Last night I went to a rodeo here in small town Texas. I was supposed to ride in the parade but my horse was acting up and I felt that I would not be able to handle him in it. Usually I don't go to these events because of weird circumstances on the ranch. Its another story not really worth mentioning. I got to visit with one of my best friends on the ranch. I had gotten a book from another dear friend. She wrote the book and its very good so far. Its called the Dark Side of Adoption. If anyone has access to it, its a definite good read. It was written by one of the prominent movers and shakers in the Concerned United Birthparents Organization. Her name is Marsha Riben. I have really enjoyed reading this book. She is such an eloquent writer. She has been involved in this movement for open adoption records and adoption reform. I showed my buddy the book. I also told her the update or lack of one in my search. Later last evening we were discussing her pregnancy and what she wanted in her afghan. I make afghans for friends who are pregnant. She told me this story. I had hoped that this was false when I first heard about it in a research study done by the Alan Guttmacher Institute. Their website by the way is http://www.guttmacher.org . That should get you to the site and from there you can find the study. I reported on it back in January in my blog: http://amyadoptee.blogspot.com/2006_01_01/amyadoptee_archive.html. I had hoped that this kind of thing wasn't true but again I was wrong. The ultra conservative think tanks in this country are now creating public policy at the detriment of families, women and children. Back to my story. She went in there to get a verification for her pregnancy for Medicaid. This is a pregnancy crisis center for women. She is married with one child. She was forced to watch a video on anti-abortion. She was asked three times if she wanted to give her child up for adoption. This was done in front of her husband and child. She was also asked her religion. When she told them that she was Mormon, they asked her if that was a Christian religion. This was done through volunteers. She wasn't even told that she was pregnant until after all of this. She knew that she was already but that is besides the point. She even asked why the other options were not given equal representation. Parenting her child and abortion weren't even mentioned. If this is happening in a small town in Texas, what is happening in big cities? Is it happening to rich women as well? Or is it just what is perceived as "poor?" If this could happen to her, what about other women? What if she wasn't the strong women that she is? What if she had been intimidated? That is what is so scary about all of this.
One of those ultra conservative think tanks is the Heritage foundation. I presented one article from their website to read. I think you ought to read these as well. They are ten years old but they now reflect what is going on now. Http://www.heritage.org/Research/Family/BG1115.cfm.
These people advocate orphanages. They also support drug testing for suspect drug abuse in pregnant women. Any woman who is poor would be suspect is something I can guarantee. In fact there is one state that has this policy already in place. That state is South Carolina. They also advocate the requirement for federally funded family planning services to provide clear and accurate information on the benefits of adoption to all out-of-wedlock teenage mothers. They also advocate for closed adoptions saying that it undermines the adoptive parents' bond with the child and the creation of a permanent new family for the child. It makes the child confused. How do they know? Have they talked and researched at length open adoption? Its my opinion and many many others that all this "closed record" business serves is to cover the unscrupulous activities of the adoption agencies that are associated with the National Council for Adoption. I wonder if this family planning clinic associated with Gladney, Bethany or LDS.
Again I state history on the confidentiality issue. Birthparents wanted confidentiality from their communities not from their children. Closed adoption were created to protect the rights of adoptive parents to keep birthparents from interfering. Records were also closed to remove the stigma of "illegitimacy."
Adoption is a necessary function in our society. It just needs to be reformed to allow truth and honesty. Adoption agencies should be held accountable for the costs that they incur and impose on prospective adoptive parents. Charging $50,000 for a child and then telling the adoptive parents that they can get a charge card to help finance the adoption, use tax cuts, mortgage their home and borrow against their 401K plan. Its wrong. It screws everyone involved in the adoption process.