Welcome, Adoptive Families Circle Readers

Dear Folks Who Have Been Pointed To My Blog By  BaileysMom:

It seems that BaileysMom was doing some research, landed on my blog, and was offended by some of the things I have written here in these letters. I am hoping I can take a few moments of your time and clarify a few things to which BaileysMom took exception.

Is anyone familiar with Mormans or groups of people who protest against adoption? ~ BaileysMom

Yes, I am very familiar with the “Mormans” [sic] , more commonly known as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I happen to be a card carrying member of the organization, go to church every Sunday, and am generally known to be of fairly good character within the church.

Unfortunately, I do not know of any groups that protest against adoption, per se, but against unethical practices and sealed records. If any are interested, leave me a comment and I will connect you with these groups  – they are full of adoptees, first parents AND adoptive parents who are all working together to set the adoption-ship aright.

 there should not be any DBM letters because adoption should not exist ~ BaileysMom

Yes, it’s true. I said that. However, did you go on to finish reading what I wrote? That instead of using what many first/natural mothers feel is a deragatory term akin to calling an African American the n-word, perhaps you might want to consider addressing the letter using the phrase “Dear Expectant Mother.” Lest readers are not aware, “BM” is medical short hand for “bowel movement.” I can’t speak for all people out there, but I would hazard a guess most people don’t feel honored or respected when they are called the equivalent of a pile of shoot.

Here’s what I DID say about writing one of those letters:

If a potential adoptive parent is truly intent on having an “ethical” (not sure any adoptions in the US are ethical as so much money changes hands, but that’s another discussion for another time), perhaps they shouldn’t waste the time or effort agonizing over a “Dear Birthmother” letter. Instead, perhaps they should write a letter to a mother who is considering adoption. When they write it, they should be COMPLETELY honest. They should show integrity and not make promises they aren’t willing to keep FOREVER, not just when it is convenient or easy for them.  ~ M.

Here’s another thing BaileysMom believes I said/feel:

and all women who give up babies for adoption are forced into it. ~ BaileysMom

Never said that. I am fully aware there are some who enter into adoption with their eyes wide open, especially now in the age of the Interweb, where information is more readily available than 10 years ago. However, I do believe there are a large number of mothers, even today, who are not given ALL OF THE FACTS as to the long-term affect adoption may have on their child, their future children, their future relationships, or to their own psyche.

These people think adoption is just wrong. ~ BaileysMom

Never said that either. I think coerced adoptions are wrong. I think adoption is wrong when adoptive parents mislead an expectant mother about their desired level of openness and then reneg on their agreement. I think money changing hands to buy children is wrong. I think the child trafficking which occurs in many foreign adoptions is wrong.  I think sealed records are wrong. I think children who age out of the foster care system because they have been passed over for healthy, white infants is wrong.

But I do not think ALL adoption is wrong. Heck, I am an adopted person myself. My step-father adopted me.

Let me emphatically and clearly state: Adoption can be, and is, a beautiful thing WHEN IT IS NEEDED. In cases of abuse, neglect, or drug abuse, adoption can be a beautiful thing for the child.

It has nothing to do with open records, they think it should not happen. ~ BaileysMom

Once again, never said that. I only wish that perhaps potential adoptive couples might explore the not-so-rainbow issues as well, their ethics and motivations, and make sure they are ONLY adopting children who need homes, not artificial orphans (if you don’t know to what I am referring by that comment, then you need to do more reading).

I don’t understand it.  ~ BaileysMom

You are new to adoption as a prospective adoptive parent. Please, take the time to read and educate yourself instead of jumping to conclusions.

Their view is adoptive parents are bad people. ~ BaileysMom

Once again, never said that either. In fact, some of the most amazing people I know are adoptive parents, Monica English being one of them. (Yes Monica, calling you out on this by name because I think you are an incredible mother of every stripe). The parents who adopted my daughter are incredible people and I will gladly take anyone to task who says differently. I go to church with adoptive parents and I love them. I admire them. I appreciate their tireless work to help those of us who have been disenfranchised in the adoption transaction find our voices. Because of their courage to confront the ugly underbelly of adoption, I have found my backbone.

So we are all bad people becasue we cannot bear children? ~ BaileysMom

No, you are not all bad people because you can’t have children. I have never said that and I never will. Trust me, I know what it is like to want a child but to have a body that will not cooperate. I have nothing but the deepest of sympathies for women who cannot get pregnant or can’t carry a child to term – my heart aches for them. But,  infertility does not automatically mean a woman is entitled to some other person’s child, simply because that “other” might be young or poor.
But enough about what I am not or didn’t say. Here is what I am for:

  • I am for ending the practice of falsifying information on governmental documents
  • I am for ethical, moral, and compassionate adoption practices
  • I am for adoption reform, which includes but is not limited to adoptee’s being given back the access to their original unaltered birth records with NO limitations
  • I am for adoptive parents keeping their word to the women who made them parents in the first place
  • I am for honest dialogue between the members of the adoption constellation
  • I am for increased education and research about the long-term affects of adoption on first/natural families and adoptees
  • I am for children who TRULY NEED A HOME finding a home with loving parents
  • I am for eliminating the coercive practices currently used by organizations such as the NCFA and LDSFS.
  • I am for using respectful language when it comes to first/natural mothers, i.e., don’t use the short-hand for bowel movement when referring to them
  • I am for family preservation, every time, whenever possible (and I freely acknowledge it is not always possible)

I hope some of you coming from Adoptive Families Circle might be able to read these letters I have written with an open mind and an open heart. Perhaps you will find something useful in them.



36 thoughts on “Welcome, Adoptive Families Circle Readers

  1. Melynda ~ I hope some of the new visitors to your blog will stay and visit for a while. I’m so glad that you were able to find out that your writings were being talked about so that you were able to correct the misconceptions.

    To any Adoptive Family Circle readers ~ There is much to be learned about the world of adoption that adoption agencies and churches don’t always tell you. You have found a mother of adoption loss who speaks beautifully to the loss experienced by us moms. Please read with an open mind, even though I know it’s hard to read sometimes. It’s hard to realize that something we have always believed to be wonderful and loving has a dark side. Please read some of these letters, maybe even the “Open Letter to AP’s and PAP’s” (link at the top of this blog page) to read the words of someone who is adopted.

    • Thanks. I hope the original instigator of the stuff over at Adoptive Families Circle takes the chance to come back here and read my response, as well as some of the other things I have written. Apparently, she has not yet explored what adoption might feel like from the natural family’s point of view yet. The adoption industry does an incredible job of keeping people blind and dumb in the U.S. about the realities of it all, I can’t necessarily blame her for coming into the process unawares of some of these issues. However, I hope for her future adopted child’s sake, she allows her eyes to be opened and her heart to be softened to the Janus-like nature of adoption.

  2. But Melinda, there is no such thing as “coercion.” Unless you are strapped to a chair with a pistol pointed at your head, everything is physically and literally a choice. Remember?

    Therefore if you are against coerced adoptions, you are in fact against any and all adoptions because coercion doesn’t exist!

    • Oh yes, my dear friend. That’s right. It wasn’t coercion because I didn’t have a gun pointed at my head. How on earth did I forget that??? /sarc

      Hmmm…your comment gives me pause. So a person comes along, reads these letters and discovers I am against coerced adoptions and from that draws the (erronious) conclusion I am against ALL adoptions. I say “coerced”, they hear “all.” What does this reveal about their belief about adoption? Is it possible somewhere in their gut, they feel all infant adoptions are coerced, therefore anyone who is against coerced adoptions is against all adoptions? Just some “perhaps” and “maybes” to think about, not saying this is actually the case.

      But then again, no one is holding a gun to anyone’s head when they sign those termination of parental rights papers, so “coercion” doesn’t exist. 😉

      • “What does this reveal about their belief about adoption?”

        That they believe adoption is one hundred percent good since there is no such thing as a forced adoption.

        You know, I once had this conversation through e-mail. The recipient said everything in adoption is a choice, because no one is being held down in a chair with metal restraints and a real pistol pointed at their head, and besides even if that happened, the parent would sooner kill (murder) someone to get food rather than give up their child for adoption.

        So I took that quite literally – “You are saying that unless someone is strapped down in a chair to the point they literally cannot move and have a gun pointed at their head about to end their life – that is the only context which you would say they *literally* do not have a choice?”

        The recipient said “You are overreacting.”

        I told them “No, this is what YOU are saying.”

        The conversation did not end well.

      • I can only imagine, Mei-Ling!!! So at what point did they bust out the “angry adoptee” stereotype? I imagine it didn’t take them too long, considering the other things they said.

  3. You write so clearly and in a way that is open and that I feel opens doors to discussions about adoption practices. I am an Amom and I have not ever felt that any of your posts were mean or unfeeling toward anyone in adoption. I don’t understand how someone reading your blog posts could misunderstand them this much. I think this person is likely projecting some kind of fear or insecurity or inability to acknowldege the fact that a huge loss is the foundation upon which adoption occurs.

    • I think this person is likely projecting some kind of fear or insecurity or inability to acknowldege the fact that a huge loss is the foundation upon which adoption occurs.

      I wondered the same thing, Reena. I know that when I am fearful and insecure, my defenses come up and I am blinded to other realities, especially ones that don’t fit within my internal working schema. Fear is such a motivator to humans and I suspect is for the PAP over at Adoptive Families Circle, too.

  4. I certainly hope this clarifies a few things for the Adoptive Families Circle folks. People get so defensive when the realities of the adoption industry are placed before them. It is my hope that one day, *everyone* will take a more critical look at the how the industry operates and consider if it is something they want to support just to procure a child. Facts are facts. The adoption industry and state governments falsify official documents, allow for large sums of money to change hands in exchange for a human being and promote open adoption agreements that aren’t legally enforceable in any state.

    Again, these are facts and not something the “adoption protesters” are making up out of thin air. All you are doing here is shining the spotlight on those facts. If people choose to ignore the facts and questionable aspects of the adoption industry in order to obtain a child, well, they can’t say they didn’t know now can they? They are also knowingly and willingly supporting, with their own money, an industry that engages in questionable practices. After all, if the adoption industry is so transparent and ethical, why the fake birth certificates?

    • “Facts are stubborn things.” John Adams

      And he was right. Facts ARE stubborn things but they are what they are and no amount of glossing them over or using “positive” language will ever erase the fact EVERY adoption is built on the loss of the original mother-infant relationship. As always, iAdoptee, your comment is insightful and to the point.

  5. Wonderful response and I am so glad you wrote it. Some of the answers to Bailey’s Mom were full of the same labeling and misconceptions you see so many times when the topic of adoption reform comes up. I think, for some, it is easier to misinterpret and/or excuse away what we are fighting for rather than honestly take a deeper look into some of the darker realities of adoption.

    • Yes, she does seem to have read the manual on labeling and stereotypes of first mothers. For her future child’s sake, I hope she is eventually able to unlearn those biases and misconceptions.

  6. Oh Melynda – the joys of someone “hearing what they want to hear” instead of “hearing what is written”. Sadly, only a few are willing to go deep inside themselve to overcome that mindset. When people decide you are either “for” or “against” and there is nothing inbetween it is a lose, lose, situation. It becomes disheartening that people chose not to research indepth the entire process and use their moral compass to stand up when they see something that should be done better. Acceptance of bad practices means you are for bad practices.

    Yet the reality of how much the adoption “industry” rules those who make the laws is clear when you look at one piece of legislation. Legislation penned by a legislator in Utah (who is also an adoptive mother), to change the law so that if a doctor requested an adoptee have access to her original birth certificate because of needing her family health history to care for her properly, that the record be unsealed. That legislation was not acceptable – yet Utah adoption laws are supposed to be “in the best interests of the child”. How something LIFESAVING can NOT be in the best interests of the child, is beyone comprehension. For anyone reading – yes, I read the legislation proposed and it was very specific in how, when, and why, and completely in the child’s best interest – so it begs the question of why it was opposed so vehemently – could it possibly be because there is something they wish to hide?

    Take care!

  7. I have, as an adoptive mother, greately profited from reading your blog and not once I got the impression I would find generalized statements or baseless assumptions here. So I, too, hope indeed new readers will stick around at your place for a while.
    All the best to you.

      • Melynda, I have to thank you for sharing your thoughts the way you do!
        I also took the liberty to link my other blog to yours – I think you must have noticed. I did so because I had been involved in an online communication on “Positive Adoption Language”, which has been making my head spin for quite a while. And it seemed important to me to point people to some resource that offers a completely different view. I hope you do not mind.

  8. Assumptions usually don’t end well. . .for anyone. The reason most adoptive parents in the beginning are so defensive are because their ideas that that felt so strongly about and felt so right about are being threatened. They’re being challenged. I was there once. Even now when I read something that seems to disagree with my beliefs, I have to take a step back and really think how I feel. I have to try to look at it through other eyes. Many times my beliefs mature, change, or adapt. Other times my beliefs don’t change, but I’m able to sympathize a little better.

    I wish everyone would take a minute to stop and listen to each other. I’m grateful I have. I’m a different person, and I’d like to think a better person for it. I’m grateful for those in the blog world who have because I’ve been able to get to know wonderful people, even if we disagree on some things. 🙂

    • Many times my beliefs mature, change, or adapt. Other times my beliefs don’t change, but I’m able to sympathize a little better.

      Yes, this!!!! Even if I don’t agree, that part of me which is human can sympathize with another person’s plight. And like you, I become a different, and hopefully better, person because I try to listen. Thanks for your insightful comment.

  9. Quoting BaileysMom, “I work at shelters and with young mothers who want to keep their babies (7 days a week-endless hours) and I also see newborns that are left in dumpsters and on police station doorsteps every day…”

    Every day? I’m tempted to call bullsh!t on that.

    • Me, too. Babies (plural) being left at police stations “every day” would an epidemic in her community and would be making national news. Where’s FactCheck.org when we need them?

  10. On August 15 at 1:19am, BaileysMom put her fingers in her ears and starting yelling “I can’t hear you!” Evidence below.

    “As of I realize many sites that I have been linked to are just extremists and radicals who have nothing else to do with their time except complain, complain, complain. It seems as if no one writing on here has an educational level passed the 6th grade. I am done here because I have a life. Let’s all move on.”

    I offer my condolences to those of you who wasted your time posting thoughtful comments that will never be understood by BaileysMom.

    • Did she just say no one writing about this stuff “has an educational level passed [sic] the 6th grade”? Does she really want to walk through that door because I will be the first to take her hand and lead her through it?

      • “It seems as if no one writing on here has an educational level passed the 6th grade.”

        Please note that this statement was written by a person who misspelled the word “Mormon” in her original post–not to get nitpicky or anything. What do I know anyway. I’m just an adoptee with a BA in Journalism and 20+ years of experience working in the communications field as a writer. I guess that didn’t come through in my response to her. 😉

    • Not only did I graduate the 6th grade and eventually earn a Ph.D., I am a beauty school graduate, too!!!! Bon Losee Academy of Hair Artistry, class of 1993.

      You can stop laughing now. Really.

      • Oh you made me laugh because of the last line – and I so needed it right now. Thank You! One day, I hope if I practice long enough – I might come close to being able to convey pictures with words like you do.

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