I spent this morning listening to the Table Speeches of the Australian Inquiry into Forced Adoption in AUS.  To say that it was moving would be a masterpiece of understatement, since I spent most of the hour I listened to them with tears streaming down my face. 

After spending the bulk of the past few months listening to the Republican Party amp up their War on Women, hearing the Aussies figuring out the most expeditious way possible to APOLOGIZE to Australian women for forcing them to surrender their children, a practice that began in the United States and was taught to the Australian Social Workers by American women Social Workers, and how to grant them reparations and what reparations are appropriate, how to get them counseling, reunite families, open the records completely so that the legalized lies in them will be shown the light of day, pointed out in glaring detail the differences between our countries, and the United States did NOT show well in comparison. 

I heard Rush Limbaugh's outrageous comments about the brave young woman, Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown Law student,  who put herself and her privacy on the line in order to speak out on behalf of herself and her peers and they seemed like something out of another era, when women who wore short skirts were "asking for it" when they got raped, and their rapists could simply get three or four of his buddies to say that they had slept with her to show that she was a "round-heel" who deserved what she got.   It also further highlighted the glaring  differences between a nation that spent 18 months conducting a formal inquiry into past adoption practices, and how they can make an attempt to correct some of the mistakes of their past, in adoption, to mothers, fathers, children of past adoption and the punitive, shame-based agenda for women that the current crew of Republican candidates for President of the United States and the United States Congress appear to espouse.

Then, I received my email newsletter from Ethica, the organization whose banner states that they are
"An independent voice for ethical adoption".  In this newsletter are the following articles:
 These are all important, all critical areas of investigation, but there is NOTHING about the news from AUS. What issue is MORE about adoption ethics?  What is a clearer example of adoptons gone wrong when ethics are NOT a part of the equation than the mistreatment of mothers to take their babies from them to be adopted by hook or by crook...heavy emphasis on the crook!

I thought, okay, this is for current adoptions, for adopters who are seeking to adopt in the most ethical way possible. While there can be little more out of line with their professed mission than forced adoptions, I can see that it may not be their top priority issue, so I went to some sites that profess to be mother-friendly, like CUB, which professes a newer and stronger interest in "moving forward by looking back" with their Cub History Project (CHIP).  What could be more a part of the history of the practice of adoption in the United States than the fact that one of the nations that WE TRAINED TO DO ADOPTION IN OUR IMAGE was apologizing and offering redress for the self-same procedures that were and ARE de rigeur in this country, but nothing. 

Okay, I thought, CUB is an old and established and maybe not cutting edge organization.  I will try one that is more au courant, more new, more edgy.... to Origins-USA...surely Origins-USA would make mention of the momentous events in Australia.  Certainly, the history of the organization, despite unpleasantness and upheaval in the past, would honor the work done by Australian Mother/Activists like the late Dian Wellfare, Lily Arthur and Evelyn Robinson.  Nothing....not a single syllable to address this issue. 

 ABC News in the United States  did a prime time piece on the issue in AUS.  Nothing is more mainstream, more daily, less controversial than ABC News, and yet they gave it airtime.  BUT, IT IS NOT EVEN MENTIONED IN NOT FOR PROFIT, 501(c)3 ORGANIZATIONS THAT STATE AS THEIR MISSION TO EXPOSE THE TRUTH, OVERTURN THE LIES, AND WORK FOR ETHICS IN ADOPTION?

As  philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist George Santayana is famously quoted as saying, ""Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  How can anyone "remember" the Baby Scoop Era if those who lived it continue to deny it ever happened, or that if it did it has no importance to mothers today.

Even the organizations like Bastard Nation, who have been screaming since their inception for unfettered access to their original birth certificates should be taking notice of the recommendations.  Recommendations 13-20 of Reflections on the Tabling of the Senate Committee Report on Former ForcedAdoption Policies and Practices in the Australian Senate on 29 February 2012  are to fully open all the records, to all the parties to adoption, finally allowing the light of day to these heinous, secretive, shameful proceedings.  But, when I go to their website, nary a whisper.  Isn't this exactly what they wish for?  Isn't this their stated goal?  Isn't this the ultimate aim for all Bastards in the United States, this unfettered access to their records?  If it is, then this is the perfect time to align themselves with mothers to make all Americans aware.  But, no. 

In an earlier post, I went into some depth about Carole Anderson's views on the necessity of adoptees and mothers working together on opening records.  She said,

"... Only by working hand in hand with (birth)parents can openness be achieved on a large scale, because the myths that now bar openness will persist unless courts gain a true understanding of (birth)parents interests and needs, both at the time of surrender and later in life.

It is solely by working together that adoptees and birth parents can demonstrate that neither sought nor chose secrecy; that both need and want the reality openness alone can provide; that surrender is the result of loving parent's lack of resources (emotional, financial or otherwise), not a lack of caring couples with a desire for secrecy...that birth parents are not different and inferior beings from whom their children must be protected, nor are the frightened, incompetent people whose lives will be destroyed by meeting their children again."

Where is the outrage?  Why is NO ONE out in the streets or contacting their legislators, or calling the media?  Why are there no politicians or activists listening to the rumblings coming from down under?  Are women and children of no value other than what they or the products of their raided wombs can bring on the open market?    They have proven these things can be done in Australia.  Why can't it be done here? Or, are we really so far gone that Rush Limbaugh and his ilk really are returning us to those hideous days when women were lined up like cattle to have their babies wrested from them for sale to the highest bidder.  And, if so, who but a few of us care....


Anonymous said...

Well put Sandy-

Kathleen said...

Thank you, Sandy. I share your outrage.

Robin said...

WOW....just WOW!! Very good blog, Sandy.

Carole said...

You might like this poem about mothers http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2011/12/random-quotation-spot.html

maybe said...

"Or, are we really so far gone that Rush Limbaugh and his ilk really are returning us to those hideous days when women were lined up like cattle to have their babies wrested from them for sale to the highest bidder."

In a word, yes. Single mothers are considered a scourge on American society by conservatives. They see adoption as a nice punishment for unsanctioned sexual activity in addition to being a way to keep those Caddy-driving welfare queens off the dole.

They are all for dismembering families in the name of family values.

kitta said...

Excellent Sandy!!

And, yes, I wonder why there is no outrage.
But the American women today are of a different mind than when we were younger.There is such an emphasis on money-making today and the "value" of promoting oneself...and too bad for others who might be in a bad patch.

We were taught the value of community...as President JFK said" Ask not what your country can do for YOU, but what YOU can do for your country." That was about unselfish service to others.

Some years ago,I attended a presentation in Boulder, CO given by historian Rickie Solinger. She was discussing her just-released book(at that time)"Beggars and Choosers:How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States." One of the women from the audience came up to Rickie and said,"I see your point but I just don't want to pay for these(single) mothers."

That is just one example...but I have heard that attitude a lot. People would rather see children taken from poor mothers/families and given to families that have more money, than give one dime of their money or time to assist a family in need.

There seems to be a "value" that poor means worthless.We have become a very shallow-minded country...maybe we always were..don't know...

Anyway...bravo to Australia!!

Anonymous said...

The conservative mantra:
save the fetus, damn the child

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Sandy. I loved your quotes from Carol they provided a sense of validation for me.

Your post has made me realize that I have done nothing for adoption reform except create a blog expressing my outrage. More needs to be done. I need to support adoption reform by action.

Rachel Weeping said...

Hi Sandy, I've been calling everyone I can think of. Justice Dept. FBI, Congress, the press. Human rights leaders. I have a press release if you would like to help?

Rachel Weeping said...

I have been calling and writing everyone I can think of. Justice Department, three offices, the FBI, and Congress, human rights leaders and filmmakers. I have a press release if anyone would like to help me. I lost a baby to this horrid practice and I'm tired of being silenced. Contact me wwww.originsamerica.org

Rachel Weeping said...

I'm outraged and I have been calling Dept of Justice, FBI, Congress and media and filmmakers. I have a prepared press release. Find out more at www.originsamerica.org

barry said...

Sandy, i just published a new blog entry about blackhawk that i think you might find interesting. i had no real concept of the quad cities and blackhawk until i started thru the materials that went into this entry. i can't remember if i saw or responded to your earlier comment before but i'm glad to now. if i did i probably mentioned my support over the years to birth moms under the indian child welfare act. in any case i will note tht your production rate and mine on the blog show some parallels - obviously we save outselves for good ones. here's my email address so that you can get back to me: bwbenefield@yahoo.com

Mother said...

Hi Sandy,

Great post and right on point. When Australia came forward and acknowledged what had been done in past adoption practices there. I thought, next is Canada, then United States. WRONG!!!
Sadly, adoption and all its "goodness" is ignored because moms and adoptees are just the problems that stand in the way. We are a small group even though we aren't really who have been affected.
WE live in a society where there is much to be worried about economy , jobs, just living pay check to paycheck. Fighting to survive.
APATHY is going to kill us all whether we are in against or in favor of adoptions. God help us!!