Wednesday, May 25, 2022

NAAP Presentation -- "The Story Behind the Story" - June 3 at 7:00 p.m. (Eastern)


Hey adoption friends! I am giving a Zoom presentation this Friday (June 3) as it relates to my newly released audible memoir, "Hidden Identity." 

I will share who/what inspired me to document and share my journey in addition to sharing lots of photos. I will not be telling my actual adoption story (listen for free to hear that) but will be sharing back stories about the memoir process, interviews, research and share stores/photos about The Cradle Adoption Agency and of course, some tidbits about  my biological father.  After the presentation, I will answer any questions you have.  

If you want to listen to the memoir, go to my podcast The Adoption Experience and start with the Introduction.  You can find it at Podbean, Spotify or Apple podcasts.

For those wondering, I may eventually publish the full version (the podcast is a condensed version) as an E-book, but for now I am enjoying the spring planting in my yard and visiting with out of town family. 

If you are adopted and have any specific genealogy questions you need help with, feel free to reach out to me on social media @theadoptedgenealogist (Facebook, IG, Tik Tok).

For other happy hour presentations and support for your journey, join the NAAP Facebook group.

Hope to "see" you Friday!




 

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Firmly Rooted in Time and Place

 










 

“Walking, I am listening to a deeper way.  Suddenly, all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say.  Watch and listen.  You are the result of the love of thousands.” Linda Hogan, Native American writer

I was listening to this podcast yesterday where Ande of The Adoption Files interviewed adoptee Becky Drinnen.  

As Becky shared the long meandering road to understanding her identity, beginning in her early 20’s and culminating in her 50’s, something really struck me that the two were discussing:  every bit of information we receive about our birth family and our history, no matter how seemingly insignificant to somebody else, matters and helps to build a more cohesive narrative. 

And even though the search and reunion process may not take so long for some, given the quick nature of consumer DNA testing, the journey of discovery can continue for a lifetime.  It seems there is no end to the discoveries available as more data is loaded into genealogy websites and more public records are accessible on-line.  (Keep an eye out for the 1950s census becoming available next month!).

My most exciting discovery of late was that a man named Mr. O, an Illinois native who personally flew my biological father into the country, was still alive.  He called me up one day and recounted a story from 1958.  He remembered every detail and I was blown away.  When Mr. O’s plane was in Lima, Peru about to return home, one of his three passengers decided not to get on board.  The available seat was offered to my father, Antonio, for the reduced cost of $50.00.   In a move that still boggles my mind, Antonio impulsively decided to take this passenger’s place, leaving his home country forever and arriving in Illinois with no family support.

Something about hearing that story and digesting it over a period of months helped me to feel more whole for the first time.  This might seem obvious, but it suddenly dawned on me that I would not exist, nor would my son, if Antonio had never gotten on that plane.  That one decision changed the trajectory of so many lives. 

In her podcast interview, Becky shares how she tenaciously kept going back to the adoption agency for more information about her first three months of life.  Each time she was charged a fee and each time she did not receive what it was she was wanting to know.  A gatekeeper would not provide any details or information as it related to Becky’s baptism and who took care of her during the months before placement with her parents. It was not until that gatekeeper retired, that Becky was able to receive information she knew in her gut existed in the adoption agency files, including photos. 

My first contact with the adoption agency as a young adult, stopped me in my tracks. I received some non-identifying information (a very basic biography without names of my bio parents) and a letter that was very disheartening which I posted here at my Instagram.  In that letter I learned my birth mom had never made contact with the adoption agency in 25 years.  My search came to an abrupt halt. Records were sealed and clearly, my birth mom wanted nothing to with me?  Right?  Wrong.

But that is a story for another day.  I shared my reunion journey with Louise and Sarah at Adoption: The Making of Me podcast last weekend.  The actual episode won’t be released for some time but check out the other episodes!  They are so much fun and easy to talk to. 

Thirty years after my initial inquiry, the knowledge of my birth parents and ancestors has reached a peak.  This has resulted in my feeling more grounded.  I also like and accept myself on a much deeper level.  The most helpful thing I ever decided to do was to reach out for support from others in the adoption community where a safe space was provided to both write and tell my story. 

I am at last firmly rooted in both place and time and comfortable in my own skin, secure in the knowledge of the people who walked before me, leading me to this very moment.

 

 


Thursday, March 24, 2022

How Consumer DNA Testing Is Changing the Conversation Around Original Birth Certificates (OBC)


DNA Game Changer (Part I of II)

THOUGHTS ON THE BIRTH PARENT PRIVACY ARGUMENT

by Gaye Sherman Tannenbaum originally published at the Adoptee Rights Coalition website.

NOTE:  New York State has opened its original birth certificates since the writing of this article.

Legislative efforts to restore access to original birth certificates have, unfortunately, focused primarily on search and reunion. Emotional testimony from adoptees, first parents and "adoption experts" have been countered by equally emotional testimony and speeches by agencies, legislators, and other "adoption experts".  There is talk of "balancing the rights" and "compromise" as if any other individual's rights to his or her OWN record of birth is also subject to permission from the state, a judge, or the parents named thereon. 

Advocates focusing on restoring the right to access birth records have tried to keep the two separate, pointing out that, in most states, even reunited adoptees are not allowed access to their own birth records, and that the birth records of long deceased adoptees are unavailable to their descendants. 

Mutual consent registries, like the one in New York, will typically "reunite" registrants that have been matched but access to the birth record still requires a court order which a judge will not give you because "you already have the information". Other states will provide a "birth transcript" or "identifying information contained in the birth record" but not the birth record itself.  For those who need the information to advance their searches, the chance of having the information within their grasp is enough to make them support "compromise" legislation that may be to the near term and long term detriment of themselves and many of their fellow adoptees.

But what if we could separate "search and reunion" from access to the original birth record? What if there was a better way to search that would reveal information that was not on the original birth record or even in the adoption file?

Once upon a time, sealed records were impediments to search and reunion.  If an adoptee did not have access to his or her sealed adoption file, there was little chance that a search for family could even be started, much less successfully completed.  Successful searches relied upon adoptive parents retaining a memory of a name mentioned or a document seen.  In direct contradiction of what courts, legislators and agencies are NOW telling us, some adoptive parents were actually GIVEN documents that contained the names of the relinquishing parents.

As time went on, laws changed and adoptees were given "non-identifying information" as a pacifier in lieu of access to the original birth record. While not a restoration of access rights, "non-ID" was a tremendous boost for many searches. Some states even passed legislation to provide birth information access for some or all of their adoptees. Adding online resources for genealogy, people search and social media to the mix initiated a flood of successful searches along with a growing population of adoptees (and descendants of adoptees) who had never searched before because they had zero information to start with.

The argument started to shift.  On the one hand, advocates demanded equal rights to that Simple Piece of Paper. Not reunion. Not medical history. Just the birth record. On the other hand, opponents were still pushing the "what if your mother doesn't want to be found?" argument. Advocates explained that there were "plenty of other ways" for searches to be completed but opponents countered with "we don't have to make it easier for you", implying that only a few lucky adoptees were successful in their searches and that sealed records would still prevent the vast majority of adoptees from "intruding" on an unsuspecting birthmother's life.

Then came the DNA revolution.

                                                       ****************

DNA Game Changer - Part II:

Implications for OBC access

"There's just really no way to ensure complete confidentiality." 1
 – Chuck Johnson, President, National Council for Adoption

When I saw those words, I rejoiced. The NCFA, until recently the most outspoken opponent of restoring access to original birth certificates (“OBCs”), was close to admitting defeat. How did that happen?

As Chuck Johnson also stated in the same article: 2

“Once a person has a name and originating city, the Internet and modern-day services — from private investigators to confidential intermediaries — make it easier than ever for adopted and birth families to connect.” 

All true but it only tells part of the story. First, adoptees don’t need a private investigator or confidential intermediary to do this. Second, we don’t even need a name or an originating city. 

We already possess everything we need in a half-teaspoon of saliva. Everything you need is in your DNA – The stuff of life, and ancestry, and answers.

While various state legislatures were debating whether adoptees truly deserved to know who their parents are, modern direct-to-consumer DNA testing has been creating a revolution in genealogy circles.

But what exactly is this “DNA testing” about?

The most popular DNA test is an autosomal test, covering all ancestral lines with an effective range of 500 years. This is not a deep ancestry test on the strict paternal line (Y chromosome DNA) or strict maternal line (mitochondrial or mtDNA) so it can be used to identify close to moderately distant ancestors.

For $99 ($79.00 when on sale), you can order a DNA test from Ancestry.com, the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world. Two other companies sell similar tests: 23andMe (with an additional focus on medical genetics) and Family Tree DNA.

When you receive your AncestryDNA test in the mail, you register it to your online account at the company, spit into the tube, cap it, shake it, and mail it back. In about four to six weeks, you will get an email telling you that your results are ready.

When you log in to your account, you will see your ethnic breakdown in percentages: 23% Irish, 37% Scandinavian, etc. 

You will also see an extensive list of DNA matches, people in the company’s database who have some DNA that is identical to yours, meaning that you probably have a common ancestor within the past 350 years or so. That list is the key to searching for an adoptee’s biological family.

Surprise! You’ve got relatives!

After the initial shock of seeing a list of several thousand people you are genetically related to wears off, you can explore your match list in greater detail.

Your match list is ranked by the amount of DNA you share – ranging from Twin (having virtually identical DNA) to Distant Cousin (5th cousins and out who share only a tiny part of your total DNA). Of your matches, which will number in the thousands, about 95% will be in that Distant Cousin category. Several dozen to a few hundred matches will be in the mid-range “Fourth Cousin” category, indicating a common ancestor within the past 200 years or so.

When Ancestry launched their autosomal DNA test in 2012, following launches by 23andMe (2007) and Family Tree DNA (2010), we were all hopeful that the expected size of Ancestry’s DNA database would allow more adoptees to identify family by “triangulating” their 4th cousin matches. We expected that more than a lucky few would “hit the DNA lottery” with a second cousin match. We were not prepared for what happened once Ancestry’s DNA database hit one million tested in July of 2015.

More people (not just adoptees) did indeed get second cousin matches. Actually, many people got more than a few second cousin matches. They also started getting matches to half-siblings, aunts, uncles and, yes, even parents. Adoptees, search angels and genealogists alike were all astonished. Instead of congratulating someone on getting a second cousin match, we were consoling those who “only” got a couple of second cousin matches.

People in the DNA databases are overwhelmingly customers with no known connection to adoption. This is not like a reunion registry where people are “looking for someone”. The people you match with are generally not looking for you.

While third and fourth cousin matches can be used to identify immediate family through a method known as “triangulation”, it’s usually the case that those matches aren’t too concerned about some distant cousin’s scandalous pregnancy. The situation is different when the adoptee gets a second cousin match.

Second cousins share great grandparents. One of the adoptee’s birthparents is a first cousin to one of the DNA match’s parents. There is a very good chance that this match knows one or both of the adoptee’s birthparents. They probably don’t know which of their mom’s or dad’s cousins placed a child for adoption, but they are often eager to help the adoptee figure it out. If the adoptee has some good non-identifying information from the adoption agency, a comparison of ages, family structure, occupations, and locations is usually enough to identify the right person. At the very least, there will only be a few “candidates” to research. Even if your new cousins don’t respond, experienced search angels can build a tree starting with nothing more than a name or Ancestry ID.

When an adoptee gets an even closer match – a first cousin or a half-sibling, for instance – even if the adoptee never attempts contact, the match can easily figure out that this is someone very close but not someone already known to them. The adoptee’s existence is no longer a secret.

We are just beginning to see what DNA testing can do for adoptees

Recently, author Blaine T. Bettinger 3, well respected in genetic genealogy circles, posted a survey on Facebooks DNA Detective's group 4, a nearly 60,000 person strong collective led by genetic genealogists focused on finding biological family for adoptees, foundlings, donor-conceived individuals, unknown paternity and all other types of unknown parentage cases. His survey was limited to adoptees who had done their first DNA test in 2015 or 2016, and he wanted to know what their matches looked like when they first got their results. He received nearly 600 responses and the results were nothing short of amazing as we now had real data, not just an anecdotal string of success stories.

The key findings:

         68% of adoptees had received a second cousin or closer match upon first opening their results.

         33% of adoptees had received a first cousin or closer match upon first opening their results.

         52% have since found at least one sibling or parent.

Those results are based on initial match lists from when the combined DNA databases of all three companies (adjusted for a 20% overlap in people tested) was between 1.5 and 3.0 million people. The vast majority of respondents (90%) had tested with Ancestry.com.

Implications for access to original birth certificates

On November 2, 2016, Ancestry.com announced that they had DNA samples from 2.5 million customers in their DNA database (up from 2 million in July). We fully expect Ancestrys DNA database to hit 3 million by March of 2017 and the combined database number to hit 4.5 million by the end of 2017. As you can see in the chart below, the growth of Ancestrys DNA database is accelerating. 

Between DNA testing, social media, and other available resources, most adoptees will be able to learn the identities of both parents if they so desire. In most cases, the OBC will not contain the name of the biological father but DNA testing does not discriminate. In some ways, DNA testing is a superior tool when compared to OBC access. Legislators, for the most part, have not caught on to the fact that vast numbers of adoptees are identifying their families (as well as the families of their adopted parents and grandparents), no matter what the laws and restrictions in their various states may be. We’re finding our families and we still want copies of our original birth certificates.

Nearly all of the recently introduced bills and recently passed laws assume that (a) without access to identifying information, an adoptee has little chance of identifying any parents, and (b) the only reason an adoptee would want a copy of the OBC is so that they can identify, and contact, those parents. You can hear it in the arguments, both supporting and opposing. “Adoptees need and deserve to know.” vs. “We cannot release identifying information if there’s any chance it might be detrimental to any parties.”

If the adoptee already has identifying information on his or her parents, opponents can’t make the usual argument that disclosure may be harmful. Eternal anonymity, for those who still insist that it is "vital to the adoption process”5, is an antiquated notion as well as a false promise. With genealogical DNA tests, lack of the OBC is no longer an impediment to identifying parents. It's merely an inconvenience. Just like posting a “help me find my family” plea on social media, connecting with close family via DNA matching is not the most tactful way to make contact.

What advocates for restoring access should be asking legislators is this: 

Doesn’t a disclosure veto merely create the illusion of anonymity given that adoptees are surprising their biological families by getting DNA matches to their first cousins and half-siblings?

Wouldn’t it be more private to release the OBC to the adoptee so that he/she can (if desired) make direct contact in a sensitive and discreet manner rather than clinging to the archaic concept of "adoption secrecy"?

Advocates for restoring OBC access may want to make those points when talking with legislators. 

-------------------------

 1 http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-mother-daughter-reunited-after-adoption-met-20160520-story.html

 2 Ibid.

 3 http://thegeneticgenealogist.com/

 4 https://www.facebook.com/groups/DNADetectives

 5 Matter of Hayden, 106 Misc 2d 849 [Sup Ct, New York County 1981]

****************************************************************

As of 2022, Ancestry DNA has more than 20 million testers. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Adoption Spin


I see private U.S. adoption as a legalized form of child trafficking with a better PR campaign. Of course, this is not politically correct to say out loud.  And it can garner you a lot of hate on the internet.  Saying it can make you wildly unpopular.  I still think it’s true.

“It was a big disappointment to the family when you were adopted” my grandmother non-chalantly said to me while sitting side-by-side on the couch.  I glanced up from my Nancy Drew mystery, frowned quizzically at her, and went back to reading. I never felt unwanted by my adoptive parents, so her words did not land on my heart.  Grandma had hell to pay later when both my parents lit into her.  How dare she point out the obvious?  She wanted a blood grandchild and these two stand-ins weren’t cutting it.

Adoption is beautiful.  A better life.  A selfless act. While the adoptive parent is given public admiration, the adopted child is frozen in time.  Their bodies grow, yet their voices become dimmer.  Once an adopted person reaches adulthood, it’s as if the whole world has their fingers in their ears saying, “La La La . . .I can’t hear you!”

In the media and in certain Christian circles, the only acceptable adoption narrative is the party line: adoption is to be celebrated and encouraged.  Some people even believe that adoption has the power to magically abolish abortion.  It’s as if the whole world is saying, “Please don’t ruin the fantasy for us!” 

Even other adoptees can’t agree on adoption’s reputation. For every three adoptees who had wonderful parents, there is that fourth one who wants to ruin the party for everybody else because of their “bad experience”.  Because they are “bitter” and “angry” and “can’t move on with their lives.” 

Truth is the enemy of adoption’s PR campaign.

Adoption didn’t always have such a pristine reputation.  Many of us were just seen as illegitimate. Being illegitimate meant basically the same thing as being a bastard.  Both terms were derogatory and meant your parents were not married to each other.  Sometimes these words were stamped on official documents.

In my grandmother’s time, it was shameful to “have to adopt” because it meant you couldn’t get pregnant and have your own biological child.  Some adoptive mothers went to the trouble of faking a pregnancy to family and friends.  It was common to be hush-hush over something seen as scandalous, such as a teen pregnancy or proof of sex before marriage. Back in the 1960’s people did not air their dirty laundry.

Many children were not told they were adopted or other important details about their families to ensure their silence. I asked my mom recently why she didn’t tell me something pretty significant in my childhood.  Her response?

“You would have blabbed it all over!”

As soon as I came out of the womb, I was seen as a problem, an inconvenience to my original family. My mother never held me. In fact, I have no idea who did.  I was adopted through a secular private agency that served the middle-class white community.  The only form of adoption at that time was closed, meaning the parents were not aware of each other’s identity and would have no contact.  This was seen as being a good thing – wiping the slate clean.

A large majority of adoptions today are open. This does not mean that children have contact with their birth families – just that adoptions today are more transparent. Our records are still being sealed, but thankfully with the rise of genetic genealogy, secrets about identity are unsustainable. 

In addition to the rainbows and unicorns flowing from the media, you will occasionally hear of a story about an adoptee who was murdered at the hands of their adoptive parents.  Statistics show that children being raised in the home of a non-biological male puts them at greater risk for abuse.  Adopted people are more likely to need mental health treatment and often have problems with addiction.  Many have depression and anxiety and suicidal ideation.  Adoptees are four times more likely to attempt and complete suicide than the non-adopted population.  

If you look behind the glitz and glamour, you will see adoption’s underbelly.  Children can swiftly lose their birthrights and sadly, it is often due to the lack of financial resources of their parents.  Adoption law as it is practiced in the United States allows parents to relinquish their rights by the signing of one document. Adoption finalization severs legal and cultural ties to the family of origin, including those of inheritance, religion and surname.  And there is no shortage of attorneys and adoption agencies who use unethical practices to coerce women to relinquish their babies.

A child who is removed from its family of origin is thrown into fight or flight. Especially when relinquished before memory takes hold, a child’s mind frantically tries to make sense of something they are not developmentally prepared to process:  a loss of self.  Attachment is put at risk as well as potential for complex post-traumatic stress disorder, depending on genetic propensities and their family’s ability to attune to their needs.  When the system fails them, children can suffer compound traumas which lead to poor outcomes for their future health. (See ACES for more information).

Some adoptees have been outright stolen from their countries of origin through the creation of “paper orphans” – a way for poverty-stricken countries to sell children who have an intact biological family.  The family is tricked into believing their child is coming back to them after they are educated abroad.

Many children get abused secondarily by the system.  It is an impossible task to perfectly oversee foster parents, relatives, and adoptive parents who promise to give a child a safe and permanent home.  Some adoptees get rehomed after their first set of adoptive parents realize that they are not committed to parenting a traumatized child to adulthood.  These children are then advertised in adoptive parent circles.

I have always been deeply uncomfortable with pictures of children available for adoption being posted publicly. And adoption picnics are just weird to me. These picnics are a social event held by child welfare agencies allowing prospective adoptive parents to check out a child they may be interested in adopting.  These practices and the reference, “Gotcha Day” are objectifying to a child.

Once relinquished, either by choice or by force from the parents who created them, a child is left metaphorically speaking, floating through the void, without tether until gravity pulls them back down to earth with a permanent home.   Some adoptees will experience a double whammy when the adoption lottery provides them with unloving parents.  But for others, fate smiles on the child and he is given the gift of trust, love, and safety. This is the adoption the masses cheer for, I along with them.   When done well, adoption can improve the lives of children. 

Being placed for adoption is no indication of whether a child is good or bad.  Yet many adopted people believe they are bad, unlovable, and a mistake.  They believe the initial rejection by their birth families was a reflection on them as a human being.  For me, this was not a conscience belief, it was akin to looking daily into a broken mirror.  The pain was denied and compartmentalized.  In the words of Brene Brown, we can spend our lives hustling for our worthiness. 

Losing one’s parents at the beginning of life is deeply fascinating to the general public and it is portrayed in very black and white ways.  In orphan mythology, we become God-like, and possess magical powers.  Or like “the bad seed,” we possess evil inside of us.  Some of us become chameleon-like, people pleasers.  Others are independent and rebellious.  Some of us deny ever caring about what happened in our families of origin.  Others of us knew from a very young age that we would search.  What we all have in common is that something traumatic happened to us at the beginning of our lives. This trauma has been spun into the myth of a better life and a collective head-in-sand reaction, leaving adult adoptees to fend for themselves. 


 

 

 

 

Monday, November 29, 2021

The Future of Adoption



As National Adoption Awareness Month comes to a close, I felt compelled to get some things down on to paper (so to speak).  Mirroring our political climate, the adoption community has had many divisions as of late which have caused me to pull back on the multiple commitments I have had in past years.  I disabled my Facebook for most of November and stayed away from my I-phone, the news and tried to focus on non-digital projects in the safe cocoon of home.

While working on an organization project of documents, I came across some information related to my reunion I had forgotten about and felt triggered by.  In response, I created my own personal pity party (which mirrored the collective trauma that many adoptees experience during National Adoption Awareness Month).

Over the holiday weekend, I received a wake up call from the Universe that there is something bigger than just my/our own personal and individual experiences of adoption.  

And it is this:  we need to have an eye toward the future.  What do we want adoption to look like 10, 20, or 50 years from now? 

How do we want the next generation of adoptees to be treated differently than we were?  What do we want clinicians, social workers, teachers and adoptive parents to know about our experience and what is the best way to communicate it?

I believe we have reached a tipping point in our advocacy efforts. We have successfully flipped the script.  Adoptees are being heard by others and there are people acting on the information that we have so openly and transparently shared.

Yet, there are limitations to sharing about our individual pain, trauma and search and reunion stories.

Without evaluating what specifically we would like to be different, adoptee suicides will continue at a rate of four times greater than the general population. (4x greater in both attempts AND completion).

Adoptees will die without knowledge of their identity, regardless of how many times we post on social media demanding our original birth certificates.    

Separation trauma will continue while we pay out of our own pockets for adoption competent therapy. 

What do you see when you look toward the future of adoption?  What kind of change are you willing to put both money and sweat equity toward?

I don’t believe adoption abolishment is a realistic expectation.  There are certainly many situations when adoption is warranted.  However, there are also many mothers who could parent if they had the financial means and independent legal representation. 

I think we can all agree that if a child cannot be raised by their biological parents, kin or close friends is the next best thing.  But when there are no relatives or friends to raise a child, adoption has its place. 

Wait, what?  We can’t agree?  You mean guardianship is better than adoption?  Wait, you think two year olds care that their birth certificates are sealed and amended?  Your cousin’s step-sister is adopted and doesn’t care about searching for her birth parents?

Viewing adoption issues as black and white is one of the biggest downfalls in adoptionland and in the public arena. 

Could it be time to accept that every adoption story is individual and we will never agree on everything? 

Adoption is not always better, beautiful and wonderful.  It’s painful and traumatic to some of us.

Yet, we do ourselves no favors by being unwilling to admit the advantages adoption gave us, even if the only positive we can say is that we arrived to adulthood alive and able to tell the world what we experienced.

We are doing ourselves no favors by denying that there are some people in the world who are unable or unwilling to parent.

At some point we have to shift from victim to victor.  

It’s not our fault that adoption affected us in a way that society still cannot fully recognize.  It’s not our fault when our first moms or dads cannot or will not acknowledge us. 

Truly, our circumstances and our trauma are not our fault.

Yet, they are our responsibility.

We must actively work toward our own personal healing first to be able to then critically evaluate what we would like to see different in the future of adoption.

Then we must pro-actively work toward those goals.

That means action.  Not just posting on social media in the echo chamber, but getting to know your legislator, sending money to an adoption-related non-profit, supporting conferences or zooms with change makers in our communities, speaking out on podcasts, blogs, and books. 

It’s a lot of work and sometimes we do not feel up to it.  I haven’t felt up to it all month, which is why I have been silent until today.  Burnout is a real thing in community activism.

Yet, as NAAM comes to a close, I accept the responsibility to my fellow adoption community members as well as the next generation of adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents to work toward a kinder and more ethical future adoption. 

That means, putting time, money and effort into making change.  And sometimes that time, money and effort will be put into my own healing and growth so I can better understand what is a me-issue versus an adoption-issue.

Can we all agree that moving toward truth and transparency, leaving adoption stigma behind, and respecting our fellow community members who disagree with us be a starting point?

Can we accept that even though we will never agree on every stance, we can still collectively work toward education and post-adoption support for our community?

I believe we can.

 

Saturday, October 9, 2021

First Episode of "The Adoption Files" podcast



This week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Ande at The Adoption Files blog.  Ande is a late-discovery adoptee (LDA) who is a phenomenal artist and writer.  Please join us for the first episode of THE ADOPTION FILES PODCAST where we discuss the records adoptees receive during their lifetimes and how genetic genealogy/DNA has become a game changer for adoptees from the closed era.

You can listen to it here.


NAAP Presentation -- "The Story Behind the Story" - June 3 at 7:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Hey adoption friends! I am giving a Zoom presentation this Friday (June 3) as it relates to my newly released audible memoir, "Hidden ...