I have spent the better part of the last couple of weeks either deep into post-holiday clean-up, trying to relocate my missing muses (they were right where I left them) and fighting with Google/Blogspot to gain access to this lowly, non-updated, old-fashioned blog dashboard in order to post. After an abortive attempt to upgrade to the new blogger system, I decided that this old war-horse site would do just fine for a technically-challenged great-grandmother.
If there are those who did not have their comments show up, it's because, either I couldn't get to them to approve them, or I wouldn't have approved them if I have been able to get to them (I still refuse to make this blog over into a place for hit and run, anonymous bitching). It has been frustrating, to say the least. I feel as if I have been operating blind for quite a while and have just now found my spectacles. It's great to be back.
Speaking of frustration, I am really at sixes and sevens with something that is going on right now. I posted another piece on this, but it was not exactly one of my better or fairer efforts and was not kind to some worthy people I know, so I deleted it. It now involves the very worthy case of the young mom, Stephanie Bennett, in Ohio who is fighting an agency whose ethics are very questionable, in an attempt to get her little girl back. The baby, Evelyn, is in the custody of Stephanie's parents, but the adopters, at the advice of the agency attorneys, are hiding the child from them. The scamming of this vulnerable young mother with the execrable aid of a school "counselor" is textbook coercion at its worst.
What bothers me, is that the majority of the media and other attention seems to be centered on the more flamboyant actions of Allison Quets, an embryo adopter who fled with the twins resulting from donor embryo implantation, to Canada in order to wrest custody from the custodial, potential adopters. Ms. Quets is financially in much better shape than the Bennetts, who are middle America to the core, had an ongoing case in the courts that had NOT been lost, the adoption of the twins by the Needhams was not accomplished fact, and I find her "cause" dubious.
The only thing that I can support where Quets' situation is concerned is the fact that she was truely and harshly coerced after a hard pregnancy and C-section birth. Her case also brings to light the heinous adoption laws of Florida, top-heavy in statutes that favor the adopters and agencies. The adoption lobby in Florida is huge and has very deep pockets. They would have to be, because they have the Tallahassee legislature in one of those pockets...I think it's the one on the hip.
But I cannot support Ms. Quets, personally, because, as I see it, embryo adoption is still adoption and, if we are going to be anti-adoption, then we need to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Embryo adoption is totally unfair to the children that result, who will have little to no recourse in recovering their family, cultural and genetic histories and YES, they will want that. I hold to the opinion that the Quets issue is a fight between adopters and none of my business as a mother whose children were taken for adoption or as an anti-adoption activist.
On the other hand, the situation of Stephanie Bennetts should strike a chord in the hearts of every mother who has lost a child or children to the adoption industry. She was practically pounced on in a moment of weakness and fear, "advised" by a counselor from a school whose assistant superintendent was directly connected to the infamous A Child Waiting agency, and even told that she should lie to her parents who were helping her keep her baby or run away from them until the papers could be signed and the baby turned over to the agency. There are so many smarmy, ultra-questionable aspects to what was done to this mother and child, that I am amazed and disappointed that more people, everywhere, are not joining the hue and cry against the perpetrators of this outrage.
The Bennetts are struggling along with a lot of courage and dignity, if you ask me, taking the legal route, garnering support and being totally truthful along the way. In this case, there are no hidden "details." They are not high-profile, high-paid professionals...mom is a student, granddad is a truck driver and grandmom is a housewife. There are no deep pockets for legal work. There has been no big "splashy" gesture to draw media attention but there is increasing media awareness in the Akron/Canton area and we hope it will spread.
Stephanie's parents have legal, court-ordered custody of little Evelyn, but cannot find the potential adopters in order to take custody. We are also hoping that, on the 19th, when Stephanie's case goes to the Akron court, she will have the support and the ammunition she needs to get her baby back and prove coercion, a horrible activity of the industry and others that is still alive and well in the USA today. It didn't die, folks, with the end of the BSE, and I know too many moms from the time after Roe v Wade who went through it to even think for a moment that coercion is no longer used as adoption apologists would have us all believe.
I'm in FL and unable to make the trip to Akron, OH. But, for those of you who are nearby, your presence outside the probate court in Akron, at 9:00AM on the 19th of January could give this family a lot of well-deserved support and bring media attention to a truly worthy cause. You can also visit this site, http://www.cafepress.com/antiadoption/, to purchase buttons and a bumper sticker to support bringing baby Evelyn Bennett home to her family. Proceeds will go to the legal fund for the Bennetts. This site, http://www.prlog.org/10005842-adoption-legalized-lies-to-raise-funds-for-bennett-family.html, will also give you information on how you can contribute.
The story of the Bennett family is a worth-while and deeply emotional one that is the perect venue for those of us who believe that a child is not a commodity and that mothers are not interchangable or disposable.