Call for Signatures — Letter to President Obama, et al, From Family Preservation Advocate and The USA Adoption Community

Re-post with permission from Family Preservation Advocate Blogspot, at:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

 Call for Signatures

 I am hoping to get individuals and organizations to sign on to this letter. 

To sign, please send an email to with your name, connection to adoption, location and a brief comment, if you’d like.  Please pass the word via email lists, blogs, Facebook…

TO:        President Barack Obama
              First Lady Michelle Obama
              Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton
              Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius

RE:        Adoption Practices

FROM: The Adoption Community

Now that Haiti has declared a moratorium on the post quake rush to adopt its children, we must continue to protect the Haitian children from any continued hasty removals by predatory groups who might fly in once the airports re-open to scoop up children, no matter how well-intentioned, as we reflect on the course of future adoption practices.

Those of us whose lives have been irrevocably shaped by adoption offer our personal insight and ask you to listen to our voices and painfully gained wisdom. Adoption can provide a caring and safe home, but must always put the best interests of children first. Adoption should always be about finding homes for orphans and children who have no family members able and willing to provide safe care.  Unfortunately it has become more focused on finding babies or children to fill a demand of those able to pay high fees to obtain a child. Thus, for the sake of all children:

* We beseech lawmakers to not be influenced by lobbyists for the multi-billion-dollar adoption industry or by the religiously based organizations and agencies, no matter how well-intentioned, who wish to use the redistribution of children for financial gain or to recruit members of their faith. Follow the advice of child welfare experts and NGOs with no motivation other than what is truly best for children.

 * We call for an end to federal programs that promote and encourage adoption, e.g. tax credits,  Children in foster care are being used as pawns to get such laws enacted and renewed and then be left behind while prospective parents use tax credits to adopt from elsewhere.

 * We encourage the formation of a federal department of Family Preservation that would allocate funds to help families in temporary crisis, whether financial or otherwise, receive the assistance they need to remain intact. Programs such as in-home care have proven highly successful and more cost effective than foster care removals which put children into high risk situations. 

 * We seek federal protection of the constitutional right to parent one’s own children that are currently being violated by state laws such as Putative Father Registries.

 * We insist on restoration of the rights of all adopted persons in regard to the discrimination they face in accessing their own birth certificate. We demand that the Federal government prevent states from issuing falsified birth certificates that state that adopted children are born to their adoptive parents, and that often change not just their names but their date and place of birth. This is state committed fraud and violates the basic right of every human to their identity. 



1. Mirah Riben, mother who lost a child to adoption, New Jersey

2. Gaye Tannenbaum, New York adoptee

3. Caroline Collins, adult adoptee currently living in Texas

4. Aileen Brown, Mother that lost her baby to the adoption industry at 16 years old and ignorant of the effects adoption would do to herself and lost child, who would like to prevent it from happening to other families, Wisconsin

5. Rosalind Maya Lama, Lost a child to the foster care and adoption industry in New York
currently reside in California

6. Cathi Robinson, Natural Mother, Missouri

7. Roe Ruggerio Callahan, Philadelphia, PA

8. Amanda Woolston, Tennessee Adoptee residing in Pennsylvania

9. Bonnie Taylor, WV. Birthname (Teresa Elaine McKinsey) Born in York PA, adopted in Baltimore, MD Found birthfather (Gary Lee McKinsey-deceased), still searching for birthmother (Juanita Carson-McKinsey-Dunkelbarger-?Brashear).

10. Hannah Hope, natural mother, Essex, UK

11. Amy L. Loring – Lima, NY – Natural Mother

12. Celeste Billhartz, adoptee, Ohio

13. Samantha Franklin, Reunited Adult Adoptee, Oklahoma

14. Janet Sousa,  adoptee and search angel.  Owner of The Eyes Wide Open Registry, an online Emergency Medical Locators for Adoptee’s registry – Tampa, FL

15. Robert Wilson Harrington McCullough Haight, adopted person, Missouri, still denied access to his Original Birth Certificate

16. Lorraine Dusky, reunited natural mother in New York

17. Sandy Blais, Adoptee – Canada – please it is time to stop repeating the mistakes of the past that we should have already learned from.

18. Susan Gill, reunited natural mother, Nebraska

19. Laurie Staley, Michigan adoptee, adoptive mom

20. Alyce M. Jenkins, adoptive mother and adoptive/family rights advocate , NJ

21. Mari Steed, Intercountry adopted adult (Ireland, reunited); Birthmother, Pennsylvania sealed-records system (reunited)

22. Rupert Wolfe Murray

23. Dana Lowrey, adopted person, mother to a son lost to adoption, Reunited with all family members, Roseville California

24. Theresa Hood, Pennsylvania-born adoptee residing in New York, denied access to my original birth certificate

25. Barbara Pasternak, CT. I’m a Mother who had no choice when I lost my son to adoption 50 years ago. An adoptee is not, should not, be a commodity.

26. Bonnie Parmelee, mother to a son relinquished in late 80’s, happily reunited. NY

27. Julie Kelly (reunited adult adoptee) Vancouver WA

28. Lori Trevino, reunited natural mother, Wisconsin

29. Ibbaanika Bond, a natural mother of a child on which an adoption was unsuccessfully attempted.
Kansas City, Mo.

30. Joan M Wheeler, birthname Doris M Sippel, New York Adoptee reunited 36 years,  I’m a half orphan, but sealed and amended birth certificate laws are meant to hide illegitimacy. I did not need to be “legitimized” by adoption. I needed to be raised with full knowledge of, and socialization with, my siblings, and father. Guardianship, not adoption; Family Preservation, not family separation.

31. Mara Rigge, Trinidad, California, Adoptee, Reunited With Natural Mother.

… … … … … …

As the author of this blog, Forbidden Family, and the author of the Book by the same name (see Widget at the Left) in which I state very similar legislative proposals on a Federal Level, I, Joan M Wheeler, suggest to add the following (no, this is not a contest as to who gets the prize for “winning” — this is to say that many of us have been saying the same thing for decades, without being heard). My proposals for Federal Legislation or a Constitutional Amendment are paraphrased from my book:

 –         to the proposed Federal Department of Family Preservation: whether financial or otherwise, Please add: “to protect our own domestic half and full orphans…”

 –         after Putative Fathers Registries, Please add: “and federal guidelines to discourage religious and social service programs (Crisis Pregnancy Centers) that encourage the relinquishment of infants from young mothers.”

 –         after, We seek federal protection of the constitutional right to parent one’s own children, Please add: “We seek federal protection of the constitutional right to our name at birth and our birth certificate at birth, and the right to be raised by our parents with our sibling groups intact.”


–          “We seek federal protection to promote legal Guardianship instead of adoption to protect a child’s right to her name at birth, birth certificate at birth, and the legal right to continued social contact with parents, siblings, and extended family.”

 It might be helpful to add that the Amended Birth Certificate issued at the finalization of adoption should be an Adoption Certificate that details facts of adoption.