Saving Our Sisters, as you know by now, is the grassroots efforts by members of the adoption community, mostly birthmothers, to help pregnant women avoid adoption relinquishment and the grief that comes with it. We actively seek to educate the world about the realities of adoption that you won’t hear from those who stand to gain something from it. As important as our education mission is the assistance we provide to families to give them a way to parent their child. In my last post I said that what we do is considered controversial, and it is. Why is it considered controversial? Because we lower the supply of babies that are available to those “more deserving” hopeful adoptive parents (see my sarcasm?)
What we do can only be truly successful when there is a major shift in the way people look at adoption. Unfortunately, we have all sorts of adoption advocacy groups that have tons of money invested in telling people how “different” adoption is today. Take, for instance, the Adoption Council of Minnesota. Saving Our Sisters would like to make an official statement about a news article that has come to light in regards of this adoption advocacy group.
To summarize the article, Adoption Council of Minnesota is being heavily praised for sending people out to high schools to “educate” kids about how great adoption is and how it isn’t what it used to be. This is not an accurate education, of course. This education does not include the statistics about the majority of open adoptions closing or contact being greatly diminished within the first 5 years. This doesn’t include the staggering statistic that adopted children are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than the rest of the population. This doesn’t include the trauma, grief and depression that many first moms go through. It includes none of the bad stuff, at all.
These efforts, by Adoption Option Council, are nothing more than propaganda such as the #bravelove campaign to meet the ultimate goal – more babies. By the articles own admission this is why they do it. And I quote, “Getting birth parents to consider adoption is an uphill battle today. With greater access to contraception and abortion and a reduced social stigma for single parenting, fewer babies are available for adoption.” First of all, no one is a birth parent until after they have relinquished their rights so this statement doesn’t even make sense. No one who is already a birth parent can still “consider” adoption as they have already terminated their rights. This statement is misleading. It adds to the coercion that someone who is pregnant under less than ideal circumstances should automatically be considered a birth parent. It gives a sense of entitlement to prospective adoptive parents to a child that is not theirs. Yes, getting parents to consider adoption is an uphill battle, as it should be, and Adoption Option Council of Minnesota has taken that battle to the high schools in a plot that we can only see as “brainwashing” with “adoption positive” language. Of course this language won’t include terms such as suicide, PTSD, and broken families.
Who are they?
About a year and a half ago the board members for Adoption Option were changed. The President is Kate Gillen, a birthmother. You see, by using a birthmother as the front person it makes them seem like a legitimate organization who only want to educate. What does Kate get out of this? Like all birthmothers that are used in “today’s” adoptions, she gets to be the hero. How many times do we hear the “in the fog” birthmothers talking about how great it felt to “give someone such a huge gift.” They get praised, like goddesses, and some even write articles for pro-adoption sites and get paid.
But who is the Vice President? That title belongs to Allie Schmidt. Who is Allie Schmidt? You can probably guess. She is a social worker for an ADOPTION AGENCY. Hope Adoption & Family Services International to be exact. Which seems to be called Evolve Adoption & Family Services now. How can a person who works profiting from the adoption of children be the Vice President of a “non-profit” that claims to educate people about how great and different adoption is now?
I’m so sick of these “non-profits” popping up that advocate for adoption and look to be so great on the outside when at least ONE person in power, sitting on the board, PROFITS off of adoption in some way or another. Huge conflict of interest. They are using these organizations as a front to, essentially, lobby for more babies. I wonder who Adoption Option sends moms to when they fall for the propaganda. I would go out on a limb and guess, oh, um, probably EVOLVE Adoption Agency. That wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit. But, wait, you may say…they’re a non-profit! The director made almost $90,000 in 2014. I’d say her very financial existence relies on getting more infants to stay in business, wouldn’t you? No salary or a very small salary, to me, is considered non-profit. You can read more about the adoption non-profit myth here.
You see, these agencies, the ones who profit off of adoptions, cannot go out and talk about how great adoption is and be taken seriously. So they create a separate “non-profit” group that appears to benefit birth parents and expectant mothers. It’s all a front. All of it. It’s ludicrous to think we are even allowing this stuff in our high schools. It really is. Our PUBLIC high schools are allowing people to come in to brainwash people into giving up their babies as commodities for what is, really, a legal child-trafficking ring in the United States.
And we’re considered controversial. We do not profit. We do not have a salary. We are not compensated, even, for expenses incurred helping these mothers. We keep families together and provide assistance without expecting anything in return. Our organization is not a front. It is for real. What you see is what you get. We have NOTHING to gain. Not to mention, we are NOT well-off. At all. Money is always tight in my household, and I live quite a meager existence. Yet, I know what it is like to be scared, frightened and pregnant…looking for any way out. A temporary financial situation led me to lose my daughter. I was told how great adoption was. I was NOT offered any help to keep her. The little help I DID get was with the stipulation I would hand over my child. So I know what it is like to be in that place. I don’t want anyone else to ever have to be there. This is why we do what we do.
The down side in not getting all sorts of government grants for being a non-profit? We don’t have a drop in the bucket to launch such huge faux pas campaigns in the name of adoption to get what we want. This is our only outlet, our readers, our volunteers, our donors, social media. How much money do these organizations spend on their campaigns to get more babies? How much of that money could have helped just one mother parent her child? Ask yourself these questions and see what kind of answers you come up with.
But adoption is different! Isn’t it? No, not really. The tactics have just changed, as I covered in my previous post. That is why they are so misleading. At the end of the day, just like in the 60’s, you have no parental rights, adoptive parents are not required to keep contact, and your grown child, who you have relinquished, is not required to want anything to do with you. As a matter of fact, its worse than having no parental rights. You are historically ERASED from your child’s life. The birth certificate is sealed and even in states where it has now become legal to get, it isn’t an official government document. The names of “mother” and “father” are changed to a lie. It will state that the adoptive parents gave birth to your child. Not much at all has REALLY changed in adoption. Even open adoption where promises are kept does not equate a “perfect” adoption. While open adoption is preferable to closed adoption, we now have adult adoptees, from open adoptions, discussing how difficult it was to grow up that way, constantly leaving your first family and not understanding why. My favorite open adoption adoptee is Kat. Her blog is SISTER WISH. Here are some quotes from her front page:
“I felt trapped between two worlds.”
“Jealousy ran rampant with my kept siblings. I had things. They had my mom.”
“I ALWAYS wanted to see and talk to my mom more.”
“Open adoption is an adult concept based on boundaries. As a child, I didn’t know that. I was fully vested.”
Also, in my previous post, we learned the Nebraska Supreme Court, in a landmark, precedent setting decision, ruled that promises of open adoption were COERCION.
There is no great, awesome, adoption for a child, unless, of course, that child was in an abusive household. Even then it isn’t great. It is still sad their original family was not competent and they had to get a new family. What is adoption about for Adoption Option Council of Minnesota? From reading the article it seems to be about adoptive parents and birth parents who want to appease their guilt. Definitely NOT about the child who will be adopted. If it was they would be honest. But they’re not.
Saving Our Sisters takes the official position that we are adamantly against any group of people who would come into a high school, speak to vulnerable minds, claim to educate them about a subject, when it is really propaganda for personal gain.