Archive for January 29th, 2008

We’re getting close to the end of the month, so I’ll pass along some bits of adoption-related information I’ve been collecting lately, starting with Ann Fessler and Melissa Weiler Gerber on the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

With no access to safe, legal abortions, an estimated 250,000 to one million women each year resorted to unsafe abortions that were responsible for an estimated 40 percent of all maternal deaths during this period. Women who did not want or were unable to obtain an abortion were under tremendous societal pressure to conceal and deny their pregnancies. They frequently were shunned by their families, friends and schools. More than 1.5 million such women during this period were secreted away to maternity homes and host houses where they were hidden until they gave birth and surrendered their children for adoption, often against their will.

(If you’ve not yet read “The Girls Who Went Away”, I strongly recommend it as a vital lesson in history, if nothing else. I wrote about my personal experience as a pregnant teen in the days before abortion became a legal option, and the series can be found at the following links: part one, part two, part three, part four, part five, part six, part seven, response from Ms. Fessler, some follow-up.

These were all written while I was at Adoption dot com, but even though I hate to send that terrible bunch of abusive jerks any hits, I am still very proud of a lot of my work there.)

A new Yahoo group has been started for Adoptive parents of children with Cerebral Palsy. You can find them here.

And a new blog has been started in Seattle by a women who has been writing about her life as a cancer survivor and is now preparing to adopt. Her first post on the adoption blog is here, and her cancer survival blog is here.

Here’s a story about another messy situation involving a surrogate mother, if you have the heart to read about complicated issues where everyone can lose.

On an up note, however, there is this article from the Jakarta Post about Xinran of “Motherbridge of Love” fame, author of “Sky Burial”, “The Good Women of China”, talking much about food.

We then ventured into that tender terrain of identity, of how a person living in another culture survives; for a sense of belonging is surely fundamental to the human condition and something we often overlook.you consider yourself a typical Chinese mum?” I asked, thinking that there is nothing typical or ordinary about this vibrant woman. “I think I am lost,” she replied. “In China they think I am western and in England they see me as foreign. I sometimes feel like I am a wild animal being brought up in a human zoo, like I am living in a double culture. It is a bit of a struggle. Honestly, I don’t understand the language so well. And even China is changing so rapidly. Between brothers and sisters, in just three years, there can be so much difference. “

And also from China, this very interesting article on how some Chinese are managing to revolt quietly and without attracting too much attention from their repressive government.

The sudden “strolls” by thousands of office workers, company managers, young families and the elderly in this sleek financial hub are the latest chapter in a quiet middle-class battle against government officials. The protesters are going about their mission carefully, and many speak anonymously for fear of retribution in a country that stifles dissent.

Speaking of repressive, here’s a story out of Pakistan that should have everyone jumping up and down and making so much noise … but, gee, that doesn’t seem to be happening.

The Lahore High Court on Friday handed over a girl to her parents after recovering her from the city’s Darul Aman. The court handed over the girl after her parents assured the judge that they would get her married off to the Darul Aman’s superintendent, as the girl had wanted.

A “Darul Aman” is like a women’s shelter … sort of … so running away and ending up there is a common enough situation in many cultures. This being Pakistan, however, getting hitched to the guy running the place rather than going home with dear old Dad sounds like a good plan.

Sheesh. Rock, meet hard place … devil, there’s the deep blue sea.

Perhaps this is a good time to point toward the top of this post and ask people to think about the rights of women and how damned hard they are to come by.

Read Full Post »