17 February 2014

Sixteen Candles...

Happy 16th Birthday Amber-Rose.

Wishing you a happy day and the knowledge that whatever you feel about me and regardless of what you have been told, I love you very much.

Tonight we will celebrate your day with a 'red velvet' chocolate birthday cake - having never tried one before I hope its yummy!  Your sister and brother are certainly looking forward to it!  Maybe one day we can eat birthday cake together...

Love always,
Your mother 

25 September 2013

And so another child is fed to the monster known as Adoption...

Like so many others across the world, linked by our connection to adoption, I sit here bereft, empty and feeling broken.

Like so many in adoption land, I am stunned at the recent events in the case of Veronica Brown.  Although, deep down, I always expected this outcome, I hoped beyond hope that good would finally win; that justice would breathe life into an institution founded on lies, deceit and one that is devoid of ethics and morals.

But no.  It wasn't to be.  So as I was trying to brace myself against the emotions that always come up on an anniversary date, I learned Veronica was being taken from her Daddy and the rest of her family.

15 years ago yesterday, I received a phone call.  "We lost her" were the words I heard before I collapsed into a pile and the phone was passed to my father who had flown from Australia to be with me for that final fight.  15 years to the day.  The weather was almost identical.  And for me, it was my first anniversary of this particular date in the city where she was taken from me.  Double whammy.  But I was okay.  I was getting through the day, quietly, and just keeping my head above water.  Actually, I was a bit confused as I was mixing it up with today's anniversary - which was when we found out my Aunt had passed away - the day after I lost my daughter, again, 15 years ago.

Then I found out about Veronica and I felt the calm, the togetherness fall apart.  I sat on the floor of my kitchen seeing Veronica and Dusten and imagined the incredible pain the Browns would be feeling and it triggered my own - in a way it had not been triggered for a long time.

And then I imagined what it must be like for Veronica.  4 years old and being taken from what SHE sees as her home, her family.  Over the last two years, Dusten has done his best to protect her from the media and you can see how he has succeeded in providing a stable environment for her by the smile in her eyes and the way she smiles with her whole face when she is with him and the family.  It is a testament to him and Robin and their love for her that has sheltered her from the storm that has been raging above her head over the last two years.  It is a testament to THEM, not the Capobiancos.  Even this transfer was handled with honour and integrity, unlike the one that the Capobianco's capitalised on 2 years previously and made it into a media circus.  Dusten has kept himself out of the limelight.  He has played this clean and all he has had for his efforts is condemnation.  He is a real hero.  And the Capobiancos are little more than villains.

I know many out there cannot understand why Dusten has so many supporters.  Many have not bothered to educate themselves of the full story.  And you know what?  At first, I was dubious as well.  Given my daughter's biological "father" raped me, admitted to that rape but refused to accept Amber as his daughter, I don't always have a favourable view of fathers based on my personal experience.  So it took me sitting down and researching what was actually happening to find the truth.  And what I found was Dusten was the polar opposite to my daughter's sperm donor.  Here was a father who was tricked and deceived and was fighting with everything he had to be part of his daughter's life.  And he was a father, not a mother - which means the relationship is different so I think it is even more amazing as one expects a mother to fight, not so much a father.  But he did.  He stepped up and he went through this cleanly despite all the ugly things being said about him by everyone around HIS daughter.

Over the years I have written and said a lot about people, strangers, who fight parents to take their children. It is sickening to see the law twisted and broken to allow these crimes.  And regardless of where you sit in this story, regardless of the issues of her heritage, Veronica's adoption was never legally done right, from the start.  Unethical and illegal methods have been deployed from the start, even before Dusten was involved.

People believe the adopters in this case love Veronica.  Sadly, I don't feel that is true.  Real love, which means sacrificing desires and wants, does not pursue custody of a child not yours to  take.  Real love rejoices in seeing a child welcomed into her family and heritage.  Real love does not use adoption to fulfil a lust.  Real love does not bring charges against a father doing the right thing.  None of the actions the Capobiancos have instigated points to real love.  Not. One. What they do scream, is they will do anything to win at all costs, including traumatising and hurting a little girl.  Of course, they have told themselves they are not doing that but anyone, ANYONE who knows children knows that separation from a stable and loving environment is going to destabilise a child and traumatise that child.  They can kid themselves they are not hurting Veronica but they are only doing that to satisfy what THEY want.  And THEIR best interests were NOT compatible with Veronica's.  And so, it is with great sorrow, Veronica and Dusten are ushered into the dark world of adoption.

These situations make it difficult to see how this world can ever be a good place.  I have been sickened by the pure venom that has been directed at the Browns at this time, the gloating and rejoicing of a child being taken from her family.  Regardless of whether you support the Capobiancos' as people, these actions are not rejoice worthy.  They are not cause for celebration.  There are no real winners.  Only losers.  You see, adoption is a life time, not one moment in court.  It encompasses a person's life.  It affects so much from here on in.  And this monster has tentacles.  Ones that spread through whole families and cause pain and anguish so great there are not enough words to describe it.

This is not a good day.  Nothing positive happened here.  Adoption did not win - but it showed that it cares not how children are procured.  Adoption has long gone from being about the child.  This child was not in need of adoption.  This story should strike fear into the hearts of every parent struggling in this moment... what happened here can happen to you if someone looks your way.  Do not be fooled or lulled into thinking it only happens to stereotyped parents who society deems as unfit.  I was fit and found to be fit.  Heck, I was caring for other children! But still the monster glanced my way and consumed my child and my family.  Now it has done the same to the Browns and Veronica.   I have seen nothing that questions Dusten's fitness as a parent either and from all accounts he is indeed a 'fit' father, loving and capable of proving for his daughter.  No, no cause for celebration here.  Anyone celebrating this lacks a heart and does not care about Veronica.  Because celebrating this child's loss is cruel and heinous.

In closing, I send out love to the Browns.  To Veronica.  To my fellow sisters and brothers in adoption land also in mourning today.  We must keep the faith.  I will continue to stand my ground for Veronica and all those who are at risk.


17 September 2013

The imbalance of responsibility in Adoption

This is a new thought I have had so please bear with me as it is still in the process of completely forming in my head.  (The brain is a bit slow at the moment, so much going on IRL - ie outside adopto-land).

The discussions about infertility and adoption of late have given me a lot to mull over.

After posting my previous blog and receiving a comment on it, something clicked for me and that is there is an extreme amount of imbalance in how "responsibility" is placed in adoption.

The discussions regarding the "misplacing of blame on adoptive parents" etc has made me question why people view calling people to account for themselves in that way is so terrible when really all I am doing is redefining boundaries and lines that should never have been blurred in the first place and trying to find a balance between all parties involved.

In this world, we have this desire to 'fix' things.  To make neat and tidy packages out of situations we feel are messy.  And infertility is one of those situations.  It is messy in that it involves pain, heartbreak and loss.  It isn't something society is comfortable sitting with because we know there isn't really a proper solution for it - ie we cannot make an infertile person fertile again although I am sure it has been tried.  So society 'we' searches for the next best thing.  Ahh, a young woman who is facing an unplanned pregnancy.  Who better?  Society deems her as not in a place to raise her child and so the two parties are pitted together to create a "neat" and "tidy" package.  Mother has baby, goes on with her life (supposedly, at least that is what society wants her to do) and the couple suffering infertility have a baby.  'Problem' solved!  Society breathes a sigh of relief and moves on.

BUT and this is a really huge BUT... it DOES NOT work.

In doing this, the responsibility of "fixing" an issue that actually CANNOT be fixed, ever, is placed on the shoulders of women in their most vulnerable time and also onto their children.  And in this, society absolves these couples suffering of ALL responsibility, making allowances for them, and giving them what they want because this situation must remain 'neat and tidy' at all costs.

In my previous post I linked Claudia's recent blog which raised a phenomenal amount of comments.  Over 300!  In these comments, those fighting adoption and calling sufferers with infertility to account for their own pain, we were compared to the KKK, Mein Kamf and racists.  However when mothers of adoption loss or adult adoptees quote passages about injustice from Martin Luther King for example and talk about human rights violations we get slammed from EVERYWHERE.  We are not allowed to speak up.  Our voices are stomped on by society in general because by speaking out and drawing attention to the fact the "neat" and "tidy" solution actually has caused a bigger mess and is NOT a solution, it places responsibility back onto society and they really don't want that.  Because it forces them to accept there are things in life that simply cannot ever be fixed.

Calling people to account or to own their pain is not actually being nasty.  It is not being mean.  It is doing something sufferers of all different traumas are asked to do the world over.  It is not saying they have "to get over it".  NO WAY!  But it is saying they need to recognise their are boundaries to how we relate to people even when we suffer.  We cannot use our pain as an excuse to go out and cause harm.  And regardless of where you sit with adoption, making allowances for couples with infertility to cause an unnecessary separation between a mother and her baby, is allowing them to use their pain to cause harm.  It is allowing that pain to spill over from their lives and into the lives of a stranger's family.  That isn't okay.  It is wrong.  And this needs to be recognised and understood by those pushing couples to adopt instead of helping them learn to live with their pain.  Rather than creating a demand for unavailable infants, rather than asking couples to shift their personal responsibilities onto the shoulders of someone in a vulnerable position, there needs to be recognition that infertility causes untold pain and heartache and there is NO fix for that.  Even adoption is not really a fix, merely a distraction, but it doesn't fix infertility.

Just as I was sitting down to write this and was checking Facebook as I often do, a blog post written by Adoptive mom Margie popped up and so I headed over to read it.  I really appreciate this post she has written and it raises some more very interesting points.  Head over and have a read as I feel this issue is so much more than infertility vs fertility... adoptive parents vs natural parents.  You can find it here.

I am going to leave this here for now.  Like I said, this is still part of a long thought process that is going on in my head so I may pick this up again some other time.  In the meantime, I will end here.

16 September 2013

Infertility and adoption

A touchy subject to say the least!  I know some people may be offended by this post and I apologise in advance; my aim is not to be nasty but I do call things as I see them.  Also, let me preface this by saying this post does not encompass ALL people who suffer from infertility and only a select number.  Cheers.

A few days ago, Claudia over at Musings of the Lame blogged a great 'rant' as she calls it over where empathy ends for infertility when it comes to adoption.  What ensued was something like almost 300 comments, mostly from the same person and then another chipping in without any facts or education whatsoever in adoption.  As I cannot be bothered posting on the comment form any longer and I wanted to say my own piece in a different place, I am moving my feelings about this to my blog.

Currently infant adoption is driven mostly by those who cannot have children of their own.  I am not aware of anyone I know as a mother of adoption loss whose child was adopted by someone who could.  (Please correct me if I am wrong and yours was).  Out of the few hundred odd mothers I know, not one. That in itself is the evidence I need to see what is driving the demand. 

Now, I am not saying I have anything against persons in this situation.  I never have had anything against people with infertility; why WOULD I?  Although I am accused, mostly by adopters and PAP's of lacking any empathy for their situation, I actually DO have empathy.  I also am in tune now, now when it isn't going to help my own situation, that there is a boundary for that empathy.  A natural end, if you like.  A line that needs to be defined.  It is a fabulous thing to possess empathy but like all my therapists have told me over the years, I have an over abundance and it has only hurt me rather than help me.  I have had to learn that line and I am now defending it.

As I said in my previous post on this subject, "Why can't we be Happy?" the line here in adoption, is when a couple suffering loss through infertility SEEK to fill that loss by causing further loss.

I know this is a difficult concept to grasp.  Many ask, How?  How are they causing further loss?  Adoption is making the best out of a bad situation so HOW?

How?  Well, think about this logically.  Loss is loss is loss.  How does loss on top of loss equal LESS loss?  HOW?  It doesn't.  It can't.  Ever.  And no matter how you look at it, there is ALWAYS loss in adoption of at least 2/3 parties.  True, it isn't always recognised but loss is the foundation adoption exists on.  Without loss, adoption simply doesn't and cannot thrive.  That is the ugly reality of adoption. There are no real winners in adoption, only losers and more losers.

So that line I am talking about?  The end or boundary of empathy?  This occurs when I see desperate couples who desire to have a family (which actually I have no qualms with, it is a natural wish) actively prey and pursue a young mother and use underhanded and outright immoral, unethical and in some cases, illegal methods to procure her child for their own desires.  THAT is what my issue is.  THAT is where I cease to have empathy and will fight the attitude of entitlement.  THAT is my line.  Up to that point, I will do my best to listen and understand but at the point where the line is crossed, I'm sorry, I can no longer offer any empathy.

Expectant mothers don't go to couples with infertility and ask them for help and support.  They don't.  They don't ask for anything from anyone really.  Most young women I have encountered and had contact with are terrified and have no clue where to turn.  They are certainly not turning to "Infertiles R US" to ask for help!!

But at some point, it became okay for couples suffering loss through infertility to turn to these women and not just ask them for THEIR child, but outright DEMAND their baby.  And not only do they demand the child, they get quite nasty if they don't get it and will fight those parents to take their children away (One only has to look at the current custody battle playing out in the USA between Dusten Brown and the Capobianco's over Dusten's daughter Veronica to see what I mean).

I am truly sorry, really sorry, - and I don't mean that as a token or charity apology either - for anyone who has suffered this loss of infertility.  I don't pretend to understand it.  I can imagine it because I have always wanted children and would be bereft if it happened to me, but because I haven't experienced it, I cannot understand it like only those who have walked its journey.

In the same vein, infertile couples seeking to adopt at any cost, cannot ever understand what it is like to carry a real live child in their womb.  To go through the countless days of being sick, of worrying, of loving and wanting that child.  They cannot grasp the spiritual, emotional and physical bond that exists ONLY between a mother and her child she birthed.  And then to have that ripped all away - for no reason because there was nothing against them raising their child EXCEPT the fact someone with more money came along and decided they wanted and felt entitled to that child.  An infertile couple can simply not grasp that.  And I am not saying they should - but they also shouldn't be the cause of that loss.  The loss of infertility is not the fault of the woman with an unplanned pregnancy.  However, many mothers of adoption loss can lay some responsibility of our loss at the feet of certain infertile couples.  It is a one way door - the perpetrator suffering a loss and then using that loss to cause more.  It just Does. Not. Work.

As I prefaced this, I do know many lovely people who have suffered this loss, some very dear.  So I know not all are looking to adopt or looking to adoption to fill a need.  And in many cases where there are those that do, I don't believe they are necessarily understanding the full implications of signing up for adoption.  As in, I believe society is partly to blame because they direct couples to adoption so they can have a family.  In saying that though, there is a point in time where one suffering needs to accept their pain as their own (believe me I am told that ALL THE TIME and you know what, contrary to those who believe otherwise, I actually do) and not look to others to fix it for them.  Especially when the 'fix' involves splitting up a family; separating mother and child.

Of course there are many issues as to why adoptions continue to happen and I am not laying the blame entirely at the feet of those suffering from infertility; I am saying they play a part in that they are driving demand currently.  Other factors are at play too; the vulture-like adoption agencies for example who take pride in their aggressive marketing techniques to procure babies.  In their blatant disregard for basic human rights (let alone feminism, children's rights, civil rights etc), they will blindly do what it takes to isolate an expectant mother, brainwash her, threaten her and procure her signature to hand over her own child.  Ethics are virtually non existent in the world of adoption.  It is NOT a service about children and finding what is best for them either.  It is a money making business and the infertile couple is in the hot seat as the customer and so will get what they want no matter what.  The mother and her baby?  The baby is the product/commodity and the mother is disposable.  She is simply the carrier.  Anyone who can be okay with this, simply lacks a heart.

So what am I saying?  Basically that yes, infertility is a loss and needs respect and as much understanding as possible.  Those who suffer from it's horror need support and compassion.  I am also saying those who suffer from it need to take accountability for their own loss and not look outside themselves or a support network to find someone who can 'fix' it (not that I believe adoption fixes it either, it doesn't but it does provide a nice distraction from having to deal with it) by causing them loss as well.

This world needs more compassion, more empathy and more love.  What we see currently is so much ugliness.  Adoption is so full of ugliness it is really quite frightening.  I wish everyone could get the support and love they need, I really do.  I wish infertility didn't exist and that mothers who wanted to raise their children were supported.  But that isn't the reality.  So we need to do the best we can with what we have and call people out when their pain turns to ugliness by involving and hurting others it has no business touching.

I hope I have explained my personal position on this better.  It is hard through the Internet because words can so easily be misconstrued and taken the wrong way - especially because there is no voice to gage tone or face to gage facial expressions.

Empathy... vital for our existence in this world, yet there are boundaries and in adoption, these boundaries seem to be non-existent.

18 August 2013

Veronica Brown is a REAL PERSON - not a piece of property!

I have tried to write this post a few times now and so I decided I don't care how it looks, I am just going to get out what I need to get out.

Like so many across "Adoption-land", the Veronica Brown case has weighed heavily on my heart and I have been following it for a while now.

There has been much written about this case and I will include some links to my favourite posts at the end but there is something bugging me about this that I need to say so this post will not necessarily be based on the facts of the case but the issue of those who wish to adopt, fighting to take away a child of a family who has expressed a desire to raise that child and there is no valid reason for the child to be adopted.

Adopters who fight parents to take their children are not fit to be parents.  They are not.  Adopters are not special people with special rights who automatically entitle them to a child just because they cannot have one or decide they have been "called" to "rescue" children they deem in need of rescue.  Nope.  They are NOT special and those who actively fight families who step up and want to parent their children are in need of some serious help to work through their issues.

Another thing, adopters who fight to take children from their families do NOT, EVER, love these children.  Oh no, their actions prove beyond a shadow of a doubt they are in fact incapable of loving anyone outside of themselves.  To fight against a family in order to take a child, takes a certain level of ego and self centredness.  They lack empathy, compassion and the ability to see the child as a person with their own identity.  Loving a child does not come in the form of legal action to take that child from their family.  Loving a child does not require erasing a child's identity through adoption.  Loving a child does not try to remove a child who is happy and well loved and cared for, at the age of almost 4 years of age, from her father and the rest of her extended family.  Oh no.  No way is that LOVE.  What it is, is lust, greed, self serving, but never love.

If the Capobianco's loved Veronica, the little girl, the little PERSON at the middle of this case, they would have, not without much personal pain and grief, ceased this fight when she was but four MONTHS old.  They would not have dragged this case on.  They would not have kept a fight going for years to try and remove a child from her family.  HER. FAMILY.

Regardless of how nice they might be, of their successes in life, of what they can offer a child, they are NOT entitled, as no prosepctive adopters are, to take a child from her family.  It is sad they are unable to have children of their own.  And they deserve empathy and compassion for their pain BUT and this is a huge BUT... THIS DOES NOT TRUMP ANOTHER FAMILY'S RIGHT TO HOLD ON TO THEIR CHILD.  Especially when that family is fit and there is no risk to the child in question.

I am sick of seeing adopters and PAP's who feel their pain trumps the pain of others.  Of seeing them expect their pain to be made better by CAUSING greater pain in the lives of others.  And that is what adoption is all about today.  Are there children in need of permanent homes in our world?  Are there children in need of families to love and protect them?  Of course there is but so many choose the path of shady adoption agencies who use corrupt marketing ploys to coerce young women to give up their newborns.  Because at the end of the day this is NOT about the children in need.  It is about the needs of couples who feel they have a right to another family's child and this case has beautifully proven that.

I know many will use the argument that Dusten could have just walked away.  And yes, he could have BUT WHY SHOULD HE?  Afterall, HE is the father in this case and despite the supporters of the Capobiancos refusing to accept the facts in this case, HE did not abandon his child.  Actually, it is difficult to achieve abandoning one's pregnant ex-fiance when SHE has cut off all contact and has done everything possible to exclude and deceive the father from having anything to do with her... but hey, don't let that FACT get in the way of the hate campaign so full of lies and mistruths against Dusten and his family.

As a mother who has been deceived into signing a consent form and not fully informed of the law, of then fighting within days (3 to be exact as was part of the agreement with my daughter's adopters) to prevent the adoption taking place, of winning two court cases to stop the adoption and then losing the final case in a corrupt court case DESPITE a report written by an adoption professional to state the risks of adoption in my daughter's case would far outweigh the risk of returning her to me, her mother AND finding nothing against my suitability as a mother; I can empathise with Veronica and Dusten.  I have been there.  And I do not want to see this life for Veronica and Dusten.

Parents have a right to fight for their children however adopters/prospective adopters should never have that right, especially when it is specifically related to taking a child from their family and there is no necessity (ie no abuse, neglect, criminal activity etc).  They are no one really in the life of the child - in fact they are strangers.  Fighting a family for their child and winning that fight is, in short, abduction with the aid of the law.  And that is what is happening in this case.  The courts are aiding the Capobianco's in abducting a child from her family - knowing full well this is NOT in Veronica's best interests because, if any of them stopped to see what was in her best interests, this farce would cease immediately and this little girl, Veronica Brown, would remain where she is with her family, as she should be.  She is not available for adoption so if one proceeds then it is no different had they walked in and abducted her.

Capobiancos and supporters, if you have one iota of care for this child then you will understand that regardless of what has taken place in the previous years, what matters now, right at this moment, is that any action to remove a happy, well cared for child from what SHE sees and accepts as her family and home, will only traumatise her.  Is that what you want?  Really?  Are you so hell bent on seeing her adopted you are happy to see a FOUR YEAR OLD taken from HER home?  This isn't about the Capobianco's or even the Browns anymore but VERONICA and SHE is happy where she is with her family and part of her cultural identity.  Put away all the pre conceived ideas and hatred and open your heart to a little girl and if you can do this successfully I think you will find the best place for her is where she is right now, with her family, with her Daddy.  Family IS more than paperwork and desire.  Blood means more than most care to admit - you only have to look at the fight many have to undertake to find their roots or the thousands of people NOT adopted who search their roots every year.  So for Veronica's sake, it is time to put away the knives, call off the witch hunt and let this family, the Browns, get on with their lives.  Enough.  Enough already.

Some excellent blog posts on this case: 
Standing My Ground For Veronica Brown
To: Lori Alvino McGill
Baby Veronica: What Adoption Does to Adopted Persons from a Legal Perspective 
With Sad Hearts, the Lost Daughters Welcome Baby Girl Veronica to the Sisterhood
Baby Veronica... Another "Trail of Tears"?
Dusten Brown continues to fight for his daughter...
It's not writer's block... it's Baby Veronica shock
The "Baby Veronica" Case and the Abuse of Adoption

Also, for more FACTS involving this case, check out this website:
http://www.keepveronicahome.com/

If there are more please let me know, these are the ones I have read so far.  Keep holding your head up Dusten!

13 August 2013

If you are pregnant and scared in New Zealand...

Over the past few months I have had a few searches along these lines that have lead readers to my blog... in particular my post on New Zealand and Adoption.  This search could be from anyone but in case there are genuinely scared and pregnant women searching with these terms then I would like to welcome you to my blog and find out how I can help you.

First, I am sorry if you have found yourself in an unplanned/unexpected situation and you are scared.  I truly understand having been there myself and if you, like myself, are afraid of telling anyone, then it is a very lonely and isolated place to be. I hope we can make this easier for you and find for you a way to navigate the months ahead.

Right now you probably have a lot of things swirling inside you - emotions, thoughts, hormones even! - a lot is going on.  This only makes things more confusing and harder to determine what it is you need to do for yourself and your unborn baby.

I should disclose right now that I am NOT a counsellor nor am I a qualified professional in psychology or anything to do with counselling.  What I can tell you is I am a great listener and I have been where you are and spoken to many other women in the exact same place.  I can support and give you as much information as you need to make proper informed choices for you and your baby and if I feel I cannot, I can point you towards organisations who can.

If you have stumbled on my blog because you searched for adoption, well, that is a huge discussion and I usually like to follow up one on one rather than through my blog because there is a lot to digest and these decisions are not ones to be made lightly.

Very quickly however, here is a run down on the realities of adoption in New Zealand:
  • Adoption is a legal process that permanently severs a mother from her child and the rest of the child's family - ie grandparents, furture siblings, aunts, uncles etc.  Through adoption, your child is made a stranger to you and you become a stranger to your child in terms of the law.
  • New Zealand does NOT have Open Adoption as a legal option.  The current law has NO provisions for legally enforced open adoption and the only legal adoptions at this current time are closed adoptions.  Whilst there are stories of successful adoption placements where families give the mother varying degrees of contact, it would be remiss of me or any other organisation or counsellor to not make you aware that it is a verbal agreement ONLY and can be closed at any point should the people adopting your child desire it to.  I know this from personal experience and the experiences of other mothers who have lost or placed children to/for adoption.
  • Adoption is known to have lifelong mental health consequences to both the mother and her child as well as the extended families.  Placing a child for adoption does not mean you no longer have responsibilities for your child; it just means you do not have the day to day care of your child or involvment in your child's life.  Once a mother, always a mother regardless of what happens to your child and one day your future children may want information and your child may want to have a relationship with you and the rest of your (which is also their) family.
  • When a child is adopted, their birth certificate is altered to reflect the adoptive parents as if they are the biological parents.  The real birth certificate, the legal document that records who gave birth to the child is locked away and is only accessible after a child is 20 in New Zealand.  Whilst this may not be important to a mother, many adopted adults have shared how distressing this is to them as a birth certificate is a record of birth, not a record of whom a child grows up with.
  • Whilst pregnant, it is easy to find yourself vulnerable and impressionable to the ideas and wishes of others.  Should you be pushed into placing your child for adoption (which is actually illegal) and sign an adoption consent, please be aware THERE IS NO REVOCATION PERIOD.  In other words, no matter how your consent is obtained be it influenced, bullied, forced etc, once you sign that consent, that is it.  Unless you have very clear evidence which proves this is a coerced consent, then you will find yourself very unlikely to revoke/withdraw that consent and regain your baby.  
  • Currently in New Zealand, we operate under an Act which was put in place in 1955.  This was a time when the majority of adoptions were forced and this was a practise that was worldwide.  Australia recently took accountability for their own part in the actions taken to forcibly adopt children and apologised to the many affected by these harsh practises.  It is the only country to have taken this step.  You can read the full apology transcript here.  New Zealand meanwhile still operates through the exact same law it did back then making mothers and their babies vulnerable to the same or similar practises depending how lucky or unlucky you are.

Should you wish to discuss the full impacts of adoption or other choices available, please email me at myst1998@hotmail.com and I can help you further or direct you to those who can.  I understand this is a very difficult time and my aim is to remain as neutral as possible although my wish is to see families stay together.  I am not here to judge your decision however and will do my best to advocate for you during what is a very scary time.

Thank you for reading if you made your way to the bottom and I wish you all the very best.  Please email me if you are interested in more information.

Some resources:
The list of blogs on the side of this blog - I have a varying amount by adopted adults, mothers of adoption loss, adoptive parents and others involved in adoption.
Book: "The Primal Wound" by Nancy Verrier
Book: " Journey of  the Adopted Self" Betty Jean Lifton
Book: "Birthmothers" Merry Bloch Jones
Book: "The Secret Life of the Unborn Child" Dr Thomas Verny with John Kelly

28 March 2013

Attention New Zealand: Time for a Change to the Adoption Act 1955!!

Following the recent events in Australia, there has been a renewed interest and push for reform and especially an Inquiry here in New Zealand.  To date the government has turned a blind eye and wants nothing to do with it, despite many attempts at implementing change in the past.

Currently there is a petition through Change.org to ask the government of NZ to implement an Inquiry similar to that in Australia, to look into the issues of the Adoption Act 1955, and through this Inquiry to reform the Act so it is brought up to date and focuses on the needs of the child.

The petition message states:
"The New Zealand Adoption Act 1955 is an outdated piece of legislation that no longer reflects the needs of children requiring care outside their family. To date the New Zealand government through its Minister for Justice has consistently ignored requests and cries for it to reform this archaic legislation. There have been various parties lobbying for change, dating back to 1979; and in recent times, the request for an Inquiry to look into the way this legislation has impacted the families of those it was directed at, and how it still impacts the lives of those involved.
We, the undersigned, call upon the government of New Zealand to immediately call an Inquiry similar to that which was enacted in Australia and use this Inquiry to overhaul and reform this outdated law."
To place your name on this petition, follow the link here and sign it.  If you know anyone who has been affected by this Act and wants change, please forward the link to them.

The government believes wrongly this is a couple of cases here and there and thus there is no reason to take a more in depth look at the Act.  This is despite the 1999 request to the Law Commission from then Minister of Justice Tony Ryall, to look into it, report on it and make recommendations.  Following this report and the comprehensive list of recommendations, the government has since shoved the matter under the proverbial rug and chosen to forget about it, despite meetings with Ministers requesting change.

Regardless of whether you are pro/anti adoption, this is an important request because this Act does not actually take into account the best interests and welfare of children and is written from a bygone era where keeping your baby was simply not allowed - and this had nothing to do with a mother being abusive or unfit; in most cases she WAS fit and suitable however, the government had a different agenda.  This attitude in the law has continued since 1955 and with it, brought devastating consequences.