RIP: The fire behind adoption reform, Florence Fisher
[Birth Mother] First Mother Forum
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6M ago
Lorraine Florence Fisher, the spark plug who ignited the adoption-reform movement in 1971, died peacefully on Sunday, October 1. She was 95, and in failing health for several months.    While she has long been retired from active work in adoption, she founded the largest adoptee-rights organization, Adoptee Rights Liberty Movement, better known as ALMA, which at its heyday in the Eighties had 50 chapters in cities large and small across America and about 50,000 members. At the time, it was the largest national reunion registry, numbering about 340,000 searching adult ..read more
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A small snapshot of adoption awareness creeping into the news
[Birth Mother] First Mother Forum
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8M ago
  Jane Two obituaries in the August 6 Oregonian caught my eye. The first of a woman, Kathleen, born in 1933. She majored in Home Economics at Oregon State College; in 1954 her studies culminated in a ”Home Ec Practice Home,” a six week live-in course where each week a student was assigned as cook, housekeeper, or baby-tender of an actual toddler…”  Kathleen became an adoption social worker.  Adoption agencies placed babies entrusted to them for adoption in these college “practice homes” both to give students baby-tending experience, part of the essential education of yo ..read more
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Barbara Walters was no fan of adoption refom
[Birth Mother] First Mother Forum
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1y ago
Lorraine While the media is rightfully pouring ink and airtime out over the death of trailblazer Barbara Walters at 93, I'm reading about her and looking for somewhat different references than the general public: her relationship to adoption. Walters adopted a daughter, Jacqueline, in 1968, two years after I gave up my daughter for adoption. By 1976 Walters was hosting a show that would be the prequel to The View. Called Not for Women Only, she presided over a panel of experts, with knowledgeable audience members sitting at round tables close to the front to be easily be intervi ..read more
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Birth mother grief is acknowledged at last--Amy Comey Barrett may have done us a favor by acting as if it doesn't exist
[Birth Mother] First Mother Forum
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2y ago
Jane and Lorraine, 1982  At last the unending grief of giving up a child to adoption is being recognized by others outside our closed circle! Today's New York Times has a piece Meg Bernhard about a social scientist and writer named Pauline Boss. She has been studying and writing about unresolved grief and I'm reading the piece and WHAM, I come upon these words:  "It [unresolved grief] can take many forms, often quotidian: an alcoholic parent, who when inebriated, becomes a different person; a divorced partner, which whom our relationship is ruptured but not erased; a loved o ..read more
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Should I tell my sister the son she placed for adoption long ago is looking for her?
[Birth Mother] First Mother Forum
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2y ago
Lorraine Dusky I sometimes open the New York Times Magazine  and turn to The Ethicist, Kwame Anthony Appiah,  to see if he's got another column about adoption, which seems to be his topic du jour on a pretty regular basis. While he proudly announces his highborn and mixed-race background, he has come down in the past for natural/birth mother privacy with the thud of insufferable and clueless  righteousness.  Today it was Bingo! again for the headline reads: "The Son My Sister Placed for Adoption Wants to Find Her." What Should I Do?  Well, of course, I answer ..read more
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'Give up' or 'surrender' or 'relinquish'? 'Forced' or' stolen'? The impact of culture on adoption language
[Birth Mother] First Mother Forum
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2y ago
A preview of the new cover of hole in my heart. Coming soon.  How we think about life and its exigencies, its ups and downs, cultural shifts and societal norms, the everyday incidents and the big moments that change the course of our lives are framed by the language we use. My daughter was born "out of wedlock," a phrase that most understand, but rarely use; yet it was commonly heard when my daughter was born--if people talked even talked about this. (Of course they did, but all very hush-hush.)  I've ever shied away from saying: I gave her up. When an acquaintance--an adopt ..read more
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Mother denied visitation with son conceived with her egg
[Birth Mother] First Mother Forum
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3y ago
Jane An Oregon woman who let her former boyfriend, wealthy Portland developer Jordan Schnitzer, use her eggs to create a son lost visiting rights to that son--now five--this week. Cory Sause, 38, had been able to visit her son since 2017 after a protracted court battle.  In a 2-1 decision, the Oregon Court of Appeals reversed the lower court making Schnitzer, 70, the sole legal parent of the boy, Samuel. The majority opinion stated that Sause had not demonstrated a full commitment to parenting as required by Oregon's assisted-reproduction law to have parenting rights. Sause pla ..read more
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Surviving Mother's Day as a Mother of Loss
[Birth Mother] First Mother Forum
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3y ago
Lorraine Here it comes again, Mother's Day, impossible to delete from the calendar or totally ignore due to the incessant ads that pop up everywhere, from the internet to the newspaper to gifts on the morning shows that are "Perfect for Mom."  I got my hair cut today and as I was waiting to pay my bill, I heard the receptionist say to the woman ahead of me--Happy Mother's Day. The woman responded, I never had children. Neither, it turned out, did the receptionist. When she said this to the woman, I could see they shared a moment of understanding.   When I approached the ..read more
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If you don't care about your origins, why are you searching First Mother sites?
[Birth Mother] First Mother Forum
by
3y ago
Jane I am the daughter of a mother who was an adoptee" wrote Annie on an old FMF post. "My mother adored her parents and God help you if you'd identify them as her "adoptive parents." Several years ago my mother sent her DNA to Ancestry.com to decipher her ethnicity and to learn medical concerns--if someone reached out to her. She had a lovely email exchange with her birth mother and genetic brother, which she shared with me, and able to answer both questions, but ultimately said she had no desire to meet them, as they were strangers to her.  Since then, her birth mother has rea ..read more
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Film: The Other Son poses questions of identity
[Birth Mother] First Mother Forum
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3y ago
Lorraine Switched at birth is a fantasy that may young children imagine growing up but when it does happen--as in a 2012 case in Russia--the two families and the children have a tanged weave to unfold. In The Other Son, a 2012 French film, the intensely human tangle is additionally knotted by who and where the two households are: one is in Israel, the other the West Bank. That's a huge wall to overcome. At once, The Other Son plays on two levels. One is the great divide between the two groups involved, as they are basically at war with one another. The other is the personal drama of ..read more
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