dead when they took our babies." I can watch extreme horror films without flinching, as that type of horror -- that type of living death and dismemberment -- is what they did to my soul the moment they took my child from me. I face that horror, live with it, every single day, the moment i look inside myself.

As a friend of mine, Vicki, once said,
"I have never lost a child to death other than miscarriages, so I may not know what I am speaking of, but I feel no-one comes close to our grief but the woman whose child was taken by a stranger. They are in the same limbo, dead or alive? Remember, when my child was taken there was no such thing as reunions. No reunion shows on TV or in the paper. No slip of paper was offered to me to sign in case my child comes to the adoption agency and wants to find me 20 years later. ... He was gone, just gone. Gone forever. ... forever ... I still went to fairs, etc. to sit on the bench to look at babies, toddlers, kids, to look and see if I thought I saw my baby ... They wrecked my life. They killed me that day. They just didn't bury me. That was their mistake."

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Trauma of Disembabyment

Why aren't mothers protected? Why are we NEVER told about the emotional devastation that we'll face? Why are we told that we'll "get over it"????

This is from . The New South Wales gov't is mandating that mothers considering surrender be told about the emotional consequences! Why are these kept from us? The NSW Law Reform Commission is a Department of the NSW Attorney General's Department. All QC's and lawyers etc. They are referring to what the mother should be warned of as part of her pre relinquishing counselling and the content of that mandatory written infomration to be included in the new NSW Adoption Act 2000.

"Report 81 (1997) - Review of the Adoption of Children Act 1965 (NSW)

Chapter 5 - Consent to Adoption. section - 5.76 page, 159

5.76 The birth parents' pamphlet should place more emphasis on the psychological effects the relinquishment can have on birth mothers both in the short term and, more particularly, the long term. Serious attention is now being given to the link between relinquishment and the development of post-traumatic stress disorder in birth mothers.59 The range of psychological effects of relinquishment could be detailed specifically. The written information should direct birth parents to contact numbers for counselling and birth parent support groups, members of which have experienced relinquishment."

And the reference 59 they're talking about? It is an article entitled “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Birth Mothers” (Wells, 1993) in Adoption and Fostering. "One survey of 300 British birth mothers suggested that the trauma experienced at the loss of their child may be lifelong. Almost 50% felt that their physical health had been affected and almost all felt their mental health had been affected and that this has in turn affected other personal relationships. Intensive traumatic responses were linked to feelings of not having participated actively in decision-making and having no information about the child after relinquishment."


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Late Discovery Adoptees

Just when you think that people who take newborns away from vulnerable, naive and powerless mothers can't get any more evil, you find out that sometimes they can. The issue is that of Late Discovery Adoptees. Lie to the child their whole life about where they came from, who their natural family is, who their Bloodkin are.

"Blood is thicker than paper."

The next Adoption Show is about Late Discovery Adoptees, people who were lied to by their captors about who they were, distinctly to keep them from searching. If you want to see adopter paranoia about the dreaded Natural Family of their abdoptee, here it is. Along with NCFA, a league of baby brokers and adopters who fight to keep records closed. They say that they care. They tell their adoptees that they support their searches (yeah, right up until the 2nd visit with the natural mother, then ALL support vanishes when it looks like post-reunion contact will be ongoing). Right. Tell another lie to us.

"Late Discovery"
"Long Deceived"
"Lied-to Directly"
"Lied-to Diligently"
"Leashed by Deception" ...

THE ADOPTION SHOW: Voices Ending the Myth...
Click "Listen"
Sunday July 9, 2006 @ 8:30 PM EST
Please visit The Adoption Show web site!
Topic for July 9th: Late Discovery Adoptees

"I really know nothing more criminal, more mean, and more ridiculous than lying. It is the production either of malice, cowardice, or vanity; and generally misses of its aim in every one of these views; for lies are always detected, sooner or later." -Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773), Guests...

One of the abductees ... oops adoptees ... interviewed on this show is Noreen Talbot Hunter (born Dorothy Louise Hunter), who found out she was adopted at the age of 49. Noreen was devastated upon learning she was not related to the only family she had ever known, and was just as shocked when she tried to obtain the information about her (natural) family and was told it was against the law for her to know her mother, father or anything about her true identity. Noreen is still searching for her mother and story.

So, if you really think that people who adopt do it for the sake of the child, think again. Anyone who is so selfish as to leave their ward in the dark about where they came from certainly hasn't adopted for the child's sake. They most certainly did it for purely selfish reasons. Like my child's adopters who told me after reunion that I was NOT her mother and that she had only one mother and one father: Them. Those who can steal but cannot share, who expect us to hand over everything to them but cannot share 50/50 again even though they have the child all to themselves for 20 years. Fairness? It does not exist in adoption. Never has, and never will. They tortured her for 4 hours one night as punishment for her saying to them that she considered me to be a mother to her. No, they said, that was the WRONG answer. This torture took 2 yrs of counselling and support groups for her to recover from. And they are a typical adoptive family, in their own estimation.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Death By Adoption: Joss Shawyer (1979)

If you ever get a chance to read this book, get it. Out of print now, it woke up a lot of people when it was first published (1979) and it is just as true today as it was then. This is the opening paragraph of the first chapter:
"Adoption is a violent act, a political act of aggression towards a woman who has supposedly offended the sexual mores by committing the unforgivable act of not suppressing her sexuality, and therefore not keeping it for trading purposes through traditional marriage. The crime is a grave one, for she threatens the very fabric of our society. The penalty is severe. She is stripped of her child by a variety of subtle and not so subtle manoeuvres and then brutally abandoned." - Joss Shawyer, Death by Adoption, Cicada Press (1979)

Your opinions

Not that i don't care, gentle readers, that you are probably reading this blog and have opinions on it. I'm not just here to argue them with you. Feel free to discuss this blog elsewhere. Link to it, bring up the topic on your discussion boards and email groups. Go right ahead. Discuss away! But no, I actually won't be reading your emails, and nor will I be switching the setting so you can comment.

If you are a natural parent or adopted person who needs emotional support, who is suffering adoption-separation trauma, disembabyment, the theft of your identity, the search for your lost family member(s), then I definitely recommend you visit MSN Adoptese, a great board run by a great therapist, Joe Soll. Buy his two books on Adoption Healing, and you won't regret it.

I admire bloggers such as Claudia who don't mind arguments and debates breaking out in her blog. More power to her! But I just don't have the time in my life to address all your comments, questions, opinions, etc. -- house, job, school, my children (3 of whom have learning disabilities), a disabled elderly mother, and a disabled neice that I try to help as much as I can. It all takes time. Nevermind my own PTSD, unresolved grief, and depression that I struggle with every day. So, please feel free to discuss this blog, find a nice place and a cup of tea and go right ahead. It just won't be in a "comments" section here.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

International Adoption: Same game, different name

On another blog, someone pointed out to me that indeed infant adoptions do happen freqently in Australia, they are just of babies poached internationally. Quite right, i should have said that of "domestic infant adoptions," very few occur in Australia (will cover this in another blog entry). Yes, Australians are plundering poorer nations at the same rate as do other wealthy whites ... Canadians, Americans, Swedes, Brits, Germans ... just like through colonization we exploited Third World nations' resources and their labor, we now take their babies. It is sad. Adoption is the exploitation of those who don't have the power to keep their babies in the face of human rights abuses.

And the real oxymoron is that people who are aware of human rights abuses and exploitation, who are aware of how much damage the last 4 centuries of colonization has done to non-white nations, are oblivious to how they are carrying on the same pattern, the same exploitation. Happily bringing home that African, Korean, or Guatamalan baby, they forget entirely about the family whose only way of feeding their baby was to bring it to the American-funded orphanage ... The cost of an international adoption can be tens of thousands of dollars paid to lawyers, baby-brokers, "donations" to the orphanage, etc. This money, if given to the natural family, would prevent their dismemberment in the first place!

Many mothers visit their children in these orphanages when they are allowed to, heart-broken about having to put them there in the first place. A REAL orphan has NO living family! No mother or father, no grandparents, no aunts or uncles. No-one. A child with family living, family who have been denied their basic human rights, is not an "orphan" and does not need another substitute family. They need their own family, and nowhere does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights state that a child is not a human and does not deserve the same rights.

You'll still have to wait ....

Not much activity here on the blog. I admit it. Want to know nose-to-the-grindstone studying? Take a master's degree. So, you'll have to wait until the end of classes until I get back to writing more. Until then, I'd like to post a quote from the site "Transracial Abductees" :

"Abduction is the word we like better than adoption. "Adoption" conceals the unequal power between abductors and abductees, and in the abduction industry in general."

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

good morning

I always liked the subtitle for "Aliens" -- in space, no-one can hear you scream. so appropriate. everyone thinks that surrendering a baby to adoption is happy happy happy. or at least, that the women who do it are so cold and heartless that they don't feel the pain anyway. or that if they do, then they are flawed and neurotic if they don't just "get over it" and "move on with their lives." Now, who the fuck can REALLY "get on with their lives"?

If adoption is such a wonderful thing, which of your children would YOU like to give away to strangers???