Saturday, August 26, 2017

Baby Scoop Era, "brave" love and fairy dust

This past year I haven't spent as much time in adoptionland as I used to but lately I've waded back into the fray- just here and there, long enough to comment on an occassional group post. 

What's really bothering me? I can't really put my finger on it but it's probably a whole list of things. How can there not be when it comes to adoption- the list is long. For one thing, I started reading Karen's book. I'm only a fraction of the way into it but I have to give it a plug. The research compiled here is mind boggling. And disturbing. I'm highlighting like mad and sticking post-its all over.

Like the history we've all been talking about in politics, with the hopes of never repeating such happenings, this is the history of adoption in the US. And, like politics, there are too many people sticking their fingers in their ears while yelling lalalalalalala- I can't hear you!

Who are these people when it comes to adoption? Other mothers like me, not mothers my age but young ones. The ones who surrendered in recent years, the newbies to this life. Other moms like me get on the forums and groups to try to give a bit of historical perspective to the conversations but more often than not we get put in our place- told we're just bitter because we regret our "decision". We're told that surrendering is the "brave" thing to do. These are the women who encourage other women to surrender their babies. Just yesterday when Saving Our Sisters was mentioned, someone came back saying that they're nothing but negativity and anti-adoption. 

This is the most mind boggling of all to me. Why would someone who is experiencing the most awful grief encourage someone else to willingly jump into that pool of  misery with them. I guess the saying about misery loving company is true. It's incredibly heartbreaking to witness a young mother write about having zero regrets in letting her child go. Does she really believe that? Does she think about how that belief will affect her child when that adoptee is all grown up and reads that her mother was glad she surrendered? Would it make you feel good to hear... "I'm so glad I gave you to strangers when you were born". That's basically what she's saying. I certainly wouldn't want to hear that.

It makes me sad. So very sad to read....

Her children deserved more than she could give them at the time. "At the time" tells me the situation was temporary. She lost her children because of a temporary situation. That's adoption speak for - you don't have enough stuff right now so give your children to people who have more. If that were really the right thing to do I would have handed my son over to someone who had a house. I was living in a small apartment at the time he was born. If that were really the right thing to do I would have handed over my 3rd child to someone who had a house AND a pool, maybe even a horse or two. I had a house at the time but it was very small and we pinched a lot of pennies. Maybe we should all just shift our children to the folks in the next income bracket. The agencies would love that. Imagine how much more money they would make.

I realize we live in a consumer society but isn't this taking things a bit far? It costs tens of thousands to buy a baby and women are losing their babies because they don't have enough. Everything can be purchased here including humans.

Claudia does a great job explaining who these people are - meaning BraveLove. When I first saw the post pictured above there were close to 400 comments. When I checked just now the number of comments was down to 135. Hmmmmm..... could it be they've deleted a few because they didn't fit the narrative they want? They also had 3 one star reviews but now the review section is deleted. I commented and got a screen shot because who knows how long before they delete me too.

This is the mission statement from Bravelove:

"To change the perception of adoption through honest, informative, and hopeful communication that conveys the heroism and bravery a birth mother displays when she places her child with a loving family through adoption."

Deleting hundreds of comments from people who know the truth about the adoption industry doesn't seem so honest to me. It's not exactly informative either is it? They do foster hopeful communication though. The kind that's sprinkled with fairy dust and rainbow colors. Don't you dare question them or challenge them! Why? Because....

This is an agency funded page using young mothers to coerce other young mothers into surrendering their babies.

In the early days of the Baby Scoop Era, single pregnant women were seen as "sick" "unfit" and "deviant", certainly not brave and heroic. From Karen's book, page 60.....

"We know a great deal about the unmarried or natural mother...that she is not bad, but rather that she is sick... Not only is one attempting to help the unmarried mother develop more mature methods of solving her problems than through her solution of getting pregnant, but one  also is usually able to help the unmarried mother give up her baby for adoption... (Littner, 1955)"

According to Karen's research, we were also seen as needing punishment.

"The applicant who wants none of the agency or the caseworker is obviously the hardest one to reach, engage or even tolerate... [I]t is this client... who is troubling the community's peace of spirit (such as the unwed mother)... What is social work for... if not to make social beings of these unfortunate misfits or to protect society against their depredations? Where can they be helped or dealt with, if they are not to be put in places of confinement and punishment?...Of the several professions that use psychological means of influence, that of social work consistently encounters the problem of the unwilling client. Caseworkers... work out ways by which to engage the unwilling person (Perlman, 1957)."

Just one more paragraph from the book, page 62...

"It was even recommended by the professionals that if an unmarried pregnant female was unwilling to surrender her baby for adoption, the social worker should be 'decisive, firm, and unswerving' in finding a 'healthy solution to the girl's problem' by targeting that woman's mother to make sure the baby would be surrendered. According to Dr. Marcel Heiman, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 'The I'm going to help you by standing by while you work it through approach will not do. What is expected from the worker is precisely what the child expected but did not get from her parents - a decisive No!'" (Heiman, 1960)

Wow. Not only did they have their outright shaming techniques down pat, they also used their methods on the girl's family. Now the agencies have trained young "birthmothers" to put us older mothers in our place by calling us bitter and angry while calling new surrendering mothers selfless and brave. They know that calling us misfits just won't work anymore so now we're brave. They just swung the coercion pendulum the other way and have done such a good job of it that they've convinced mothers to convince more mothers that surrendering their newborn is the brave and loving thing to do.

These young mothers fight us when we talk about the truth because in order for them to face the truth about adoption, they have to admit they've been duped and no one wants to admit something like that. Sometimes misery does love company but I think in some of these cases, their defending adoption so vehemently, is nothing more than a shield to protect themselves from the devastating grief that would follow the realization that they were taken advantage of. So the agencies have learned not only how to use women effectively in order to make money from their babies, but also how to use those same women to reel in more targets for adoption.

I've done enough rambling for today. It's too sad to think about anymore.

*Update 8/28*

I've gone back to the BraveLove page and commented again, and yes, all my comments are deleted. This is one of them. I think you can tell why. Of course they don't want expectant moms to read that they're being manipulated. The fact that they continue to delete the truth and cover up their tactics should make it pretty clear that it's hitting a nerve and exposing them for what they are- baby brokers.

This thread was also deleted...

Shame on them for hiding the truth and participating in the legal human trafficking known as infant adoption.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thank you Margaret Atwood

Last Wednesday I watched the first 3 episodes of The Handmaid's Tale. I did read the book many years ago and I knew the premise of the book but didn't remember some details so I couldn't tell you if the show is sticking to the finer points of the book. Anyway.... it was as horrific as I remembered.

Truthfully, I didn't know if I'd be able to watch it. I signed up for Hulu for the sole purpose of watching it but I wasn't sure if I could go through with it. It felt too close to home and I didn't know if it would trigger bad memories. I watched, wondered if I were a glutton for punishment and it did bring back the memories.

I remembered the feeling of having my child taken from me.
I remembered crying and screaming for my baby.
I remembered the frustration and anger of having the religious authorities make decisions about MY life.

I thought about canceling Hulu and not watching the upcoming episodes. But of course I won't and I will watch. I don't exactly know why, I just need to. Maybe the post I came across this morning on Facebook is the reason. Someone asked a question about the show.

Conservatives; is this show a dystopian or utopian view of the future?

I was curious about the reactions so I scrolled down and found this one. I had to respond.

A lefty fantasy? Does not remotely apply to American Christians? If I remember correctly, Margaret Atwood said in an interview that although the book is a work of fiction, she only wrote about events that have actually happened somewhere.

I guess a lot of people think this story is just the author's wild imagination and don't realize just how close some of it was to reality right here. What's that saying? 

Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.

The religious extremists in this country would love to return to the era of single women surrendering children to the wealthy and infertile. Why else would they want to defund services like Planned Parenthood that provide contraceptives to women? Why else would they be so anti-choice? Why else would they put as many restrictions on abortion as they can get away with?

Why would they do those things when common sense tells everyone that birth control, education and access to reproductive health services are what prevent abortions. They don't want us to have these services AND they want abortion to be illegal. What's the result of that kind of policy and regulation? Lots of unplanned pregnancy. 

I do believe they would love to have all those unplanned pregnancies (they're not seen as women, they're walking wombs) funneled back into the maternity homes of the past so they can feed the adoption machine once again. It's gotten so much harder to get those unplanned pregnancies to cooperate with their little plan. They've had to come up with sneakier ways of coercing the walking wombs into handing over their babies and too many caring people are interfering. Adoption agencies are closing their doors because more and more women are keeping and raising their babies.

Some of us see this as a good thing. And it's not a left/right thing, it's a human thing.

Unfortunately, there are still too many people like this commenter who are unaware of our past and don't understand why The Handmaid's Tale is so familiar to us and amazingly relevant. Thank you Margaret Atwood, we need your book and this show right now. I guess I'll keep watching and commenting because those religious extremists have wormed their way into our politics and if we're not careful, some of what we see on that show could very well go from fiction to fact.