Baby Stealing 101

July 29, 2007 at 8:00 am (adopted, adoptee, adopting, adoption, adoption reform, birthmother, birthparents, first mother, help, justice, law, Stephanie Bennett)

It seems like there are more and more cases of questionable “adoptions” in the news lately. Honestly it is starting to make me sick. I have had adoptive parents ask me where they get this reputation as baby stealers. Well folks, here it is. People like this being called adoptive parents is what does it. They are the entire reason. If you want that reputation to change help get rid of people like this…..

I am sure most of you have heard of Jamie Kiefer. A devastated mother whose child was taken from her. In her desperation she took her baby back. I see two main culprits in this story. The first is Jamie’s husband Danny. He made Jamie quit work when she was 8 months pregnant. He systematically isolated her from family and friends. Going so far as taking her to another town to give birth so no one could visit her. He then brings in culprit number 2, Jennifer. Jennifer has wanted a baby so he brings her to the house to see Jamie. The two set out to convince a clinically depressed Jamie that Jennifer should adopt the baby. Jamie did not call an agency or seek out people to adopt baby Cali. They came into her home and bullied her into it. Within 3 days baby Cali was baby Madison. 3 Days!!!!!!!!! Jamie quickly let them know she wanted her baby back but did they care? Of course not, they both had what they wanted. Jennifer had a baby and Danny had gotten rid of the child that wasn’t his. The more I find out about this story the more I think it is Danny and Jennifer that should be sitting in jail.

Next there is the sad but all too common case of Cody O’Dea. A father who very much wanted his child. A father that did everything right. He made sure he was on the putative father’s registry. He wrote letters to the adoption agency saying in no way would he consent to the adoption of his baby. He told the mother numerous times how he felt. It should have been simple. But noooooo. The mother went to an agency out of state and placed the child anyway. The out of state agency was completely aware of Cody’s wishes. He has fought from day one. His child should have been returned to him months ago. The adoptive parents have known about how this child was acquired yet can not even be bothered to give Cody a picture of his now 1 yr old child.  For more about Cody go to http://www.babyselling.com/

And let’s not forget Stephanie Bennet who still is without her baby.

I am quickly losing faith in this world. People like this get what they want at the expense of mothers and babies. Lately it seems like no one cares. Please prove me wrong and help stop this!

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Coersion Checklist

July 27, 2007 at 4:09 am (adopted, adoptee, adopting, adoption, adoption reform, birthmother, birthparents, first mother, justice, law)

I saw this a long time ago. When I first read it I was scared by what I saw. I really  thought I was an isolated case. That this didn’t happen on a mass scale. To see it all out there was frightening.

So just to see it all in black and white I copied the checklist. I am going to bold all of the tactics used against me. I would love to see other moms do the same

Originscanada.org

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A. Psychological Coercion. Purpose: To convince you that you were unfit as a mother and thus had to give your baby to people “more fit’ or “more deserving.”

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

  1. You were told you that you were unfit to be a mother because you were ‘unwed’.
  2. You were told that you would be inadequate as a mother.
  3. You were told that keeping your baby would be selfish.
  4. You were forced to draw up a list comparing what you could give to your baby with what adopters could give.
  5. It was stressed to you that your baby “needed a two-parent family.”
  6. It was stressed to you that the needs of your baby came before your own needs and that you could not fulfill your baby’s needs.
  7. The doctor who delivered your baby told you that you must sign-over your baby to him for adoption. (Did you later find out that the baby was adopted by friends of the doctor?)
  8. You were told that if you did not surrender your baby, that your baby would be put into foster care until you did sign.
  9. You are told that surrendering your baby is an expression of how much you love your baby (message: if you keep your baby then you don’t love your baby).
  10. You are told that adoption is “thinking about what is best for your baby.” (message: adoption is best for your baby).
  11. You are told that adoption is “putting your baby’s needs first.” (i.e., before your own needs. Message: your baby does not need you.)

B. Psychological Coercion. Purpose: To convince you that you have an emotional obligation to surrender your baby.

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

  1. You were told to think only of the joy that you’d “give to a couple who could not have children of their own.”
  2. You were told that if you changed your mind, you would be disappointing a wonderful mother who was “waiting for her first baby.”
  3. You were told that you could not keep your baby as your baby has been promised to someone already.
  4. You were encouraged to have the adopters pay your medical or living expenses such that you felt you “owed” them your baby.
  5. You were encouraged to meet with the adopters and after meeting them felt you could not bear to disappoint them by choosing to keep your baby
  6. You were encouraged to establish a relationship with the adopters, and then “fell in love with” with them prior to surrender.
  7. You were told by your parents that you could come home once you had “disposed of the problem” (i.e. surrendered your baby).
  8. You were encouraged to have the adopters in the labour or delivery room with you, for the birth of “their” baby, and thus you felt you could not bear to disappoint them by “changing your mind.”

C. Psychological Coercion. Purpose: To remove from you all personal support systems and make you reliant on adoption professionals for advice, counselling and emotional support. To distance you from any person who might try to provide alternatives to surrender.

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

  1. Your family members or boyfriend were discouraged by adoption professionals from helping you..
  2. Your family members and/or boyfriend were prohibited from seeing you.
  3. You were incarcerated by your parents in a maternity home or wage home where adoption was stressed as “the loving option” and/or “the only option.”
  4. Contact with your parents, boyfriend, fiance, etc. was restricted by the agency, maternity home, or social worker(s).
  5. Your correspondence in or out of the maternity home or wage home was screened.
  6. Telephone use was restricted in the maternity home or wage home.
  7. Your boyfriend was lied to by adoption professionals that the baby was not his.
  8. You were told that your parents were coercing you by encouraging you to keep your baby, that “they only want to be grandparents.”
  9. You were encouraged to distrust anyone who didn’t support you surrendering your baby.

D. Psychological Coercion. Purpose: To psychologically and physically distance you from your baby in order to increase the probability that you would surrender. To ensure that surrender of your baby was seen by you a “inevitable.”

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

  1. Your baby was taken from you at birth by either medical professionals or prospective adopters.
  2. Your access to your baby in the hospital was severely restricted by medical and/or nursing staff.
  3. You were put into a ward other than the maternity ward for recovery, a distance away from your baby.
  4. Your baby was immediately transferred without your consent to a different hospital.
  5. While still pregnant you were labelled a “birthmother,” to put you into the mind-set that your only role in the life of your child was to give birth.
  6. You asked for your baby and were told “No!”
  7. You were told that you were not allowed to see your baby unless/until you signed the surrender papers.
  8. You asked for your baby and were told that it was best that you did not see your baby.
  9. You were given general anesthetic for the birth and kept under anesthetic until your baby was removed for adoption.
  10. You were given mind-altering drugs such as scopalamine by medical staff for several days after the birth in order to induce amnesia.
  11. Your signature was obtained while under the influence of mind-altering drugs administered to you by medical staff..
  12. The drug Stilboestrol was administered to you as a lactation suppressant without your consent.
  13. You asked for your baby back and the adopters stalled until the “revocation of consent” period had expired.

E. Psychological Coercion. P urpose: To psychologically traumatize you to decrease the chances of you bonding with your baby.

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

  1. Information about labour and delivery was deliberately kept from you such that you were scared and traumatized by the unfamiliar process once labour began.
  2. You were left isolated and alone during labour.
  3. If there was a hospital attached to the maternity home, were you and other inmates forced to dispose of the placentas?
  4. You were physically assaulted and/or mutilated by hospital personnel during labour and/or birth (see “Catherine’s Story”)
  5. You were called derogatory names or otherwise derided by doctors, nurses or medical personnel during your pregnancy, labour or birth.
  6. The episiotomy was cut, or sewn-up, without anesthesia.
  7. The episiotomy cut thru ligaments, was cut down your leg, or was otherwise unnecessarily large.

F. Financial Coercion. Purpose: To make you feel financially pressured to surrender. Note: young single mothers are often in a financially-vulnerable situation anyway and thus financial coercion is often a major factor.

  1. You are told, or led to believe, that no social assistance was available that would provide you with the financial support necessary to enable you to keep your baby.
  2. You are told near or after the birth that if you change your mind, you would be liable for paying for medical bills or other costs beyond your ability to pay.
  3. The hospital refused to release your baby to you unless you pay them a large sum of money beyond your ability to pay.

G. Fraud. Purpose: To guarantee the surrender of your child.

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

  1. Your baby was taken immediately into foster care with no explanation and kept there with the location kept secret from you until the social worker could use “abandonment” as a basis for revoking your parental rights.
  2. You were told at some point that the adoption was “final” and found out later that it wasn’t.
  3. You were told that your baby had died at birth and later found this was false. Note, this is known in the adoption industry as “rapid adoption” – see the article “Rapid Adoptions.” ALL single mothers who were told that their baby was stillborn and were not permitted to see the body should demand to see the certificate of death!
  4. You were told that the adoption was “final” and found out later that it wasn’t at that point in time.
  5. You were told that there were no other alternatives. (information about social assistance was withheld from you).
  6. You were led to believe that a promise of open adoption was a legally-binding agreement and the adoption later closed.
  7. You were told you would “get over it” and be able to return to your “normal life.”
  8. The documents were signed by someone else forging your signature without your knowledge or consent.
  9. You were informed after signing a “pre-birth consent” that it would be held binding in a court-of-law.

H. Withholding information from the mother. Purpose: To you to surrender by withholding known information about risks or negative consequences.

Methods used by “Adoption Professionals”:

  1. Information withheld about the known lifelong implications, risks, and emotional consequences of surrender (see www.birthmothers.info for information adoption professionals are aware of but commonly withhold)
  2. Information withheld about options that would enable you to keep your baby (i.e. financial assistance, temporary foster care, foster care for you and your child together, temporary guardianship, or filing through court for child support from your baby’s father)
  3. Information withheld about your right to independent legal counsel to explain the legal document you were signing and the legal ramifications of it and to be present in the room to protect your rights as you signed it.
  4. Information withheld about the existence of a “revocation of consent” period.
  5. You were not permitted to read the documents you were signing.
  6. You were not given a copy of the
  7. You were pressured to decide on adoption while still pregnant, or to surrender your infant without being able to first care for your infant for several weeks post-partum in order to make an informed decision about motherhood?
  8. Information withheld from you about your right to take as many days, weeks or months as you needed before deciding on adoption, if you decided on it at all.
  9. Information withheld about your right to care-for and nurture your baby in the hospital.
  10. Information withheld about your right to take your baby home from the hospital with you.

In Contrast: Your Rights as a Mother:

These are some of the rights that may have been denied to you, no matter what your age or social situation was when you gave birth:

  • You had the right to see your baby after he/she was born.
  • You had the right to hold, nurse, and care for your baby.
  • You had the right to be told the sex of your baby.
  • You had the right to independent legal counsel to explain the legal documents were were signing and to be present when you signed them.
  • You had the right to care for your baby without feeling pressured to decide about adoption within ANY certain time period.
  • You had the right to adequate financial support which would have enabled you to keep and raise your baby.

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Breaking Down Down Down

July 27, 2007 at 1:59 am (adoption, birthmother, birthparents, first mother, justice)

I mentioned in my last post that I have a lot going on in my life right now, none of which is really good. It seems like life just loves to kick me when I’m down.

A relative I am very close to has become ill. I am not close to many people so its a hard blow for me. I guess ill isn’t really the right word. He is going to die. Its just a matter of time before he slips past my grasp to a place I can not follow. I think he knew I would be alone if he had gone sooner. I think he waited until he knew I would have someone to help me. He waited until he could be sure the great and powerful Hedge would take care of me and keep me safe. He waited because he is one of the very few people in the world that has ever truly loved me. I don’t know how I will live without him.

I haven’t heard from the people that have my child in months. I have heard all the stupid things people say to make you worry less. Maybe they are busy, hmmmm I don’t care how busy they are a 2 line email wouldn’t kill them. Maybe their email isn’t working, maybe they should let me in on it. Maybe they just forgot, somehow I don’t feel better being forgotten. Maybe maybe maybe….. I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care! I want to know my baby is ok. I need to know my baby is ok! Just tell me my baby is alive and I will find a way to live. I have to know. You promised I would always know. Remember you love me so much and would never cut me out. You said it. Now do it!

Then it really sinks in that none of it was true. They don’t love me at all. It is just something they say. Proof of love is in actions not hollow words. I have to accept that they might never contact me again. Accept that I might never know if she is alive. What her smile looks like. If she loves music like we do. If she has the same attitude as her siblings. I might never know even the smallest thing about her. I have to accept it but How? If anyone knows how please tell me because i can’t figure it out and I am drowning here.

Last night i had a very hard conversation. It was well meaning. How could anyone know it would send me spiraling out of control into a darkness I thought I had escaped? I was asked questions about being pregnant with the Bean. It led to talking about my former pregnancies. Things like how much they kicked and if they were high or low in my stomach. It just poured out of me. A carried really high. She was all the way up in my ribs. I thought she would break them for sure. She kicked with such force. Man it hurt like hell. She had the hiccups all the time. She was never still. Always moving and full of life. I told them all the things she did and all the things I did to comfort her. The songs I sang, how I rubbed my stomach, the stories I told her. Then I fell silent. It occurred to me that all I have of my baby had been shared already. That is all I have of her. That is it. I can’t talk about her birth because i was too drugged to remember any of it. There are no stories of her life because I am not permitted to be part of it. I don’t know one silly little thing about her. Nothing. All I have of my only surviving little girl can be told in 10 minutes. That is all I have of the baby I begged God to give me for years. And she will remember none of it.

Some days it is just too much for my soul. I can’t find a way to live through it. Some days I don’t want to. I am not as strong and brave as I pretend to be. I am not the rock I portray to help others. I am human. I am weak. I am powerless in this. I hurt so badly I feel like I am going to explode. All the wise words I give to others when they are in need aren’t working for me. I am not healed as many of you think. I am going under yet again. I hurt and I can’t make it stop.

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Sorry

July 6, 2007 at 2:57 am (Uncategorized)

I swear I have not dropped off the face of the earth. I promise to finish my story. I just can’t do it right now. Life has gotten in the way once again. I am not sure when I can get back to blogging. There is a illness in the family that requires my attention right now. It is hard and painful. I just don’t have the energy for anything else right now. I hope you understand. (pretty  sure you do)

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