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Posts Tagged ‘gay adoption’

Back in the days when I was still working for Adoption dot com, when a new and enthusiastic editor carved out yet another blog for me after noting my news-houndyishness and created the “News” blog, word came down from On High that I should take on the task of examining Presidential candidates and their positions on adoption.

Having worked with politicos during my news days, this seemed an easy assignment; after all, who in a big race would turn down a chance for free press on a topic so much less loaded than weapons of mass destruction and genocide, and to shine with some merciful light radiating from some innocent child?

Turns out, all of them.

After researching who was who and where, I sent emails to the people in charge of getting press for their candidates, for answering questions and sending out miles of column inches of controlled blather in hopes that someone, somewhere, will pick it up and publish at least something, but to no avail.

Yes, I did get on everyone’s mailing list and spend too much time trashing rah-rah bandwagon mail, but any direct adoption-related contact or offers to send position papers my way?

Nope. Not a one.

I was puzzled, to say the least, and since I still have a few contacts in and around the US political scene, some of whom have moved up the power ladder in the years I’ve been away and now hang with hopeful Presidents, I asked around.

In America it’s a ten foot pole, while the Brits say barge pole which must be about that long, but whatever you call it no one was touching me.

I’d been instructed to play the Adoption dot com card … huge Web site, thousands of hits per month, blah, blah, blah … which, it happens, slammed the door faster than if I’d showed up in black leather and asked to give spankings.

Seems the lawsuit the company had recently lost to a gay couple they refused to do business with put the kibosh on getting cozy for anyone with an eye toward not being associated in any way with homophobes.

A representative from one of the company’s advertisers even started a boycott movement, so apparently enough attention had been focused to staple a big “keep away” sign on anything coming that might look like a tie.

This all happened some months ago, and the field of candidates has narrowed a bit, and because of my early attempt at contact … and all the mailing lists that plastered me to … I’ve been following bits from the campaign trail I wouldn’t normally be paying much attention to.

I will vote in the general election when it finally rolls around … You bet I will! … but all the run-up hoopla usually ebbs around me like creek water around a midstream boulder. I’ve not lived in the US since the year after Bill Clinton came into office, so too many of the early posers are so new to me that I’d rather wait until it looks like I really should know about them.

I don’t vote in the Primaries, so it’s all done but the shouting by the time I get to say my bit, so burning extra energy on losers isn’t a hobby I take on.

I did see a tiny bit of CNN this morning, however … a tiny bit is all I get before Chinese State TV in English takes over to spout the wonders of the regime and the overwhelming joy of the people of China … candidate-related, as Florida was just finishing the voting there.

It was Mitt Romney on, spouting to his cheering and oh-so-well-groomed crowd, and I was very surprised to hear that his whole theme was change.

Change to healthcare. Change to education. Change to taxation. Change to war … and on and on. Rousing chants of something like “They didn’t fix it” followed each proclamation of what had badly needed change, but hadn’t been addressed.

Excuse me … but haven’t we had a Republican President for the last almost 8 years? And wasn’t, until recently, Congress also dominated by the GOP? So, wouldn’t they be they?

What am I missing? Really. I would love someone to explain to me how a Republican candidate can be running on a platform of change. (Not why … that’s clear … but how.)

Because he’s never held office in the federal government? Because he’s been a governor and businessman his GOP connection has been without pull … just a regular Joe hanging at the club and demanding better education for the poor?

Okay, you’ve probably gathered that I don’t usual vote the GOP ticket, although I am not a lock-step voter by any means, and I would be cutting him more slack if I thought more like he does, but even if that was the case, one line that got a huge and deliriously agreeable response stood out and had me suspecting that this guy hasn’t had an original thought in a very long time:

We will teach our kids that before they have babies they should get married!

.

Yeah. That’s new.

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A couple of interesting articles in today’s news take a bit of a different slant on familiar themes, and I’m thinking both will be getting a good look here.

First, this opinion piece out of Des Moines has inspired an unsurprising backlash of comments, all immediately recognizable in intent and history.

Open records for adoptees is the opening volley in the piece, but it’s anti-adoption pure and simple that is the target.

Fair-minded and informative, the piece has the temerity … and that is the first impression when such thoughts are actually written down and published … to take Concerned United Birthparents, Bastard Nation and the American Adoption Congress to task and suggest that much of their raison d’etre has less to do with registries, being opposed to the very thought of mutual consent, but rather nothing less than working to force an end to adoption completely.

Media sensationalism has led many to conclude that all parties in adoption are searching. Yet statistics in states with registries tell the opposite story. A study out of the Annenberg School of Communications found that the media exaggerated by 18 times the number of actual “searchers.”

The anti-adoption forces have enjoyed far greater success on the social/media front due to the unwillingness of reporters to dig beneath the surface and explore the agenda of these search advocacy groups. The one notable exception is Lucinda Franks in her New Yorker article around the time of the “Baby Jessica” case, when she exposed the role of these groups in the case. In addition, stories emphasizing grief, loss and pathology due to so-called identity confusion make far more interesting copy than those of content, secure adoptive families.

Bastard Nation is singled out as an organization the promotes, “the portrayal of adoption as a deceptive, hurtful and even pathological institution,” and the point is made that the “emphasis on adoption as setting in motion a lifetime of grief and loss has had a profound effect on adoptive placement in the United States.”

Call it as you see it, certainly, but a take like this, written together by an adoptee and an adoptive parent, feels like a breath of fresh air. The mainstream media running anything that hasn’t been ground to a miserable pulp by those invested in misery may be taken as a sign that the public eye has not yet been totally blinded or blackened.

From Canada, this story on an upcoming TV documentary takes a look at views on gay parenting in that country, and follows the efforts of a lesbian couple to adopt.

One hurdle in their process led the couple to file a human rights complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission that is still pending, but the government did change its policy on adopting from the US in 2006.

And a couple of important bits from blogland …

Here is some serious information on kids with Fetal Anti-Convulsant Syndrome (FACS), or Fetal Valproate Syndrome (FVS), so called, “Depakote babies”, from a mom who has spent years trying to figure out what her child was suffering from. She has a follow-up here.

And if you’re interested in open records laws, here’s an update from North Carolina on what’s happening there.

And, for what it’s worth, I am not against open records. In fact I’m all for everyone being open about everything and doing away with secrets altogether. With this POV, I wish there was a heck of a lot more honesty involved when it comes to specific issues.

Marley of Bastard Nation makes no secret of the fact that she’s not big on adoption … or children in general, for that matter … and although she’s not someone I’d want to spend a weekend with (and I’m quite sure the feeling would be mutual if she ever gave it any thought), I respect her non-namby-pamby-ness. It’s those who dress their negative stance on adoption as “reform” or “family preservation”, and yes, “open records” wooly rhetoric that shouldn’t be trusted.

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