BJ LIFTON BOOTED FROM ADOPTION CONFERENCE; "OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE" CITED

Recently, renowned adoptee rights activist BJ Lifton received notice that her services were no longer needed at the Shedding Light on the Adoption Experience V Conference scheduled for September 15-16 at Fordham University in New York City. In an email sent under the signature of conference organizers Joe Soll and Karen Wilson Buterbaugh, Dr. Lifton, was informed that her refusal to expunge the offensive “B word” from her vocabulary had earned her the jackboot as Saturday’s keynote speaker.

Now, what in the world is the “B Word.” Bastard? Bitch? Buggery? Bovine?

No. Hardly that interesting.

Try Birthmother.

THE CORRESPONDENCE
This is the email sent out to all conference presenters that Dr. Lifton received dated August 21:

“Dear Presenter: Just a reminder that it would be a kindness to use the term “Mother” or “First Mother” as opposed to the ‘birth” prefix. (An increasing number of mothers of adoption loss experience these prefixes as oppressive.) Thank you! See you soon, Joe

This was news to her. Dr. Lifton, who has known Joe Soll for decades, says when she accepted the invitation to speak at the conference she was not told of the special language requirements. If she had been informed, she would have turned down the invitation.

When she objected to the language directive, Soll cluelessly replied,

“Please don’t use the word. ….what does it cost not to use it?”

Three days after receiving her initial language instructions and his initial reply, Dr. Lifton sent a strongly worded email to Soll telling him she would not change her terminology. She had no problem if women wanted to refer to themselves as First Mothers or anything else, but she didn’t want their language inflicted on her. She reminded Soll of the provenance of “birthmother“ (which I’ll cover later) and that it is the accepted popular and professional term for women who have surrendered a child for adoption.

On August 27, she received this reply:

“Your negative response to our request not to use the “b” term was discussed by the co-sponsors. Since you only want to use “your language” at the conference, I’m sorry to inform you that the conference committee has decided it would not be appropriate for you to make any presentation.

“Adoption Crossroads and our co-sponsor Origin branches do not approve of the use of the “B” term in any way as it has come to be a pejorative.

“I’m sorry you won’t be part of the program.
“Be well,

Joe and Karen

Thus, Betty Jean Lifton, activist, therapist, author of Twice Born: Memiors of an Adopted Daughter, Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness and, Lost and Found: the Adoption Experience, who has probably brought more people into adoption activism and reform in the US than anyone, was shown the door by a band of word Nazis. No matter how galling it may be, BJ should thank the Bastard Goddesses to be out of this mess. I note with pleasure that she’s got a full speaking schedule booked for the rest of the year and into the next.

Of course, all of this is Greek to the normal adoption observer. What’s going on?

THE B WORD
For reasons known only to them, the Adoption Language Police–Special Victims Unit, insists that the “oppressive” term “birthmother” was invented by social workers (or even worse–writer Pearl Buck). They like to say the word “triggers” (a favorite psych term) “negativity” and even “trauma.” Some word nannies like to depict “birthmother” as a HumVee gone wild, crashing pregnant unmarrieds into the nearest adoption mill. According to them, the B Word is so magical, that if it didn’t exist neither would adoption. Die Birthmother! Die!

(NOTE: Nobody has raised a whimper about “birthfather”)

“Birthmother” may have been used occasionally in the dark past, but it was CUB (Concerned United Birthparents) with much thought, sensitivity, and debate that coined the term in the 1970s as an alternative to “natural mother“ or “biological mother“ the accepted terms of the day Emphasizing “birth“ and linking the event to women and their surrendered children, “birthmother“ became a term of empowerment. The long term effect is that “birthmother”–through dedicated but non-coercive use, (ie, nobody sent out storm troopers to enforce the usage) became the commonly accepted term for mothers who surrender their children for adoption. It was rare, early victory for adoption reform that gave a name and voice to the previously invisible.

This doesn’t mean that language can’t and shouldn’t evolve and reflect contemporary thought. When writing about adoption I like to move around language, using what looks good syntaxically or how I feel at the moment as my criteria. And as an occasional language wonk myself I want adoption language to grow with the times–but through preference and diversity, not top-down mandate like the Know Nothing attempt of the “Shedding Light” facilitators to ignore history and beat people into language submission through threat of exclusion because they (the facilitators) admitedly hate adoption.

Sometimes “birthmother” is used inappropriately and is co-opted, but so are a lot of other words. The real issue, though, isn’t the word “birthmother” or any other word somebody does or doesn’t like. The real issue is the ability of individuals to self-identify and self-define–to use language with which they are comfortable without being bullied or kicked out of the clubhouse. Bastard Nation took a lot of flack for reclaiming the word “bastard,“ but we have never insisted that everyone use it or go home. What would be the point? Adopted persons can call themselves whatever they like, though personally, I’m irked by adults who refer to themselves as “adopted children.“ But if those “adopted children” want to work for adoptee rights or send us a check, that’s fine by me. I don‘t know one “birthmother“ who demands that all other “birthmothers” define themselves as “birthmothers.” Some prefer “natural mother or other terms or no term at all, but don‘t turn themselves inside out if somebody uses a different word. What the adoption- hating word purifiers would say about birthmom Jackie Patrick Fox’s use of “birthslut,” a term that drove Bill Pierce nuts, I can only contemplate. Watching the adoption haters and NCFA on the same team could be fun.

But to get back to the subject… A lot of intransigent adoption fill-in-the-blankers reject their own history and the women who came before. They reduce the politics of adoption to a silly symphony of politically sensitive words that nobody outside of AdoptionLand gives a rat’s rear end about or even understands. At the end of the day, the language insurgents divide adoption reform along the semantic lines of us against them, guaranteeing that the real issues of adoption rot remain untouched. Bill Pierce couldn’t have done a better job!

Ironically, the other Dr. Lifton, BJ’s husband, the distinguished psychiatrist, Robert Jay Lifton, is a specialist in cultic behavior and totalism Without delving into his work here (go here for excerpts) I’ll simply point out that his Eight Criteria for Thought Reformation, includes language control, what he calls “loading the language” in which complicated issues are reduced to thought-stopping cliché. that members are required to accept. Those who refuse to wash their brains of individual thought are excluded and expunged, what Lifton calls the “dispensing of existence.” BJ Lifton, who has insisted on using her own language has been dispensed with.

Of course, I don’t think for one minute that organizers of Shedding Light on the Adoption Experience V are smart enough to get this. And they are certainly not smart enough to start a cult. But what they have done is create a public event that excludes pubic discourse.

RED FLAGS
Shedding Light on the Adoption Experience V is sponsored by Joe Soll’s Adoption Crossroads, Origins USA, Origins Australia, Inc, Origins Canada, and the Washington Square Institute for Psychotherapy and Mental Health. It is subtitled, “An Educational Conference about Realities: The Lifelong Effects of Adoption and the Need for Family Preservation.” A member of a private email list I’m on announced that the event is for people “traumatized by adoption.” Nothing on the conference webpage says that. Adoption can and has been beneficial for many. But adoption, especially as it is practiced in the US has lots of unpleasant lifelong effects: loss, grief, anger, and lies. The rot needs to be addessed and redressed. but not by obcurist language bullies who outside of the deepest recesses of AdoptionLand make no sense.

The Adoption Crossroads circle (excuse the mixed metaphors) and Origins et al are openly anti-adoption and adoption-hating. I respect much of the work Origins has done and I have friends active in the Origins organizations. The anti-adoptionists are sincere but many are politically naive and dangerous in their belief that they can “abolish adoption”–a politically suicidal position out of touch with political and social reality. They are inordinately interested in revising their personal narratives (usually via therapy) with tales of babies stolen by an all-encompassing adoption industry conspiracy. They think in universals but personalize their grievances. Mothers suffer from PSTD (and if they don’t they’re in denial.) Adoptees ooze “primal wound” (and if they don’t they’re in denial.). Adopters are thieves and kidnappers (and if they object they’re in denial). Social workers are moralistic “social wreckers.” All mothers naturally love and want their babies. Dads are seldom mentioned except as bad guys. There is little or no personal responsibility for past actions. Anger is focused on individuals, not the system. No one has a happy or beneficial adoption experience. For the adoption haters, adoption is framed as individual victimization, generally without a class, historical, political, race, or gender context. Certainly some parents (I’m including men) and adoptees were and continue to be victimized by adoption industrialists. The industry with its handmaid, the state keeps adoption lies and secrets going. Interestingly, in the adoption hating scheme, self-identified victims are expected to study and analyze their individual victim status (not a bad idea). But instead of using that analysis as an impetus to develop a viable political critique and blueprint for individual transformation and class change through rational thought and political action, they are encouraged to linger in their victimhood, their pain accelerated by therapeutic fantasies of womb crawling and adoption abolition–to imagine a sort of Golden Age of Mother and Child that has never existed for anybody ever. It doesn’t take a Freudian to see what’s going on here.

You’d never know any of this though from the conference promotion which comes across as typical touchy-feely adoption conference fare, top-heavy with psychological medicalized issues, therapists, and theraputic jargon. Some of the panels sound downright interesting and would be credible in another setting. No language requirements are listed. No threats of exclusion posted in the program. I didn’t see any warnings about “oppressive language” in the call for presenters months ago. Too bad! It could have saved plenty of people genuinely interested in adoption change their time, airfare, and reputations.

Several big names show up on the conference roster who I doubt would appreciate being regarded as “anti-adoption” or “adoption haters.” Scheduled to appear as keynoters are feminist historian Rickie Solinger, author of Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v Wade and Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States and Ann Fessler, author of The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v Wade, a current non-fiction adoption best seller about the B Word. Perhaps as academics they are accustomed to being cudgeled into political correctness and naturally bow to dictate, but I doubt it. Isabel Andrews from Adoption Jigsaw is coming all the way from Australia. Dr. David, Kirschner, developer of the adopted child syndrome murder defense is slotted to discuss “What We Can Learn from Adoptees Who Kill.” (there but for the grace of God….) Another speaker, Edward Albee, (r) arguably America’s greatest living playwright, is scheduled on sit on a panel, “Adoption and Creativity,” with Ann Fessler and writer Carol Schaeffer. Albee’s four major adoption plays, The American Dream, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, A Delicate Balance,and Three Tall Women with the “minor” adoption plays Zoo Story, Tiny Alice, and The Play About the Baby inform more about adoption than any activist or academic could hope to accomplish. It’s doubtful the dreaded B Word would slip from Edward’s lips, but has he been ordered to keep his trap shut anyway? (Full disclosure: Edward Albee is one of my great literary heroes and I feel protective of him.)

As of today, four panels/workshops have been cancelled. Since I don’t have an original schedule, I have no idea who the participants were. It would be interesting to know if they bailed over language purification issues. Are they aware that BJ Lifton has been dispensed with due to her inability to conform? Does Fordham, a major Catholic University and certainly not anti-adoption, know what’s going on? Where do the Washington Square folks fit into this? I even wonder how much input the Origns folks have had in this language debacle. Have people of good will been suckered?
A LOST OPPORTUNITY
Since language is such a big deal with the anti-adoptionists, the conference could have been a good place to discuss language development, the tactical importance of language, and the critical need for autonomous thought, self-ownership and self-identification in adoption. After all, isn’t that what adoption reform is about? Of course, that can’t happen when “traumatic” words can’t even be said aloud. The whole thing is remindful of the strictures on the Internet newsgroup alt.infertility where posters a few years ago were required to put warning words like “pregnancy” and “baby” in their thread titles lest over-sensitive readers become distressed when stumbling upon the posts.

The anti-adoptionists and adoption haters are the flip side of the National Council for Adoption–even down to correct adoption terminology thuggery. Where NCFA has never met a baby that wouldn’t be better off adopted, the anti-adoptionists have never met a baby that would be better off not adopted. They‘re on each end of the spectrum– the lunatic fringe. The only difference is that NCFA has the juice and friends in high places to get their agenda across. Anti-adoptionists have only daydreams.

A closed system is a scared system. Nancy Verrier and David Kirschner have spoken at Bastard Nation conferences (Our primal wounds didn’t bleed, but we didn’t shoot each other either.) Bill Pierce was once an invited speaker at an Amerian Adoption Congress conference. I’ve attended the annual NCFA conference. There was no Chicken Little pecking in our ears.

Once again, the issue is not a war against new or politically correct language. The issue is the attempt to stop the free flow of ideas and idea exchange through language control–telling others how to think and define themselves. There are positive ways to put new terms into the public vocabularly. Pushing people around and exiling them isn’t one of them.

The disinvitation of BJ Lifton trivializes the entire adoption change movement. It trivializes our history and accomplishments. It trivializes what BJ and so many others have dedicated their lives to: the humanization of adoption.

We salute BJ Lifton for her integrity and unbowed head.

**************************************************

ADDENDA: As I as finishing this blog, BJ was un-disinvited from the conference. I can speculate why, and I’m sure you can, too. BJ politely turned down the offer.

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415 Replies to “BJ LIFTON BOOTED FROM ADOPTION CONFERENCE; "OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE" CITED”

  1. If ya ask me, she should go ahead and go to the conference and use the “b-word” as often as she can. Does it really matter what word you use? If you use one word, and mean the same thing, what’s the difference? I think the words are all synonyms, and it is totally wrong to insist on someone using your word just cause it makes you feel superior.

    Sign me: Adoptee in denial of her primal wound.

  2. This is a masterpiece. To B.J. Lifton, I say, “BRAVA.” To Bastardette, I say, “A masterpiece of reporting.” And to Joe Soell I say, “Shame, shame, everyone knows your name!”

    Bastard Grannie Annie

  3. Wow. Mr. Soll asked pretty nicely if she would refrain from using the term birthmother, and the reaction that he and Karen got, was pretty uncalled for.

  4. You stand with wordsmith William Safire in your language comments, however you might want to fix this line:

    “But what they have done is create a public event that excludes pubic discourse.”

  5. well, well, well. this is about the tackiest, low class, piece of reporting i’ve ever seen.

    i think it’s pretty clear that a small handful of hostile members of your curmudgeonly old girls club that thinks just because you’ve been around since back in the day, you know better than anyone. Many of us know however that you are just green with envy at joe and karen’s success. joe has outclassed the AAC, CUB and certainly anything BN has ever attempted with his conferences over the years. No one else ever gets the big names that he has. And he’s been around just as long as you.

    You can get red in the face and spit and spew your hatred at joe for taking a position that he believes in, but the proof is in the many years of respect, published books, members of his organization and testimonials from literally hundreds if not thousands of moms and adoptees who have been helped by the man.
    joe is smart, kind, generous in spirit and has helped even you over the years and look how you treat a fellow activist? you are critical because he’s a therapist too? So is BJ and she can’t put on a conference.

    I would bet marley, that the number of people who rave about how much YOU’VE helped them grow emotionally and spiritually can be counted on one hand, although i really don’t care to debate it. Actually, I have a couple of BN friends who left because of your obnoxiousness. And others who have left CUB because you and your hatred filled buddies have tried to hijack that organization and spend half your time being critical of OUSA and Crossroads.

    girls. grow up. this is really high school bullying stuff. i think it’s great that none of you have been affected emotionally by your adoption experience, but i don’t know…you sure behave like something is deeply wrong.

    most importantly, you’ve got alot of the story wrong in your need for petty gossip. i happen to have several friends in the mental health profession of which three are also psychologists. when i shared BJ’s total lack of sensitivity to a sponsoring organization which included an international group of mothers who lost their children to adoption and asked her if she would kindly not use the bmother word for a couple of hours that day – they were literally stunned at her lack of professionalism and just plain good manners. Instead of BJ having the compassion and intellectual curiosity to discuss the feelings about this word by the mothers who had invited her – she runs to people that she clearly knows hate Joe to ask their advice. So be it. I’m not impressed at all.

    I’ve been in BJ’s company several times over the years and conferences and I can tell you that she has a reputation for being dismissive and arrogant to moms in her books and in person. No need to debate this point either. Just know that there are lots of people who will not miss her obvious disrespect. she’s not a mother of adoption loss and has no right telling us what we can call ourselves on a given day. In my opinion, she’s now demonstrated she’s not much of a psychologist either. What mental health professional would behave this way??

    I do not care what you have to say in response to me if you allow this post to go through. you’ve lost any respect i had for you at one point in time because you’ve stooped about as low as one can get with this need you have to hurt joe’s credibility at the expense of our adoption reform efforts. while you and the other organizations who have such shrinking membership keep ridiculing, the good guy is winning the race. Joe’s outclassed you all. and OUSA membership is getting larger and larger.

    you probably don’t have an ounce of spirituality within you, but i believe in karmic retribution. pay now or pay later.

  6. goodenes, goodness, BN was once a good resource for adoptees… now you come across as tired old angry-adoptees who can’t move out of “I hate my mommy for giving me away” phase.

    Posting personal emails…it doesn’t much lower than that.

    Shame.

    un-supporter of BN

  7. We salute BJ Lifton for her integrity and unbowed head.

    Just read this disingenuous statement. integrity? what integrity? BJ shared personal correspondance from joe and karen with you to put on a public blog???

    this is a psychologist with integrity? i believe this is known as triangulating. pretty sick stuff. i would certainly never refer anyone to her.

    people of your ilk are the reason our so called adoption reform movement never gets anywhere. if anyone should be ashamed of themselves it is you.

  8. Well Hells Bells….if Carol C can comment twice, so can I.

    I want to know where in the name of all that you consider holy, do you get the idea that it is appropriate for anyone to tell anyone what kind of language to use? Last I heard we have a freedom of speech. Yes, if you don’t like that speech, then you don’t go around those using it, but to specifically invite someone KNOWING what language they use and then uninvite them based on that same language, well that is just….WRONG…there is no excuse for the way BJ was treated. It only shows just how insecure the organizers of this event are in their beliefs that a simple word will bring down the walls.

  9. Marley

    Why are you so interested in the goings on of the NYC Conference? How does the conference affect you, what they do or don’t do at that conference? You have chosen not to attend I gather, but others have, so why all the animosity, why the Hatchet Job?

    As for BJ Lifton.. for this supposed professional to share with you private emails to post on your blog..welllll, what can I say other than that is just about as unprofessional as the supposed professional, BJ Lifton, can get.

    I see a few of your alt.adoption contingent is here as well..

  10. Not impressed with the bully tactics displayed on this blog.

    Post should have read: Caution cat fight ahead, turf war ensuing.

    This unbowed head salutes Joe.

  11. well that is just….WRONG…there is no excuse for the way BJ was treated.

    ummm, do you think there is a precedent that bloggers can’t post more than once on a topic?
    maybe you’re new to this?

    anyway, you’ve twisted the story and I will not dignify your question by trying to explain. it’s one of those things .. “if you don’t get it now, you never will”

    more importantly, BJ is not some kind of a goddess to be forever held in high esteem because she wrote some books about the adoptee experience. they were informative and very good in their day, but there is alot of new literature and research out there that she clearly chooses to ignore. i have several friends who are writers and they’re just plain folks with their own opinions.

    BJ is a big girl who if she had any class IMO, would have spoken for herself and reached out to the women of OUSA who this was an issue to. After all, these were the individuals who invited her in the first place and then asked her to consider “kindly” not using that word for one day. It was her purposefully rude refusal to even consider the request, and her attitude that she knew more than an international organization of Mothers who share a common viewpoint, that got her into the position she was in. Instead, she frantically writes emails to all the people she knows hate Joe. That’s just not nice and the reality is that BJ is just not that knowledgable about mother issues – sorry. I do not like the term and if someone is so disrespectful after being told that I don’t like to be referred to with that term that they insist they can do whatever they want, in my book they’re showing their true colors.

    If anyone was treated poorly, it was all of the mothers and the organizations that asked her to speak at our conference. This is passive aggressive head games on her part – she knew very well what OUSA stood for. Instead she had to dig in her heels and act like a spoiled baby instead of the adoption professional she professes to be. I find that sad and indicative of her adoption issues getting in the way of ethics.

    Anyway, since you were not privy to the other emails that were shared with her and her rude responses, don’t pass judgement. Your thinly veiled jealousy at Joe’s success is really what this is about.

    The very fact that you ignore BJ’s behavior and use the same spin doctor tactics to change the subject that the curmudgeonly over the hill activists have used to no avail now for years, indicates that you cannot make an objective call on this. too bad. you’re going to miss a great conference. And by the way – every other guest was gracious about the “kind request” to abstain for a couple of hours. You want to defend a therapist like her – go right ahead.

  12. How many of you had the opportunity to send a letter to the birthmother or get to meet her? I feel so blessed by her choice and courage that I want to be able to tell her thank you. (Those words seem so very inadequate).

  13. I am reminded of the famous quote from the Army-McCarthy Hearings: “Have you no shame, Senator McCarthy?” No, he didn’t and neither do Joe Soll and company. Censorship by whatever convoluted justification is always an attack on the dignity and conscience of those censored. Consequently, censors diminish both themselves and their “cause.”

    But as you say, Marley, who outside of deepest AdoptionLand gives a rat’s ass. If there was ever a symbol of what’s wrong with the fight for adoptee rights it is obstruction of the real issue you cite: a political and class struggle.

    Hmmm, are you a terrorist Marley??? Watch out, the language police of dubya, the CIA, and the Patriot Act are looking over your shoulder.

    Then again given dubya’s fascism perhaps those of us who are not under surveillance are the ones who should be ashamed.

    As for you Carol C. what can I say? Let me begin by telling you how offended I am by being labeled “one of the girls.” I had expected more from one who proclaims the term “birth mother” pejorative yet continually refers to me as a “girl.” Moreover, I am distressed to the point of needing a therapist that you are so dismissive of my adoptee angest.

    However what offends me most about your response to Marley’s blog is your arrogance, your self-righteous indignation, and your presumption that you speak for all women who were coerced to relinquish their children to adoption. You certainly do not speak for my birth mother and birth sister who was also coerced into relinquishing her son to adoption. It did not matter that she concieved as a consequence of being gang raped. And yes, I do know women in Canada, England, and Australia who choose not to us the term “birth mother” to describe themselves but who also recognize that each woman must be free to choose her own self-identity.

    As to your critique of Marley (and by extention Bastard Nation) regarding the number of people she has helped I didn’t know that the hermeneutic of credibility in the fight for adoptee rights is how many members of the Triad one makes feel good. None-the-less count me as one. However, if you insist on playing the numbers game and put Joe’s “hundreds if not thousands” at the top of your list consider how good the tens of thousands of adopted adults in Oregon, Alabama, and New Hampshire feel as a direct result of being able to obtain their original birth certificates becasue not only Marley but all of us in Bastard Nation put our money, time, and persons on the line to make it happen.

    Is Marley a therapist? No, but I do hold a graduate degree in counseling and another in psycholinquistics and did my clinical internship at the Phipps Psychiatric Clinic of the Johns Hopkins Hospital prior to being in private practice. From knowing Marley for over ten years my judgement of her is that she is a very self-actualized person and quite free of the petty emotions you ascribe to her. Additionally, I have not found her to be dismissive of any therapist simply because they are a therapist.

    As priest I can attest that from the perspective of spirituality Marley has more than an ounce. In fact, I find her to be a very spiritual person where it counts – in her soul.

    I will close with a comment in response to your contention that Marley’s blog was intended to hurt Joe’s credibility at the expense of his/your adoption reform efforts. Pursuant to Joe’s many accomplishments and achievements cited by you I find it incredulous that you invest such power in a blog that is mainly devoted to a criticism of censorship exercized by Joe and his committee. However, if such does indeed happen given that you defend such censorship on their part, the responsibility for any such loss of credibility on Joe’s part that leads to negation of your adoption reform efforts is wholely one of your own making.

    Fr. Jack

  14. However what offends me most about your response to Marley’s blog is your arrogance, your self-righteous indignation, and your presumption that you speak for all women who were coerced to relinquish their children to adoption.

    Oh it most definately IS righteous indignation and had you read carefully you would have seen that I spoke only for me.

    Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I still think BJ sharing private emails and Marley publicly ridiculing a fellow adoption activist is unconscionable.

    And with all due respect, I repeat that you do not know the whole story- only Marley and BJ’s take. There was NO censorship and I don’t really much care whether you agree or not. You may insist all you want that Marley’s commentary was only about “censorship exercized by Joe and his committee”. That is most certainly not the case – she turned it into a diatribe of all kinds of accusations against Joe. Do you really think we can’t read?

    BN has lost all credibility in my book. And by the way, BN most certainly did not get open access for adoptees in Oregon, New Hampshire or Alabama by itself. Many of us as part of other organizations and as even individuals, also helped. How sad that BN feels the need to take all the credit instead of wishing to be a team player.

    I’m actually thrilled that this kind of hostility toward another organization was aired for the public to see

    Now again, if you’d like to attend an excellent conference, I’m sure Joe would accept your registration fee, Fr. Jack – you just might learn something. Here’s the link:

    http://www.adoptioncrossroads.org/Conference/

    I do need to add however that I find it a tad bit curious how a MAN who professes to be of the cloth yet, would dare tell a mother of adoption loss what she should or shouldn’t call herself. Hmmmmm…

  15. Does this mean that if I wanted to I could refer to adoptees as bastards whether they like or not? And if I wanted to I could refer to people of a certain race by the “n” word whether they like or not?

  16. If conditions were changed after the fact, which it seems is the case, Liptons’s released from obligation *whatever* her reasons for not wanting to comply with the revised terms.
    Anyway, why should she be expected to alter terminology she’s used throughout her whole body of work? It’s hardly as if it wasn’t known before the invitation was sent out that she was accustomed to using the term “birthmother” in anything she wrote.
    She was misled, however inadvertently.

    Finally, I’m curious to know just WHERE Father Jack tells any woman who has relinquished what she should or should not call herself? I rather got the impression he was saying quite the opposite.
    Hmmmmm . . . ?

  17. Oh and Fr. Jack, I have a question for you before I toddle off to bed. Since you know Marley well and believe her to be a spiritual and honorable person, could you please make me understand why she refers to mothers of adoption loss as Birthwhores and moocows on her Alt.Adoption group?

    It’s just not clear to me why she is so insistant we shouldn’t take issue with the word “birthmother” with it’s implication that we were merely a walking womb with no heart and soul, yet she can use such hostile and degrading language just because she feels it’s witty or clever?

    It hasn’t gone unnoticed that BN has become extremely hostile to mothers except when you need us to sign a petition or speak before legislators.

    I think perhaps BN has begun to cut off it’s nose to spite it’s angry face. Many of my friends who are mothers are now only concerned about our own rights. I am certainly not obliged to help any organization that is so disrespectful to mothers.

    We cannot ask to be called Mothers rather than Birthmothers at OUR OWN CONFERENCE,but it’s ok for the bastards to call us Birthwhores and moo cows? What’s wrong with this picture Fr. Jack? I thought perhaps since you felt the need to tell us that you have degrees in counseling AND psycholinquistics that you might be able to offer some insight?

    Thank you. I’d really like to understand.

  18. Please document where I have ever referred to birth/first/bio/natural mothers as “birthwhores” on alt adoption except to take to task people who have used that term.

    As for “moo cow” I refer to all women who procreate through biology or through statute as “moo cows.” I refer to all men who do the same as “stupid.” Do you have a problem with a happily childfree analysis of The Other? It’s not like I’m discriminating.

    But again, this discussion is NOT about what people call themselves but about censorship.

    You sound like you’ve been reading NCFA Factbook 3.

  19. “”We cannot ask to be called Mothers rather than Birthmothers at OUR OWN CONFERENCE,but it’s ok for the bastards to call us Birthwhores and moo cows?””

    O! but you missed the humor in it all! You silly ‘moo cow’ you. Don’t you know you aren’t suppose to take it personally??????? At least that is what I heard recently> Us birfmudders are just too sensitive!

  20. “”but I do hold a graduate degree in counseling and another in psycholinquistics and did my clinical internship at the Phipps Psychiatric Clinic of the Johns Hopkins Hospital prior to being in private practice.””

    Ahhhhh! and yet another resume.

  21. You sound like you’ve been reading NCFA Factbook 3.

    nope. haven’t read it and I stand by my opinions. you were NOT behind the scenes and you do not really know how this went down, ms greiner. you may call it censorship but we saw it differently.

    at any rate, even if you were correct in your assessment of what happened, which you aren’t – your diatribe about joe and the conference and your great effort to discredit him was petty and in very poor form. And curious timing, less than 2 weeks before his conference.

    furthermore, you and a couple of your cohorts have been ranting against Joe and that conference on other lists for weeks! This isn’t just about censorship concerns.

    good night. i’ve said my piece so if you’d like go ahead and play your little spin doctor games, have fun. but i have a hunch that many people got to see the real agenda of BN today with your rant.

  22. Yes, ch, anybody feels entitled to define adoption to mothers, but mothers are never allowed to define adoption. Says alot doesn’t it?

  23. Excuse me, but do we have someone who describes herself as proudly childfree wanting to lecture mothers about the terrible trauma of losing a child?

    Something smells bad here.

  24. I would not presume to define for Marley what she means by using those terms. I am also at a disadvantage because I have never accessed the alt. adotion group and have no idea of the kinds of people in the group, what their agendas may be, or the group’s culture. That said we use and create words for many reasons other than what they may appear to be at face value. Sometimes our intent is to raise consciousness, sometimes it is to be provocative, sometimes it is to be commendatory, and sometimes it is to insult to name a few. Again, I have no idea what Marley’s intent in using those tems may be.

    If this seems as if I am dancing around answering your question that is not my intent. As from your question I assume that you believe these terms to be intended as an insult for me to agree with you I would need to know if Marley intended them to be an insult. This is becasue in the language I use, theological language, the moral value or disvalue of language is determined by the intent of the user. For instance for me to use the N word to describe a group of African-American teenagers playing basketball would be an ethinic slur and a moral disvalue. However, for them to use it as they do with one another as trash talking during the game is not a disvalue becasue in that subculture they have appropriated the N word as a code word for African-American power. Likewise I could not be sure of the moral value of the word “bastard” if you called me a bastard because I would not know your intent. However, I do know that when my friends and I refer to ourselves as “Bastards” on the BN List it is not used as a moral disvalue as we have claimed it as a term of empowerment.

    When it comes to a critiuqe on the use of language the two most meaningful texts I have found are Branislaw Malinowski’s, “The Problem of Meaning in Primitive Languages” and H.L. Menkin’s, “The Amercian Language.” Both go far beyond simple denotation and connotation of words by analizing the anthoropology of language and structural linguistics.

    Fr. Jack

  25. I am an adoptee who stayed in the back of a closet for the first half of my life, hiding, keeping secrets, and telling half-truths. My vocabulary was littered with euphemisms. I know about suffering – I’ve been there and done that.

    A wonderful psychologist helped me to examine the truth about myself and a wonderful organization empowered me to speak the truth. Bastard Nation – unique, up front, transparent, and truthful. I am a different person today because of Bastard Nation – a better person. I’m no longer ashamed of being adopted. I am now one very proud Bastard!

    What incredible irony we have here! We in the adoption arena are fighting for truth and transparency and along comes someone like Joe Soll who wants the esteemed Mrs. B.J. Lift ton to expunge the term birthmother from her speech at his conference because there are people in the audience who find it offensive. B.J. Lifton’s books, all of them, use the word birthmother as do almost all other respected writing on adoption. Maybe Joe Soll needs to catch up on his reading.

    The term birthmother is used ALL THE TIME, by attorneys, adoption agencies, the states, the courts, adoption reform groups across the board, lobbyists, social workers, psychologists, Google, AAC, CUB, NCFA, BN, and the media. I support B.J. Lifton 100% for pulling out of a conference where she isn’t afforded freedom of speech. And I applaud Bastardette for reporting it.

    Bastard Nation fights for truth in adoption practices and for truth for all adopted adults. With Marley Greiner at the helm, Bastard Nation has fought in Oregon and Alabama and New Hampshire to bring truth to ALL adopted adults. We’re not locked up in hotel rooms talking about our issues. We’re out in the streets fighting for our issues. That’s the kind of organization we are.
    Bastard Grannie Annie

  26. Metro 93, you’ve got to be kidding me.

    “the birthmother?” One of the best arguments I’ve seen against using that word, showing how truly soulless it is. It occurs to me that maybe there are lots of people who just don’t know any better? That it’s ignorance?

    Or, how’s this?

    “Dear Birthmother:

    Thank you for the bastard.”

    Don’t think that just because it’s been okay to bully mothers up until now that the free-for-all will continue.

  27. Marley wrote:but it was CUB (Concerned United Birthparents) with much thought, sensitivity, and debate that coined the term in the 1970s as an alternative to “natural mother“ or “biological mother“ the accepted terms of the day Emphasizing “birth“ and linking the event to women and their surrendered children, “birthmother“ became a term of empowerment.

    Codswallop! The term became a belittling sign of oppression to protect adopters by keeping us in our lowly place. According to BJ herself, the term was introduced to avoid stepping on the toes of adopters who were incenced at the thought of being diminished in their parental role as the child’s mother. They felt that the use of the term ‘real’ or ‘natural mother’ used to describe the child’s actual mother would reduce them down to being the ‘unnatural’ or ‘fake’ mother figure. To avoid the potential conflict that would ensue by having adoptive parent organizations opposing open records on the basis of feeling diminished and insulted, CUB decided to come up with the term ‘birth mother’ to avoid offending adopters. Adopters have always been terrified of not being seen as the ‘real’ mother because, afterall, while they didn’t give birth, they wiped the kid’s bum.

    As for that term, the legal documents I signed referred to me by my rightful title of mother or natural mother. They refer to the adopting parents as the adoptive parents. The word birthmother is nowhere to be seen on any official adoption documents. Even the law knew it couldn’t cheat mother nature by the stroke of a pen.

    Adoption stole my son’s identity. It didn’t steal mine. Neither will BJ or CUB.

  28. “”Bastard Nation fights for truth in adoption practices and for truth for all adopted adults. With Marley Greiner at the helm, “”Bastard Nation has fought in Oregon and Alabama and New Hampshire to bring truth to ALL adopted adults. We’re not locked up in hotel rooms talking about our issues. We’re out in the streets fighting for our issues. That’s the kind of organization we are.
    Bastard Grannie Annie “”

    Good for you Bastard Grannie, Good for Marley, & Good for BN!hope you get what you adoptees are fighting for. But you Bastard Grannie and Ms. Greiner along with BN do not speak for or have the right to decide what some mothers find acceptable or not. Simply ain’t one of your ‘adoptee rights’. You can call your birfmudder, ‘birfmudder’ all day long is your choice.

    Why do you some of you adoptee’s get so out of sorts, when some mothers refuse your moniker of same? And why did you feel it was necessary to tell us all about BN the organization? That’s for adoptee’s (and those others who feel a need to join) and their own agenda. Whether you like it or not, some mothers actually have an agenda of their own, and are not busy hanging themselves on crosses all day for the entire adoptee population. Well, at least this bad birfmudder isn’t!

    O! BTW, BJ Lifton is an adoptee, since when did she get the vote to speak for ALL mothers?? And CUB does not represent ALL mothers, for those that don’t know.

  29. What’s interesting about this discussion is that it’s the adopted children who are defending BJ’s use of the term ‘birthmother.’

    Can we say ‘Parrot?’

  30. ANON Said: O! BTW, BJ Lifton is an adoptee, since when did she get the vote to speak for ALL mothers?? And CUB does not represent ALL mothers, for those that don’t know.

    Aren’t both BN and BJ Lifton indignant about adopted adults being eternally referred to as adopted children?

  31. Marley wrote: And they are certainly not smart enough to start a cult.

    Hello??? They’re the only organization that has removed itself from the mainstream adoption ‘cult’ by refusing to accept the designated adoption language.

    They’ve escaped the ‘cult’ by refusing to parrot the “socially accepted adoption terminoogy” or play along with the rest of you and your assigned titles.

    And you want to horsewhip them for having the insight and courage to buck the adoption system.

  32. frjack: What does fr stand for? Fucker Jack? Ha ha ha! I’m just joking, I hope that doesn’t offend you. It’s after all, said in jest.

  33. Carol C wrote..
    “We cannot ask to be called Mothers rather than Birthmothers at OUR OWN CONFERENCE,but it’s ok for the bastards to call us Birthwhores and moo cows?”

    I have known and have corresponded with Marley on alt.adoption since 1997.
    I met her at a BN conference as well.. She was kind and generous with her time..

    She has never disrespected me.. She has never used the terms described above as a description of a birthmother.. not in my memory..

    I use the term birthmother.. I have always used the term birthmother..
    I will continue to use the term birthmother..

    Jackie

  34. The issue here is not one of language, but of ethical duty. Joe Soll has every right to limit word usage reasonably at conferences he manages, organizes, and hosts. To spring a strict language requirement on committed speakers three weeks before the conference date, however, is extremely poor judgment, if not outright deceptive. Soll researched the speakers and knew–or at least should have known–the language the speakers tended to use long before he sent his e-mail. Regardless of how petty or hairsplitting an issue is deemed to be, a conference organizer owes invited speakers full and timely disclosure of important terms and conditions upon invitation, not long after the speaker’s names have been used to market the conference and committments have been made by speakers and attendees.

  35. ch..

    Spare me….reinviting BJ to the conference does not erase the fact that the organizers tried to silence her in the first place. Nice try though.

  36. KL: Spare me….reinviting BJ to the conference does not erase the fact that the organizers tried to silence her in the first place. Nice try though.

    Silence her?? Are you kidding? she was asked to refrain from using one word. Not to edit the content of her entire speach.

    As an adopted child what term do you prefer to describe children such as yourself?

  37. Good Lord Almighty!

    Why is it that you find the word birthmother so offensive anyway? Unless someone is talking to you and uses that word in reference to you directly….get over it. You don’t want that one word used cause it offends you, but TO HELL with anyone who proudly wears that name?? Can’t you see the irony there? Are you so immature that you can’t deal with hearing that word? Are you not able to filter what is said and replace the word used with the one you find acceptable? Do you expect to constantly have people use only words that you approve of in all your dealings in life? What word did you want her to use? “Mother”? Then what term should she use for the adoptive mother? OH wait…of course, the adoptive mother is the evil mother and shouldn’t be considered a mother in any way, shape, or form….NOT…Just use some common sense.

    BJ uses that term in an appropriate manner. She doesn’t use it to belittle anyone. She is NOT against any women who lost their child(ren) to adoption.

    This whole thing is ridiculous. You are trying to deflect the fact that the organizers of this particular event used censorship. Same difference if they had said that a speaker coudln’t use the word (hell pick a word….)”clown” It is utterly pathetic to try to spin this and make it all about the pain of birthmothers…when it was an issue of censorship!

  38. Someone too chickenshit to leave any name at all said: “As an adopted child what term do you prefer to describe children such as yourself?”

    You know….I don’t particularly get my knickers in a twist if someone calls me an adopted child. Yeah, I see where some find it offensive, but at the same time I can realize that when I was adopted, I was a child. Adopted Adult sounds kinda bizarre too. But I know that no matter what term is used, I know what they mean, and I can apply whatever word feels right to me at the time to the conversation. I am not so petty that I will try to tell others how to talk or what to say.

    And do you REALLY think that it is ok to censor someone as long as it is only ONE word that is censored?

  39. Lots of what’s getting wound tightly around this entire comment thread is organizational history and personality- very little of which actually matters in light of what Bastardette appears to have been trying to report.

    It ultimately doesn’t matter how one feels or one’s past history with B.J., Marley, or Joe, nor Bastard Nation or any of the other organizations tangled up in this knot.

    Dick-sizing or fot that matter, clit-sizing over who’s got the bigger badder harder faster conferences, who’s done more to help humanity, who’s more spiritual enlightened, (and the inverse- who’s allegedly destined some a mythical karmic ass kicking), who gets credit for what, who has the most notches on their ‘people helped’ bedposts, or who is the REAL adoption related VANGARD- this week, is just stupid, pointless, and quite honestly, pathetic.

    (The key point here being this stupid internicine infighting not only takes up time and energy, and creates cute little lasting grudges that keep each faction from ever working effectively against the real ‘enemy’- those who benefit by fucking us all [mothers, fathers, birthmothers, birthfathers, natural mothers, natural fathers, bastards, adoptees, and yes to some extent even adopters] over- the industry, state, the church, etc. Yup, so much the better for NCFA that b.s. like this keep us from ever working together!)

    Bastardette’s point is simple- ANYONE setting up a ‘purity’ test linquisticly, saying only those who use certain words and refrain from using certain other words, get to play, is in effect, telling people they can’t relate their own ways of talking about thier own experiences in their own voice.

    That ‘gate’ construction in and of itself is a way of cutting those of us who either have experienced the loss of a child/eventual adult/kin to adoption, or the loss of identity/culture/family to adoption away from each other. It becomes a matter of turning against those who differ- desputing merely certain pricky differences of language. In other words, over nothing more than HOW we express our viewpoints which are ultimately, BOTH critical of adoption as an institution.

    If some in the adoption community feel the need to cut themselves off from people who ultimately to whatever extent are their allies, and would rather waste time, resources, and tear down bridges that existed between them, not only is that sad, but tactically, all of us loose.

    If the people responsible for the conference felt the need to cut themselves off because they would be offended at the word ‘birth’ added as modifier to the word ‘mother’- let me tell you, they must go positively apoplectic /or catatonic when they find themselves at any given cocktail party, and happen across an adoption lawyer singing the praises of adoption and how they managed to wrest like saleable from the parents and made a tidy profit off the adopters!

    Going around and around in an insular circular clusterfuck only further fractures and factionalizes the limited resources and ability we all have to tackle the genuine problem here- the industry, the state, the church, and all others who enable adoption to be what it has been to all of us- because reguardless of whether one had a ‘good’ experience or not, parents, and those adopted are stigmatized, silenced, marginalized, and not treated as equals to non-adopted people, or viewed as genuine parents by the State in most states.

    The genuine work ahead of those of us affected by adoption is a battle to end shame and silence and being relegated to second class citizenship. So we can continue to fart around, bickering and gasping over someone having the ‘audacity’ to use terminology some of us don’t like- and thereby cut us off from one another, or we can realize that there is going to be a lot of diversity in the terminology we use to speak about our experiences and our percerptions of adoption and focus externally instead of internally.

    My point, at the end of this longwinded rant? Get off your asses, stop dividing ‘the good guys’ into smaller and less effective factions over bullshit, and let’s roll up our sleves and get down to the real work at hand.

    I’m disgusted, ney revolted, that organizers of any conference would stoop so pathetically low as to attempt to micromange the very terminology framework an invited (and yeah, considering her previous works, there was no doubt, the “B” word was part of B.J.’s lexicon) speaker would be allowed to use. But then apparently, they simply had nothing better to worry about.

    sign me simply,
    a woman

  40. Wow, wow, WOW! This is better than “Law & Order”! You all have the distinction of drawing me into my very first blogging. Yep, I’m a virgin.

    As a longtime adoption reform activist, author and pretty much lifelong adoptee (adopted child, geezer, infant, I don’t care what YOU call me, it’s how I experience MYSELF that counts) this is pure entertainment. I’ve presented at Joe’s conferences (ages ago)… I’ve supported BN and been a proud bastard… but have been away from the thick of the movement for a couple years now… and only heard tell from friends of the “rabid anti-adoption” folks, who are mostly bir–oops, almost said the bad word!! Mostly mothers-of-at-least-one-child-she-didn’t-raise.

    I’m going to drop an email to my own m.o.a.l.o.c.s.d.r and suggest to her that she might wish to refer to herself (in reference to me, as opposed to my half-sibs) as a mother-of-adoption-loss. She’ll have quite an interesting response, I have no doubt.

    Of all the posts here, I give Erik Smith the Grownup of the Evening award. But Marley, you get the clever will-they-get-this? illustration award for your animal farm homage.

    Carry on–this is a gas.

  41. Anonymous said…

    “Hello??? They’re the only organization that has removed itself from the mainstream adoption ‘cult’ by refusing to accept the designated adoption language.”

    They’ve escaped the ‘cult’ by refusing to parrot the “socially accepted adoption terminoogy” or play along with the rest of you and your assigned titles.

    And you want to horsewhip them for having the insight and courage to buck the adoption system.”

    I’m sick of all this “My trauma is bigger than your trauma” shit. I don’t see much courage anywhere in anti-adoption discourse; mostly I see an attempt to reappropriate terms of “authenticity” like “natural” and “mother”, which are societal constructions that have been used for centuries to validate repressive cultural and juridical systems.

    More theory, less therapy. That’s what’s needed. Theory in action; praxis. I always think that having a therapist lead political action is a bad idea, whether it’s BJ or Soll, but in the end, they are both irrelevant. When Joe Soll carries a state in a ballot initiative, or gets elected to a state legislature, wake me up and tell me. Until then this is just another storm in the adoptionworld teacup.

    Burp!

  42. I’ve heard tell that Lifton does not refer to herself as ‘birthdaughter’, why is that? But truly I could give a flying flip what she calls herself and that lady that gave birth to her. That’s BJ’s business and her birthlady.

    But what the majority of you people don’t seem to get, No one is telling you what you should or should not be called, whether you be a mother who lost a kid to adoption or an adopted person. Plain and simple, some women have determined for their own persons, what they will be called or not, and yes, as adults, we can even correct another adult. Yes, other people will still probably keep the old birthing going, doesn’t mean I have to agree or accept it. And I actually get more than an opinion, because I am a mother who surrendered her parental rights to her child and gave control of said child over to an adoption agency, that then went on to choose some adoptors for my kid. Just because you are adopted, it is not your ‘adoptee right’ to decide what any mother chooses to call herself or not? That’s between you and your birthmommy. Sure you can all have an opinion, but that’s all you get is an opinion, you don’t make the decision as to what some women choose or choose not to call themselves. And why in the hell does it anger so many adoptees and yes even some other mothers, if I or others see this adoption crap differently and feel we need no dis-qualifier?

    This ain’t about you adoptees, don’t you understand this?? This is about mothers who have decided for themselves what they prefer to be called. You don’t have to like it, fine.. Use your birth crap all day long, is your ‘right’. But don’t deny me my ‘right’ as to how I choose to refer to myself, simply mother. Yes one of those nasty, abandoning mothers that so many of you detest and make jokes about, hear me laughing. I didn’t give birth to the lot of you, I only gave birth and lost one kid to adoption, not the whole freakin’ population of. I don’t owe the entire population of adoptees anything, nor does the entire population of adoptees owe me a damn thing. You take care of your business like adults, and leave me and other women like me, to take care of our business, of our own choosing.

    And please let’s quit with the legislature/legislative, PHD, author, I’m a therapist,I’ve been around longer than you, rhetoric already. Who really cares? Not me! Who says I am fighting for adoptee’s rights? Not me. I want the right to gain access to my own records! Isn’t that unbelievable, yes my records that have my damn name all over them. Just like you adoptees, I am sick to death of begging for crumbs off the agencies and state govt. tables. And I don’t give a rat’s ass what surrender doc. I signed decades ago (BTW I have a copy now, after FIGHTING for some paperwork, actually says ‘Mother of’, can you believe that?!). Just like you don’t want to have to gain permission from your birthings, nor do I feel I should have to beg permission from my adult child.
    Too many mothers have been way too compliant for too long in my opinion, and we all know about opinions, don’t we? And that’s all any of you have as well.

    Sorry adoptees this is one mother who is not in ‘deserving of punishment, because I was a bad mommy, who signed her name, and who forgot to ask her baby kid if she would like to be adopted or not’ mode. I got off the cross a long time ago. It seemed to me, too many other nice mommies needed the nails more than me!

    BTW… why are so many of you so interested in the NYC Conference? I find this a bit odd, since so many of you despise the so-called ‘Sollists’ and all that supposedly stands for. How is any of the happenings on or about the Conference, any skin off your collective noses? Here’s an idea, have a Bastard Nation conference. Don’t worry I won’t comment on, because I wouldn’t be interested nor care. That would be Your Business, not mine.

    Lest I forget, You want respect, you gotta give it to. And don’t bother about any nasty mother crap. I mean adult respect, one adult to another. All the teen/young mommies grew up a long time ago and a funny thing happened at the same time….ALL the teen/young mommy babies grew up as well. Everyone is an adult now, is that at least one thing we can agree on?

  43. “More theory, less therapy. That’s what’s needed.”

    More theory is the last thing we need. It was the adoption industries totally unresearched theories that created this social mire by seeing adoption as being in a child’s best interest. And it was especially in the interests of HWI’s.

    Bugger theories. Give me reality any day.

  44. “I would bet marley, that the number of people who rave about how much YOU’VE helped them grow emotionally and spiritually can be counted on one hand, although i really don’t care to debate it.”

    Can I be the pointer finger? Because I am certainly on that hand of yours.

    Well done Marley. As far as sharing “personal e-mail”, Joe Soll made it a public issue by excluding BJ from a public forum.

    Brenda Romanchik
    Birthmother

  45. “Yup, so much the better for NCFA that b.s. like this keep us from ever workin together!)”

    True. Wonder what Marley’s motive was behind making this a public issue?

  46. use the term birthmother.. I have always used the term birthmother..
    I will continue to use the term birthmother..

    jackie, this is getting so tiresome so have to explain over and over. Speaking for me personally and even OUSA as an organization, no one cares what you want to call yourself. If you choose to be known as birthmother – that’s your business. Why don’t you try to understand the debate here before jumping into to tell us that you enjoy being labeled a birthmother?

    I on the other hand, find the term degrading and disempowering. BJ didn’t just pull out of this conference. She was asked as was every other presenter, to be sensitive on THAT DAY ONLY about using a word that the members of the sponsoring organization found to be belittling and in fact, provincial.

    BJ, behaving like the perennial adopted child rather than the adult adoption professional she professes to be, is the ONLY presenter who refused. So be it.

    And for you silly debaters who insist that since she used the term in her book that she should have license to call women who have since become offended the term, “birthmother” to their face at a conference that these same women have organized. BJ didn’t organize it…they did!

    Carole Schaefer and Rickie Solinger who have also used the term extensively in their books, nd have alot more credibility that BJ does with respect to Mother issues, have since come to understand how some mothers now find the word to be marginalizing their experience. They both say they understand that logic.

    All the male presenters have also been highly respectful of this issue since it was explained. No one has told any presenter or anyone else for that matter, not to use the word ever again. I will spell this out one more time since some of you are having difficulty grasping this.

    The presenters were asked if they would “kindly try to avoid using that term that is offensive to many of the mothers attending, AT THE CONFERENCE”. Sorry kids, this is not censorship. No one was going to be beaten or thrown out of the conference for uttering that word.

    BJ thinks this was about her, yet BJ has never spoken for me and this just illustrates to me her thinly veiled disdain for mothers. She has no right insisting that a term I personally find distasteful should be used no matter what.

    Again, I stand by my original premise here. Marley and a couple of her cronies are behaving like schoolyard bullies IMO. I’m still convinced that there is a much bigger agenda at work with this commentary and it is to discredit Joe’s work and this conference. Long before this situation with BJ occurred, Marley and her bud MC have blasted Joe publicly on CUB and other boards for a myriad of imagined crimes he’s committed. Actually, this has been great publicity.
    People vote with their feet, don’t you know that?

    So if any of you new readers would like to attend a great, albeit controversial conference – look us up.

  47. To anonymous:

    No, I am not offended by being called Fucker Jack. I am however offended when others attempt to fuck me.

    CH vis-a-vis my “resume:” I agree that resumes are boring and pretentious as is the wall I have wall papered with diplomas because the ones I mentioned are only a few I have collected along the way. My only reason for mentioning them as well as my internship at Phipps and being in private practice is the statements made regarding Marley’s attitude toward thearpists and her state of emotional stability.

    RE: being called an adopted child: My concern with adoptees who are adults being called adopted children is twofold. First, by age we are no longer children. Secondly, the culturally connotation associated with the word “children” is that children are people who need to be taken care of and are incapable of making their own life decisions. These cultural implications become subconsciously if not consiously politicized but unspoken reasons for legislators to not only deny adoptees who are adults access to their original birth certificate but to add layers of protection to ensure that we are not legally able to do so including CI’s, blacking out information from our non’ID information, retroactivity, mandatory counseling before reunion, etc.

    This injustice is entirely different than being called a “birth mother” which some find demeaning but does not carry the legal restriction of a person denyed knowledge of their full personhood.

    Fr. Jack

  48. Carol C wrote..

    “Again, I stand by my original premise here. Marley and a couple of her cronies are behaving like schoolyard bullies IMO. I’m still convinced that there is a much bigger agenda at work with this commentary and it is to discredit Joe’s work and this conference. Long before this situation with BJ occurred, Marley and her bud MC have blasted Joe publicly on CUB and other boards for a myriad of imagined crimes he’s committed. Actually, this has been great publicity.”

    Schoolyard bullies?

    A schoolyard bully.. IMO forces others to do as they say and or do..

    Use words that they want to hear..

    Marley wrote..

    “This doesn’t mean that language can’t and shouldn’t evolve and reflect contemporary thought. When writing about adoption I like to move around language, using what looks good syntaxically or how I feel at the moment as my criteria. And as an occasional language wonk myself I want adoption language to grow with the times–but through preference and diversity, not top-down mandate like the Know Nothing attempt of the “Shedding Light” facilitators to ignore history and beat people into language submission through threat of exclusion because they (the facilitators) admitedly hate adoption.”

    For a while on alt.adoption I tried to change. I tried to stop using the term that some find offensive.. I found that when I stopped using it.. I felt like I was trying to fit in.. I was using a term that made me uncomfortable.. I tried ‘bio’ I think..

    I remember what Solinger wrote in her book ‘Beggars and Choosers’ about the beginning of CUB..

    From Beggars and Choosers.. page 104.. Rickie Solinger.

    Breaking through class, status, and sex/gender stereotypes, Lee and her new colleagues got to work quickly, with Betty Jean Lifton as mentor, to develop “terms to identify us, descriptors to define us, and analogies to explain us.” Members of the newly forming group were thrilled by these tasks. According to Lee, “It was as though we had waited our collective lives for this opportunity. When we brainstormed, the air crackled with electricity.”

    Snipped some….. next page.

    According to Lee, in the summer of 1976 “we agreed on ‘birth parent’ and birthparenthood.’ We didn’t want to upset adoptive parents with ‘natural.’ And ‘biological’ now made us gag. ‘Biological,’ we felt, was descriptive of a mechanical incubator or unfeeling baby machine. ‘Birth’ was the key. With ‘birth parents’ as one word….. we were like other one-word progenitors, like grandparents.

    End of quoting..

    As I wrote in another place.. I was put into secrecy in the mid sixties.. and no one acknowledged what I went through..
    Finally finally.. those incredible women of CUB and Betty Jean Lifton.. started a group that is still doing good work today.

    The word police make me sick.. and they make me angry.. and they deny my experience IMO.

    Carol C wrote..
    “BJ, behaving like the perennial adopted child rather than the adult adoption professional she professes to be, is the ONLY presenter who refused. So be it.”

    Betty Jean Lifton helped to sort the word.. How insulting you are towards her.. And how insulting you are towards my post.

    You wrote that.. ”No one wants to stop me from using the term.”

    I write.. “But I am excluded from places and conversations if I use the term.”

    Soooo my voice is not heard in some places (unless I fold to the school yard bullies).. My voice on terms of my reunion with my bson and how well my bsons life turned out.. And how well my life turned out..

    Censorship?

    Hmmmmmm

    Jackie

  49. she’s not a mother of adoption loss and has no right telling us what we can call ourselves on a given day.

    Carol C –

    I’m a birthmother. Do you have the right to tell ME what I can call myself? You and your ilk seem to think so.

  50. Carol Said:

    I do need to add however that I find it a tad bit curious how a MAN who professes to be of the cloth yet, would dare tell a mother of adoption loss what she should or shouldn’t call herself.

    I’m curious what in the hell a word label used to identify a birth mother has to do with religion?? Where do I find that in the Bible??

  51. “”use the term birthmother.. I have always used the term birthmother..
    I will continue to use the term birthmother..””

    Good for you Jackie, have at it, is your choice as an adult woman! Wear the title anyway you like at anytime, anyplace, no one is telling you, personally, how you can or cannot refer to yourself. It also makes you quite acceptable over at Adoption.con, as well. I understand that many human beings have a need to feel accepted, somewhere.

    “”For a while on alt.adoption I tried to change. I tried to stop using the term that some find offensive.. I found that when I stopped using it.. I felt like I was trying to fit in.. I was using a term that made me uncomfortable.. I tried ‘bio’ I think..””

    BTW are you the same Jackie ‘Founder of Birthwhore Nation’ (I know is ‘comic satire’)of this, from alt.adoption?

    March 2002..””birthmother Jackie Patrick’s reference to herself as “Court Jester, Founder: >Birthwhore Nation”””

    I apologize in advance if I have mistaken you for another Jackie. If you are the Jackie of Birthwhore notiriety, is birthwhore a term you are more comfortable with, even in the comical sense, is this what helped you to ‘fit in’ over at alt.adoption? Again, I apologize if you are not the same Jackie.

  52. Lookit, Carol C.
    Under most circumstances, including writing to newspapers, I call myself “mother” and my son “my son”.

    However in some situations (such as on forums) I usually use the prefix “bio”, for distinguishing purposes.

    When writing to legislaters I will use their term (usually “birthmother”), because it is less likely to get up their noses, and more likely to get a positive response.

    But if I were asked to speak at a conference (never goin’ to happen, and quite right too), I would expect to be able to use the language of my choice – ESPECIALLY if the original invite hadn’t informed me that certain words were unacceptable)

    B.J. Lifton has incorporated the word “birthmother” into her work for yonkers. She was invited to speak, based on what she’s written. It makes no sense to expect her to CENSOR HER OWN VOCABULARY in order to conform to what others want. If other speakers have traditionally used “birthmother” and have elected not to do so for the conference, that’s their prerogative, just as it’s B.J. Lifton’s to state her own conditions (especially as it wasn’t stipulated in the original agreement that the dreaded “b” word was “verboten”).

    You wrote, ” BJ didn’t just pull out of this conference. She was asked as was every other presenter, to be sensitive on THAT DAY ONLY about using a word that the members of the sponsoring organization found to be belittling and in fact, provincial. “

    NO. She wasn’t just asked to “be sensitive”. She was told “it would be a kindness” not to use a word that she has always used, a word that is a part of her body of work. That’s a creepy and manipulative way of asking people to censor their language. The implication is it would be cruel and unkind not to comply.
    If the organizers of the conference didn’t want her to use the vocabulary she’d always used, they should never have asked her.
    And HAVING asked her, they were under an obligation, IMO, to stand by the original terms of their offer.

    I’m nunchucked that it’s so hard for some people to understand this simple fact.

  53. “More theory is the last thing we need. It was the adoption industries totally unresearched theories that created this social mire by seeing adoption as being in a child’s best interest. And it was especially in the interests of HWI’s.

    Bugger theories. Give me reality any day.”

    You just postulated a theory. Good for you! Not a particular insightful one, but it’s a start.

    Here’s mine: “reality” and “identity” are sites of contention and are ultimately about power. The adoption industry is a realtively small one (1.6 billion a year? Small potatoes. California spent 1.6 billion for foster care in 2001, and they don’t even bother with terms like “birthmother” when they separate families). The adoption reform movement is even smaller. How do we leverage our small influence to effect larger change? Got a theory? Want to abolish adoption? Fair enough, what’s your strategy?

    In the end its about power, and the theories we need to utilize should be about power.

  54. Writers beware!

    Once you send a letter, be it by United States Mail, Internet E-mail, FedX, UPS, Overnight mail, or whatever, that letter no longer belongs to you. It belongs to the person whose name is listed as the recipient. You cannot retrieve your words once you’ve sent them just as you cannot dictate who shall or shall not read your words once they’ve left your hands.

    You can write “Private, Private” all over your letter or your email post, but even that is no guarantee to you that the recepient will heed your desire for privacy. Unless you’re a physician, an attorney, a priest, or other professional who can LEGALLY claim his/her correspondence as “privileged” – you haven’t got a leg to stand on.

    It’s nonsense to criticize BJ Lifton for sharing any of her correspondence with whomever she pleases. In fact, might this not be another attempt at censorship?

    Bastard Grannie Annie

  55. Carol C. said: …”some of you are having difficulty grasping this.

    The presenters were asked if they would “kindly try to avoid using that term that is offensive to many of the mothers attending, AT THE CONFERENCE”.
    ————-
    What you are having a hard time grasping is this: If one word is so offensive to so many that speakers must be asked kindly to refrain from using it, then Soll should have known that kindly asking speakers not to use it three weeks before the conference would be highly offensive to some speakers. Soll’s “request” was manipulative–and no doubt the main reason for Lifton’s indignance.

  56. Here’s mine: “reality” and “identity” are sites of contention and are ultimately about power.

    Then you understand that labeling a group of women with a word they have rejected is, in fact, a power issue.

    For an individual to insist on her right to use a word that a person or group of people has kindly asked her not to use in their presence, is not much different from slapping them.

    I’m frankly a little surprised that a woman as educated and accomplished as Ms. Lifton has responsed in this way.

    I concede that conference organizers should have made it known up front about the use of the word, although Origins’ stance on this matter is hardly a secret.

    Having said that, her insistence on the continued use of the word is, well, just plain old puzzling.

    From time immemorial, the woman who gives birth has been called “mother.” Not Bmother….mother.

    What in the world is so difficult to understand about that?

  57. HOLY CRAP MARLEY!!!!

    It looks like you got a few moo-cows udders stuck in the proverbial freedom-of-speech ringer!

    I needed a good laugh today; keep it up!

    Carla,
    One Proud Bastard Nation Adoptee

  58. “For an individual to insist on her right to use a word that a person or group of people has kindly asked her not to use in their presence, is not much different from slapping them.”

    The same could be said for insisting people use someone else’s words in their professional work.

    “I’m frankly a little surprised that a woman as educated and accomplished as Ms. Lifton has responsed in this way.”

    I’m suprised that some people have treated a woman as educated and accomplished as Ms. Lifton in that way.

    “I concede that conference organizers should have made it known up front about the use of the word, although Origins’ stance on this matter is hardly a secret.”

    Ms. Lifton’s stance on the matter was no secret either. The duty rests on the organizers, not the speakers.

    “From time immemorial, the woman who gives birth has been called “mother.” Not Bmother….mother.
    What in the world is so difficult to understand about that?”

    What’s diffiult to understand is how you can say that when “birthmother” and “birthparent” has been used in professoinal literature and by groups like CUB for decades.

  59. “The same could be said for insisting people use someone else’s words in their professional work.”

    That is overstating the case, Eric. No one demands she use someone else’s words in her professional work. From what I read on this blog, all that happened is that she was kindly asked to refrain from using a certain word in the presence of people to whom that word is toxic.

    This isn’t a matter of an entire body of professional work. It’s a matter of simple manners.

    Certainly a woman as articulate as Ms. Lifton could have found a way to make her views known without using the word in question.

    “I’m suprised that some people have treated a woman as educated and accomplished as Ms. Lifton in that way.”

    From the looks of it, this was a simple request, made in a professional manner. It is their conference, and they are entitled to set the ground rules.

    “Ms. Lifton’s stance on the matter was no secret either. The duty rests on the organizers, not the speakers.”

    I grant you that this issue probably merited a paragraph in the conference prospectus. If one was not included, that probably was a mistake on the organizer’s part. Live and learn, I guess.

    On the other hand, I have heard Ms. Lifton speak on several occasions, and was not aware that she was so heavily invested in the B word.

    “What’s diffiult to understand is how you can say that when “birthmother” and “birthparent” has been used in professoinal literature and by groups like CUB for decades. “

    Not difficult at all, Eric.

    As a body of knowledge grows and changes, its specialized language evolves with it.

  60. From time immemorial, the woman who gives birth has been called “mother.” Not Bmother….mother.

    Yeah, well… traditionally the woman who gives birth is also the woman nurturing, raising, kissing boo-boo’s, etc., and so forth. The woman who gave birth in the instance of adoption does not do those things. The adoptive mother – MOTHER – does those things.

    ~ Birthmother (not mother)

  61. “Yeah, well… traditionally the woman who gives birth is also the woman nurturing, raising, kissing boo-boo’s, etc., and so forth. The woman who gave birth in the instance of adoption does not do those things. The adoptive mother – MOTHER – does those things.”

    None of which changes my original point.

    I would add that in this day of reunion and open adoptions, the role of a woman who loses her child to adoption is not necesarily limited to the birth of that child.

    That means that the B word is no longer an accurate description.

  62. I would add that in this day of reunion and open adoptions, the role of a woman who loses her child to adoption is not necesarily limited to the birth of that child.

    That doesn’t make it co-parenting or co-mothering any way you slice it though.

  63. “That is overstating the case, Eric.”

    I was not trying to state the case, but pointing out that her comment can apply both ways.

    “No one demands [Lifton] use someone else’s words in her professional work. From what I read on this blog, all that happened is that she was kindly asked to refrain from using a certain word in the presence of people to whom that word is toxic.”

    You’re acting as if the form of the request trumps its practical operation. Soll set it up so that anyone having a problem with the wording used at the conference would look like a curmudgeon for opposing at the last minute. Soll had a duty to make his kindly request so that speakers could make an informed decision at the outset.

    “This isn’t a matter of an entire body of professional work. It’s a matter of simple manners.”

    I never claimed it was a matter of an entire body of professional work. If it really is just a matter of manners, then Soll has bad manners after 30 years of knowing better.

    “Certainly a woman as articulate as Ms. Lifton could have found a way to make her views known without using the word in question.”

    I don’t believe Ms. Lifton argued that she couldn’t make her views known without using the word in question. She obviously sees herself as dedicated to more than just view-making.

    “…this was a simple request, made in a professional manner. It is their conference, and they are entitled to set the ground rules.”

    I did not argue they were not entitled to set the ground rules. I argued that setting a ground rule long after speakers have committed to perform and attend was unprofessional, if not outright deceptive.

    “I grant you that this issue probably merited a paragraph in the conference prospectus. If one was not included, that probably was a mistake on the organizer’s part. Live and learn, I guess.”

    How long does Soll have to live before we ask him to start learning?

    “As a body of knowledge grows and changes, its specialized language evolves with it.”

    I never argued otherwise. And I am not telling people what language to use. The key, however, is “evolve” which means to develop gradually. There was nothing gradual about the use of birthmother, and nothing gradual about requesting people not use it.

  64. “”How long does Soll have to live before we ask him to start learning?””

    Erik,
    In all seriousness, please I would really like to know, what is it specifically that J. Soll has needed to learn? Aside from this Lifton fiasco.

  65. I love the word birth mother.
    We were lucky enough to meet our daughters birthmother, it was a wonderful experience that I will always treasure. I think we all dream of a wonderful women who is giving thier child up for adoption because they want a better life for them however, this isn’t always the case. The hogar director told us that some of the birthmothers that she meets makes her stomach turn by how cold and callous they are toward their children. Thankfully, Mia’s birthmother isn’t like this. We also got to meet Mia’s grandmother and older brother, they were all wonderful people who would have wanted to raise Mia if their situation was different.
    I send pictures down every couple of months

  66. With banners everywhere ready to educate the public on the virtues of motherhood and it’s social graces, making it “healthy” to be barren in this day and age through adoption, I just can not see how it is possible to misunderstand how a childless “mother” could not on a daily basis feel insulted by “the lure” to have her identity revealed through observing the prosperity of all of those benefiting from her sacrifice. That feeling alone would make anyone wish they could sew their lips shut,…as well as other body parts.
    Since I am a childless mother,…I thought it might make perfect sense to mention that I have had more time on my hands to watch over my children than anyone whom has ever claimed the responsibility for themselves has.
    Forgive me for anonymity,…you can call me anything you like ,…but I am my childs mother,…and I still know my children better than any living being in this world ever will. Isn’t this “all” that the adoption industry promises to the barren,…that they would no longer be the witches of the world?….”Real Parents” will?
    Before you call me names,…remember that you cannot deceive me …. everything that you are professing to hold in your arms and love as your own ,….is me. If you wish to have the respect of my child ,…perhaps you would work harder for mine.

    Don’t call me Birthmother

  67. Mother, Bio Mother, First Mother, “True Mother”, Real Mother, Birth Mother….are just words. Ever hear the saying sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me?

    GET OVER YOURSELVES.

    This is a censorship issue, not about disrespecting an entire group
    of SELF MADE overly sensitive women. If the term birthmother bothers SOME..heaven knows what else is eating at theirs, their collective souls. You either know who you are or you don’t. Ms. Lifton’s terminology will never change that.

    Joel Soll, doesn’t speak for me, and I don’t even need to go to the aforementioned conference to tell him so. Joel Soll has a lot of nerve telling anyone what terms are allowed. Talk about oppression.
    And you call yourself a grief counselor. Bwahahaa!

    Shame on you, the collective you, for attempting to censor Ms. Lifton. I applaud her for not taking orders from the likes of Joel Soll and company.

    Kathy/Meagan787/Kumom
    reunited with my son

  68. Anonymous said, “From time immemorial, the woman who gives birth has been called “mother.” Not Bmother….mother.
    What in the world is so difficult to understand about that?”

    If that was all it was about (giving birth), Anonymous’s definition of “mother” would apply as equally to gestational surrogates as to women who’d concieved by “traditional” means.

  69. It doesn’t much matter to me what people call themselves. Sometimes when they want other people to call them by that name too, it makes sense. Sometimes it doesn’t.

    I’m not a particular fan of the word “birthmother” because it could refer to a surrogate mother when it’s usually meant to apply to the first/original/natural/biological mother. It seems to me I’ve seen an objection to the word “birthfather” before on the basis that the biological father may not have been present at the birth.

    The anonymous posters might consider clicking the “Other” radio button and entering a name, pseudonymous if they like if they don’t want to create a Blogger identity (I’m not going to bother with that for the moment either). It’s confusing to try to determine if the various anonymous posts are from the same person or not.

    By the same token, it’s also hard in some instances to tell if people are referring to the original article or to one of the above comments, and if so which comment.

  70. DEATH BY ADOPTION, Joss Shawyer, Cicada Press (1979)

    “But no matter how difficult society makes the lives of single mothers who refuse to relinquish their children, those women who gave into the pressures suffer in a way the others will (mercifully) never know. For the saddest and most horrifying aspect of adoption is the amount of emotional damage inflicted upon the natural mother. To call her the ‘birth mother’ instead of the ‘natural mother’ allows her only the physical birth and denies her those feelings she wasn’t supposed to have.” Pg 62

    • The Josh Shawyer quote, above, best expresses what I feel and best describes- how language influences beliefs and vice-versa. That doesn’t mean shoving preferred language down others’ throats or else politely asking them not to participate. Here we have at least 8 decades of an adversarial adoption system built on archaic social work theory infused with religious dogma about the sinful, reviled unwed mother and illegitimates aka bastards needing to be “forever separated” so they can be reborn via a magic eraser called adoption and fake birth certificates. And here, decades later, single adopters are the subsidized “welfare moms” and folks are still arguing political correctness. Wow, that’s progress. Not to downlplay Bastard Nation’s good works. Perhaps in another 8 decades and a kazillion membership and search fees later, a few more states will “allow” adult adoptees a peek at their birth certificates while those who expose the horrific damage done to adoption’s victims are censored as “politically incorrect.” I once explained to a “First Mother” member who ranted about my occasional use of “birth mother,” (a term that my son uses and which, to me, is repulsive as it reduces me to “breeder,”) that, as a non-fiction writer, when quoting a published passage, it must be quoted as written, “b” words and all. That doesn’t hold me back from rejecting AdoptSpeak beyond the quote, or when wishing to reach a particular audience for clarity, and that’s what I have endeavored to do. Those who lump all mothers, or all adoptees, or all anti-adoption activists in the same blackballing breath haven’t actually read or understood what my mentor, Jean Paton, the “Mother of the Open Records and Anti-Adoption Movements” understood about colonialism — that these adoption abolitionists don’t all “hate” the victims — adoptees, parents and adopters — some of us simply will not re-victimize them by being “politically correct” and either portraying adoption as “all good” or compromising by allowing censorship of the negatives or of a single word, nor accepting what sounds like the industry’s pressure on media to use politically correct adoption language — correct as they wish it. This blog was posted in 2006. I think it fitting to jump to the future, now that’s its here in 2014, knowing that these words are still indelibly printed in Cyberspace. Alas, Google is not forgiving. Perhaps our “new” stuff will rise to the top of Googled results and push the uneducated punch lines to the bottom. It’s of no concern to me — no more than criticism of CPS abolitionists is of concern to those abolitionists gaining ground in the U.S. and U.K. — They’re gaining, certainly not from a history of political correctness and certainly not by allowing others to speak for those most affected. Certainly not by caving in to ridicule of their efforts, as I recall alt.adoption made ridicule their pastime 24/7. Independent thinkers and doers are a good thing — like pioneer reform activist, Jean Paton, my mentor, who BN allegedly never heard of, or chose not to acknowledge, until after her death and her biography was released,. She wouldn’t have cared that the Bastards were not aware of her 50 or so years of work in behalf of adoptees like herself, right up to her death at age 93. The main thing is that she stayed out of the frey — out of the infighting — just as many pioneers of reform do, even if they don’t live long enough to see the fruit of their labor and may even be ridiculed for it as being “out of touch.” The main thing is that she remained true to it. She stayed independently, politically incorrect. If Lincoln had been politically correct, we’d still have slavery.

  71. Anonymous opines, I concede that conference organizers should have made it known up front about the use of the word, although Origins’ stance on this matter is hardly a secret.

    I concur with this – it could have been handled differently but we’re all human.

    So, I see you had a bit of fun nailing me to the cross for my opinions while I was out trying to earn a living today! Lol It makes me feel good though, that my words bother you. I was bothered and in fact deeply offended at Marley’s commentary which no matter how you all insist is only about censorship, is really a character assassination of Joe. Why do I believe this? Because many of you have been Joe bashing for years on other lists and that is to include Marley. This ridicule of a decent guy has been escalating to the point that when this happened with BJ – it was seen as a chance to crucify him. The timing of this distasteful article is curious; right before the Shedding Light Conference. But hey, that’s just me and I’m a big girl willing to agree to disagree. Sorry if some of you feel my sharing of my opinion is insulting but you’re adults too, so one would think there would be room for honest debate.

    I see no reason to continue posting here. Most of you are so outrageously angry and hostile that you appear emotionally deaf. I’ve heard irrational comments critical of therapy (which has nothing to do with the premise of your post) and some of you call Joe’s supporters degrading names like “the walking wounded”. Geesh, that just doesn’t sound very well adjusted to me. In fact, Marley and friends seem critical of all kinds of theories put forth by therapists about how *some of us* were affected by our adoption experience. You don’t have that damned primal wound, no way. I say good for you. Wish I could say that I hadn’t been hurt by my own adoption experience.

    Here’s what I will leave you with. Joe and Karen had the grace and class to apologize to BJ for being reactive and reinvited her. She chose to decline which pretty much clarifies where this adoption professional stands on wanting to understand why certain terminology evolves or why a large group of mothers find the term degrades their experience. The fact that she could have used is as a learning experience and instead chose to snub us all, is a concern to me of her sincere desire to learn and grow.

    To that end I’ve lost quite a bit of respect for her on this issue. Origins and AC founders have taken the high road and have not discussed the disagreement publicy. Have none of you handled a situation in a way that you wished you hadn’t? I’ve certainly heard lots of criticizm of BN’s antics over the years, yet I’ve never seen an apology from anyone for anything. But Joe and Karen apologized for having not been clear in the beginning and for the way they handled what they initially perceived to be an insulting. They wanted to make it clear to her that they were not censoring her. Instead of graciousness on BJ’s part, she huffed and puffed and refused their apology and insisted they were STILL censoring her. I would have had more respect had she behaved like the mental health professional she claims to be by admitting that perhaps she shouldn’t have overreacted and written to all the Joe haters and shared her exchange of corresponde and tried to ork it out like she supposedly councils triad members to do. Instead, she spent all this time and energy
    to create a tempest in a teacup with her concentrated effort to polarize the entities involved even further! Then she declared war on a group of adoption activists who just happen to have a different opinion about what they choose to be called. I’ve come to believe this is more about her ego because although she did not coin the term originally (it’s actually been around since the 50s in England)she claimed that she did and that the mothers should be grateful to her for that! Sorry folks, I still strongly disagree and that’s my final take on this fiasco.

    My initial post here was to share that I found it extremely obnoxious that Marley chose to jeapordize the common goal of many of us by publicly character assassinating Joe under the guise of writing about censorship.

    One of her statements was “I even wonder how much input the Origns folks have had in this language debacle. Have people of good will been suckered”? !!!! How nasty and small minded of a comment is this??

    This is clearly an implication that mothers who are members of Origins cannot have an original thought about what we wish to be called and Joe is forcing this down our throats. Wrong again folks. Joe was much more lenient initially about use of the bee word than Origin’s members. But he graciously deferred to us on that issue because he not only agrees, but acknowledges that HE IS NOT A MOTHER and is respectful enough to honor our choice of titles

    A small handful of people (some of which are on this list) have historically looked for any opportunity in the world to nail this guy to the cross. Even some of you that he has helped in the past, now do it. You are more worked up about some of us preferring to not be called birthmothers than we are by you calling yourselves whatever you choose. You say this was about censorship yet you constantly belittle the opinions of what is becoming a fairly sizeable group of people who share our viewpoint. Perhaps that’s your fear but I have a hunch that your strident and harsh critiques of anyone who differs in their POV is what’s driving your membership away.

    One person on another list insisted that some of us wanting to be called mother instead of birthmother is comparable to usage of the word “Negro” and that the NAACP didn’t change their name. So why should we think we have the right to call ourselves something different than what was imposed upon us by others or that’s begun to sound like an archaic term? I liken this logic with a speaker who would walk into a NAACP conference and constantly refer to everyone there as Negros! Sure, he/she can do that and insist it was good enough of a word in the old days… But what kind of respect is that?? My African American friends have made me understand how insulting that term is these days. Yet none of you have any interest in understanding why so many of us find this term offensive.

    I just don’t think you will get the point because you don’t WANT to get it. You enjoy keeping the organizations polarized for some reason. Everything is black and white – no shades of gray, it seems.

    This is all JMO and you are free to call yourself and your own mother whatever you choose. But why not consider how destructive it is to all of us when you publicly degrade a colleague like you’ve done?

    Namaste

  72. Carla the proud bastard said: HOLY CRAP MARLEY!!!! It looks like you got a few moo-cows udders stuck in the proverbial freedom-of-speech ringer!I needed a good laugh today; keep it up!

    No wonder mothers aren’t clammering over themselves to support your fight for open records. Your disdain for mothers is blatantly clear. Keep it up. The NCFA might put you on its payroll yet.

  73. ……Yeah, well… traditionally the woman who gives birth is also the woman nurturing, raising, kissing boo-boo’s, etc., and so forth.

    So do foster parents, carers, babysitters etc. That doesn’t make them the actual mother.

  74. OH…so my mom should not be considered my mom because she didn’t birth me? She just raised me? Like a babysitter etc? Hells bells…in that case there is one HUGE bill to be paid for those hours “babysitting” and providing for me.

    Man your excuse is pitiful!

  75. “That doesn’t make it co-parenting or co-mothering any way you slice it though.”

    Who said it does?
    The only thing showing through this comment is a feeling of being threatened in some unexplained way

    Goodness gracious.

  76. Hmm, standing up for people who don’t want to be called what to them is an epithet is censorship? And the people benefiting the most from the epithets continued use are the ones most determined to make sure it stays in use? Wow.

    And I don’t think so.

    I know mothers have been legally and culturally fair game for half a century now, but everything changes–even that. Keeping mothers in their place–below everyone else–is a very lucrative and gratifying little pursuit for a lot of people who have nothing else to brag about, but the free ride is over.

    Though adoption is more than anything a bullying, power over practice springing from a very dark place in the human heart, it has enjoyed a free ride so far because the destruction of its victims and their continued oppression has been so effective. There has never been a more inauthentic social practice. Government sanctioned and supported redistribution of babies from the powerless to the powerful. What a horror! History will not view the era kindly, believe me.

    But the party is over. No more. No more secrecy, no more silence, no more special terminology to perpetuate a demonized group. No more putting up with both amateur adoptionists and the “helping professions” putting us–mothers– down and calling the shots.

    Nope. No more.

    It’s over, folks. Get used to it.

  77. “You’re acting as if the form of the request trumps its practical operation. “

    Perhaps you should have more narrowly qualified your original statement then :

    “The same could be said for insisting people use someone else’s words in their professional work.”

    “Soll set it up so that anyone having a problem with the wording used at the conference would look like a curmudgeon for opposing at the last minute. Soll had a duty to make his kindly request so that speakers could make an informed decision at the outset.”

    I don’t have a problem with your second sentence, as I have already said. Assigning motive to a person is something else altogether, though.

    “I never claimed it was a matter of an entire body of professional work.”

    See above.

    “If it really is just a matter of manners, then Soll has bad manners after 30 years of knowing better.”

    I think the prospectus may have been written a little more tightly.
    It is clear from reading this blog and comments that the email sent to presenters was made in a very kind way. I don’t find that ill mannered. I find that honest and tactful. What would you have done in the same situation?

    “I don’t believe Ms. Lifton argued that she couldn’t make her views known without using the word in question. She obviously sees herself as dedicated to more than just view-making.”

    Obviously. As I stated, I have heard her speak several times. Her investment in the word in question was not really evident before now.

    “I did not argue they were not entitled to set the ground rules. I argued that setting a ground rule long after speakers have committed to perform and attend was unprofessional, if not outright deceptive.”

    I would not make that argument for the simple reason that Origins’ stance has never been a secret.
    Origins is well known and has been roundly villified within the adoption community for its views. This blog, for instance, is just one such example.

    Certainly people who have risen to such heights in the adoption community should be aware enough to at least research the group sponsoring the event before making a commitment. I think Ms. Lifton bears some responsibility for that.

    “How long does Soll have to live before we ask him to start learning?”

    Had you considered the possibility that this was an honest oversight, or that there may in fact be other explanations for this miscommunication besides the one you have advanced?

    “I never argued otherwise. And I am not telling people what language to use. The key, however, is “evolve” which means to develop gradually. There was nothing gradual about the use of birthmother, and nothing gradual about requesting people not use it.”

    And I did not state otherwise. Your original comment, which was
    referred to the long standing usage of the word by the professional community, and not to the rapidity or abruptness of Joe’s request.

    My response reflected on the fact that usage evolves as knowledge increases.

    Who’s comment is more on point?

  78. “If that was all it was about (giving birth), Anonymous’s definition of “mother” would apply as equally to gestational surrogates as to women who’d concieved by “traditional” means”

    Irrelevant.

    Your statement does nothing to refute the fact that since humans first walked upright, the woman who gives birth is called ….
    mother.

  79. I can only conclude that the vast majority of people siding with Soll here have never been speakers at a national conference. Springing a “ground rule” on people three weeks before a conference is extremely bad taste. Goodbye.

  80. It seems to me that Joe and Karen made emails from AARP public when the magazine turned down their article. If that was okay, then BJ sharing her emails was okay. If it was wrong of BJ to share her emails, then it was wrong of Joe and Karen to share the ones they got from AARP.

  81. “”If it was wrong of BJ to share her emails, then it was wrong of Joe and Karen to share the ones they got from AARP.””

    I can’t believe that someone actually thought long and hard enough to connect dots from AARP to BJ Lifton and the NYC Conference. Talk about a stretch!

  82. btsmcitrtsmcitms (mshilly),

    Well, well, well.. look what we have here!!! If it ain’t Ole mshilly herself!! See your still scrounging around.. Nice to see you!

    Hate to tell you mshilly, this subject has nothing to do with adoptors. Or better yet, since you like to follow us Ole Birfmudders around, why don’t you just get preggo, give the kid to some nice adoptors and then you can be a Good Birfmudder too!!

    Geez this feels just like old Homeweek, doesn’t it mshilly?

  83. “Your statement does nothing to refute the fact that since humans first walked upright, the woman who gives birth is called ….
    mother.”

    Hammurabi’s Code of Babylonian law lists the practice of handmaiden adoption, husbands conceiving children by servants who were then raised by his infertile wife as her own. This practice is also mentioned in Genesis, but the Bible is not the most reliable historical chronicle, and the citation may reflect the influence on later Israelites of their Babylonian captivity.

  84. It didn’t take any time at all to connect your claims of censorship at AARP to your claims that Joe and Karen can set up their conference any way they want. No stretch of the imagination at all.

    And while we’re on the subject of what to call people, you are so hot to trot on being called anything but birthmother, and demand that everyone bow to your wishes, yet you persist in using the term “adoptor” which is offensive to adoptive parents because of the context in which it was developed.

    You name yourself. I’ll name myself. Also, no need to get rude and personal. Though it is typical. I’ve never posted on a blog before, btw. Not that it is any concern of yours.

  85. A birthmother is someone who has given birth and is happy to have rid herself of her kid. No one forced her, no one coerced her, she just wanted rid of “it”. The only real tear she ever shed was for the time it took out of her life, but she’ll want others to believe she’s sad just like a mother who’s baby was actually taken. You’ll find a birthmother surrounding herself with people who are as pleased as she is for relieving herself. A birthmother gets pats on the back for having better things to do in life. A birthmother supposedly taken responsibility by getting rid of responsibility. If the times comes for a birthmother to face her kid she’ll just say she did it out of love. Someone embracing being called birthmother is someome who willingly got rid her kid.

  86. “Hammurabi’s Code of Babylonian law lists the practice of handmaiden adoption, husbands conceiving children by servants who were then raised by his infertile wife as her own. This practice is also mentioned in Genesis, but the Bible is not the most reliable historical chronicle, and the citation may reflect the influence on later Israelites of their Babylonian captivity.”

    Which does not change the fact that since the dawn of man, the overwhelming majority of human beings call the woman who gave them birth ….”mother.”

    Your exceptions prove nothing, and change nothing.

  87. “B.J. Lifton has incorporated the word “birthmother” into her work for yonkers. She was invited to speak, based on what she’s written. It makes no sense to expect her to CENSOR HER OWN VOCABULARY in order to conform to what others want. “

    What’s the big deal here? Unless Ms. Lifton were some kind of mindless idiot, she’s was quite aware of how the term is offensive to the group she was invited to speak. It’s too bad she took being recognized for her work less important than her ability to offend.

    “This is a censorship issue, not about disrespecting an entire group of SELF MADE overly sensitive women.”

    I suppose wanting to use the “n” word among African-Americans is just a censorship issue too.

    LB

  88. “Springing a “ground rule” on people three weeks before a conference is extremely bad taste. Goodbye.”

    So, Mr. Soll’s major malfunction is “bad taste.” What a crime!

    All this cyberscreaming over “bad taste,” yet MooCow and udder remarks are somehow overlooked.

    Good. Lord.

    Goodbye, indeed.

  89. can only conclude that the vast majority of people siding with Soll here have never been speakers at a national conference

    Erik, you make totally uninformed assumptions, yet again.

    I’ve spoken at national and regional conferences since 1990. I’ve done workshops and sat on panels of women who’ve lost our children to adoption. I’ve been interviewed on radio and sorry silly Eric. This is not the big time – mistakes get made and things just happen. It’s not like some well-orchestrated national political convention! This is a grass-roots adoption conference at a university. And even if it was, I’m aware of plenty of guffaws that innocently take place with that kind of thing. And have you ever been to a BN conference? I have not, but I’ve got adoptee friends who have told me they would never attend again. I can’t pass judgement because I wasn’t there, but gee whiz – no one has been so tacky as to lambast them publicly.

    BJ has been having her little temper tantrums about all kinds of petty issues since I first met her. Yet you wish to villify Joe.
    I have a hunch Eric, that you don’t even know the players – you’re just echoing the sentiments of your fearless angry leader.

    Haven’t you noticed. None of us who are posting our disapproval of the way this was handled are ranting illogically the way you all are? What’s with that? Get over it – I don’t care what you think. The conference will be well-attended, as usual.

    Good bye Eric. Try to have a pleasant day.

  90. “”If it was wrong of BJ to share her emails, then it was wrong of Joe and Karen to share the ones they got from AARP.””

    mshilly!!! How are things in Maryland? I had a pretty strong hunch you were here with your nasty habit of using assorted names. How are all those adopted children of yours?

    AW, i can always tell when it’s you because of your old tired admonishments telling us we “ought to be ashamed of ourselves”. For what? Free speech? A different POV?

    IMO, you ought to be ashamed of YOURSELF.

    Now you go out and try to spread your sunshine around today, k? Me? I’m getting ready to go to a most excellent conference which is attended by people I respect and presenters/authors who get it.

    Oh, and one last question? Just curious. How many of you are there now in this little Joe Haters Club? Do you suppose you have more of you than the fingers on one hand?

    You’ve got to get over this – life’s too short and quite frankly, OUSA and AC are leaving the rest of you and your little angry groups in the dust.

    Bye Bye kids

  91. I’m puzzled by some of the above comments which suggest it is inappropriate to discuss a conference or the events surrounding it before the conference takes place, and that it is somehow inappropriate to review the conference after it takes place. Perhaps that’s not what those comments are saying and I’ve misunderstood.

    As someone who has attended a variety of conferences on a variety of subjects, I’d have to say pre-conference discussion and post-conference reviews are quite common! Conference reviews are not uncommonly even published in print, although discussion of events happening just before the conference (cancellations, new guests, etc.) tend to occur online since there would not be time to have them published in print.

    The “N” in NAACP, incidentally, stands for “National” not “Negro.” Anyway, I’m still stuck on why a conference would invite someone who uses a word they feel is pejorative and why they wouldn’t have brought that up earlier, and why they would be unprofessionally and immaturely “reactive” by issuing a cancellation.

    Look, one of the problems here is that with any minority group the constituents will not infrequently keep changing the words they want used to refer to themselves and that not all the constituents will agree on what words should be used. There are some adoptees who feel that “adoptee” is perjorative and objectifying. I was adopted, and I don’t feel that way about the word.

  92. “What’s the big deal here? Unless Ms. Lifton were some kind of mindless idiot, she’s was quite aware of how the term is offensive to the group she was invited to speak.”

    ‘Zactly.
    If the conf. organizers had thought their guest speakers weren’t mindless idiots, they wouldn’t have bothered to “remind” them. Get it?
    The fact that there was a “reminder” at all is offensive in itself (like, just so you don’t miss the point, it says they thought their guest speakers were mindless idiots)

    Having invited her without provisos, and having had the invitation accepted, they shoulds taken their lumps and dealt with whatever went down. Just IMO.

    “It’s too bad she took being recognized for her work less important than her ability to offend.”

    It’s too bad the organizers of the conference didn’t have the ‘nous’ to anticipate the trouble their “gentle reminder” (euphemism, if ever there was one) would be capable of causing.

  93. Anonyclone said, “Your statement does nothing to refute the fact that since humans first walked upright, the woman who gives birth is called ….
    mother.”

    It wasn’t intended to (“refute that fact”).
    But since giving birth seems to be your sole criteria for motherhood, it does make your defnition anachronistic.
    By the same token, motherhood is no longer the exclusive prerogative of women who’ve concieved the ‘old-fashioned’ way

  94. Wow! All this fuss over a few little words. In defense of BJ, I’m not sure I’d be able to stop using a standard word in my vocabulary.

    Also, Carol C writes:
    “It hasn’t gone unnoticed that BN has become extremely hostile to mothers except when you need us to sign a petition or speak before legislators.”

    Now Carol, as a contributor to the BN newsletter, my work is nearly always edited to tone down any potential insults against biological parents lest we offend. However, my work is never edited in regards to its insulting nature towards adoptees (I do try not to discriminate). You may perceive that BN has grown hostile to bio-parents, but I believe that may be a past issue.

    Personally, I don’t understand all the rage about one silly term. I think there are more important issues out there. I’m no fan of censorship and fought against it in the past. I understand that some bio-parents are upset by it, but all this fuss (prior to this blog) seems a little ridiculous over one word. I think it’s more important to fight for all of our rights as human beings in the adoption arena.

  95. Carol, The last time I was in Maryland I was 12 years old. And I’ve only used one name, and only posted three times, all on this blog.

    Carol, you wrote:
    ” For what? Free speech? A different POV?”

    saying I shouldn’t take you to task for wanting free speech or having a different POV.

    Exactly! That’s what you are doing to BJ Lifton–telling her she has no free speech nor is she allowed to have a different point of view.

    I really don’t hate Joe or Karen. I don’t know BJ. Nor have I ever heard any of them speak.

    I just find it curious that censorship is a one-way term in your eyes.

    And please, as I’ve asked you before, keep the personal attacks out pf the discussion. They have nothing whatsoever to do with the issue. I won’t respond to any more comments from you, because past history shows that to be a fruitless exercise.

  96. BTW, Carol, you are NOT quoting me in this little segment of yours:

    “AW, i can always tell when it’s you because of your old tired admonishments telling us we “ought to be ashamed of ourselves”. For what? Free speech? A different POV?”

    But yeah, you do want to squelch the voice of anyone who has a different viewpoint than you do.

  97. Per jackie..

    “”According to Lee, in the summer of 1976 “we agreed on ‘birth parent’ and birthparenthood.’ We didn’t want to upset adoptive parents with ‘natural.’””

    Why was it so important to a bunch of mothers who lost their kids to adoption not ‘to upset adoptive parents with ‘natural’?? Sounds similar to ‘upsetting the applecart’, ‘rocking the boat’?

  98. mshilly…

    “”They have nothing whatsoever to do with the issue.””

    Really why are you here and why did you feel it necessary to bring AARP here to this particular ‘issue’? Sorry babe, you brought it here.

    “”And I’ve only used one name, and only posted three times, all on this blog.””

    Liar!

    Your exceptionally long screen name is not hard to find over on the AARP boards.

  99. “”yet you persist in using the term “adoptor” which is offensive to adoptive parents because of the context in which it was developed.””

    And here we go again, yet another injured adoptor, O! Excuse me..should have said ‘adopter'(look it up in the dictionary) who feels she is the center of the universe, because she ‘saved’, by way of adoption, a supposed orphan child from a lifetime of misery and torture!

    Do you not comprehend Mshilly, this ‘issue’ is not about you nor the word ‘adoptor/adopter?. Want to make it an ‘issue’ get yourself a blog, or join a group and you make the ‘issue’ and invite comments on the word ‘adoptor’. It’s that simple. If Marley can do it, you can too!
    Scratch that!
    I doubt that you have 1/8 the intelligence of our ‘hostess’. We may not agree with Marley, may not even like her, but my dear mshilly, you would not even have the exceptional ability to be considered a pimple on Marley’s arse!!!

    And the above is not to slam any average adopter’s intelligence, only the one known as ‘mshilly’!

  100. “Which does not change the fact that since the dawn of man, the overwhelming majority of human beings call the woman who gave them birth ….”mother.”

    Your exceptions prove nothing, and change nothing.”

    The exceptions are germane and to the point. since the begining of historical record there were means by which mothers could stripped of their motherhood. This isn’t some recent anomaly, it’s core to patriarchal societies.

  101. “Someone embracing being called birthmother is someome who willingly got rid her kid.”

    Or someone who recognizes that she is NOT parenting the “kid” and that the “kid” HAS a MOTHER who is not HER.

  102. And please, as I’ve asked you before, keep the personal attacks out pf the discussion. They have nothing whatsoever to do with the issue. I won’t respond to any more comments from you, because past history shows that to be a fruitless exercise.

    open mouth, insert foot as usual, right AW?

    perhaps you could clarify what you mean about a past history with me since this is the first time you’ve ever posted on a blog, you stated to Ch???

    also, it was pretty easy to see you were the same mshilly as on the aarp board last year too, since you had both names on your profile there. duh! what do you think? We’re just a bunch of pretty faces and can’t see through your childish headgames?

    thirdly, since you admit you’ve never met joe and karen yet knew all about the aarp incident – who do you think you are kidding? and why be so critical of him here today, especially for your first time to ever post on a blog?

    i repeat – you really need to drop this rage. the mothers here didn’t start this rant, nor has anyone told another mother what to call *THEMSELVES*. I also saw nothing wrong with a discussion on censorship, but several of you blatantly tipped your hand that this was more about trying to destroy the credibility of the sponsoring organizations and their founders.

    why do you insist on dragging out this spin doctored version of what happened here? do you really think people can’t see through what this is about? c’mon now, if you don’t like joe – why don’t you tell him to his face instead of hiding behind all these phoney names and denying who you are?

    I’ll send regards to Edward Albee from all of his fans here. I’m sure we’ll have a big chuckle over this latest smear campaign.

  103. Anonymous said…
    “Hammurabi’s Code

    Do no harm !”

    “First, do no harm,” is the Code of Hippocrates. Hammurabi is more like, “First, chop off the hands of pickpockets.”

    “It doesn’t reflect infant adoption.”

    In the first recorded historical record of jurisprudence, the foundational text of western civilization’s claim to the rule of law, there is an explicit codification of how a woman who gives birth to a child may be stripped of her motherhood. Not only that, Hammurabi also codifies that if the first mother becomes annoying, she may be banished from the household. The biblical narrative in Genesis spells it out, the new mother named the children borne to her handmaiden, became their mother, and when the handmaiden intervened she was banished to the desert. I don’t know how more explicit this could be. I’m not saying this was just, I’m saying that this is a very very old injustice, one that is inextricably bound in patriarchal societies.

  104. “By the same token, motherhood is no longer the exclusive prerogative of women who’ve concieved the ‘old-fashioned’ way.”

    ” since the begining of historical record there were means by which mothers could stripped of their motherhood. This isn’t some recent anomaly, it’s core to patriarchal societies.”

    Both of you are arguing red herrings. In both cases, the points you raise are irrelevant.

    Neither argument changes the plain fact that the vast majority of humans who have walked upon this earth since the beginning of our tenure on this planet have called the woman who gave them birth, “mother.”

    This is simply historical and psychological fact. That’s the magnitude of the tide you are swimming against here. You can talk all you want in public about changing vocabulary. What you’ll find you can’t change is human instinct and knowledge that exists on an ancient, almost unconscious level.

    The argument that because women were forced into reproductive slavery in the Bible somehow means that now it’s okay to label a woman with the B word, is just silly. Why not call her what she is called in the Bible, ie, a HandMaiden? Or why not just tell the whole truth and call her a Reproductive Slave, or even an UnWoman? Do those words hit a little too close to home for your political comfort? Shed just a little too much light? Are they too psychologically or emotionally “dirty,” not sanitized enough for your liking? Is the B word perhaps emotionally “clean” enough for your political purposes?
    Detached enough, clinical enough, for you to use? Incomplete enough? Stripped of emotional content and meaning enough?

    Because when you use the B word, you are perpetuating the idea contained in those words, ie Handmaiden, Reproductive Slave, UnWoman. You are aiding and abbetting the historical and even the current crime committed against these women by the adoption establishment. You are helping the adoption establishment, which is firmly in the hands of adoption agencies, strip a woman of her motherhood. You are contributing to her ongoing dehumanization by failing to acknowledge her most basic and common link with humankind – her motherhood.

    Does this most violent act gratify you somehow?

    Those of us who lost their our babies to adoption got pregnant the old fashioned way. We weren’t surrogates. We weren’t paid for our children. It wasn’t a business…. for us anyway. I can’t say the same for those who took our children.

    We simply got pregnant. We carried our babies to term, and then we gave them birth. That makes us mothers by the most basic measuring stick available to mankind. We are mothers, just like any other woman on the face of the earth.

    The word “mother” is the venerable and venerated term.

    It is the term we claim for ourselves.

    Who are you to insist otherwise?

    The word we have been discussing is a neologism that was coined in the 70s for purposes I can only call political. As a word that has been included as part of the vocabulary of adoption, it is no longer sufficient or acceptable, if it ever truly was.

    Because a tiny minority of people have a conspicious need to insist otherwise does not change the facts.

  105. “Because when you use the B word, you are perpetuating the idea contained in those words, ie Handmaiden, Reproductive Slave, UnWoman. You are aiding and abbetting the historical and even the current crime committed against these women by the adoption establishment.

    You are helping the adoption establishment, which is firmly in the hands of adoption agencies, strip a woman of her motherhood. You are contributing to her ongoing dehumanization by failing to acknowledge her most basic and common link with humankind – her motherhood.

    Does this most violent act gratify you somehow?”

    Not particularly. I’m just pointing out that your exceptialism and essentialism get in the way of a cogent analysis of how society decides who is and who is not a mother, which is the central issue IMO. As I noted earlier in this thread, the state separates a thousand-fold more children from their mothers through foster care than adoption. I note this not to minimalize injustices perpetrated through adoption, but to contextualize adoption in the larger frame of society. Assuming you regain the term “mother” to describe yourself, its difficult to see how that materially improves your status as persons society has defined as unfit to parent. The adoption industry derives its limited power from the state that imagines it is expressing through human law a transcendant “natural” law, which is in actuality a societal construction. That you are basing your arguments on variations on the concept of natural law, and some essential quality of “motherhood”, is interesting since this is the fundamental argument used to oppress women in the first place. And please don’t try to beat me over the head with references to psychology; it wasn’t to long ago that psychology tried to place the blame of societal ills at the feet of “over nurturing mothers”, “momism”, etc. In the forties and fifties Psychologists determined that single mothers were mentally ill as a class, which reinforced the notion that their children should be stripped from them. Psychologists are sunny-day allies, who turn with the tides of societal attitudes with reinforcing arguments. After all, the role of psychologist is to smooth the rough edges of alienation, not to change the production of alienation.

    The adoption industry is just like the cops; they carry out the will of the state. We can critique their role in carrying out injustices, but ultimately the injustice is codified by the state and internalized throughout the larger society. Your theories are interesting but ultimately don’t go far enough.

    And as a personal aside, I don’t defend the usage of the term “birthmother”. I’ve used it in the past and found it more and more unsatisfactory. However, I’m not going to spend a lot of time attacking its usage either, because its a tiny battle in a much larger conflict.

  106. Anonysillyperson said, “Both of you are arguing red herrings. In both cases, the points you raise are irrelevant.”

    Actually no, Anonytwit.
    Your, or some other anonytwit’s post said,
    “From time immemorial, the woman who gives birth has been called “mother.” Not Bmother….mother.
    What in the world is so difficult to understand about that?”

    I didn’t “refute” that statement. Though bbchurch made a pretty neat job of demolishing it.
    I was simply making the point that if giving birth is what defines “mother”, changing times have made that criteria redundant, and the parameters would have to be expanded to include surrogates. By your definition (or,” by that same token”), that of giving birth, the title is no longer the exclusive property of women who’ve concieved naturally.

    And no – I don’t care for the word “birthmother” either. In fact, I think it is a red herring.

  107. “I’m just pointing out that your exceptialism and essentialism get in the way of a cogent analysis of how society decides who is and who is not a mother, which is the central issue IMO.”

    Nature is an essentialist, my friend. It is true that technology is actively striving to change that.

    It is noble that you wish to change the way the state does business. What you will find, I think, is that the lawmakers ultimately respond to the voters( at least until Diebold takes completely over, but that is another discussion altogether.) And the voters make their choices based in at least some part on the prevailing memes.

    To support the Handmaiden meme via the B word is to shoot yourself in your own foot. If you want to end the injustices inherent in adoption, one step you absolutely must take is to restore the dignity and honorable estate of motherhood – to the pregnant woman.
    It is precisely the dehumanization and demonization of the pregnant woman that allows society to tolerate the harvesting of her child for the adoption market in the first place.

    How this continues to escape the notice of activists is beyond me.

    You ignore the mechanics of the act while you are in pursuit of thr goal, at your peril. At all our perils.

    I base my argument on natural law because that is the law most of white Western society has internalized and intuits to be correct.

    What you appear to overlook is that it was a PERVERSION of natural law by conjured up by sociologists and psychologists and enforced by social workers that got society into this position to begin with.

    It is that perversion which needs to be set right.

  108. “I didn’t “refute” that statement. Though bbchurch made a pretty neat job of demolishing it.
    I was simply making the point that if giving birth is what defines “mother”, changing times have made that criteria redundant, and the parameters would have to be expanded to include surrogates. By your definition (or,” by that same token”), that of giving birth, the title is no longer the exclusive property of women who’ve concieved naturally.”

    Not to mention the large number of cultures in which all women of a certain age are addressed by those younger than themselves as “Mother”.

  109. bbchurch said..””Not to mention the large number of cultures in which all women of a certain age are addressed by those younger than themselves as “Mother”. “”

    Is the above really important, relevant, have any impact on the ‘Culture of Adoption’ in America?

  110. A while back, Anonymous called this blog a cat fight. The human is badly confused. This is a people fight. Anyone who calls humans “cats” will be uninvited from the Cat Convention when we take over the world.

    A. Cat

  111. Personally, I don’t understand all the rage about one silly term.

    Which one of these silly little terms would make you understand? bastard, illegitimate, demon seed, love child, adoptee, unlawful, spawn, spunkwad, chosen, special, illegal, mistake, undesirable, or unwanted?

  112. “”I’m just pointing out that your exceptialism and essentialism get in the way of a cogent analysis of how society decides who is and who is not a mother, which is the central issue IMO.”

    Nature is an essentialist, my friend. It is true that technology is actively striving to change that.”

    “Nature” is a cultural product. No more, no less.

    “To support the Handmaiden meme via the B word is to shoot yourself in your own foot. If you want to end the injustices inherent in adoption, one step you absolutely must take is to restore the dignity and honorable estate of motherhood – to the pregnant woman.”

    Since I’m not defending the term “birthmother” nor the Code of Hammurabi, I’ll stand to the side while you take swings at your strawman. What I am interested in is the alleged “restoration” of the dignity and honor to motherhood. How far back need the resoration go? Here’s a quote from a “The Eumenides” by Aeschulys, in the verdict exonerating Orestes from the crime of matricide for the revenge killing of his mother, “The mother is no parent of that which is called her child, but only nurse of the newplanted seed that grows. The parent is he who mounts.”

    “I base my argument on natural law because that is the law most of white Western society has internalized and intuits to be correct.”

    Then you need to read Paolo Frere’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” to understand the need to come to grips with how the language and attitudes of the oppressor are internalized by the oppressed to the point that even when the overt oppression is lifted, the oppressed sustain oppression. You seem to think that by reclaiming motherhood you’re escaping oppression when motherhood itself is a term as coopted as the term “birthmother” by the culture, society and laws that have oppressed you. Your substituting one “niggerhood” with another and calling it liberation.

    “Natural law” basically reinforces whatever power structure is in place when it’s evoked, since it is a product of that power structure intended to give itself validation from outside itself. Essentialism has been discredited soundly by feminist and post-colonial critics, for good reason; it’s a tool of oppression.

    Western societies don’t venerate motherhood-as-a-totality, they venerate mothers-as-an-expression of-patriarchal-power. Look at the venerated images of the Madonna, she is depicted as looking down and venerating her son, who is a manifestation of the Big Daddy in the Sky, whether he’s the baby in the Nativity or the dying adult in the Pieta. She is venerated because she is worshipping the Father through her son. She doesn’t get much veneration from Jesus though, who at one point asks her directly, “Who are you to me?”

    Now, if you want to argue a return to a neolithic regard to mothers as expressed in innumerable statues of the Magna Mater, then maybe we can agree. But to assume that to become “mothers” again in the eyes of society is to become liberated or empowered is to misread four or five thousand years of history/herstory.

    That’s why theory is crucial. Without theory you’re just shuffling the deck chairs on a prison ship.

  113. Wow…looks like your one blog is going to test the limits of the Blogger comments section.

    For someone who said they were through posting, you have come back and back again and again Carol C. And yet haven’t really said anything. Actually your subsequent posts are only memorable in your hypocrisy of saying keep the personal attacks out of the forum and then personally attacking the hell out of AW….kinda telling about YOUR mental health and state of being, eh?

  114. “Which one of these silly little terms would make you understand? bastard, illegitimate, demon seed, love child, adoptee, unlawful, spawn, spunkwad, chosen, special, illegal, mistake, undesirable, or unwanted?”

    Personally, I like all of them. Don’t forget “child of nature” and “changling”. If you get a chance, ask Albee which ones he likes, I’d love to hear his answer. While you’re at it, ask him if George and Martha are adoptive parents or relinquishing parents or simply parents of free floating desire…

  115. Thanks bbchurch, for explaining the unimportance and non-necessity of ‘mother’, motherhood and ‘nature’.

    Is always good for a male to explain it all to us, what it means to be a mother and all. Cuz the Gods know only a man would have all the intelligence to teach women about women. Thanks bbchurch, was all’Greek’ to me before you took time out from your busy-man day to share your historical knowledge of mothers, written by other men.

  116. What about “fathers” Do they not exisit. Are adoptee spawn the products of immaculate conception?

    Ummmm, could it be that the topic here is about the term “birthmother” and whether the members of an organization sponsoring a conference has the right to kindly ask presenters to avoid use of the word if at all possible?

    Or gee whiz, could it also be because fathers don’t *give birth* and it’s preposterous anyway to call a father by such a ridiculous term?

    … first or natural mother and father or even just mother and father make alot more sense to me.

    My found son by the way, introduced after we met to to his friends as his “real” mother. he had never heard the term birthmother and thought it was ridiculous. And this guy has absolutely no interest in adoption activist politics.

    Research shows that the term was coined so as to not offend the people who were adopting another woman’s child and to marginalize the natural mother’s attachment to her child.

    Carol chick:-)

  117. Actually your subsequent posts are only memorable in your hypocrisy of saying keep the personal attacks out of the forum and then personally attacking the hell out of AW….kinda telling about YOUR mental health and state of being, eh?

    Oh? Am I? You know her too, I see? Have I offended AW by addressing her snide comments to me? It sure seems to bother you that I’m not being the subservient bee mommy and just backing down when I see people I respect attacked?

    …and you say this is reflective of my mental health and state of being? i’m sure glad everyone doesn’t see it that way. LOL Actually lk, hate to sound vain but i have one or two admirers who really like my integrity. each to their own, I guess. but this is again, off topic.

    whoever you are, there are lots and lots of people reading here now, who have been alerted to the mudslinging and with varying opinions of what is really going down. so yep, i’m still here and probably will be until i become bored with the spin doctor tactics.

  118. CarolC,

    Even Jackiedada, Good Birfmudder, knows the real reason why the term was coined…was to benefit and alleviate/massage the hurt feelings of those people who adopt other people’s children..

    Per Jackiedada..””From Beggars and Choosers.. page 104.. Rickie Solinger.

    Snipped some….. next page.

    According to Lee, in the summer of 1976 “we agreed on ‘birth parent’ and birthparenthood.’ We didn’t want to upset adoptive parents with ‘natural.’ And ‘biological’ now made us gag. ‘Biological,’ we felt, was descriptive of a mechanical incubator or unfeeling baby machine. ‘Birth’ was the key. With ‘birth parents’ as one word….. we were like other one-word progenitors, like grandparents.

    End of quoting..””

    And end of CUB chest-beating, as well.
    The term was initiated for use, not for the good of the mother who lost her child to adoption, (for any reason), rather to wipe the tears of the adoptor who wanted the complete ‘as if’ born to fantasy. Why was Lee Campbell and Company so involved with the feelings of the adoptors, protecting the feelings of the adoptors?

  119. Marley says: I even wonder how much input the Origns folks have had in this language debacle. Have people of good will been suckered?

    I repeat my question to you Marley. Would you please explain your comment here and try to make us understand how this isn’t mud slinging?

    This is not only degrading to Joe but also to the members of OUSA, FMC and all the other mothers who find the word “birthmother” distasteful. It doesn’t take a genius to see that you imply we need Joe Soll to put words in our mouth.

    I’m not the only one who sees it this way, my dear.

  120. “”What about “fathers” Do they not exisit. Are adoptee spawn the products of immaculate conception?””

    Most of the ‘fathers’ hit the proverbial trail, before his girlfriend even got the whole word, PREGNANT, passed those O! so kissable lips, he loved pre-pregnancy!

    Hey Marley, if you happen to run across some of those ‘Happy Trails to You’ Fathers, tell them, one of their Old Girlfriends is still looking for him, she’s got something to tell him!

    Yeah, what about those ‘fathers’???? How come the greatest percentage are still MIA? And yes, many, many daddies were told about their forthcoming ‘bundles of joy’, they ran the other way! Why didn’t they step up to the plate, should also be a good question to bounce around? Or better yet why aren’t their collective birth-fodder toes held over the fire?

    Mommy was a baddd mommy not taking on her responsibility for her child, yet rarely do I see an adopted person, posing the same questions of baddd daddy.

    Where’s the men in the crowd here, would you like to speak to the meaning of ‘father’ and ‘fatherhood’, of his necessity or non-necessity in Adoptionland? Unlike many men, I do not claim to be an authority on men and fatherhood, as some men claim ‘as if’ an authority on women and motherhood.

  121. 10:21 AM
    ch said…
    Per jackie..

    “”According to Lee, in the summer of 1976 “we agreed on ‘birth parent’ and birthparenthood.’ We didn’t want to upset adoptive parents with ‘natural.’””

    Why was it so important to a bunch of mothers who lost their kids to adoption not ‘to upset adoptive parents with ‘natural’?? Sounds similar to ‘upsetting the applecart’, ‘rocking the boat’?

    End of quoting.. ch

    Solinger wrote that ch.. Its in her history book..

    In my humble opinion.. I think the women had some respect for adoptive parents..
    Ya.. I know.. verboten these days..

    And to the person who asked if I was Jackie Patrick I answer with no..
    If you want to know who I am just search alt.adoption….either Jackie or Jackie C..

    I have been a member of BN and I would never become a member of Origins..
    I am for open records and freedom of speech..

    Freedom of speech?
    What is that???

    And hey.. the business of “Just one day to not use the verboten term.” Is beyond a joke to me..
    So what is next on the agenda?

    I have been watching this banning of the ‘b’ word for years.. What’s next?

    Jackie

  122. 1. I am not in Maryland, nor have I ever lived there.

    2. This is the first blog I’ve posted on. AARP is not a blog; it is a message board.

    3. I don’t know who AW is, but it’s not me.

    4. Marley, next time I’ll just be anonymous so the need for others to personally attack me won’t take away from the point of your posts.

  123. I have been watching this banning of the ‘b’ word for years.. What’s next

    years, eh? so if you’ve been watching what you say is banning of the b word for YEARS – don’t you suppose BJ might have heard a whisper or two that a couple of moms would prefer to be called something else?

    I am trying very hard to put this in a way that kl doesn’t think is any kind of an attack on you Jackie…but what is it about the fact that we have repeatedly and in a patient and succinct manner told you that no one is BANNING THE WORD (sorry for shouting, but you’ve got to turn up your hearing aid, sweetie) You may call yourself anything you want and so can any mother. BJ can call us anything she wants too, ideally though she would be gracious enough as a psychotherapist to respect women that she knows are uncomfortable, something different to their faces. And, I’ll repeat this one more time. She was just reminded like all the other presenters and authors last week that since the organization that was her host prefers not to have THEMSELVES referred to as Birthmothers at their very own conference. All the other authors like Solinger, Fessler, Schaefer, Hafetz and even Albee responded that they were fine with this. After all, as you even opined, plenty of people have been watching this debate about the b word for YEARS.

    BJ apparantly took issue with the polite request. Not sure what her motive was, but to act like this was sprung on her at the last minute when she knows full well what the Origins mission is, is disingenuous. That’s all we’re saying.

  124. This is the first blog I’ve posted on. AARP is not a blog; it is a message board.

    3. I don’t know who AW is, but it’s not me

    Mshilly, Oh, so since you got busted after initially telling us you weren’t msshilly, you now admit that AARP is not a blog but a message board? Nevertheless, you told us one fib this morning when you insisted you weren’t msshilly. Ch and I had to prove to you that you had the same email address as msshilly who hounded us relentlessly last summer on the AARP boards. You kept changing your story about who you were; first you had adopted children then the story was that you were a “birthmother” too…all a bit weird and redundant. It just seems like a bit too much work to me to have to lie about my identity. But then I don’t stalk “birthmothers” and “Sollists” around the internet. I’d rather live life than follow around others to report on what they’re doing wrong. But that’s what makes a horse race shilly.

    I don’t really care to debate you as to who you really are. But you can’t blame us for not wanting to take you at your word. Anyway, it seems you have just come here to discuss the AARP Board and what Joe and Karen did wrong back there. Don’t you have the cajones to tell them to their face instead of hiding behind all your pseudonyms? As much as i found Marley’s comments inappropriate, at least she’s sincere enough to sign her name.

    And don’t start with pointing out all the anonymous posters. It takes a pretty strong constitution to be a mother of adoption loss (don’t you hate that term) and share feelings in this hornet’s nest.

    So let’s just agree to disagree, k? this is just feeling a little bit too creepy for my taste that you keep popping up. I would guess that you and i have a bit of a personality conflict.

  125. ICJOH said, “She was just reminded like all the other presenters and authors last week that since the organization that was her host prefers not to have THEMSELVES referred to as Birthmothers at their very own conference. All the other authors like Solinger, Fessler, Schaefer, Hafetz and even Albee responded that they were fine with this.”

    Fine. As is their their prerogative. She obviously feels differently, as is hers.

    ICJOH continued, “BJ apparantly took issue with the polite request. Not sure what her motive was, but to act like this was sprung on her at the last minute when she knows full well what the Origins mission is, is disingenuous. That’s all we’re saying.”

    O.K, so basically, “all you are saying” is that it isn’t necessary to spell out the terms of an offer before an agreement is reached? That all can simply be assumed.
    I call that “disingenous”.

    And this “reminder”? Reminder of what? The implication is that it refers to the terms of the original offer, (which, as far as I know, didn’t include any information about the taboo nature of the dreaded “b” word).
    Really, you know, a person needs to be informed of something in order to be reminded of it.

  126. Carol,

    I never denied being mshilly at one time. I use a different name now. I never, ever, claimed to be a birthmother. You attribute a lot of things to me that are not in the least related to me.

    My only point in posting about the flap at AARP was to show the contradiction about publicizing emails. I didn’t say anything one way or another about the term.

    For your information, back in the late 1980’s, I used the term “first mother” when I wrote to the woman who is my daughter’s other mother.

    I would appreciate it if you would leave your personal animosity toward me off of someone else’s blog. You are as anonymous to me as I am to you, just as kl and ch and adoptionroadkill, and marley, for that matter, are anonymous to me.

    You are not as adept at searching out IP addresses as you think you are, as your placing me in Maryland and calling me “AW” proves.

    Now I really will leave, because you are turning this into a personal fight. I only posted this because I’m tired of being defamed by you.

  127. For your information, back in the late 1980’s, I used the term “first mother” when I wrote to the woman who is my daughter’s other mother

    Geesh, everytime i try to go to sleep one of my friends sends me a message about something interesting posted on here that she thinks I should see…

    shilly, i will personally find the posts in my saved file of the AARP debacle when you tried to convince one of our mothers that you were also a bmom and that’s why you were obsessed with us. many of us asked you why you were flipping back and forth with your story? AND, even more importantly, while posting one night and we asked you (or msshilly) where your adopted children were, you said they were toddlers and in bed!

    Now you say you wrote to their first mother in the 80s’s. Don’t know what your game is or why you came here, but here we go again with all the flim flam excuses about why your story changes.

    I only asked why if you had all these beefs with Joe and Karen, you don’t tell them to their face rather than following mothers of adoption loss around the internet? It’s just curious and even a bit ghoulish because you have never shared on any other single topic other than why you disapprove of Joe and Karen. That’s a year and a half of carrying a grudge against these two people you’ve never met.

    And you say this isn’t a bash Joe session? Puleeze.

  128. Kippa, to quote you….11:13 PM

    And this “reminder”? Reminder of what? The implication is that it refers to the terms of the original offer, (which, as far as I know, didn’t include any information about the taboo nature of the dreaded “b” word).
    Really, you know, a person needs to be informed of something in order to be reminded of it.

    There you go, assuming again. You do know what happens when you assume, right? How could you possibly know whether or not there was mention of the usage of the term that we all so detest? Were you invited to present at the conference? Did you receive a copy of the presenter materials? Before you make any more sweeping assumptions, it might be best to check your sources, for a change.

  129. “Thanks bbchurch, for explaining the unimportance and non-necessity of ‘mother’, motherhood and ‘nature’.”

    Is always good for a male to explain it all to us, what it means to be a mother and all. Cuz the Gods know only a man would have all the intelligence to teach women about women. Thanks bbchurch, was all’Greek’ to me before you took time out from your busy-man day to share your historical knowledge of mothers, written by other men.”

    Ooh, I guess you told me. I’m going back to the garage and seeth and putter around, make a lot of banging noises with my big wrenches. I know how you hate it when I get the dish towels all dirty with motor oil, so I’ll be sure to use them when I wash up for supper. What is for supper anyway? Damn, I work hard all day deconstructing motherhood and I come in to find the pots all cold and no beer in the reefer. What the hell is that? Ah well, they tell make-up sex is the best…

    Here’s a short list of works cited by me over the last two days:

    “Gender Trouble” by Judith Butler;
    “Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution”, by Adrienne Rich;
    “The Chalice and the Blade” by Riane Eisler;
    “Women and Children Last”, by Ruth Sidel

  130. Fathers, Marley, fathers? Hmm. Why are you asking? Is it to further vilify we silly mothers for caring about our children? Should we be more like men? Afterall, adoption is most often perpetrated due to the wishes of men. As others here have pointed out, adoption is classic patriarchal, male-driven abuse of women. (Feminists validate adoption because they want to be like men, are elitists, and are not immune to baby fever–they want those babies soooo baaaad.)

    Is that why you’re asking? Fathers count, mothers don’t so let’s hear what the guys have to say about names to call mothers?

    Or are you asking so you can belittle fathers, too?

    Or are you asking as a curious adoptee? (“Where’s Daddy?”)

    I’d really like to know why you are wondering where the fathers are. Because we’re talking about mothers here, dear.

  131. “Gender Trouble” by Judith Butler;
    “Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution”, by Adrienne Rich;
    “The Chalice and the Blade” by Riane Eisler;
    “Women and Children Last”, by Ruth Sidel

    Thank you.. maybe you could include a short bib in the future as to where you are formulating your thoughts in regards to female issues, that of mother. Unless you want to talk about your personal experience with either of your mothers.

  132. “”but all this fuss (prior to this blog) seems a little ridiculous over one word.””

    Shouldn’t that ‘fuss’ have remained between the parties in question? Why did Marley feel it was so important to write an essay on the ‘fuss’. How did this ‘fuss’ prior to Marley’s essay, impact any one person, group or organization, who was not attending the conference, nor had any interest in attending??

    Sorry ladies/guys, I ain’t buying it. This is nothing but a very, very thinly veiled excuse to perform a Hatchet Job. Old scores to settle? And the reasons for the Hatchet Job are only known by Marley and her select minions. I guess BJ Lifton can now be counted amongst the Marley Minions as well, or maybe she already was.

    I can only imagine the volume and extent of private emails that were flying behind the scenes, before The Essay appeared.

    Is really too bad that one word can bring out the really nasty in people. All because some women/mothers have chosen not to label themselves as Birthmother. It’s really a sad state of affairs for those who are so enraged by some mothers not ‘adopting’ that term for our own person. And then using that one word to slander and vilify others. Really nasty business I would say. Says more about BN and BN’s spokesperson, in fact speaks volumes.

  133. Carol C said:

    “night kids. i’m bored by the same old stale arguments by people who did not walk in my moccasins.”

    This is like the 4th time you’ve left already. Why bother announcing it when you’re still here?

  134. Silly anonymous person number 47 said:

    “I’d really like to know why you are wondering where the fathers are. Because we’re talking about mothers here, dear.”

    Maybe because you didn’t plop a baby out on your own like you do with a digested burrito.

    Adoptees have two biological parents, “dear”. Why should we be expected to ignore our other half for your convenience?

    You obviously don’t consider them to be important in your experience.

    But unless there was a star rising in the east when we were born, why should we consider our birth fathers to be negligible?

  135. “Thank you.. maybe you could include a short bib in the future as to where you are formulating your thoughts in regards to female issues, that of mother.”

    Sure thing, citations are a good thing. Why take my word, or umbrage at my words, when you can read the originals anyway.

    “Unless you want to talk about your personal experience with either of your mothers”

    Never got to have a continued relationship with my first mother, she died before I found my family of origin. She was a pistol according to my siblings. My relationship with my adoptive mother was intense and dysfuntional. I also have a relationship with the mother of my children; we’ve been together for 27 years and are raising three daughters. She’s not my mother, but she’s consistently mirrored positive motherhood to me over the years and given me another perspective. How’s your relationship with your mom?

  136. But I am not the mother to the child I bore –

    Not only HAPPY about it, but PROUD of the rejection!

    Or someone who recognizes that she is NOT parenting the “kid” and that the “kid” HAS a MOTHER who is not HER.

    Even a “kid” who’s mother dies at birth is parented by someone who can never be the MOTHER.
    Let adoption enter the picture, and the only thing a BIRTHMOTHER is capable of recognizing is that she didn’t want the “kid”, and the “kid” gets a trade-off, as long as it’s anyone but HER.

  137. Shouldn’t that ‘fuss’ have remained between the parties in question? Why did Marley feel it was so important to write an essay on the ‘fuss’. How did this ‘fuss’ prior to Marley’s essay, impact any one person, group or organization, who was not attending the conference, nor had any interest in attending??

    Ch, You’ve asked a perfectly rationale question here, yet again. Intereresting how no one will/can answer. Instead, this crowd just gets nastier and cruder.

    I think this debate probably needed to happen publicly because up to now, marley and the rest of her hate patrol have been making their insulting snide remarks about these organizations behind the scenes on other people’s groups.

    I’ve been told by friends who had never heard of BN that they cannot believe the nastiness that spewed here by marley and her anonymous minions.

    Yet in the 25 years that Joe Soll has been around, no one has EVER, EVER heard him publicly denigrate anyone. Joe has always taken the high road and it speaks volumes as to why he’s earned the respect he has by the thousands of people he has helped.

    Like I mentioned earlier in this thread, people vote with their feet. I would personally be nervous if I had a small organization that was controversial and didn’t have many members to begin with and I chose to go on the attack about something I really didn’t have any facts about.

    One last observation. It’s really laughable that the Marley lemmings who were not behind the scenes and did not receive a call for proposal, keep insisting the presenters were not told in the beginning about certain expectations. I received one, however and I really find it curious that BJ hasn’t stepped forward to clarify and share the truth? I still feel it was a pretty major error in judgement to share this incident in the first place which then created this ridiculous brouhaha.

    Every single presenter WAS told right from the beginning about the sensitivity about the b word. I care not whether you believe me because you’ll find some other petty reason to vilify. What is important,is the character of the person who chose to tell you only part of the story knowing full well she was character assasinating a colleague who has been there for her for many years. His crime is still unclear but she does nothing to right the wrong she created.

    I always agreed with the old addage “One can always tell how much class/character (heard it both ways) an individual has by the way they treat those who CANNOT help them”.

    ps. to the people who keep telling me to go away or some other hateful comment about my sharing my own POV – I can only say “Gee Whiz, it’s so curious as to why my sharing my personal observations about this rubs you wrong. Just like the other person(s) you are bad rapping, you’ve never even met me. You’ve got to get a grip and work on those anger issues you have. May I recommend a couple of good books or a therapist in NYC that I know? You really need to look at why my sharing honest feelings bothers you so much, IMO”

  138. Marley Greiner said… why are we only hearing about “mothers.” What about “fathers” Do they not exisit ?

    OF COURSE BIRTHFATHERS EXIST. THEY’RE CALLED *JOHNS*.

  139. ‘Anonymous said… “
    “‘Personally, I don’t understand all the rage about one silly term.'”

    “Which one of these silly little terms would make you understand? bastard, illegitimate, demon seed, love child, adoptee, unlawful, spawn, spunkwad, chosen, special, illegal, mistake, undesirable, or unwanted?”

    I don’t care what you call me. They’re words and have no power over me. I’m sure most adoptees are mistakes, undesirable etc. Big deal!

    Now, anyone can refer to themselves in any way they want. And I’m sorry for biological parents who are so wrapped up in verbage that they are unable to see the forest for the trees.

    I think it’s unimportant in the scheme of things. If your relinquished spunkwad (your term) wants to call you “mother,” that’s great. However, my mother is the woman who has taken care of me my whole life. I’m sorry for your anguish and loss, but it doesn’t change my life or most adoptees lives. Why don’t you let your unlawful spawn (I really like that one-thanks) call you what they want! Maybe he/she/they will call you mother/natural-mother or whatever makes you happy.

    I hope many of the women making such a fuss over this word can find peace–or medication.

    ok, I’m sorry about the medication remark. It was rude. But I’m not taking it back.

  140. Anonymous droned,
    “There you go, assuming again. You do know what happens when you assume, right? How could you possibly know whether or not there was mention of the usage of the term that we all so detest? Were you invited to present at the conference? Did you receive a copy of the presenter materials? Before you make any more sweeping assumptions, it might be best to check your sources, for a change.”

    My words were, “The implication is that it (i.e, the “reminder”) refers to the terms of the original offer, (which, as far as I know, didn’t include any information about the taboo nature of the dreaded “b” word).”

    So you see, I assumed nothing. If I had, I wouldn’t have included the proviso “AS FAR AS I KNOW”.

    Now, if only the entire correspondence was made public (which it is quite within the rights of Joe Soll and OUSA to do) perhaps many of these problems could be resolved, and there would be no need for speculation as to the content of the original invitation or B.J Lifton’s response.

  141. In regards to fathers of bastards..
    “”You obviously don’t consider them to be important in your experience.””

    Actually a lot of fathers of bastards, didn’t/don’t consider their bastard children to be of any importance yesterday or today. So pray tell, why would a lot of mothers believe the father of the bastard, to be of any importance today?

    Fathers were important to many mothers prior to getting pg and during pregnancy. Strange so many of the bastard fathers were MIA, once the fruit of their loins were born.

    I have nothing against giving the kids the info on Daddy. If the mother has the info on daddy and the kiddos ask for it, give it to him/her.

  142. “”Now, if only the entire correspondence was made public (which it is quite within the rights of Joe Soll and OUSA to do) perhaps many of these problems could be resolved, and there would be no need for speculation as to the content of the original invitation or B.J Lifton’s response.””

    I still don’t understand how the above directly impacts you, or any other person who has no need of the NYC Conference and Joe Soll. This is a conference, that evidently you are not attending, nor I would assume, even had any interest in attending. So how did it become your business and other’s, who are in your same boat? How many times I have asked this question. I have yet to see response to that question. Really, how does the events (or non-events)of this conference impact you personally or as a group?

  143. “”How’s your relationship with your mom? “

    She’s dead. Died in 1998 of breast cancer.”

    I’m sorry for your loss.

  144. kippa herring drones, Now, if only the entire correspondence was made public (which it is quite within the rights of Joe Soll and OUSA to do) perhaps many of these problems could be resolved, and there would be no need for speculation as to the content of the original invitation or B.J Lifton’s response.

    oh right ms herring. guess what? these organizations owe you nothing. no explanation. nada. You are not a member of any of the sponsoring organizations, you were not invited to present and you have no interest in attending.

    your only interest is comparable of that of the nosy neighbor peering out her window (or hiding behind a computer screen in this case) to try to get something on someone they haven’t even met.

    the only thing that is owed to anyone in my opinion is a big fat apology to joe and karen from marley for taking 2nd and third hand information and reporting it as fact. but no – that would be the classy thing to do and we’re only dealing with a smear campaign here.

    the bastardette has proven itself to have zero editorial integrity. i for one, am glad this incident has heightened awareness in the adoption community of just how out of the loop BN really is. They’ve worked against the efforts of the AAC and now they’re out to discredit someone else.

    this kind of stuff is why good people constantly drop out after they find their families. who wants to deal with a bunch of spoiled angry babies or would even consider entrusting them with any kind of personal information?
    you’ve lost alot of credibility with this one, kiddos.

    by the way, i’m an adoptee who had never heard of BN until friends suggested I check out this fiasco. i agree with someone who said earlier – this is pretty nasty business and i’m not impressed.

  145. you people are totally out of control here. you show such disrespect for these mothers who if you would read carefully do not even care what YOU call them. sorry, i agree that they have the right to call themselves whatever they choose and in the interest of people with a common goal working together – their request should be respected.

    if some mothers prefer birthmother, then call those mothers that. if others prefer first mother or just mother – learn some damn manners and just address them that way if they ask.

    do any of you people have successful lives outside of this forum? it’s hard to believe that any of the militant adoptees on here have the social skills to get anywhere as far as changing laws for adopted people. why would these women or sound pretty wise and intelligent to me, even want to help you do anything? Grow up man!

    by the way, i’m a physician and a reunited adoptee who had never heard of BN until friends in my adoption group suggested I check out this fiasco. i agree with someone who said earlier – this is pretty nasty business and i’m not impressed. i’ve got my money on the mothers here. they’re alot more credible and certainly more savvy than most of you.

  146. ch said…
    “”How’s your relationship with your mom? “”

    She’s dead. Died in 1998 of breast cancer.”

    Sorry for your loss. Both my mothers succumbed to cancer as well, my first mother to lung cancer, my adoptive mother to breast cancer that metastisized to her liver.

  147. Somebody here thinks:

    “adoptees are mistakes, undesirable etc.”

    Yikes! I don’t think it was a mother who wrote this, so who was it that thinks this? An adoptee? If so, how did you ever get that idea? Teaching you that was abuse. Or if your own anger is making you feel that, I am so sorry.

    If you are an adopter, you are unfit.

    If you are an adoptionist, you are evil.

  148. The recent controversy involving BJ Lifton underscores a central problem among those seeking adoption reform. Its been my observation over years that the movement attracts some very unusual people that tend to advance some very extreme positions (Fortunately, it also attracts more articulate and normal people).

    I’ve often felt that some of extremists are more interested in attracting attention and making “crackpot statements” than obtaining any real reform. They are about as ineffective at political lobbying as one can get.

    Unfortunately though, the extremists tend to get the most attention while those who merely seek open records and some other moderate reforms get ignored or pushed to the side. BN is (and hopefully will remain) a moderate voice within the adoption reform community.

    Extremism will kill the adoption reform movement and the worst cases will never see it until it is too late. Whether you hate it or not, the NCFA is still a hell of a lot more powerful than Joe Soll and his group. State legislators are an inherently conservative bunch. Many tend to be small business owners, retired people, former military veterans, or professionals. The kind of arguments (and venting) that the extremists want to make about adoption will never sell this group. In fact, their presence may keep legislators from seriously considering open records legislation.

    What happened to BJ Lifton highlights the differences between those of us interested in record reform and those who want power and personal attention. We need to beware of those who do the cause more good than harm. As Marley did in this article, we must seek to put distance between ourselves and the pure idealogues in the movement.

  149. “do any of you people have successful lives outside of this forum? it’s hard to believe that any of the militant adoptees on here have the social skills to get anywhere as far as changing laws for adopted people. why would these women or sound pretty wise and intelligent to me, even want to help you do anything? Grow up man!”

    At its peak Bastard Nation was the most effective organization in US adoption politics (which isn’t saying much). BN had the social skills to craft and implement the successful campaign for Oregon’s Ballot Measure 58, which affirmed the right of adult adoptees to access their original birth certificates. BN was responsible for similar laws passed by legislation in Alabama and New Hampshire.
    I’ve been unhappy with BN’s strategies around organizational development and membership growth for some time (and have written extensively about on my blog, bbchurch.blogspot.com). At the rate we’re going we’ll have open records in all 50 states by the year 2100!
    In terms of my personal life, I was a fulltime salaried community organizer for a progressive non-profit (involved in developing affordable housing and providing senior and youth services) from 2001-2004, using the skills I developed on the Executive Committee of Bastard Nation. I now serve on their board of directors and the team developing a five-year strategic plan for the organization built around constituency organizing. In 2004 I was campaign manager for Tom Ammiano, in his successful reelection bid for seat on the city/county board of supervisors. My specialty is field operations, and I was asked to work for the Democratic Party this fall but had to decline because I’m moving out of state at the end of the month, basically in the middle of the campaign season.
    I have no idea how much political experience you have, but in my experience political success is not a function of how nice, articulate the participants are, nor how compelling their arguments appear on paper. The test is how many votes you can count, whether it’s seven committee members in the legislature or seven hundred thousand voters. So far the anti-adoption group(s) have no track record in the US, have sponsored no legislation (succesful or not), have not run any successful campaigns. They are a fringe group on the outside margins of the adoption political world, which is itself a fringe movement.

  150. “State legislators are an inherently conservative bunch. Many tend to be small business owners, retired people, former military veterans, or professionals.”

    Don’t forget lawyers. Or used car salesmen.

  151. “”BN is (and hopefully will remain) a moderate voice within the adoption reform community.””

    You have got to be kidding??!!!

    The BN website and contents of are considered ‘moderate’??

    Don’t get me wrong they have every right to fight for the rights they are seeking, by any means necessary, politically.

    But ‘moderate’???

  152. “”So far the anti-adoption group(s) have no track record in the US, have sponsored no legislation (succesful or not), have not run any successful campaigns.””

    Can you please name the “anti-adoption group (s)” you are referring to?

    I only know of one and yes, guess it would be, measured by your yard-stick, as ‘fringe’. Was not BN also considered ‘fringe’ when they came into being 10 years ago?

  153. Carol C splutters,
    “oh right ms herring. guess what? these organizations owe you nothing. no explanation. nada. You are not a member of any of the sponsoring organizations, you were not invited to present and you have no interest in attending.”

    Carol C is making assumptions.
    Carol C supposes that any person who supports open records and involves themselves in adoption reform but who doesn’t conform to any or all of the above conditions has no right to have an opinion on skulduggery in the adoption world.

    Carol C also assumes that it was Bastardette who first reported on the “fuss”. Not so.
    Not only that, but Carol C also fails to understand that indignation over censorship is not something to be dismissed as mere “fuss”.
    But perhaps she thinks that censorship is an unimportant issue.

    “the only thing that is owed to anyone in my opinion is a big fat apology to joe and karen from marley for taking 2nd and third hand information and reporting it as fact, but no – that would be the classy thing to do and we’re only dealing with a smear campaign here.”

    Now Carol C is apparently claiming that it’s NOT a fact that B.J Lifton was ‘disinvited’ from presenting when she refused to accept the language strictures imposed on her.

    As Sgt. Joe Friday would have said, “Yes, sir. No, ma’am. Just the facts, ma’am.”
    Give us the facts.

  154. “”What happened to BJ Lifton highlights the differences between those of us interested in record reform””

    “Record Reform” (that’s all you mentioned)and that there is then the underlying difference between BN and the supposed Anti-Adoption groups. It would appear then that your org is only fighting/interested in one thing, Open Records and I most certainly understand your cause. The supposed Anti people are not only interested in open records for adopted people only, you do know there are also many other pressing problems in Adoptionland?

    Are you also aware that the supposed Anti people have signed many a petition, sent letters, and documents (to include myself)to aid in the cause of adopted people gaining access to their birth records?
    How on earth did you guys ever come to the conclusion that the supposed Anti people are against or not interested in your adoptee cause? Nothing could be further from the truth.
    Just speaking for myself here, it’s getting awfully difficult to support you bunch, when many of us mothers are clearly insulted, in more ways than one, much like being spit upon. But bad mommy that I am, I should just wipe the spittle off my face, sign some more petitions, write some more letters, say OK! spit in my face again and I promise not to complain! Nope it doesn’t work that way, at least not for me.

    Too many of the people here, including Marley, have used too broad a brush with the same color to create a huge picture of ALL mothers who surrendered a child to adoption, who do not agree with some language terms foisted upon us, without our consent, without our vote! I am the only one that gets to decide what I will or will not be called. BJ Lifton doesn’t get that priviledge, nor does CUB or BN.
    I have had adoptees tell me that they don’t like be calling adoptees. I try to respect those adopted people while in their company by NOT calling them that which they choose for themselves not to be called. Do I always agree, probably not, but I at least make the effort to respect another human beings right to choose what he or she would rather be called.

    I am in reunion for several years, my now very adult child, over the age of 40, was quite adamant about calling me birthmother to my face. I never asked this adopted adult to call me mother or mom, the adopted adult already calls someone else that. All I asked was that in front of me, in conversation with me, DO NOT call me birthmother. I don’t feel like a birthmother and I disagree with the whole premise of. My adult child persisted, telling me that adult child believed it was DISRESPECTFUL of me towards to the aparents by me not wanting to be called birthmother! HUH?!!!! I then told this adult child of mine.. ‘Fine, then I will call you ‘birth…..’, how does that sound to you?’ Adult adopted out child of mine was aghast and told me ‘NO! that sounds awful’ and didn’t want to be called that. I respected adult child’s wishes, and adult child now respects mine. Calls me by my first name, fine by me. Adult child can call me anything adult child wants to, out of my earshot!

    Of course I did not surrender the entire population of adopted people to adoption, but nor is the entire population of adopted people related to one, a few or a select group of mothers. You guys don’t owe me anything, and I surely don’t owe the entire population of adopted people anything. Bottomline it comes down to Respect, that’s all. Just a little respect, both ways. Not just as adopted people and surrendering mothers, but as adult human beings. If you know a particular group or org does not entertain a certain term, has no use for, why keep harping on it? All it tells me then, those who keep using the birth term as a reason to assail, attack, insult, make jokes out of, etc., has way too much time on their hands, have some old scores to settle with other people most of us mothers know nothing about, or just plain pissed off at their own mommies for signing the surrender doc and now think it is their Adoptee Right to vilify, lambast, out and out insult every other surrendering mother in America. Nope guys that is not included in your Adoptee Rights, never was, never will be.

    As a population you may be ‘chosen’ or ‘special’ to your adoptors. ALL of my children are not ‘chosen’ or ‘special’ to me, they are just my kids and glad to have them in my life and yes, even my lost/found overgrown child I am in reunion with. I got them all the ‘old-fashioned’ way..in the heat of passion and unplanned. Difference..MRS saved my last 3 kids.. MRS would have saved my firstborn. Too bad, huh. Damn..MRS would have saved me from me being here and writing to you all, as well. I guess a lot of us wouldn’t be here today, if not for the missing MRS.

  155. As Sgt. Joe Friday would have said, “Yes, sir. No, ma’am. Just the facts, ma’am.”
    Give us the facts

    Ms. Red Herring,

    your flippant and rude comments to Carol C. clearly show you are looking only for a fight.

    ain’t going to get one, baby. i know Carol and she’s got you outclassed, as does Joe. This is like a sicko tragicomedy. you wanta crucify the guy, go ahead. the blood is on your hands though. You people and your leader are ruthless aren’t you?

    tsk tsk tsk

  156. “Can you please name the “anti-adoption group (s)” you are referring to?

    I only know of one and yes, guess it would be, measured by your yard-stick, as ‘fringe’. Was not BN also considered ‘fringe’ when they came into being 10 years ago?”

    As far as I know the two main groups who self-define as anti-adoption are Adoption Crossroads/Origins and its allies and the more informal group represented by Lori Corangelo and Jesse DeBalzo. There may be more I’m not aware of. New groups and organizations pop up all the time. Hence the parenthetical plural.

    Some thoughts on the designation “fringe”. IMO the entire adoption reform movement is a fringe movement when compared, for instance, with the foster care reform movement. This was brought home to me a few years ago when I was walking the halls in the legislature in Sacramento on the same day as a scheduled rally and meet-and-greet organized by advocates for foster care kids ages 13-18, the ones destined to “age out” of the system in group homes. They had around a thousand teens bussed in to meet their representatives. Compared to them, our coalition of open records advocates could muster about one hundred.
    Nothing is static in politics, it may be that the anti-adoption discourse becomes the main discourse in the adoption reform movement. That in itself wouldn’t make it less of a fringe movement unless the movement devises better strategies to build support.

  157. Quote: Unfortunately though, the extremists tend to get the most attention while those who merely seek open records and some other moderate reforms get ignored or pushed to the side. BN is (and hopefully will remain) a moderate voice within the adoption reform community.

    Quote: What happened to BJ Lifton highlights the differences between those of us interested in record reform and those who want power and personal attention.

    LOL ! It’s more like those who want power and personal attention won’t be ignored or pushed to the side so it compels them to write an article on a blog.
    Yea right ! it’s about seeking open records and some other moderate reforms,
    if anything, writting the petty article made a good argument for the oppositon.

  158. “Nothing is static in politics”

    I guess, but saving mothers and babies from adoption and restoring families previously shattered is about education and knowledge and real human beings. It’s about implosion, not explosion. It’s about thinking outside the box, not about figuring out how to live inside of it.

    Adoption is a government sanctioned and supported program of social control. A power that controls human beings’ reproduction and offspring has total control and every power group knows this. It’s basic.

    More mothers are awakening everyday, speaking out and truth-telling about how their children were coerced from them at or even before birth by professionals and/or adoptors using the same tactics police interrogators use to elicit false confessions to crimes. And more people are listening because in their hearts, they know babies belong with their families. They know destroying real families does not build families. They know help should be help, not punishment. They know an authentic message when they hear it. And they’ve noticed–I’ve heard people talk–the hyper body language and glazed over eyes of the infertile baby-obsessed and know there is something that is not quite right there…

    Once families learn to just say no to adoption, once they demand help not punishment, the past will rightfully be seen as the past. The adoptionists will have to go find another line of work, another vulnerable group to exploit. (Many countries are chasing them out now, you know, thankfully many countries are now protecting their mothers and babies.) There will be shock at what was done to mothers and babies, there will be efforts to make amends and everybody will be given their own records if they ask. And that will be the end of it. It’s only a “fight” now, it’s only “politics” now, because too many people still validate the present system with their actions. Too many people are looking at it from the inside out instead of the other way around.

    In “Nineteen Eighty-four,” Orwell wrote, “Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen.” And he was right. As long as the people allow that to continue, Big Brother will hang on to all the records, too.

    And records-schmecords, adoptees go find your parents, parents go find your children. Forget about the law and the courts and the attorneys and the adoptionists, make them irrelevant because life is short.

  159. I want to make sure I get this right –
    Marley, BJ Lipton, and BN are fighting a cause is for open adoption records, and in that fight they object to a term (language) in the closed records so they want to use another term.
    Some mothers say the other term offends them and want to be referred to the term in the closed records.
    So the question is, why fight for open records if the contents of the closed records are objectionable?

  160. “Nothing is static in politics”

    “I guess, but saving mothers and babies from adoption and restoring families previously shattered is about education and knowledge and real human beings. It’s about implosion, not explosion. It’s about thinking outside the box, not about figuring out how to live inside of it.”

    “And more people are listening because in their hearts, they know babies belong with their families. They know destroying real families does not build families. They know help should be help, not punishment.”

    And yet approximately 500,000 kids live in foster care in US, separated from their families by the state. And yet the Bush White House and Republican controlled Congress has whittled away Community Block Grants, the federal monies used to fund services ranging from mental health to housing for low income and working families, to the point where localities are fighting over crumbs.

    Without politics there will be no change, regardless of how warm and fuzzy people get when you tell them your story. At this point the state, meaning the apparatuses of power in the US, enjoy an incredibly expanded power of parens patrie, the “right” of the state to separate children from families it deems unfit. It should be axiomatic that when the state holds a power then the only means of wresting that power away is political. The mass culture of America can live within terrible paradoxes, valorizing “families” and “motherhood” while countenancing wholesale destructions of families. You can’t wish it away, it will take political action.

    “Too many people are looking at it from the inside out instead of the other way around.”

    I’m sorry, but as long as you look at this issue only from the perspective of adoption, you’re looking at it through a very small prism. You could wave a magic wand right now, abolish adoption, send adoption professionals and their hangers-on scurrying like cockroaches, but there would still be half a million families split up by a state that feels society has given it the right to do so. Are you fighting for those mothers too, or just “mothers of loss through adoption.” If not, why not?

  161. One of the anon minions wrote:
    I want to make sure I get this right Marley, BJ Lipton, and BN are fighting a cause is for open adoption records, and in that fight they object to a term (language) in the closed records so they want to use another term.

    ((1) The Daily Bastadette is an independent blog with connections to no organization. Anything written in it by me is strictly my own opinion.

    (2) I do not object to any term. This blog is not about language. It is about after the fact censorship and exclusion of persons who do not use whatever politically correct language is mandated for the day. It is about identity construction and autonimous action–not group think.

    Anon continued to write:
    “Some mothers say the other term offends them and want to be referred to the term in the closed records.”

    The term birthmother appears in “closed records”? Please elaborate. What records might those be?

    And continues: “So the question is, why fight for open records if the contents of the closed records are objectionable?”

    See above.

  162. Marley wrote: It is about after the fact censorship and exclusion of persons who do not use whatever politically correct language is mandated for the day.

    And yet the politically correct term of ‘birthmother’ is the officially mandated word within the entire pro adoption community and you abide by it vigourously.

    How dare these mothers give the finger to the adoption construct and refuse to abide by their designated role!!

    How dare they reclaim their original identities!!

    GOD FORBID!!!!! However will adoption work if we don’t all conform to the roles we were officially allotted?

    These bad bad birfmommies who wont play the game are making us think…for a change.

  163. An insomniac anon wrote: “And yet the politically correct term of ‘birthmother’ is the officially mandated word within the entire pro adoption community and you abide by it vigourously”

    This is news to me. I use “natural” quite a bit. Check alt.adoption. But beyond that, here is what I wrote in my blog. Can it be any plainer?

    “This doesn’t mean that language can’t and shouldn’t evolve and reflect contemporary thought. When writing about adoption I like to move around language, using what looks good syntaxically or how I feel at the moment as my criteria.”

    When sorting out mother, I like to use “original mother.”

    Why are you hung up on the bourgeois family? That’s so 19ty century.

  164. >>> It’s more like those who want power and personal attention won’t be ignored or pushed to the side so it compels them to write an article on a blog.
    Yea right ! it’s about seeking open records and some other moderate reforms,
    if anything, writting the petty article made a good argument for the oppositon.

    I 100% AGREE !!!!
    if anything, writting the petty article made a good argument for those opposing open records.

  165. Some mothers say the other term offends them and want to be referred to the term in the closed records.”

    The term birthmother appears in “closed records”? Please elaborate. What records might those be?

    NO Marley. What Anony is saying is that the term MOTHER for the mother who gave birth is what is in the sealed records. The would be *deciders* who are insisting that these women should now use the term birthmother only, and be damned happy with it, are instead insisting that the original terminology should be changed.

    Why fight for open records only to see terminology used that has since been changed? I have my son’s OBC – I am called his MOTHER. I never asked to be called a birthmother – the term was imposed upon me by people I didn’t even know.

    We as mothers are merely asking that we be called what we are called on our child’s OBC. And that’s only what some of us wish to be referred to in a public forum. That forum is a conference that our organizations are sponsoring which addresses the issues of coercion of single mothers to place their child for adoption.

    Repeat after me. Adoptees may call their own mothers anything they choose. Other mothers may call themselves anything they choose including birthmother. I am only saying that I do not wish to be called a birth thing.

    Two of the authors presenting that day have written extensively about exactly this issue – the marginalizing of women who lost their children to adoption. BJ was told after she refused that she could use the term if she chose and that they wouldn’t censor her. And she was given an apology. I believe in view of that, it’s clear that her insistence upon using it anyway just because she always has, is insensitive. Should she be allowed to if she wants? Yes. But her slip is showing by refusing.

    I used to go to Joe’s meetings in Manhattan in the late 80’s and remember BJ stomping out a couple of times because there were too many birthmothers. Her disdain for mothers who do not know our place is widely known.

    Since the writer of the article now knows very well what transpired and even states that she usually uses another term, yet clearly insists this is still only about censorship, she is showing her disdain for the organizations sponsoring the conference. Or more accurately Joe, since she still does not explain her comments implying that the members of Origins are even being snookered by Joe into this word battle? Not very cool.

    Why Marley? Why won’t you be a straight shooter and tell your readers about how you misrepresented the facts? Or that at least you stand corrected now? Are you above editorial integrity?

    And why do you so quickly dismiss the fact that BJ knew about this request well in advance just as all of the presenters, when she agreed to present? Here’s the proposal she willingly submitted.

    http://www.adoptioncrossroads.org/Conference/PresenterProposal.html

    You know Marley, you could right a wrong by being authentic here and telling the truth. Why play games like this? I really thought you had a sense of ethics.

    that Carol chick

    And you know it.

    You folks keep deflecting every direct question posed and spin it into something else.

    • This was 2006 and years have passed but I need to respond. Why won’t Joe post this article or link to this on his Facebook Group. His group on Facebook is A Joke! It’s supposed to be healing. Uh No! Not at all. The group only wants to talk about negative things and if you have a good story about adoption or adopted parents God Forbid…If you don’t agree with certain few in that group and Joe, that “nothing good comes from adoption” or “there is no such thing as good adoptive parents”. Unbelievable! I totally agree that not all adoption stories are not good but don’t take away the “good” from people. Something is seriously wrong with this Joe and Karen and I don’t know what it is but Joe is off the charts with his beliefs and I let him know what a joke he was and his “cult like group” (only some are on his side 100%) the other lovely people in the group just haven’t seen it yet. It’s a matter of time, it will be gone! Not soon enough.

  166. Open records will succeed everywhere someday. Of that, I am certain. But, by golly when it does succeed it will be inspite of some of the “supporters” and not because of them.

    I’ve never understood people like Soll and some of the bloggers here who get hung up on a term or a word. I noticed interestingly enough that some of the people who become violently offended at the term “birthmother” used the term “adopter” almost gleefully.

    The open records movement can proudly claim the support of adoptees, birthparents, and many adoptive parents. The problem is that all of us together are still a small group. It is difficult enough because of our size–even when we are unified–to influence state legislatures. The members are pursued constantly by big money special interests seeking favors. Our constituency has comparatively little to offer them.

    I just “love” people who seek to create divisions in our small group. There is nothing like shooting yourself in the foot something totally irrelevant. Mr. Soll and his organization deserve the “lemon award” for creating a problem when none existed.

  167. Marley, you wrote:

    “Why are you hung up on the bourgeois family? That’s so 19ty century.”

    Wow. Are you a Communist? I’ve noticed ideologies that share your contempt for natural families work better in theory than in practice.

    You are certainly entitled to believe what you believe, and you will never miss what you never had, I suppose. Evidently it works for you. On the other hand, I don’t think for the vast majority of human beings that contempt for “bourgeois” families will do much to give meaning to their lives.

    Actually, adoption itself proves this, because adoption is not some newfangled improvement on nature, nor is it a rejection of the common, it is a deep-rooted perversion of nature driven by power-hungry ideology and individual human desire/wanting for an object that individual cannot have.

  168. Sensible Anonymous said,
    “I just “love” people who seek to create divisions in our small group. There is nothing like shooting yourself in the foot something totally irrelevant. Mr. Soll and his organization deserve the “lemon award” for creating a problem when none existed.”
    I totally agree.

    ‘that Carol chick’ is now presenting what she claims to be “facts”:
    “BJ was told after she refused that she could use the term if she chose and that they wouldn’t censor her. And she was given an apology. I believe in view of that, it’s clear that her insistence upon using it anyway just because she always has, is insensitive. Should she be allowed to if she wants? Yes.”

    Lifton was told she could use the term AFTER the shit hit the fan. Big deal. Pity she wasn’t given that option from the start.
    Talking of facts, the fact is that Soll and co., as Sensible Anon
    has stated, created the problem in the first place.

    Nasty doesn’t even begin to touch it.

  169. Her disdain for mothers who do not know our place is widely known.

    I got really cold vibes from her when I had to stand next to her in a line for several minutes.

    Very offputting to say the least.

    I’m actually glad she won’t be presenting now. I am done living with the attitude her actions betray.

    I personally have had enough.

  170. Kippa…

    “”Lifton was told she could use the term AFTER the shit hit the fan.””

    Kippa.. are you of the belief that the re-invitation to BJ occurred solely because of Marley’s Essay?! O! my dear woman, if this is your belief, how wrong you are. The reinvite was given to BJ BEFORE Marley’s Essay appeared on her blog, not because Marley chose to write something about BJ and the NYC Conference. You do not have all the facts, nor do I. But I know I have a few more than you.

    Anyway, what’s the big deal?? Is BJ Lifton some lesser Goddess of Adoption/Adoptees that is owed homage and adulation by Mothers who are attending this conference? Hey, to each their own, you can Praise, give sacrificial offerings to any Golden Idol you choose to. I personally, do not pay homage on bended knee to any ‘flesh and blood’ person, walking the face of this earth. BJ Lifton is just one of many ‘flesh and blood’ people walking around. 100 years from now, do you think anyone will give a rat’s patootie about any of this and BJ Lifton? I sincerely doubt it.

  171. do you think anyone will give a rat’s patootie about any of this and BJ Lifton?

    Tell ya what, after reading through this and seeing how people behave, I have no need to wait the hundred years. I no longer give a rat’s patootie about BJ Lifton as of today.

    It’s clear to me that the adoption establishment as embodied in Ms. Lifton and others like her don’t give a rat’s patootie about natural mothers — EXCEPT as a source of infants, post adoption services income, and happy little slaves when they need women to testify or sign petitions. I have suspected this for some time, but this episode makes it crystal clear who cares for natural mothers.

    I am honest to God disgusted with the use and abuse. I’ve been fed up with adoption practice for decades, but as of today, I am officially fed up with the adoption reform establishment.

    They don’t know it yet, but because of this episode, today the adoption establishment made an enemy out of me.

    No more making nice.

  172. “Really, how does the events (or non-events)of this conference impact you personally or as a group?”

    You continue to miss the point! The events of the conference don’t affect any of us who aren’t attendees. HOWEVER, when censorship enters the picture it affects us. Hell it affects EVERY person in this country. This is NOT an adoption issue.
    This is an issue of censorship!

    The fact that adoption is involved has got so many of you getting your panties in a wad, that you can’t see the forest for the trees.

    And carol c. BITE ME….

    I wrote: “Actually your subsequent posts are only memorable in your hypocrisy of saying keep the personal attacks out of the forum and then personally attacking the hell out of AW”

    You respond with: “It sure seems to bother you that I’m not being the subservient bee mommy and just backing down when I see people I respect attacked?”

    WTF? I didn’t say SHIT about you being some dame subservient NOTHING. I talked about your hypocrisy! You say to stop the personal attacks, but you continue them. If it is ok for you to do so, why is everyone else to stop. Are you THAT special? I don’t think so.

    Now, enough of her.

    As to the bfather issue. What I don’t understand is how you can be so dismissive of bdad’s and then one breath later bitch and moan about how dismissively you have been treated. Granted a lot of bfathers bailed….just plain cut and run. But not all of them. A great example is my birthfather. He stood by my birthmother throughout the whole thing. He wanted me to be taken in by his family. He held me and showed me real love, according to the Sw, before the final papers were signed.

    Yeah, it could have just been the SW talking out her ass…but you know what? I know it is true, because he has been a parent to me since we met. This summer when I was in ICU for 9 days, and my amom called him, he flew right out and spent hours just sitting with me…even though I was pretty much unconscious. Do you think he did that cause he didn’t give a shit? Maybe just for appearances? I don’t. I have no doubts that my birthdad loves me.

    But you continue to be dismissive and continue to group all bfathers into the same role. Continue to treat others in the exact same way that you hate being treated….it isn’t hypocritical when you do it, right?

  173. Granted a lot of bfathers bailed….just plain cut and run

    MOST of them cut and run. If they hadn’t cut and run, these adoption would never have happened. Let’s keep the facts straight, shall we?

    A man that abandons his pregnant girlfriend abandons two people – the woman and his child.

    These guys deserve anything that comes to them, along with the grandparents, the social workers and any other member of the adoption industry who had a hand in separating mothers from their babies.

    Your father may be an exception. I have no way of knowing.

    But the fact remains that you were adopted and raised by other people, and not by your father.

    That says it all.

  174. kl said:
    And carol c. BITE ME….

    no thank you, lc.

    kl then wrote: “Actually your subsequent posts are only memorable in your hypocrisy of saying keep the personal attacks out of the forum and then personally attacking the hell out of AW”

    what?? who is this AW you keep referring to??? Is there someone named AW here? hmmmm

    msshilly who a couple of us thought might be someone else, insists SHE isn’t AW, even though she doesn’t choose to reveal her true identity. That’s cool, but it sounds a wee bit like she is protesting a bit too much, but who am I to say?

    So if no one named AW is even here, how could I be attacking someone??? Anyway, how is it attacking to ask someone why they keep following mothers around the internet? That’s just a question, not an attack. I thought it reasonable and appropriate, considering that this same person was attacking a group of mothers last year on another site. Want me to copy and post some of her attacks? Nah. not really worth the effort.

    You’re not making sense lc, but then again someone who tells another poster to “bite me”, might need a wee bit of tweaking in the anger management area.

    Lastly, you keep beating this dead horse when we have provided evidence of what really happened. Lifton knew from the beginning and then out and out lied to discredit a colleague. Are you really incapable of admitting you were wrong about something? Sad. (I am NOT attacking, I am saying something is sad, kl)

    I’ve no interest in debating with people who just don’t make sense. It’s become clearer and clearer to all who are reading here what went down. Just don’t count on my vote for any adoptee open records bill that BN is involved in.

  175. Ch said, “Kippa….. are you of the belief that the re-invitation to BJ occurred solely because of Marley’s Essay?”

    Of course not.
    Why would I even think such a thing?
    Read Bastardette’s blog:
    “ADDENDA: As I as finishing this blog, BJ was un-disinvited from the conference. I can speculate why, and I’m sure you can, too. BJ politely turned down the offer.”

    Ch continues, “! O! my dear woman, if this is your belief, how wrong you are. The reinvite was given to BJ BEFORE Marley’s Essay appeared on her blog, not because Marley chose to write something about BJ and the NYC Conference.”

    I KNOW that (see above).

    and continues, ” You do not have all the facts, nor do I. But I know I have a few more than you.”
    Maybe you do, maybe you don’t (don’t be too smug). But the point is, that to say it would be a “kindness” not to use the beastly B word is not the same as making a condition of it.
    The invitation, having been made, should never have been withdrawn in the first place.

    S’okay. I won’t post again.

  176. About fathers. I’m not sure if this was directed to me or not.

    My father didn’t cut and run. He was never told of the pregnancy or my existance. My mother was engaged to a soldier stationed in France and later England for at least 2 years before my conception. She and her family decided that it was none of my father’s business to know about me. In fact, it is unclear if she evene told them who he was. She stopped going to work and when my father tried to find her, he was told she had left town and to not call back several times. Perhaps if he’d been older, he’d have questioned this, but he was 17. She was 23.

    My mother married her fiance 11 months afer I was born. By that time my father was in China with the post-war force. As it turns out, my father actually knew my mother’s husband after the war, but not well. Her husband knew who my father was, but again–none of this was my father’s business to know about me.

    My father learned of my existance through the assistance of his son/my half-brother on the evening of November 4, 2000–the night George W. Bush stole the election. He was on the phone to me within 5 minutes.

    He is very cool and holds no ill will. He thinks me being adopted was great. And he seriously kicks ass at his age He’s been compared to Hunter S. Thompson. He hates the Bushistas.

  177. I’m actually sitting here laughing at all this high school BS………..Come on – we’re all adults & have (I would hope) some level of maturity.
    As a “Birthmother”, I am not at all offended by the term, but I am offended that a word that has been used for years is now all of a sudden politically incorrect.
    It goes back to that whole shame issue – I came out as a Birthmother years ago and have embraced the sense of liberation that came with the honesty – now I have to worry that the label is again so shameful that it can’t be used at a conference?
    Seems to me it just sets the whole movement backwards.
    Regardless of anyone’s personal take on this – I’d like to see a less hateful debate on the subject.

    Sandi

  178. “”MOST of them cut and run. If they hadn’t cut and run, these adoption would never have happened.””

    BTW, why is it there are so relatively few birf-fodders coming ‘out of the closet’ of their own accord? How come they seem to be so ‘absent’ on the internet and in the ‘real’ world, today, much like yesterday? ALL those birf-fodders that supposedly were told by the thousands upon thousands of pg girlfriends of their impending bundles of joy. Could it possibly be that thousands upon thousands of good birf-fodders were lied to by their pg girlfriends or that thousands upon thousands of pg girlfriends NEVER told their boyfriends they were pg in the first place?

    Does anyone here mean to tell me, that they actually believe that thousands upon thousands of birf-fodders had absolutely no idea that their girlfriends were pg, that the boyfriends were NEVER told?

    If you believe that, I have excellent seashore resort property for sale in Death Valley!

    Where are all the Daddies today? I would pay $$$$$ to see them come ‘out of the closet’, en masse. They’re probably afraid they’ll have to pay back child support to the kiddo! Afterall, back in days of yore, they never were made to ‘lawfully’ surrender their ‘parental rights.
    Nor in Days of Yore were the daddies considered of any significance by Society and Adoption Authorities, other than that their sperm had entered the Deviant Unmarried Mother’s body would create a child, that Dear Old Mom would be considered Unfit for and the child would be better off with the Fit stranger married couple.

    Now that brings up another question, how come the boyfriends of the pg girlfriends weren’t written and spoke about, as Deviant Unmarried Fathers?????

    Daddy, daddy, come out wherever you are.. Yes, even I have a MIA Daddy!

  179. What movement? The BM movement?

    That is laugh out loud funny

    The B movement.

    Yep, that is how they view us and that is how they treat us.

  180. “BTW, why is it there are so relatively few birf-fodders coming ‘out of the closet’ of their own accord? “

    Because they are chicken shit, that’s why.

    The pig that knocked me up and then dumped me failed to mention the existence of his eldest to his mother, his sister, both of his wives and his numerous children.

    They all found out 25 years after the fact.

  181. (the one, true and only) lilmtncbn wrote,
    “Oh dear. Looks like someone loves me so much they want to be me. LOL

    I didn’t write the above. Feel free to nuke it, Marls.”

    Hate to disagree with you, lil (you know the regard I have for you), but I say leave it up, Marls.
    They’re REALLY coming out of the woodwork now.

  182. Kippa Herring said…
    Well, I thought that called for a post last post.
    If carol c can do it, so can I

    how petty. sounds to me like carol c is making you pretty uncomfortable and so you persist with your immature and pointless jabs. this is good. you are behaving like petulant, pouty little children.

    bastard nation seems to stand for nothing but creating chaos amongst other groups these days. at one point in time, it looked like you were going to make a difference but now you’ve become buffoon like with your leader who can’t wait to leave amerika. she’s just toying with everyone for her own sick pleasure. pretty damn sick if you ask me. you guys really need to get a life.

  183. OK guys. You can be anon all you want (why don’t you post under your real names anyway) but it is definitely not cool to post under somebody else’s name. Adoption is identity theft, and so is using somebody else’ name.

  184. About the fathers –

    Are you unaware about laws that were enacted in some states that made it a criminal offense for an unmarried women to name the father of her baby? Check it out!

  185. If I remember correctly, BN has taken positions on exactly two adoption issues: 1. Opening adoption records; and 2. Opposing baby dumping laws.

    I can understand that people who have other adoption reform agendas want those agendas enacted into law. However, no one should expect BN to overtly or covertly support other measures. Nor should this surprise anyone. That narrow agenda was picked precisely because significant numbers of people from all parts of the triad support it.

    I’m sorry if some don’t like it. But the last time I looked that’s what BN is here for.

  186. Waaaaaaa ! I wanna say birfmudder and dey, dey, dey, don wan me too! Waaaaaaaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    Ahhhhhh, now now, wha did dose big mean birfmudders doo to youuu? Ah woo poor wittle ting. I’ll fix dem, I’ll wite in my big big blog about what dey did to wooo. I’ll show dem, an den we can go to one of dos adoption stores and by youuu a bwan new effnic toy. How’s dat sound?

    Waaaaaaaaa Nooooooo, I wanna, I wanna say birfmudder! Waaaaaaaaaaa
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  187. “but it is definitely not cool to post under somebody else’s name. “

    Hilarious.

    The punks can punk, but it’s definitely not kewl when they get punk’d themselves.

    Any comments on the fact that the request to avoid the B word was on the presenters’ proposal form for the conference, Marl? BJ would have or should have known about this since Day 1, since it’s
    right there on the form. It’s even double starred in red.

    You owe Joe an apology.

  188. Quote:
    I’m sorry if some don’t like it. But the last time I looked that’s what BN is here for.

    Reply:
    That’s where your wrong. According to Marley BN is NOT “here.”

    Marley Greiner said…
    “The Daily Bastadette is an independent blog with connections to no organization. Anything written in it by me is strictly my own opinion.”

  189. If I remember correctly, BN has taken positions on exactly two adoption issues: 1. Opening adoption records; and

    It still hasn’t been addressed why fight to open records if you can’t handle the terminology in them.

  190. Sandi said:…….I am offended that a word that has been used for years is now all of a sudden politically incorrect.

    The words ‘vermin’ and ‘nigger’ were used to desctibe Jewish people and African Americans for years too. What point are you trying to make?

  191. Anon wrote:

    “Are you unaware about laws that were enacted in some states that made it a criminal offense for an unmarried women to name the father of her baby? Check it out!”

    Yes, and if a mother was unmarried the bc’s in the US always say “unknown” for father. Always. That was part of the punishment. I have personal experience with that.

    That’s another reason simply “opening records” can’t compare to everyone searching and finding for themselves their parents or their child. Records were routinely altered and tampered with by courts and adoptionists to cover their lies and crimes. Their worst nightmare is for families to restore themselves and compare the lies they were told. I have personal experience with that, too.

  192. Ahhhhhh, now now, wha did dose big mean birfmudders doo to youuu? Ah woo poor wittle ting. I’ll fix dem, I’ll wite in my big big blog about what dey did to wooo.

    ROFLMAO!!!!! LOL!
    You got it – that’s what they sound like here. i am not impressed with this crowd.

  193. Marley, your “story” is interesting. When you refer to your adoption, do you mean your mother’s husband adopted you or did you eventually go to another family?

    Adoption “coincidences” are always interesting–people’s paths crossing without them realizing the significance. My son grew up with his half siblings as playmates and neighbors and knowing his real father but never knew until I found him and told him.

  194. Was this the reason the entire sdoption industry, including society in general, so readily embraced the ‘birth mother’ term in preference to the mothers actual title? Think about it.

    http://www.sysdesign.ca/archive/berkes_1984_language.html
    Orwell’s novel carries a well-founded warning about the powers of language. It shows how language can shape people’s sense of reality, how it can be used to conceal truths, and even how it can be used to manipulate history. “Language is one of the key instruments of political dominations, the necessary and insidious means of the ‘totalitarian’ control of reality” (Rai, 122). While language in the traditional sense can expand horizons and improve our understanding of the world, Orwell’s novel demonstrates that language, when used in a maliciously political way, can just as easily become “a plot against human consciousness” (Rahv, 182).

  195. “Are you unaware about laws that were enacted in some states that made it a criminal offense for an unmarried women to name the father of her baby? Check it out!”

    All I know is I have my OBC (I was born a bastard, but not adopted), and clearly has the word in the father column..’Unknown’. Back in the day it was ‘unlawful’ to include the identity of the father on the child’s OBC, born of an unmarried mother. Cuz you know those lusty young wenches were sleeping around all over Creation with every Tom, Dick, and Harry, and not ever knowing who the Dad was out of a Cast of Thousands! Must protect those used and abused males, now mustn’t we, especially in the realm of child support! Nor should no man’s name be sullied just on the word of the Deviant Mother, because back then there was no sure-fire way to prove that he was Daddy.

  196. “the triad”

    Somebody here really thinks adoption’s a “triad?”

    Uh, boy.

    In adoption, there are the designated “masters,” the adoptors, and the designated “slaves,” the real family and the adoptee. Now if you start counting the middlemen, there are many people taking on the master role. But still two slaves…

  197. elemcee said:

    “The punks can punk, but it’s definitely not kewl when they get punk’d themselves.”

    I certainly haven’t “punk’d” anyone.

    Instead of posting anonymously, I’m posting under the same name I’ve had for 7-8 years. I’m more than willing to take responsibility for my own views.

    However, I’m not willing to let an imposter slide.

    Especially because I’m the better writer, and it’s personally insulting. 😉

  198. Silly anonymous person number 52 said:

    Quote:
    I’m sorry if some don’t like it. But the last time I looked that’s what BN is here for.

    Reply:
    That’s where your wrong. According to Marley BN is NOT “here.”

    Marley Greiner said…
    “The Daily Bastadette is an independent blog with connections to no organization. Anything written in it by me is strictly my own opinion.”

    I say: Reading for comprehension isn’t on the top of your skills list, is it?

  199. The “mother” said:

    “In adoption, there are the designated “masters,” the adoptors, and the designated “slaves,” the real family and the adoptee. Now if you start counting the middlemen, there are many people taking on the master role. But still two slaves…”

    Oh dear. They really ARE coming out of the woodwork now.

    Winston, this is one of YOUR crowd. Color ME impressed!

    Who’s got the haldol?

  200. Winston, this is one of YOUR crowd. Color ME impressed!

    Who’s got the haldol?

    excuse me? is this supposed to be some kind of wit you’re demonstrating? seriously, your flippant and sarcastic retorts are totally juvenile.

    you really are behaving like a miserable shrew sniping at all the mothers here. i think you might be more comfortable over at My Space with your sophomoric need to take jabs at anyone with a different opinion.

  201. “you really are behaving like a miserable shrew sniping at all the mothers here. i think you might be more comfortable over at My Space with your sophomoric need to take jabs at anyone with a different opinion.”

    Dear Carol,

    I’m not sniping at “all” the mothers here. Please have the courtesy to refrain from generalizing or making false statements (like your assertation of Marley’s use of “birthwhore” on any forum).

    Put up or shut up already.

    You don’t represent “all” of the mothers commenting on this forum. I’m a mother, and you don’t speak for me.

    As an adoptee and a mother (I certainly haven’t made any comments here trying to “strip” any other mother of her title—please produce them or kiss my ass), I sure as hell resent being called a slave.

    I find the equation to my being a slave an effront to persons who have actually been victimized by slavery in real life.

    If you find that sophmoric, or if you think I don’t have a right to my own opinion about it, I suggest you are sorely in need of a cookie.

    Preferrably one laced with Haldol.

  202. Put up or shut up already.

    ????????

    Put up or shut up?

    You cannot even behave like an adult and have an intellectual debate without insulting someone!

    I rest my case.

    Bye Bye

  203. You’re not making sense lc, but then again someone who tells another poster to “bite me”, might need a wee bit of tweaking in the anger management area.

    Excuse me,…I know it is easy to assume that “bite me” would be something I would most likely say in response to a poster out of anger and frustration…but I haven’t been posting here.

    Just to clarify
    lamecherry
    lc

  204. Lilmtncbn said…
    You don’t represent “all” of the mothers commenting on this forum. I’m a mother, and you don’t speak for me.

    Oh that’s right, your one of those HAPPY BIRTHMOTHER’s who’s PROUD to have gotten rid of the kid! How’s it goin’ with all your pal adopters and baby brokers reveling over your relieving yourself.

  205. “Put up or shut up?

    You cannot even behave like an adult and have an intellectual debate without insulting someone!

    I rest my case.

    Bye Bye”

    So you have no proof to back up your inflamatory claim that Marley regularly calls mothers “birthwhores”.

    Why am I not surprised?

  206. Silly anonymous person number 74 said:

    “Lilmtncbn said…
    You don’t represent “all” of the mothers commenting on this forum. I’m a mother, and you don’t speak for me.

    Oh that’s right, your one of those HAPPY BIRTHMOTHER’s who’s PROUD to have gotten rid of the kid! How’s it goin’ with all your pal adopters and baby brokers reveling over your relieving yourself.”

    Oh dear. Hahahahahaha!!

    Are you so intent on claiming The Title (as if this were a prizefight)that you forget there are other mothers out there who give birth and parent their own children (not casting aspersions on those you havne’t)?

    I’m not a “mother” unless I’m a “birthmother”?

    This is getting nuttier by the minute.

    Maybe I need one of those cookies.

  207. So you have no proof to back up your inflamatory claim that Marley regularly calls mothers “birthwhores”.

    Here it is sunday and yer still going at it with yer spin game kiddos. tho marley keeps reminding everyone that the topic is censorship you keep dragging in these other side issues cause yer case is so weak.

    the moms who have bent over backwards to be patient and articulate with you angry little kids, keep asking you why you keep changing the subject? it has been proven over and over that mrs. lifton knew right from the beginning that she was asked for simply a kindness.

    i’ve never seen such a bunch of flim flam artists in my life. not once will any of you have the balls to admit you jumped to conclusions and overreacted in your attempt to bad mouth someone.

    if you’re going to be such mindless followers of marley, why won’t you put some pressure on her to apologize? her need to spread lies and not even admit the mistake has definately lessened any kind of credibilty she as the self-proclaimed leader of BN may have had at one brief point in time.

    this has been a real eye opener to see so much venom and viciousness.

  208. So you have no proof to back up your inflamatory claim that Marley regularly calls mothers “birthwhores”.

    and since when did having proof stop any of you posting here.

    none of you including greiner, have any proof that the organizers of this conference yer all so insane about, did anything out of line to mrs. lifton. and yet look at your smear campaign.

    you got a lot of nerve folks.

  209. Indeed, if every other speaker at Soll’s conference refrains from using the word “birthmother” it proves he and his organizations silly attempt at censorship has succeeded. Worse, people like Soll always get all the attention when all alot of us are trying to do is get adoption records opened. He and the “fringies” are ammunition for the nutcases in the NCFA when they fight open records legislation.

    People ought to grow up. Language changes all the time. The terms we refer to groups by change all the time (talk to a member of the NAACP if you want a complex history of how such terms have changed)

    If some other term other than “birthmother” becomes the accepted term of reference for women who placed children for adoption at some future date, I’ll be happy to use it. The truth is that “birthmother” is the term in most common usage. BJ and all the others who use this term don’t do it to offend, they do it to communicate.

    Unfortunately, we have a few in the movement who would rather engage in counterproductive fights over nothing and censor those they disagree with rather than deal with substantive issues. Sad, sad, sad.

  210. lmc said…
    So, Marley,

    When are you going to apologize to Joe Soll?

    I’m with you lmc. the lemmings here who seemingly have no creative thought of their own still don’t get it. but i have a hunch marley knows she owes Joe Soll an apology as well as the mothers of OUSA who she out and out stated in her essay, would never be concerned about usage of the word “birthmother” without Joe’s influence.

    Guess Joe has super powers, eh?

    Marley, let’s see who’s the bourgeoisie is now? your idol Marx often commented on their moral hypocrisy and that sure seems to be whats going on here with your lackeys grousing.

    Thought you were the smart one though? You’ve got to know this has become totally banal and irrational.

    that carol chick

  211. “Unfortunately, we have a few in the movement who would rather engage in counterproductive fights over nothing and censor those they disagree with rather than deal with substantive issues. Sad, sad, sad.”

    I think what you actually have are some women who used to be in “the movement” but have come to realize that there are people in “the movement” who robbed them while they were pregnant, who approve of the robbery, and who would happily rob them again given a chance.

    You want a substantive issue? Stripping young women of their children for profit… now there’s a substantive issue.

    There are also others who use these women for the income generated by post adoption services, and/or when they need some woman to testify to lawmakers on their behalf.

    “The movement” always was, and has increasingly become, co-opted by the adoption establishment.

    You also have a rapidly growing number of moms who were never members of “the movement” but who do recognize that their needs are being met, and by whom. Hint: it’s not “the movement.”

    “who would rather engage in counterproductive fights “

    You might want to note that Marley had exactly nothing to do with this disagreement in the first place. This was a disagreement between a few individuals. Marley injected herself into the fray. She has taken a position and publicized it in places like alt.adoption. Marley is also responsible for calling people Nazis and the like. Read her post with a critical eye. The insults tell the real story.

    Not to mention that Marley got her basic facts wrong. The request to avoid the B word was made up front, on the presenters’ proposal. That BJ Lifton was unaware of the request on Day 1 is BJ Lifton’s fault, not conference organizers’ fault.

    So, who is perpetuating this “counterproductive fight?”

  212. Here’s a little poem for “the movement”

    Daddy
    by: Sylvia Plath

    You do not do, you do not do
    Any more, black shoe
    In which I have lived like a foot
    For thirty years, poor and white,
    Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

    Daddy, I have had to kill you.
    You died before I had time–
    Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
    Ghastly statue with one gray toe
    Big as a Frisco seal

    And a head in the freakish Atlantic
    Where it pours bean green over blue
    In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
    I used to pray to recover you.
    Ach, du.

    In the German tongue, in the Polish town
    Scraped flat by the roller
    Of wars, wars, wars.
    But the name of the town is common.
    My Polack friend

    Says there are a dozen or two.
    So I never could tell where you
    Put your foot, your root,
    I never could talk to you.
    The tongue stuck in my jaw.

    It stuck in a barb wire snare.
    Ich, ich, ich, ich,
    I could hardly speak.
    I thought every German was you.
    And the language obscene

    An engine, an engine
    Chuffing me off like a Jew.
    A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
    I began to talk like a Jew.
    I think I may well be a Jew.

    The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
    Are not very pure or true.
    With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
    And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
    I may be a bit of a Jew.

    I have always been scared of you,
    With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
    And your neat mustache
    And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
    Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You–

    Not God but a swastika
    So black no sky could squeak through.
    Every woman adores a Fascist,
    The boot in the face, the brute
    Brute heart of a brute like you.

    You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
    In the picture I have of you,
    A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
    But no less a devil for that, no not
    Any less the black man who

    Bit my pretty red heart in two.
    I was ten when they buried you.
    At twenty I tried to die
    And get back, back, back to you.
    I thought even the bones would do.

    But they pulled me out of the sack,
    And they stuck me together with glue.
    And then I knew what to do.
    I made a model of you,
    A man in black with a Meinkampf look

    And a love of the rack and the screw.
    And I said I do, I do.
    So daddy, I’m finally through.
    The black telephone’s off at the root,
    The voices just can’t worm through.

    If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two–
    The vampire who said he was you
    And drank my blood for a year,
    Seven years, if you want to know.
    Daddy, you can lie back now.

    There’s a stake in your fat black heart
    And the villagers never liked you.
    They are dancing and stamping on you.
    They always knew it was you.
    Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.

  213. kl: Secondly…YOU are the one who keeps referring to some AW person. I have no god-damned idea who that may be, except that it is someone you seem to enjoy attacking.

    Please show us the evidence of where I *attacked* this person, AW?

    Additionally kl, why would you be so obsessed with defending the honor of this person AW when you do not even know who/what I may have been referring to???? I may have been opening my mouth to have my tonsils examined!

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    Look lady. i do not really care whether you change your POV about this. Why not act like a big girl and allow others to have their own POV without attacking?

  214. “”Unfortunately, we have a few in the movement””

    Why do you automatically assume that ‘a few’ are even ‘in the movement’? And could you please define/clarify for me… ‘movement’??!!

  215. lil, etc wrote:

    “Who’s got the haldol?”

    Thanks, lil, for bringing this up. Yes, this is the standard treatment for mothers who get uppity. Many of us were drugged to make us easier to control and manipulate while our babies were being taken and most mothers who try to get help later for their PTSD and unresolvable grief are drugged into silence again–by the same “helping professions” that take the babies in the first place.

  216. “So you have no proof to back up your inflamatory claim that Marley regularly calls mothers “birthwhores”.

    Let me state that I am very unhappy with the pot stirring done by Ms. Greiner on this blog, and that I feel she owes Joe Soll and OUSA an apology.

    But, let me set the record straight on the history of the word , well, I can’t even type it, but it begins with b and ends with whore.

    Marley Greiner did not coin that word. To the best of my knowledge, Marley Greiner never used that word in an inflammatory way.

    The person who coined and persistently used that word was an exceedingly angry young adopted woman by the name of Kimberly Keister who was posting to alt.adoption.

    Kim’s vitriol was sufficient to drive many moms away from alt. adoption and seek other forums. The verbal beatings administered by Kim to women literally just starting to emerge from decades of repression, depression and overwhelming pain just worsened their suffering.

    Eventually Kim became so out of control,rageful and attacking that BN and Kim parted ways.

    Just to set the record straight.

  217. “I’m with you lmc. the lemmings here who seemingly have no creative thought of their own still don’t get it. but i have a hunch marley knows she owes Joe Soll an apology as well as the mothers of OUSA who she out and out stated in her essay, would never be concerned about usage of the word “birthmother” without Joe’s influence. “

    Well, the lemmings at Busted Nation need to add the fine women of the Canadian Council of Natural Mothers to their Master List of People Influenced by Joe, because CCNM rejects the word too.

    I’m not sure CCNM has ever even
    HEARD of Joe Soll, but, obviously,
    somehow, word of the Radical Gospel of Joe has reached them too.

    That Joe, what a powerful guy!

  218. Carol c., a real mother no doubt, attempts to put adoptee, lilmtncbn in her place by doing the lecture circuit and says:

    “you really are behaving like a miserable shrew sniping at all the mothers here. i think you might be more comfortable over at My Space with your sophomoric need to take jabs at anyone with a different opinion.”

    Hey, lunatic.. you don’t ‘wear my moccasins’,..so you definitely need to stop speaking for “ALL” the mothers here.
    So stuff your whacked self-serving blather where the sun don’t shine!

    Kathy
    (proud “birth whore”)

  219. carol c. can speak for me any time. She obviously has class, and is clear and coherrent. Something, you meghan are NOT!

    As seen in your post:

    Hey, lunatic.. you don’t ‘wear my moccasins’,..so you definitely need to stop speaking for “ALL” the mothers here.
    So stuff your whacked self-serving blather where the sun don’t shine!

    Kathy
    (proud “birth whore”)

    5:15 PM

  220. Kathy, in her attempt for rational discourse says to carol “Hey, lunatic.. you don’t ‘wear my moccasins’,..so you definitely need to stop speaking for “ALL” the mothers here.
    So stuff your whacked self-serving blather where the sun don’t shine!

    Kathy
    (proud “birth whore”

    dear “birth whore”,
    (only kindly respecting the term you have chosen for yourself, just as I had hoped people would respect mine)

    I stand corrected. I should have clarified. I did not mean to imply that the shrewish behavior was going out to *all* the mothers here, only those of us who had peeked in to defend our right to call herselves MOTHER.

    My intent was certainly not to put words or terms in another persons mouth as to that they could call THEMSELVES. I am so sorry for the misunderstanding, Kathy.

    Now please try to calm down. This rage really isn’t going to change anything in the greater scheme of things. I will continue to call myself mother no matter what you say and BJ and the rest of you may call your own mothers and yourselves whatever you choose. It’s the kind way to be.

  221. Anonymous said…
    carol c. can speak for me any time. She obviously has class, and is clear and coherrent. Something, you meghan are NOT

    Thank you Anonymous, I appreciate your support. I was obviously confused since the person who signed her post Kathy signed in as meghan! Do you suppose they’re all signing in under different names?

    Gee whiz. Kind of a cranky lot, aren’t they?

  222. carol c.

    one thing for sure is I will never sign my name birth whore. I wonder why a mother would sign that way? Sad,,who feels they are a birth anything, much less a whore…

    You have held your self in a high esteem in your arguements, made your points, and those that don’t like us speaking out,,will just have to live with us speaking out. Just like we have to live with them speaking out..

    the Kathy, Meghan thing who knows..

  223. “”Kathy
    (proud “birth whore”)””

    I see we have Alt.Adoption brand of humor(?) here! Well done Kathy! You can be proud of your birthwhoredom all day long, afterall is only your choice, your right to do and be so!

    I actually have much pity for any woman who would publically demean herself so, as you have just done.

    With all the negative connations, definition, descriptors that come with the word ‘whore’ in our society, the bible, literature, law, most cultures, for longer than any one of us can possibly remember, am curious why you would want to identify yourself as so?
    Is this your understanding then of ‘women’s liberation’??
    Like I said, your right to call yourself anything you like, just curious why you pick ‘birth whore’ to identify with, humorous or not.

  224. Unfortunately for you Meghan (Kathy)p,…I am a birth”whore” by the definition of this new word being made very clear to me….

    is this a test?….only a test?….for the next 60 seconds????

  225. I’m somewhat late in reading about this. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion & to use terms with which they are comfortable. But, surely if we want to achieve full adoption reform we can share a big tent & be inclusive.

    As a birthmother (the term I have used since 1980 & feel totally comfortable with), I cannot comprehend what this futile battle of semantics is supposed to achieve. Instead of real progress, is this new name choice the bone being thrown at us? CUB wisely chose the term of birthmother 30+ years ago to describe a woman who lost her child (or children) to adoption.

    Many adult adoptees resent being called adopted children, but my guess is that no speaker was excluded from a conference for using an unpopular term.

    Ann Fessler, the author of the excellent book “The Girls Who Went Away,” also uses the term mother instead of birthmother. But, a child lost to adoption may have several mothers, e.g. birthmother, foster mother, and adoptive mother. No need to get into a pissing contest about who is the REAL mother.

    I have two children. I am my first child’s birthmother and my second child’s mother. I am NOT my first child’s mother (just ask her if you don’t believe me).

    BJ Lifton has made enormous contributions to the adoption reform movement over several decades. For many of us, her books were the first we read after awakening. Joe Soll has also made valuable contributions. It just seems to me that this kind of brouhaha is one reason why we aren’t moving forward.

    Alison Ward, Birthmother

  226. “CUB wisely chose the term of birthmother 30+ years ago to describe a woman who lost her child (or children) to adoption.”

    CUB didn’t ‘choose’ the term – They ‘agreed’ to using the term. They didn’t ‘create’ it. HUGE difference!
    If you want to proudly proclaim yourself as a birthmother, good for you. If your birthdaughter considers you a birthmother, good for her.

    Just know – those few happy birthmothers who gratifyingly nourish the adoption industry represent injustice for every single mother who’s choice was and is stolen from them.

    As for trying to build CUB up ‘as if’ it accomplished anything great, the multi-billion dollar adoption industry is testment to 30+ years of ‘reform’ work doing nothing but failing mothers and their babies.
    Enough is enough! It’s time to move on over. Mother nature is taking back it’s rightful place.

  227. The Lovely, Lovely Language of Adoption Terminology

    A birfmudder has a birfson or a birfdaughter.
    The birfson or birfdaughter has a birfmudder, a birffudder, a birfsister, a birfbrudder, a birfgrammudder, a birfgramfudder, birfuncles, birfaunts, birffirstcousins, birfsecondcousins, and so on…

    Thus, would also follow with the birfson or birfdaughter having birfneighbors, birfbosses, birffriends, birfministers, birfhairdresses, birflawyers, birfdoctors, birfautomechanics, birfnewpaperboys,

    and let’s not forget about birfdogs, birfcats, birfpets

    who all live in birftowns, with birfstores, birfbanks, birfbakeries, birfchurches, and so on…

    Since we all know a birfson or birfdaughter never existed prior to signing the adoption decree
    we must not forget adopters have “our” or “their” birfmudders too.

  228. Ch says: and let’s not forget about birfdogs, birfcats, birfpets

    Ch.

    LOL!!!!

    Hey, do you know where I might find a nice birfboyfriend?

  229. Kathy or meghan said
    you don’t’wear my moccasins’

    Iccckkk !
    If your feet are anything like your mouth why would anyone want to?

    Got any more persona’s?

  230. Carol C. said…
    Hey, do you know where I might find a nice birfboyfriend?

    Would you like a healhy Caucasian birfboyfriend who’a birfbarber, an
    African-American birfboyfriend who’s a birfdentist or a bi-racial birfboyfriend who’s a birfaccountant?

  231. Marley –
    When are you going to apologize to Joe? maybe you need help writing it.

    Dear Joe,
    I’m sorry for putting my nose where it didn’t belong. I am sorry for __(okay now you can finish it)

  232. “”BJ Lifton has made enormous contributions to the adoption reform movement over several decades. “”

    Allison Ward…Birthmother,

    Could you please specifically list these ‘enormous contributions to the adoption reform movement over several decades? And how these ‘enormous contributions’ have positively/negatively affected the Adoption Industry today. I truly am interested in learning the particulars of.

  233. carol c. spouted:

    “I’m with you lmc. the lemmings here who seemingly have no creative thought of their own still don’t get it. but i have a hunch marley knows she owes Joe Soll an apology as well as the mothers of OUSA who she out and out stated in her essay, would never be concerned about usage of the word “birthmother” without Joe’s influence.

    Guess Joe has super powers, eh?”

    OOOHHH Now let’s see….Joe, who uses his therapist title to state “facts”, is not able to influence people, but Marley, who has just stated opinions, has “lemmings” who are following her mindlessly? Is that right? WTF makes you think Marley has super powers that Joe doesn’t?

    And as for the AW thing…damn, if you think Marley owes an apology, you best be getting on your knees and start groveling. You know damn well you were mean and attacked that person. I didn’t decide to stand up for her in particular. It was you who directed all that by attacking her a few posts after admonishing everyone to quit with the personal attacks. I merely brought up the fact that that was hypocritical. Somehow you turned that into my defending AW and protesting too much…WHATEVER!

    carol c. also spouted:

    “Look lady. i do not really care whether you change your POV about this. Why not act like a big girl and allow others to have their own POV without attacking?”

    Well….let’s see..I don’t recall ever NOT allowing others to have their own POV, hell I encourage it. Now, inflicting that POV on others like you and your ilk have been doing…nope that ain’t right nor good. And why are you so adamantly upset by what you consider, but isn’t necessarily intended as attacking, when you yourself have shown how easy it is for you to attack others?

    Some anonymous idiot posted:

    “Here’s a little poem for “the movement”

    Daddy
    by: Sylvia Plath”

    ummm just what does a poem about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her “Daddy” have to do with ANY of this?

  234. And as for the AW thing…damn, if you think Marley owes an apology, kl in her as usualy hostile style said this to carol c.

    you best be getting on your knees and start groveling. You know damn well you were mean and attacked that person. I didn’t decide to stand up for her in particular. It was you who directed all that by attacking her a few posts after admonishing everyone to quit with the personal attacks.

    kl,

    i went back and read everything carol c. posted and did not see one attack on AW or anyone for that matter. Asking someone a question about why she was following mothers around the internet is not an attack in my book.

    additionally, carol asked you to illustrate an example of an attack she made on this person you do not know – AW? Please share that with us as she asked instead of continuing to attack carol c.

    you and your ilk are the only ones who are attacking and vicious as far as most of us can see. kl, you are one very, very angry person. right out of the gate with post #2 on this thread you were hostile. you seem to be the worst of the worst when it comes to joe haters.

    what’s with that? what has he done to you or AW – whoever that is? you should be ashamed of yourself for behaving the way you have.

  235. Anonymous said, “what’s with that? what has he done to you or AW – whoever that is? you should be ashamed of yourself for behaving the way you have.”

    AW, shucks!
    kl’s like so right about the Plath poem .

  236. anonymous wrote:

    “you and your ilk are the only ones who are attacking and vicious as far as most of us can see. kl, you are one very, very angry person. right out of the gate with post #2 on this thread you were hostile. you seem to be the worst of the worst when it comes to joe haters.

    what’s with that? what has he done to you or AW – whoever that is? you should be ashamed of yourself for behaving the way you have.”

    I am not a very, very angry person. I may come across that way to people who can’t accept that there are people in the world who speak in a different manner than them. If you read most of the stuff I write without predjudice, you would see that I am really just speaking more matter-of-factly, and also a lot of times sarcastically. Granted, at times my “facts” might not be correct, and definitely will not be accepted by everyone.

    I am NOT the worst of Joe haters. Shit, I have met him and spent time with him. I found him to be a great person. Do I agree with everything he says, thinks or does? WELL DUH…obviously not. Does that have to equate with me hating him? Hell, my best friend is part of Joe’s group on MSN. She doesn’t agree with every word that comes out of his mouth. She doesn’t agree with everything that everyone in that group says. We don’t agree about everything each other thinks. If you open your eyes and look around, you will see that not agreeing on every possible thoughts of someone else does not necessarily make them your enemy.

    As for bringing up an example, if you REALLY think that I have the time to go through 264 posts, you must not realize that I have a life other than this. As a matter of fact, my posting twice today in so short of a period of time is an anomaly. And actually made for my running out the door late today. Was it worth it? Yeah, I think it was. Your response may not agree with me, but that is good. I think it is good to debate with others about things. Sometimes I find myself being educated by others who don’t think the same as me.

    I think this whole thread of discussion can be informative to everyone. Yeah, some attacking went on. But that is part of humanity I think. You don’t necessarily have to read the attacking, or you could try to take something from it. Yeah, my back gets up sometimes, but whose doesn’t?

    Sorry for going on and on, but I just HATE when people take me the wrong way. Obviously something that I have to work on as far as communicating what I mean in writing. Unfortunately, I have not yet figured out how to put in the inflections that my voice puts on the same words. Remember when you read something, that it can be meant in many different ways. When you hear something there are major clues in the inflections the speaker uses. But that really gets lost in writing. For that I feel bad, but should I apologize for it? I don’t think so. Again, that is my opinion and I have the right to it.

  237. “what’s with that? what has he done to you or AW – whoever that is? you should be ashamed of yourself for behaving the way you have.”

    The first lesson you need to learn about kl and the alt.adoption crowd is that they have no shame when it comes to the way they punk people.

    Oh, and kl, if you can not see how Plath’s poem applies to any situation of abuse, you’d best be getting back to 9th grade English class.

    Of course, you did write “Does it really matter what word you use? If you use one word, and mean the same thing, what’s the difference? ” so you are obviously not terribly nuanced in the way you read and write.

  238. To Carol C. and all her other alternate personalities known as “Anonymous”:

    Re: the term: birth whore, etc. etc….
    Would and of you know what sarcasm is?

    Carol C……You will never speak for me. Don’t you get that yet?

    You can only speak for your own experiences.

    Is it any wonder why the whiney group, Origins USA is seen as a joke?

    Kathy
    reunited mother

  239. “Oh, and kl, if you can not see how Plath’s poem applies to any situation of abuse, you’d best be getting back to 9th grade English class.”

    So? Fad. Besides, you can make anything apply to anything if you want to badly enough.
    Plath specifically connects the suffering inflicted on her by her father with experienced by Europen Jewry during the holocaust.
    We’ll never know, but I doubt very much if someone with such mastery of precision as Plath would ever claim her poem applied to ANY abusive situation.

    It IS about reclaiming selfhood however, and the quest for freedom from the authoritarian father figure.
    But you didn’t say that.

  240. “”Do I agree with everything he says, thinks or does? WELL DUH…obviously not. Does that have to equate with me hating him? Hell, my best friend is part of Joe’s group on MSN. She doesn’t agree with every word that comes out of his mouth. She doesn’t agree with everything that everyone in that group says. We don’t agree about everything each other thinks. If you open your eyes and look around, you will see that not agreeing on every possible thoughts of someone else does not necessarily make them your enemy. “”

    And if you listened very closely, with an open mind and open heart, you would know that others share much the same outlook, mindset as you do. Do I think everthing Marley writes is totally against what I believe in, absolutely not. There is much I can agree with her on. Am I totally against every member of CUB, absolutely not! Just like you there are ideals that I can agree with and others NO WAY! Like you, we choose what group of people we like to ‘hang out’ with. I think what has been lost here is that the adopted population and the mothers are the only people in Adoptionland that have basically no rights once surrender and then when the Act of Adoption takes place, divided we have no power, together how much power we could have. We are the Powerless ones in Adoptionland. Too bad that so many adult adoptees harbor such general animosity towards families of origin, more specifically natural mothers in general. What a force we would be if adoptees could lay down their anger for awhile and some birthmothers could not be quite so complacent to accept their non-place in Adoptionland, so as to insure their ‘place’ in reunion. Reunion is great, but that is only on the individual level and that needs to be separate from the Big Issue of opening sealed records, not only for adoptees, but for the mothers as well. I hope you do know, KL, we are just as locked out as the adopted population, and we signed no agreements for our records to be sealed. That law was created and enforced, for mothers and adopted people alike and only was ever meant to benefit the people who adopt other people’s children.

    Do you as an adopted person or any adopted person here, see anything wrong in your Amended Birth Certificate? What about you women who identify as birthmothers, what are your opinions on the Amended Birth Certificate?

  241. “”Is it any wonder why the whiney group, Origins USA is seen as a joke?””

    Do you belong to OUSA, do you know any woman personally that belongs to OUSA? You don’t know me. And what is ‘whiney’? Women who aren’t kow-towing to the demands of angry adoptees, are no longer buying into the ridiculous notion of adoption as ‘in the best interest of children’? Women who have decided no one gets to pigeon-hole us into some sub-category of mother/human being?

    I don’t know your ‘birthmother’ story, nor do I really care. But this is one mother who believes that the largest percentage of mothers who lost an infant (not an older child lost to adoption due to abuse and neglect)to adoption was discriminated against because of her non-married status (not hooked legally to a man)and gender.Any woman who proudly goes around claiming in public to be a ‘birthwhore’, whether in humor, sarcasm, whatever, has a lot more problems that just the ‘whiney’ issue.

    If you are mother to other children you are raising or have raised, have you shared with them your proud ‘birthwhore’ status. Bet your kids would be beaming with pride, yes? Would your family, your mother, father, brothers, sisters, grandma, grandpa, be just as proud of your ‘birthwhore’ status you claim? O! BTW if you are in reunion do you also share the grand title of ‘birthwhore’ with your adopted out kid or is that something she/he has called you? Is not impossible, as we all know, many an adoptee in reunion, has been known to blast their mother with every conceivable nasty descriptor.
    Grow up, act and sound like a real woman! A little self-respect and dignity goes a long way in this world, especially for one’s self. Rather than someone who sounds like she has a mattress strapped to her back..Sarcasm is one thing, self-deprecating titles are something all together different.

  242. Mother asked: Marley, your “story” is interesting. When you refer to your adoption, do you mean your mother’s husband adopted you or did you eventually go to another family?

    No, I was placed for adoption at 9 weeks. As far as I can tell, my mother signed the papers about 6 weeks after I was born, and I was placed 3 weeks later Nobody has any idea where I was in-between. In 1970 all adoption records at the agency, some going back to the 19th century, were destroyed clandestinely or at least went missing. Ordinarily, I’d say this was the old fire or flood story, but the probate judge was outraged at the disappearance and ordered an investigation. He was never able to determine who the culprit was, but I’m sure a social worker was behind it. As a result, the probate court is very helpful and will send complete files for extremely small change. My records were already open to start with and I got my court file for $6.00. It cost a $45 deposit to adopt me but about half of that was returned later. I’m sure there were lawyer fees, though.

    My mother refused contact with me for about 16 years because she was afraid of what her own 2 adopted children would think of her. Only a few weeks after she agreed to contact, she had a massive stroke that nearly killed her. She spent the rest of her life in a nursing home. Her faculties weren’t all that great by then, so there is much I don’t know–though I suspect she didn’t know much either.

    She is an oddity in that she enjoyed her stay at the maternity home. She was 4 days short of her 24th birthday when I as born and it was the first time she was out from under her parents thumb. Well, obviously, she’d been out from under at some other point! She said she felt free there. She went to the theatre, film, ballet, the art museum, and other cultural events–though she hated ballet–and could have a life of her own for the first time. How weird is that? And sad.

  243. Per Marley..“Birthmother” may have been used occasionally in the dark past, but it was CUB (Concerned United Birthparents) with much thought, sensitivity, and debate that coined the term in the 1970s.

    All CUB did with the term ‘birthmother’ that was already in existence in little known places, was do much like the adopters do with other people’s children..
    CUB made ‘birthmother’…. ‘as if’ their own.

  244. CL wrote: Too bad that so many adult adoptees harbor such general animosity towards families of origin, more specifically natural mothers in general.”

    In all my years in “reform” I’ve met only 1 adoptee who held serious animosity against her natural mother. And it was quite unreasonable. I’ve known adoptees who may not like original family members, and I know some original families who can’t stand the adoptees they found. But real hatred? Only once. The argument doesn’t exist in real life.

    I have no idea where this idea comes from outside of the poison that adoption breeds, and that can be laid square at the feet of the corporate state. The industry stirs this up with its propaganda that adoptees, original families and adoptive families must not know anything about each other. We are all dangerous. Go to an open records hearing and you’ll hear how adoptees need “protected” from their original mothers; natural mothers need “protected” from adoptees. The latest twist came with the argument in Mass that first mothers need “protected” from adoptive parents who want to destroy their privacy through support of open records. Moms just want to get on with their lives. Leave them alone. We are all dangerous in the eyes of the adoption industry since we seek to undermine its authority over our lives. All of us are transgressives.

    I know you are waiting with baited breath for my replies to your posts and others. You’ll get it. At the moment, though, I am busy writing an open letter and an email to a prominent women’s orgainzation that once more is insulting b/n/f mothers and adoptees. It’s time relevant and that’s my priority right now.

    Who in the world is AW?

  245. To Carol C: I use the term “adopter” a lot. It’s descriptive and a perfectly good word. I was kicked off of adoption.com for using it on Bastardette. Can you believe that? I was adomonished for using the word speficially in Forever Famiily, Forever Dead, my memorial piece on Russian adoptees murdered by their adopters. I was told I’d demeaned or insulted adoptees and adopters or something along those lines. I guess its’ OK to kill kids. You can find the whole thing, I think, in the August 2005 archives. I even wrote an attack on this word silliness, but barely a reponse came from the adoption.com do-bees.

    “Adopter,” in fact, is an industry term that a lot of people find insulting. I don’t But OUSA, etc. uses it, too So why do they use an industry word. I don’t mean this to be a snarky question. I’m just curious.

    And I still don’t care what moms want to call themselves.

  246. “We’ll never know, but I doubt very much if someone with such mastery of precision as Plath would ever claim her poem applied to ANY abusive situation.”

    Maybe you’d want to read this pithy analysis from Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, then.

    http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/m_r/plath/daddy.htm

    “In such famous late poems as “Lady Lazarus” and “Daddy” she
    fantasizes vengeful victories won by female speakers who openly act for themselves.”

    From No Man’s Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century, Volume I, The War of the Words. Copyright © 1998 by Yale University Press.

    “…female speakers who openly act for themselves.”

    I like the sound of that.

  247. marley..

    I used the word animosity, not hatred. I base my perception of adoptee animosity towards nmothers and/or nfamilies, in my own personal experience with my very adult firstborn lost to adoption, adopted people who I have talked with on the phone and many nmothers who have shared in private, and by reading in many places across the internet where adopted people gather and vent/air their negative ‘feelings’about nmothers/nfamilies in general. Not the least to mention some of the ‘feelings’ of adopted people that have been vented here.

    What else would you have me go by?

    “””Adopter,” in fact, is an industry term that a lot of people find insulting. I don’t But OUSA, etc. uses it, too So why do they use an industry word. I don’t mean this to be a snarky question. I’m just curious.””

    But the ‘adopters’ buy their children from the ‘industry, so if they don’t like the term ‘adopter’, why don’t they complain to the very industry that supplies them with their children? I complain to the Adoption Industry, i.e. adoption agencies, baby-brokers, etc. by letter, email and phonecall, about the term ‘birthmother'(that I do not identify with)and other matters. Guess if the ‘adopter’ doesn’t like the term their supplier refers to them as, they need to go directly to the source and make their displeasure known. But I doubt they will, they might be afraid the agency or such, may just pass these ‘disgruntled’ adopters up when passing out the babes.

    I cannot speak for the entire org known as OUSA, as I am not here representing such. I am here adding my old $.02, representing myself, a woman and a mother.

  248. If you are mother to other children you are raising or have raised, have you shared with them your proud ‘birthwhore’ status.>

    Another clueless victim with no eye for sarcasm. You’re just pitiful.
    No wonder your anti-adoption group known as Origin USA is lacking membership, along with credibility.

    I am a mother just like you are, however, you don’t get to tell me how to post,what to call myself, nor will you ever be in any position to censor anyone’s adoption language.

    I don’t care what you desire to be known as…You cannot change anybody but yourself.

    Kathy

  249. looks like cub,,is doing some censoring of its own. now “jon”(dad) is going to read all posts, and if he approves of the post it will be posted..”the big guns” as he called himself is going to take over,,have at it but you have to be around..some of the time.

    of course, jon is never there so it will take forever.

  250. “”I am a mother just like you are, however, you don’t get to tell me how to post,what to call myself, nor will you ever be in any position to censor anyone’s adoption language. “”

    You can post anything your dear little mother heart feels. I never told you how to post, I asked you questions, that is not telling you how to post. I have offered my POV, that is not telling one how to post. And why are you so worried about OUSA, how does the membership numbers of OUSA impact your life as a birthmother? Where have you seen me in the comment section of this blog ‘censor’ anyone’s ‘adoption language’? PLEASE, point it out to me!

    and this…””Another clueless victim with no eye for sarcasm. You’re just pitiful.
    No wonder your anti-adoption group known as Origin USA is lacking membership, along with credibility.””

    This is just spluttering out any old words that come to your mind, because you really don’t have much to say. Again, I will reiterate for you, from my POV, calling ones self a ‘birthwhore’is a bit of a stretch in the ‘sarcasm’ dept. But is OK, if that’s what you want to call yourself, in ‘sarcasm and wit’, hey! knock yourself out!

    Victim??!! Where did you ever get that notion? Because I don’t call myself ‘birthmother’ or ‘birthwhore’??!! Sorry sweetheart, you can go pass that ‘victim’ crap in your own toilet.

  251. “”looks like cub,,is doing some censoring of its own. now “jon”(dad) is going to read all posts, and if he approves of the post it will be posted..”the big guns” as he called himself is going to take over,””

    REALLY??!!! Saints Preserve us.. Do I smell the acrid odor of ‘censorship’ and denial of ‘free speech’?! As has been accused of the MSN group known as Adoptese.

  252. Marley Greiner said…
    To Carol C: I use the term “adopter” a lot. It’s descriptive and a perfectly good word. I was kicked off of adoption.com for using it on Bastardette. Can you believe that? I was adomonished for using the word speficially in Forever Famiily, Forever Dead, my memorial piece on Russian adoptees murdered by their adopters. I was told I’d demeaned or insulted adoptees and adopters or something along tho

    This is exactly what we’ve tried to tell the hostile people who are insulting us for not only wanting to be called mothers or natural or first mothers, but also for using the literally correct term “adopter”. Msshilly and others lambasted us for using that term. Now we will see if they change their tune since Marley says adopter is appropriate.

    Marley, you need to tell these angry people that first mother or natural mother or even just mother as you referred to your own first parents is appropriate.

    In fact to echo the herring person, it’s become a bit creepy reading all of this hatred toward us for wishing to use a term.

    And, I believe it’s already been posted, but here’s even more proof IMHO that BJ was more interested in controlling someone else’s conference than being kind to a very large group of first mothers.

    One would think a person who professes to counsel people hurt by the adoption experience, would be a bit more sensitive. My own psychologist was aghast when I told him about her refusal.

    So for those who continue to insult some of us – please read this again:

    LOST AND FOUND, B.J. Lifton (1979)

    “A game that controls reality must control language. Adoptive parents insist that the woman who gives birth to their child must be called the biological, the genetic, or the birth mother; to refer to her as the natural mother would be to imply that they are unnatural.* [Chapter 4, ‘The Chosen Baby’, fn 1] p. 19

    * [Chapter 4, fn 1] Although I prefer the term natural mother, I am using birth mother in this book in order to avoid an unimportant controversy over what I consider an unimportant issue. Also, birth mother has the advantage of acknowledging that someone did give birth to the Adoptee.”

    It struck me that she considers it an unimportant issue but was told twice that it was an important issue to many of the conference attendees Sounds pretty passive aggressive to me.

  253. looks like cub,,is doing some censoring of its own. now “jon”(dad) is going to read all posts, and if he approves of the post it will be posted..”the big guns” as he called himself is going to take over,””

    Ch, I saw this too!!! Jon Klaren is now making the little hens in his henhouse toe the line. He doesn’t have the balls (IMO) to confront the person who attacks everyone, so he handles the situation like a dictataor.

    Unbelievable. Marley, please write an expose’ about CUB and the censoring that is going on on their online list. Jon is not just asking people to kindly refrain from attacking others with a different POV – he’s totally shutting them down!

    Let’s see if CUB has 1/10th the class of Joe Soll and Adoption Crossroads. It will be interesting if Jon will come to his senses and tell everyone he is wrong to censor their words. Last time he pulled this stunt, the censored people which included Maryanne Cohen, remainded on moderated status for close to two weeks.

    Ummm, I think Joe and Karen notified BJ within 24 hours after their disagreement that they would not censor her words that they had *kindly* asked her to try to refrain from using.

    So here we are. Let’s see how truly ethical you are Marley. Will you lambast Klaren and CUB the way you did Joe? I hope so because I have a few experiences of my own to share.

    This has truly become a tragicomedy with all the power trippers who have to be in charge. No wonder nothing gets done.

  254. “This has truly become a tragicomedy with all the power trippers who have to be in charge.”

    You really have to wonder how many of these control issues are a consequence for people who lost control over their own fates at a critical time in their lives i.e., at the time of adoption.

    Adoption, the gift that keeps on giving — just like a chronic disease.

  255. “Ch, I saw this too!!! Jon Klaren is now making the little hens in his henhouse toe the line. He doesn’t have the balls (IMO) to confront the person who attacks everyone, so he handles the situation like a dictataor.”

    I’m not on this list and have never been on this list. I am not a member of CUB and never will be, as I don’t agree with CUB over terminology. But, based on what I know I’m gonna take a stab at who is the person who attacks everyone.

    Some people have behavior patterns that just stick out like a sore boil and identify them, even over the Internet.

    Is it by any chance Big MAC?

  256. ch pondered:

    Do you as an adopted person or any adopted person here, see anything wrong in your Amended Birth Certificate?

    Do I see anything wrong in my Amended Birth Certificate? Yeah…Do I see anything right in my Amended Birth Certificate? Yeah…

    This is not a black and white issue.

    Some anonymous twit who thinks they have the right to ridicule me, yet won’t use a name spewed:

    kl wrote: “I am not a very, very angry person.”

    OMG! ROFLMAO
    yea, right….not a very, very angry person…….LOL!

    Sweet Mary, that was a direct quote I was responding to. It was not my wording, so what is your problem? Have you ever met me? Do you have a clue about me at all….umm NO…so get over it.

  257. Literary Anonymous wrote,
    ‘Maybe you’d want to read this pithy analysis from Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, then.

    “In such famous late poems as “Lady Lazarus” and “Daddy” she
    fantasizes vengeful victories won by female speakers who openly act for themselves.” ‘

    Yes, the Furies crying out for vengeance for their real and legitimate grievances. For true justice to emerge, these powerful sources of revenge have to be acknowledged and come to be persuaded that there are calmer though still passionate roles for them to play in responding to generations of harm and hurt.
    End of short pompous rant.

    ‘ “…female speakers who openly act for themselves.”
    I like the sound of that.’

    I don’t mind it at all either.

  258. Do I see anything wrong in my Amended Birth Certificate? Yeah…Do I see anything right in my Amended Birth Certificate? Yeah…

    What? is the word paid-in-full mispelled?

    gee

  259. >>>Have you ever met me? Do you have a clue about me at all….umm NO…so get over it.
    All anyone needs to do is read your chronic blabbering… get over yourself

  260. Is it by any chance Big MAC?

    You guessed it! Big MAC – friend of the devil.

    has anyone else noticed that it’s the self proclaimed happy “birthmothers” who behave so angrily all the time? what’s up with that?

  261. Do you have a clue about me at all….umm NO…so get over it.

    The one who needs to get over it is you, kl. You need to get over yourself.

    Sweet Mary.

  262. “has anyone else noticed that it’s the self proclaimed happy “birthmothers” who behave so angrily all the time? what’s up with that? “

    We used to call her the GateKeeper.
    Toe the line or get the stuffing beat out of you.

    Why people tolerate her enforcer role is beyond me. Her experience was radically different (radically, radically, radically different) from many of ours, yet she feels entitled to attack us.

    AS IF.

    That woman does NOT speak for me.

  263. OOOPs! My bad… Well you are correct. Personally I don’t hate anybody. But I sure get the distinct feeling that some adopted people have some ‘hostile’ feelings about nmothers in general. JMO!

    “”Do I see anything right in my Amended Birth Certificate? Yeah…””

    KL.. In all seriousness, could you please elaborate further?

  264. I don’t know much about OUSA. However, the founders of Origins are a joke and wouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone outside the adoption community. They believe all the lines like “adoption is slavery”. They believe every single adoption was the product of coercion and a whole bunch of other crap.

    I see them as a sort of group of “neo-fascists” who would like to control the adoption-reform movement, but want power to throw anyone out of the movement who doesn’t buy into all their farfetched looney ideas.

    I think the open records movement has to be a “broad tent” precisely there are so few of us and so many people in power that don’t know (or don’t care) a whit about our issues. Origins members or anyone else can support open records. But, I hope they never make the mistake of thinking most of us support their extremist views and rhetoric.

  265. “”I don’t know much about OUSA.””

    And it shows! You don’t know every single person that belongs to OUSA and you are making Sweeping conclusions about ‘they’!

  266. “”I don’t know much about OUSA.””

    “”But, I hope they never make the mistake of thinking most of us support their extremist views and rhetoric.””

    Goddesses help me! I hope this ain’t who I think it is.

    Keyword…’Extremist’!

  267. think the open records movement has to be a “broad tent” precisely there are so few of us and so many people in power that don’t know (or don’t care) a whit about our issues. Origins members or anyone else can support open records. But, I hope they never make the mistake of thinking most of us support their extremist views and rhetoric.

    make the mistake of thinking you support them??? Who cares lady what you think? what an arrogant and totally clueless position you smugly take.

    I don’t support your efforts. I don’t “give a whit” any longer about helping anyone but mothers. I will no longer do anything to help with any open records bills for adoptees. You are nothing but a screaming batch of little whiney babies that can’t even agree to disgree.
    grow up. grow up. grow up.

    And by the way, some of the people posting here such as your hostess marley actually admit now they like our extremist views and rhetoric. so where’s that leave you?

    you’re outdated and provincial in your thinking lady. And not to mention your continuous habit of exhibiting a total lack of couth with all the slamming and insults. did your birthmommy reject you or something? stop beating up the mothers of origins – it’s so tacky.

  268. To Anonymous who said…

    “I don’t know much about OUSA.”

    “They believe all the lines like “adoption is slavery”. They believe every single adoption was the product of coercion and a whole bunch of other crap.”

    “But, I hope they never make the mistake of thinking most of us support their extremist views and rhetoric”

    You say you don’t know much about OUSA and then turn around and try telling us what “they” believe. Either your diapers need changing, or you need to stop sounding like the NCFA or anyone else who wants to keep mothers in their place.

    LB

  269. “I will no longer do anything to help with any open records bills for adoptees.”

    You nailed it. Act accordingly.

    I am beyond tired of being these people’s ***wipes.

  270. Anon: “They believe all the lines like “adoption is slavery”.

    Interesting analogy. Slaves were bought, sold, and trafficked. Ditto many adoptees.

    Slaves were freed and permitted to seek out their roots. Will adoptees be permitted to seek theirs out any time soon?

  271. Anon: “They believe all the lines like “adoption is slavery”.

    Whatevah, dude.

    You obviously uncritically
    believe everything you are told.

  272. >>>Interesting analogy. Slaves were bought, sold, and trafficked. Ditto many adoptees.
    And you know many adoptees adopted as infants will never admit they were paid for either.
    They never notice “the performance” of adopters trying to pretend like they can’t remember, or the I can’t recall but I think routine. You don’t forget how much it costs to obtain an infant.

    And why don’t adoptees ask their adopters how much they paid for those amended birth certificates,
    or ask to see the adoption decree.
    It’s amazing to hear an adoptee say their adopter supports them in their search. Sure dear I hope you find your birthmother meanwhile they don’t let on what they really know. And adoptees believe them because we all know adopters never lie.

  273. >>>You obviously uncritically
    believe everything you are told.
    A pot calling the kettle black !
    I’ll repeat this in case you miss this:

    It’s amazing to hear an adoptee say their adopter supports them in their search. Sure dear I hope you find your birthmother meanwhile they don’t let on what they really know. And adoptees believe them because we all know adopters never lie.

  274. ch said…

    OOOPs! My bad… Well you are correct. Personally I don’t hate anybody. But I sure get the distinct feeling that some adopted people have some ‘hostile’ feelings about nmothers in general. JMO!

    “”Do I see anything right in my Amended Birth Certificate? Yeah…””

    KL.. In all seriousness, could you please elaborate further?

    I don’t have hostile feelings about birthmothers. Heck, mine was wonderful!!! She was a great lady, and I only wish I could be half as great as she was. (And I don’t mean to reference anything about my adoption. She was wonderful, period.)

    As to the Amended Birth Certificate, well as I already stated, I think of my adoptive parents as my parents. Should their name be on there, yes. Should the name they gave me be on there, yes. Should it erase all evidence of my life before them, NO. Personally, I would like to see the whole Amended Birth Certificate done in a totally different manner. But that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.

    See, I get the feeling that you all think I am like totally against any woman who gave birth to a child and subsequently had the child end up adopted. (Does that work well to cover all bases?) Anyway, I am NOT against birthmothers at all. I am not against any of them calling themselves natural mother, mother, hell call yourself Grand Poobah of ALL Mothers. I don’t care. It is no skin off my back. And I don’t care how you refer to other “birthmothers”, but when you tell me what language to use, yeah, my back gets up. Especially since I don’t use the term derogatively.

    My main interest in this whole topic (granted I got off course a few times), was and has been the fact of censorship that was imposed by the organizers of this particular function. (Notice, I didn’t even mention him-whom-I-don’t-hate-anyways) The facts are plain, and have nothing to do in my opinion with any particular word. I would be just as upset if they had censored out another word. Hell, if they had censored out the use of the word adoption. That would still have been wrong. There is no way out of that fact.

    Another anonymous said:
    And why don’t adoptees ask their adopters how much they paid for those amended birth certificates,
    or ask to see the adoption decree.
    It’s amazing to hear an adoptee say their adopter supports them in their search. Sure dear I hope you find your birthmother meanwhile they don’t let on what they really know. And adoptees believe them because we all know adopters never lie.

    My parents didn’t pay for my amended birth certificate. I have seen my adoption decree. My adoptive parents DID support me in my search. They let me know ALL they knew. They had a packet of all the information from the time of my adoption, ready and waiting for when I asked about finding. They supported me so much in my search, that they paid for the plane ticket to go meet my birthparents and came along. It was wonderful for all. They accepted my birthparents unequivocably as family. Again, it seems like there are a lot here (notice I didn’t generalize and say all) who adamantly think that the other side is generalizing and how evil and bad and wrong that is, only to go on and do the same thing in reverse.

    Please don’t speak for my reunion or for my adoptive parents actions or thoughts.

  275. Kl said
    Please don’t speak for my reunion or for my adoptive parents actions or thoughts

    I haven’t and why would I although,,,I can speak of my son’s adopter. She didn’t want me there, she keep playing the games of loyalty,,stabbed her in the heart..oh,,poor adopter..hadn’t she had enough time without me around..?

    When I found she tried it all and luckily my son is mature enough to see through that bull shit..he had his own mind, and did what he felt was necessary.

  276. I haven’t and why would I although,,,I can speak of my son’s adopter. She didn’t want me there, she keep playing the games of loyalty,,stabbed her in the heart..oh,,poor adopter..hadn’t she had enough time without me around..?

    When I found she tried it all and luckily my son is mature enough to see through that bull shit..he had his own mind, and did what he felt was necessary.

    Exactly Anonymous. This is the same behavior my son’s adopters exhibit. The a mother especially, keeps him on a short leash when it comes to me. She feels the need to remind him how she was always there enabling (whoops, helping him) She told him he should think of me as a sister.

    I’d say that most, but not all of my adoptee friends feel the need to hide from their parents that they are either searching or have a relationship with their natural moms. They are flip flopped back and forth between being parentified and infantalized.

    Since they never grew up with a biological family, they don’t even recognize that this isn’t a healthy
    family dynamic.

  277. Anonymous asks:

    Do you know what self respect is?>

    Well, I’m not in the habit of posting like an ANONYMOUS victim, if that answers your question.

    Kathy
    reunited mother

  278. Well, I’m not in the habit of posting like an ANONYMOUS victim, if that answers your question.

    No, it doesn’t answer my question.

    Do you know what self respect is?

  279. Anybody here know if old OBCs, like after WWII, were stamped with the word ‘Illegitimate’ on it, to those kids born of course, ‘illegit’and not adopted?

    Please if anyone has the info, can you post it here? Marley? Anyone?

  280. CH says. Anybody here know if old OBCs, like after WWII, were stamped with the word ‘Illegitimate’ on it, to those kids born of course, ‘illegit’and not adopted?

    Please if anyone has the info, can you post it here? Marley? Anyone?

    Chris, in my state in the 60’s there was a question “Legitimate?”
    and space for a yes or no. My son’s has handwritten the word “no”

    Guess he was a fake baby.

  281. “Well, I’m not in the habit of posting like an ANONYMOUS victim, if that answers your question.”

    Kathy – reunited HAPPY BIRTHMOTHER
    I believe you wouldn’t post anonymously. Why waste an
    opportuntity to be noticed as a PROUD HAPPY BIRTHMOTHER
    – you’ve contribruted nothing here but sarcasim. Don’t you have to go do a proud birthmother photo shoot or thank your child’s adopter for taking “it” off your hands.

  282. “My parents didn’t pay for my amended birth certificate.”

    Sorry to correct you here but the amended birth cerificates are paid by adopters. It was submitted with the finalization’s court fees.

  283. Marley,

    when are you going to apologize to Joe? you really tried to burn the guy.

    don’t think this attack on him will be easily forgotten. i had really hoped to see some integrity on your part.

  284. “My parents didn’t pay for my amended birth certificate.”

    If your aparents didn’t pay for the amended birth cert. out of pocket. They did pay via the ‘Service Fees’and/or ‘donations’ (days of yore)made to the adoption agency or was included in the cost of attorney fees.

    Also is very plausible that apars (depending upon the year you were adopted) were allowed to add or subtract (inconvenient)information on the ABC. Place of birth can be the apars residential address at time of adoption finalization or missing name of institution you were born in if mother gave birth in a maternity home, for starters.

    No birth certificate is Free! OBC or ABC. Your apars paid, one way or another.

    Any adopted people here .. When looking at your ABC and seeing the names of amother/apars as the people who supposedly gave actual physical birth to you, does this disturb you at all? Or do you just accept at face-value and is OK? I am interested.

  285. >>>interesting the way adoption is written about here.
    Not really.
    A circle isn’t a square.
    No emotion
    No wish
    No belief
    No perception
    No word
    No time clock
    No law
    No majority vote
    can make a circle be a square.
    A circle can be only a circle, a square can only be a square.

    Likewise, adoption is all about lying and not about truth.
    Adoption is a lie, always changing into something it can never be.
    The Truth

    GRC

  286. ch said…

    “My parents didn’t pay for my amended birth certificate.”

    If your aparents didn’t pay for the amended birth cert. out of pocket. They did pay via the ‘Service Fees’and/or ‘donations’ (days of yore)made to the adoption agency or was included in the cost of attorney fees.

    Also is very plausible that apars (depending upon the year you were adopted) were allowed to add or subtract (inconvenient)information on the ABC. Place of birth can be the apars residential address at time of adoption finalization or missing name of institution you were born in if mother gave birth in a maternity home, for starters.

    Well, I was adopted from the county, not an independent agency. And I am not sure if there was any lawyer fee, I will have to ask my parents about that. I do know for sure, 100% for sure, that the only information changed from my OBC to my ABC was that my adopted name was given and my parents names were in place of my mothers name. My OBC did not list any father. I don’t know the reasoning behind that, because my papi was involved in the whole process, and even got to hold me before I was relinquished.

    Again, not everyone’s case (Hell, from the way you talk about it, it is the ONLY case that goes this way). But I am happy with what I have. Do I regret what could have been? Sure, who doesn’t about something. Am I at peace with it?? Pretty much, yeah. I have coped, and I am beyond the pain and all. I don’t deny it, I just deal with it.

  287. Thanks KL for responding.

    I am no expert in any of this. I’m just like other people trying to find my way, make sense out of the non-sensical and trying to learn as much as possible, yes even with the help of other people.

  288. Anonomous said: “I don’t know much about OUSA. However, the founders of Origins are a joke and wouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone outside the adoption community.

    Careful! You level of intelligence is showing. Those founders of Origins are such a joke the NSW leglisators took on board and enacted every last recommendation Origins NSW made when framing the new Adoption Act 2000 to replace the old 1965 Adoption Act. To try and ensure that the illegal history of adoption practies would never be repeated the legislators listened to the recommendation made by the mothers themselves. The new consent taking provisions now ensure that no consent can be signed before 30 days and while the mother is recovering from the birth, She can never again sign a consent within a hospital setting while she could be subjected to and affected by mind altering medication. It is now mandatory to warn her of the known emotional affects of permanent separation from her child and provide her with all available alternatives to adoption which will enable her to keep her child. All information must be provided in writing to ensure she has time to absorb and understand her options. If she is a minor she must be psychologically assessed to ensure she is able to fully understand the consequences of signing a consent. The allotment officer ie the person acting for the adopters can no longer obtain her consent as was the case in the past and which raised a serious legal conflict of interest – which needs no explanation to anyone with any active grey matter between their ears.

    The Health Department is now funding the Mental Health conferences organised by Origins Au. Our conferences now consist of eminent trauma specialists, psychologists and psychiatrists, some of whom invite themselves to be keynote speakers on the subject of trauma associated with family separation. Not bad for a group who is not being taken seriously don’t you think?

    As for your claim that “They believe every single adoption was the product of coercion and a whole bunch of other crap.”

    Origins has never made that claim. What they have claimed is that all the past adoption practices that mother were subjected to, and which led up to the taking of her consent, were illegal. Big difference. Whatsmore, we proved it through a Parliamentary Inquiry. Can’t get much better than a Government itself admitting publicly that its own routine infant adoption practice carried out within hospitals by member of the medical and nursing staff were illegal. Not a bad effort for a tin pot group who won’t be taken seriously eh??

    Now tell us what you’ve manage to achieve? I’m all ears.

    Di Wellfare
    Founder Origins Au

  289. “Do you as an adopted person or any adopted person here, see anything wrong in your Amended Birth Certificate? What about you women who identify as birthmothers, what are your opinions on the Amended Birth Certificate?”

    Im a Late Discovery Adoptee, I didn’t find out I was adopted until I was 36, right after the death of my adoptive mother. Until that point, I had no idea that the state amended the BC’s of adopted people (I didn’t think much about adoption at all until that point, actually). I was astounded that the state, my state, did this to me. The second revelation was that the state had sealed my records from me.
    This was my first, real, entry point into discovering what it meant to be an adoptee. Birth certificates are an official record of live birth, not a “parenting certificate”. Placing someone else’s name who did not give birth to the particular person whose birth is being recorded should be abolished.

  290. “Origins has never made that claim. What they have claimed is that all the past adoption practices that mother were subjected to, and which led up to the taking of her consent, were illegal. Big difference. Whatsmore, we proved it through a Parliamentary Inquiry. Can’t get much better than a Government itself admitting publicly that its own routine infant adoption practice carried out within hospitals by member of the medical and nursing staff were illegal. Not a bad effort for a tin pot group who won’t be taken seriously eh??”

    Origins AU had a plan of action to institute social change and implemented it. I’ve had some dust-ups with Di on alt.adoption over rhetoric, but nothing I can say can assail her success. This is what I’m talking about when I ask about a plan or strategy.

  291. Good morning, Marley.

    You wrote: “Stop embracing the patriarchy and priviledge and it all goes away.”

    You seem to believe what I believe unless I am misunderstanding. I believe that mothers and their families need to just say “no” to the closed-records, forged records, secrecy, “death penalty,” ownership components of adoption to end the abuse. We all have the absolute right as human beings in a democracy to receive help instead of punishment. Yet adoptors and the government are promoting more and more the idea that all embyros belong to the state, not to their mothers. I, for one, am not going along with that horror.

    I am not ungrateful for BN’s work on open records, but I do not believe it is ultimately possible to ensure human rights for all by working within an inherently abusive system. In adoption, it is the system itself that is outmoded and rotted, not just certain aspects of it. What’s needed is more civil disobedience on the part of mothers and adoptees to dissolve the “patriarchy and privilege” of the past and to keep it from continuing on into the future.

    Ownership of other human beings through legal procedures is the core component of adoption and ownership of human beings is simply unacceptable. Both mothers and babies could be helped more humanely and effectively if the ownership component were ended and no sane person can argue against that.

  292. “…outside the adoption community.”

    If by adoption community you refer to the reactively formed collection of dreadful book-writing, cheesy jewelry-peddling, bogus therapy-pushing, bourgeois morality-conforming, woman exploiting, abuse -justifying, remorseless, conscienceless, nauseatingly hypocritical, reflexic and unreflecting, baby- brokering and buying aplogists and enablers, those who would triumphally own others’ very souls….

    WHO CARES?

    The adoption community can shove itself up its stenotic asshole.

    The adoption community is a fifty cent whore.

    The adoption community is a sham.

    The adoption community is about money.

    The adoption community is about power.

    The adoption community is a sop thrown loudly and publically to women dying of the very poisons administered by the the adoption community itself.

    The adoption community is a pretend bandage on the surgical wound its own practicioners leave on the bodies and souls of the women whose life blood is the sustenance of the adoption community. The adoption community would and does gladly enter that operating theater again.

    The adoption comunity is a prop and tool of adoption industry. The adoption community is a shill for adoption itself.

    The adoption community to which YOU refer is a group of narcissistically wounded individuals pathetically,
    chronically, mud wrestling one another to maintain their own positions within their own rotted system.

    The adoption community is drowning in its own need.

    The adoption community is a necrophiliac, enthusiastically fucking the rotted remains of a social cancer. Can you even imagine the smell?

    The adoption community is Miss Haversham’s weddding cake.

    The adoption community is a neutered, coiffed poodle.

    The adoption community is an aged rock star with an endstage case of arthritis.

    To the adoption community I say: “No,thanks. Just had some.”

    Don’t you have more pressing things to do than give blow jobs to the tottering toothless joke called the adoption community , Marley?

    No?

  293. Anon, I like your way with words:

    “If by adoption community you refer to the reactively formed collection of dreadful book-writing, cheesy jewelry-peddling, bogus therapy-pushing, bourgeois morality-conforming, woman exploiting, abuse -justifying, remorseless, conscienceless, nauseatingly hypocritical, reflexic and unreflecting, baby- brokering and buying aplogists and enablers, those who would triumphally own others’ very souls….

    Actually, everything you wrote was right on. And the mothers and adoptees who claim to be part of the “Adoption Community” would be pathetic if they weren’t perpetuating the abuse–often for money, BTW. I guess some slaves on the plantation were able to find pride and profit in being slaves, also.

    The kinds of weirdness you list, Anon, are inherent in adoption because where there is secrecy, shaming, exploitation and inequality, the fringe fills the vacuum that would be filled by genuine experts in valid social practices.

  294. the mother wrote:
    “Anon, I like your way with words:”

    Thanks, mom!! 😀

    You wrote:
    ” guess some slaves on the plantation were able to find pride and profit in being slaves, also.”

    http://intranet.dalton.org/hs/History/student_projects/slavery/essays/og.html

    American Slavery and the Social Construction of Bondage
    By Olivia Greer
    October 21, 1997

    “Hegel argues that, not only is the slave dependent on the master for identity, but both parties are, in fact, dependent on each other. “The master is the consciousness that exists for itself”. However, the master’s capacity to “exist for himself” depends entirely on his submission of the bondsman. “It is not an independent, but a dependent consciousness that [the master] has achieved”, for he can only be certain of his identity when he is certain of his slave’s identity.”

    Gosh.

    Let’s read that again.

    “…he can only be certain of his identity when he is certain of his slave’s identity.”

    Think this has anything to do with what’s going on in the “adoption community”?

    As we reclaim our motherhoods, we also proclaim our independence from the “adoption community.”
    We declare our own identities, not the identity of slave.

    If the massa loses his slave…he loses his identity.

    No WONDER massa is so upset.

    As for the slaves…the relationship between massa and slave was the relationship between father and child.

    Is it possible that some of the slaves are such emotional or psychological children that they can not even imagine freeing themselves from their daddy?

  295. I agree with everything you say regarding the “adoption community.” I’ve never pretended to like adoption, whether you think I have or not. Adoption as it is practiced in the US is a garbage pit of sentimental bourgie familyism-that both bios and adopters worship. A pox on them all.

  296. marley said:

    And it won’t be forgotten? Should I consider this a threat? Do you realy think anybody of importance cares about what you or I or anybody else in AdoptionLand says?

    i don’t believe anything was meant as a threat. sounds like it was more of an observation of how much credibility you’ve lost over this debacle. you reported on a situation incorrectly and even after several requests from readers curious to see if you had the sense of ethics and cajones to admit that you had misrepresented – you refused to correct yourself. then to buy time, you posted that you were writing another commentary and of course didn’t have the balls to do that either. my oh my – marley seems to be a bit of an empty suit.

    so it appears that you are not the brave leader you profess to be while you swagger about. just another tough talking head.

    believe me, no one thinks this matters in the least to you marley, but you and your blog made for some great laughs in NYC this past week.

    thanks for all the free promotion – the turnout was even better than expected and presenters, speakers and attendees finally experienced a first quality family-preservation conference.

    and bjlifton was not missed in the least.

    dollars to donuts, all you and your buddies here did was scrunch up your bitter mouths and grouse.

  297. “and bjlifton was not missed in the least.”

    I sure as hell didn’t miss her.

    Edward Albee, otoh, was magnificent. I was knocked speechless when he said without a trace of passion or rancor “I was bought.”

    The man was simply – and I think, he would say, objectively – stating a fact regarding the circumstances of his life.

  298. “I agree with everything you say regarding the “adoption community.”

    Then why did you write an article regarding one of the rock stars of the “adoption community” in such highly colored, favorable, language?

  299. “don’t believe anything was meant as a threat. sounds like it was more of an observation of how much credibility you’ve lost over this debacle. you reported on a situation incorrectly and even after several requests from readers curious to see if you had the sense of ethics and cajones to admit that you had misrepresented – you refused to correct yourself. then to buy time, you posted that you were writing another commentary and of course didn’t have the balls to do that either. my oh my – marley seems to be a bit of an empty suit.”

    I was not aware I was working for you and chained to your publication schedule. When I’m finished, there will be reply blog posted. And nto before.

    You may note, for what it is worth, I wrote a long blog while you were gone, about NOW’s treatment of moms.

    I haven’t lost any credibility at all. It’s too bad that the majority of posters here don’t have the nerve to post under their real names or readily recognizble internet names. That might give them some credibility. (Funny because I can tell who many of you are when I check my site meter. What are you afraid of? Or is that what the Culture of Shame does to women? Make them afraid to use their own names.

  300. “Hegel argues that, not only is the slave dependent on the master for identity, but both parties are, in fact, dependent on each other. “The master is the consciousness that exists for itself”. However, the master’s capacity to “exist for himself” depends entirely on his submission of the bondsman. “It is not an independent, but a dependent consciousness that [the master] has achieved”, for he can only be certain of his identity when he is certain of his slave’s identity.”

    Gosh.”

    The problem folks who push for an analogy between slavery and adoption have is state pretty succinctly by Hegel. The same dialectical discourse of identity he uses to describe master and bondsman could be extended to adoptive parent and adoptee, but it could, by the same token, be extended to biological parent and child as well. Some social critics have looked pretty closely at the parent/child relationship with its one-way flow of power and noticed how close to slaves all children are. In terms of lack of volitional power and autonomous identity, that’s not far off.

  301. “Here’s a little poem for “the movement”

    Daddy
    by: Sylvia Plath”

    And here’s a little poem for Family Preservation, of the same vintage, more or less, as Plath’s:

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.

    Phillip Larkin

  302. One Mother said: “but I do not believe it is ultimately possible to ensure human rights for all by working within an inherently abusive system. In adoption, it is the system itself that is outmoded and rotted, not just certain aspects of it. What’s needed is more civil disobedience on the part of mothers and adoptees to dissolve the “patriarchy and privilege” of the past and to keep it from continuing on into the future.”

    AMEN to that One Mother. Yours is the first bit of logic I’ve heard on this topic. Au didn’t get where it is by debating the issue between those within the “adoption community.” We attacked the corrupt adoption sytem from a legal standpoint and a mental health perspective and it fell apart at the seams.

    We didn’t debate with our perpetrators. We did use their historical documentation to hang them with tho’. OUSA is in the vanguard of doing likewise in the US. IMO, their “civil disobedience” (good take) is a breath of fresh US air.

    While those who are lobbying for their civil right to obtain their records, are simultaneously promoting the virtues of adoption, they will remain on the back foot. Afterall, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? So for God’s sake let those who benefitted by adoption and those who did not lose their civil rights in the process espouse its virtues. How
    anyone can still promote or adhere to a system that denied them their human rights, and still does, is beyond my comprehension.

    Di

  303. “OUSA is in the vanguard of doing likewise in the US. IMO, their “civil disobedience” (good take) is a breath of fresh US air.”

    What civil disobediance? Did they chain themselves to the gates at the Gladney Home while I was watching Law and Order reruns? Did I miss something? I don’t recall seeing any news coverage of OUSA protests or actions of civil disobediance. Or are we talking about a “Civil Disobediance of the Mind”, where “civil disobediance” means posturing and creating websites and online petitions?

    The whole machinery of state power in the US supports the expanded government right of parens patriae which fuels the fosterage system and the adoptions system. I can’t get any of the venerable mothers posting to this forum to even acknowledge the obscene US foster care system. What’s that about? Aren’t the mothers who’ve been separated involuntarily from the children grieving too, and for the same reasons? Without attacking the fundamental principle that drives adoption, the “right” of the state to determine who is a parent (which is overwhelmingly supported by the general public, as long as it doesn’t happen to them), I don’t see any significant threat to the US adoption system.

  304. Marley said: “According to them, the B Word is so magical, that if it didn’t exist neither would adoption.”

    I doubt anyone has gone quite that far. However, what the term “birth mother” does is to dehumanise the pregnant woman for the purpose of inviting oneself to feel entitled to her child. it allows people to cross boundaries that normally would never be crossed.

    Those wretched, but socially acceptable ‘Dear Birthmother’ letters, aimed at pregnant women, are a case in point.

    Can you imagine the following plea for another womans baby being so acceptable?

    Dear Mrs. Mother-to-be,

    I noticed your pregnant state while following you around at my last visit to the mall, and was wondering if I can have your soon to be born baby since you already have a toddler in tow? Before you decide, I think you should know that it would be selfish of you to deprive me of a child when you already have one and besides I specifically want yours as you look so much like me. Furthermore, as I drive a later model car than you do, I believe that makes me much better parent material than you could ever hope to be and proves that I could love the child more.

    Please talk this over with your husband and if he is in agreement I would be only too happy to take his second born child off his hands.

    Yours sincerely
    Mrs Predator

    Think that’d be as effective?

    .

  305. bb church, you wrote:

    “Some social critics have looked pretty closely at the parent/child relationship with its one-way flow of power and noticed how close to slaves all children are.”

    Oh, dear, the kind of relationship you are imagining here went out with the ’60’s. As a parent in moderntimes, I can assure you that nowadays families are more about love and blood than grim patriarchal power-over.

    Socialist, government-made unrelated units–adoptions–are a different story entirely no matter how much adoptors and adoption profiteers want to wish that fact away. Pseudo “families” created by laws and paper and temporary cultural fads cannot ever be the same as real families.

  306. You may note, for what it is Marley said: worth, I wrote a long blog while you were gone, about NOW’s treatment of moms.

    Well good for you but that doesn’t particularly impress me. I’ve been writing to NOW for years about their refusal to recognize that the coersion of single mothers to surrender their babies to adoption is a woman’s abuse issue. Nice to see you taking some action on behalf of moms.

    marley said: I haven’t lost any credibility at all.

    what??? I beg to differ with you. Your petty misinformed commentary regarding the Shedding Light conference was considered a faux pas and and presumedly an error in judgement on your part to even write such drivel without all the facts.

    The coup de grace was when you glossed over it and didn’t inform your lemmings that you had made a mistake.

    marley adds: It’s too bad that the majority of posters here don’t have the nerve to post under their real names or readily recognizble internet names. That might give them some credibility.

    bullshit! most of your angry followers use alias and post under several names. additionally, they’re rude and take to name calling when they don’t know what else to say.

    furthermore, the very nature of blogs encourages anyonymous posting so don’t be critical just because you don’t recognize someone.

    you can be as flippant and irreverant as you want but i still believe your action were unconscionable.

  307. “I’ve been writing to NOW for years about their refusal to recognize that the coersion of single mothers to surrender their babies to adoption is a woman’s abuse issue. Nice to see you taking some action on behalf of moms.”

    NOW needs to change its name. It’s not a national organization for women. It’s a national organization for abortion rights.

    Women’s issues extend well beyond access to legal and safe abortion, although I do grant that abortion rights are important.

    It’s just that the moniker NOW is overly broad.

  308. I agree, One of the Butt Sisters, but NOW also goes overboard on girrly girl mommie stuff now. The problem as usual with NOW is privilege While NOW talks about representing all women (which no orgainzation can possibly do),on a national level they really represent class priviledge and “worthy” women. Local chapters are another story, but from my experience, they get shunted aside often by national ‘priorities” and a very strange sort of bureaucracy. Local organizations are pretty much on their own in fund raising and getting support for programs.

    My point in my blog, though, is that NOW’s honoring of a baby harvester needs to be exposed, as well as its history on “unworthy” women.

    BTW, NOW is hardly the worse criminal. Pseudo “feminist” organizaiton, Planned Parenthood and NARAL are much worse for adoptte and b/n/f/parents rights. When Maryland NARAL was contacted about opposing the state’s dump bill, their flack replied that since baby dumps didn’t affect many women, it was no problem. And you’re probably an anti-abort plant anyway.

  309. “Oh, dear, the kind of relationship you are imagining here went out with the ’60’s. As a parent in moderntimes, I can assure you that nowadays families are more about love and blood than grim patriarchal power-over.”

    I’m a parent at the moment too so you can assure all you please. Family is a major site of contention; what is it and who is in it. Conversely and significantly, who does not compose a family. All of it is in play at the moment. Love and Blood… and DNA. Acting as regulator over all of this, the state.

    “Socialist, government-made unrelated units–adoptions–are a different story entirely no matter how much adoptors and adoption profiteers want to wish that fact away.” Pseudo “families” created by laws and paper and temporary cultural fads cannot ever be the same as real families.”

    What we assume be “real” families is determined by culture, faddish or not. There are all sorts of combinations of people, blood kin an not, self-defining as “families” today. Are these families unreal under your terms? Are step-families half-real? Is an extended family of Laotians all living in the same house in Bell Gardens more “real” than the normative mom and dad and 2.1 kids in Norwalk who live a thousand miles away from any other of their blood kin? Are all non-blood based families “unreal” or is it just the ones created by adoption? Do you want to take on everyone who lives in a non-traditional (traditional being based on close blood kinship and heterosexuality) self-defined family?

    The regulating state hovers over all of this, and makes a lot of judgements, possibly thousands, about what is and who constitutes a family everyday. It can decide that a lesbian biological mother may have her parental rights involuntarily revoked while another one of its nodes in another jurisdiction awards parenthood to a lesbian couple. This power is fluid, but what is not considered negotiable is the right of the government to possess this power. If anything, the struggles to define “family” increasingly put the state center-stage as arbiter, which confirms and restates the state’s power. It’s not necessarily socialism, the centralization of power over the family is common to fascism too.

  310. More on this:

    “Oh, dear, the kind of relationship you are imagining here went out with the ’60’s.”

    The primacy of the parent(s) has diminished as the locus of interfamily power, in large part because of the acceptance by society and the state of psychological theories of childhood development, personal autonomy, and others. However, the primacy of the parent(s) was replaced, not by some utopian family egalitarianism based on blood-ties, but by the thing I keep bringing up, the expanded “right” of parens partriae. In the past the principle that the state had the right to intervene in the rearing of your children, even in the most extreme cases of violent abuse, was tentative and provisional. Today the state may intervene pretty much as it likes. All parents in the US parent at the pleasure of the state, which may decide to look over their shoulders and decide that they are not parents after all, if they homeschool, or don’t follow state-approved dietary guidelines. The state empowers adoption entrepeneurs to comb for product but reserves to itself the right to decide which of these entrepeneur’s clients may become through legal declaration a parent.

    “As a parent in moderntimes, I can assure you that nowadays families are more about love and blood than grim patriarchal power-over.”

    “Love and Blood” brings us our version of “Brave New World”, technologically assisted biological parenthood cobbled together from different DNA sources. Blood is out, DNA is in. “Snowflake” adoption brings us full circle, adoption without the wrenching wound of relinquishment. Is the “author” of an “adopted” embryo a mother? She didn’t carry the embryo, she wasn’t present when it was conceived (or maybe she was, watching a monitor in an office adjacent to the laboratory where the conception occured. Her version of Sophie’s Choice is between allowing her potential child to remain a frozen embryo in peretuity, allowing it be discarded and destroyed or allowing it to be raised by crazy Christers. I don’t see where your somewhat anachronistic theories about family and motherhood would inform her deliberations.

  311. Sure am glad that mother in Missouri got her baby back from the snatcher. Notice the profile for the people who slash and snatch is very similar to the profile for adoptors, but the slash and snatchers are just more inpatient, less tricky, and have fewer monetary resources.

    Hey, BTW, where did Male Adoptor, Mr. J., go? He was all ready to enjoy a good mother bashing party. What happened to him?

  312. “The Mother said…
    Sure am glad that mother in Missouri got her baby back from the snatcher. Notice the profile for the people who slash and snatch is very similar to the profile for adoptors, but the slash and snatchers are just more inpatient, less tricky, and have fewer monetary resources.”

    How so? Please elucidate!

    “Hey, BTW, where did Male Adoptor, Mr. J., go? He was all ready to enjoy a good mother bashing party. What happened to him?”

    I don’t know if he was up to enjoying a “good mother bashing party” except in your own mind.

    From what I know of him, he has standards. And draws the line at poking a stick at the crazy persons.

    Hint hint.

  313. BB Church said…
    “The state empowers adoption entrepeneurs to comb for product but reserves to itself the right to decide which of these entrepeneur’s clients may become through legal declaration a parent.”

    Take a read of Margaret Sangers “American Baby Code”

  314. Are these families unreal under your terms?

    So-called “families” built by adoption are the “only ones” built
    by exchanging money for human flesh.

  315. “Are these families unreal under your terms?

    So-called “families” built by adoption are the “only ones” built
    by exchanging money for human flesh.”

    Nonsense. You can mail-order a spouse from Thailand or a former republic of the Soviet Union, you can purchase Grade AAA ovum from toney Vassar coeds or the surplus sperm from a med school undergrad from Berkeley. You can, if you’re an immigrant hankering for a green card, arrange a marriage of convenience to a US citizen for fee.

    At any rate, you don’t buy a baby outright when you adopt, you purchase the claim to parental rights. Unless you’re willing to grant that all parental rights equal ownership, in other words that all parents “own” their children as property, then you can’t argue that adoption fees creates chattel slavery. A first parent can’t give what they don’t have, if they don’t “own” their child as property the child doesn’t magically become property simply because its legally relinquished. And to whom do you legally relinquish? Not acquisitive adopters, not social workers, not facilitators. When you relinquish you relinquish to the state. The state in turn confers parenthood at the finalization hearing. All this talk about greedy grasping adopters (with imagery culled, it seems, from a Czarist pamphlet on the Protocols of Zion) is totally irrelevant. Ban fees from adoption tomorrow (not a bad idea) and the state would still retain the right to coerce you to relinquish, and still retain the right to confer the status of parenthood on whomever it pleases.

  316. Slash and snatchers often have miscarried–unable to carry a baby to term–or are unable to have a baby at all.

    Slash and snatchers who are in a relationship often fear they will lose their significant other if they cannot provide a baby for that person.

    Slash and snatchers commonly want a baby to solidify or improve their relationship with their significant other and also to make the unit appear more socially acceptable.

    Slash and snatchers want the prestige and validation that they perceive to go along with parenting.

    Slash and snatchers become obsessed and consumed with the notion they need a baby–they want those babies soooo baaaaad.

  317. At any rate, you don’t buy a baby outright when you adopt,

    The industry doesn’t call it “placement fees” for nothing.
    Maybe you haven’t noticed this fee is due “at the time” the baby is “placed” with the intended adopters. It’s a no checks accepted – only cash or cashier’s check for the exchange.

  318. At any rate, you don’t buy a baby outright when you adopt, you purchase the claim to parental rights.

    Nonsense! The fee is based on the adopters order form of “what” they are purchasing.

  319. BB said: At any rate, you don’t buy a baby outright when you adopt, you purchase the claim to parental rights.

    Of course you do. You get a baby you didn’t have in exchange for signing the cheque.

    Whether you parent that child after purchase or bury it in a pot plant is an entirely other matter.

  320. The fact a human being is being sold (by well-paid professionals rigorously trained in the tactics of getting babies away from their mothers) and bought could not be more clear.

    Consider that a means test is what turns mothers into targets for the adoptionists in the first place.

    If a newly pregnant woman meets the criteria the people she comes in contact with think will make her dangerous to the predators(Number One Criteria: Money), she and her baby are left alone to live their lives as Nature intended. On the other hand, if she displays any weakness regarding her income, she and her baby-to-be are ruthlessly targetted as more meat for the adoption grinder.

    Note that discussions about adoption always become discussions about money, not about the right of mothers and babies to be together. This would certainly seem to be further proof that babies are bought.

    Even if no money changed hands (and believe me, mucho money changes hands in adoptions) the babies would still be purchases because a bigger bank account either defeats the smaller bank account, or the smaller bank account is denigrated for keeping the bigger bank account from buying its child.

    And I guess people must like this, or it would end. But anybody supporting this notion doesn’t have a leg to stand on if they are trying to say babies aren’t bought and sold. You cannot have it both ways.

  321. “Mr. J., Male adopter’s” proclamation in the first post here that real parents be called “the male and female genitors” proves that he knows babies are purchases and labels real parents accordingly.

  322. “At any rate, you don’t buy a baby outright when you adopt,

    “The industry doesn’t call it “placement fees” for nothing.
    Maybe you haven’t noticed this fee is due “at the time” the baby is “placed” with the intended adopters. It’s a no checks accepted – only cash or cashier’s check for the exchange.”

    That’s procurement fee, similar to what you pay a pimp to procure a prostitute or a matchmaker to find a spouse. There is no transfer of “title” or “deed”. As amatter of fact, unless you’re preapproved by processes regulated by the state, you can’t legally get custody.

    “Of course you do. You get a baby you didn’t have in exchange for signing the cheque.”

    You don’t get to keep it unless the state says so. I’m not sure why you guys are so determined to let the state, which created and maintains adoption, off the hook. You’re not going to change adoption until you change the laws, and you’re going to have a difficult time changing the law if you don’t have any theories on how the state fits into all of this. The dynamic I’ve seen described here; avaricious adopters combined with unscrupulous agencies to victimize you. Again, where is the state in this equation. On the OriginsUSA website the state is mentioned as possible savior; an inquiry similar to Australia’s is recommended. Who will chair this inquiry? One of the Bush clan, mobbed up with Gladney for decades? John McCain, who ran into a bit of trouble about the legality of his procurement of a child in India? Hillary Clinton, whose husband put into law the wholesale incentivization for adoption from foster care? Kay Baily Hutchinson, who got a baby at the age of 58? I understand the strategy of not creating a common discourse with those you consider the enemy, as Di noted in an earlier post, but since the state controls and regulates your oppression, and since the state is permeated with folks steeped in the pervasive adoptin mythology, I don’t see how you plan to get relief.

    You can demonize adoption professionals all you like, they deserve it of for no other reason than their self-proclaimed sanctimonious rectitude; you can demonize adopters, why not, they demonize you. But where is the state in all of this? Without sanction of the state adoption professionals could be considered panderers and kidnappers.

    “Whether you parent that child after purchase or bury it in a pot plant is an entirely other matter.”

    Like any other parent in the US, adoptive parents are subject to the regulation of the state, if the state decides they’re “unfit” it will place their children in foster care guardianship with the equinimity it shows biological parents.

  323. “If a newly pregnant woman meets the criteria the people she comes in contact with think will make her dangerous to the predators(Number One Criteria: Money), she and her baby are left alone to live their lives as Nature intended. On the other hand, if she displays any weakness regarding her income, she and her baby-to-be are ruthlessly targetted as more meat for the adoption grinder.”

    More precisely if a woman is poor and lacks the resources to fight the state, she is vulnerable to having her child taken by adoptionists and if she fends them off she remains vulnerable to the phalanx of social workers, cops and other officials who can take her child. The idea that a woman of color can’t create a HWI thus making her invulnerable to the state’s “right” to take her child is insulting to every woman whose child was confiscated by the state and dumped, not into an adoptive home, but into a group foster home. Is this “Natural”? The law doesn’t recognize the “natural” right of any parent, if you doubt my word then go to the innumerable websites talking about this, they range from the Free Rebublic on the right wing to Z-Net on the left with a lot of parents rights groups falling in the middle.

    “Note that discussions about adoption always become discussions about money, not about the right of mothers and babies to be together. This would certainly seem to be further proof that babies are bought.”

    During the Baby Scoop era adoption fees were low, hardly the driving force. Hundreds of thousands of women were disenfranchised from motherhood by public and semi-public agencies. There were no such things as adoption facilitators and there were only a handfull of states that allowed private adoption attorneys to practice. The profit motive was not the driving force.

    Or, consider today. Catholic Charities in San Francisco provides a variety of social services, including adoption, for which it receives county funding in addition to fees from clients. Earlier this year the County of San Francisco passed legislation that required any non-profits doing business with the County to adhere to local gender equity laws. This meant that the adoption department of Catholic Charities would have to allow gay and lesbians to adopt. The Archdiocese said “No Way!” And, rather than fight for its right to place children soley in heterosexual homes and put its other fundings in jeopardy, Catholic Charities decided in a matter of days after being warned it was out of compliance to *get out of the adoption business”. Compared with the monies that CC received for providing housing support, job referrals, and other social services, its adoption wing was generating peanuts and CC didn’t feel it was worth a fight on principle.

    The big bad adoption industry is teeny weeny. Large agencies have gotten out of the business because its difficult to pay the overhead. If you look at the agencies that still provide newborn adoption services, they are usually underwritten by other services, including post-adoption reunion help. The adoption professional today is more than likely a sole proprietorship entrepeneur, often a woman running a cottage-industry out of her home office. There isn’t enough money in doing adoptions to pay full-time staffs of social workers like they had in the Baby Snatch era.

    “Even if no money changed hands (and believe me, mucho money changes hands in adoptions) the babies would still be purchases because a bigger bank account either defeats the smaller bank account, or the smaller bank account is denigrated for keeping the bigger bank account from buying its child.”

    I get confused reading your critiques because they’re ahistorical for the most part. In the Baby Snatch era, mothers who lost their children were more often than not the daughters of middle and upper class families who relinquished because of social stigma. Today, there is little or no social stigma attached to bastardy, so that is less an issue (although it still plays a part). Today a mother may lose her child because she has three already and can’t afford another, or she’s a teen who doesn’t, corectly or not, preceive she has the support. So, in short, in the past adoption represented the shift of children from the middle-class to the middle class, today adoption represents the shift of children from the lower class to the middle and upper class. Why is this an important distinction? Because it shows that money is not the root of adoption, class interests are.
    Adopion is above all else a form of social regulation. Money may play a part in it today, but a look at the past shows that without a profit motive, adoption flourished, and split more mothers from their children than today. Albee is famously quoted as calling his adoptive parents the people that bought him, but unless they were what the state considered undesirable, the chances that they paid very much for his delightful self are small indeed.

  324. BB Church said…
    “If a newly pregnant woman meets the criteria the people it shows that money is not the root of adoption, class interests are.
    Adopion is above all else a form of social regulation.”

    ahhhh…..Eugenics rears it’s ugly head once again. And they say it ended after World War II.
    “The have’s and the have not’s.”

  325. “ahhhh…..Eugenics rears it’s ugly head once again. And they say it ended after World War II.
    “The have’s and the have not’s.”

    Class interest can include the powers and protection of the therapeutic class (psychologists, social workers and other parasites), especially when we’re talking about the devolution of parental rights to the state. I just got a notice about a foster care symposium to discuss important contemporary issues in separating children from their families. One of the talks will be about the current discussion around tobacco use; evidently the state feels that use of a legal product may make one unfit to parent. Interestingly, this “multidisciplinary forum” doesn’t have one workshop about adoption, it doesn’t mention it at all… But I guess that mothers separated from their children by these bright lights are not mothers of loss, since they weren’t hoodwinked by cardboard cutout PAPs twirling Snydely Whiplash mustaches…

  326. “The Mother said…
    ‘Mr. J., Male adopter’s’ proclamation in the first post here that real parents be called “the male and female genitors” proves that he knows babies are purchases and labels real parents accordingly.”

    Doh! Ya think?

    Is your persecution complex so ingrained that you can’t recognize sarcasm or irony even if it bends over and farts in your general direction?

    You had to go back 330+ comments to make a dig at something you didn’t “get”?

    Between the inaccurate and somewhat delusional Nazi and slave analogies you’ve spouted, would it be unkind of me to ask what life is like on the rest of your planet?

    To me, it sounds like it’s a mess.

  327. BB Church said…
    I think that the arguments I’m seeing posted here by some of those mothers are flawed….

    Dear dear churchy, your intitled to your opinion, though limited and short-sighted it may be. It’s okay though, if your lucky you may just come out of the coma one day.

  328. BB said: “I think that the arguments I’m seeing posted here by some of those mothers are flawed and I’m trying to parse them out, for myself.”

    Fair enough. Care to point out what you see as flawed thinking?

    Di

  329. BB Church said…
    I think that the arguments I’m seeing posted here by some of those mothers are flawed….

    “Dear dear churchy, your intitled to your opinion, though limited and short-sighted it may be.”

    How is it short-sighted? In my opinion any theory on adoption that doesn’t provide a central role for the state is a fairy tale. It’s so off it’s not even wrong.(1) Any theory that adoption is social evil but doesn’t provide a strategy for change is “speaking with a corpse in its mouth.”(2) I had a concurrent email conversation with a person who espouses much the same rhetoric about adoption as I’ve seen here, and after a couple of rounds of email she wrote me that she had formed her opinion about adoption ten years ago and wasn’t going to change. I hadn’t asked her to change, but I did ask her the same questions I’ve posited here. There is a strong resistance to engaging ideas that don’t fall into the accepted discourse. I would expect this from folks defending the system, but I’m dismayed to see it in people criticizing the system.

    “It’s okay though, if your lucky you may just come out of the coma one day.”

    If you’re insulting my opinion, refute it. If you’re just trying to insult me, I hope it made you feel better. Then we’d be sharing a priceless therapeutic moment, and you can tell people that I “healed” you.

    (1) “Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, 1963” by Karl Popper. Popper wrote that a hypothesis that uses itself as proof is irrefutable yet cannot be said to be true either, thus “it is not even wrong.”
    (2) The Situationist Manifesto

  330. “Fair enough. Care to point out what you see as flawed thinking?

    Di”

    I think it is flawed thinking to describe the dynamics of power in adoption without reference to the state and its self-defined role in social regulation. Nearly all of the flawed and sloppy thinking reflected in this discussion stems from the refusal to position the state in adoption. Interestingly, this is a variant of the same flawed argument that pro-adoptionists made in their suit against Oregon’s Measure 58. They said that adoption was a contractual agreement between “birthparents” and adoptive parents and the state had no right to interfere in the privacy created by that contract. The courts ruled that this argument was a fallacy; the state, not an explicit nor implicit contract, created adoption, so said the various courts that heard the matter, and the state may do just about what it liked with adoption law, including unsealing or sealing adoption records. A lot of the rhetoric I see here insists on the same sort of adoption exceptionalism touted by the adoption industry, it’s just a mirror image. Adoption is idiocentric, but its not an exception.

    The refusal to note that the state is happily and promiscuously disrupting families on a wholesale basis through the foster care system while insisting that the relatively smaller number disrupted by adoption is “special” is flawed. It’s also strategically suspect since it cuts you off from a huge pool of potential allies, families disrupted by the state whose children are not adopted. IMO this group, parents and kids, have a much better shot of changing things if for no reason than their sheer numbers. Not to mention that these families have fewer illusions regarding what the state has done to them than the mothers posting here.

    Lastly, the lack of a strategy to achieve social change to irradicate that exploitation of vulnerable mothers isn’t intrinsically flawed, but it is sad, because it means that the whole sordid parade will continue.

  331. My goodness this article about BJ Lifton has really brought out the lunatic fringe. Kudos to Marley..its good to get a headcount of whackos sometimes.

    A note to any neophyte reading this blog: There are plenty of “normal” people who support open records and reasonable adoption reform. Not all of us believe adoption is slavery or analogize an illegal act like kidnapping to a legal (if sometimes systemically flawed act) like adoption.

    OUSA and others can talk about the situation in Australia all they want. There’s a slim-to-nothing chance of that happening anywhere in America within this millenia.

  332. Anonymous asserts irrationally:
    its good to get a headcount of whackos sometimes.
    A note to any neophyte reading this blog: There are plenty of “normal” people who support open records and reasonable adoption reform

    Winston replies:

    Talk about ad hominem insults??? And this is a “normal” person’s well thought out response to this topic?
    It’s become impossible to have any kind of intellectual discussion here because of these couple of bitter whiners hiding behind different screen names. Their inability to understand all the issues seems pretty obvious – they’re desperately hanging onto what they were told by someone what the “adoption reform movement” was about 10 years ago. So they dig in their heels and hurl insults like little playground bullies.

    Marley, you’ve got to get your minions educated on how things have changed and even how to debate. You seem to get it for the most part, in spite of your still unacknowledged faux pas of specious reporting on the Lifton incident.

    The majority of “reformers” who are now being taken seriously and making change know that there are much bigger and more important issues than just open records for adoptees. Sorry Anonymous,your inability to grasp that people who view adoption change differently than you and that they are not “whackos” as you insist, is pseudo critical thinking. Why would anyone value the opinion of a strawman who responds in a childish manner to learn from? Huh?

    Another reminder for you. Comprehension. Anonymous, please try to work on Comprehension. The topic has changed and evolved.

    Get with it, dear.

    Is it really still bothering you that the NYC Shedding Light conference co-sponsored by OUSA got such great reviews by all; including the other speakers and authors?

    Remember, the opinion of someone who hides behind “ANONYMOUS” on a blog is not going to have the credibility as someone, shall we say like Edward Albee, Ricky Solinger, Ann Fessler, etc.

  333. “”OUSA and others can talk about the situation in Australia all they want. There’s a slim-to-nothing chance of that happening anywhere in America within this millenia. “”

    May I ask why you feel there is no chance in America, no matter what group is involved in adoption reform and/or adoption records? Can you state some of your reasons?

  334. “The majority of “reformers” who are now being taken seriously and making change know that there are much bigger and more important issues than just open records for adoptees.”

    “Taken seriously” by whom? Each other? “Making change”? Where? Again we see an assertion, much like the assertion of “civil disobediance” based on posturing rather than on action. Again, what have I missed? Have any of the folks in OUSA gotten legislation authored let alone passed? Do you have any legislator willing to publically support your position, let alone put their legilative muscle behind it?

    You can produce whizbang conferences every year from now until doomsday without changing a thing; lord knows the AAC has been doing that for decades. That’s event planning, not change. Don’t confuse a gathering of self-selected allies with change.

  335. “Is your persecution complex so ingrained that you can’t recognize sarcasm or irony even if it bends over and farts in your general direction?”

    Ohhh, so an adoptor calling parents who lose babies “male and female genitors” is supposed to be some kind of sophisticated–putdown humor?–on the part of the adoptor? And if the parents don’t “get” the humor of it, they are crudely berated. I see. Hmmm. Interesting.

    Well then, if you and your Mr. J., Male Adoptor, liked that, you’ll love this one:

    Question: What’s the difference between a slasher snatcher fetus abductor and an adoptor?

    Answer: About $30,000.

  336. Churchperson now queries:
    Taken seriously” by whom? Each other? “Making change”?

    Church: You are totally missing the point of my post. No one is posturing so quit finger pointing. I was merely commenting on Anonymous’ name calling diatribe, supposedly warning neophytes that this blog has been infiltrated with whackos!

    If you’re looking to debate or argue, I’m not interested. I don’t know you or understand why you’re so obsessed with challenging anyone who makes an observation about someone else’s behavior. If you want to do something worthwhile to help this blog earn back some respectability, chastise the hostile name calling regular members of this forum.

    Talk about a whack job – you’d better tighten the choke collar on that one. She’s making you all look bad with her out of context, irrational blathering.

    Why would anyone want to participate here?

  337. winston said…
    If you’re looking to debate or argue, I’m not interested. I don’t know you or understand why you’re so obsessed with challenging anyone who makes an observation about someone else’s behavior.

    Winston, referring back to 9 previous posts
    BB Church said…
    I’m argumentative in general, it helps me figure stuff out.

    In a nutshell – it’s someone who likes to argue for arguments sake.
    DATDADA!!!!!

  338. “In a nutshell – it’s someone who likes to argue for arguments sake.
    DATDADA!!!!!”

    I find arguing hones ideas. I guess I’m used to the political arena, where folks argue over things before they present them. And hey, if you’re interested in creating social change, you’d better bet used to arguing.

  339. “If you’re looking to debate or argue, I’m not interested.”

    Aside from an apology from Marley, what exactly do you want? If you don’t want anyone commenting on statements such as the one I commented on (“The majority of “reformers” who are now being taken seriously and making change know that there are much bigger and more important issues than just open records for adoptees”), then don’t post them in public discussions. I found this to be a very dubious proposition, and commented on it.

    “I don’t know you or understand why you’re so obsessed with challenging anyone who makes an observation about someone else’s behavior.”

    I didn’t challenge your observation on anonoperson’s behavior, I challenged your statement on the state of adoption reform. The bad manners of folks an either side of this discussion, and ensuing reprimandes, don’t interest me in the least.

  340. “May I ask why you feel there is no chance in America, no matter what group is involved in adoption reform and/or adoption records? Can you state some of your reasons?”

    1) The adoption reform movement has very few leaders with experience in social change. Many leaders in adoption reform are overtly hostile to strategies and tactics that have been time-tested by other social change movements.

    2) The adoption reform movement has shown little ability to develop fundraising strategies. It’s axiomatic that money is the mother’s milk of politics.

    3) It’s also axiomatic that you can fight moeny power with people power, but the adoption reform community has very few leaders trained in organizing. Consequently the adoption reform community has a very small base of support.

    4) The adoption reform movement has no programmatic approach to leadership development.

    You ask your local candidates for office this November for their positions on issues and their plans about them and they’ll have an aide give you a one-pager on each position. I ask folks here what their plan for change is and I get stonewalled and someone insinuated I’m some sort of spy. You try getting a stop sign installed at an intersection in your township without a strategic plan on who to contact, who to pressure, background information on traffic flow, accidents at the site, etc. You won’t get your stop sign by wishin’ and hopin’. That’s called magical thinking, and the adoption reform movement has a lot more magical thinking than planning. That’s why it spins its wheels and will continue to do so with little to show for it.

  341. Churchperson explains:
    didn’t challenge your observation on anonoperson’s behavior, I challenged your statement on the state of adoption reform. The bad manners of folks an either side of this discussion, and ensuing reprimandes, don’t interest me in the least

    Look BB, this bickering on semantics has gone on and on ad nauseum. With all due respect, who appointed you General or King or Queen or Parliament? Or anyone in a position to be grilling the rest of us on what direction they wish to take?

    I believe you’ve brought up excellent points about why nothing ever gets done in this country with respect to adoption reform but I think it’s the constant petty bickering that’s been the biggest obstacle to change.

    But, the point of THIS thread on this blog initially was an indignant response to a misrepresentation made by Marley of a situation about someone many of us respect. Yep. That’s right. Joe Soll and Crossroads does whatever he does but at least he’s clear about it. Whatever anyone thinks of Joe personally is their own business, but no one can deny that his organization has helped thousands of people. So get over it.

    Posters on this or any blog are not obligated or even inclined to give any of you an explanation about any kind of strategy or game plan as you insist on discussing with your ad hominem arguements. Why keep changing the subject Churchperson?

    I came here to comment on an accusation of censorship as did many others. Instead we’ve been met with not only poor manners, rude off topic insults as even you’ve observed, but a constant game of deflection regarding discussion of the original topic. And by the way, just because you enjoy arguing, that doesn’t mean everyone has to engage with you. With all due respect I ask again, who in the hell put you in charge? I don’t care whose side you’re on, or whether you’re anti or pro adoption – people don’t have to debate with you here regarding the entire adoption reform movement!

    You may go on and on querying anyone who posts about “what are you going to do about it” all you want, but you’ve done nothing either.

    In the meantime many of us have other adoption related issues we’re involved with that are more immediate or relevant to our lives right now. And no, churchperson – you aren’t owed an explanation of what they are. If you want to call that magical thinking, who cares?

    You go out and slay those dragons and I won’t question your strategy but give the same respect to others who came here merely to comment on an injustice. I could care less about BN’s agenda, quite frankly.

    This thread has worn out it’s usefulness in my view but if others wish to quibble and nitpick ad nauseum with you, that’s their choice. Your one track mind is a bit off-putting to me.

  342. the adoption reform movement

    I think NOT !

    Given the progression of the adoption industry against mothers and their children NOT ONE individual or any group to date can make the claim they have done anything to improve adoption for the better. All they can be accredited for are massive egos and need for self recognition. No wonder their years of “work” are such a failure.

    It’s time for a change NOT reform!

  343. Henceforth, let all
    biological parents be known as the male and female genitors.

    Mr. J.
    Male adopter.

    Oh, my. My remark seems to have become a source of irritation to some and propaganda for others.

    At least one seems to think I “was all ready to enjoy a good mother bashing party.” As a matter of fact, I wasn’t / am not. I think the entire debate is a waste of time and energy. Define yourselves and others as you wish; I’ll do the same.

    As for my perceived attitude towards women who gave birth to children later adopted (WWGBCL – how’s that for political correctnes?), I don’t have a one-size-fits-all attitude.

    I suggest, however that we all use equivalent terms, whichever way we choose to identify ourselves. If you want to reduce adoptive parents to adopters/adoptors, so be it. It’s limited, but accurate so far as it goes. Genitor is equally accurate and limited. Neither speaks of more than a single moment in time or more than one aspect of the relationships we each have with our children.

    As for what term you prefer, first mother, natural mother, mother, real mother: whatever term floats your boat works fine with me. I’ve better things to worry about, my son not the least of them.

    Another poster seems to read my post as an endorsement of her belief that adoptive parents are simply purchasers. The reader overreaches.

    Litle in life is as simple was we would have it. My experience is not yours, yours is not mine. So if it soothes you to use one term rather than another, because you feel it more aptly describes your experience, so be it. Don’t expect me, however, to know and use that term either with respect to you as an individual or any group as a whole. I’ll use the terms I feel most accurate in the context in which I am speaking.

    A third poster posed this rhetorical question, in a fit of cutting humor: What’s the difference between a slasher snatcher fetus abductor and an adoptor?

    In my case: I didn’t use a knife. The child was born alive and placed in state care by his mother, a woman whom I respect greatly. I adopted her son with her specific approval; she consented twice, in court, during a 12 month adoption process. An SSFA is unlikely to participate in an open adoption, or to bring the child back to its country of origin to meet his mother, grand-mother, siblings, nieces and nephews. I have.

    I don’t know what others may call her. I call her Marina; my son calls her his Honduran mom, when he needs to distinguish between her and the mom with whom he lives.

    There are few things so simple that they can be summed up in a single word or phrase. Our respective histories and our relationships with our children are not among them. That’s why I find the whole thing silly, on a good day, and downright stupid on other days.

    J.
    Male Adopter
    Adoptive Father
    Dad
    Among other things

  344. “You may go on and on querying anyone who posts about “what are you going to do about it” all you want, but you’ve done nothing either. “

    Over the last nine years I’ve participated in the planning and implementation of dozens of open records campaigns across dozens of states. I, along with my comrades, ahve helped at least as many folks as Soll by changing the laws that directly impact their lives. I’ve organized countless direct actions, met with hundreds of legislators, and have done event planning for national conferences. But all of that is beside the point. The questions I’ve been raising could be asked by any adoption-impacted person whose never done a political thing in their lives and the quetions would still be valid. If you’re going to pose as advocates of social change then you take on the responsibility of acountability to the folks for whom you’re advocating.

  345. Church says,If you’re going to pose as advocates of social change then you take on the responsibility of acountability to the folks for whom you’re advocating.

    Get over yourself Church person. Now you’ve clearly drawn the line in the sand if we’re “going to pose as advocates, etc, etc.”

    I for one, did not come here to discuss what I’ve done as an advocate, but i can assure you that it’s been plenty. I am confident in my work however, to not have wave a flag constantly in everyone’s face in order to feel validated. There is more posturing and flag waving on this blog than anywhere else I’ve read. I repeat. Who cares?

    Nor did I come here to pose as anything other than a person who took issue with unethical and erroneous reporting by your leader, Marley. Period! But that topic suddenly disappeared when it was obvious that she committed a faux pas.

    Church, I’m not interested in what you think should be done or have done. Far be it for me to be rude, but do you realize you’re like a broken record and obviously deaf to what people are telling you.

  346. BB Church said…
    Over the last nine years
    I’ve participated in …
    I, along with my comrades,..
    I’ve organized countless’…
    questions I’ve been raising…

    I! I! I!
    ME! ME! ME!
    LOOK AT ME!

  347. frjack said…
    “You certainly do not speak for my birth mother and birth sister who was also coerced into relinquishing her son to adoption.”

    “..but I do hold a graduate degree in counseling and another in psycholinquistics and did my clinical internship at the Phipps Psychiatric Clinic of the Johns Hopkins Hospital prior to being in private practice. “

    “As priest ….”

    frjack
    Nor can you speak for your own mother.
    As a priest, why do you talk about the degrees you possess as if it were something important? have you forgotten humility? Woe to you!

  348. “I for one, did not come here to discuss what I’ve done as an advocate, but i can assure you that it’s been plenty. I am confident in my work however, to not have wave a flag constantly in everyone’s face in order to feel validated. “

    Pardon me for mistaking this for a load of passive-aggressive horseshit. If you don’t want to credentialize yourself and your “work”, that’s your picnic. It’s not a particularly effective way to gather people to your cause, since its impossible to say what exactly you “do” or have “done”, but again that’s your business. But your assurance that you’ve “done plenty” is as boastful as my resume without providing any substance.

  349. “Over the last nine years
    I’ve participated in …
    I, along with my comrades,..
    I’ve organized countless’…
    questions I’ve been raising…

    I! I! I!
    ME! ME! ME!
    LOOK AT ME!”

    It must be tuff being an anonymouse.

  350. “ME! ME! ME!
    LOOK AT ME!”

    Speaking of blowing one’s own horn, did the Shedding Light on Adoption conference get any media play? Are there any links for articles and video in the press?

  351. “Given the progression of the adoption industry against mothers and their children NOT ONE individual or any group to date can make the claim they have done anything to improve adoption for the better.”

    The biggest blow to the adoption industry in the US was legalized abortion. The salad days of the Baby Snatch Era ended effectively the morning after Roe v Wade. Statistics for the year following Roe v Wade show that domestic adoptions slowed to something like fiften percent of the year before and never recovered to their former heights.

    “It’s time for a change NOT reform! “

    What’s your plan for social change?

  352. Pardon me for mistaking this for a load of passive-aggressive horseshit. If you don’t want to credentialize yourself and your “work”, that’s your picnic. It’s not a particularly effective bbchurch says.way to gather people to your cause, since its impossible to say what exactly you “do” or have “done”, but again that’s your business. But your assurance that you’ve “done plenty” is as boastful as my resume without providing any substance.

    BBChurch, again you’re missing my point. Lots of folks are not particularly interested in putting forth alot of energy on legislative change when there are thousands of first mothers and adoptees struggling with the emotional issues. If there was an organized, concerted effort, I would be glad to support that effort but the entire “reform community” is fragmented. However, my involvement if more focused around support and SEARCH. I am a searcher – free – no charge and that takes alot of time. And I’m very good at it, even though I’ve blushing at the need to have to toot my horn this way. But you asked.

    The reality is that we all have different kinds of issues around our adoption experience. Some of you wish to discredit the kind of work people such as Joe Soll or many of the localized state support groups do to help people who can’t even begin to help legislatively because they are still in the closet or in alot of pain. When these people observe the kinds of backstabbing diatribes that took place here on this blog by marley and others, I can assure you that they are put off. We’re lucky to get them back for support,let alone asking them to partipate in any kind of civil disobedience.

    It seems you (collectively) attack anyone who had an opinion or interest in adoption issues that come here to read or post and then imply they aren’t doing enough! What’s that about???

    bbchurch. I’ve read your blog and I like most of what you say. But i’m not interested right now in putting alot of effort in just another disorganised losing battle to get adoptee’s records open. I would rather devote my time to helping people find their families or by offering emotional support.

    Many of the so called “activists” use dismissive terms such as the “walking wounded” and then insult them more by commentary telling the world that these people should only be working on open records for adoptees! Then they wonder why their groups are losing members! They’ve shot themselves in the proverbial foot. I personally know hundreds of adoptees who stay involved in the support and education groups if you will, but have no interest in legislative activisim because of the political in-fighting that they see.

    No one deserves to be attacked for that. I came to this blog ONLY because there was an appalling reaction in several online and offline groups over Marley’s misrepresentation of the Lifton debacle.

    As far as publicity for the Shedding Light conference – you would have to ask Joe about that. All I know is that more than 200 people showed up to deal with the kinds of topics and issues that were presented. I don’t think any of us cared whether the media was covering it or not.

    If so many of you whose only concern is getting open records for adoptees continue to berate and insult the people involved in the other aspects of adoption healing such as emotional support, education and search – how the hell do you expect to get anyone to join your cause?

    Groups such as Joe’s (and not only Joe’s) keep growing in membership while BN, AAC and even CUB are floundering. Books such as Fesslers are flying off the shelves – how many books on civil disobedience for open records are out there

    Maybe, just maybe the walking wounded are onto something? At least they’re being proactive about what they feel is important to them. If you people have any hope to enlist “soldiers” – you’re going to have to be kinder and quit belittling anyone walking to a different drummer.

  353. “BBChurch, again you’re missing my point. Lots of folks are not particularly interested in putting forth alot of energy on legislative change when there are thousands of first mothers and adoptees struggling with the emotional issues.”

    Well, you’ll have a never-ending source of folks to help as long as the social conditions that lead to the emotional turmoil remain in place.

    “I am a searcher – free – no charge and that takes alot of time. And I’m very good at it, even though I’ve blushing at the need to have to toot my horn this way. But you asked.”

    No need to blush. Do you specialize in one state or region? I get a number of folks asking me for search assistance and I can always use referals, since I am definitely not good at it.

    “I personally know hundreds of adoptees who stay involved in the support and education groups if you will, but have no interest in legislative activisim because of the political in-fighting that they see.”

    Politics isn’t therapy. It’s competitive at its core.

    “If so many of you whose only concern is getting open records for adoptees continue to berate and insult the people involved in the other aspects of adoption healing such as emotional support, education and search – how the hell do you expect to get anyone to join your cause?”

    That is a very good point. I think its a strategic mistake to dismiss out of hand people’s needs and desires. That is definitely not the way to build a broad base of support.

    “Groups such as Joe’s (and not only Joe’s) keep growing in membership while BN, AAC and even CUB are floundering. Books such as Fesslers are flying off the shelves – how many books on civil disobedience for open records are out there”

    The methodologies of social change are outlined in hundreds, probably thousands of books, from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to Kim Klein’s Fundraising for Social Change. Groups as disparate as Operation Rescue and SEIU unions utilize the same basic tools to achieve what they want. The disappointment I feel with groups such as Soll’s is that they ignore mcuh of the lessons that could be learned from looking outside the adoption politics box.

    “Maybe, just maybe the walking wounded are onto something? At least they’re being proactive about what they feel is important to them. If you people have any hope to enlist “soldiers” – you’re going to have to be kinder and quit belittling anyone walking to a different drummer.”

    What I’ve been doing here is agitating. I’m not interested in “soldiers”, soldiers come if you have place achievable set of goals in action (and leave if they don’t see any achieved results). I would be happy if my agitation revealed “leaders”.

    Lastly, if you think the bickering is bad within the adoption reform community, just wait until you step outside into the larger world.

  354. The biggest blow to the adoption industry in the US was legalized abortion.

    That is disinformation. When the anti-abortionists speak of the “decrease” in adoptions they conveniently dismiss “when” the pill actually became accessible to everyone. The pill wasn’t easy accessible to everyone until the early 70’s.

  355. bbchurch, why do you try to terrorize everyone here with “the state?”

    Yes, the government loves adoption, but infant adoption is driven and maintained by adoptors. Adoptors are writing the how-to-hunt mothers and babies books. Adoptors are buying the ads trolling for babies. Adoptors are writing the “Dear BM” letters. Adoptors are paying the bills for private businesses and attorneys and doctors to do the dirty work for them.

    So why are you pretending it is “the state” that drives adoption?

  356. bbchurch, why do you try to terrorize everyone here with “the state?”

    Yes, the government loves adoption, but infant adoption is driven and maintained by adoptors. Adoptors are writing the how-to-hunt mothers and babies books. Adoptors are buying the ads trolling for babies. Adoptors are writing the “Dear BM” letters. Adoptors are paying the bills for private businesses and attorneys and doctors to do the dirty work for them.

    So why are you pretending it is “the state” that drives adoption?

  357. “So why are you pretending it is “the state” that drives adoption?”

    Because without the state adoption would not exist. Period. Adoption in the US was created through statute, and it’s maintained by statute. If it is to be significantly changed, the statutes must change. Racial segregation was driven by racists, but the focus of the Civil Rights movement was the attacking the institutionalization of racism through segregation and political disenfranchisement. How do you envision change in adoption, the cessation of coercive pratices? That’s it’s going to spontaneously generate?

  358. bbchurch says:The disappointment I feel with groups such as Soll’s is that they ignore mcuh of the lessons that could be learned from looking outside the adoption politics box

    I’m not understanding why you think all groups have to be all things to all people? BN certainly only has one agenda and God forbid anyone reveal any kind of insecurity issues there. I would imagine Marley would call them a bourgeois and a crybaby. If Adoption Crossroads or Origins or whatever other group is working for people, let them keep doing what they do best.

    My experience is that mothers and adoptees ideally have to come to understand what happened to them; who, what and why before they have the energy and confidence to become an activist? I don’t know about the people you come across, but most newly searching adoptees or first mothers I meet are pretty fragile. The last thing they want to do is jump into a hornets next of huge egos all insisting it’s their way or the highway. These people often have to deal with a few issues, many want to search and ideally then have reunion which brings it’s own set of issues. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and takes time to become empowered enough to speak up. Sadly, many members of the groups that have been around for awhile feel the need to assert that they’re the old guard and know best about what to do and think and what terminology was approved back in the day and how dare anyone else have a different point of view?

    I even know adoptee and mother therapists who are relatively new to this and they get turned off by the territorial posturing and hatred against anyone with a new idea or different opinion.

    I think it’s naive of you (collective) or BN or any of the groups who think the entire solution to the broken adoption system is just opening records for adoptees. And it’s naive to think that the hurting people are going to put themselves in a position to be insulted if they are told they are weak links because they are choosing a different path to walk down as they begin their own journey to truth.

    You may disagree but this is what I have seen over the years. I was once one of those meek in the closet people and it took years to feel strong enough to stand up for what I believe, even if it’s different.

    As far as my search experience – give me an email to write to you privately and I’m glad to share what I can and can’t do. This has proven to be a hostile environment and I will not put my personal information out here.

  359. bbchurch, you wrote:

    “Because without the state adoption would not exist. Period.”

    Funny, seems to me infant adoption–which is what we are talking about here–is most often described as a “choice.”

    Personally, I found my taken child all by myself, the hell with “the state.” “The state” has not come after me yet for finding him, nor has “the state” prosecuted him for our restored relationship. If this is all about “the state,” how do you explain that?

  360. Per BB Church…””Because without the state adoption would not exist. Period. Adoption in the US was created through statute, and it’s maintained by statute. If it is to be significantly changed, the statutes must change. Racial segregation was driven by racists, but the focus of the Civil Rights movement was the attacking the institutionalization of racism through segregation and political disenfranchisement. How do you envision change in adoption, the cessation of coercive pratices? That’s it’s going to spontaneously generate? “”

    You are absolutely CORRECT! If people want Change in Adoptionland, the Laws of Adoption must be tackled state by state and not just in the area of Open Records, but in every manner. No ifs, ands or buts..about it. The states are now are hugest Adoption Facilitators/Agencies. How does one tackle the Feds with the billions of adoption tax $$$$$$ feeding the states?

  361. As an adoptee the only issue that really does interest me is open records.

    Grappling with trying to open records in 45 states alone is going to be a huge effort. It strikes me we are most likely to be successful if we focus all our energy on this. Other issues may be something we’ll have to save for our children and grandchildren at least here in the USA.

    Its interesting to read this blog. I had no idea so many people were willing to put endless energy into arguing over what a birthmother ought to be called and boasting about the accomplishments of 200 person conventions. I’m starting to understand why records are only open in 5 states.

  362. I don’t know who’s been your strategic and planning committee, nor do I care, but what wise decision has it been to rally against an organization of mothers that were forced and coerced into losing their babies? A group of mothers mind you, that not only did not want nor ask that their babies be taken for adoption, but because of it, stands to reason why they’re opposed to sealed records.

    “How” babies became/become available for adoption may not be “the” issue for Marley, BJ, etc… who want only access to their records for identity purposes but be assured “how” babies were taken is a core issue for mothers identity and the call for justice.

    Marley, BJ or anyone else can bitch and bellyache about mothers and Joe Soll until your teeth fall out, at least we are not hypocrites about what we stand for.

    Leslie B
    reunited mother

  363. anonymous still doesn’t get it. It strikes me we are most likely to be successful if we focus all our energy on this. Other issues may be something we’ll have to save for our children and grandchildren at least here in the USA.

    May I suggest that you try to work on your comprehension skills? YOU do not speak for US or our children and grandchildren.

    Whatever you think about why records aren’t open as you hide behind yet another anonymous screen name, it’s been a major mistake to be so dismissive of the mothers who brought your little adopted asses into this world. I for one will no longer support adoptee open records bills unless I am treated with the same respect for my concerns that you are asking of us to give you.

    The records aren’t open in 45 states because you adoptees haven’t been effective with your inclusive fragmented little groups to get them open. So now you rally against us but still try to tell us that we should be supporting your open records appeal.

    Grow up honey. Go crying to your own “birthmommy* to help you – why come here and insult someone elses’s mother and then demand that we work on what only benefits you? Whatever you understand or don’t understand isn’t important when all you do is hurl insults.

    I hate to say it, but the majority of adoptees on this list are the most narcisstic little cry babies I’ve ever seen. Wah! Wah! Wah! “It’s not about me so I won’t support it”.

  364. “bbchurch, why do you try to terrorize everyone here with “the state?”

    You ever see the TV show Dog the Bounty Hunter? Some yahoo in a dreadful mullet and leathers running around grabbing people who have warrents? He’s not a cop, he’s a quasi-agent of the state. Just like adoption professionals. He gets to live out his cop fantasies because the state lets him, empowers him. Funny thing though. He went to Mexico and grabbed the heir to the Max Factor fortune who was on the lam for murder. It turns out that bounty hunting is illegal in Mexico, which made him Dog the Kidnapper and facing extradition. You want to put a stop to coercive adoption practices; make it illegal, and put prison terms on the back-end.

    I’m moving to a different state in a couple of days, and my ISP cut off my DSL three days early, so I’m posting this at work, my last day here. So you guys can play without me for a while… Been fun!

    Ron Morgan,
    named at birth Baby Boy Church

  365. BB: “You want to put a stop to coercive adoption practices; make it illegal, and put prison terms on the back-end.”

    Absolutely! That’s the only way it is going to end.
    Once you put legislation into place that protects parental rights during the counselling and consent taking procedure you effectively protect everyone’s rights. And dramatically reduce the number of adoptions in consequence.

  366. What is wrong with the world, I am a NATURAL MOTHER that,s child was stolen from me by the PSUEDO PROFESSION.PSUEDO SOCIAL ENGINEERS that engineered this PSUEDO SOCIAL WORK ORGANISATION(HISTORIAN REGINA KUNZEL) can vouch for that,there pathetic adoption reform that permeated through the western world, is nothing less than A HOLOCAUST, the WORST TRANSACTION IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.We need a person in the Magnitude of ABRAHAM LINCOLN. THE RIGHT HONORABLE JOE SOLL. is wearing the mantle on behalf of NATURAL FIRST MOTHERS, the Adopted mother had a wonderful privelidge her title (NURTURING MOTHER) it would be nothing less than a down right lie to call her anything else. as my baby is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, and my blood flows through his veins and will be connected to me till I die, not just for birth. Adopted parents, they got the best deal, we in the 60,s were sold down the river, but guess what, we are rising throughout the Western world we shall not be moved we will overcome, and justice will prevail, and the perpetrators, and policy makers and legislators will be forced to admit, ADOPTION FAILS MISSERABLY WHEN IT COMES TO TELLING THE TRUTH IN OUR HONEST SOCIETY. isnt this what America stands for in the world Truth and Liberty? I AM NOT ASSOCIATED WITH MY SON JUST FOR HIS BIRTH I AM WITH HIM THROUGHOUT MY LIFE I REFUTE and REFUSE to be addressed as B/Mother.JOE SOLL KAREN BUTERBAUGH I SALUTE YOU.

  367. Personally, I am proud of Joe for taking a stand and disappointed in him if he reinvited Ms. Lifton. I’ve read a book or two of hers and she seems to make the best of being separated from her family via adoption. Well, it’s bad, she seems to say, but then again, what else to do? Encouraging mothers to keep their children doesn’t seem to enter into her argument, but then again, it’s been a while since I read her book.

    It’s her right to feel this way, and I support her right to use whatever word she wants, just as I support the right of people to use the n-word, or whatever, despite the fact that I don’t like that word either, and don’t use it.

    Regarding the b-word, however, there is strong evidence that it is a socially engineered word, and if Pearl Buck, an adopter, if I’m not mistaken, came up with this word, well, then that explains a lot. Again, Lifton has every right to express herself as she feels fit. Joe Soll has every right to say no.

    By the way, I just had a publishing contract cancelled because the La Leche League (LLLI) acquiesced to some Internet stalkers, mainly adopters. You can read all about it here:
    http://www.newswithviews.com/Vaughan/tricia13.htm

    The publishers (Meadowbrook Press, who I personally don’t plan to buy anything from since they so easily sided with the stalkers) and LLLI (whom, at the national level, I have also lost much respect for) had every right to side with people who threaten my family and me, but then again, I don’t want to support an organization or publisher that supports Internet stalkers.

    To me, the way the Lifton situation was handled, as reported here, was much more civil. No one threatened anyone else.
    Joe and Karen merely asked and Liften refused. Personally, I don’t see why Lifton refused to use language, for a few hours, that would reflect respect for natural moms, but then again, that’s her choice. What’s the problem, really?

  368. Im a (ex-closed records) adoptee: it seems to me that the conference organisers were trying to be compassionate toward the coerced mothers who have recently had some publicity about the coercive and forceful circumstances of their experience: but in trying to “INCLUSIVE” to these people they went too far and the result is they have excluded someone they really should NOT have excluded. They obviously realised they made a mistake when they ‘re-invited’ Betty but she had already rightly taken offence. A misunderstanding, a fallout, then camps form. This is politics an is very unfortunate in this case as Betty is a heroine!

    But here is a comment directly to the blogger Bastardette: I’m not so sure the future general abolition of adoption is a ‘fantasy’: whole economies were once based on slavery and many at the time would have said to say that economies could not thrive without slavery – that it was utopian to think it would go away as an acceptable industry and that countries would collapse without it. People fought a war over it. The adoption economy could go the same way eventually so that adoption became the preserve only of truly orphaned children. Few people would argue that slavery should be legalised because it has gone underground. Adoption as the trafficking of children from vulnerable people to those who want to ‘complete their families’ should and will cease in the future. In Australia our adoptions have already dropped from 9000 per year in 1972 to about 400 in 2008.

  369. Adoption rates fluctuate for many reasons (like the economy at the moment), but for whatever reason they seem to be down a bit now That doesn’t’ mean, however, that the desire is not there Adoption is rooted in desire and consumerist ideology makes it happen.

    I think adoption rates may continue to be lower repro technology which enable people to have “one of our own” develops. but the ethical and practica; results,imo, are more yukky than adoption.

    The only real way to cut adoption rates is for people, especially women, to understand that children are not necessity nor even an asset to one’s life. I know I’m of a minority opinion ,but with no desire there can be no product.

  370. WHAT? This article is so condescending! The reason that no one knows why birth mother is offensive is a SECRET??? the real secret is you are not too bright and no one wants to tell you! yikes! The term implies all a woman does is squat, push a baby out and has no other involvement or concerns as a REAL NATURAL mother. That 9 mmonths of bonding and a deep longing for her child that will never sever be diminished qualifies her as a real mother, not just a vessle. grrrr how condescending offensive this person is!

  371. anonymous: I’d be more impressed with your comments if you’d posted under your name. What are you afraid of?

    Linguistic arguments are rampant in the adoption deform movement and serve to splinter the already fragmented movement. In reality, to people who count, linguistics mean mean nothing. The movement has to stop running on emotion, and concentrate on the logical and legal (though admittedly, logic and the law sometimes have nothing in common). Nobody wins on hysterics.

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