Independent Adoption Center Goes Belly Up Without Warning

Yesterday and today, without warning, hundreds, maybe thousands, of prospective adoptive parents checked their email and found that the adoption agency they had been working with (see: paying) was no longer in business. Some were near the end of the adoption process and already have children in their homes and are just waiting on finalization, some had just began the process and didn’t have too much invested quite yet, and others were somewhere in between. When they went to their website at http://independentadoptioncenter.org/ they found this:

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When you click on the links entitled “News Release” and “To Our Families” you get this:

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Independent Adoption Center boasted 34 years of agency experience helping to facilitate over 4300 adoptions in those 3 and a half decades. They were fully licensed in California, Georgia, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. They were HUGE.

There’s a few key sentences you should pay attention to.

“The IAC has worked tirelessly to adapt to this changing environment, but the many efforts we implemented were ultimately unsuccessful.”

The “changing environment” referred to is in reference to the lack of “potential birthmothers” that is cited earlier. Just how did IAC work tirelessly to procure more “potential birthmothers” to meet the demand of the clients they took on.  Apparently WAY too many clients as well. As one birthmom friend said, this being the agency she worked with while pregnant and after giving birth, she was coerced and pressured by IAC beyond belief, ultimately relinquishing her child even though she didn’t want to.

“As everything will be under control of the trustee and the court, IAC will not be involved with determining how any remaining funds in the account are utilized.”

So this wasn’t something that just popped up yesterday. This has been in the works for some time if there is already a trustee for their chapter 7 bankruptcy. Then why weren’t families warned? Why was IAC still accepting PAYMENTS at least FIVE days ago? If you know you’re in the process of filing for bankruptcy, why are you drafting people’s bank accounts for payments of services you know you won’t be rendering because you’re shutting down? ALL THE WAY DOWN.

Calling their lines gives you an automated message pretty much telling you the same thing that is shown here. Emails have gone unanswered. As I said earlier, their website is all but gone, their Facebook page has disappeared.  They’ve gone off the grid as much as one CAN go off the grid, filing bankruptcy and leaving people in the lurch.

(I’m getting to a point, I swear I am)

Hopeful adoptive parents with home studies through IAC are no longer valid. The home studies they paid for are worthless and they have to start again.

Hopeful adoptive parents that have been making payments? Same thing. That money is gone.  Wait for something to come in the mail from the courts to prove your claim against the “estate.” If there’s anything left to claim that is.

Hopeful adoptive parents who already have a child in their home but haven’t finalized? Their states don’t care that their agency went belly up. The law still says a certain number of home visits must be conducted by a licensed agency for a judge to grant finalization.

Adoptive parents and first parents who have already utilized this agency and finalized? The records will probably be sent to the state making it even HARDER for an adoptee to access them.  Making it even harder for a first parent to access them. Furthermore, some adoptions were only open in the capacity that IAC was facilitating all contact as a third-party. Those first parents and adoptive parents have NO WAY TO FIND EACH OTHER TO CONTINUE CONTACT. (So much for that open adoption IAC promised)

Lots of sensitive information and documents are in the hands of IAC and many people are wondering what will be done with that. IAC failed to talk about that in their “News Release.” This isn’t sensitive information like where someone works.  We’re talking FBI background checks and medical records.

Let’s not forget that promised “lifetime support” to first families and adoptive families. Just another way to bring in business, get the goods, and turn a profit. Obviously that “lifetime support” is no longer available to those it was promised to.

Where am I going with all of this?

A couple of days ago I wrote an article about an agency administrator as an admin in an adoption support group.

I received a lot of support and a lot of backlash.  As a matter of fact, I receive a lot of backlash all the time from hopeful adoptive parents and adoptive parents alike. Here’s my point.

The adoption industry SCREWS you too.  They don’t care. If they aren’t making money they DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU. They will leave you in the lurches, close their doors, and tell you to see ’em in court. Do you NOT understand how important reform is? Don’t you know WHY adoption costs what it does? This adoption agency went bankrupt. BANKRUPT. And not a word was spoken until the day before they shut their doors totally cutting off all communication with their clients. They were still collecting payments until days before. They were still going through the motions making their clients believe everything was okay. It’s the same thing they do to expectant moms.

Do you think that an agency that acted as unethically with their bankruptcy as they did acted ETHICALLY when dealing with expectant mothers? Not a chance. There is a HUGE uproar in the adoptive parent/hopeful adoptive parent community over this. Yet, most of you look away when people like me say “Hey! This agency is bad! This industry does this! They aren’t ethical!” I’m just an angry bitter birthmom. But when it happens to you – oh the shame!

You’re fooling yourselves if you think that IAC is an exception. Independent Adoption Center is not an exception. They just happened to be one of the larger ones to conduct themselves this way. Smaller agencies are closing all the time leaving similar destruction in their wake.

Furthermore, with the awakening of those of us who were tricked or coerced, the creation of Saving Our Sisters, and the endless hours dedicated to TRUE reform and protections of expectant parents and their children, agencies like IAC will no longer have a place in today’s society.  We’ll make sure of that.

I’ll leave you with Independent Adoption Center’s Form 990 from 2014 tax year. I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out how a “non-profit” with $2,262,074 in NET assets goes belly up in 2 years.

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Dying To Breastfeed

We all know there is a huge debate in the adoption community about the ethics surrounding breastfeeding in adoptive mothers. Some have even gone so far as to call this practice child abuse. The reasons stated for this will not be the same reasons that I give, however, I understand the sentiment. I have more concrete reasons for considering this child abuse. There are a wide array of reasons that people argue for and against breastfeeding in adoptive mothers. My argument will be more specific and will follow simple medical logic. Regardless of your feelings on adoption, I would hope that with facts in hand you will all see how truly horrid breastfeeding is when it comes to adoptive mothers.

First let’s take a look at how breast milk is produced in a pregnant/post-natal mother. We all know that our bodies are designed to nurture our children. The natural process includes many things and the production of breast milk needed to sustain a newborn is definitely one of the major ones.

An article on Baby Center gives a general run down on the process. I’ll summarize. It all starts with the placenta. The placenta is the life force of the unborn child. It provides it with all the nutrients it needs to grow before birth. The placenta stimulates hormones that trigger a chain of events in a pregnant woman’s body that result in the production of breast milk. Prolactin is the essential hormone in order for the final steps to take place. The production of Prolactin takes place in the pituitary gland and brain (again, from a complex set of events that started with the placenta). Without Prolactin, there is no breast milk.

This is what a woman’s body does during pregnancy. A chain of complex events is kicked off to make sure there is a milk supply to nurture that infant after the pregnancy ends. This is nature’s way. Breast feeding in adoptive mother’s is man’s way.

Wet nurses were often used during times in our human history when they were needed for various reasons. We did not have bottles and formula and to ensure the survival of an infant whose mother was not able, for a variety of reasons, to breast feed, wet nurses were often employed. It is true that wet nurses were also used by the wealthy, but that is a subject for another day. It is important to point out that the wet nurses of our yester-years produced milk naturally. These were women who had already born children and then continued to nurse so their milk supply was always at an appropriate level. The more you nurse, the more milk you will have. Supply and demand and your body knows how much to make.

Why do adoptive mothers want to breast feed babies that they did not give birth to?

Many will tell you the reason is for the health benefits of breast-feeding. Breast fed babies are generally smarter, healthier, and are given a better start due to important antibodies that are passed on to the child through the mother’s milk. But what if the adoptive mother’s milk was toxic? What if it had the potential to not only kill the adoptive mother but also the nursing infant? Are the health benefits of breastfeeding versus formula still there? Which would be safer? Along with the health benefits, many will also tell you that the bonding that comes with breastfeeding is something that is important to them. Valid point but it is sort of hard to bond with your new baby if you are dead, or worse, they are dead.

It is important to point out that formula fed babies are not, on average, dumb, unhealthy, or set on a path of fated illnesses for the rest of their lives. A formula fed baby can be healthy, happy, and nourished.

How is it possible for an adoptive mother to breastfeed if they have not gone through the natural process of pregnancy to induce lactation?

There are a variety of ways to induce lactation. There are “natural” methods that a woman can use to “trick” their bodies into milk production. These methods can include stimulation of the nipples (using a breast pump to simulate breast-feeding), herbal teas, and a variety of other benign things. These “natural” methods of induction of lactation, however, are not nearly as successful as the preferred method – artificial drugs. On average, according to an Oxford journal, the “natural” method of inducting lactation is only about 50% effective while using artificial drugs to induce lactation are about 89% effective. If you are a hopeful adoptive parent and are set on breastfeeding which statistic do you choose? Well, given all the information, any sane person would take their chances with the 50%. This is where that “health benefits and bonding” excuse for wanting to breastfeed come into question. Would you choose the method that will give you an 89% success rate over the 50% success rate if you were aware of the risks involved with that higher rate?

I don’t believe for one second that these “breastfeeding adoptive mothers” are not aware of every single health risk that comes with artificially inducing lactation. They have done their research into every orifice of the breastfeeding dilemma. If I could find this information with a few key strokes and clicks then surely they have as well. Those that continue to follow this path are endangering their life as well as the child they hope to adopt. This certainly isn’t what’s “best” for baby.

How many expectant mothers are aware that the “awesome” and “deserving” set of parents they have chosen to adopt their baby may be putting their child’s life at risk simply because they want to have a child that is “as if” born to them, including the breastfeeding aspect. Don’t give me the bull about health benefits and bonding when you know perfectly well the dangers that come with it. It now becomes about YOU and YOU alone. It becomes about your crazed desire to pretend that you have given birth to this child. It becomes about an obsession so great that you are willing to risk your life and the life of the baby to fulfill it.

Some of you may be puzzled right now and are wondering what I’m talking about. I apologize. It will soon become clear.

What drug is given to induce lactation in women who are adopting and wish to breastfeed?

Domperidone.

In fact, a woman in an adoption group who is hoping to adopt posed the question about breastfeeding. The women in the group happily and eagerly replied citing Domperidone as the way to go. One woman even brags about how she takes 80 mg a day and her milk supply is great! She only needs to supplement with a bottle once or twice a day. See for yourself.

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Because I have breastfed four babies (and dutifully pumped for the one I relinquished) I began to wonder if this drug is passed through breast milk and how dangerous it may be. Any breastfeeding mom will tell you that before they take any medications or drugs they will always check with their doctor to make sure it’s safe. Not all drugs cross through and go into the breast milk and not all drugs are harmful to the baby. Out of curiosity I decided to go to Google. That’s how I found what I found. It was the first result I got. This is why I don’t believe for a second that these breastfeeding adoptive mothers aren’t privy to the information that I have found. It isn’t a national secret. It’s readily available, and the first search result at that, just by typing “Domperidone breastfeeding” into the google search bar. So what did I find?

Well, as it turns out, for reasons of inducing lactation, the FDA has BANNED prescribing Domperidone. It’s illegal to import it into the country and only one place is even authorized, in the whole United States, to produce it – and not for lactation. This ban is in place because of the health risks, which we’ll get into shortly.

This got me wondering….who are these doctors that are prescribing this for lactation against the FDA rules? It’s illegal to import and the FDA says it cannot be prescribed for lactation. Why are these doctors prescribing it? Didn’t they take an oath? One that says, “first do no harm?” Harm is exactly what they could be doing and for what? Is it life-threatening for an adoptive mother to NOT breastfeed? No. So why would a doctor, sworn to first do no harm, prescribe a medication that has the potential to kill the adoptive mother and the baby she is nursing?

Read for yourself:

“Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stresses that domperidone is not an FDA-approved drug, and that it may not be legally marketed in the US. In June 2004, FDA warned compounding pharmacies and firms that supply domperidone for use in compounding that it is illegal to compound domperidone. In addition, FDA put into place an import alert permitting FDA personnel to detain domperidone shipments of bulk ingredients and shipments of finished drug products offered for importation without an active investigational new drug application. These actions resulted from FDA’s concern about the potential health risks associated with the use of domperidone in lactating women. These risks include cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, and sudden death.

Although domperidone is not FDA approved, FDA recognizes there are some patients with severe gastrointestinal motility disorders that are refractory to standard therapy who may benefit from the use of domperidone and in whom the benefits of the drug may outweigh its risks. Domperidone is available to these patients through an Expanded Access to Investigational Drugs program. Under this program, domperidone may be obtained only from certain specified suppliers and authorization must be obtained prior to the importation, interstate shipment, and administration of the drug. According to FDA, currently the only authorized supplier of the drug is Dougherty’s Pharmacy in Dallas, TX.

Boards observing that an entity may be obtaining or compounding domperidone under circumstances not in compliance with FDA regulations are encouraged by the agency to report any concerns. Pharmacists may direct any questions to the FDA Division of Drug Information by sending an e-mail to druginfo@fda.hhs.gov or by calling 855/543-3784 or 301/796-3400.”

This article was published on July 31, 2013. The original warning letter was issued in 2004. Because compliance was not being met, they had to issue an additional warning to stress what was in the original one.

Yet, here we have a whole group of women talking about how they take it everyday to breastfeed their adopted children. We have them telling a hopeful adoptive mom to join a support group online about adoptive breastfeeding – most likely so they can get more information about this “miracle drug.” We even have them giving out the names of places overseas that they can order it from. Can anyone spell illegal? Felony?

(Side note: I have forwarded the original messages, along with names that have been blacked out here, and the links to these women’s Facebook pages to the email address provided by the FDA in the letter)

So why is this drug banned by the FDA? Let’s take a look at another article written by a cardiologist. She sites that sudden cardiac arrest is one of the deadly side effects of Domperidone. She states that it IS transmitted through breast milk. She also questions the increasing instances of SIDS that have happened in more recent years that happen to correlate with the increasing number of adoptive mothers who are inducing lactation artificially.

Let me ask you a question. If I purposely ingesting drugs that I knew could potentially kill my child what would happen to me? Would child and family services show up at my door and seize my baby? If something bad did happen would I go to prison for murder? Let me remind you of a story from a little over a year ago. A mother was sentenced to 20 years in prison because she breastfed her baby while on Morphine and Klonopin. The 6-week old baby died. She landed in prison, as she should be, because those drugs were detectable in the baby’s system. Domperidone would surely be detectable as well, but it’s not a narcotic. Regardless of the known dangers – sudden cardiac arrest – women breastfeeding while taking this drug are not investigated. I think the good cardiologist has a point when she questions SIDS deaths.

And I quote: “If the risk to the mother isn’t enough, there’s a risk to the baby too. Domperidone is transferred in breast milk (LC’s often deny this!) and infants are exquisitely sensitive to its effect. How many ‘SIDS’ cases out there are in fact sudden cardiac deaths from arrythmias caused by maternal domperidone use?”

My question is WHY? Why would women take something known to be potentially fatal to their infant? Why are adoptive mothers passing home studies and getting approved to go ahead with an adoption when they are CLEARLY putting their infant at risk of death for an unnecessary reason by taking this drug? This is child endangerment – clear and concise child endangerment. A mother is willingly and knowingly ingesting a drug that is dangerous and then feeding this drug to her child, knowing the potential harm it could cause.

Why?

Because the fantasy and obsession to pretend that she gave birth to that child is so great that she is willing to go to any length, take any risk, to sustain it. You cannot tell me a whole bunch of mushy gushy healthy reasons you wish to breastfeed and have me believe it when the method you are using to induce lactation could KILL that child. Then it’s about you – and only you.

When you are faced with someone arguing with you about how great it is that adoptive mothers want to breastfeed, remind them that none of those reasons are valid if they choose to induce lactation artificially. Then it becomes child abuse. Nothing less than child abuse.

Guilt, Coercion, Threats – A New Mom Changes Her Mind – SOS In Action

UPDATE: Almost $1100 was raised for Clara in less than 24 hours! You are all amazing!!

As some of you may know, we are in the process of legitimizing our grassroots organization called Saving Our Sisters (SOS). The goal of SOS is to help vulnerable women avoid adoption relinquishment. Over the past couple of years the organization’s brain child and front-runner, Lynn Johansenn, has helped dozens of women, that had decided to utilize adoption, to keep their babies and successfully parent. SOS offers whatever support is needed to achieve this. Sometimes the support is emotional, sometimes financial, and sometimes legal. Most people who have been helping with this are members of the adoption community themselves. They include birth/first/natural mothers, adoptees, and even a couple of adoptive parents. When the alarm call is sounded, this vast network of people contributes to what is needed and we always end up with enough for the new mom.

Initially, when hearing about an expectant mother who is set on an adoption “plan,” she is approached gently and given the encouragement she needs to know she is worthy of parenting her child and that SOS will do whatever it takes to make that possible. Each reason that a mother has to contemplate adoption is systematically removed with our wonderful network of donors and volunteers. Some harsh realities about the possibilities (probabilities?) in adoption are taught and then the ball is in her court. She is left with contact information, if she declines help at that time, if she changes her mind after the birth of the baby.

If a mother contacts us and needs help we will immediately send out a local contact to be by her side. This contact will go through the needs and even speak on her behalf to the adoption agency, attorney, or prospective adoptive parents so there need not be any awkward moments. We literally do anything we need to do to make the change of mind as easy as possible for the new mother.

More often than not, after the mother has changed her mind and the prospective adoptive parents have been informed, a series of harassment and coercion, coming from selfish people who will do anything to get their hands on the baby they think they have been “promised,” ensues. Prospective adoptive parents, in general, seem to think they are more worthy and more deserving of someone else’s child and will pull out all stops to coerce her, even threaten her, into signing over her rights.

I would like to introduce you to Clara’s* story. Clara is a young mother in Kansas who was expecting a baby within days. Help and information were offered to her. She originally declined but, after the birth of her baby, changed her mind and reached out for help.

Clara had already picked out prospective adoptive parents and was in the process of beginning a private (non-agency) adoption. Since there was no agency the prospective adoptive’s parents’ attorney was pretty much running the legal show. I have no information about how she came about picking this couple or if she was coerced during her pregnancy. I can only speculate. What I do know about Clara is this: She is a hard-working, frugal, single mother who does a kick ass job as a mother. She manages to provide with very little and does damn good with it. She is smart, level-headed, and loving. The father of the baby she just delivered ran out on her with another woman. He wanted nothing to do with the new baby. Clara’s story is so familiar. I’ve heard it time and time again. Are these ideal circumstances to bring a child into the world? Well, no, not really. Does that mean it’s impossible to successfully parent this child? Absolutely not. I’m sure Clara could think of family members or friends that would be willing to be a positive male role model in her child’s life. After deciding to parent she had an outpouring of support from family, friends and her community. Bottom line is this, Clara is worthy of parenting her child and her child is worthy of staying in his original family, of keeping that family intact. When this is a possibility it should always be this way. Adoption should always and only be a last resort.

I’ve discussed coercion, guilt trips, and all sorts of other fun stuff that goes on behind the scenes in adoption land. I often hear new birthmoms say “that doesn’t happen anymore” or “that didn’t happen to me.” Let this stand as a testament that it does indeed still happen, and often. Ask yourself how your child’s adoptive parents would have behaved if you changed your mind?

I did, indeed, make an adoption plan for my youngest daughter (the daughter that was born after my relinquished daughter). I asked the adoptive parents of IKL to adopt her. I changed my mind. When they learned of this change of mind they said, “You will never see IKL again.” Visits were stopped. That was 12 years ago. I have not seen her since. Initially they tried to talk me into giving the baby up. Telling me how it would be selfless and I would be giving her all sorts of things that she wouldn’t get with me. When that didn’t work they resorted to threats. Threatening to take IKL out of my life. When I didn’t relent they made good on their promise.

Meet Becky, prospective adoptive parent. This is her text message to Clara after learning she had changed her mind.

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Guilt and coercion. “Look how upset we are. Please still consider adoption. We can give your baby what you can’t. We are more deserving. We’ll let you pick the middle name! See how great and open we are!” That is the message I’m getting from this text message. Notice she mentions Tom. This is the father of the baby. She is using Clara’s fear of a court battle (which she knows full and well would never really get to the point of “fighting” just based on custody laws) with Tom to attempt to sway her into handing over her baby. Pretty disgusting. But it get’s better.

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When Becky’s attempt to coerce and scare Clara didn’t work, she resorted to having her sister text message Clara. More guilt. She even goes so far to call her selfish for parenting her child. Do these people not understand this baby is not and never was theirs? This is just more of the same, trying to get her to sign over rights via guilt and making her feel like a bad person – selfish – for parenting HER child.

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Screen shot number four. He meant to say, “if you are NOT willing to let the child be adopted.”

So here’s where things get “Are you kidding me?!” This is the bio father’s text message to Clara. Here’s what you need to remember. Clara did NOT give her contact information to Tom (the bio father). He attained this message through the adoptive parents somehow, most likely their attorney. As you’ll remember from the first text message, Becky was trying to convince Clara to give up her baby to protect the baby from Tom (bio dad). If Becky was truly concerned about the baby’s safety would she be giving out Clara’s contact information to Tom? Even if it was through a third-party such as her attorney? Of course not. This is, yet again, another tactic to scare Clara. This time with direct threats from the bio dad. When Becky’s text message didn’t work, and then her sister’s didn’t either, she now tried FORCE. Coercion and guilt wasn’t working, right? Let’s FORCE her hand into giving us her baby. Let’s scare her…even if it really does put the baby at risk. Who cares. We want what we want and we’ll do anything to get it.

This is the face of adoption. Expectant mothers heed this warning. The same people who are nice to you, that you feel “connected” to, that you LOVE SO MUCH, I would estimate 90% of them would turn into this if you changed your mind. They have one goal in mind – to get a baby. They are shameless and will stop at nothing to do it.

Dear Becky,

Go fuck yourself you entitled piece of shit.

Dear Becky’s sister,

Noneya.

Dear Tom,

Go ahead and try. I dare you.

Where does this leave Clara? Well, none of this is working on her, thank God. The ONLY thing Clara needs right now is her rent of $500 paid since she was not able to scrape that together being at the end of her pregnancy. We don’t usually ask for monetary donations straight up but, in this case, it is needed greatly. Her rent is due on the 1st. As of now we do NOT have tax exempt status so your donation would not be tax-deductible. However, if you would like to donate to the PayPal account that is being used to help Clara with rent next month (and if we get enough rent NEXT month as well) it would be greatly appreciated.

To donate to Clara please message Lynn Johansenn on facebook HERE.

What Clara is doing is #bravelove.

Adoption is #notabravelove

*Name changed to protect new mother

Unconditional Love

A love that will stay and persist without limits, without prerequisites. No matter what. To show unconditional love is to put yourself aside for the well-being of someone else. A sacrifice of one’s self because of this love. To voluntarily endure pain, hurt, disappointment, and more in the name of this love. To put someone else above yourself.

-Astrid

This is my definition of unconditional love.

Unconditional is defined as “not subject to conditions.” Love is defined, by man, as “an intense feeling of deep affection.”

Furthermore, God defines love as patient and kind, free of envy, boasting and pride. It is not dishonorable, self-seeking, or easily angered. It also keeps no record of wrongs. It rejoices with TRUTH and does NOT delight in evil.

If you are a believer in God then you know that you are required to try your best to love one another in the way he has described, unconditionally. However, let’s take the layman’s view and assume you don’t HAVE to love EVERYONE unconditionally. You are free to just “love” people, no qualifiers required.

If I asked you how you were supposed to love your child, based on what I’ve written above, what would you say? Unconditionally, right? Of course. That’s how we’re wired. It’s how it’s supposed to be. We are supposed to love our children in a way that puts their needs above our own. Even if it hurts us. Isn’t that what it is all about?

The act of giving my daughter up for adoption was not selfless. I cannot say that it was because to claim that would be to imply that parenting my other children (all unplanned and coming at times that could be considered “crisis”) was selfish. And it wasn’t. However, when I relinquished her, it was because I was willing to suffer a lifetime of pain or never knowing who she was if that is what she wanted. If she never wanted to speak to me, ever, in her life, I was okay with that so that I would not cause her any emotional pain. Yes, it would hurt deeply, but I love my daughter so much (all of my kids really) that I would take that hurt so they didn’t have to. Wouldn’t we all? Wouldn’t we all take our kids hurt in a heartbeat if we could so as not to see them suffer? Of course we would, if we could.

What if you could? What if you COULD take that hurt away and make it a little better. What would you do?

What if you are an adoptive parent of a teenager. What if this teenager of yours is having a REALLY rough time emotionally? So they’ve asked to send their birthmother a letter. You let them write the letter and many things that are said in the letter hurt you. It’s only human to face insecurities. However, you know that sending this letter and hoping for a response back would be something to help a little with the healing of your teenager, even if it hurts you. Even if the thought of losing the child you’ve nurtured from infancy was almost too much to handle. Would you be willing to let your child continue to suffer and hurt so that you could make yourself feel more secure about your place in their life? If you answered “yes” then you do not love your child unconditionally. You do not love them selflessly. You are not willing to sacrifice yourself for them. Regardless of how many late nights you have stayed up with a sick toddler, regardless of how many bedtime stories you have read them, regardless of how many recitals you have been to. None of that stuff defines the true meaning of being a parent, a mother, a father.

The very definition of motherhood should be unconditional love. As a birthmom, I am willing to love my child unconditionally. I am willing to accept her for all of her faults and for all the things she may do that would make me feel bad. I will love her no matter what and do what is best for her. I will live with an unbearable grief for the rest of my life because I thought I was giving her a “better” life, even if that turns out to not be the case. My actions were in good faith at the cost of great personal pain and sacrifice, at the very high cost of great personal pain of my other children and family members. I did all of this because I loved her so. I let her call someone else “mom” because of this. Because I loved her and thought I was making the best choice I possibly could then.

It baffles me beyond reason how a person would not be able to do the same for their adopted child in return. Why they wouldn’t be able to suck it up, swallow their pride (“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”) and help their child heal. Not leave their child thinking they have been rejected and ignored. Are you that insecure that you would sacrifice your child’s well-being for it?  You would lie (“It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”)

Adoptive parents who choose to break promises and cut off birth families for any reason other than they are DANGEROUS, I have this to say to you:

If you think that cutting off communication between your child and their birth family is the way to go – Don’t be selfish. Do the selfless thing. Do the loving thing. Put your child’s needs ahead of your own so that they can have a better life. A life that includes all of their family. You are not giving up your child. You are placing her in a healthy environment that includes knowing her roots. Remember, you are in control of the adoption so there is great power in that. Don’t abuse it.

Don’t ya like how all those things that we were told during our “adoption plans” can also be used for you?

Statements Made By Adoptive And Hopeful Adoptive Parents – More Education Is Still Needed

“As an adoptive mom, I honestly think that there is nothing worse that one mother can do to another mother than withholding promised contact with a child.”

As a member of the adoption community I come across many comments from adoptive parents through various outlets on the Internet. My blog has always focused on the unethical side of adoption as that is what needs addressing. Over the past several months I have been collecting statements made by adoptive parents online and wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them. When I decided to start compiling these statements, as I have run into so many horrid ones, I started to run across adoptive parents that blew me away, and not in the negative way you may be thinking. Sadly, the ignorant, cruel, and selfish statements no longer surprise me. They still enrage me but they don’t surprise me. It is sad that I am surprised by statements that are the opposite of the ignorant ones. However, to be well-rounded, I needed to get a platform for both.

The opening statement of this article is powerful. Not only is the adoptive mother acknowledging that breaking promises in regards to contact is one of the most horrible betrayals, she is also acknowledging the motherhood of first moms. That statement was the one that started to give me hope. It was the one that blew me away. I would still like to point out that I believe in family preservation first. However, we have to face the reality that family preservation is not always possible and there are some circumstances in which a child would be safer not being raised by their first parents. In these cases, it is nice to see adoptive parents who have taken the time to educate themselves and think not only about the adoptee but also the parents of that child and how they may be feeling.

So, without further ado, some of the most inspiring comments made by adoptive parents that I have run into online, over the months. Be sure to stay tuned until the end for a stark contrast to these statements.

“What you are giving him and his mom is priceless.” At first glance you would think this statement would be directed at an expectant mother or birth parents. It isn’t. This statement was made in regards to a foster child about to be successfully reunited with his family.

“My family and friends have questioned our openness for a long time, but everyone has learned we view first/birth/bio family members of our children as family regardless. They can accept it or not, but all family is welcome in our home, hearts, and lives.” Many times I hear of adoptive parents cutting off or greatly diminishing contact because of pressures from their family. Sometimes it is because their families have validated their irrational fears or insecurities and all they needed was that affirmation that they should probably not be so open. It takes courage to go against those irrational fears and insecurities and, especially, go against your family not understanding to do what is best by your child as well as that child’s first parents. Kudos to you.

“I was weirded out when my son’s amended birth certificate arrived. I expected happiness or maybe relief but instead I felt like an impostor.” Here is an adoptive parent being honest with herself. Like most adoptees, she felt there was something “not right” about the lie that listed her as having given birth to her son. Birth certificates are NOT parent certificates. An accurate record of one’s birth should be the most fundamental of human rights. For adoptees that is not the reality.

“it’s better to call it and write it as “expectant mom” not “birth mom” because that isn’t the title she has yet.”  Yes! Yes! Yes! She is not a birthmother. She is an expectant mother. To call her anything else is a subtle form of coercion. It plants the seed that she has already given up her child.

“It’s not a bad thing that mom takes baby home. She’s feeling out what she wants to do.”  This statement was made in regards to a new mom who had considered adoption. The hopeful adoptive parent was concerned that the new mom had decided to bring the baby home before making a final adoption decision. This statement made me smile. This adoptive parent is advocating for a mother to at least TRY parenting first before deciding on adoption, even if it means no baby for a hopeful adoptive parent. How refreshing.

And now for the bad. I wish I had found more of the types of statements that I posted above. It’s just a reality, though, that most adoptive parents don’t get it. They don’t want to get it. They are too absorbed in what they want and cannot realize that adopting a child is totally different from having a child that is biologically yours. A baby will not cure infertility. That is something you need to deal with on your own accord separate from adoption. These statements, as you will see, also show that, when it comes down to it, a pregnant mother facing less than ideal circumstances in her life are looked at as a means to procure a baby and not much more.

“Is there any chance that he may not go back to mom?” This is a foster parent hoping for the mother of the child she is fostering to fail what the courts have required to get her child back. If you are fostering to adopt and have not accepted that the ultimate goal of fostering is to reunite families then you should not be fostering at all, in my opinion.

“The agency that we are planning to start the infant adoption process with encourages adoptive families to search for birthmothers on their own…How do we advertise/market ourselves effectively and affordably?”  Anytime I hear “advertising” or “marketing” in regards to adoption I cringe. First of all, advertising and marketing are a means to persuade someone to pick your product over someone else’s or to purchase your product in the first place. Persuasion is the power of marketing. Persuasion is another word for coercion when it comes to adoption. No. No. No.

“Ohh trust me, she didn’t plan him, didn’t want him, and there’s no regrets what so ever! I know that. I’m glad. it’s all good.” This statement was made in regards to a birthmom pulling away from an open adoption. Instead of wondering how she must be feeling the adoptive parent makes these statements. Honestly, just based on this statement alone, I would make an educated guess that the adoptive parent didn’t it make it easy to want to take part in the open adoption. Even if the above was true – she’s GLAD? She’s glad her child’s first mom wouldn’t want anything to do with him. How about the emotional health of her child? How about all those adoptees that face rejection and the emotional turmoil that comes with it? She’s GLAD! Why? Because her child is her property. She owns him.

And here are her follow-up comments when other adoptive parents held her accountable for her statements (go other adoptive parents!!):

“Okay I understand. It might sound bad but I really am glad she doesn’t care. It’s easier. Yes in 15 years my child might feel differently but I would never explain it to him like this. It’s easier to vent and get my feelings out on here. I wouldn’t ever look at my son and tell him he wasn’t planned or wanted or cared about by his birth mother. Even though I know the truth.”  <——— Not much better.

“She cannot legally smoke, drink alcohol, consent to sex, get married, drive a car, vote, work full-time, or adopt a child … but simply because she is pregnant, she can decide the fate of another human being. In the eyes of the law, she isn’t old enough & mature enough to handle any of those other things, yet she can legally make the choice to parent a child. To me, there is something really wrong with that and it speaks to how our society views children as property.” This hopeful adoptive parent was pissed that pregnant teens didn’t have their babies taken from them and given to more “competent” parents, you know, like her since she wants one. I really like the “property” comment, though. I found it ironic since she was, essentially, talking about distributing children to the most worthy parents….like property.

And a follow-up comment:

“There used to be a commercial for insurance that pointed out that a teenager’s brain isn’t fully formed yet. But we’re still allowing these children to parent children.”  We’re ALLOWING them to parent children? Do these people really advocate for stealing a woman’s child simply because she’s a teenager? I cannot believe there are people who think this way! These are the hopeful adoptive parents of the future! How can you be sure which one you’re going to get? One from the first section of this article or one from this section.

“Apparently [sic] the children’s former foster mom is somehow lurking on my FB page and told them (the biological parents) we were changing the babies names. I stumbled a bit and denied it. I know stupid. I’m careful to always select friends only when I post and she is not a friend.” She admits it was a stupid move. However, the stupid move wasn’t lying to the parents of the children she hopes to adopt. She is saying making the post about changing their names view-able by anyone was stupid. This is, most likely, a case of CPS removal but the courts have given the parents the chance to choose adoptive parents. In order to be the “chosen” one she has lied to the parents. How despicable is that?

And HER follow-up comment:

“Is it bad that I want to plant fake posts about moving over seas once the adoptions are finalized?” Does she think this is a game? Does she like causing heartache?

“My husband and I are starting the adoption process on 2 baby girls, They are turning 1 & 2 next month. We need to get on the same page about whether or not we are going to tell them up front they are adopted….I personally don’t want to force it on them but if they ever ask they will then find out the truth. He wants to raise them letting them know they are adopted.” Are we seriously still having this conversation in 2015? If they ever ask? Why would someone ask if they were adopted if nothing led them to believe that they were?

“Tell them to take some time to regroup. That is a traumatic loss.” What I find so funny about this comment is that it is directed to a friend of a hopeful adoptive parent. The mother of the child decided to parent once the baby was born. So, let me get this straight, it is a traumatic loss to the hopeful adoptive parent (who did not carry that baby for 9 months, feel it move, give birth to it) but it ISN’T a traumatic loss to the mother of that child? Isn’t that what the adoption industry tells us? It isn’t trauma?

“Is there a movie that we can watch about telling our daughter she’s adopted?” So, not only have you not been having the “adoption” conversation since birth, you now want to play a movie to let her know? Parents of the year, folks.

What have I learned? I have learned that most hopeful adoptive parents or adoptive parents, in this day and age, still don’t truly get it. They haven’t taken the time to look beyond their own nose. But I kind of already knew that. I have been able to truly accept that not ALL adoptive parents are ignorant. They are listening. Like I said, that gives me just the tiniest bit more hope.

What list would you belong in as a hopeful or adoptive parent?