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me b zola

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Member since: Thu Nov 11, 2004, 09:06 PM
Number of posts: 18,292

Journal Archives

Paper Orphans

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

This problem doesn't exist only in Nepal. It occurs in every part of Asia, India, African nations, Latin America, and of course Jamaica, Haiti, and the DR. Please watch all videos, these short videos are educational and illuminating.

What We Gain When Adoptees Tell Their Stories

What We Gain When Adoptees Tell Their Stories

Truth is, I'm not angry today. It's the beginning of my weekend and I woke up inspired to write. However the misconception is alive and well that adoptees who "speak out" are viewed as angry, and ungrateful for all they have been given. When really adoptees who speak out should be viewed as brave.

And while we are on that topic, here are some other common reactions adoptees receive when they discuss their true feelings, even in "safe adoptee spaces" (and sometimes the comment hurlers are other adoptees!)

*Well, you could have ended up in a dumpster
* You could have been aborted!
* At least you got parents who loved and wanted you!
* I wish I had been adopted
* Stop focusing on the negative and focus on the positive
* Stop living in the past!
* I'm sure you had a much better life as an adoptee
* My cousin's best friend's sister's niece doesn't feel that way!
* There are worse things in life than being adopted

I'm sure if you are adopted, you have been told all of these things and could make a full separate list.

What do all these comments have in common?



So in an effort to #flipthescript, how about we make it a goal for the future, to make space for all adoptee viewpoints, even conflicting ones? Why not bite on our tongues for a few minutes while an adoptee shares their truth with you. How about refrain from commenting on what you have always believed to be true about adoption as an institution and listen to the person who has experienced it speaking to you?

~much more At link~

I am not the author of this blog post. I have posted here to hopefully educate & illuminate.

"...why are we taking children away from their mothers?"

This is a consequence of treating women without means as brood mares for people of means to "build a family". The public has been lead to believe that removing an infant from its mother to be raised by others is "the same as" being raised by an infants own mother, and it is not. But this view that has been carefully cultivated by a billion dollar industry has lowered the bar to obscene levels to remove a child from its mother.

Thank you for recognizing this as a part of the war on women. Although I believe that feminism more and more is being written by and for women of means leaving the rest of us behind.

Would Jesus be cool with keeping poor kids in orphanages?

Would Jesus be cool with keeping poor kids in orphanages?

In a small village in Uganda there was a family in crisis. Their granddaughter had just fallen into their care and she was sick. Her mother was struggling with mental health problems and had not been giving her proper care. When she arrived at her grandparents, abandoned by her Mom, she was so malnourished they feared for her life.

With limited resources and the hospital an hour away, the family did not know what to do. They loved their granddaughter and wanted to find her help so they approached the leaders in their community about the situation. The leaders contacted some missionaries in town and told them about this family.
And just like that, this little girl was brought to an orphanage, where she would be separated from her family for the next 3 years.

The family wasn't offered transportation to the hospital, or advice on nutrition for a malnourished child, or high caloric foods or help paying hospital bills. The only option presented was the removal of their child.


Essentially, an orphan had been created.


All over the world we are confusing poverty for families not loving their children- In Haiti, in Cambodia, in Kenya, in Brazil, in Honduras. I’ve spoken to folks working on the ground in all of these countries and the common experience is that not enough is being done to help poor families keep their children.

Nearly every family we have resettled a child to has told us, had support been available to help them keep their child, they would have never put them in an orphanage in the first place.
Poverty can’t be the reason the majority of children are growing up in institutional care. But this is what is happening and this is what needs to change.

~more @ link~

Thought provoking essay. I hope you all will read and consider

Adoption or trafficking? Fears grow for Uganda's 'orphans'

Adoption or trafficking? Fears grow for Uganda's 'orphans'
By Amy Fallon
October 5, 2015 12:23 AM

Mpigi (Uganda) (AFP) - When Agatha Namusisi, 64, let her grandson leave Uganda for medical treatment abroad, she assumed he would return, but more than a year later she says he has disappeared.

"They are nowhere to be seen," Namusisi said of the seven-year-old boy and his Ugandan carer who travelled together to the United States in May last year, after an Arizona-based Christian charity arranged for surgery to correct his crippling spinal deformity.

The case is just one example of international adoption gone wrong through misunderstanding, negligence or even criminality, a trend that has Ugandan lawmakers worried, with a 400 percent increase in orphans going to the US alone between 2006 and 2013.


"I signed papers I could not read, but I knew they were to help get this boy from here to America for treatment," said Namusisi.

In Uganda, there is no word for "adoption" in the Western sense, implying permanence. Rather, sending children abroad is seen as similar to enrolling them at boarding school or an apprenticeship.


In May, Uganda's parliament debated the "dubious circumstances" in which "hundreds" of children leave the country despite an estimated 80 percent of so-called orphans having living relatives and the existence of a domestic adoption programme.


In failing to properly scrutinise such agencies, "Americans adopting from Uganda are now complicit in corruption and unethical practices" said one children's rights activist.

~more @ link~

I read a story a while ago about a couple who was going to adopt from Africa became suspicious of the officials handling the adoption and chose not to adopt. Ethics. Some people have them.

Elwood to honor victims of Tennessee Children’s Home Society

Elwood to honor victims of Tennessee Children’s Home Society

By TOM CHARLIER - Associated Press
Sunday, September 27, 2015


The burials are of babies who passed away in the care of the infamous Tennessee Children’s Home Society, where operator Georgia Tann ran a highly organized and lucrative baby-selling network from 1923 until her death in 1950. Many of the children were stolen, usually from poor, uneducated single mothers, and sold to wealthy people across the nation, including movie stars Dick Powell, June Allyson and Joan Crawford.

Children who were sick or otherwise unmarketable often were allowed to die of malnutrition, neglect or abuse. Many simply disappeared.


At Elmwood, officials are raising funds to buy a monument to honor the 19 victims buried there and “all of the hundreds who died under the cold, hard hand of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society,” as the inscription will read. The 64-inch-tall, 48-inch-wide monument is being offered by Crone Monument Co. at the heavily discounted price of $13,075, McCollum said.


Operating out of a large house at 1556 Poplar, Tann systematically sought out babies delivered by poor and desperate mothers, often approaching them while they still were groggy from anesthesia. She manipulated them into signing papers that ostensibly authorized her to take and care for the babies temporarily. Instead, the mothers never saw the babies again.

Tann’s scheme was abetted by the bribes she paid to nurses, judges and others, according to numerous accounts, but she was a powerful figure in her own right. Widely viewed as a beneficent social worker, she enjoyed the protection of longtime Memphis political boss E.H. Crump and could count on sheriff’s deputies to help round up children from poor people’s homes.


Many of the 5,000 or more children sold through the scheme spent decades trying to track down their relatives, and researchers and authors would later document Tann’s lasting impact on adoption in America.

~more @ link~


*Apologies for the link but the story was written by an AP reporter

Georgia Tann is the monster responsible for the changes in the law that seal away adoptee's birth certificates and strips us of our names, history, and natural families. Tann didn't give one wit about "privacy" for the natural mother as she stole babies and the changing of the names was a way for her to cover her tracks and to make the stolen babies more more marketable. Tann was born to a wealthy family and had ties to powerful people and she used that to legalize her monstrous acts.

Adoptees demand full access to our own birth certificates and any documents concerning us. Please take the time to learn the history of modern adoption in the US, especially if you have come to repeat the lies told by the billion dollar adoption industry in regards to our rights.

If you have loved ones who are adopted, please support them by supporting equal rights for adoptees.

Uganda fears for children as overseas adoptions boom

Kampala (AFP) - Authorities in Uganda have raised fears that the east African nation's children are being left vulnerable to abuse and exploitation by a staggering increase in unchecked overseas adoptions.

An official report, details of which were published on Tuesday by the New Vision newspaper, said a boom in what it called the "international adoption industry" had led to some children who were not even orphans being taken into care for adoption or child sponsorship schemes.


The report said the boom in adoptions had led to a "rapidly increasing number of baby and children homes", with more than 500 such institutions now operating in the country.

"These homes have been reported to be removing children from families and communities and placing them into institutional settings and gradually exploiting these children for economic reasons through child sponsorship schemes," it said.


"The report fails to recognise the criminal, intimidating and unethical activities that are being carried out by lawyers, orphanages and adoption agencies to ensure that children continue to be made available for international adoption rather than be resettled with their own families or placed into families in-country," he said.


Transracial doesn’t mean what Rachel Dolezal thinks it means


Transracial is a term to describe interracial adoptees and is commonly used in organisational and academic contexts. Simply put, a transracial person is someone raised in a culture or race different from their own. Having been raised by her white parents and choosing to identify as a person of another race, Dolezal does not get to use this term.

I am a transracial adoptee. I was born in South Korea in the late 80s and I am ethnically Korean. My birth family, struggling with sickness and poverty before Korea’s economic boom in the 90s, put me up for adoption. I was adopted to Australia and raised by Australian parents. The people I call Mum and Dad are white. They are of Irish, German, Scottish and English descent and grew up in inner-suburban Sydney. They do not speak any other languages apart from English and some long-forgotten high school German. People would ask my mother if she had an Asian husband. When I was older, neighbours thought I was an exchange student. A creepy man in our neighbourhood with a mail-order bride asked my father, when I was 14, if I was his wife.


I don’t regret my time in Korea, but I am constantly reminded that no matter how hard I try, I will never truly be Korean – every time I open my mouth and my Australian-accented Korean comes out, when I forget to take off my shoes or hold my right elbow when I give something to someone and all these little rules that I never knew about until 2013. The worst is when I am reduced to communicating with my own family with English and Korean baby talk and exaggerated hand movements. I’m torn between berating myself for not getting my own culture “right” and seeing it through a privileged Western lens, as well as the frustration that I was cut off from it for 25 years through no fault of my own.

This confusion over racial identity is a very common experience for transracial adoptees, and something that I would not wish on anybody.

Being transracial is hardly similar to “feeling black”, like Rachel Dolezal claims. It’s not like gender dysphoria either – the politics of race and gender are not interchangeable in this context. Unlike many black Americans, Rachel’s family background does not carry the trauma of slavery and institutionalised racism. Unlike people who really are transracial, Rachel has not been physically torn between two cultures and denied intimate knowledge of her birth culture. Unlike people who are black and transracial adoptees, Rachel has not had to deal with both of these life-affecting experiences at the same time.

~~~~more @ link~~~~


For clarity, I am not the author of the post that I linked to. I am not transracial, but I follow Kevin Vollmers' Land of Gazillion Adoptees (LGA). The true transracial community is quite large and it is very sad that with so many adoptive families on this board no one has stepped up to say that yes, there is a very real thing called transracial. There are dozens of transracial groups out there, creating a space where adoptees can share experiences and come to a place of empowerment and educating adoptive families on the unique issues that their transracial child will face.

There is an excellent web show Adoptees In The Wild that interviews transracial adoptees. I highly recommend it to anyone connected to a transracial person.

on edit: I would like to thank the two DUers who have made reference to the correct usage of the word transracial on another thread. DU is a wonderful tool to inform and become informed. On issues like this where there is very little known to "outsiders" it is important to inform our community members.

Philomena Lee to get the red carpet treatment in Limerick

The Fitzgerald Bible Bruff award is a new award that has been instigated by Bruff Heritage Group in recognition of the connection between the Fitzgerald bible and Bruff, and the role it played in the Fitzgerald Kennedy family.


Ms Lee, 82, is receiving the award for her work in setting up the Philomena Lee Project which helps adopted people find their birth parents. The project also campaigns for a change in legislation which will given adopted children the right to access their original birth certificate. She has previously been awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Award in the Unites States for her project.


Philomena, which stars Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, tells the tragic yet often uplifting true story of Ms Lee who was forced to give her infant son up for adoption in 1952 when she was just 19. Her lifelong search to trace her son Anthony, who was effectively sold to an American couple by the convent where she lived after giving birth, was initially turned into a book and was then adapted for cinema.

The last high profile guest at the Thomas Fitzgerald Centre was Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the 35th president of the United States of America, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. She visited Bruff in the summer of 2013 to see where her ancestors, the Fitzgerald family, came from. The Fitzgerald family bible which was brought to the US from Bruff was used in the inauguration of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1961, confirming Bruff’s close links to the Fitzgeralds.

~more @ link~

I really, really loved that film. It exposed the reality of forced adoptions of the Baby Scoop Era which most people want to ignore and pretend didn't happen. It happened to my mother here in the States, and it happened to millions of women.

But I thought what made the film exceptional was that it addressed the emotional complexities of it all. The only person in her son's life who knew that he was searching for his mother was his husband. Countless people who were "close" to Philomena's son had no idea.

The film also did a wonderful job in showing how the shame continued to haunt Philomena, like countless other mothers of loss. It showed how she had to work through all of the emotional knots in order to work through the courage to find him.

If you care about women's issues, then please watch this film, and then watch it again.

Congratulations Philomena!

On this date, 4/17/1963, Adults entered into a contract that limited my rights without my permission

Fifty-two years ago today I was born and immediately removed from my mother. My mother, and an adoption agency entered ==>>ME==<< into a legally binding contract without my permission but yet affects me for my entire life. Today I am going to not speak about how this contract affects my son and my four grandchildren, as well as the human rights issues in how my mother came to be involved in this contract to begin with. Today is about me. Today is about my rights.

I am a fifty-two year old woman who is not legally entitled to my own birth certificate. My own birth documents were sealed away upon my birth, and the contract signed by adults at the time of my birth say that I am not entitled to them. Lets skip past the part that I am in reunion with both sides of my family and of course my advancing age. What other infant can be the object of a legal contract that will affect them for their entire life? How can this odious practice begin to even meet the lowest of ethical standards for any institution?

Do parents have the right to obligate their infant into a contract that will last a lifetime? How about a parent who is offered assistance if they sign their infant up for military service? If that crazy analogy makes you say 'hell no!' then how can it be okay for the crazy circumstance that I was born into?

For those who want to dismiss any adoptee for demanding the right to their own birth documents, I would only say that privilege makes it difficult to see beyond your own circumstance. You have yours, so its no big-deal that others have no access to theirs. As far as you are concerned my water fountain is lovelier than yours so I should just STFU...right?

This is a civil and human rights issue. No one has the right to impose their legal contract on me, no one gets to say which of my own personal documents I have access to.

If you say that you support adoption, then please, support adoptees. Support equal rights for adoptees. Only 20% or so of our lives is spent as children. We are human beings and deserve the same rights as other citizens.

Support adoptee rights, no "mother may I', but true legislation that allows us the same rights as you.
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