Sunday, November 30, 2008

HOW TO CONVINCE SOMEONE ABOUT THE DARKSIDE

It is not an easy task. I spent an hour yesterday helping an adoptee under the pressures that adoption places on a mother. The person that I was speaking with was far from being ignorant on adoption. She is learning now what adoption can do both bad and good. She is trying to help the most stubborn of adoptive parents see the error of their ways and thinking. I commend her for it. Sadly there are people out there that you are not going to change their opinion on adoption. What bothers me is that adoptees like her and myself get sucked into the negativity inside the comments of folks that she was referring to. My anger has motivated me to make changes. I have used it constructively. It is not this person that I have the issue with but I use her as an example of what others and I deal with.

Recently this article came out yesterday about the devious ways an adoption agency operates to get the highest dollar. One of the comments that Adam Pertman made bugged a friend of mine. I agree with the comment. Adoption in itself when it represents both the surrendering parents and the adoptive parents is a conflict of interest. Each must have their own representation. I am not talking just social workers. I am talking attorneys. Yet that does not exist. I only know of a couple agencies that actually have a social worker representing the surrendering mothers and fathers.

My issue with an individual is that they don't realize what I have been doing for the last three years. They don't realize who my tutors have been. My tutors have been people involved in the movement for decades. Marley Greiner, Mirah Riben, Sandy Young, Triona Guidry, Anita Fields, and many others. The number of mothers that I have spoken to over the years must be in the thousands. This is not something brand new. Jean Paton started with the Orphan Voyage in 1949. ALMA was started in the seventies. CUB has been around since then as well. I know the history of adoption. Bastard Nation in the nineties. I have read the many court cases that these people have helped in fighting to change the attitudes on. How do you get someone to listen long enough as this person likes to talk a lot to what the history of adoption is? I can point in the various natural mother organizations. I can ask to her sit down and speak with some of the members that have been around for years. It has always always been under the control of adoption agencies, adoption attorneys, their membership groups, child welfare leagues and so forth. It has never really been controlled by those living adoption. These are the people that think that they know best. Our records are controlled by a clerk that took a typing test how many years ago.

How do I convince this person that adoption isn't the win/win/win situation for all of us that they are so sure of? How do I convince this person that adoption has hurt the mothers of the past?

9 comments:

Mei-Ling said...

You can't.

I tried talking to my best friend.

She insists on being a "Pollyanna" about the whole thing.

maybe said...

I'm inclined to agree with Mei-Ling: you can't get them to understand.

As an invisible mother, I've actually had people tell me I was better off without my baby. Hey, I got to go college, yippee for me.

I must admit I've become a little more militant. When I hear ignorant statements, I just ask them which of their children would they like to lose.

I don't really waste much time on diplomacy anymore, it doesn't work. Bold, direct statements work better for me.

The Improper Adoptee said...

Amy-sorry-I am too lazy to sign into my email again-I wanted to tell you too to call the West Hempsted police dept on her too-I am not kidding-cyberbullying is against the law-I just read her stupid blog-and now I am even madder because she is putting your name and Teresas last name on it-I knew this was going to happen damnit-she is the most vengeful bitch I have ever met-it is part of her mental illness-I am sure I will be next because I just sent a comment to her blog and told her I printed out everything and I am going to the court here-I haven't gone yet because I haven't felt well the last few weeks-if seh puts my name on her blog I am suing her personally-go to the court too wehre you live and try to get her blog down-if we both do it, it is even worse for her-she is an arrogant fucking bitch and totally out of control-she seems to think she is untouchable-but fuck her. She isn't and I will prove that to her soon-pls don't publish this

ilexopaca3 said...

I cna feel militarism rearing its necessarily ugly head. Yeah, I am one of those pathetic "non"mothers who must have loved her child all the more in order to give him up, trusting others to care and protect him from, what, me? I have heard it for 38 years-he is better off, etc. Well, I am an educated, articulate woman who has loved him all of his life, and having found him now, feel as though I cannot forget the time wasted. Newest comment from my son is that he is worried about "upsetting someone" when they know that we are in touch. My pain and anger is not an option as I try to get to know my son. However, unlike some adoption agencies WE do not destroy or eat our young. Yeah, I am the Dreaded Return of the Natural Mother.

'Still scared, btw. 'Wish it was easier. Abandon all hope of a better past.

triona said...

I'm with Mei-Ling and maybe. I'm sick and tired of Adoption Fairyland. Strangers to adoption who profess to understand it, adoptees who insist upon being "Pollyannas" as you mentioned, first moms (like my own) who don't even want to admit they had a child...

I don't worry anymore about "upsetting someone" about my stance on adoption. As an adoptee I had no control over the circumstances of my birth, but I sure as hell have control over how I feel about it, and whether or not I want to express those feelings. I'm not going to be silent just to convenience someone else. Isn't that what the lives of first moms and adoptees are all about, shelving our own needs and desires to be someone else's convenience?

Mirah Ribven said...

You might try sending a book...or an article...but generally speaking when people's minds are made up...they're made up!

In politics it is accepted strategy not to waste too much time and effort trying to convince those with closed minds and set opinions. Instead focus on the "undecided" in the middle!

It is very satisfying to me to meet someone quite naive about it all and have them say "AHA!" when I get done with my spiel.

Mirah...who would like to thank MY mentors: MaryAnne Cohen, Lee Campbell, Carole Anderson, BJ Lifton, Anette Baran, Anne Babb...

You and I, Amy, have a proud heritage of women warriors staring with Jean Paton and Emma May Vilardi.

Mirah Riben said...

PS MY parents does not getting, as will my one and only sibling.

AdoptAuthor said...

Re Pertman's comment, I totally DISagree.

"Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a policy, research and education organization, said it's essential that an agency work for both sides.

'Good, ethical practices entails serving everybody's needs and means acting purely transparently in all regards,' he said."

WRONG! No person or agency can or should represent both sides. This is clearly conflict of interest.

As YOU said, they must each have their own representative. It doesn't seem to me that that s what Pertman is saying or how his words are being interpetd by the reporter: "it's essential that an agency work for both sides."

Transparency, as Pertman suggests, HELPS. Such as informing a mother that open adoption agreements are likely NOT going to be enforceable in her state. But far better is separate counsel, not paid for by adopters.

And, to cheer you up...some do get it! See: http://sourcesara.blogspot.com/

AdoptAuthor said...

ooops. Link should have been:
http://sourcesara.blogspot.com/2008/11/raising-awareness-about-adoption.html

OR: http://tinyurl.com/6p9phl