All Parenting Groups Suck – Including This One; When Adoption Spills Into Real Life and No One is Educated

I was added to a “parenting” group several months back by a birthmom acquaintance. It seemed to be a pretty cool group. They were “woo-free” which means nothing not scientifically proven. They believed in trigger warnings and seemed pretty feminist and non-judgmental.  Until today.  A member, Monique, posted a screenshot of a private message her friend had sent asking about the adoption of Monique’s oldest child. The friend was considering surrogacy and seemed to have adoption and surrogacy confused. The member, Monique LeFave-Borden, seemed exremely pissed that this friend would dare say “give up” instead of “placed” in regards to her child.  Looks like the adoption industry does a good job of propagating their propaganda even in a “woo-free” group. Lots of woo going on with adoption in this group. I interjected with my opinion and was told “NOT ALL!” Of course., That’s always the answer. Its a stupid answer. If I told you to wear your seat belt when driving in the car to remain safe in case of an accident would the appropriate response be, “NOT ALL people get in accidents and need seat belts.” Apply here.

Anywho, I gave my sage wisdom <insert sarcasm here> about my general thoughts on the adoption industry. Gave my credentials since this was NOT an adoption related group. I needed to back up my claims with beef. I got one adopted person in that group saying “thanks for making me feel like a commodity.” Another one referred me to rule number 1 of the group rules.  The rule (I would have screen shot that if I had had time before being booted and blocked) was basically don’t be an asshole and be willing to learn. I guess that only applies to people who think adoption is great. Because these people were certainly being an asshole about MY lived experiences and they certainly weren’t willing to learn anything other than what our culture has brainwashed them to believe their whole lives.

Miss “Not All” even said, “well that’s not my story.” I wanted to rebuttal, well your story doesn’t really matter. Your child’s does and you can’t speak for your child. But I didn’t get a chance.  The name of the group is “All Parenting Groups Suck – Except For This One.” Except this one does, too, apparently suck. Suck big time balls. I was silenced, yet again, for speaking my truths, the truths of countless others. I’m sure there’s adoptive parents in the group unwilling to look at themselves in the mirror and say, “I wanted a baby, I bought a baby, and I’m gonna keep telling myself I was saving a child who needed a home.” But, “woo-free” ya’ll. Uh huh.  They didn’t let me stick around to talk about facts.  Facts like adoptees being FOUR TIMES more likely to attempt suicide. Not because adoptees have something inherently wrong with them. Probably because their brainwashed adoptive and birth parents refuse to listen to anything other than woo and continue to silently damage them while the adoptee is too scared to say how they really feel. But, ya know, “woo-free” group! Yay!

So here I am bitching about it. Maybe warning others. A trigger warning if you must. Like all the trigger warnings people require in this group if you’re talking about falling down on the ground while holding your infant and people laughing at you. Yes, someone actually chastised a member the other day for not putting a trigger warning when she was venting about how she fell down while holding her 6 month old and people laughed at her. But lets sit and spout adoption propaganda positive adoption language all day long and not give a fuck who it might trigger, right? I’ll leave  you with the screen shots. I’m the only one whose name is blocked out.

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Woo

YOU CAN SEE THEY’RE STARTING TO TAG ADMINS NOW. I APPARENTLY COMMITTED AN ATROCITY BY DEFYING THE ADOPTION NARRATIVE SOCIETY HAS BEEN FEEDING THEM.

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I’ll leave you with a list of admins:

ADMINS

ADMINS OF “ALL PARENTING GROUPS SUCK – EXCEPT THIS ONE” EXCEPT THIS ONE SUCKS EVEN MORE THAN OTHER ONES BECAUSE I’VE STATED THESE SAME THINGS IN OTHER GROUPS AND HAVE BEEN CHALLENGED BUT NEVER SILENCED SO SWIFTLY.

PS – Jessica, don’t try to silence me again. I’ll just take my thoughts here to get them out to the whole wide world. This really raises my blood pressure, sweetie.  Bless your heart.

Edit: Jessica has since changed her name on Facebook to Jes Mill. Here is a link to her profile since she’s now attempting to hide: https://www.facebook.com/100000502802495

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Adoption Is Exhausting

I’ve immersed myself in the world of adoption for the past couple of weeks. I wasn’t an active participant, but rather a (mostly) silent observer. Sometimes things were so enraging that I couldn’t help but comment. I looked at post after post in a couple of “Birthmom Support Groups” of several expectant mothers talking about how much adoption was going to hurt them but how they have to put those hurt feelings aside so their child can have a “better life” than what they can provide. I don’t even try anymore, sadly. The same old argument.

I watched one mother who desperately wanted her baby struggle to find a way to make that happen. I watched her reach out for help, when her parents wouldn’t let her come home with her baby, only for her friend to send her to a pastor who is also an adoptive father for “help.” The friend, who originally reached out for help realizing she was being coerced out of her baby by way of threats to be homeless, informed us that this mother would be “placing” after speaking with the adoptive father.

I watched a first mom talk about how she didn’t want her baby because he was the product of rape and if her adult child should ever want to know who his father was she had a “back up friend” willing to pretend for her so he didn’t get hurt.

I watched an adoptive mother who also had a biological child express her frustration that her adoptive son’s birthmother sends gifts and it’s not fair to her biological child. She wanted to split a recent monetary gift between the two kids because that would be “fair.”

I watched prospective adoptive parents in droves ask for money to fund their adoption, ask for ways to raise money, and then become offended when it’s suggested that they fundraise to help keep families together.

I watched adoptees who are hurting lash out at all birthmothers and a few even refusing to accept that many first moms truly had no choice. Even though they signed the papers, they had no way out.

I have watched and read and immersed myself in this world the past couple of weeks, and I’ve come to a few realizations.

The general public has no vested interest in caring about the trauma of family separation. They only see what they care to see. The picture that has been painted for them in movies and ads adoption agencies put out there. For the most part, the general public doesn’t even distinguish between domestic infant adoption and foster to adopt. It’s all the same to them. Google “adoption” and sift through pages and pages of pro-adoption websites that are, in one way or another, funded by agencies, adoptive parents, or anyone else that will financially benefit from adoption (such as facilitators or attorneys).

Adoptive parents are still focusing their energy on their insecurities, even if subconsciously, instead of what is truly healthy for the child. There are some adoptive parents that make a huge effort to put those insecurities aside, on a daily basis, but most still view their adopted children as their possessions and see birth parents as a threat.

Adoptees and first families are deeply hurt. They lash out at each other in a vicious cycle. Adoptee is hurt that mom gave them up, adoptee expresses anger towards birth parents, birth parents see anger and get hurt, birth parents express anger. The fact is, adoptees can never understand the situation that birth parents were put in. Birth parents can never understand that primal wound that has been inflicted. Adoption just sucks.

I didn’t want this post to see so dismal but it does. I just don’t understand why the industry voice is the loudest, the most important. They have the most money (off the backs of the babies they are profiting from) and most certainly use it to make sure the image of adoption that resides in the public’s head is a positive one.

There is hope, however. Adoptees grow, the Internet and technology make the world grow smaller, our voices become louder, and no one should ever underestimate the power of a grassroots effort by those who have been wronged on such a huge level. Even those with massive amounts of money.

Did you ever wonder why, during the baby scoop era, African American babies weren’t given up for adoption? For one, because of obvious racial motivation, black babies weren’t in demand by wealthy white couples looking to adopt. But even more important than that, because of slavery and the practice of separating children and babies from their families against their will, African American culture seriously frowned on adoption and, to an extent, the same holds true today.

Adoption is like slavery. A baby is forcefully taken from its parents. Yes, by force. Even if she says this is what she wants, even if she willingly signs, it is forced. Forced by circumstances, forced by the lies she has been fed about the guaranteed beautiful life, forced by a boyfriend or parent….pick one. The child’s heritage is legally erased, money is exchanged, and they are raised to feel indebted and grateful to their adoptive parents. Loyalty should always remain with their “real” parents, the ones who adopted them. For the rest of this child’s life, this is the struggle they will have. “Will I hurt my parents who raised me if I acknowledge my need to know my heritage?” They become an emotional hostage. Certainly not all adoptees will want to know their heritage and not all adoptive parents will raise their children to feel like this, but the majority do and will.

Why has this become so socially acceptable?

I’ll leave you with a screen shot of the cost break down from an adoption facilitator to purchase adopt a baby he is pimping advertising. You be the judge.

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“Baby Cuddlers” Ploy for Agency to Collect More Money

The Internet was taken by storm with multiple articles calling for “baby cuddler volunteers” just a few days ago. People all over the country shared, posted, commented and were tricked into thinking there were SO many children in need of cuddling and care while they waiting for their “forever” homes. I gave my thoughts on this in my previous post, “Cuddle, Nurture, Newborns Awaiting Adoption: The Adoption Propaganda Machine.”

Turns out, if you had several of the slightly different articles, all containing different bits of information, the agency behind the article, Spence-Chapin, only needed 5-10 volunteers, as  AOL.com published as a direct statement from Spence-Chapin. This is a very important fact to keep in mind while forming  your opinions about this matter. You must think about this logically. If an agency is only in need to 5-10 volunteers, why put out a national smoke signal? Why is this article being published, posted, and run on several national news outlets, as well as smaller local ones? Why does anyone go national with any kind of news? To gain attention.

As I pointed out, in my previous article, this whole thing is just another part of the adoption propaganda machine. Turns out it is, most likely, even deeper than that. Within days of this article, and it’s different variations, going viral, Spence-Chapin made a statement on their Facebook page.

“We are filled with gratitude for the outpouring of responses we’ve received from people around the country and the world interested in volunteering in our Interim Care Program. We appreciate your support and your interest in caring for babies in need.
The best way to help a newborn is to make a donation to help us cover the expenses of each baby in interim care. The Interim Care Program is 100% funded by donor support!
http://ow.ly/YxnzC

As you’ll see, the link they provided at the end of their statement will bring you directly to their website to donate money to them. Mission accomplished. An article, citing their agency, with a gushy, gooey, feel good story (who WOULDN’T want to cuddle newborns in their spare time) went viral and now they put out the call for money. Cash, please!

As I also pointed out, in my previous article, 5 board members from this agency bring in almost $700,000 annually in salaries with the highest salary being paid to the Executive Director, Emily Forhman (an adoptive mom, I’d like to point out), in the amount of $200,000. But, pull out your checkbooks folks! The BEST way you can help these poor, innocent, orphaned, babies is to give us money. Ahem.

Actually, the BEST way you can help any child, whose parents are so desperate they are willing to suffer a lifelong wound of giving their baby up, is to pull out your checkbook and help THEIR FAMILY.  Help the babies by allowing them to grow up intrinsically alike the rest of their family, which increases the chances they will feel accepted and never out of place, for even a moment. Help babies by allowing them to live their lives surrounded by people who look like them, act like them, have the same mannerisms as them. Help them to never experience the loss of their first family and navigate the rest of their life (even if in silence so as not to upset the parents – adoptive and birth alike – that made life-altering choices for them before they were even able to have a say in the matter) the issues that come with that. Help their mothers to have control over the choices made for their child, by not surrendering them, and because of that  control over the outcomes of their lives. Help their parents to be there to protect them when needed and to mold the people they are becoming. Help them to not suffer this LOSS. Adoption ALWAYS begins with a LOSS. You aren’t helping babies by giving money to the industry and salaries of those who benefit, financially, from separating them.

There were a few comments on their Facebook post. The first one questioning their motives.

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You can see a couple people trying to answer this question but they don’t quite have it right. Let me debunk their responses:

The money it costs to take care of them until they’re adopted? Definitely covered by the fees an agency charges for a domestic infant adoption. Typically these fees will range from $30,000 to upwards of $60,000 in agency adoptions. About those fees making it so people can’t adopt? Totally not true. People can and DO pay this amount of money for a baby. Those who don’t have it lying around will often fundraise and are usually met with a great response. People are generally happy to put out their wallets to give to someone who wants to adopt thanks to the propaganda machine that gives people a warped perception on what adoption really is. They will usually NOT happily give money to a single parent attempting to raise money to help her keep her baby. There goes that stigma again.

As for the second response. I think what this comment is saying is that the home study (research) for prospective adoptive parents cost money and then she includes medical bills for these “orphans” as well as the bills the agency incurs from being a brick and mortar business. Let’s address this, shall we?

Home studies are always paid for by the prospective adoptive parents or are included in the fee they are charged to buy adopt a baby. Medical bills, for any baby whose parents make under a certain income (and almost all women contemplating giving their baby up are low income), are covered by Medicaid. For those that this wouldn’t apply to, the adoptive parents, through their insurance company, will have all medical bills retroactively paid for from the date of birth once a placement is made with them (before finalization). As far as those gas bills, transportation, housing (not sure what housing they are talking about – maybe the babies living in volunteer foster homes?) – well, $700,000 in salaries. Need I say more?

Alas, it looks like this was all a ploy to get more money. Viral article, feel good subject that didn’t make sense (the article never states they are looking for what is, essentially, volunteer foster homes – they just say “baby cuddlers”), and then, once the whole country is aware of who they are and his this image of in their head (thanks to the propaganda) of these poor, abandoned babies, the punchline – give us money, please.

After reading these 2 articles, that I have written, you still think that any of this was about seeking out volunteers to cuddle babies and NOT about fattening the pocket books of an agency whose assets exceed 50 million dollars, well, then, you’re either not as bright as you think you are, or you have a similar agenda that blinds you to the truth.

When it all boils down to it adoption, for agencies, facilitators, and attorneys, is about making money. Lots of it. Babies are the supply and it’s easy to capitalize on that, as any economist knows, because the demand FAR exceeds this supply.

America, I’m losing my faith in you. You have been duped. Pull your heads out from underneath the rock you have been hiding under.

Adoption Option Council of Minnesota – Active Baby Mining of Vulnerable Teens; A Mis-Education – Saving Our Sisters Official Response

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.