“Do natural mothers change their stories?”

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This question was asked on “Yahoo Answers” a number of months ago:

“Do a lot of people believe that women give their children up for adoption and then in the future “change” their version of the facts/or their way of thinking, to reflect that their child was stolen or they were viciously coerced rather than truly relinquished due to whatever circumstances there may have been?”

Various people on Yahoo Answers had been posting comments calling into question the integrity of natural mothers (“birthmothers”) who had recounted their stories of having lost children to adoption against their will, of feeling they had no choice but to surrender.  This person asked whether mothers had actually changed their stories.

I found this question to be interesting for several reasons, as it showed how “general society” might still be ignorant of what happens when a mother loses a child to adoption, the trauma that occurs, or that she may be in a far different position later in life as far as knowledge of the processes of the adoption industry.  (Also interesting was that this question was asked in the first place: Perhaps the questioner was trying to wrap his/her mind around the very concept that coerced surrender could exist?).

Firstly, this question assumes that women don’t block out the memories of what happened to them — a common symptom of PTSD: you dissociate as the trauma is too difficult to face. I know women who can’t even remember their child’s birth date or signing papers, until much later, at which point the memories come flooding back, often in the form of flashbacks and nightmares. It is often with reunion or beginning their search that moms begin to remember details of what happened.

PTSD Criterion C:  Avoidance/Numbing
3. Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma

Secondly, a young or otherwise vulnerable mother may be forced to surrender by various means, and it is only when she is much older — when she has far more information on what her rights were at the time — that she realizes that those rights were violated. Rights that the adoption industry never informed her that she had rights.

“The first thing the unmarried mother is likely to lose is her right to make important decisions. The agency or community tells her what she must do if she is to receive the services she needs . . . In most instances the plan for the baby is pre-determined. Often these matters are decided without her being able to state her own preferences.” Helping Unmarried Mothers, by Rose Bernstein, copyright 1971*

Or the natural mother realizes only much later that she was coerced, not realizing it at the time, when she finds out that carefully-researched methods were used on her that would increase the likelihood she would sign those papers. An expectant mother, labouring mother, or new mother may not realize at the time that various practices were being done to her in order to ensure she would surrender her baby. Thousands if not millions of dollars in federal money in the U.S. and Canada has gone into studies researching how to get more mothers to surrender. These adoption studies do not hide their purpose. Even open adoption was designed for this purpose, to get more babies to market.

Why was this done? In part, because of the post-WWII consumer demand for healthy white infants:

“… the tendency growing out of the demand for babies is to regard unmarried mothers as breeding machines…(by people intent) upon securing babies for quick adoptions.” – Leontine Young, “Is Money Our Trouble?” (paper presented at the National Conference of Social Workers, Cleveland, 1953*)

“For every healthy newborn available, there are now almost forty potential parents searching.” – (“Love for Sale” by Nelson Handel, Adoptive Families Magazine, 2000).

Adoption is now North America’s largest multi-billion dollar unregulated industry. Agencies, lawyers, and facilitators exist as “baby brokers,” practicing adoption as a commercial transaction where people pay tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for an unrelated baby (In many other nations, this is known as human trafficking).

When I found the book “Death by Adoption” back in 1982, I discovered other socio-political reasons for what had been done to me, and why adoption was an issue of discrimination against women:

“Adoption is a violent act, a political act of aggression towards a woman who has supposedly offended the sexual mores by committing the unforgivable act of not suppressing her sexuality, and therefore not keeping it for trading purposes through traditional marriage. The crime is a grave one, for she threatens the very fabric of our society. The penalty is severe. She is stripped of her child by a variety of subtle and not so subtle manoeuvres and then brutally abandoned.” – Joss Shawyer, Death by Adoption, Cicada Press (1979)

For example: My baby was taken right at birth for adoption, by hospital staff. I had never told them that I wanted to surrender my baby. I wanted to keep my baby (but no-one ever asked me about this or gave me this as an option).  They put me in a room far from the maternity ward to keep us separated, and kept me drugged for days.   I was finally allowed to see him for about 5 minutes, but bulldog nurses kept a hawk-like watch on me to ensure I could not even pick him up.  I was not welcome in that nursery.   I found out later from my son that they even transfered him over to another hospital to keep him from me! Then I learned two decades later, by reading articles in nursing journals and the government inquiry testimony of hospital administrators — and through hearing the stories of dozens of other natural mothers across Canada — that taking babies at birth was routine, and done specifically to prevent a mother from keeping her baby, to prevent all contact in the intent that she would be prevented from “bonding with” her baby, to prevent her from “changing her mind (i.e. preventing her from making ANY real decision about adoption, as that can be made only post-recovery.) At age 17, I had no idea that this was why my baby was taken. I also did not know that it violated my parental rights, discriminated on the basis of marital status (in treating me different from married mothers), and constituted abduction under the Criminal Code of Canada:

“(281) Abduction of Person Under Fourteen – Every one who, not being the parent … unlawfully takes, entices away, conceals, detains, receives or harbours that person with intent to deprive a parentof the possession of that person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.”

A mother may also “come out of the fog” when she discovers that other mothers “not on the adoption treadmill’ were treated differently. An example is when an agency/lawyer or parents tell(s) you: “You are 17. There is no way you can to go college and get a job with a baby — you’ll be in poverty on welfare for the rest of your life.  Besides, children raised by single mothers turn into criminals and if you don’t sign he’ll sit in foster care until you finally do!” You are not told about welfare and your parents are firm that you are NOT allowed to bring your baby home (after all, they already shut you away in (or you were shamed into “turning yourself in” to) a maternity facility, wage home, etc. so that relatives and neighbours would never find out).

A mother won’t realize at the time that this is coercion as she whole-heartedly believes the lies that the adoption worker told her — and no-one tells her differently. Then years later you meet someone your age who DID keep her baby, went to college (where there was an on-campus daycare), and works at a better or equal job, and her baby didn’t starve — you realize that at age 17 you were lied to and surrendered your baby because you believed this lie. Nevermind finding out that the paycheque of the person or agency who told you this depending on them “making enough sales”! This equates to legal conflict of interest.

For me, another wake-up call came when I met my friend Pashta back in 1990. She was a few years older than me, but also had her first baby when she was 17, also in Canada. I asked her how it could be that the hospital allowed her to keep her baby and did not take her baby at birth. Her answer: The difference was that she was married!

Does this mean I “changed my story”?  No, not at all. But it means I did not realize at age 16 and 17 how coercion worked. All I knew at the time I lost my baby was that I wanted to keep my baby and that I had no choice but to sign those papers in a state of numbness and shock. At age 17 I thought it was “normal” and legal and that somehow I did not deserve or have a right to my baby. Only years later did I find out how it was done such that I had no chance or choice, why it was done, and that it had been done to thousands of other women across Canada.


36 thoughts on ““Do natural mothers change their stories?”

    Lori said:
    December 25, 2009 at 2:21 am

    How very true and well stated! When I was in the hospital (not quite 17 – about 1 week before my birthday) and determined to keep my baby, that is when the pressure began and the lies. Her father was still in the picture and very supportive. I was told that if I put his name on the birth certificate or I would not be elligble for assistance. I was defiant, they would not put her father on it, but I gave her his last name. What I did not know until recently was that if I had, since he had turned 18 the week she was born, he would have had automatic custody and been able to stop them from taking her into foster care (even though they left her with me physically).

    The social worker knew that she would not get me to give her up if she allowed us to be together. So, suddenly he was being sent to Oregon – four states away – for two years for school. He agreed because he believed it would help him support his family. The truth was that the moment he left the state, he was no longer able to contact me.

    Then in an act of pure desperation to get my child out of foster care before I aged out and got out of school, my brother and I came up with an adoption plan for him, his wife and their three daughters to adopt her – that way she would have been placed back with me asap But the social worker used that to get me to force her father to sign the relinquishment papers.

    4 weeks afterward, and way too late for him to rescind (Oregon law did not allow for that), I found out that they were not going to place her with my brother. I immediately undid the relinquishment – in writing and with a great deal of distain for the lies.

    After that it was constant pressure, the take her away, give her back; accuse me of abuse, oops we are sorry, that was the neighbor’s kids naked and snot nosed on your “shared” porch; two years of letters from her father in a box in the the office of the social service worker, and on and on. Never able to meet the “requirements” to get social services out of my life.

    So, changing our stories – no – remembering things, nightmares, horror, fear, longing, self-loathing, yes.
    Definitely. I still have nightmares and remember things that I could not remember before. It never ends.

    unsignedmasterpiece said:
    December 25, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    I think the revisionist history thing is just another way to put we mothers down.

    Any notion that we gave informed consent to the adoption of our children is laughable.

    Look at the rules for informed consent for anything – medical procedures, etc. they are much more stringent than anything that was followed with us.

    I felt very trapped in my situation and I remember clearly thinking – when he is 18 I’ll find him and that’s what I did.

    And when I did, his adoptive parents said to him – Why is she doing this, she made her choice.

    I think the sons and daughters have trouble believing we did not wilfully chose because it stands the whole myth of their adoption, she didn’t want you, we have rescued you, on its head.

    Susie said:
    December 26, 2009 at 2:29 am

    My adoption story is now quite different than it was 30 years ago when I gave my son up for adoption. It has not changed because I am fabricating some new story about it. My story has changed because I can now look at my situation as an adult, not as a scared, emotionally abused teenager with NO support, nobody on my side telling me my options, giving me a chance to keep my child.

    Great post ~ great points!

    always&forever said:
    December 26, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Getting one’s facts, medical records, social-worker records… and a taste of what our human rights really means… you know, all the information about yourself and your legal rights that one would have had to have in order to defend oneself from the infant-harvesting SW’s may not be in one’s possession fully or ever.

    The fact is pregnant girls were rounded up, hunted down, locked away, and birth-raped by experienced ‘professionals’ (medical personnel and SW’s) who used highly sophisticated tactics to harvest the newborn infants of healthy white un-manned young women during labor&delivery. And then kept these brutalized and butchered victims drugged for days in hospital beds.

    The victims are silent for decades because no one believes that such inhumane carnage could have happened… Only the victims can tell the truth and only the victims have a right to speak. There has never been any valid study done because the victims were silenced… There has never been any real followup or care for these harvested mothers – because once birth-raped, they were left for dead. And that’s the way m-f adopters wanted it. Still want it.

    Lori said:
    December 26, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    I have one question for you, always&forever, would you participate in a study? They can be quite in-depth.

    If so, would you want your privacy kept – in other words, name, location, etc.?

    I am curious since I am a first mother and I am studying psychology – the best place to do a study of that magnitude. The one thing I have heard over and over is that no matter how many agree to participate, only less than a 10th actually do when it comes down to it.

    I would be interested, as a first mother and scientist, to see the real facts, figures and realities for both the mothers and adopted persons, yet I keep hearing a lot of “absolutely” and getting a lot of nothing.

    always&forever said:
    December 28, 2009 at 3:22 am

    Hi Lori,

    Participation in any study may not be possible where the participant comes to realize that the questioning is biased. For example, I looked at your webpages and was no reassured – not sure whether we’d be on the same page… or even in the same library.

    Lori said:
    December 29, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Always&forever, actually a study is never designed with any bias. My personal viewpoint is that on my blog – but science does not allow for that. And in all honesty, I am more likely to be biased for the first mother or adopted person than an adoptive parent – and this is not because I don’t like adoptive parents, I just don’t like the process nor the lies.

    The process of developing the surveys required to prove a study are too stringent to allow for bias and, before any use of surveys is allowed, they go through several processes of challenge and examination by many different people, none of whom have a vested interest in the outcome.

    The first step is to develop a premise-the idea that you wish to either prove, or disprove. The second step is to develop the actual survey. The third step is to design the scoring logic (normally at this stage a computer is used to score in a specified fashion that is one of the checks and balances – there are several computer generated scenarios and the scoring will show if there is bias or an unreliable result). If the survey gets beyond the third step it is then vetted by several outside groups of, in this case, psychologists and psychiatrists. The entirety of the process to that point is analyzed, discussed and reviewed. If the survey passes this point a dry run is used to check the reliability (reliability is defined as obtaining the same result after different test runs). Then, to prove the the validity (validity within a scientific study is whether or not the results are true) another run is made with different test groups and a comparison is made using different criteria (age, race, socio-economic standing, etc.). If, and only if the premise is proven to be positive and therefore worthy of more study, then other scientists consider it valid. If the premise is proven to be negative in response, the researcher starts over.

    So you see, it is not a presonal thing, not in opinion or a biased base, this would all show up in the process and invalidate the data immediately.

    So, say I wanted to know how many adopted persons were abused, I would first have to make a statement such as “The possibility that over 50% of adopted persons were abused in their lifetimes.” Then I would start the process of the survey. Of course the likelihood that the number of abused adopted persons is that high is rediculous and by the time I reached the point of actually developing the survey, I would have to start again.

    I say start again because at no time can you “restart by changing the premise” for a study. You must start again with a different premise.

    So, my personal feelings, bias, etc., would have no, or extremely minimal or nonexistant. The scientists that would vet the study would not allow it to go forward.

    Believe me when I say I finally get why the doctoral process can take so long – the doctoral candidate must be able to unmarry their emotional or viscerial response to things from their logical response and be able to create and follow through with a thesis statement. It is not as easy as one would think.

    unicorn said:
    December 30, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    It wasn’t my story that changed – it was theirs!

    They told me I had 6 months and I even signed a temporary foster care agreement that had that in print.
    They wouldn’t let me have a copy at the time – 25 years later I found out why.

    After I had signed, they took a pen and cross out sentences, changed all the terms and even ripped out one of the pages. The hand-written changes were things that I never agreed to nor are the changes initialled. No one can even tell me who made those changes.

    The most important change was the typed “6 months” was crossed out with a pen and hand written above it was “6 weeks” which explains why they cut off my visitation rights at that point in time.

    They were the ones that changed the story.

    They tried to tell my son that I didn’t put his father’s name on the birth certificate because I didn’t know who his father was – liars!

    I wasn’t allowed to put my son’s father’s name on there until he did a paternity statement.

    Years later, Ontario opens the records and “Surprise”

    My son’s father’s name is not on there despite their promises that it would be. They have “lost” the statutory paternity declaration that was with it.

    In fact, it appears that the father’s name has been wiped off 90% of these statements of live birth in Ontario.

    I also didn’t sign a consent to the adoption either.
    They have only just admitted this is true to my son when I tried to get a copy of this non-existent document. It took them 3 years to admit this to me and my son. They have finally admitted that they did take babies from fit unwed mothers without consent.

    I didn’t change my story at all – they did.

    Professional liars all!!

    maybe said:
    December 31, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I find that what changes are the myths/stories/fabrications surrounding adoption in general. No matter how much we strive to tell our own truths, there are those who speak for us and paint us in either positive or negative terms, based on their own needs. We can be wonderful,loving, selfless saints or heartless abandoners, crack hos, sluts, etc. It all depends on whatever society in general, or the individual in particular, needs us to be at any one moment in time.

    But we will eventually win by telling our own stories and refusing to back down when someone tries to claim we are changing it (which really means they think we are lying).

    eagoodlife said:
    January 3, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Great blog and such a good and necessary post.The truth needs to be told and as maybe says there needs to be refusal to back down.
    My own b-mother suffered all her life from the coercion and ‘no choice’ situation.In addition she had to care for me for the first six weeks although was allowed only to breat-feed me,bathe and change me.no cuddling,holding etc.Was this a punishment ,you bet!

    always&forever said:
    January 4, 2010 at 6:55 pm


    Your Mother was denied her rights to cuddle you?! She was treated like a machine, a breeding machine.

    Many of us, me included, were drugged with carcinogenic hormones to ensure that we were not able to sustain our newborns IF we had managed to escape with them. I was drugged stupid for 5 days to keep me docile, foggy, compliant and didn’t even know until decades later that I’d also been given this drug or any of the other powerful brain-numbing drugs…

    We all had the right to refuse any and all medical intervention – and the legal right full, natural access to our newborns and to do with them whatever any new mother does.

    It would have been less punishing for these ‘medical’ and SWer professionals to have just shot us outright – amazing that they actually did stop the torture just short of premeditated murder. I guess they were unaware that Genocide Codes spell out in detail exactly what they were doing: conspiracy to abduct newborns for transfer from an oppressed group to an elite group – not to mention intentional infliction of inhumane conditions that deliberately destroyed our lives.

    unsignedmasterpiece said:
    January 4, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    I agree with you Maybe – we need to keep putting forth out experiences.

    Claudia Corrigan D'Arcy said:
    January 8, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Did I change my story? No, I changed my perspective. I changed my understanding. Why? Becasue the knowledge and information I knew changed..and I learned the truth.
    I have such trouble understanding why that is so hard to understand. Isn’t that what thinking people do? We take in new infomation and process it.. and if it radically different from what we believed before, aren’t we smart and intelligent, rather than stubborn and unweildy, to alter our perceptions to fit the new truths told? It’s not like you can go back and chnage what haoppened to really fit the truth into what we would like to think.. that just crazy thoughts!

    Shannan said:
    January 10, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Man this is killing me. One thing that I have never told anyone about one of our adoptions was that our birthmother was told by the agency on the day she signed that if she decided to keep the baby she would be financially responsible for all the medical bills and her airfare home. Yeah right! She didn’t even have money for cigarettes:) let alone all that. It really really bothered me at the time (we hated that agency anyways) but my husband thought it was a good way to make sure our money wasn’t abused…or something like that. Man were we selfish. I have always felt bad about that and although our birthmom never intended to raise her son, what if she had changed her mind? Would she have had any other options? It all really really sucks.
    I mean lucky me…I am the one who got to put him to bed tonight and kiss him and sing to him and hear him say “Goodnight mommy I wuv you!” and I am SOOOO grateful for that. But this makes me feel really ashamed to have been part of a process that is so cruel to women.
    On the other side..personal disclaimer…we happen to know that birthmom really really well and she has a very turbulant extreme life. I don’t know if money and extra support would have helped her raise her son, but she never got the chance to find out, did she?

    Oh, and I have a sincere question. Why do you not like the term birthmom? For me, not being able to give birth, I feel like the name birthmom is respectful and kind of like an honor. What am I missing?

      Cedar said:
      January 13, 2010 at 2:13 am

      Dear Shannon, thank you for your thoughtful posting. It is not often that adoptive parents post on this blog, and it is nice to hear from them when they do. The reason why we do not like the term ‘birthmom’ is that the meaning of the term is “someone who was a mother for birthing purposes only.” It is part of a campaign called “Positive/Respectful Adoption Language,” which is anything but respectful towards mothers who have lost (relinquished, surrendered, etc. ) children to adoption. The term was coined by people who had the purpose of defining the adoptive parents as being the sole parents/mother/father of the child and that the natural mother was *only* a mother for birthing purposes only. This, in our eyes, reduces her to being nothing more than a breeder, incubator — or as some including myself put it — “walking uterus.”

      The purpose of the word is to state that we have no surviving love, bond, connection, or family relationship with the child we lost to adoption. This is how the definer of the term “birth mother” put it: “Choosing emotionally-correct words is especially important in adoption transactions, followed by an example validating the sole parenthood of adoptive parents after the adoption of a child, implying that no emotional or familial connection remains between members of the pre-existing family” (Marietta Spencer, “The Terminology of Adoption.” Child Welfare, Vol. 58, No. 7 pp. 451-452).

      The use of this term also sets up adoptive parents’ expectations. The people who adopted my son expected me to be a ‘birthmother.” They consider themselves to be his sole mother and father, and that I am nothing more than a gestational unit and source of genetic and cultural information. They consider our reunion to be my “fantasy.” They hit the roof when they found he wanted an ongoing post-reunion relationship. The adoptive father wrote and expressed these sentiments when they forcibly severed my reunion with my then-21-yr-old son). You see, the term ‘birthmother’ led them to believe that I was not a mother to him, not related in any way, and “R— has only one mother, Karen, and one father, me. He is a member of this family and shall not be shared in any way, shape, or form” is their statement of their beliefs. They have not retracted this statement – I am certain they still believe it. That is the end consequence of the term “birthmother.”

      I hope that this explains a bit more about this term and why many natural mothers consider it to be disrespectful.

    Lori said:
    January 11, 2010 at 2:30 am

    Shannan, what you are talking about is classical coercion. Basically, “our birthmother was told by the agency on the day she signed that if she decided to keep the baby she would be financially responsible for all the medical bills and her airfare home. Yeah right! She didn’t even have money for cigarettes:) let alone all that” is a common practice, specifically when money is the actual issue.

    Knowing a “birthmom” personally is kind of lame – no offense. but a lot of the extreme life is part of the results of losing her child (believe me, mine would have been total chaos, but my husband saved me). And No she never had a chance.

    Birthmom is a disgusting term – it makes us sound like incubators. While I know, since I only had the one child, it was not offensive in the beginning, I started to see the difference – birth (as in child birth) and mom or mother and in a walking womb whose feelings vanish the moment the child is handed over to the “real” mom or forever mom – which is also an insult – because the fact of the matter is, you are his mother and so is his mother a mother – his.

    Feeling guilty is not the answer, being truthful is.

    Women should never participate in hurting another woman. We are stomped enough in this world – why do it to each other and devalue ourselves even more.

    I can’t say I think you did the right thing, I can say that I pity you. One day you will be in a position where another woman, maybe even your “birthmother”, will be the one standing on your throat. I can only hope she has more soul and love and less selfish need.

    Lori said:
    January 13, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Cedar, the words that your son’s “father” used rang so hard in my mind. My daughter’s, who was abused, neglected and abandoned at various stages of her life, adopter actually had the nerve to tell me “you are not her mother, you never were! I am her mother and you are nothing!” Then she started screaming about killing my family and then it turned into a foul tirade entirely in Greek.

    We are often dismissed as nothing. What a shame that so many of the children don’t hear their “parents” saying this foul and disgusting thing to us.

    MLC said:
    January 14, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Your blog is inspiring to me.CeCe 09 mlc

    Kathy Aderhold said:
    January 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Thank you, Cedar, for this informative and insightful article. You bring up so many good points (and even throw in some great references!). I am struck by your response to Shannon where you mention that your son’s adopters think reunion is your “fantasy.” I share that experience with my own daughter’s adopters AND with my own daughter (AND her mother-in-law!!). They ALL think I am the one with issues because I was the one to track her down after 26 years, and want to be part of her life now. Even after my daughter started having her own babies, there has been very little consideration of what losing her to adoption had done to me over my lifetime. So I am the one with “issues”. Yes, I guess I do have issues, but I believe they are justified.
    No, I didn’t change my story, but now I UNDERSTAND my story. At the time of surrender, I was a young, scared girl who had committed the worst sin a young girl could commit. I would have done ANYTHING to get back into my parents’ good graces. So I signed. Was this a choice? Maybe a “Sophie’s Choice.”
    Now I see that the entire experience was conveniently orchestrated by the social workers, the unwed mothers home, the church, and most especially society, to harvest my child as a punishment for my sexuality.
    And you ask why I don’t want to be called “birthmother”, Shannon? This name marginalizes me. Pushes me to the side of the picture. It makes me a “less than” mother, despite the fact that SHE CAME OUT OF ME!! I am her mother now and forever. Just because another woman raised her does not make her any more of a mother than I am. My daughter has TWO mothers, because of adoption. That’s the truth and a fact. Ignoring that fact will just alienate your adopted child from you. I’m sorry if that hurts, but adoption just sucks, for all parties concerned.

    Cindy said:
    January 28, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Can someone tell me what a “wage home” is?

      Cedar said:
      January 28, 2010 at 12:44 am

      A wage home was another form of incarceration of unwed mothers (along with maternity “homes”). They were places where a family could hide their pregnant daughter for the duration of her pregnancy, or before transfer to a maternity home. Mothers were supposedly paid a ‘wage’ for services performed such as cooking, cleaning, and childcare. Room and board was provided, but in reality often the mothers were not paid and some even had to pay for the “service” of being kept there. I personally had to pay $50 per month, for an uninsulated room in a basement.

      The mother was usually put there by her family in order to hide her pregnancy from “society.” It was a place of shame, secrecy, and being rejected by everyone who loved you.

      Wage homes are often run today by adoption agencies in order to put a mother with a “family” who will provide her with 24-hour a day messages about how she should surrender her baby for adoption, and to separate her from anyone who might support her keeping her baby. This story is an example of what Bethany “Christian” Services does with their “Shepherding Homes”: http://www.exiledmothers.com/babies_taken_for_adoption/pamela.html

      Karen is another mothers who was in a wage-home: http://www.babyscoopera.com/articles/article3_notbychoice.html

    Cindy said:
    January 28, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Thank you for the quick response! I’m a search angel and the question was asked of me, but I had never heard the term before. Very sad to think of such degrading treatment….

    Sandra said:
    January 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I cannot testify to what happened years ago in Canada or the US as far as taking babies from mothers, but I do know that just as you all see one side of adoption – the completely negative, horrible, process that it can be, there is also another side of adoption. My mom was adopted in the age when they pushed for abortion more than adoption. It is a miracle that she was not aborted. She was placed in a loving home with parents who wanted a baby and wanted to love and take care of her for all of her life. Her one complaint about adoption is that she was never able to find out her medical history because everything back then was iron closed.
    My sister has adopted two children and I have adopted one. In our family adoption is a positive thing. We respect the first mothers of our children. They made informed decisions based on what they thought they could handle. I truly do not believe that any of them were coerced. In Michigan you have up to 6 months to change your mind. One of my sister’s first moms did. She took him back at 2 weeks. Then at 9 months she decided that he didn’t successfully help her win back the father and she didn’t have time for him anymore around her drug habits and parties and gave him back up for adoption to my sister. There really are times when adoption can be the best answer. Would you really wish for that child (who did not smile at all when they first got him) to grow up in a home where he was not adequately cared for or wanted just because that woman bore him? Isn’t adoption sometimes a great solution?

    I’m not in support of all of the negative things that have happened especially many years ago, but I also do not believe that those against adoption can apply their hatred for it to ever single case.

    Cindy said:
    January 29, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    If your mother wants medical information she should contact the county in which she was adopted and request her non id information which she in entitled to.

    Susie said:
    January 29, 2010 at 9:30 pm


    I don’t think there was a time when abortion was “pushed”. Either you considered it was an option or you didn’t. Abortion providers did/do not go out searching for women to give abortions to. Adoption agencies, on the other hand, do go out searching for vulnerable, pregnant, girls/women.

    Today, just like “back then”, everything is still “iron closed”. Under current law, babies born and given up for adoption today will be unable to access their adoption records and original birth certificates when they become legal age. The only way they will have access to their parental information is if they are lucky enough to have adoptive parents keep an open adoption promise.

    The negative things that have happened many years ago are still happening. Yes, there are instances when adoption is necessary (in cases of abuse, neglect, etc.). Domestic infant adoption in this country is rarely about cases like this though. Infant adoption in this country has become a business to provide a baby to a family that “needs” one.

    Lastly, this post is not about hatred. It is about the truth of life-long adoption loss, for the parents and baby.

    Sandra said:
    January 30, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Cindy and Susie,

    I believe she did contact them and was assigned someone who was supposed to try to help her access the records but in the end told her they could not find her information. The children’s home she was adopted through had closed and the records apparently did not all make it to whatever new location everything was moved to.

    I do not doubt that there are negative things in the world of adoption. Frankly we had some issues with our adoption attorney and would never use her again. I’ve just run across so many who believe that infant adoption is NEVER the right choice and I do not believe that to be true either.

    Lori said:
    January 30, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    “I don’t think there was a time when abortion was “pushed” – excuse me? Susie, I hate to tell you but you are totally off base there.

    I was one of six girls that got pregnant in my group home – this was a group home setting run by a company and there were 8 girls houses and 6 boys houses. Out of six 4 got abortions and 2 had babies. Of the two of us, both of us were, eventually, force to give up our babies.

    Also, there are adopted children in my family and there are, of course, adoptive parents. I don’t believe blanket statements such as all of us seeing only one side of adoption is quite fair. I support adoption when there is no, and I mean NO other options. This is when there are no family members or parents that are able to care for the child. Or, in extreme cases when there are real issues in the parenting of all these people.

    At the same time, I am totally against infant adoption without extreme circumstances. And especially now. Our society teaches children that they can do what ever they want. That life is totally about them. Then, when it comes to sex, we are the biggest advocates of idiocy there are. We pretend we don’t know that children/teens have sex as early as the immediate onset of puberty. We prevent schools, who ultiimately end up with the jobs of teaching our children who are pregnant, damaged from loss of a child or whatever, from providing information regarding birthcontrol or at least condoms.

    Good grief – we expect life to get better – how many can honestly say that they teach their sons and daughters to respect their bodies, to use condoms and other protective gear for the prevention of pregnancy and STDs? I think we need to think this crap over – and be real.

      Mei-Ling said:
      January 30, 2010 at 9:11 pm

      I support adoption when there is no, and I mean NO other options. This is when there are no family members or parents that are able to care for the child.

      I also think that in some cultures this would not be allowed legally.

    Mama K said:
    February 11, 2010 at 2:54 am

    People can be SO incredibly ignorant!

    Just as been said …
    When Trauma happens, it is not something that is expected, even IF the decision(pertaining to relinquishment) was not coerced. Trauma and emotion just don’t disappear b/c we deny having it, or are unwilling to feel it at the time.

    This protection method is something that I did myself.
    And as a result, I have very jaded memories from back when I was pregnant with M, even part of the birth and most definitely post birth.
    I Do NOT remember signing the papers. I still to this day, do not remember choosing a “semi-open” adoption.
    I could say that the ramifications of my PTSD (which i have actually been diagnosed with) could have been avoided, but who the hell knows!
    It’s like saying..i should have taken a left turn instead of a right one and then i wouldn’t have gotten into that car accident. (this is what we think after we have been in an accident) it;s traumatic, you don’t think clearly. Emotion and Shock take over and most often you’re rendered helpless. You block things out. Your version of what happened usually isn’t what truly happened.
    Now i’m not saying adoption is like a car accident, so don’t crucify me…i’m saying the PTSD process is similar.
    I’ve been there. Both Times.
    I have been coming to terms with the realization that i was coerced in some ways regarding my adoption.
    I decided on my own to give my first child up for adoption, truly, but there were decisions (BIG ones) involved…that i can honestly say i felt coerced with ( in hindsight mind you )
    the problem was that i did not have an objective advocate.

    Now THIS could be a great instrument in Adoption Reform.
    Just like how married couples get a mediator to make decisions, someone who does not profit or loss, to help you understand what you are doing/signing etc…guiding you to make rational decisions…

    A Mandatory Mediator. NOT associated with the families or the Adoption World.
    A Business Person.

    A professional to help ENSURE that Coercion does not take place!

    Ok. Just my 2 cents. I know i may be romanticizing…but shit, this would have helped me – i know it would have.

    Love and Respect to all Mamas::::
    Mama k.

    P.S. Mei-Ling…

    I am curious. I do not agree with your view on adoption but that’s okay, we don’t have to agree.
    *I would like to know if you think that choosing abortion is a more viable option than choosing adoption?
    *Or is your opinion based on that you think that all babies should be kept in the natural family no matter what, thus ruling out abortion completely?
    *Do you also think that couples/mothers who cannot medically have children not be able to have children at all {through the adoption process} ?

    Thanks in Advance!

    Mei-Ling said:
    February 12, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Mama K, what do you mean? I simply stated that some countries wouldn’t allow for guardianship because of its non temporary state.

    Mama K said:
    March 4, 2010 at 2:58 am

    I was just wondering what your views are pertaining to adoption…not necessarily your voice stated here, but from FMF as well…
    I have grabbed bits and pieces through your comments on other blogs and wondered what exactly “your stance” is regarding adoption.
    how have you been touched by adoption?
    you have very strong views, I just want to make sure i understand where you are coming from so i don’t make assumptions…
    I’m trying to learn as much as i can from all sides right now.
    I am in adoption hell as we speak and i’m wanting to hear everyone’s experiences, warts and all….
    Do you know if minor adoptees have any rights at all ( M is 14 years old, wants contact with me and the adoptive parents are not allowing this to happen… )?
    Do you know (or anyone else) know what can happen to me legally if i do not agree to what the Adoptive parents are trying to make me agree to…?
    feel free to email me, i will elaborate…i don’t want to muck up this post…thanks xxoo
    Mama K.

    Valerie said:
    June 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    We do not change our stories…our stories change us.

    angelle2 said:
    October 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Sandra you stated:

    “My sister has adopted two children and I have adopted one. In our family adoption is a positive thing. We respect the first mothers of our children. They made informed decisions based on what they thought they could handle. I truly do not believe that any of them were coerced.”

    Did you ever think as human beings perhaps your place on this earth was to help a woman in need find a way to parent her child and find herself instead of finding justification in her difficulties to take her child?

    How about adopting the child AND the mother? What a concept!

    Sandra said:
    October 25, 2010 at 1:11 am


    Not all birthmoms want help to keep their child. Some truly just do not want a baby right now in their lives.

    Again, I do not believe adoption is the best solution in every situation, however, my struggle is when others do not believe it can EVER be the best solution and that just isn’t true.

      Adoption Critic responded:
      October 25, 2010 at 1:28 am

      “Not all birthmoms want help to keep their child. Some truly just do not want a baby right now in their lives. ”

      Like about 2%. If you did not apply coercion to the rest, they would likely have kept their babies. But right now, there are VERY few mothers who have not been coerced into surrendering their babies for adoption . The adoption industry is rife with methods that are utilized specifically to increase surrender rates.

      Don’t come here to promote adoption and then expect support, especially if you are one of the 2 parties of the 4-party adoption transaction who gain from adoption.

    Bill said:
    December 9, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Thank You Adoption Critic: Adoption is not evil in every circumstance, it really depends on the people involved. Ahem, that being said, I cannot believe for a damned minute that all of these mothers have been able over the years, to get together and tell the exact same story to all of us about the way they were stripped of humanity, because they got horny, or whatever happened, and did the things that humans do, always. They were ….. Jesus wept, there are no words for what happened to them. There are six million adopted people in this country, that were for all intents and purposes forcibly removed from their mothers. That equals 18 million people that have been victimized by this industry. All of the deaths, in all of the wars, in our nations history make a small percentage of the human tragedy inflicted here at home to young unwed mothers and was “brought to you by”, your f-in state government. Come on 18 million people can make a hell of a noise this needs to happen

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