Adoptee Activists Revolt Against Adoption in USA and Globally

The following article was published online at Huffington Post on October 29, 2017. Written by Angela Barra co-authored by Dr Hannele Nupponen, Why #Adoptee Activists Are Reclaiming National Adoption Awareness Month (NAAM 2017) #AdopteeRightsAwareness!” states that “Adoptee issues and rights are often ignoredaddresses the points lost by most people.

It’s true. Society clings onto the praise and glorification of adopters who are seen as “saving children” from poverty, crime, or abusive parents. At the same time, society ignores the rights of the very children who are adopted. These children grow into adults who have no recourse to gain back their lost human and civil rights.

The article reads, in part:

“It’s that time of year again, National Adoption Awareness Month, where you will hear emotive catch cries via glossy marketing campaigns in the mainstream media by lobbyists. You will see celebrities spruiking the word permanency which appears to be the new euphemism for adoption. You will hear dire accounts of children being shifted around foster care and how permanency (including adoption), will be the panacea.

Further, and inexplicably, what you may not hear throughout this month is the voice of adult adoptee activists who speak about a range of issues including but not limited to:

  1. How adoptee issues and rights are ignored. What are these? According to the Australian Adoptee Rights Action Group (note that some American Activists are also members) these rights include:”

Follow this link to read the full article.

Exposing “Mothers Against Anti Adoption”

I had never heard of the Facebook page, “Mothers Against Anti Adoption,” so when an adoptee posted a link to one of their posts, I was surprised.

 

“Mothers Against Anti Adoption” added two new photos, each a meme:

 

A discussion followed. Some anti-adoption people commented. Some of their comments were deleted.

“Mothers Against Anti Adoption” posted this comment:

“There are literally THOUSANDS of success stories that I’m sure our members are willing to share. It’s not that we don’t think there are also bad experiences – that is the case with virtually everything in this world. But again, disparaging people who have had positive experiences is counterproductive to your underlying message. That being one of awareness and education about the POSSIBILITY of trauma resulting from adoption and perhaps how to avoid it by openly discussing these issues with your child/children.”

To which I say, as with other pro-adoption groups and individuals, “Mothers Against Anti Adoption” uses either/or thinking and black/white thinking when pointing out the “success stories” in adoption to compare with the “bad experiences” of anti-adoptionists. They gloss over the trauma every adoptee experiences at separation from mother at birth, claiming that there is “the POSSIBILITY of trauma resulting from adoption”. They do not want to deal with the real issues.

After reading the back and forth dialogue, I added my comment on Thursday Oct 5, 2017:

My mother died when I was 3 months old. A priest convinced my father that “the baby needs two parents” so, when a woman he did not know approached him at his wife’s wake, he followed up with her offer. She said to my father, “I know someone who will take your baby”. This woman’s brother became my adoptive father. I grew up an only child, loved, and loved back; until the truth was made known to me at age 18 (in 1974) when I was found by 4 older full blood siblings who lived 6 miles from me. My birth certificate was voided and sealed, a new one falsely states that I (in my adopted name) was born to the two people named, in the hospital in which no medical birth records would be found under these names. There is no reason why I lost my identity, lost my entire family, and then was (and still am) ridiculed and harassed for over 40 years because I rebelled against adoption. Before her death in 2011 at age 95, my adoptive mother understood that adoptees’ birth certificates should never be annulled and replaced. But she has never apologized for removing me from my family. No, open adoption is not the answer. Why? Because adopters still want to replace the child’s real parents. You can’t. Nature provided us life and inheritance. My real mother died at age 30, fully believing she was my mother. How cruel to remove her as my legal mother. I will fight every day of my life to end this horrible global institution of modern adoption. All you want is to have the experience of parenting – and while you gloat, you leave a trail of destruction in your wake. I am not harassing you; rather, I am educating you on the realities of adoption.

A day later, my comment was removed. So I re-posted it. “Mothers Against Anti Adoption” deleted it immediately and blocked me. They could not be bothered addressing the trauma and issues I brought to their attention.

This is a group of legally-appointed guardians of other people’s children who want to “combat online harassment of eMoms [expectant mothers], HAPs [hopeful adoptive parents] & adoptees targeted by anti-adoption”.  See their “About” page here.

Their goal is to report Anti-Adoption Facebook groups that they claim harass “hopeful adoptive parents” (HAPs) and adoptive parents, eMoms (expectant mothers), and “happy” adoptees. The truth is that they simply do not like what we have to say.

So, in writing this blog post, it is my goal to expose “Mothers Against Anti Adoption” and their faulty beliefs.

I’ll begin by addressing new eMoms who are proud to be “birthmoms” after agreeing to pre-birth matching and then gave away their newborns to waiting PAPs (pre adoptive parents). Your decision is not brave, nor is it loving. If adoption is so wonderful, then all parents should give away their children at birth so that better parents can be found as replacements. Your child will certainly be confused by your loving decision to give away your baby out of “love”.

 

For all of you “happy” and “well-adjusted” adoptees who criticize those of us who are “not happy” and “angry”, I have news for you. While you hide behind your cozy façade of happiness, of financial security, and of denial of the truth, those of us who are aware of the issues can see how very fragile you really are. One of these days you will realize what adoption took from you, and the cold, hard reality will hit you like it hit us.

 

Anti-adoption adoptees are angry at the system, and at the policies, and at the attitudes and ignorance of those who glorify adoption. Adoptees who have come out of the fog are the experts who have survived displacement from our families. We survived government-enforced identity erasure and replacement due to the revocation and falsification of our birth certificates.

I’ve written extensively on adoptees’ birth certificates and identity theft, and so have other people who are referenced these articles here, here, and here. I present my own medical record of live birth and my amended birth certificate in this blog post.

Adoptees continue our fight to access our now-sealed birth certificates. (AAC – American Adoption Congress and Bastard Nation, to name two proactive organizations). Many more people, adoptees, natural parents, some adoptive parents, and professionals advocate for the legal practice of erasing our identities to stop altogether.

 

Despite the growing numbers of adoptees who are rising up against these inhumane practices, we are continually beaten down by those who do not approve that we are speaking out against the institution of adoption. We are seen as ungrateful brats who must be silenced.

 

On Sunday October 8, 2017, I returned from a church service in which the speaker wrote and delivered a sermon on “Invisible People.” John Snodgrass spoke on

“…people who have long been forced into ‘social invisibility’ because of their race, gender or sexuality. In recent years, many of these people have been emerging into social visibility, inspiring a heated cultural debate about who gets to be socially and politically visible.”

John Snodgrass addressed the separate but equal social practices that segregated American black people from white people. He highlighted how women struggled for the right to vote, and even now we struggle to gain wage equality with men. The plight of gays and lesbians to gain marriage equality is now the law of the land. Native Americans have recently lost their fight against an oil pipeline through their land.

 

I will add here that Native peoples fought for hundreds of years against white supremacy that not only took away their lands, but also took away their children. We whites bullied our way throughout the Americas, slaughtered Native people, and enslaved African natives.

 

The ending message of Sunday’s sermon was one of unity, of how we can start to see ourselves in people we might see as “other”, to see their humanity, and they, in turn, can begin to see themselves in us. We are all one people, one human race. We ought to be seeing each other with open eyes, treating each other with dignity and respect, instead of derision and oppression.

 

Though the gist of the sermon was meant to bring about a consciousness-raising awareness of invisible people who are traditionally thought of as invisible, I, being an adopted person, saw two classes of people who have been continually invisible for generations: mothers and fathers who have lost their children to adoption, and adoptees.

 

When the service was over and we broke into small groups for discussion, I sat with two women. One said she was worried about a 16 year old girl who came to Canada as a refugee, moved to New York State across the Niagara River separating Canada and United States. This woman’s daughter is now in the process of adopting this 16 year old girl. While she hoped, for the girl’s sake, that she would be protected from deportation along with her family, she was concerned that her daughter will be breaking up an existing family if and when the adoption goes through. She said,

“I don’t’ approve of this adoption. Yes, of course, I will love her as my granddaughter should it happen, but I would rather that this teenager stay with her family. The family stands a chance of being deported, but at least they will continue to be a family, parents with their 16 year old daughter.”

This is a humanist approach to adoption.

The other woman disclosed to me that her partner had completed suicide some time ago. She did so because she couldn’t cope with the guilt she felt all these years. At the age of 16, she had been forced by her parents to give up her first born child, a boy, at birth. He was adopted away from his mother. Her parents disowned her; they shammed her for getting pregnant. Even though it was not her fault, this mother never forgave herself.

 

That son and grandson is now a grown man, an adoptee.

 

If you are a man who was born on June 16, 1966 in the Buffalo, New York area, please contact me via my website contact form. There is a woman who loved your mother who would like to meet you and tell you about your mother.

 

But this adoptee may not know he is adopted. And that is another tragedy that many adoptees face – to be told about their adoption late in life. Some may never know they are adopted.

 

It is for people like this invisible mother and son, and that 16 year old girl who may be adopted to stay in America with a new adoptive mother while her parents face deportation, that I continue my fight against the multi-billion adoption industry.

 

This is not an isolated mother and son. Sometimes, mothers of adoption loss do complete suicide because, well, they lost their child. Forces out of their control told them that they are too young or not worthy to raise their own children.

 

In just one example, the mother of a child relinquished to an open adoption killed herself when she found out that the adoptive mother of her child wrote a book instructing other pre-adoptive parents to follow her advice. The book, Fast Track Adoption: The Faster, Safer Way to Privately Adopt a Baby; How to Quickly Adopt a Child-and at Less Expense, was written by Susan Burns, Psy.D., and was published in 2003.

 

Among the appalling advice given in this book, on page 220, is author Susan Burns’ advice for worried HAPs (Hopeful Adoptive Parents):

 

“Before your birth mother is discharged from the hospital she will be asked to complete the baby’s birth certificate. Don’t worry if she records a name different from the one you have selected. A new birth certificate will be issued once the adoption is approved by the court. The new certificate will replace the original one and will indicate your choice of names.”

Does anyone else see that this is totally negating the actual facts of birth? To knowingly and willingly re-name the child is to obliterate the child’s true name. This is a direct attack upon the person-hood of that individual who has the natural right to be who she or he was born to be. To knowingly and willingly erase the child’s true parentage, is not only re-writing actual facts, it is creating false-facts that are demeaning to both the child and the actual mother. The actual mother is stricken from the official record of birth in favor the woman who is adopting her infant. The mother and father become invisible. By intent, the child’s true natural-born identity becomes invisible.

Many adoptees complete suicide as well because the pain of being adopted is too great. Adoptees belong to two families, but many adoptees are shunned, ridiculed, bullied, misunderstood, harassed, betrayed, snubbed, told we should be grateful we were not aborted, told we should feel this way or that way, told what we should or should not do. Many adoptees are held as domestic slaves, taking care of menial tasks and laughed at like Cinderella. Some of us were orphaned and made to feel we owe our very lives to those who took us in. If our adoptive parents didn’t drive in the point, then our extended adoptive relatives took turns verbally reprimanding us. Some adoptees are brutally murdered by their adopters.

 

Yes, “Mothers Against Anti Adoption” will throw it in my face that natural parents torture and murder their children. Yes, that is true. But it is even more barbaric to seek out vulnerable children to prey upon, knowing that the very reason you want to adopt someone else’s child is to sexually molest or rape them, impregnate them, or torture and murder them.

 

In addressing you who are admins of the Facebook page “Mothers Against Anti Adoption”, I say this: You do not like what we anti-adoptionists have to say about adoption so you try to shut us down by reporting our pages to Facebook in an effort to silence us. Do you think you can shut down or censor a growing global movement? You think you can silence us when we are gathering strength in numbers in many countries. We are changing the landscape of adoption. We are reclaiming our names of birth. We are annulling our adoptions. We are standing up for our human and civil rights.

 

Being anti-adoption is pro-family, pro-woman, pro-child and pro-equality. We support pregnant mothers, educate them on the one-sided approach to adoption you advocate, and give them safe alternatives to help them keep their babies. We also support fathers whose babies have been given up for adoption without their knowledge or consent.

 

We are the victims of adoption. You are the benefactors of adoption.

 

You claim that love equals parenthood, that your adoption decree, new birth certificate, and your love for a stranger’s child supersedes the natural love a mother has for her child, that the fathers are naturally devoid of love for the children they sired. You claim that the love you feel for someone else’s child replaces the child’s natural parents, that you have the right to behave and believe as if you are that child’s ONLY mother. You believe that the babies and older children you covet do not have a natural connection to their parents of conception and birth.

 

These beliefs are signs that you live in a fantasy world. Adoption creates a delusional world. You don’t see it because you want to believe that adoption is salvation. As adopters, adoption is beneficial for you; you’ve got the baby.

 

So that you may know what the victims and survivors of adoption experience, and that you may know a little bit of the delusional cognitive distortion and cognitive dissonance created by adoption, I will re-post something that the Facebook group, “Is Adoption Trauma”, posted. The organization, Origins Inc., is credited as the source of this quote:

 

“Mothers Against Anti Adoption”, your Facebook group targets “Is Adoption Trauma” in your fight against those of us who have been traumatized by adoption.

 

“Mothers Against Anti Adoption”, you dismiss our trauma. Go ahead, demean us. Your adoptlings will eventually see what you truly are and judge you by your character and your selfish intent. You can try to silence us, to humiliate us, but you will not win.

 

You will be, or are, social and legal parents to the children of mothers and fathers who, for whatever reason, gave up those children. For the duration of their childhood, you will be entrusted to take care of the children of others. If you do not tell the truth, if you belittle the natural parents of the children in your care, if you lie and deceive, if your names are on a new, amended birth certificate, if you renamed the child, then you are guilty of some of the atrocities we anti-adoptionists fight against. Be careful, your little adoptling may grow up to resent adoption, just like we do.

 

If your adoptees adore adoption and they continue to drink the Kool-Aid, that does not make it alright. Adoptees who have not yet come out of the fog to their own self-realization will continue to spout adoption’s platitudes. Or, they may be too afraid to come out of the closet to personally and publicly stand up for themselves.

 

“Mothers Against Anti Adoption”, shame on you. The shame belongs solely upon you for destroying families so that you can create your “own” through selfish means and by legally erasing reality. You are the ones who want a baby to call your “own” by means of legal kidnapping and by revocation and replacing the facts of birth of the child you claim to love. No loving parent would do such cruel things to an innocent child. You are the ones who are inhumane. You are the ones who are bullying us by not listening to us or seeing the evidence we place in front of you.

In a very timely article published October 1, 2017 on Huffington Post, author and natural mother, Mirah Riben, writes in “Predatory Adoption Practices: What is an Adotoraptor?” that

“Predatory adoptions are generally those arranged through “baby brokers.” These can be adoption agencies – both for and not-for profit – or attorneys or adoption facilitators who find loopholes in the patchwork of state laws and encourage practices such as advising mothers-to-be to move out of state – often to Utah – and/or to lie to the baby’s father or withhold information about the mother’s plans to place their child for adoption.

Those who pay for and agree to such services are predatory adopters and prospective adopters. …

… With eyes glazed over, focused on the brass ring, the prize, the “desperate to adopt” (as many define themselves, sharing their “painful journey” through infertility treatments) – along with the adoption practitioners who profit from the transfer of children, as well as society at large – justify “gray” and “black” adoption practices by making themselves believe that the end justifies the means. They perpetuate the myth that adoption is a win-win and that the children will be “better off” with their newly created families than with those they were born into, no matter how obviously loving and capable the actual parents are.”

“Mothers Against Anti Adoption”, I urge you to broaden your own personal understanding of adoption. You are uninformed and as such, you attack those of us who are anti-adoption without comprehending why we are opposed to adoption. Once you open your eyes, you might begin to see the personal pain of adoptions’ victims, you might see the moral and ethical problems in adoption, and the legal contradictions that adoption’s invisible people endure.

By your own words, you paint yourselves as obsessed baby-grabbers. So are these HAPs, Jeremy and Jenny, and this adopter who sent me a private message on Facebook pleading with me to take down the post I wrote about Jeremy and Jenny advertising to adopt.

I recommend that you read An open letter to APs, PAPs, and anyone who has even considered adoption”

In closing, modern adoption is a punishing and corrupt institution that should be replaced with family preservation, kinship care, and legal guardianship.

My Response to Jeremy and Jenny Advertising to Adopt in Yard Sales and Trades

Dear Jeremy and Jenny,

I saw your ad on April 24, 2017 posted in Tri-Cities, TN, Yard Sales, Trades & Wanted, with the title “Loving Couple Hoping to Adopt.” So good of you to include your telephone number, your email address, your website and your Facebook page. This is advertising to take another woman’s baby from her. Other words used to describe advertising to adopt are: trolling for children, child trafficking, kidnapping. You are instructed to use coercive language to convince a pregnant teen or young woman that she is not able to parent her own child.

Even though you say you know adoptees and see how they have bonded with their adoptive families, I thought you might want to hear from an adoptee to tell you the other side of adoption, the side you do not want to see.

The both of you may or may not be aware that there is such a thing as the adoption reform movement. We consist of mothers-of-adoption-loss and adoptees, lawyers, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, clergy and many of us are authors who have been rising up against the established adoption practices of modern America since our movement began in 1953.

But you don’t care, you just want a baby. Any baby will do. And while you are coveting someone else’s baby, these are the words of a friend of mine who posted a link to the following article just last night on Facebook: “So you think this is far-fetched? Does this not describe the adoption and surrogacy industry? To a ‘T’.” She is referring to this article: We Live in the Reproductive Dystopia of “The Handmaid’s Tale”  http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/we-live-in-the-reproductive-dystopia-of-the-handmaids-tale

I suggest you read this article as the both of you have a lot to learn. But I doubt if you will take the time necessary to attempt to comprehend the magnitude of what you want to do to destroy a family so that you could have that baby of your dreams.

Me, I am a 61 year old adopted woman. I was raised as an only child by a father and a mother who did not want me to ever know the truth. They willfully kept me away from my full blood siblings. Yes, they knew the whole truth, but they wanted a child all to themselves. They got what they wanted. I was the innocent child who knew nothing. I loved my parents with every fiber of my being.

Until I was 18 in 1974. That’s when I was found by my full blood siblings: three sisters and a brother. We also had two step brothers, two step sisters, and a baby half-brother. (The add-ons were from our father’s subsequent marriages.) My siblings told me that I was the youngest of five children born to our mother. Our father told me that his wife, my mother, was dying while pregnant with me. Her body tried to survive so I was born early at 32 weeks gestation. My mother died three months later.

A Catholic priest told my father to give the baby (me) to two parents. He did. He kept the other four children, and got married to a woman he knew in high school. I will believe what my father told me the day we met. He said that the priest told him “the baby needs two parents”. My father made the choice to give me to a married couple he chose because he was a very religious man and followed the advice of his parish priest.

I was in the middle of two families. Everyone had their own versions of what happened. To my extended adopted family, most aunts and uncles thought I was disloyal to my adoptive parents. A few of my adoptive relatives were kind and compassionate, comforting me as they could see how traumatized I was at learning the truth in the way it was presented to me. My natural blood family also did not know how to proceed with a reunion as there were no guide books back then. I was the one in the middle, caught in the crossfire. Both sides expected me to be what I was not. I have had absolutely no contact for nearly 40 years with the sisters who found me. I want it that way.  Not because I am against reunion, but because they are cruel, insanely vicious people. Today, there are only a few cousins from both families who truly love me, and I them.

Yes, my childhood was filled with joy, because I was a child. There were times, though, that I felt different. I was alone. Deep down, I knew I was not alone. But I was not allowed to know.

My innocent childhood was over the day I was contacted by my eldest sister who knew where I was for ten years before making that first phone call. I felt violated. I had no privacy. Everyone knew about me but I was the one who was not allowed to know the secret. No one cared how I felt.  They were all too busy telling me how to feel and what I should do.

As a direct result of my reunion and the shock of all the lies my adoptive parents told me, and of all the hate heaped upon me, I became an activist and have been one since 1974. I have fought ever since against the laws that stole my birth certificate. I speak out against social and legal prejudice that marks adoptees as ungrateful and allows people like yourselves to troll for babies to adopt by advertising to lure a pregnant teen or young adult into your clutches.

Jenny and Jeremy, you desire a baby. So what? You have each other. You are both alive. My mother DIED at age 30! My mother DIED so that I could make my adopters HAPPY. I would rather have had my dead mother back to life and my siblings and my father as a family than the life full of lies and deceit, scapegoating, and loneliness I was forced to live because of adoption.

My mother’s name was Genevieve. They called her Gene. (I also see Genetics in her name. How appropriate.) They also called her Genny.

Jenny, how does the similarity in names feel? Kinda gets ya, or at least it should, Jenny. If she had lived, my mother (not my birthmother, my MOTHER, Genny) would be 90 years old now.

And, for the record, with all the fighting my adoptive mother caused between us, she always spoke of my mother as “your mother” as a sign of respect. Never once did my adoptive mother utter the words “birthmother” or “birthfather”. She always addressed my father as “your father”. To me, my adoptive father was also “my father”, just as my adoptive mother was always “my mother”.

How old are you, Jenny? Can you comprehend the losses I had to live through in the first three months of my life to make it possible for me to make my adoptive parents happy? Isn’t that an incredible burden to place upon one tiny premature infant? And to carry that burden throughout my life? Just to fulfill the desires of a childless couple?

No, I didn’t need a new home. I already had one. I needed my family, not a new, fabricated, one. I didn’t need a new name, or a new birth certificate, I already had a name and a birth certificate.

How much reading have you done on adoption psychology, Jenny and Jeremy? Do you know who Jean Paton was? She was my friend. Do you know who Annette Baron and Ruben Pannor were? They were my friends and colleagues. Look them up. Do you know who Betty Jean Lifton was? She was also my friend and colleague.

Do you know who Joe Soll is? Do you know who Carol Schaefer is? Do you know who Lorraine Dusky is? Do you know who Lori Carangelo is? Why not? Do you know what Americans For Open Records is? Why Not? Do you know who Sandy Musser is? Why not? Do you know who Lee Campbell is? Have you seen her historical videos on YouTube when she appeared on Teh Phil Donahue Show talking about Concerned Untied Birthparents? You don’t? Why Not? Do you know who Mirah Riben is?  Why not? Look up her articles on Huffington Post. You will get a valuable education.

In fact, look up all of these names and you will see that they are authors. Some are adoptees, some are mothers of adoption loss. All of them are pioneers in adoption reform. And there are many, many others who have had the courage to speak out against the discriminatory system of adoption.

If you don’t know who these pioneers in adoption reform were, and are, then you know nothing about adoption. NOTHING.

Have you even been to an International adoption reform conference held by the American Adoption Conference? NO? How about Bastard Nation? NO?

I’ve been attending local and regional adoption support meetings for adoptees since 1975. How about you? I’ve been attending adoption reform conferences since 1976. How about you?

I know thousands of adoptees, mothers-of-adoption-loss from around the world. How about you?

Do you what the Baby Scoop was? Why not?

Do you know what the Stolen Generation was? Why not?

Do you know about the Magdalene Laundries? Why not? I know women who gave birth there, and women and men who were born there, survived, and are looking for their mothers. Do you?

Have you ever read any books on adoption social work and psychology? Adoption law? Have you read any books written by mothers-of-adoption-loss? By adoptees? By fathers? By therapists? NO? Why not?

Oh, yes, this is an important edit I am adding 24 hours after this post was published. Jenny and Jeremy, add this book to your reading list: The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption by Kathryn Joyce. You will really like that one!

Jenny and Jeremy, have you ever really talked with women who have lost their infants at birth through forced adoption? They describe the event of birth and the immediate taking of their womb-fresh newborns as being “de-babbied” and “raped of baby at birth.”

Have you ever thought about what it feels like to an adoptee to celebrate the day they were born by feeling a tremendous sense of loss? Do you know how it feels to know that the day you were born was the day you were removed from the only mother you ever knew as you grew inside her? This thing called adoption prevents the natural order of life itself.

Will the adoption you choose be opened or closed? Open adoptions close all the time because once the adopters get the baby, they run. All the legal papers say the baby is theirs now, by birth, no less, so they close the adoption and leave no forwarding address.

And the child’s birth certificate is changed.

Do you want to start your relationship with someone else’s child you will call your own based on dishonesty, deception, and lies?

Jeremy, you will have nothing to do with siring the child. Jenny, you will not participate in the conception, or pregnancy, or the birth. Therefore, neither one of your names belongs on a birth certificate. But, adoption will provide you that privilege of having your names on a birth certificate for a baby you did not create, but hope to adopt.

Why do you want to participate in government-sanctioned lies?

Does your church promote lies? Is lying a sin?

If you are both honest people, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves for contemplating placing false facts on a birth certificate of a child you did not create.

Jeremy and Jenny, please, turn your desire for someone else’s baby into kindness and sympathy as to what young parents are going though when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Do they need help to keep their family together? Do you really need to pry them apart? Can you help out by being there as friends, as care givers? As legal guardians for a child while the parents figure out what they need to do to pull their lives back together? You can love a child without legally changing the child’s name and birth certificate, or without forcing a child to give up their entire family so that you can have the experience of parenting.

You are pleading for a mother to give up her baby to you. And for a father to be unknown to his child. That is selfish and cruel of you.

Stop. Are you Christian? Would Jesus want you to ask a mother to give up her baby? What kind of people are you? Are you people of faith or are you predators?

Adoptees and mothers-of-adoption-loss have no choice but to accept what was done to us. We work tirelessly, without pay, to make sure not one more mother or father loses their child to predators like you. We work tirelessly, without pay, to change the laws so that we may access the truth of our births that was taken from us.

For adoptees and mothers of loss, we must Radically Accept that adoption has negatively affected us.

Now I am asking YOU to take on what we are told by our therapists: you must meditate and go into full Radical Acceptance of your situation. You must Radically Accept that you cannot have children because of a medical condition. Grabbing up someone else’s child will not cure your medical condition.

Radical Acceptance might cure you of your emotional need to take someone else’s child and pretend that child is yours. You are infertile. Adoption does not cure infertility. Neither does a false birth certificate that declares you sired and gave birth to a child you know you didn’t.

Jeremy and Jenny, the two of you are married. You have each other. You love each other. Be grateful for what you have. Radically Accept your lot in life and face reality. Hold on to each other for the true joy that you have, and then you would not cause others multitudes of lifelong emotional pain. To covet another woman’s child and another man’s child is a sin. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife….

Think about it.

Change your ways.

Repent your sins.

The First Two Christmases of My Life

Today, two days after Christmas 60 years ago, my pregnant mother was taken by bus (my parents did not own a car) to the hospital. She was so sick that she was admitted. Tests were done and, though the doctors knew she was pregnant, they x-rayed her abdomen (so I received a full body dose of x-ray radiation). There, next to me, was a massive tumor. Mom gave birth to me on January 7, 1956, two months prematurely. Mom died on March 28, 1956.

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The following year, just a few weeks before Christmas 1956 and just before my adoption became final, the husband and wife who had custody of me since that April (and who would become my adoptive “parents”) felt sorry for my father and for my four older siblings. “We bought a Christmas tree and presents and drove them over to your father’s house when the kids were asleep, so they would not see us. We wanted them to have a Christmas,” my 89 year old adoptive mother said to me in 2005.

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When I heard this story for the first time in my life, I was seething with rage. While my adoptive “parents” thought they were being kind by giving these charity gifts to a family who was “less fortunate,” what they actually did was give gifts to ease the pain of taking away the baby to keep for their very own.

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Yes, my father relinquished me to adoption, but no one ever offered him help. No one ever thought that the baby might miss her family, or that the siblings might miss their baby sister. Just give the baby a new home and new name and be done with it. What counted most was to provide me with two parents, a new home, and a new life. And to provide a child for a childless married couple who desperately wanted a baby.

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I lived a sheltered life as an only child.

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To say that I felt betrayed when the truth was revealed, is an understatement.

Joan Mary Wheeler

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

 

Announcing the Kindle World Release of FORBIDDEN FAMILY: My Life as an Adoptee Duped By Adoption

I am thrilled to announce the Kindle edition world release of my memoir, Forbidden Family: My Life as an Adoptee Duped by Adoption on Saturday July 18, 2015.

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Raised as an only child of my adoptive parents, when I turned 18 in 1974, I was found by full-blood siblings I was never supposed to know. Less than a year later, I joined Adoptees’ Liberty Movement Association and began researching and writing about adoption. All the while, my adoptive family and natural family opposed my activism.

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Please join me in my journey by picking up your copy of Forbidden Family: My Life as an Adoptee Duped by Adoption today at one of the Kindle online stores listed below.

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Thank you,

Joan Mary Wheeler
Born as
Doris Michol Sippel

“The death of my married mother when I was an infant led to my closed adoption. Eighteen years later, I was found by family I was never supposed to know.”

2015-4-24 Kindle Book Cover.

US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

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Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

The Netherlands: http://www.amazon.nl/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Brazil: http://www.amazon.com.br/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Mexico: http://www.amazon.com.mx/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Spain: http://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

France: http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Germany: http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Italy: http://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

India: http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Japan: http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B00X520CGW?ie=UTF8&tag=forbifamil01-20

Backing Up Mannix Flynn on the Meaning of the Movie “Philomena”

After seeing this movie — Philomena — I now know what the writer of this blog post means. He is dead on: script writing and movie making need to be followed up with social and political action. The writer and star of the movie needs to take this further into real action to put an end to this torture of mother and child, and the millions of women and infants and children torn apart by adoption. When will we stop seeing this as fodder for films, but additionally as an introduction to real social and political change? Get involved! This tragedy did not only happen in Ireland, but all over the world and in domestic America: the Catholic Church stealing babies from girls and women because of the notion of being “fallen women” — punishment for being pregnant outside of marriage. This is barbaric treatment of women and their babies.

Response to Von’s Bitch Slap With Troops on the Ground

This post is written in response to Von’s post today: Bitch Slap.

As for myself, I’ve been using the term “adoption reform” for so long, over 30 years, and it’s only within the past few years that I’ve come to realize it isn’t adoption reform that’s needed. What’s needed is the end to adoption. What’s needed is a soul-searching of the inhuman practice of permanently separating parents and their children and permanently and needlessly separating sibling groups. When the realization hits those who are a part of this horrific chain of separators, they will certainly have a gut-wrenching remorse for what they’ve done. I have seen it. A slow realization for some, and for others, it hits like a ton of bricks. Once the correct words are spoken so as to change the focus of their agency-speak, then those in power experience an awakening and they are changed. And once those regular people who insist on telling me their opinions on adoption, as if those opinions carry more weight than my 57 years of life experience and my research for 39 years, once these people hear my words from the point of view of being the victim of adoption, then I see a change: one person at a time.

 

This soul-searching realization then turns into the awareness that family preservation, kinship care, guardianship and adoption prevention must then become priorities.

 

Beyond that, I’ve achieved one-on-one change by telling ordinary people the facts of adoption that go beyond the destruction of a family to create the “loving option of adoption”. I tell them that every single adoptee in America suffers the confiscation of their birth certificate by the State Government via the Court Judge controlling the adoption and that the Judge then initiates orders to place that birth certificate under protective seal, and then the Judge orders the Registrar of Vital Statistics to create a new, amended birth certificate that replaces the names of the parents of birth with the names of the new adoptive parents as if they gave birth to the child and that child now has a new name on this new birth certificate.

People are stunned. They ask, “They do this? Still?”

I say, “Yes.”

They ask, “Why?

I answer, “Because that’s the way it’s been done since 1930 in America and States aren’t too eager to let adoptees have their true birth certificates. For the States that do ‘allow’ adoptees this ‘privilege’, there are conditions and restrictions because illegitimate bastards aren’t worthy to own the truth of their shameful births. But I’m not illegitimate, yet, I am bound by this archaic law that wipes out all adoptees’ births as if they never happened. And for the two States that never sealed adoptees birth certificates – Kansas and Alaska – those states have been, and still are, falsifying adoptees new birth certificates.”

People then ask me, “I never heard of this. In this day and age, why does anyone care about illegitimacy? Every child is precious.”

I say, “Of course every child is precious, but if you are born to unmarried parents, then the law says you aren’t worthy. And every other way a child becomes adopted – me, a half orphan, full orphans, and step-parent adoptees and foster care adoptees – we all are bound by the law of shame and secrecy. Of course you haven’t heard of this. The government and adoption agencies don’t want you to know. No one is stopping the continued falsification of birth certificates when a child is adopted. It’s all big business. All of it. Adoption agencies and social workers and adoption attorneys and court staff and court judges get paid. And the Registrars of Vital Statistics get paid to seal away a child’s birth rights and then commit fraud and perjury for the sake of doing their jobs.”

People then ask me, “I never realized the scope of this. So what can be done?”

I answer, “Just stop it. Demand that these barbaric practices cease. The whole process of permanently separating families needlessly must end, and, unethical confiscation and sealing of an infant or child’s birth certificate must end, as well as the unethical and fraudulent practice of lying on government documents must end. Now you know what really happens in adoption. People can achieve the same goal – of giving a child who actually needs a home – by promoting family preservation, kinship care and guardianship instead of adoption. You are hearing it from an adoptee. Word of mouth. Go spread the word. You now know the truth and now you must decide: will you join us in the legislative fight to change these barbaric, but legal, atrocities? I can provide you with information on how to stop this.”

People need to know and are stunned to hear the facts. Change is happening.

Daniel Ibn Zayd is right. People on the ground, in the community, talking about the realities of adoption – this is making a difference in my home city, one person at a time.

But we in New York State, and America as a whole, are so far behind the accomplishments of Australia. I, too, as Von points out, may not live long enough to see the drastic changes in public opinion and public policy that are needed. I sure as hell am giving it my all while I am here!

Western Australia (State) to Apologize for Adoptions

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/7860012/unmarried-mums-get-state-apology/

 

The State’s apology to unmarried mothers illegally separated from their babies under harsh adoption practices is set to happen within weeks.

WA is to become the first State or Federal government worldwide to admit hospital and welfare authorities were wrong to immediately separate mothers from their babies after giving birth out of wedlock. Mothers from around Australia keen to hear the apology have been told it will be delivered in Parliament on October 19.

Experts say tens of thousands of WA babies were adopted illegally when their unmarried mothers were prevented from seeing, touching, naming or bonding with their children immediately after birth between the 1940s and the early 1980s.

Health Minister Kim Hames said the exact format of the apology was still being finalised but it would be “to unmarried mothers of adopted children who were adversely affected by past adoption practices”.

Christine Cole, of the NSW-based Apology Alliance, said it was also important for the Government to say sorry to the children taken. “They were denied their family of origin and the culture of that family,” she said.

This first milestone needs to be recognized and honored. Follow-up by other governments should be in order and not just to the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to adoption, but the millions of former infants and children who were taken and assimilated into adoptive homes. Human-on-human cruelty on behalf of adoption must stop. Former children who have been adopted suffer as children and adults for the forced assimilation that adoption creates.

Children who desperately need homes and families can be readily placed into guardianship homes, or, best to find a way to keep families together.

A hearty salute to Western Australia to be the first governement to make an incredible leap forward in your social and governmental policies toward women and children. Adoptions have been phased out in Australia, meaning, adoption is not practiced, family preservation is preferred and honored. Progressive, realistic and humanist. Its about time.

~ ~ ~ Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, born Doris M Sippel, author of Forbidden Family, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.

 

 

 

 

Adoptee Psychology, Genetics, the Unnatural Act of Adopting and Questions for Adoptive Parents

Today’s post was inspired by a blog post I read this morning and by an occurrence at a dinner party. Since I’m not feeling particularly “put together” at the moment, this post may be choppy and disjointed.

I’d like to direct my readers to Rhode Island adoptee John Greene’s blog post titled “Adoption and The Adoptees Reality” in which he addresses some points of specific psychology of being adopted. The topic needs to be understood, not just by adoptees, but by adoptive and pre-adoptive parents, especially in the wake of NCFA’s recent call for money donations to “make adoption strong” to fight the anti-adoption community and NPR’s Scott Simon’s two NPR interviews on his recently published memoir on being the adoptive father of two girls from China here (224 comment to date) and here (34 comments to date).

John Greene notes the works of three American adoption researchers: Nancy Verrier (The Primal Wound), Betty Jean Lifton, PhD (Journey of the Adopted Self), and Dr. David Brodzinsky (The Lifelong Journey to Self). It is best to read their works for a more complete study.

John Greene asks the question:

“How does the adopted individual feel about being relinquished?”

I believe that the average pre-adoptive and adoptive parent does not delve into this question, for if they did, they might find the answers disturbing enough to think twice about adoption in a positive light. If adoptive and pre-adoptive parents take a hard look at the realities of adoption, they may not think adoption was such a great and wonderful “thing” they have done, or want to do.

I’ll make a side journey here to what happened at a dinner party I attended last week. A guest, whom I did not know, remarked that so-and-so was adopting another child — from the same birthmother. The assumption from the folks hearing such a comment was the (tired) refrain “how wonderful of you to adopt, again!” At which point I almost spewed the food I was chewing. No one else but my date and the hostess knew that I was adopted and reunited since 1974, but, despite this, the hostess continued blathering on praising adoption while my date and I were wide-eyed. I gulped my food down and stuffed down my feelings. I kept quiet, realizing that no amount of talking would help these clueless people know the true meaning of adoption to the children involved. If I had “opened my mouth” and spoke truthfully about adoption, my comments would have been seen as hostile and a verbal fight would have ensued. So, the only way for me to deal with yet another instance of praise for adoption while ignoring adoptee and natural parent pain was for me to ignore the immediacy of the moment and write about it here.

This is where I beg adoptive and pre-adoptive parents to listen and read what grown adoptees and adoption researchers are saying. Take a long look at the devastating effects of adoption and know what you are doing to your adoptee! You may not intentionally be causing your adoptee harm, but the very fact of being an adoptee sets a person up for emotional and physical trauma.

John Greene explains:

…Is it nature or nurture that composes him/her? Adoptees ponder relentlessly whether their true “self” derives from their nature, the traits and characteristics they are born with; or from nurture as a result of the adoptive environment they are enveloped within. Traditionally the concept of nature or nurture is viewed as if it’s one transitioning into the other, or if one has more influence than the other. I feel these perspectives are the wrong approach. I sense with the adoptee world it’s nature and nurture continually working symbiotically with one another.

…non-adoptees are able to see and learn their biological nature in action from their parents and other genetic family. While the non-adoptees are nurturing and developing/ thriving within their natural environment they are also learning and governed by the family’s biological nature. …this is the element of true balance of nature and nurture an adoptee is deprived of and most likely will never come to have the opportunity to appreciate. It is the adoptee’s elusive biological nature the adoptee subconsciously chases. It is the adoptee’s biological nurture that eludes the adoptee consciously.

Then Greene eloquently states what so many of us adoptees feel but may not be able to verbalize:

Adoption, although genuinely intended to provide a better life, or better nurturing environment, in its raw form, in the scheme of nature itself, is an unnatural act and from the unnatural act the adoptee is presumed to resiliently bounce back.

…the adoptee is resilient but this experience isn’t something they bounce back from, the separation is a “splitting” from their natural biological connection in which they grow away from, meaning they are not intended to return to grow and thrive from their point of origin. Again, the issue isn’t so much about the resiliency of adoptees bouncing back, but more so, that they are torn away from their natural connection in which they aren’t intended to return, leaving them with a mysterious unexplainable feeling of not feeling whole. More specifically, the unexplainable feeling of not feeling whole not only stays with the adoptee it is actually the desire to feel whole, or complete. (identity)

What Greene writes next is so very important:

Technically speaking, adoptees don’t bounce back they are forced to grow in a different direction without a biological connection, away from their true biological nature. Therefore it can be said that when they are separated their nature and nurture are divided as they are forced to enter to live in their new adoptive world now consisting of nurture and unnatural. Their new balance is no longer the black and white of yin and yang representing a true balance of nature and nurture but is now say a white and green yin & yang representing an off kilter version of what the natural self is intended to be as it’s being shaped by a biological force that is unnatural and foreign to the adopted child.

The adoptee struggles for the rest of her/his life to bring the forces of nurture and unnatural together:

…the adoptee spends the greatest and most influential part of their life living within the ‘nurture’ of learning another family’s nature never knowing their true ‘natural’ half of existence, and in most cases never even grazing it.

It is important to note that while the adopted child struggles with this, so does the adopted adult, in more ways than emotional and psychological: cellular changes:

…perhaps it isn’t exclusively the separation itself that results such a reverberating effect upon the adoptee’s life. Perhaps in addition to the adoptee’s bruised psyche it’s the genetic composition in their cells that slowly grows frustrated over time because they are prevented from behaving in the manner of what’s written in their genetic code as a result of following a different family’s unique nature.

I have my own developing thoughts on the cellular changes that take place within the adoptee and am working on that for another post.

For those who want to discredit adoptee pain by claiming their adoptee is as happy as a clam, John Greene also addresses the different levels of adoptee awareness:

…there are three basic classifications of adoptees: 1) Those who have recognized that adoption has impacted their life; 2) Those adoptees who have not recognized that adoption has impacted their life; 3) Adoptees who feel great inner calamity and turmoil but have no idea what these strong feelings are attributed to.

and

…how are adoptees supposed to know how it feels to be a non-adoptee and develop within the normal balance of nature and nurture with biological parents? This is why it can be said an adoptee will never be able to fathom how a non-adoptee feels and vice-versa.

Clearly, adoption predisposes the separated natural child/adopted adult to psychic pain. It is my opinion that adoption IS child/adult adoptee abuse. This is an awful way to cope with life. This is what adoption does to a person.

I consider the emotional, psychological and physical damage to be enough to dissuade anyone from adopting, but if it is concrete evidence you want, that can be found in the actual destruction of the adoptee’s family of origin, and destruction and falsification of the adoptee’s birth certificate. Those are civil rights issues apart from the psychological fallout of the act of adoption. But the proof of the birth certificate fiasco is sealed from most adoptees at the very will and intention of our adoptive parents and the National Council For Adoption.

No, I cannot find one single reason, not one single justification, for child abduction/adoption. Family Preservation, kinshp care must be alternatives to adoption, and Guardianship, yes, as that provides a loving home with the dignified respect due to a person’s birth family, name and sense of self. And don’t get me talking about the evils of Open Adoption.

Knowing just this much, without reading entire books on the subject, my questions to pre-adoptive and adoptive parents are this: why would you intentionally put a child/adult — the very adoptee you so lovingly take as your own — through such a lifelong ordeal?  Adding the complications of race and intercountry adoptions and separations, why would you adopt a child? How could you cause so much pain to another human being?