In defense of my friend, Carol Schaefer, who wrote this article today on Huffington Post: “The Right to Love: Two Social Movements Converge on One Family”, I wrote the following Letter to the New York Times.
To deny Jack Ryan’s mother , Carol Schaefer, who gave birth to her son in 1966, the joy, respect and dignity of being named as his mother alongside of the parents who raised him is to, again, slap her with the stigma of being “an unwed mother” the way she was so many decades ago.
New York Times: Your high society newspaper has chosen not to publish the names of the two people “who did the dirty” and who “had” to give up the baby to avoid being disgraced for life. Your staff has just reinforced those old stereotypes.
The shame now is on the editor and publisher and all the staff of the New York Times for disrespecting Jack Ryan’s mother and his father – the very two people who gave him life. Yet, come Mother’s Day, you will publish sentimental words honoring “all” mothers. It appears that only legal mothers are honored by your paper.
You have robbed Carol Schaefer of a once-in-a-lifetime event — of being named in your extremely-prestigious newspaper for the honor that belongs to her. Just because The New York Times is decades behind the times, does not mean we all are.
Joan M Wheeler, born as Doris M Sippel
Reunited Adoptee since 1974, Reform activist