What with open records going into effect in Maine, there just had to be someone who would trot out that old chestnut about NATURAL parent privacy. This time, the Portland Press Herald editorial board has at it and, as usual, conveys all the old, erroneous mythology and the abject terror of a tiny group of mothers who can't shake the shame from decades ago. You can read all about it at Bastardette's blog.
How many times are we going to have to say it? We have adoption facilitators and attorneys that, by twisting the truth, have perpetrated a lie that the general public still believes. The ONLY time we had any privacy or anonymity was when our parents were hiding us and our swollen bellies away from the sight of the neighbors. Those surrender documents that many of us signed had not a word about any kind of guaranteed "privacy" from our own children! The concept, in and of itself, is ridiculous.
The real scoop is that it was the adopters that had the guarantee of privacy and protection from the specter of the natural mother showing up, having changed her mind. I remember being threatened with prison should I ever try to find my children. Privacy stipulations were NOT put in place for the protection of the natural mother. They are there, solely, for the perpetration of the parenthood fantasy of the adopter.
Yes, there is a small, actually minute, number of mothers who never got past the shame that was placed on them by their families and the facilitators. They lied to the men they married and carried that lie with them for years until it threatened to blow up in their faces. I have seen many a mother tell her husband and raised children about the child she lost to adoption and, in most cases, these family members were lovingly supportive and even excited.
My biggest gripe with the Portland paper, the Evan B. Donaldson Institute, the NSFA, the AAC and others is that all these people take it upon themselves to speak for the mothers. In case they haven't been watching or listening, we have found our voice and we are going to tell the truth of our experiences whether they like it or not. No one has been given the right to speak for all of us. No one "voice" is the go-to for the skinny on the natural mother experience because there are different circumstances and eras.
It's time for the talking heads and the self-appointed experts (among them, sad to say, mothers who think that what was true for them is true for all) to step back and let us speak for ourselves. We have voices, we have brains and we have the real scoop for all to hear. One of those realities is that most of us would never elect to not be contacted by our own child of our body.
Take a seat and lend an ear, because you are going to hear from us. Happy New Year!!!