Tuesday, May 27, 2008
This book discusses how they discouraged unwed mothers from keeping and raising her child. One mother, Mary age 28, wanted to keep her child because she was an older woman and was afraid that she would not have another. I have heard that story echoing into the halls of natural parents. In the 1930's, they forced the mothers to breast feed their babies not just for a baby's health but to force the mothers to bond with their children. They did this to encourage these women to take ownership of their responsibilities. I imagine that for most mothers it was a natural experience. In the thirties, fifty percent of all unwed mothers kept their children.
In the 1940s and the 1950s, it was a quite different philosophy of thought. They considered single mothers a threat to the middle class ideal. So often you hear stories that these women either got spiritual training or psychological counseling to get them to see the error of their ways. We can all imagine what that was like. Suemma Coleman Home for Unwed Mothers was the protestant version of St. Elizabeth's Home for Unwed Mothers. This was the time that worshiped the concept of the middle class family. They stopped encouraging women to keep their children.
Interestingly enough they condemned the African American mother and forced her to raise her own child. They wanted her to take responsibility of her own child. With the white mother, it was the opposite. They wanted her to relinquish her child. Many of these social workers at these agencies thought this new pattern was a sign of the unwed mother having a personality disorder. They felt it was a unwed mother's attempt to get back at her parents for the lack of love and attention. They felt that it was ultimately the unwed mother's mother who was responsible for her daughter getting pregnant. They described this pregnancy as a form of rebellion. These homes changed their focus from lower class mothers to middle class mothers. They became very selective in the unwed mothers. Neither one of these homes for years would accept an African American mother in their maternity homes.
Ruth Henderson, the Suemma Coleman Home for Unwed Mothers director, described how these girls coming to the home would want to keep their children. These girls were strongly discouraged from that train of thought. Her words, I swear. The maternity homes had to make sure that these young girls followed through with relinquishment. Most of these girls were told that since they got pregnant that they would NOT be good mothers. These homes told these women that they could not be mothers without a husband. A husband is what made them mothers. Ms. Henderson happily reported that most of these mothers willingly changed their minds once they understood this.
Many of these agencies highlighted how they forced these women to relinquish their babies. They literally broadcasted how well that they did their jobs. In Indianapolis, if a poor woman applied for assistance she was turned down. If she did receive assistance, she had to be very careful or else the state would confiscate her children.
Suemma Coleman Home for Unwed Mothers really did a number on the mothers. I have been lucky enough to speak with several of them. All of them have horror stories. They were tied to the bed during labor, no pain relief, fed three sparse meals a day and much more. These women were not allowed to hold their babies or let alone know the sex of them. You hear that Coleman adoptees? They were not given a choice.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
My experience has been just as bad with Catrina Carlisle. I honestly believe that all of my information is a lie. Catrina Carlisle lied to me on several occasions that I can't determine the truth of my own situation.
Catrina Carlisle told me that she was the only CI or ASS as she calls herself that I could use. ASS stands for Adoption Search Specialist. She also told me that she could not contact my father because the law didn't allow her to. That fathers can't register on the Adoption History registry. I have read over the law as written into Indiana code. I have also read the law as it is written into the Department of Health Vital Statistics' handbook. There is no restriction on which CI that you use. There is nothing in the law that prohibits contact with the fathers. The law states "birth" parent, not "birth" mother.
Lets also discuss that some of the CIs have a conflict of interest in helping the adoptees and their families. Catrina Carlisle is an adoptive parent and the former agency director of Coleman Adoption Services. Kris Lucas has also worked for Catholic Charities. These are major conflict of interests. These folks do not have our best interests at heart. They have their financial budgets and their personal interests at heart. This can affect the conversaton with our family members.
In January of 2006, I began my search. Before I paid my fee, I asked if my natural mother would have the support needed with dealing with contact. I had spoken with only a few mothers at that time. I wanted to make sure that she would have support if she needed it. I have since learned that the agency is most definitely not the best way to offer support. Knowing what I know now, I would recommend contacting members of Concerned United Birthparents, OriginsUSA, members of the Baby Scoop Era mothers, and First Mothers Connect to get the support that your natural parents might need. These are people who have walked a mile in their shoes. They completely understand what our mothers have felt. I know with both Indiana Open, Coleman Moms and Babes and other organizations that we have support for those mothers. If you are a natural parent searching for your child, join Bastard Nation, Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change, and others to get the support needed for your adopted child.
I paid my fee. I waited for a day or two until Catrina called me. She told me that my natural mother refused contact. I was getting ready to go behind the fence of Vernon's state hospital, a place for the criminally insane. I was not in the best of places to take that call. I spent the rest of the day crying. The next week my natural mother supposedly called back wanting to know how to keep all of this private. She supposedly wanted to be assured that I would not show up on her door step after hiring a private investigator.
I had called Catrina a couple of other times after that. I was summarily dismissed. In that time, I have heard from countless other Coleman adoptees and Indiana adoptees who have been screwed over by this woman. After speaking with the daughter of a mother who was at the home the day before I was born, I realized that most if not all of my information is a lie.
I have heard repetitively that Indiana is known for changing birth dates, for not having the correct information, and for incest. So if you are coming into the search portion, you need to be aware of these things.
CIs in Indiana answer to no one. They don't answer to the courts. They can and sometimes will take you for a ride. They can and will sometimes lie to you about your information. So be aware very aware. Speak with other adoptees and who they have used.
I have spoken with another CI who said that Indiana has had it share of corruption and theft with CIs. She also told me that most other CIs don't like Coleman adoptees.
My advice to all is if you can afford Kinsolving.com, use them. It puts the ball in your court. It allows you to be treated like the adult that you are.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
He said that he went to the Coleman Agency and requested his records. He said that he was removed from the office by security. I have to laugh at that one. I think its great. I wish I could have been sent out of the office. Sadly I live in Texas. He has the same complaints as I do with Coleman. They were no help at all with his search.
I hate to tell him this but its true. The agency has lied on so many levels to all of its adoptees. They are not held accountable to us, the adoptee. They are not held accountable to the natural parents, our parents. Lord knows there is enough doubt by our adoptive parents. My own mother doubts the adoption of me. She wonders if it is even legal. She got no paperwork for me.
I think its wrong. Plain wrong. With the new Voter ID law, I pray that he and other Coleman babes never lose their driver's license or their other forms of identification. They won't be able to vote. They will not be able to prove their birth. Indiana has the OBC's under lock and key.
As time moves forward, we are losing more and more rights. My natural mother's so called right to privacy doesn't out weigh my civil rights under the constitution. In fact she relinquished her rights. My natural father had no say in the adoption of me. Something has got to give. It ain't gonna be me or anyother adoptee. We will have our rights.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Oh this sounds so much like Matt Tenneson's story. It looks like it might be the case. I love it.
Iowa appeals court sides with dad in adoption dispute
By Ann McGlynn/QUAD-CITY TIMES | Thursday, May 15, 2008
An adoption battle is pitting a biological father who is a college student with a criminal history against a couple who are “excellent parents” who wish to adopt a 3½-year-old boy named Daniel.
The Iowa Court of Appeals agreed Wednesday that the parental rights of the biological father, a Davenport man known only as Johnny, should not be terminated because he attempted to find his son despite the efforts of the biological mother, Ashley, against him. The potential adoptive parents are referred to as Jeff and Jenny, who live in Muscatine.
“Johnny’s attempts to get information from Ashley were met with lies about the baby’s whereabouts and Ashley’s plans for the child,” the court wrote. “Unfortunately, at the same time the mother was lying to Johnny, she was withholding information from Jeff and Jenny about the person she obviously believed to be her son’s father.”
Jennifer Olsen, attorney for Johnny, said he is “obviously pleased” with the ruling and plans to pursue reunification with his child. “My client has much interest in being a father,” she said. However, she noted, “We understand that this is a delicate situation. He understands there is a relationship to be built.”
The attorney for Daniel’s legal guardians could not be reached for comment.
According to court documents:
Daniel was born in October 2004 to Ashley in a Davenport hospital. Before she gave birth, she told Jeff and Jenny that she wanted them to adopt the baby. Jenny had worked as the manager of the nursery at Ashley’s high school and had been told by other mothers that Ashley wanted to give up her child for adoption. They met when Ashley was four months pregnant.
Jenny was there when Daniel was born. She and Jeff brought the baby home with them, and he was given their last name. Ashley told them she was not sure who the father of the baby was but she believed it might be a man named Johnny, who lives in Davenport.
Jeff and Jenny did not establish a legal relationship between themselves and the child.
However, court documents say, Ashley knew much more about Johnny. She called him to inform him the baby was about to be born, and he attempted to visit him at the hospital twice.
Two weeks after Daniel was born, Ashley began to have second thoughts. She went and got the baby from Jeff and Jenny, and then placed him in Johnny’s care for about six weeks. She then demanded Johnny return Daniel to her and gave him back to Jeff and Jenny without Johnny’s knowledge.
When Johnny asked about Daniel, Ashley told him, “He is somewhere better.”
Jeff and Jenny applied to become the temporary guardians. Ashley signed an affidavit saying she did not know who the father was or his whereabouts. Notice of guardianship was published in the Muscatine Journal — as the case was filed in Muscatine County. It used Jeff and Jenny’s last name as Daniel’s last name. Also, Johnny was living in Davenport, where the local paper is the Quad-City Times.
In November 2006, Jeff and Jenny filed a request to terminate the parental rights of Ashley and any biological father.
Meanwhile, Johnny was looking for Daniel.
Ultimately, he learned of the guardianship action through Iowa Courts Online, with the help of his probation officer. He found a phone number of Jeff and Jenny and called them to request a visit with Daniel. Jenny told him to contact their attorney.
He appeared at the termination hearing. The district court ruled that while Ashley’s rights were to be terminated, Johnny’s were not.
Ann McGlynn can be contacted at (563) 383-2336 or email@example.com.
Here is the link. Here is the story.
Foster child death is 4th in 5 months
Investigators are awaiting results of tests to find out what killed infant girl
By Tim Evans
The Indiana Department of Child Services is investigating the death of a Marion County infant who died in foster care.
Seven-week-old Destiny Linden, who died April 28 at Riley Hospital for Children, is at least the fourth child under DCS supervision to die within the past five months in Marion County.
Susan Tielking, spokeswoman for the department, said the agency has opened an investigation into the death.
She also confirmed DCS had an open case involving Destiny at the time of her death but said she could not provide any details of that case because of state confidentiality requirements.
Tielking said DCS records from the initial case, which apparently resulted in Destiny being placed in foster care, could not be released unless the new investigation determines she died as a result of abuse or neglect.
The fact that a child dies while in state custody is not enough under state law to trigger the release of DCS records, she said.
The cause of Destiny's death has not been determined, said Marion County Chief Deputy Coroner Alfarena Ballew. She said initial indications point to a potentially unsafe sleeping situation, but the final determination is pending results of toxicology and other tests, which will not be available for several weeks.
Ballew said the child was found unresponsive on an adult bed and, after attempts to revive her, was placed on life support at Riley for about two days before being pronounced dead.
According to an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department report, police and medics were called to a home in the 8400 block of East 34th Street at 2:56 p.m. April 24 on a report of a possibly dead child. When authorities arrived, Everette Coleman, 43, identified himself as Destiny's foster parent and said he called 911 when he discovered she had stopped breathing.
The report says officers collected a quilt, blanket and bottle from the bed where Destiny was lying, a sheet from the baby's crib and a bottle from the living room floor.
Destiny first was taken to Community Hospital East, according to the report.
Tielking said Coleman and his wife, Kim, are licensed foster parents in good standing with the department.
Other children under DCS supervision who have died recently in Marion County include:
» TaJanay Bailey, 3, who died Nov. 27, just weeks after she was returned to her mother and the woman's boyfriend by DCS.
» Miyanna Chowning, 3, who died Dec. 31 while in foster care.
» Christine Miller, 8 weeks old, who died Jan. 21 while her family was involved in an active child protection case.
Tielking said she could not say how the four deaths in five months compare with past trends because the agency does not track the deaths of all children who are in state care, such as those who die from natural causes or accidents.
Dawn Robertson, spokeswoman for the family rights group Honk for Kids, which works with parents dealing with the child welfare system, said the state should be able to say how many children in its care have died, regardless of the cause.
"They should be held to a higher standard," she said. "They have taken these children from their parents because they believe they will be safer with the state. The public certainly ought to know when one of these children dies, even if there was nothing done wrong."
Madonna, I no longer listen to your music. It comes on and I change the channel. Shame on you.
Here is the link. Here is the story.
Judge Postpones Madonna Hearing
Why was it delayed again? Because Malawian human rights group have presented arguements against the adoption laws. But don't worry because the group was not challenging Madonna's adoption in particular just adoption laws in general. Madonna should be all good to go next week.
It's highly doubtful little David would even wanna go back after living with Madonna. Who would wanna go back? It would be a teaser.
Here is the link. Here is the story.
In the international adoption business, there are few guarantees. A lot can go wrong.But dozens of families across the country who dealt with Adoption Partners of Simpsonville, which specializes in Guatemalan adoptions, say the owner, Joanne Mitchell, failed to deliver."It's horrible. It's horrible," said Stacy Bernstein of Beacon, New York, holding a picture of Ingrid. "I look at this and I see her as the 13-year-old American New Yorker that I envisioned her that I know she's never going to be."
Bernstein said Ingrid's adoption through Adoption Partners hit a snag. Ingrid's birth mother, she was told, was discovered to have two identification cards, one of which could be fraudulent.Bernstein, who paid Adoption Partners $11,250, said she was told Ingrid's adoption was being delayed."Then I was told, well, it'll be fixed any day now, any day now, and any day now. And any day now became months and months. Any day now still hasn't come," Bernstein told News 4's Tim Waller.Bernstein is not the only person whose Guatemalan adoption fell through using Adoption Partners of Simpsonville. Families in New Hampshire, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington State have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau for adoptions that never went through.Each family claims to have paid Adoption Partners tens of thousands of dollars, according to Better Business Bureau records."I just don't think the business part of it mattered to her. I think if it works out, great, if not, well, these things happen, oh well. But you can't do that. This is people's lives that she's dealing with," Bernstein said.Brian and Jennifer Stuckert of Platte City, Missouri paid Adoption Partners $12,000 to adopt "Manuel." When the adoption fell through, the Stuckerts filed a lawsuit claiming "fraud, deception, false pretense, and misrepresentation."The lawsuit was recently dismissed so the Stuckerts could bring legal action in a different form."I have never been shown a cancelled check, a receipt or anything else that a reasonable person would expect to have on hand that would lead me to believe she was even attempting to perform the services for which we hired her," Brian Stuckert told News 4 in a telephone interview.News 4 learned through the Freedom of Information Act that the South Carolina Department of Social Services has received numerous complaints against Adoption Partners, and its owner Joanne Mitchell.Most complaints allege that Mitchell used an adoption facilitator in Guatemala who has been banned by the U.S. government for so-called "shady dealings."In fact, Thanassis Kollias (a.k.a. "Teo") was the focus of a recent Dateline NBC report entitled, "To Catch a Baby Broker."Stacy Bernstein said it was not until she hired her own attorney in Guatemala that she was told Adoption Partners was using this banned facilitator."I said I don't want to work with him," Bernstein said. "I want a new referral, as much as I thought this child to be my daughter, I was uncomfortable working with a facilitator that the United States Embassy said they would not approve."News 4 tried to contact the Simpsonville woman, who is the target of so many complaints. But Joanne Mitchell was not at the home she lists as her primary business address.In an e-mailed statement, Mitchell told News 4, "Adoption Partners (has carried out) hundreds of successful international adoptions. Adoption is not a guaranteed process. The current changes with the Guatemalan government has made thousands of American families suffer from delays and sometimes cancellation of their adoptions."Experts agree that Guatemalan adoptions are risky. The U.S. State Department has issued many warnings.But Spartanburg adoption lawyer Jim Thompson, one of two attorneys in the country accredited by the Hague Convention, said the problems in Guatemala are often downplayed by child-placing agencies."The problem is when expectations are not met, or if a person purporting to be an adoption professional sets those expectations so high that no one can fulfill them," Thompson said.Stacy Bernstein said she now believes Ingrid was never legally eligible for adoption. She said she blames Adoption Partners of Simpsonville for her failed adoption and more."I lost faith in people. I don't trust people the way I did before. I don't approach people in my personal life the way I used to. (Mitchell) has taken away the innocence I used to have," Bernstein said.
Here is the link.
I did not know this woman but I am grateful for her strength and courage through the years. I hope to continue to carry the torch in order to light the way for adoptees and their families. She helped many an adoptee who were adopted out of Georgia Tann's Children's Home Society. Barbara Bisantz Raymond wrote about her in her book, The Baby Thief. I want her sons to have this forever memorialized on my blog so that they can refer to it. May she always guide us in the adoptee rights movement. My prayers are with her family at this time.
Here is the story in the Commercial Appeal:
Mrs. Glad reunited adoptees, families
By Shirley Downing
Thursday, May 15, 2008
In the 1940s, Marianne "Denny" Glad wondered what became of three young cousins who were placed for adoption.
Years later, the oldest cousin found his way back to biological relatives in Mississippi.
He'd grown up in Oregon. A brother died in Vietnam. The sister's whereabouts were unknown.
But Mrs. Glad was hooked. She would turn her passion for history and research into helping reunite families separated by adoption and time.
In the process, Mrs. Glad helped reshape Tennessee's adoption laws and became an expert on the Tennessee Children's Home Society, a Memphis adoption agency that closed in scandal in 1950.
Mrs. Glad died at her Raleigh home Monday after a long illness. She was 70.
"She was an angel," said Nashville adoption lawyer Robert Tuke, who worked with Mrs. Glad a decade ago on adoption law reform.
In more than two decades, Mrs. Glad and her colleagues with Tennessee The Right to Know helped hundreds of adoptees and birth families find each other by using legally accessible records, charging only for expenses.
Many of those adult adoptees had been placed by Georgia Tann through the old TCHS on Poplar, scandalized for selling babies. Facts blended with fiction, and Mrs. Glad always tried to separate the two.
"She would never bow to some of the outlandish myths there were about TCHS and she absolutely insisted on documenting all the facts as she well as she could," said colleague Debbie Norton.
"It lent to her credibility. I think everybody who came out of that home owes her a debt of gratitude."
A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in history, she married Gerald Glad in 1963. The family lived in California until they moved here when Glad took a job as a civilian financial planner for the Navy. He died in 1988.
"She was a fascinating woman, the most well-read and educated person who had a sense of right and wrong," said son Keith Glad of Nashville.
He said his mother felt adoptees had a right to know "who they are" and the circumstances of their birth.
"She would do anything in the world for you," said son Tony Glad of Boston.
"Now, she was strongly opinionated but she was not flashy and did not want to make a big public scene, but she definitely had a sense of right and wrong.''
Mrs. Glad, a homemaker who worked for a time in the office at Craigmont High School, became involved in adoption searches in the early 1980s, along with neighbor Nancy Kvapil and later Norton and Jalena Bowling.
Mrs. Glad "loved the historical aspect" of the adoption searches, Bowling said.
Mrs. Glad, Bowling and Norton were honored in 2001 with the Women of Achievement award for determination.
Caprice East of Nashville, who worked with Mrs. Glad in the adoption reform effort in the mid- to late 1990s, said Mrs. Glad "was so well-versed on everything. She never missed a detail. She was precise ...
"I've never seen anybody that so many people revered and that nobody vilified. She was just absolutely incredible."
Mrs. Glad also leaves a sister, Nellie Ruth Griffis of Memphis, and a brother, Bob Denman of Texas.
Services will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Memorial Park Funeral Home with burial in the cemetery. Memorial Park Funeral Home has charge.
I found this story coming out of New Zealand. Here is the story.
Choosing adoption a `lonely and hard decision'
A record slump in adoption statistics is no surprise to a Christchurch woman who intends to give her unborn child away at birth.
Hei Hei's Tracey Hill is one of the small number of pregnant women nationwide who will choose to place their baby up for adoption by strangers this year. Since 1968, the annual number of children adopted outside their families has fallen from 2617 to 60.
Child, Youth and Family (CYFS) estimates that 300 couples are waiting to adopt. Prospective parents can wait indefinitely to be chosen by a birthmother.
Hill, a 34-year-old married woman with two children, said choosing adoption was a lonely and hard decision. "I was such a mess. It was the lowest I'd ever been in my whole life. I didn't know what to do, I didn't know who to turn to," she said. Her husband was supportive but she did not want him to become attached to the unborn baby.
The couple had intended to have only two children. Despite this, Hill was "paranoid" about what people thought of her and the choice she had made for the baby's future. "I don't hate the baby inside. I don't smoke, I don't drink alcohol, I don't do drugs, I don't drink Coke. I'm giving it the best start," she said. "With everything growing, the costs of everything - we have two children - another baby on board would be harder."
Hill said abortion, which she had already had with an earlier pregnancy, was easier than what she was now going through. "I wouldn't have morning sickness, I wouldn't have people looking at me, it would be all over now, I would get back to life."
But the plight of relatives who could not have a child made her reconsider her options. She rang CYFS and has met staff, but cannot move on her decision until later in her pregnancy. Her next appointment, when she will start considering birth parents, is during the 36th week.
Choosing adoption has raised many issues for Hill, such as how to tell family and friends. Her daughters do not yet know of the decision.
"As soon you say you're pregnant, (friends) say congratulations and you say actually I'm adopting. The only thing that keeps me going is helping somebody out."
She has not looked at scans or found out the baby's gender, and was uncertain how she would feel handing the child over. But the adoption would be open, allowing the family to maintain contact with the child in its new home.
Here is the link. Here is the story.
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) -- Detectives describe him as a monster who has gotten away with years of child sex abuse. 60 year old Charles Sparks was in a Clark County, Indiana courtroom Friday facing nearly 60 counts of child sex abuse involving his own family members. WAVE 3's Maira Ansari was in the courtroom and reports on the hearing.
Sparks plead not guilty to 58 counts of child sex abuse. According to a probable cause affidavit, the abuse involved three adopted family members and started twelve years ago when they were as young as 5.
"We had to do a lot of research. This case was something that we really had to look at due to the time frame going back to 1996," said Clark County deputy prosecutor Shelley Marble.
Det. Charlie Thompson of the Jeffersonville Police Department says the alleged abuse happened almost every day. According to court documents, Sparks sexually abused one of the girls as recently as five months ago.
Thompson says the victims tried to get help back in 2001. But the case was dismissed by Clark Superior Court even after Sparks failed a polygraph test. Thompson says the system failed the young girls.
"These three young girls left an abused childhood from their natural parents. They were put with a monster. Somehow or another. How they ended up back with this monster, I have no idea," said Thompson.
Detectives say Sparks wife Linda knew about the alleged abuse and could also face charges.
Sparks is a janitor at Parkview Middle School. Officials with the Greater Clark County School Corporation said they knew nothing of the allegations until his arrest. On Friday, they sent a letter notifying parents in the district, and tried to calm their fears.
"There is no indication that any of the allegations involving this situation occurred on school property or involved any students" said Superintendent Dr. Tony Bennett.
Bennett says there were no red flags in Sparks' background check because he was never convicted of a crime. Sparks has now been suspended from working at the school without pay.
He is being held at the Clark County Jail on a $100,000 dollar bond and is due back in court June 24th.
Online Reporter: Maira Ansari
Online Producer: Charles Gazaway
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Here is some points for you to remember:
*90% at least of natural mothers want contact.
*In states that have adoptee access, abortions have decreased; adoptions have increased.
*Sealing the OBC discriminates against adoptees by violating our fourth amendment rights and our right to privacy. The state is holding our OBC's in seizure on the presumption of harm. The state is violating my right to privacy by being in the business of reunion and relationships.
Adoptees are needing their OBC's to prove their American citizenship these days. Many are unable to get into the military or even to get their social security cards. Its time to make adoptees equal. We are all looking forward to educating you on this issue. See you at the National Conference of State Legislators.
An Angrate from Indiana.