Family Preservation Lessons Learned from Orphans in My Families Before, During, and After the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and What This Means for Families Surviving Today’s Covid-19 Pandemic

By Doris Michol Sippel, formerly known as Joan Mary Wheeler, BSW, is an American adoptees’ rights activist and author of Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity (2016) and Strangers by Adoption: Ten Adoptees Share Their Stories of Rejection or Abuse (2019), both available on Amazon.

May 25, 2020

 

Historical Perspectives from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic on Orphans

My adoptive mother was two years old in October of 1918 when her mother died from influenza during that pandemic’s second wave. Her father recovered. He needed someone to take care of his young children while he worked, but most women had factory jobs to support the war effort of World War I. The only other option was to move his three older children from their family home in Buffalo, New York to live in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Orphanage, also in Buffalo. Married family friends agreed to care for his infant son. The father worked six days a week on the New York Central Railroad as a carpenter. A dedicated father, he paid room and board for his children and visited them every Sunday. He told the Polish Catholic nuns that none of his children would be given up for adoption. [1], [2], [3]

Though safe from permanent separation by adoption, my adoptive mother and her brothers were subjected to the same humiliating treatment that the other children in the orphanage endured. When they were old enough to sing, about one hundred children were “put up” on stage to entertain audiences for charity donations to the orphanage and for spectators to choose the child they wanted to take home for their very own.

This was one of Mom’s favorite stories she told to me when I was growing up. She’d say, “People wanted to take me home because I was the only Italian girl with dark hair and dark eyes, while all the other girls were blond haired, blue-eyed Polish girls.”

My adoptive mother’s father was an orphan himself. Louis Cannell was born in 1883 in the small town of Torricella Pelligna, Italy, in the province of Abruzzi. How and when his parents died is unknown. Louis was raised by family friends until he was seventeen. He was a farmer, tilled the soil, and was a shepherd. One month before his eighteenth birthday, Louis arrived in America by passenger ship in the port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1901. He then lived with his married sister in Philadelphia, but nothing is known of her, or of any other family member in America or Italy. Though he had no formal education and could barely read and write, Louis quickly learned to speak English. He moved to Olean, New York where he worked as a policeman, a factory worker, and then a laborer on the Pennsylvania railroad.

Louis met his wife, Rose Picone, when he visited Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania with a railroad co-worker. Rose was born on May 16, 1894 in Lattimer Mines, near Hazelton, Pennsylvania, the oldest of nine children born to Italian immigrants who came from an unknown town in the province of Abruzzi, Italy. Rose was seventeen when she married, Louis was twenty-eight. They had three boys and a girl. Rose died on October 22, 1918 at age twenty-four and was buried in Allegany, New York, near Olean.

Orphan Trains were in full operation when Louis arrived in Philadelphia in 1901. By the time he married in 1911, he had ten years of indoctrination into American society’s scorn for the poor, the wretched, the illegitimate, and the orphan.

The Orphan Train movement ran from 1854 to 1929. During this time, between 200,000 to 250,000 orphaned, abandoned, abused, and homeless children were gathered up by care workers from the streets of Eastern cities and were relocated to foster homes in the American West. Children were “put up” on train platforms or on stages for people to look them over. This is where the phrase “putting up a child for adoption” came from. While many families wanted farm laborers, others genuinely cared for the children they “took in.” Some children were legally adopted, although adoption was much simpler than it is today. Sending children out West became known as “placing out,” which is where the term “placing children for adoption” originated. One good thing that evolved out of the barbaric Orphan Train movement is modern foster care. [4], [5], [6]

The term “putting up” actually has a much older beginning. Cultural norms developed over hundreds of years of slavery in America when slaves where “put up” on stages and platforms for auction. The practice of displaying humans on stages for sale didn’t stop when slavery ended in 1865, nor did the terminology. The act of “putting up” and the use of the words from those years moved with society as people displayed children for foster care and adoption either on stages, or in photo catalogues, and now on websites. One can hear attitudes echoed from the past when people today talk down to adoptees that we “should be grateful someone took you in.” It’s as if someone has done us a favor, that we were lucky to have been adopted, and that we were unwanted and undeserving of love as were the street urchins before they were rounded up and sent out West on the Orphan Trains. Attitudes linger.

Life inside the orphanage was, by today’s standards, primitive, yet, Mom had pleasant memories. For safety, the boys and girls were separated into two residences. Mom said that the only time she saw her brothers was at Church for Mass and every Sunday when their father visited them.

After school, all the children did their chores, dusting, washing dishes, and laundry. As Mom recalled in a letter to me in 1974, “The laundry room held huge pot-bellied stoves with a deck around them and on the deck we placed the irons to be heated by the coal fire. We had no electric irons. For recreation, we had Scouting, camping every summer, swimming in the lake, movies once a week, and a dance once a year in the auditorium for a party with cake and punch.”

One of the most touching remembrances Mom told me was, “All of our communication in the orphanage was spoken in Polish. English was taught in school, but the everyday language was Polish. When I visited with Pa, we spoke in Italian, until one day when I accidentally answered him in Polish and he cried. From that day on we spoke Polish to each other, until I came home from the orphanage, then we spoke English with our father.”

When he saved enough money to travel to Italy, Louis traveled back to the town he was born in to find another wife. He married Rosina DiFabrizio on June 28, 1930 in Torricella Pelligna, Italy. The couple then moved to Buffalo.

Like her older brothers, Doloris aged out of the orphanage at age sixteen and moved back home with her father, step-mother, and younger half-sister, Mary, who was born in 1931. She spent that summer in Pennsylvania with her deceased mother’s relatives and remained close with them throughout the years. Doloris attended business school for two years. In 1938, she married my adoptive father.

Grandpa never talked about surviving the 1918 influenza pandemic. He never talked about his first wife, his childhood in Italy, his parents or what killed them, nor did he talk about his sister in Philadelphia. He was a gentle old man who enjoyed making wine in his wine cellar. Grandpa accepted and loved me as his adoptive granddaughter; my adoption meant that I was part of his family. Now though, in retrospect, I wonder if he ever thought about how unwavering he was in 1918 – thirty-nine years previous to my adoption in 1957 – that his children would not be separated from him or from each other by adoption after their mother died.

Grandma spoke only a few words in English, but she loved me, and I loved her. She was a great cook who made extravagant meals. She was a weaver of fine Italian linen; several of her table runners now adorn my kitchen and living room.

Grandpa died in 1970 when I was fourteen and Grandma died on Halloween, 1974. Because I was adopted, they were the only grandparents I was allowed to know.

Mom never talked about her feelings about her mother’s death.

Before her death in 2011, Mom sang for me: “I’m a poor little orphan, my mother she is dead, my father is a working man, and he can’t buy me bread.” [7]

My heart broke for her.

1918: Louis Cannell holding Jimmie, Anthony standing in the back, Dominic sitting next to two-year-old Doloris. Photo taken after the death of the children’s mother of complications from influenza.

 

 

 

Both of My Adoptive Parents Were Half-Orphans

My adoptive father was also a half-orphan. Born in 1914 in Buffalo, New York, Edward Wheeler was the oldest of eight children born to Victoria Szczepaniak and Alfred Wheeler. Victoria was Alfred’s second wife. She was Polish and Alfred was English. In 1925, when Edward was eleven years old, his father died. Edward quit school, searched the streets of Buffalo for broken tables, chairs, bicycles, radios, record players and engines that he repaired and sold. This is how he made money to help pay for food and clothes for his seven younger siblings and his mother. This sibling group was not separated from their mother, or each other, by adoption. They were a tight-knit family and were allowed to visit with their deceased father’s family.

Edward’s two older half-brothers, Alfred Jr. and Charles, were twenty-seven and nineteen years old at the time of their father’s death in 1925. They were in the military and sent money home to their step-mother and eight younger half-siblings.

Alfred Jr. and Charles Wheeler were also half-orphans. In 1908, when they were boys of ten years and two years old, their mother, Matilda Seeley, died. The boys were allowed to visit their deceased mother’s family, including aunts, uncles, and cousins. Someone helped their father keep his sons; they were not lost to adoption. When their father died in 1925, the younger of the two brothers, Charles, was nineteen, just two years under twenty-one. His father’s death made him a full orphan. [8]

 

Their Desperate Desire to Have a Baby Outweighed Preserving My Family

It’s tragic that my adoptive parents were both half-orphans, but they didn’t appreciate the value of family preservation. Childless for eighteen years of marriage, their desperate desire to have a baby to call their own caused them to inflict emotional trauma and loss on me, my father, and my siblings. My adoptive parents got their wish at our expense.

In 1956, my mother died from cancer when I was three months old. Genevieve Herr was thirty years old. At her funeral, my father, Leonard Sippel, age thirty-one, was talked into giving me up for adoption. The parish priest told my father that “the baby needs two parents.” Twenty minutes later, a woman approached my father and said, “I know someone who will take your baby.” She then told her older brother, Edward Wheeler, and his wife, Doloris, that there was a baby available. Three weeks after my mother’s death, my father made arrangements for my soon-to-be adoptive parents to pick me up.

I lost my entire family on April 22, 1956 when my father handed me over to a husband and wife he trusted to take care of me. He gave them my clothes, blankets, my birth certificate and baptismal certificate. For the next five months, I lived with these strangers one block over and three blocks up from my natural father and my siblings near the Broadway Market on the East side of Buffalo. Though I lived that close to my siblings, they were not allowed to know where I was or what happened to me. In September 1956, my custodial care givers bought a house ten miles away in a northern suburb.

My name from birth was legally Doris Michol Sippel, but my soon-to-be adoptive parents called me by the name they wanted for me: Joan Mary Wheeler. My name was legally changed on January 14, 1957 when the final court order of adoption was signed. I was one year and one week old. With the judge’s signature, I permanently lost my family, my name, my birth certificate, my family history, and heritage all because of adoption.

My birth certificate remained in the name of Doris for the next three months until the director of vital statistics in the state capital created a new birth certificate for Joan. In exchange for my new identity and loss of my family, my adoptive parents lavished me with love and affection. For the next seventeen years, I was raised an only child with a large extended adopted family.

 

My Natural Mother was a Half-Orphan with a Rich Family History

Like my adoptive parents, my natural mother was a half-orphan. Genevieve Herr lost her mother, twice. The first time was when she was five years old in 1930. Her mother, Gertrude Catherine Stoll, left her husband, Jacob Grant Herr, and their seven surviving (out of eleven) children to live in Brooklyn, New York City. I’m not really sure why she left; her siblings, my aunt and uncles, refused to tell me the truth. Someone mumbled that my grandfather was physically abusive to his wife.

When my mother was thirteen years old in 1938, her mother died in Brooklyn. My mother lived at home with her father and her older nineteen-year-old brother, and younger ten-year-old brother. The older siblings were married with children of their own.

Mom’s mother, my grandmother, was an only child, so there were no aunts, uncles, or cousins to visit on her side. The only family Mom had on her mother’s side was her mother’s mother’s family – her grandmother, three grandaunts and a granduncle, and their children. The children were second cousins to my mother and were twenty to thirty years older. This will make more sense as this story continues.

Mom’s mother’s family were German and French immigrants arriving in Erie and Niagara counties of New York State in the mid-1800s. Their ancestors lived along the border towns between France and Germany in Alsace-Lorraine, and Switzerland, with documentation going back to the early 1700s.

Mom’s father’s grandparents arrived in the settlement of Tonawanda, New York in the early 1800s.  In 1855, they packed up their children and rode in a covered wagon to the new state of Iowa. Some of their grown children and grandchildren later became homesteaders in Washington State, while one grandson, Jacob Grant Herr, moved back to Buffalo. He was my grandfather. Ancestors in his paternal line trace back to the early 1700s in France and Germany.

In 2018, I traced my grandfather’s mother’s Scottish ancestors to a young, Scots-Irish couple who arrived in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania in 1772 from Northern Ireland. Even though their line ends with them because there is no paper trail leading back to ancestors in Ireland and Scotland, the male line of descent traces back to Hugh of Sleat, Uisdean McDonald, of Isle of Skye, Scotland in the 1400s.

My grandfather’s mother had English ancestors on her mother’s side that supposedly date back to settlers in New England in the 1600s. I have yet to research, and identity, these ancestors.

NOTE:

This article was completed one day after I activated a membership with MyHeritage.com, and one day before I discovered, through genealogy, seemingly impossible information that will be covered in an upcoming book.

 

My Father’s Decision

When his wife died, my father was essentially alone. He was the only child of a second generation Polish-German-American mother and a second generation German-American father. Mary Barbara Wisniewski was born in Buffalo on July 25, 1893 and her husband, Leon Joseph Sippel, was born in Buffalo on December 17, 1892. My grandparents were too old to take care of an infant and my father’s cousins were married with children of their own. No options were presented to him to keep his family together. Instead of help, his deceased wife’s brothers and sister, and their spouses, clamored for his children:

“I’ll take the baby.”

“I want the boy.”

“I’ll take the two older girls.”

“I’ll take the three-year-old girl.”

My father said no. He didn’t want his entire family to be split up. He knew his deceased wife’s sister and brothers blamed him for his wife’s death by cancer; they resented him. My father weighed his desire to keep his family together against my needs. He didn’t want to give me up, but he couldn’t provide the round-the-clock care I needed. Years later, when he told me his side of my relinquishment and adoption, Dad said that he didn’t want me to be confused, nor did he want me to be near the bitterness my mother’s family had for him, so he made the decision to make, what he thought, would be a clean break for me.

While I would be taken care of, Dad still needed help with his four older children. Two months after my disappearance to adoption and three months after my mother’s death, my father married his former high school girlfriend to take care of his older children. She died ten years later in 1966. That’s when my siblings were split up between foster homes and the same orphanage that my adoptive mother had lived in from 1918 to 1932.

 

Distant Cousins and an In-Family Adoption

On February 17, 1897, my adoptive father’s father, Alfred Wheeler, married his first wife, Matilda Seeley. Matilda’s sister was Catherine Seeley. Catherine Seeley was the mother of one child, Gertrude Catherine Stoll (born 1888, died 1938). Gertrude Catherine Stoll was the mother of Genevieve Ruth Herr – my natural mother.

Catherine Seeley (born 1871, died 1930) was my mother’s grandmother (as stated in a previous section). Her sister, Matilda Seeley (born 1880, died 1908), was my mother’s grandaunt. Matilda Seeley’s two sons, Alfred Wheeler Jr. and Charles Wheeler, were 2nd cousins to my natural mother. They were twenty-some years older than my mother, but they were family.

NOTE:

In my research, I found three different charts to calculate cousinship. A second chart indicates this relationship as 1st cousin once removed, and a third chart indicates this relationship as 2nd grand cousin. To simplify, I will use 2nd cousin.

In 1985, when Charles Wheeler was seventy-nine years old, he told me a story of how he felt bad for my mother when she was a young child. As stated in a previous section, my mother’s mother left her children behind when she ran away from her abusive husband in 1930 to live in Brooklyn, New York City. A year later, when Charles was a young man of twenty-five years, he took his six-year-old 2nd cousin, Genevieve Herr, for a day of fun at the Canadian amusement park, Crystal Beach, just across the Niagara River from Buffalo. Charles had great affection for his younger 2nd cousin because she didn’t have her mother with her, first by abandonment and then by death.

Genevieve grew up knowing Charles and his older brother as her 2nd cousins and their eight younger half-siblings as her half 2nd cousins. Genevieve Herr and her seven siblings were close in age with the Wheeler siblings. They lived in the same neighborhoods on Buffalo’s East Side for generations. First, second, third, and fourth cousins went through grade school and high school together because they were one large extended family. It continues on this way today.

My siblings and I are 2nd cousins once removed by blood to the two older Wheeler brothers, Alfred Jr. and Charles, and we are half 2nd cousins once removed to all eight of the second set of Wheeler siblings.

I was adopted by my half 2nd cousin once removed, Edward Wheeler. This means my adoption is an in-family adoption. My blood-kin 2nd cousins once removed became my uncles by adoption. Seven of their eight younger half-siblings became my aunts and uncles by adoption.

Are you confused yet? Good. Now you know how I feel. I’m not even sure I counted that all out correctly, even after studying several different cousinship charts.

Always remember that every in-family adoption legally re-arranges the adopted person’s family.

This distant connection between my adoptive father’s father and my natural mother’s grandmother’s family created controversy with my adoptive father’s seven younger siblings. Some of them decided that this was the terrible secret I didn’t need to know. Their older half-brothers, Alfred and Charles, didn’t want any part in bickering, but they kept the secret from me, too. They were afraid to tell me the truth for fear of overstepping their half-brother’s authority as my adoptive father. I hardly knew my Uncle Alfred because he was fifty-eight years older than me, but I looked up to my Uncle Charlie, who was fifty years older than me. I enjoyed his children as my first cousins by adoption. I didn’t know we were actually distant cousins by blood until I was eighteen years old when the secret came out.

You may be asking yourself, why is this important? How many people really pay attention to their distant cousins?

This matters. This was such an innocent family connection that it should be celebrated, if for no other reason than history, but it was used as a weapon against me by a few of my adoptive father’s younger siblings who believed that an adoptee should never know the truth. They also believed that they could continue to be distant cousins with my blood relatives, but if I ever did the same, and if I had a reunion with my natural father, that I would be disloyal and disrespectful to my adoptive parents.

 

My Adoption was Finalized in Court Between My Father and My Adoptive Parents and No One Else

Before my adoption became final, my father learned that the man who would become my adoptive father was distantly related to his deceased wife. He was not told that there would be communication between his deceased wife’s family and his relinquished daughter’s adoptive father’s family. He had no reason to suspect that a distant family connection would cause intense problems for me.

If the surrogate court judge had known that this was a distant cousin in-family adoption, he might have court-ordered sibling and parental visitation with me. Or, he might not have approved of the adoption at all. Open adoption, with varying degrees of contact between adoptive parents, natural parents, and the adoptee, wasn’t an option back in 1957. Open adoption wouldn’t be common until the 1980s, and since then, many adoptive parents close the adoptions soon after finalization, or they choose closed adoption because they don’t want any chance of a reunion between their adoptee and the natural parents.

The judge handled my adoption like any other closed and sealed adoption. In 1957, the surrogate court judge told my father to stay away from me and from my adoptive parents.

My father abided by the law. He stayed away, and his extended family stayed away as well.

 

Who Broke the Confidentiality of My Closed Adoption?

In the years before her death, my adoptive mother admitted that she played a part in passing photographs of me to my natural mother’s family. Mom explained, “In the first few years after your adoption, I wanted to let your natural mother’s family know how you were doing so I passed photographs of you on your birthdays, Christmases, Easters and Halloweens to Aunt Helen Wheeler. She then gave these photographs to your natural mother’s only sister, Catherine Herr. In return, Catherine passed a photograph of your family – your mother, father and your sisters and brother – back to Aunt Helen, who then gave the photo to me. I kept it in the box of our Wheeler-Cannell family pictures.”

I found that photo in a box of adoptive family photographs when I was fourteen years old. I didn’t know this family, so I paused, shrugged my shoulders, and put it back. I had no idea that I was looking into the faces of my mother and father and siblings as they were a few months before my birth.

My adoptive mother, Doloris, stopped passing along photos of me, but three of my adoptive father’s younger sisters and one younger brother continued to gossip about me and trade photographs of me back and forth with my natural mother’s siblings. Then their children, my adopted cousins, joined in, causing me decades of incredible pain and suffering from their judgements of me, their meddling into my life, and their cruelty. One adopted aunt in particular was very cruel to me – the one who orchestrated my adoption at my natural mother’s funeral. She felt she held some sort of power over me.

My natural father, Leonard, was not aware that this was going on.

I’m not sure if my adoptive father, Edward, knew what was going on with his meddling sisters and brother. Too bad he died eight years into my adoption-reunion. Much of the harassment I endured from some of my adoptive aunts and uncles occurred after my adoptive father’s death in 1982.

Four years after I had seen the photograph of a husband and wife and their four children, I had the shock of my life when my eldest sister called me on the phone on March 5, 1974, reuniting our family. Because my adoption was a private, non-agency adoption between distant relatives, it was only a matter of time before my older siblings convinced our deceased mother’s only sister, Catherine, to give them my adopted name, address, and phone number. They did this without consulting with our father first. A few weeks later, I met most of my siblings and my father for the first time since our separation in 1956.

During our first meeting in 1974, my father showed me several family photographs. When he brought out his original print of the family taken in 1955, I was stunned. This was the same photograph I’d seen in the box of Wheeler family pictures four years earlier.

Words cannot convey the feelings of betrayal and resentment I felt at that moment toward my adoptive mother and others who were involved. At age eighteen, during the beginning stages of my reunion with my father and siblings, I confronted my adoptive mother as to why she hid this photograph – and the rest of the truth – from me. Mom answered that she didn’t know how to tell me that I had four older siblings, three sisters and a brother, so she decided she didn’t want me to know about them. My adoptive father went along with whatever his wife said. Decades later, through therapy, I learned that my adoptive parents were in a dysfunctional, co-dependent relationship with my mother the domineering and controlling parent and my father the enabler.

During my seventeen years of childhood as the isolated adoptee in my otherwise normal, caring, and loving adoptive family, I was unaware that the meddlers in both my adoptive father’s family and my natural mother’s family gave themselves permission to pass information and photographs of me, the adoptee, around while excluding me, my siblings and our father. We were deliberately kept apart. The judge told my natural father to stay away; no one else minded their own business. The gossipers decided that because my father gave me away, he didn’t want to know and didn’t need to know how I was doing. To them, my father was irrelevant. Apparently, so was I. My life was not my own. I had no privacy. I was a child who grew into a teenager and then an adult who was, for all of those years, the circus act for the meddlers and gossipers to watch and whisper about behind my back. Decades before the movie script was ever written, I lived my own real life The Truman Show. [9]

The meddlers and gossipers broke the confidentiality of my adoption.

 

Warped Perceptions

These same meddling relatives then freaked out when I was eighteen in 1974 and was found by my full-blood siblings. The gossipers in the Wheeler family were shocked and angry with me as the truth unfolded day by day. They held on to the belief that an adoptee should never know the truth. Relatives presumed I was disloyal and disrespectful to my adoptive parents and blamed me for “stabbing my adoptive parents in the back” because I accepted “THAT MAN” and my siblings back into my life.

THAT MAN was my natural father, Leonard Sippel.

My natural mother’s family were equally as shocked that I suddenly knew the truth. The Herrs hated my father and believed he killed my mother by not allowing experimental cancer treatments. That hatred toward my father, Leonard Sippel, was transferred to the Wheeler family siblings. Since about half of my aunts and uncles in my adoptive family, and all of my aunts and uncles in my natural mother’s family hated my father, they assumed that I should not have anything to do with him. This hostility had been brewing since my mother’s death in 1956.

What the meddlers didn’t realize was that both of my fathers greeted each other with a handshake and a smile when they first met each other again in the beginning of my adoption-reunion in 1974. They genuinely liked each other, had respect for each other, and even recalled memories and people they knew when they were younger.

The hatred for my father from both the Herr family and the Wheeler family was so deep that when my adoptive father died of cancer eight years into this adoption-reunion in 1982, I was confronted by one of my same-age Wheeler cousins. She was one of four daughters of my adopted aunt – the one who arranged my adoption when she approached my natural father at my mother’s funeral and said, “I know someone who will take your baby.”

As I stood up and out of my car at the funeral parlor the day we buried my adoptive father, Edward Wheeler, in 1982, this adoptive cousin condescendingly snapped at me, “I heard through the grapevine that some of our cousins thought you wouldn’t show up at your adoptive father’s funeral. You don’t belong here, Joanie. You OPENLY declare that you’ve had a reunion with your biological father and you have two fathers so you must not love your adoptive father anymore.” [10]

This was a punch to the gut. I was raised an only child so I had no one to lean on in grief over the death of the man I loved as my Daddy.

I became the scapegoat of both adoptive and natural families who also criticized me for becoming an outspoken activist for adoptees’ rights. “Stop writing in the newspaper,” they said, “no one wants to read your crap!” I endured hate mail, hate phone calls, and other forms of harassment for decades.

What is particularly insidious is the sense of entitlement, power and control, manipulation, and invasion of my privacy by others who took advantage of my father, my siblings, and me, for their own gain and amusement.

It was important for the Herr family, the Wheeler family, and the Cannell family to keep their families together when one parent died. The luxury of family connectedness was important for them, yet they decided it wasn’t important for me. They prevented me from having those same connections, first by relinquishment and adoption, and then by social constraints and psychological manipulations during my childhood, teen years, and throughout my lifetime.

As you might imagine, I distanced myself from the abusive relatives in both the Wheeler family and the Herr family, as well as the Sippel family.

Manipulations and cruelty even extended down to my children. In the 1990s, my son came home from school one day, saying he was assigned a science project with another third grade boy. When I met the boy, I figured out that he was the great-grandson of one of my natural mother’s brothers. My uncle and I weren’t close. I didn’t even know his children, grandchildren, nor did I know his great-great-grandchildren, but that didn’t mean that the two boys couldn’t be close. They were, in fact, thrilled to be distant cousins by blood.

The next day, however, my son came home from school disappointed, hurt, and angry. The other boy, his newly-found distant cousin, told him that his mother said that she didn’t want her son to be near my son because she “heard some rumors about me through the family grapevine.” My son was humiliated. Because of the rumors that were spread between the Herrs and the Wheelers and the Sippels, my son was punished. I don’t know what was said about me and certainly had no way to defend myself. [11]

As the years went by, sadly, some of the younger generations in the Wheeler family and the Herr family also experienced the death of one parent. In each case, they grieved the death and the remaining parent kept the children together as a family.

One such family just happened to be the youngest daughter of the cruelest aunt in the Wheeler family. Aunt Gerty Wheeler was the one who arranged my adoption in 1956 when she approached my natural father at my mother’s funeral and said, “I know someone who will take your baby.” She was also instrumental in spying on me all of my childhood, gossiping about me to the Herr family, and she taught her daughters to despise me as well. It was one of her older daughters who threw her weight around (literally) at me the day we buried my adoptive father. She snarled at me that I “OPENLY declare I have two fathers…” as if I had been committing a crime by acknowledging the fact that I DO have two fathers. Needlessly to say, I cut off all ties with all cruel relatives in the 1970s.

In 2004, this cruel family was struck a devastating blow. The husband of the youngest daughter died suddenly. He left his wife a widow and their two teenage daughters half-orphans.

Because my adoptive mother was still alive, I had to drive her to the funeral. I can assure you that no one – NO ONE – approached my adoptive cousin at her husband’s funeral and said, “I know someone who will take your youngest daughter.”

Is that because not many childless couples want to adopt teenagers (they all want womb-fresh infants or cuddly toddlers), or is it because no one in their right mind would approach a grieving mother at her husband’s funeral to arrange the adoption of that couple’s youngest child?

And yet, that’s exactly what happened to my father in 1956 – by a woman who scouted for a baby for her childless brother and his wife to adopt. It’s not normal to troll for a baby or an older child to adopt at the funeral of a dead parent. Not only was my future Aunt Gerty unsympathetic to my father’s grief, but she was deviously audacious. She played into his need to find someone to take care of his infant. Offering to babysit, to clean house, or to make food would have been more appropriate.

Now it was her time to grieve that her two granddaughters would go on in life without their father.

Those girls joined the club of half-orphans, a club that their grandmother (Aunt Gerty) was initiated into when her father, Alfred Wheeler, died in 1925 when she was only three years old.

It’s not adoption-reunions that cause trouble, nor is it activists like me who speak out against unnecessary child relinquishment and against unnecessary adoption; it’s uneducated people who make judgements and then gossip and harass the adoptee, and that adoptee’s children. This is a common problem that other adopted people also experience.

Only a handful of my adoptive father’s siblings, their spouses and children in the Wheeler family were either neutral or supportive and loving to me. We continue today as cousins while I cut off all communication with the ones who were cruel to me for decades. I cut off ties with most blood kin relatives for the same reason, only a few cousins remain dear to me, and I to them. All of our parents are deceased.

My closed and sealed adoption was harsh and completely unnecessary.

I’m not alone. Thousands of adoptees are abused emotionally, psychologically, physically, and sexually by their adopters, some adoptees are murdered by their adopters. Many adoptees complete suicide rather than live with abuse and psychological torture. Our spouses and children suffer, too.

 

Apologies

In 1974, when I was found by four older siblings I did not know I had, my adoptive father said through his tears, “I’m glad the secret is out.” Though he didn’t say it, I knew he felt remorse for not telling me the truth.

My adoptive mother, however, never once apologized. She held firm to her belief that adoptees should never be told the truth.

In the last few years of her life, Mom and I were able to resolve some issues. After forty years of arguing, Mom finally understood the politics of adoptees’ falsified birth certificates. She said, “You’re right, my name doesn’t belong on your birth certificate. I adopted you. I didn’t give birth to you.” Mom understood that we could love each other as family without that false birth certificate.

Mom also spoke with respect, almost reverence, of my natural mother, referring to her as “your mother” in conversation. Mom also admitted that it was cruel to leave my father out of the line of communication to receive photographs and updates on me during my childhood.

A week before she died in 2011, I asked Mom, “You had your siblings, why couldn’t I have mine?” She did not answer. All I got was a blank stare.

Still, as death drew near, Mom asked me to hold her. I held her as she slipped away. I loved her. [12]

That love doesn’t compensate for the traumatic losses I’ve suffered. Most days, radical acceptance of the things I cannot change is all I can do.

In early December 2003, my natural father had open heart surgery. During a visit with him in the nursing home while he recovered, he was agitated. His eyes filled with tears as his voice cracked, “If I had an education, I would have kept you! No one told me what to do to keep you. I gave away my youngest child! How could that be okay?” [13]

He felt guilty. I never held it against him. It wasn’t his fault.

My natural father died in 2011.

 

42 Half-Orphans

Three of my four parents were half-orphans.

The only one of my four parents who was not a half-orphan was my natural father. He had no family history of orphan-hood other than experiencing the death of his wife which left him with five children.

The following statistics were first calculated in 2009, updated in 2013, and corrected in 2020. [14]

I’ve counted all the full and half orphans, illegitimate births, and adopted people in my 4 families that occurred within a 130-year span of time. There were 128 people in my natural mother’s family, 35 people in my natural father’s family, 20 people in my adoptive mother’s family, and 209 people in my adoptive father’s family. The total number of my combined relatives is 392 people.

Out of the total of 392 people, there were between 6 and 8 illegitimately-born children. The exact number is unknown to me.

Out of the total of 392 people, a total of 12 were adopted: 2 were adopted into my adoptive father’s extended family from a stranger’s family, an estimate of 6 children were adopted by a step-parent in my natural mother’s extended family, and an estimate of 4 children were adopted by a step-parent in my extended adoptive father’s family.

From the first occurrence of orphan-hood in 1883 to the last in 2013, there were 2 full orphans and 42 half-orphans. This is an unusually high occurrence of half-orphans. Statistically, this is nearly 10% of my total number of relatives in 130 years.

One would think that because of this high occurrence of half-orphan-hood in three of my four families, that the half-orphans who enjoyed family preservation after the death of one parent would not want to inflict the pain of permanent separation on another half-orphan.

In 2009, at age fifty-three, I finally figured out that my adoptive parents – two half-orphans who were not adopted and were not deprived of their siblings or their remaining parent, and who were not deprived of their deceased parent’s extended family, and who were not deprived of knowledge of the deceased parent as a person, and who were not deprived of knowledge of that parent’s death – dictated over the life of the half-orphan they adopted. My adoptive parents deprived me of my siblings and my father, cousins, aunts and uncles, and deprived me of any knowledge about my mother and her death, deprived me of a timely, honest, age-appropriate grieving process of my deceased mother, and then, my adoptive mother (not my adoptive father) became outraged when I was found by siblings she decided I was never supposed to know.

I was deprived of the same rights that all the other half-orphans in three of my four families had – family connections. The collective mindset in three of my four parents’ families was to treat me differently because I was the only half-orphan who was relinquished out of one family and adopted into the other. They treated me as if I had no right to know the truth and no right to know my blood-kin – a human and civil right they had, but adoption decided, and they decided, that I didn’t have that same right.

 

Here are the numbers in list form:

 

Total Number of Relatives in My Four Families: 392

Natural Mother’s Family: 128

Natural Father’s Family: 35

Adoptive Mother’s Family: 20

Adoptive Father’s Family: 209

 

Half-Orphans (under the age of 21): Total: 42

Natural Father’s Family: 0

Natural Mother’s Family: 14

Nuclear Natural Family: 7

5 in 1956 (myself and 4 siblings)

2 in 1962 (step-brothers to my siblings lost their mother)

Adoptive Mother’s Family: 4

Adoptive Father’s Family: 17

 

41 half-orphans out of 42 were:

  • kept by their remaining parent
  • allowed to stay together as a sibling group
  • allowed contact with their deceased parent’s family

 

Half-Orphans relinquished to adoption: 1: me

I am the only half-orphan out of 42 in 3 of my 4 parents’ families who was:

  • relinquished by my remaining parent to adoption by a distant relative of my deceased natural mother
  • deprived of a life with my own siblings and my own father
  • deprived of a timely and compassionate, age-appropriate process of grieving my mother’s death
  • lost everything
  • given a new name, new parents, a new home, a new life
  • birth certificate revoked, sealed, and replaced upon adoption

 

Adoption Does Not Provide the Mythic “Better Life” for Adopted People

Adoption provides a different life from the life adoptees would have had with their natural parents. No one can predict what will happen in the nuclear adoptive family, or the extended adoptive family, or the natural family. While you may think that all adoptions are happy and successful, it is wise to remember that every adoption begins with traumatic loss that leaves permanent scars on the relinquishing parents, any kept siblings, and the relinquished adopted person. The adoptee must cope with grief and loss and integrate both identities, whether in search and reunion, or not. This is a lifelong process that non-adopted people do not have to deal with.

 

My Personal Family History of Orphan-hood is a Cautionary Tale

In early in March 2020, a week before New Yorkers were told to shelter-in-place, I ran into a childhood friend whose mother lived in the orphanage with my adoptive mother when they were young girls. Just like my mother, Marsha’s mother and two aunts were half-orphans; their mother died from influenza in 1918. Their fourth sister was adopted out of the orphanage and was never seen again. I’m not sure what happened to their father. Marsha’s mother and her mother’s two sisters, and another girl, a full orphan, and my adoptive mother remained close friends for ninety years until they died. These women helped shape my life.

We’re now experiencing a new viral world pandemic, Covid-19. To stop the spread, businesses closed in March 2020. As a result, the economy is collapsing world-wide. Experts are now saying that the financial downturn may be worse than the crash of the Great Depression.

Expectant mothers and parents of young children face unemployment, poverty, lack of child care, homelessness, and death while financially secure childless couples wait for their chance to make someone else’s child their own.

Don’t let them take your children. The vultures are out there, trolling for babies and children, right now, while the pandemic is raging throughout the world. Several “feel good” adoption stories have made their way into main-stream media like The New York Times, National Public Radio, and CCN, as referenced in the May 14, 2020 article online at http://www.adoption.com, “Adopting During a Pandemic – Dreams Can Come True, Even During Pandemic.” (15)

Author Samantha Flores, like others who focus on adoption only from the point of view of the adopters with the money to achieve their goals, paints a pity party picture for the trials and tribulations experienced by hopeful adopters as they agonize over their longing for a baby to call their own in the midst of shelter-in-place, lockdowns, and canceling international and domestic flights. Explaining the plight of one American couple who were in India at the final stages of the adoption process at the time the of international shutdown, Flores describes the amazingly quick action of professionals processing the adoption paperwork as the waiting adoptive couple “did the impossible and finalized an adoption in a matter of two days – a process that should have taken a minimum of one week.”

In reality, no adoption’s paperwork is processed in one week. Six months is the usual time frame to move through all the steps to finalize an adoption. And after that, it takes another three months for the adoptee’s birth certificate to be revoked, sealed, and replaced, as I discussed earlier using my own adoption as an example. But no one wants to think about that. Or the grief of the surrendering parent. Or the circumstances that led up to child abandonment in third world countries.

The adopting couple in Flores’ article, the Mosiers, and the girl they were adopting experienced emotional anxiety. Flores writes, “As if the emotional separation of a 2-year old Selvi [the name of the Indian child being adopted] from her caregiver whom she had known her whole life wasn’t stressful enough, now the Mosiers faced being stuck in a country that was unfamiliar to them.”

In the United States, Flores writes of an adoption that was finalized without in-person court proceedings due to the closing of courts while we wait out this pandemic. The adoption was finalized “through a Zoom video call.”

Flores highlights that “hopeful adoptive parents are encouraged to continue their plans of adoption amid the crisis. … there is still hope that one day all these families will report their unification with their adopted children among a pandemic.”

For one thing, these children are not their children. These children are the children of other parents. They have families. Until an adoption is finalized, hopeful adoptive parents do not have legal claim to the children not of their blood.

So now, with adoptions being processed during a pandemic, these children will forever hear their “adoption stories” or “Gotcha-Day stories” as frantic, emotional, heart-wrenching dramas of all that the adopters went through to bring home their little one. These stories are missing the biographies of the mothers and fathers, siblings, extended family who will no longer have this child in their lives. Adoption stories during this pandemic will, undoubtedly, not include adoption from the adoptee’s point of view.

Flores ends her piece with the mental image of the dream came true for a little girl in her new home with her new parents, all smiles, happiness, and love. That is the picture everyone thinks about when they think about adoption. By focusing on love and happiness, journalists ignore the harsh realities of the other side of adoption.

Remember that every relinquishment and adoption begins with emotional and psychological traumatic losses that lead to life-long problems for relinquishing parents and adopted people. Remember that adoption’s built-in identity theft of adoptees’ facts of birth create both an existential conundrum for adoptees and are legal nightmares for those who want to change their names back to their names of birth. Adoption is the legal possession of someone else’s child – to make that child “our own.”

What adoption reformers are saying, and no one seems to be listening, is that one can love a child through custodial guardianship without identity theft, without permanently destroying that child’s family.

There is also family preservation, as practiced by the families of the full and half-orphans I’ve highlighted here.

And what of orphans, you ask, the children in third-world countries who are “languishing” in orphanages?

We had a third-world experience right here in America in 1918 when the influenza pandemic took the lives of young parents. My own adoptive mother was a half-orphan who lived for fourteen years in an orphanage in Buffalo, New York. She and her friends survived, their identities were not stolen, and they were allowed to know their own siblings and their own extended families. In each family I outlined here, and the ones in my extended families I did not expand on, no one dared to give up one of their children to adoption after the death of one parent.

As I pointed out, I was the only one given up and adopted out, and adopted into a family not of my flesh. And because I’ve spent every day of my life as an adoption reform activist since being found in 1974 by siblings I should never have been separated from, I face the scrutiny of others who want to believe in fairy tales.

Don’t let the baby-hungry people near your children. Put your wishes in writing by securing a lawyer as soon as possible. Safeguard your children by making family preservation arrangements now. Assign other family members, or close friends, as legal custodial guardians for your children in case of long-term parental poverty, homelessness, or death by Covid-19, or death by any other reason.

 

Endnotes

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). 1918 Pandemic Influenza Historic Timeline, United States Department of Health & Human Services, USA.gov. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/pandemic-timeline-1918.htm
  1. Sippel, D. M. (1974). History of the Cannell and Wheeler Families, personal papers.
  2. Sippel, D. M. (2016). Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity, Buffalo, NY: Identity Press. 214, 217.
  3. National Orphan Train (2020). Museum and Research Center, Concordia, Kansas. Retrieved from https://orphantraindepot.org/history/
  4. Blackmore, E. (January 28, 2019, updated April 4, 2019). ‘Orphan Trains’ Brought Homeless NYC Children to Work On Farms Out West, History Channel. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/news/orphan-trains-childrens-aid-society
  5. Giarrosso, M. (2019). What Is the History of ‘Putting a Child Up’ for Adoption?, org. Retrieved from https://adoption.org/history-putting-child-adoption
  6. Sippel, D. M. (2016). Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity, Buffalo, NY: Identity Press. 214.
  7. Sippel, D. M. (1974, 1985, 2013). History of the Wheeler, Herr, and Sippel Families, personal papers.
  8. The Truman Show, Full-length movie. (1998). An insurance salesman discovers his whole life is actually a reality TV show. Director: Peter Weir. Writer: Andrew Niccol. Retrieved from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120382/
  9. Sippel, D. M. (2016). Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity. Buffalo, NY: Identity Press. 173.
  10. Sippel, D. M. (2016). Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity. Buffalo, NY: Identity Press. 239.
  11. Sippel, D. M. (2016). Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity. Buffalo, NY: Identity Press. 317-326, 339-345.
  12. Sippel, D. M. (2016). Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity. Buffalo: NY: Identity Press. 306.
  13. Sippel, D. M. (2009, updated May 1, 2020). “Unequal Treatment of 1 Half-Orphan Out of 42,” Blog Page on personal website, Forbidden Family: Promoting Adoptee Identity Civil Rights Since 1974. Retrieved from https://forbiddenfamily.com/forbidden-family-the-book/unequal-treatment-of-1-half-orphan-out-of-42/
  14. Flores, S. (2020). “Adopting During a Pandemic – Dreams Can Come True, Even During Pandemic,” adoption.com. Retrieved from https://adoption.com/adopting-pandemic

New York State Passed Adoptee Rights Bill into Law

We Did It!

 

The New York legislature secured history on an extra day of the legislative session by reversing more than eight decades of discrimination against New York adopted people. With the bill moving through three committees on the final two days of an extended session, the Assembly Members voted 126-2 to pass S3419/A5494 and forward it to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signature and final enactment. If you have not been following this, the soon-to-be enacted law will:

  • restore the right of all adult adoptees to request and obtain a certified copy of the “original long form line by line, vault copy birth certificate,” otherwise known as the OBC, with no restrictions other than the adoptee is at least 18 years of age at the time of the request;
  • if the adoptee is deceased, allow direct line descendants or a lawful representative of the adoptee to request and obtain the OBC;
  • address issues related to people born outside of New York but whose adoptions were finalized by a New York state court. If a copy of the OBC from the other jurisdiction is not available from a New York registrar, then information that would have appeared on the OBC must be provided by the adoption agency;
  • address original birth certificates on file with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, an extremely important provision because New York City currently possesses many pre-adoption birth certificates;
  • address certain OBCs that may also be held by registrars in Albany, Buffalo, and Yonkers;
  • be effective January 15, 2020.

 

Now head on over to the full length post!

“I know someone who’s adopted and they turned out fine”

How many people who blather on and on about the “one adoptee they know” will actually read this post? They are blind to critical thinking. And that is the problem.

IDENTITY

michael janson 001Michael Janssen

FOUR FLAWS IN THE “I know someone who’s adopted and they turned out fine” argument

“They turned out just fine” is a popular argument defending many beliefs, including in adoption. It relies on the personal experience of just one adoptee who the supporter of adoption claims is ‘fine’.

It’s an argument with fatal flaws.

ONE: It’s what’s known as an ‘anecdotal error’

This error, in simple terms, states that “one adoptee was not negatively affected (as far as I can tell), so it must be O.K. for everyone.” As an example: “I wasn’t vaccinated, and I turned out fine. Therefore, vaccination is unnecessary.” We are relying on a sample size of one. Ourselves, or someone we know. And we are applying that result to everyone. This argument also immediately dismisses any and all adoptees critical of adoption as not being ‘fine.’

TWO: It takes a shortcut relying on …

View original post 282 more words

Two Major Adoption Conferences This Weekend

There are two major adoption conferences held this weekend. Due to a combination of private matters, I’ve been unable to attend a conference since 2014.

I highly recommend that adoptees, natural parents, and adoptive parents, other family members, and spouses attend these conferences next year. Hopefully, both of these conferences will not be held on the same weekend again!

Here is a Facebook post by American Adoption Congress showing a photo of, and quoting, New York State Assemblyman Robert Carrol:

2019-4-6 Asbly Robert Carroll speaking about NYS Adoptee Rights Bill A5494

 

Keynote Speaker Assemblyman Robert Carroll speaking about New York Adoptee Rights Bill A5494

“This is about dignity, about allowing adopted people to self actualize.”

 

Here is a news article about this weekend’s conference hosted by The Indiana Adoptee Network:

The non-profit was vital in the passing of a law releasing adoption records in Indiana. They’ll help people working through the process of getting their records from the state.

The Indiana State Department of Health has received more than 4,200 requests for adoption records. The wait to receive records is more than 20 weeks due to high volume. Organizers of this weekend’s conference said they encourage people to remain patient and to contact them if they need help through the process.

“We’re going to help them here at the conference with their information and then once they get their file, we will help them with that, too,” Pam Kroskie, president of the Indiana Adoptee Network, said.

Adoption conferences are more than helping adoptees access their original birth certificates in their state (provided their home state has laws that allow adoptee-access). There are workshops on searching and reunions, adoption psychology, adoption research and family systems, state by state legislative efforts, networking, and learning in general why adoption as we know it, must change.

Many non-adopted people are not aware of how adoption affects adoptees throughout their lives. Many non-adopted people have mis-perceived notions about mothers of adoption loss. For this reason, I suggest that the general public attend these conferences as a learning experience.

You can contact The Indiana Adoptee Network at their website here.

You can contact the American Adoption Congress at their website here.

My Comments Marked as Spam and Deleted from this Discussion on Adoptees’ Rights to Sealed Birth Certificates

This post is about the comment section following this article:

Most American Adoptees Can’t Access Their Birth Certificates. That Could Soon Change.

A slew of new state laws are being debated right now.

As promised on Facebook, I saved not only my comments, but screen-shotted the ones  that were flagged as spam and deleted in the comment section of the above article.

I am re-printing them here should anyone question what went down when two rather mouthy individuals spouted off at me and then didn’t like my responses.

This was my first independent comment (not in a thread):

Doris Michol Sippel • 2 days ago

It is important for readers to know that there are many more situations in which a child is given up for adoption than the typical not-married-mother giving up a bastard baby. Some children are adopted by their grandparents or aunts and uncles. Some children are adopted by their step parent. Some children lose one or both to death making them either half of full orphans who are given by the remaining parent or another relative or an orphanage. Still other children are removed from abusive parents and sent into foster care where they may or may not be adopted out. All of the comments here target the “unwed mother and bastard baby” stereotype. In every single adoption, the adoptee’s birth certificate is revoked, sealed, and then replaced by a false-fact birth certificate that states two people who were not there for the conception and birth are named as if they were responsible for creating this new life. They weren’t. Adoptees are forced to live a lie. Access bills to allow adoptees to have a copy of their sealed birth certificate are a solution to only part of the bigger problem. The bigger problem is that adoptees should never have falsified birth certificates to begin with. Facts are facts. Adoptees are the only group of people who are targeted by laws that steal our identities.

To which, clemans responded:

clemans  Doris Michol Sippel • 2 days ago

With the popularity of DNA tests, none of that matters. At some point a family member will do a test and the matching begins. And it all comes out.

Here is a screenshot of my first comment and clemans’ response:

Screenshot 1

Here is a screenshot that my response was marked as spam 3 times (It has been marked as spam for the 4th time and now only one “This comment was marked as spam” line remains):

Screenshot 2

Now I am responding directly to “clemans”:

March 15, 2019 11 AM

To clemans —

none of that matters” — oh really?

I find it fascinating that when I, an adoptee, post the truth about birth certificates; my posts were flagged as spam and removed 4 times! That is censorship! I am screen-shoting everything!

For the 5th time:

This bill addressed in this article is about ADOPTEES CIVIL RIGHTS to access our revoked and sealed birth certificates. This bill has nothing to do with the misperceived view that mothers need protection or have rights to anonymity. Mothers have no rights because they signed relinquishment papers giving up ALL PARENTAL RIGHTS.

The truth of the facts of birth are recorded by the attending physician on a medical record of live birth. Every newborn gets one of these – it’s your birth certificate. The attending physician verifies the birth by her or his signature on the birth certificate that is then signed by the registrar of vital statistics.

The only people who are segregated from the rest of society – who are discriminated against – are adopted people who are forced, by law, to be victims of identity theft via adoption.

In each adoption – illegitimate or not – the medical record of live birth – the birth certificate – is revoked and then sealed forever. Then, a false-fact birth certificate, not signed by an attending physician, is then issued to legitimize the illegitimately born bastard adoptee.

In the examples I gave earlier, but were deleted as spam: step-parents adopting their step child, grandparents adopting their grandchild, children born within a marriage who are removed due to abuse or neglect, children who are full or half orphans (one or both parents have died) – many adoptees are legitimately born and do not “need” to be legitimized through adoption. Yet, the nearly-century-old laws funnel all adoptees into this narrow definition of who should be re-born via adoption. Long ago, bastards were targeted. Now, every child who is adopted is a victim of identity theft perpetrated by the government.

If 4 full blood siblings are removed from their married parents, and 3 are adopted into 3 separate adoptive families, these 3 siblings will then be issued new birth certificates stating that each one was born to the new adoptive parents. There will be no evidence on record that these 3 siblings actually are full blood siblings with the same legally married parents.  Meanwhile, the 4th full blood sibling ages out of foster care with her birth certificate intact. Even though her parents were involuntarily stripped of their parental rights, this child, now an adult, has her birth certificate from birth. Meanwhile, one of her other 3 siblings is re-homed and adopted a 2nd time, and is issued a 3rd birth certificate. None of the adopted-out siblings has any legal rights to the truth of their births. Only the not-adopted siblings retains that right.

This is not a matter of DNA to uncover family secrets. This is a matter of discriminatory laws targeting a specific group of American citizens who are stripped of our civil and human rights.

Yes, secrets people keep will be found out by DNA. That is not the point I was making. My concern is the law that revokes, seals, and falsifies birth certificates of adopted people.

My second concern is the law that prevents adoptees access to our revoked and sealed birth certificates.

This is about ADOPTEES CIVIL RIGHTS, and not about DNA, and not about the misperceived rights of mothers to anonymity.

Like it or not, relinquishment does not guarantee adoption. That means: when a mother who loves her newborn is faced with no option but to give up her baby, all of her parental rights are removed upon the signing of surrender papers. When a mixed-up, confused, terrified, angry, bitter, disgusted mother wants nothing to do with her newborn or older child, and she gives up that child, she signs relinquishment papers. There is no statement of confidentiality in any relinquishment agreement. She loses all parental rights over her child forever. Arguments holding up the assumption that mothers have rights to anonymity are incorrect.

Signing relinquishment means that the parent signs away all parental rights to the child. There is no guarantee that the child will be adopted. If that child ages out of foster care and the mother does not know, that person has their own birth certificate with the mother’s name on it. Once an adult, the relinquished person can either contact the mother or not. No parent has any legal standing to tell an adult daughter or son what to do.

Here are screenshots of my comment just in case it is marked as spam and is removed again:

Screenshot 3

Screenshot 4

Screenshot 5

And now Fractal and I are talking to each other. “Fractal” also flagged my comment as spam so it was removed:

March 14, 2019 8:30 pm

Screenshot 6

Screenshot 7

Screenshot 8

Screenshot 9

Screenshot 10

Here are my comments, and Fractal’s comments, as they appear in text on the comment section with links:

Doris Michol Sippel  fractal • 2 days ago

Stop calling adoptees “children”. Activists are adults, not children. With all your questions, the way you talk is full of stereotypes from the Victorian Era. No, no mother was ever promised confidentiality. No surrender documents contain those words. Women were coerced into giving up their babies. They still are pressured to keep the supply to meet the demand. There are so many points wrong in what you post…

To which Fractal replied:

fractal  Doris Michol Sippel • 19 hours ago

Stop telling me what to do.
In the birth mother’s mind, the adopted person will always be their “child”.
And so I will continue to call them such.

In the past when women were considering giving a child up for adoption, the GREAT CONCERN was that birth mother would try to insert herself into life of her adopted child.

She would be told that the records were CLOSED FOR LIFE and that she should never attempt to see the child.

And in fact, she would be told that doing so would be incredibly painful for the adoptive family.

With that meme comes the implication that the birth mother doesn’t need to worry about the child coming to find her, because the records were sealed. It would never occur to most birth mothers in the past to think that the child would be able to open records and, because of this internet age, be so easy to find.

You must be adopted to assume the story that all women who give children up are “coerced”.
I can assure you many are HAPPY to be relieved of the burden, and many would have aborted if something hadn’t prevented them from doing so—money, timing etc…
I know this because I used to work in reproductive health, and saw how many women who came for an abortion had to turn to adoption when abortion wasn’t an option any longer.
Of course, these women will someday have to LIE to their adoptive child and pretend they didn’t want to abort them, or cause them more grief and loss of self-esteem.

Seems to me you have zero respect for the wishes of the birth mother and have a lot of emotional energy invested in big, happy reunions!!!!!!
Doesn’t work that way a lot of the time.
In fact, an biological child of theirs who shows up and corners them might well not get the reunion they are hoping for.
And that could cause a tragedy.

Now stop being so bitchy.
BTW, why is your comment history private?
I bet you are just another Fundy Troll on MJ.

March 15, 2019

The following comment to Fractal was also flagged and removed as Spam.

This is in response to “Fractal” who had some rather harsh words for me.

To Fractal –

You don’t need to give me lectures as I know all about the various aspects as to why the records were sealed. Did you not read that I have been an activist for 45 years? That means I have been to numerous conferences and have talked to hundreds, if not thousands, of adoptees and natural mothers. I know every aspect of what you say. You are not telling me anything new.

Fractal said – “You must be adopted to assume the story that all women who give children up are “coerced”.”

My answer: Me being adopted has nothing to do with mothers being coerced into giving up their babies. I know many mothers of adoption loss who are activist for open records. They all say that they were coerced into giving up their babies. There were no choices. The only option was adoption.
Fractal said – “I can assure you many are HAPPY to be relieved of the burden, and many would have aborted if something hadn’t prevented them from doing so—money, timing etc…”

My answer: YES, exactly! I know this too! That’s why I said earlier “disgusted mothers” because I know that many mothers do not want the burden of being a parent so the get rid of their baby. And then hide behind sealed records as a cop-out – not taking responsibility for their actions.

Fractal said – “Seems to me you have zero respect for the wishes of the birth mother”

My answer: NOPE. I have utmost respect for the mothers of adoption loss who are for open records. I have zero respect for anyone – mothers, fathers, priests, politicians, etc – who continue to insist on revoking, sealing and falsifying adoptees’ birth certificates, and then want to deprive adoptees of their civil and human rights to access these birth certificates when they are adults.

Fractal said – that I “have a lot of emotional energy invested in big, happy reunions!!!!!!”

My answer: NOPE! I am not invested in happy reunions at all! I am invested in changing the law to restore adoptees’ human and civil rights to their truths of their births. What an adoptee does with their birth certificate is up to them. Searching and Reunion are NOT the issues. The issue is the law that currently prevents adoptees from accessing our revoked and sealed birth certificates.
Fractal said: “Doesn’t work that way a lot of the time.
In fact, an biological child of theirs who shows up and corners them might well not get the reunion they are hoping for.
And that could cause a tragedy.”

My answer: Wow. Paint adoptees as stalkers and creeps. Way to go.

Again: Conflating the need to change the law to advance adoptees’ rights to our own birth certificates with does not equate to searching and reunions. We do not need reunion registries. We do not need confidential intermediaries. We need to restore adoptees’ civil rights to own our original birth certificates.

Fractal said: Now stop being so bitchy.
BTW, why is your comment history private?
I bet you are just another Fundy Troll on MJ.

My answer: Ok, I’m bitchy. If you say so…

I have no idea why my comment history is Private and I don’t care. I don’t comment on Discuss frequently. I assure you I am who I say I am – Doris Michol Sippel. That is my real name. I see that you, Fractal, are hiding behind a fake name. I am not a Fundy Troll. I am an adoptee, a liberal, a democrat, and an activist. Look up the articles I posted links to.

12:30PM March 15, 2019

Came back from lunch to see that my comment had been removed a 3rd time!

OK then, I’ve  removed Fractal’s name and posted my comment again! Don’t forget, I am screen-shotting this!

Doris Michol Sippel • an hour ago

To Nameless Opposition of my adoptee comments:

I am screenshotting all of this to post on my website!

You don’t need to give me lectures as I know all about the various aspects as to why the records were sealed. Did you not read that I have been an activist for 45 years? That means I have been to numerous conferences and have talked to hundreds, if not thousands, of adoptees and natural mothers. I know every aspect of what you say. You are not telling me anything new.

You said – “You must be adopted to assume the story that all women who give children up are “coerced”.”
My answer: Me being adopted has nothing to do with mothers being coerced into giving up their babies. I know many mothers of adoption loss who are activist for open records. They all say that they were coerced into giving up their babies. There were no choices. The only option was adoption.

You said – “I can assure you many are HAPPY to be relieved of the burden, and many would have aborted if something hadn’t prevented them from doing so—money, timing etc…”
My answer: YES, exactly! I know this too! That’s why I said earlier “disgusted mothers” because I know that many mothers do not want the burden of being a parent so the get rid of their baby. And then hide behind sealed records as a cop-out – not taking responsibility for their actions.

You said – “Seems to me you have zero respect for the wishes of the birth mother”
My answer: NOPE. I have utmost respect for the mothers of adoption loss who are for open records. I have zero respect for anyone – mothers, fathers, priests, politicians, etc – who continue to insist on revoking, sealing and falsifying adoptees’ birth certificates, and then want to deprive adoptees of their civil and human rights to access these birth certificates when they are adults.

You said – that I “have a lot of emotional energy invested in big, happy reunions!!!!!!”
My answer: NOPE! I am not invested in happy reunions at all! I am invested in changing the law to restore adoptees’ human and civil rights to their truths of their births. What an adoptee does with their birth certificate is up to them. Searching and Reunion are NOT the issues. The issue is the law that currently prevents adoptees from accessing our revoked and sealed birth certificates.

You said: “Doesn’t work that way a lot of the time.
In fact, an biological child of theirs who shows up and corners them might well not get the reunion they are hoping for.
And that could cause a tragedy.”

My answer: Wow. Paint adoptees as stalkers and creeps. Way to go.
Again: Conflating the need to change the law to advance adoptees’ rights to our own birth certificates with does not equate to searching and reunions. We do not need reunion registries. We do not need confidential intermediaries. We need to restore adoptees’ civil rights to own our original birth certificates.

You said: Now stop being so bitchy.
BTW, why is your comment history private?
I bet you are just another Fundy Troll on MJ.

My answer: Ok, I’m bitchy. If you say so…
I have no idea why my comment history is Private and I don’t care. I don’t comment on Discuss frequently. I assure you I am who I say I am – Doris Michol Sippel. That is my real name. I see that you are hiding behind a fake name. I am not a Fundy Troll. I am an adoptee, a liberal, a democrat, and an activist. Look up the articles I posted links to.

Screenshots of the above:

Screenshot 11

Screenshot 12

Screenshot 13

It is now 1:40 PM on March 15, 2019. My above comment to Clemans has been marked as spam and removed for the 5th time!

The Opposition really does not want the truth to be told!

Ha! Screenshotted and posted it all right here!

It’s been 45 years of censorship from people who oppose adoptees’ rights to our birth certificates.

I will fight to my dying breath for the right to own my revoked and sealed birth certificate – I will fight for all other adopted people as well.

Sure enough! Censored and deleted again! March 15 at 1:59PM

Doris Michol Sippel • a few seconds ago

Here is a blog post I wrote with screenshots of all of the times my comments have been Marked As Spam and Deleted. The Opposition to Adoptees’ Access to our Sealed Birth Certificates really does not want to hear the truth! Cognitive Dissonance, eh? You can still mark thhis comment as spam and delete it, but the truth is you don’t wan to face the truth!

https://forbiddenfamily.com…

My Comments Marked as Spam and Deleted from this Discussion on Adoptees’ Rights to Sealed Birth Certificates

Screenshot 15

 

 

An Open-Adoption Adoptive Mother Tries to Explain the Anti-Adoption Movement – Here is What I Said to Her

In April of 2018, an adopter named Amey wrote a blog post – The Anti-Adoption Movement – What Does It Look Like?

I will open this post with a hats-off to adoptee Marilynn Huff who made an extraordinary comment to Amey’s post in that blog post’s comment section on adoptees’ birth certificates. Marilynn’s comment is one of the best I’ve ever read, including my own writings.

I will break down Amey’s blog post one phrase at a time.

Under the heading “Adoptees” Amey said:

Adoptees often resent the idea that they were “given up” for adoption. I hate that phrase. We say “placed’ or “made a plan.”

It doesn’t matter what YOU say – that you hate the phrase “given up” – that “We” (meaning infertile people, or adopters) say “placed” or “made a plan” – what matters is how adoptees experience the permanent separation that adoption actually is. The adoptee, as a newborn or an infant too young to have verbal and mental cognition, experiences the sudden loss of Mother as a terrifying break. This Primal Wound is internalized as the infant cries out for Mother. (Read The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier). The Primal Wound creates brain damage in certain areas of the brains of infants who are taken at birth from their Mothers. On this basis alone, adoption should be seen as extreme child abuse. With new studies being done, hopefully, it will be, and we will see a stranger movement to end adoption as we know it on a global scale.

Be sure to read this blog post and be sure to read the comments for links to scientific studies.

Amey said,

Maybe the birth parents had a problem with substance abuse or were young and not ready to parent. It doesn’t matter. The adoptee still feels unwanted and alone.

Again, it does not matter what the parental circumstances are at the time of birth, the newborn is traumatized by sudden removal of the nurturing mother within whom the infant lived for nine months. The pre-born infant hears mother’s voice and knows her emotions, and is influenced by her emotions. The pre-born infant is happy when mother is happy and feels anxiety and distress when she is nervous or angry. These are proven facts.

The pre-born infant feeds by mother’s food intake – both mother and baby share a symbiotic relationship. The unborn infant needs mother for sustenance, nutrients (in addition to feeling her love), and even receives her bacterial microbiome as she passes through the birth canal during birth. There is now evidence that the infant and mother exchange body and brain cells. The mother’s cells live on inside her offspring’s body and brain, and conversely, the infant’s cells also live on inside the mother. Scientists believe that these cells aid in immune functions.

Such phrases as

the birth parents had a problem with substance abuse or were young and not ready to parent

are a form of distancing the natural parents from their child. This is dissociating, detaching, and distracting from the primary relationship. These words are weapons meant to evoke emotions in observers who then internalize the message that adopters are then “better than” the child’s natural parents. This psychological twisting is then passed down to the adoptee who grows up feeling indebted for being saved from a life of hell with unfit parents. This distorted message permeates society’s belief that adoption saves infants and children.

I hope you, Amey, can now see that your last two sentences in that first paragraph:

It doesn’t matter. The adoptee still feels unwanted and alone

are quite true of the facts of life as experienced by a newborn or an older baby.

The first sentence in Amey’s next paragraph states:

Adoptees sometimes feel that everyone who makes this decision is selfish, while everyone says that they are selfless.

This reflects upon adoption as it happens in today’s society. Adoption has been warping and changing over the last 9 decades. When I first joined the Adoptees Rights Movement in 1975, nearly a year into my reunion with my natural family, I met mothers from the Baby Scoop Era. Here is a blog post I wrote about honoring their contributions.

I might add that you, Amey, should try to avoid words such as “everyone.” There are many adoptees out there who do not see relinquishment, or surrendering, a newborn or older child as selfish. Many adoptees understand that many mothers and fathers of adoption loss are not given proper counseling of all options available, and this includes ways to sustain keeping their child.

As a social worker, I worked in homeless shelters where our clients where homeless mothers with children or were entire families. We had a checklist of goals that we helped our clients obtain one by one – including parenting classes, finding apartments, finding employment and child care – so that the young mother and/or father could raise their own infant and older children.

Still, I have seen just the opposite – where certain social workers are hell-bent on removing children from their parents just to fill their monthly quota of “placing” children for foster care and adoption.

By using your words of “selfish” and “selfless,” I can only guess you are part of the Brave Love Movement. This Christian movement is deleterious and demoralizing to the expectant mother and the mother who has just given birth. It goes against natural to feel obligated to strangers to “make an adoption plan”- specifically because a pregnant woman or teen is already a mother. Her first and foremost obligation is to the infant she is carrying. Pre-birth adoption plans are immoral and ought to be illegal.

It is sad that modern adoption practices, even those that promote and practice open adoption, make it a point and a goal to instill unnatural feelings and beliefs in the minds of pregnant teens and young women. The idea that it is “unselfish” to give your infant to strangers is brainwashing. Many of the women who now boast that they, too, are proud mothers whom selfishly made an adoption plan for their baby, will one day wake up to the horror of what they’ve done. When they do wake up to realize that they were tricked and coerced into giving their babies to strangers, we will see them in the Anti Adoption Movement.

I’ve seen the jewelry line for Brave Love. I’ve seen T-shirts for pre-adoptive-parent- wanna-bees that state “Paper Pregnant” or “My baby is in Nepal” (for those who are waiting for a baby who will be born to a poor woman in a baby farm who will get paid to gestate a baby for strangers so she can use that money to sustain herself and her family).

Such baby farms exist so that wealthy gay men, lesbian women, heterosexual couples, or even single men and women can make a baby through buying sperm and eggs via contract and then rent the womb of a poor woman for their selfish motives of making a baby at extreme means for the pleasure of experiencing parenting.

Buying and wearing a t-shirt that state the words “paper pregnant” with the drawing of a pregnant belly is an advertisement of the absurd ego-mania that exists in today’s wanna-be-adoptive-parents. Only narcissistic, selfish women with too much money to spend would demean themselves to the point of walking around wearing such a t-shirt, let alone actually using a vulnerable young pregnant woman for the sole purpose of taking her baby upon birth.

Amey, your next sentence:

The Expectant or Birth Parents don’t want to parent; the adoptive parents only want a baby.

seems to accept the myths that are out there today. Most unexpectedly pregnant girls and women actually do want to keep their babies and to parent their child. True, there are some mothers who are, indeed, drug addictions, or are involved in crime, or are completely detached to their pre-born infant. I saw a few of these mothers in the homeless shelters I once worked at. There are mental illnesses that won’t allow a mother to be a mother. There are addictions and criminal behaviors that warrant the removal of newborns or older children from such parents.

Children born to these mothers and raised in foster care in safety carry with them their own birth certificate. They may be raised together with their own siblings. One or two of those siblings may eventually be adopted. However, the one who ages out of foster care maintains the birth certificate created upon her birth, even when her parents are dead beats, drug addicts, in prison, or do not want to have anything to do with their children. Meanwhile, the siblings who were then adopted are given new names, new birth certificates, and new parents. The siblings are still full-blood siblings but are not legally siblings.

Amey, I must challenge you to re-examine your words:

The Expectant or Birth Parents don’t want to parent

How do you know that? According to the natural mothers I communicate daily with on Facebook  and on their websites say that they wanted to parent their baby, but many were coerced and many were de-babied during birth by harsh birthing methods of the attending physician and by nurses who took the baby immediately upon birth.

Amey, your next words:

 the adoptive parents only want a baby.

say it all. Wanting a baby and then using a pregnant girl or young woman to meet your desires is the worst form of anti-woman, anti-feminist beliefs and behavior. Rich and powerful women should not abuse and use disadvantaged pregnant women to satisfy cravings to be a parent. Coveting another woman’s baby and actually going through with the plan to obtain her baby for your benefit is a very selfish act.

And your next words, Amey:

In an infant or young child adoption, they are the only people in the triad who don’t get a choice. Other people make it for them, decide what is best because they’re too young to understand. They resent that, too.

Of course adoptees resent the actions of adults who made life-altering choices and made legally-binding contracts over them when they were too young to say no. The world is now facing a great uprising. Adoptees are gathering together to not only voice opposition to what was done to them, but to end adoption altogether.

Then your next paragraph, Amey, is about adoptees:

And it doesn’t matter if they had a wonderful home life with an adoptive family. Often, they’ll say that they love their adoptive parents, but that they resent them for taking them away from their birth family. They recognize that they were given opportunities that they might never have had, yet they feel incomplete, never whole.

Yes, many adoptees do feel this way. It is a burden to walk through life knowing that you may have had “a wonderful life” and that you do love your adoptive parents, and at the same time feel that loss, feel that resentment. While many adoptees have been raised in economically superior adoptive homes, adoptees are split in half feeling guilty for wanting to know their natural parents and to know why they were not kept. Yes, many adoptees know that they were bought at a high price – thousands of dollars – $25,000 or $50,000 or $75,000. When the realization sets in as to the truth of baby-selling, baby-trafficking, and that adoption agencies make their living this way, many adoptees are disgusted as to the means they became adopted.

And yes:

For them, the loss is more powerful than the gain.

Amey, your next section is about Expectant Parents. I will only say this – that pressuring expectant mothers and fathers into a pre-birth matching contract with adoptive-parent-wanna-bees is just that – unwanted and unhealthy pressure for both the pregnant mother and her unborn child.

Your next section, Amey, is about Birth Parents is actually correct in your assessments of the situation for many natural parents.

You are correct in assessing that many Adoptive Parents are:

Adoptive parents are affected by the anti-adoption movement, but I find that they are more often Anti-Open Adoption. I think it’s pretty obvious that this isn’t me, but I understand the sentiment.

This “Anti-Open-Adoption sentiment exists because many adopters feel that they are the adoptees ONLY parents. Many adoptive parents do not want to know that there is another set of parents who has more than genetic ties to the adoptees in their care. They believe that the adoptee owes them loyalty and elegance. Often times, these types of adoptive parents are very possessive over their adoptees. Some actually believe the false-facts stated on the amended birth certificate – they are living in a delusional fantasy, believing that they gave birth to someone else’s child.

Amey, now I will tell you what happened to me.

My mother was dying of cancer while pregnant with me. During her 7th month of pregnancy, my father took his wife to the hospital. She was very sick. It was two days after Christmas 1955. The doctors x-rayed my mother’s abdomen. There they saw me and a cancerous tumor the same size as I was. Two weeks later, in early January 1956, I was born at 8 weeks gestation – two months premature. My mother died on March 28, 1956, at age 30.

My 31 year old father was left with a deceased wife and five children. His parents were old and sick. He was an only child, so he had no family to lean on. His wife’s siblings were married with several young children, and a few had newborns of their own.

At my mother’s funeral, two things happened very close to one another. The parish priest came up to my father and said, “The baby needs two parents.” A few minutes later, a woman approached my father and said, “I know someone who will take your baby.” My father was given no options. No one offered help to keep his family together. My father was a deeply religious man so he followed the priest’s suggestion. He contacted that woman and arranged for her brother and his wife to come and get me. When he gave me to my future adoptive parents, he also gave them my birth certificate, baptismal certificate, and my clothes. I was 4 months old.

My father married his second wife very soon after. His second wife helped take care of my four older siblings. Meanwhile, my adopting parents lived just one block over and three blocks up away. About nine months later, they moved six miles to the north.

By the closed adoption practices of the time, my father was told to never contact my adoptive parents. He was to stay away from me. My adoption became final when I was one year and one week old. My name was changed. My birth certificate was revoked,  sealed, and replaced by one that states my new name, and my new parents – as if I was born to them in that hospital. The Catholic Church even changed my baptismal certificate.

It is these lies and cover-ups that I resent.

I also resent my adoptive parents’ possessiveness.

In 1974, at my age of 18, I was found by siblings I did not know I had. My adoptive parents knew I had siblings, but they did not tell me. They knew where my mother was buried but never told me. Why? Because I belonged to them. I was theirs.

There is much more to my adoption/reunion story; too much for this blog post. That is why I wrote a memoir: Forbidden Family: An Adoptee’s Struggle for Identity.

There are many reasons why I am anti-adoption. I did not need a new home. I already had a home. I had parents. I should have been allowed to grow up knowing my Mom died and visiting her grave. I should have had my siblings and my father with me. Adoption took all of that away from me.

What did I gain from adoption? I was raised an only and lonely child. I had my independence. I had material middle-class things that my siblings did not have. This created resentment in them when we were reunited. While I loved my adoptive parents, I mistrusted them ever since 1974 when I learned that they lied to me for the first 18 years of my life. I spent the next few decades as the adoptee who belonged to two families, who had the burden of integrating two identities, and the burden of taken the brunt of everyone else’s opinions as to what I should feel and what I should do. It was bad for me to be an anti-adoption activist.

All four of my parents are dead now. I have no contact with any abusive relatives – that means my siblings as well as extended family by blood or by adoption. I do have close relatives on both sides…

My life was ruined because of adoption. I am very resentful, and I will fight to my dying breath to end the revocation, sealing and replacement of adoptees’ birth certificates. I join thousands of adoptees around the world who say that adoption should end.

I will close with this thought:

Amey, your last token of a misguided message is this meme:

death-is-not-the-greatest-loss-in-life.png

I don’t know who this person “Tupac Shakur” is, or was, but that meme is extremely hurtful. My mother died when I was three months old. That loss was the single most devastating event in my life. My mother’s death led to my adoption. I am not grateful for this.

On the other hand, maybe the meme is right. I lost my name, my family, and my birth certificate all because of adoption. I am supposed to be grateful and happy. I am not.

Adoption has left me fighting for my civil rights to my factual birth certificate. I fight not only for myself, but for millions of adoptees worldwide. I fight for the humanity of all pregnant girls and women, and for all mothers, and fathers, of adoption loss.

As for adoptive parents – you reap the benefits of adoption. I don’t see any of you running to legislators to turn in those amended birth certificates to demand adoption certificates instead, nor do I see any adoptive parents demanding that the revoked and sealed birth certificate of the child in your care is reinstated. I don’t see any adoptive parents willing to, and actually returning the child back to the natural parents after they rebuild their lives.

Why? The answer is because you now have what you want: ownership of someone else’s child.

That just about sums up the need for the anti-adoption movement.

 

 

 

Here’s Another Take on Pro-Life Anti-Abortion Pro-Adoption View

This is a blog post by Claudia from 2013, but it is still very relevant today – even more so because Pro-Life people seem to think that “saving a baby’s life” means adopting that baby out automatically. It doesn’t.

Adoption is NOT an Alternative to Abortion – For One Last Time – One Pregnancy; Two Different Decisions

Here are some quotes from this blog post:

 The whole idea of abortion does not belong in the adoption conversation. Let me repeat that; it is a separate conversation, a separate debate.

and

She is already, literally , bodily committed to having this baby, so maybe she thinks “adoption” because she is scared and wants to check adoption out. Unfortunately, once she contacts an adoption agency the chances that she will find emotional support to parent will disappear like a poof of smoke. Often she will then be bombarded with pro-adoption rhetoric that starts telling her, however subtle, that she is not worthy of being a mother, not good enough and that if she loves her baby enough, she will want her baby to have “better”. In essence, the MOTHER becomes the perceived threat to the child’s well being.

As I have said many times before, adoption presents itself as having many answers that face a woman with an unplanned pregnancy. They have carefully honed their marketing message and have it down pat. It’s just full of holes, but too many mother realize that when it is too late.

and

….adoption is NOT a reproductive choice; it s a PARENTING choice. A woman has already made the choice to reproduce. She is already a mother. She has had the baby. She is decide NOT to parent her child. THAT is adoption.

Please follow the above link to read the entire article.

Book Signing at the Buffalo History Museum with 69 Local Western New York Authors

I am happy to announce a local Buffalo, New York author event!

The Buffalo History Museum will be hosting it’s Local Author Book signing. See below for details.

This will be the third year I will be attending with my memoir for sale: Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity.

This is an honor and a privilege! I hope to see you there!

Local Author Book Signing

Date: 11/24/2018 12:00 PM – 11/24/2018 2:00 PM

Address: 1 Museum Court, Buffalo, NY

Phone: 7168739644

Description: An annual favorite! Meet and greet local authors. Great gift ideas for holiday shopping. More than 65 local authors will be on hand to meet and greet readers and sign purchased books. The wide range of publications – including cookbooks, neighborhood, regional and military history, novels and coffee table books – makes this a perfect opportunity to shop for a variety of tastes. Museum admission is free during this event.

Participating Local Authors: 
Christina Abt, Frederick & Cynthia Adcock, Larry Beahan, Donald Blank, Tamyara Brown, Brigette Callahan and Kristin Warham, Christopher Carlin, Steve Cichon, David Coleman, Lorna MacDonald Czarnota, Doreen DeBoth, Gretchen and Dennis Duling, Rick Falkowski, William Faught, Marilyn Foote, Jennifer Gold, Mark Goldman, Matt Gryta, Gerald Halligan, Heather Lynn Harris, Michael Hawley, Rosanne Higgins, David Horning, Patricia Hull, John Koerner, Cathy Lang, Elizabeth Leader, Elizabeth Licata, Alice Loweecey, Thanya Mckinnon, Nancy Mingus, Graham Millar, Melanie Morse and Thomas McDade, H. Vincent Moses, Christy Nicholas, Renee Oubre, Greg Parkes, Terez Peipins, John Percy, Mark Peszko, Lori Porter, Roger Rainville, Paul Redding, Mike Vogel, Lissa Marie Redmond, Mariana Rhoades, Jim Santella, Jeff Schober, Mariam Shannon, Timothy Shannon, Jan Sheridan, Doris Sippel, Bob and Terri Skurzewski, Shannon Spruill, Dan Starr, Shane Stephenson, Greg Sterlace, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Max Warfield, Kristin Warham, Karen Wielinski, Mercedes Wilson, Julianna Fiddler Woite, Theresa Wyatt.

©2018 THE BUFFALO & ERIE CO. HISTORICAL SOCIETY

CBS 60 Minutes on Buffalo WhistleBlower Who Released Documents Against Buffalo Catholic Bishop Malone’s Cover-Up of Priest Sex Abuse

Well, my home city of Buffalo, New York has, once again, made national news in a dark way. This really is world-wide news. And one woman, Siobhan O’Connor, is the whistle-blower we can all thank for her courageous decision to contact a TV News reporter.

Here is the printed article that tells the story:

Whistleblower says bishop knew of sexual abuse allegations, but did nothing

For the first time on television, the former executive assistant to Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone explains why she decided to speak out against the bishop for not taking action against priests accused of sexual abuse

Click on the above link to also view the CBS 60 Minutes video interview.

What follows here is a behind the scenes look. First the printed article, and the video, both at this link:

Why Bishop Malone’s assistant became a whistleblower

How did a faithful assistant become a moral objector? For Siobhan O’Connor, the process was gradual — but soon became imperative

Many of you may wonder why I am putting this on my blog about adoption. The answers are because two priests (one on the first list of 42 priests released in March 2018, and the other on a list of 4 priests revealed in June) were influential during my grade school and high school years. Not only that, but I worry about my classmates, my schoolmates, who were victims. I was not a victim, but I saw violence perpetrated by Monsignor when I was 12 years old. That incident told me there was something radically wrong with that man.

Moreover, I was a child when Monsignor reigned with terror from 1964 to 1970. He was still there when I was in high school. And then, Fr. Dan came in. Even though I was not a victim, I was there, in that grade school, in that church, and I was there in high school when we met for Catholic Youth Organization. I was there when sexual predators molested my friends.

Twenty years before Monsignor was assigned to my church, he was a priest at a church in Buffalo where my natural mother attended both the church and high school.  Monsignor signed my mother’s high school diploma. Twenty years later, he signed my 8th grade diploma. There is no way for me to know if he molested my mother. I can’t ask her; she’s dead. From all that I know now, Monsignor was not after girls and women. He was after boys. Still, it is hard for me, an adoptee, to go through my trauma-filled life, my reunion with my natural father and other blood relatives, grieve the loss of my mother by her untimely death when I was an infant, settle with that, and now look back in horror.

Did Monsignor touch my mother?

You may be wondering what I mean by “what I know now”. Well, since June, I’ve been in daily contact with a schoolmate whom I haven’t seen in 48 years, when I graduated from 8th grade at age 14. He wrote to me via my email contact form at this website. We met for the first time as kids in 1964. Think about that. We were young children in 1964.

About one month ago, by an unusual occurrence, I heard the name of a friend of mine from 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. I called him and asked what he knew. His answers were shocking.

I cannot tell anything else here. I am protecting these men’s privacy. We are dealing with this as best we can.

My first blog post about this topic is not only being read in Buffalo and surrounding areas, but all across this nation, and the world. My website tracker tells me this.

I stand with my classmates and schoolmates in solidarity. And I stand with Siobhan O’Connor, and all whistle-blowers, who hold up truth to a higher power that is greater than the Catholic church.

 

In Response to a perspective adopter

Well written, Gazelledz. I wish you had included the link to the post you were referring to as I’d like to pay a visit over there. The website seems to focus on pregnancy. Yes, I know adoptive parent wanna-bees hang out at places where pregnancy is the topic because, well, they covet what they can’t have naturally. That means, of course, that no matter how much any adopter loves their adopted child, they cannot replace what nature created.

Gazelle's Scirocco Winds

Re: TOBEPREGNANT.NET post

Unless you share DNA/cMs, ancestors, extended family, etc. with a child your are NOT that child’s mother. NO judge, state, or country can change inmutable natural laws, and only in the west is ‘adoption’ considered , wrongfully, to be acceptable.

Paying any fee for a child is illegal and bribery is worse. We are NOT for sale, nor are we here for your convenience. We are also not responsible for the choices-good or bad-that you have made, make, or will make in your life time. We were not born to replace what you do not have. We were born to those preselected to be our parents, no matter how or when we were conceived or how we are separated from them. They remain our parents and we their children.

The ‘legal’ conscription of a child through adoption is odious and a crime against nature and humanity as…

View original post 228 more words