Maybe You’ve Heard About National Adoption Month

November 1st, 2008
Categories: Current Events

As an expectant mother considering placement for your child, maybe you've heard about National Adoption Month. Maybe you heard it on the news, read about it in your local newspaper or saw it talked about somewhere on Adoption.com's website. Maybe you think it concerns you, your baby and the adoption plan that you might be making for your child. Well, it doesn't. Hold on. Back up. Wait. What? It sounds ridiculous, right, that as a mother considering adoption, National Adoption Month isn't about you or your child at all. But it's true. National Adoption Month has nothing to do with newborn domestic adoption or even international adoption. Or even the adoptive parents who are participating in either of those types of adoption. National Adoption Awareness Month was first… [more]

In the News: Birth Control Costs Rising on College Campuses

September 4th, 2007
Categories: Current Events

As college students head back to campuses for the new school year, they will be dealing with an added expense; the steep rise in the cost of birth control. A change in federal law known as The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 went into effect on January 1st and has caused the cost of birth control for college students to sky rocket. Before the law went into effect, drug companies who manufactured birth control were able to offer college health centers and pharmacies substantial discounts on birth control but this new law makes it too expensive for drug companies to continue offering those discounts. When university health centers and pharmacies found out about the increase in prices, they stockpiled birth control to delay the rise… [more]

An interview with the author of The Stork Market (conclusion)

June 12th, 2007
Categories: Current Events

(continued from previous post) Q: How are pregnant women considering adoption treated in other countries? How are things done differently outside the U.S.? There are places in the world that the concept and the word “adoption” (especially as it is practiced in the U.S., with name changes and sealed records) simply don’t exist. Within Western Europe and many other parts of the industrialized world, there is more support of single mothers and less coercion and pressure placed on those considering relinquishment. In Australia, for instance, domestic infant adoption barely exists. Intercountry adoption consists of two worlds: the sending [poor] countries and the receiving [affluent] countries. The United Nations is attempting to regulate the enormous problems in international child trafficking in adoption. Black-market… [more]

An interview with the author of The Stork Market (part 3)

June 12th, 2007
Categories: Current Events

(continued from last post) Q: Some people say that adoptive parents don’t need to be concerned with the issue of coercion – that it’s not their problem. What’s your response? A: We each have to follow our conscience and our moral compass. From a very practical standpoint, if relinquishments and consents to adopt are not obtained from both parents free of coercion, the adoption is at risk of being overturned. A contested adoption – win or lose – is extremely stressful and costly for all. It is thus in everyone’s best interest to ensure that ethical practices are observed. Q: You’ve been involved in adoption reform for a long time. What changes have you seen over the years? Have things changed for the better or become worse? A: I have… [more]

An interview with the author of The Stork Market (part 2)

June 12th, 2007
Categories: Current Events

(continued from last post) Q: What do you think is the single biggest danger a woman needs to watch out for when she’s pregnant and talking to adoption professionals? A: Infants – especially Caucasian – are, sadly, a commodity in great demand. As a result, there are far too many unethical adoption practitioners who are untrained entrepreneurs, not objective counselors, and it is far too difficult to tell the few reputable “good guys” from the bad. Most adoption “agencies” are in the businesses of placing babies. Their paid clients are those seeking to adopt. They are not there to serve your best interest, or even your child’s, and often do their own “rubber stamp” home studies without adequate background checks of prospective parents. Q: What about fathers? What do they… [more]

An interview with the author of The Stork Market (part 1)

June 12th, 2007
Categories: Current Events

Recently, I reviewed Mirah Riben’s new book, The Stork Market: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry. Because this book contains some important information for those considering surrender, and because this book is currently being talked about on adoption.com, I decided to interview Riben to learn more about her views. In addition to The Stork Market, Riben is also author of shedding light on…the Dark Side of Adoption (1988). She has formerly served as a Director-at-Large of the American Adoption Conference and is the mother of four. Her first child, lost to adoption, is now deceased. The interview will run in several installments. Q: In reviewing your book, I understand that I may have inaccurately characterized your position on replacing adoption with… [more]

The End of P-Schools

May 24th, 2007

If you’re a pregnant teen in a big city, there’s a chance you’ve encountered a relic from another time, an institution informally known as a P-school. I wasn’t aware that such schools still existed, but I read about them today in The New York Times. The news item is that New York City, which has four of these high schools dedicated solely to pregnant girls, is now closing them down. The P-schools were intended to help young pregnant women, but the substandard education they offered and the isolated facilities often harmed more than helped. As the reporter writes: Pregnancy schools across the country appear to be slowly fading away, partly stemming from the decade-long declining rate of teenage pregnancy and partly because of… [more]

A Real Surprise Pregnancy

April 30th, 2007

Here’s a fascinating story from Orange County, California – illustrating yet another way that babies can come as a total surprise. In early March, a 39 year old woman named April Branum learned she was having a baby less than two days before his birth. Her obesity and various other factors had coincided to keep her unaware of her pregnancy until a visit to the emergency room necessitated an X-ray for stomach pain. Of particular interest to me were the reader comments in reaction to this news item. As is par for the course when talking about other people’s pregnancies, some people were supportive and encouraging, while others were vicious in their condemnation of what kind of parents the Branums will be. (People… [more]

Sick to my stomach

January 2nd, 2007
Categories: Current Events

sick Boy, can I ever relate to the Allison Lee Quets story...and not just because I’m a birthmom who would have revoked my surrender if I’d had a chance to. No, the thing that causes me to feel such a major sense of kinship with Quets is that I too suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum while pregnant. In layman’s terms, hyperemesis is when you just can’t stop throwing up. It goes far beyond normal queasiness or morning sickness; it’s a chronic and miserable condition for which you have to be hospitalized, hydrated, medicated, and fed through a tube. Unlike most pregnant women, those of who suffer from hyperemesis tend to lose weight rather than gain it. I was in the hospital eight times during my… [more]

The Male Pill

December 1st, 2006
Categories: Current Events

male Oh, the puns and double entrendres I could create with this topic. Let me behave myself, though, and just say that the male pill is coming - err, I mean it’s on the way. In the news this week, we learn that we’re about five years away from a commercially available male contraceptive. Men would take the pill a few hours before The Act in order to have a sperm-free night…meaning they couldn’t inseminate anyone. As a blogger at Salon reports:Sounds good to those of us who have been juggling the side effects of hormonal birth control, the mood-shattering inconvenience of the diaphragm and the inconsistent availability of the sponge for years. But according to a truly obnoxious group of guys interviewed in… [more]