infants from loving mothers by means of Dear Birthmother
letters and other tactics is causing lifelong trauma to children
and families. All such practices must be ended.
Marion, IA (PRWEB)
August 24, 2004 -- Frequently in the news in the United States
are reports of prospective adopters who are devastated when a
mother decides to keep her own son or daughter.
These people have worked
so hard in their attempt to obtain a healthy infant. They have
read the how-to books and articles. They have hired someone to
generate a Dear Birthmother letter for them, a slick
advertisement that makes them sound flawless and would make almost
any mother, especially one experiencing morning sickness and other
effects of pregnancy, question her own abilities. Some prospective
adopters have an agency or lawyer advertising, withholding information,
making promises, denying any sort of real help and pressuring
a mother until she surrenders her parental rights. Other prospective
adopters approach a pregnant mother personally, making false promises
of continuing contact between the child and her mother, siblings
and other relatives in an attempt to obtain her child.
Many prospective adopters
or agency personnel try to be present for the birth of their
child, knowing their presence will make it harder for a mother
to say no and disappoint them. Others go to the hospital afterwards
to pressure a mother still exhausted from labor.
And then, she decides
to keep her child. After all that work, its a tremendous
Many agency personnel
or individuals continue to pressure a mother even after she says
no. Surely quite a few must already know about the
attachment and other problems an adoptee may experience throughout
their lives, not to mention the serious lifelong effects on mothers
who have lost a child to adoption.
This solicitation for
babies must be outlawed. Its not only anxiety-producing
for prospective adopters, but it provides no protection for the
best interests of a child or of natural family members. The rights
of parents and the needs of a child must come before the desires
of prospective adopters.
Its illegal in
most states to separate a new puppy or a kitten from her mother.
Human infants deserve the same protection.
And Separation: What Everyone Should Know Dr. Peter Cook
wrote,Infants may develop attachments to other members of
the family or carers, who can take mother's place for a while.
But if mother does not return soon, some infants can become quite
distressed, with crying and an increase of behaviors designed
to bring the mother and infant together again. If the separation
lasts for some days, the first state of crying and 'protest' may
be replaced by a mood of quiet unhappiness or despair...It is
painful to go on experiencing such hurt, angry and even depressed
feelings, and eventually the infant may pass into a state which
has been termed 'detachment'."
James W. Prescott,
Ph.D. and associates discovered in the 1960s and 1970s that lack
of affectionate, intimate contact between mothers and infants
during the most sensitive periods of brain growth may result in
permanent brain abnormalities associated with juvenile and adult
patterns of depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, aggression
Nancy Verrier, MA,
first brought home her adoptee when she was 3-days old. In The
Primal Wound Verrier wrote, My belief was that love
would conquer all. What I was not prepared for was that it was
easier for us to give her love than it was for her to accept it.
In Known Consequences
of Separating Mother and Child at Birth and Implications for Further
Study, Wendy Jacobs, B.Sc., B.A. wrote, Several years
ago I had a letter from a woman who had adopted a four-week-old
baby (boy) in between the births of her daughter and younger son.
She wrote that it came as a very great shock to her to find that
her adopted baby did not respond to affection in the way that
her other children had done, and that she felt rejected by him.
Her adopted (boy) had behavioural problems all his life, was once
considered borderline hyperactive, and consistently underachieved
at school. He always seemed afraid of something, lacked self-worth,
was very demanding and constantly needed reassurance. He committed
suicide at the age of 21, after telling a friend that he had seen
(the newborn baby boy of his adopters daughter) and that
he had no feeling for it.
In the United States,
many babies are obtained through coercion or duress. Increasingly
many mothers, fathers, grandparents and adoptees are fighting
for change so others who may be in a vulnerable situation in the
future will be able to keep family members together.
In the words of one
mother, Brandy Bottini-Elkins, who is fighting to protect the
rights of other families after her own child was taken, I
have watched and read many things over the last several months.
For me I laid down my pride, my pain and everything in the name
Today, in the United
States, when a mother or father asks for a little help with a
child, they are made to feel guilty for even asking and their
child is taken and given to adopters. Then the adopters get far
more help than the family ever would have received. Some adopters
enjoy the help so much they just keep adopting sometimes
ten, fifteen or even more children. While Americans may look down
on parents who have even four children of their own saying they
can never possibly have the time to really care for them, they
laud people who adopt a dozen children who are hurting and in
need of special attention. Frequently such adopters neglect the
children but they rarely neglect to cash all the adoption subsidy
Some adopters really
wanted their own child. When they discover the truth that an unrelated
child is not just like their own, they frequently ignore their
hurting adoptees needs and keep trying to have their own
child. They try to mold and change the adoptee, rather than accepting
her and appreciating her as she is.
Nearly every mother
who goes through nine months of pregnancy and then gives birth
wants and loves her child more than anything. She wants to care
for her child in the best way possible. She deserves to be provided
with honest information and with support as a mother both for
the good of her child and as an investment in the future of our
Many unmarried mothers
and fathers are now keeping and nurturing their children. Grandparents
speak of the joy an unexpected grandchild has brought to their
lives. Some grandparents become guardians of a grandchild until
their daughter is able to take full responsibility. The children
have the benefit of their own mother and father, grandparents,
aunts, uncles and a whole family to love them.
for babies would be a big step toward protecting the rights of
United States citizens and preventing unnecessary separation/adoption
trauma. Whether the payment offered a mother is money, pictures
or continued contact with her child, or just "feeling good
about doing the right thing" the truth is that people soliciting
for babies are predators working to tear children away from the
mothers and family who otherwise would have kept and nurtured
'Dear Birthmother' letters and Solicitation to Obtain Babies for
Adoption Must Be Outlawed
Note: "Birthmother" is a dehumanizing and coercive term,
which makes a mother appear as if she was only the source of a baby
for adoption, not her child's mother and parent. Instead of "birthmother",
"birthmom", "birthfather", "birthparent"
(aka "birth objects") the honest terms "mother",
"father" and "parents" should be used. If necessary,
mothers whose children have been adopted-out may be called "natural
mothers" to distinguish them from the people who adopted their