At least conservatives admit it

Someone responded to a comment I made about my political and personal beliefs with the comment “I fail to see how anyone could become more conservative over time.”

Things like this are why:

I was initially approached by an editor of The Huffington Post to give commentary about adoption fundraisers, a topic she wished to write despite the fact that she knew it would be controversial. The editor came back to me later and asked for me to draft the piece instead because members of HuffPo thought it would be better if the article came from me. I agreed to do so, even though I said HuffPo readers, especially adoptive parents, would probably take the message better from her since she was one of them.

Less than a week later, I sent the article to the editor.  She loved it. The rest of the team, not so much. It appears as though what I wrote was a bit too “edgy.” However, today the great HuffPo published this bit of overtly saccharin, shallow, misleading, unrepresentative, and problematic take on adoption. – The Huffington Post thinks we’re too edgy @ Land of a Gazillion Adoptees. 

Because liberals love to pretend to be open-minded. They love to pretend that they want to talk about the ‘hard stuff that conservatives won’t’ and to insist they welcome debate and being challenged. But they don’t. If you peel back the thin veneer you find that liberals are not actually one iota more open-minded, welcoming and informed than the conservatives they so love to bash. They are not one bit less bigoted, they just choose different topics to be bigoted about and then smugly pretend that that somehow makes them superior. A conservative might be bigoted and ignorant about ‘sex ed’ or gay rights, whereas most liberals are just as bigoted and ignorant about misandry or adoption.

Liberals are just as interested in pushing their social code of acceptable conduct and beliefs, the difference is that they pretend that they do so as innocent, selfless servants of humanity. That they are simply doing so for the greater good. I have a difficult time respecting this as it is quite clearly simply their beliefs. There’s nothing wrong with having beliefs but there is an issue when you stop pretending that they are your beliefs and pretend that they’re edicts for all humanity and that you are doing a selfless service in pushing them into law/social policy. At least the average conservative has enough self-awareness and honesty to admit that their beliefs are simply beliefs and right, wrong, educated, uneducated, popular or not that they are standing by them simply because they are their beliefs or because the bible told them so. These days I will take “because the bible says so” over the patronizing erudite liberal stance of “because it’s better for you and all humanity, you simply don’t know it yet because you’re ignorant but I will save you from yourself” that seems to coat the majority of their beliefs and motivation.

Liberals are just as willing to silence debate and things that go against their ideals. I’ve seen Huffington Post, a supposed bastion of young liberal leftist publishing, refuse to speak on dozens of topics which should be discussed in favour of rehashing the same tired stereotypes and even incorrect information or overly saccharine feel-good pieces with as little truthful educational value as the worst ‘marriage only between a man and a woman’ feel-good piece they would bash on a conservative site. I’ve seen the process repeated on dozens of supposed open-minded leftist publishing that will post numerous example stories of how uneducated, ignorant and stuck-in-their-beliefs conservatives are while dozens of incorrect facts, statistics and beliefs are published right alongside and portrayed as truthful, up to date, correct and factual. Polite debate or dissention in the comments? Moderated, left forever in the limbo of ‘unapproved’ or deleted within minutes even while it states “The comments below have not been moderated.” Amusing, I didn’t delete my comment so where did it go? 😉

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At least conservatives admit it

JM & The Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children & Families

Johnston “John” Moore has been making the rounds on some adoptee / pro-ethical adoption blogs to try and clear up his name and image, which were likely heavily tarnished after his appearance on Dr. Phil’s Oct 18, 2012 episode about the “Baby Veronica” case.

In case anyone missed it, here is the episode. John first appears at around the 18:30 mark and it snowballs from there.

On October 13th he made these comments on Ethical Christian Adoption’s blog post An Open Letter to Focus On the Family and iCareAboutOrphans Regarding Orphan Care here

johnstonemoorecomments

His second post is particularly disingenuous.

Really one need only watch his Dr Phil appearance to see what a raging bigot he is. At one point he holds up a picture of one of his adopted sons and angrily exclaims over how inappropriate it is that a child like that is being protected by the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Like that quite clearly being a fair-skinned, dirty blond with freckles instead of the caricature Injun that John has decided are the only ‘real’ Indians. His adopted child wasn’t really Native because they weren’t red skinned, didn’t wear a headdress, didn’t run around in a loin cloth with long braided hair therefore it was ridiculous that ICWA was applied to them. Even more than a decade after the adoption (that went through) John still carries so much pent-up anger and racism that he was chomping at the bit to appear on Dr Phil to confront any Injun and wasted no time laying into people who had nothing to do with his adoption outside of sharing ethnicity.

Were his appearance not enough, John also belongs to the Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children & Families. Oh it sounds so benign and helpful doesn’t it? They always do.

johnstonemoore

In fact he’s a founding member. The Coalition takes a very Richard Pratt approach to Natives. Kill the Indian, Save the Man as Pratt stated in his writings. The Coalition wants to protect Indians…from themselves. Their entire mission, as stated, is to amend (obliterate) ICWA:
coalition_amendingicwa

1. Ensure an Indian child has a ‘parent’ as defined by the law and the parent has properly established paternity under state law.

This is what’s known as the “existing [indian] family doctrine” and is a very controversial part of ICWA that is generally only acknowledged by a handful (such as the Coalition) for good reason. It puts the burden of proof on parents to essentially prove that they are “indian enough” to qualify for ICWA protections and makes it almost impossible for unmarried Native fathers to assert their paternal rights and contest adoptions because unmarried men (Native or not) are not considered part of a ‘family unit’ in any state.

2. Provide fit birth parents of Indian children the right to choose healthy guardians or adoptive parents for their children without concern for heritage.

The second word is key in this statement. Founding and ‘Individual’ members of the Coalition have repeatedly shown that they basically believe that there are essentially no ‘fit’ Native parents, ever. That a child is always better served being adopted by whites.

4. Clarify that the ICWA does not apply to family court disputes, not just divorce proceedings, over Indian children.

This one probably sums up the Coalitions aims better than any other. Considering that ‘family court’ can (and does) mean basically all legal proceedings that deal with children…well…saying you don’t want ICWA in any ‘family court’ means that you don’t want ICWA at all. ICWA is not being applied to cars or small loans or to criminal cases, it’s being applied in ‘family court’ issues.

6. Clarify that an Indian birth mother does not need to consent to adoption in court.

This is pretty standard for a pro-adoption group. They all constantly lobby to have less protections, less independent counsel, less time for first mothers. Requiring that first parents sign away their parental rights in court, in front of a Judge, removes them from the influence of adoption agencies (such as the one John runs), ensures they know their rights and cannot be lied to by agencies. Had this been standard in Oklahoma Dusten Brown would never have signed his rights away. They know this.

Points 5 and 7 deal with lowering the timespan parents have to rescind their consent to have their child adopted. Again, standard pro-adoption / agency lobbying fare. They’ll whittle it down until every state has immediate irrevocable termination of parental rights.

8. Clarify that final adoptions may only be vacated for fraud within limits under state law.

Again they take advantage of people’s ignorance. There basically are no rules for fraud in private adoptions and few enforcements of fraud in foster-to-adopt dependency (foster care) cases either. For examples of this one can look at the class action lawsuit currently underway in Utah precisely because of Utah’s fraud-immunity laws regarding private adoptions. Christopher Carlton’s case is a good example of what many first fathers have and continue to experience. His ex cut off contact under the advisement of her adoption agency setting up a faux “he abandoned the baby and I” scenario, placed his daughter for adoption in Utah and then told him that they’d had a son and the baby had died shortly after birth. Even after this was proven conclusively in court Carlton was unable to overturn his daughter’s adoption. An example of how fraud-immunity is applied in dependency cases is the Sonya McCaul case which saw Tennessee foster parents repeatedly lying and breaking their resource (foster) parent contract and sharing confidential information without consent (a felony in TN) with no consequence or enforcement of said contract or law. Neither the Carlton or McCaul case involve Native children but fraud-immunity stands regardless of whether a child is Native or not and is allowed to proliferate across both private and dependency adoptions and all ethnicities. So to say that adoptions should only be vacated for a fraud that can never be proven and is not even recognized as a crime by most if not all states…..

In the end no first parent can likely meet all the demands of their amendments to ICWA, thus giving their child ICWA protection, which is the entire point of their organization. To make ICWA so hyper-specific that it cannot be applied to any child ever.

JM & The Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children & Families

Is adoption in Veronica’s best interest?

ImageI see so many people who are so quick to use their anger, frustration and judgments of Dusten as a reason to “give Veronica back to the Capobiancos”. Please try to remember that Veronica is not an item or a trophy to be won by the ‘more worthy’, more likeable, wealthier, longer married or ‘less jerky’ family. Veronica is her own person with rights that are all hers as an individual citizen of the United States of America, that have nothing to do with ICWA or either side.

The Declaration of Independence granted all US-born people the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. The right to pursue happiness protects the individual’s ability to live for his own sake, rather than for the sake of society. It is based on the idea that the pursuit of one’s self-interest is one’s highest moral purpose.

The Constitution of America grants all citizens the right to ‘Due Process’ which means that each citizen legally must be able to access all their rights without discrimination or being skipped over.

Things that adoption takes from her:

– Her right to be raised in her culture.
– Her right to genetic mirroring.
– Her right to her original birth certificate, which will be altered to list the Capobianco’s as her genetic parents. Both Christy and Dusten’s names (if his is on there) will be removed. Her hospital of birth will be removed. South Carolina adoption law does not allow even adult adoptees to access their original birth certificates. This can make it difficult to trace lineage, access tribal rights (since your birth certificate which is often used as proof now lists two non-Natives as her biological parents).

It mean the TRUTH. I currently possess a ‘Birth’ Certificate which lists my adoptive parents names as if they were my bio parents – even my adoptive ‘rents found it weird and wrong that a vital record was made up with lies. I want to be able to walk into the Vital Records office and order a true copy of my true Birth Certificate just like anyone else can. It’s humiliating to stand in line (with my natural mother in tow!) watching everyone being issued their records with no questions; only to be told once I reach the counter that no, I’m not entitled to THAT (my own birth record!) [The Lost Daughters: What Does your Original Birth Certificate Mean To You]

– Her right to timely medical history and information. ‘Open adoption’ is not legally enforceable. The majority become closed within a few years. There’s little reason to believe that they’ll still have an open adoption 10 years from now and when it becomes closed, all that medical information from Christy and Dusten about any genetic and potentially inherited diseases go with them. Does Christy have the BRCA1/2 gene? She’s young yet. If she develops breast cancer in 10 years Veronica will have little way to know that she herself is much more likely to develop it. Same with other issues like Diabetes (more common in Natives). I was 25 before I was able to learn, by luck, that my natural father is insulin dependent.

The fact she can ‘google herself’ does not really negate any of these issues. Fox News blogs or Facebook posts are not accepted forms of identification. It’s easy for people who are not adopted and have not had to grow up with a fake name, raised by people outside your family, who have not lost a strong cultural identity to simply go “Meh! None of that matters!” but most of you would not accept a different name and family if it was forced upon you now but that is what adoption is and it’s not necessarily any easier for young children. Children grow up…often into confused adolescents with self-esteem issues because they don’t ‘fit’ or accept their adoptions. This is especially prevalent for Native children because they miss out on so many rituals, such as naming and coming of age rituals, gatherings and so forth.

The loss of culture, heritage and language seemed to encompass the total lifestyle that the respondents had missed. One said, “I was supposed to have a naming ceremony when I was two years old, and I didn’t get it. I don’t have a name. How can I go back to my tribe if I don’t have a name?” Another wrote, “Somebody said that we could learn all we needed to learn about our culture and heritage from books and videos from our school. What a laugh! What we got was a watered down, Indian-style-Sesame-Street version of what some white person thought all Indians were like.” [Split Feathers Syndrome by Carol Locust]

Veronica is her own person. If she does not NEED to be adopted — if she is not being abused, molested, neglected, deprived of medical care and education (which she is not) — than it should be HER right NOT to be adopted, PERIOD. That should fall into part of life, LIBERTY and the pursuit of happiness and her own self-interest to NOT have to even chance facing the myriads of issues that adoptees face.

Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio: Adoptees differed significantly from nonadoptees on 4 of 26 variables. They were more likely to have attempted suicide (7.6% vs 3.1%) and to have received psychological or emotional counseling in the past year  (16.9% vs 8.2%), and their mothers reported higher parental education and family income.

A recent study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that adolescents adopted as infants were twice as likely as nonadoptees to be diagnosed with externalizing disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder.

Marshall D.Schechter. M.D., Beverly Hills California. In his paper on the Observations of Adopted Children. In a series of cases seen by him the percentage of adopted children was 13.3 as compared with the national average of 0.134. This indicates a hundredfold increase of patients in this category compared with what could be expected in the general population.

Mental health professionals are surprised at the alarmingly high number of their patients who are adopted. Studies show an average of 25 to 35% of the young people in residential treatment centers are adoptees. This is 17 times the norm. (Lifton, BIRCO–Pannor and Lawrence)

60 to 85% of the teens at Coldwater Canyon’s Center For Personal Development, are adopted. That is 30 to 40 times the norm. The center is a private acute-care psychiatric hospital/school in Southern California. (Ostroff)

50 to 70% of the teens at The Haven in New Trier Township, Illinois, are adopted. That is 25 to 35 times the norm. The Haven is a resource center for street kids. (Henderson)

You do not have to like, accept, encourage or support Dusten to support Veronica’s rights [to not be adopted]. Being adopted is not ‘fun’ for the majority [it seems] of adoptees and money and a nice house does not make those issues better. Her rights have never really been framed in this context. It’s ALWAYS looked at as “Well, who had her longer! That side should keep her!” “Who has her now? That’s where she should stay!” “Who signed X paper first/second?” That is NOTHING to do with HER rights.

Is adoption in Veronica’s best interest?

Biological / Non-Adoptee Privilege

I have used this phrase on several articles about the Veronica Brown case and several times I have been called names for it. Many people do not even take time to think about it. Perhaps it’s time that they did.

So what is biological privilege?

Biological privilege is never having to doubt that the information on your birth certificate is correct. Adoptees in many states in the USA do not have that privilege. Their original birth certificates are altered. Their name at birth is removed and the name changed upon adoption is placed there instead. The names of the natural parents are removed and the adopting parents are placed in. The original birth certificate is often locked away forever. In Canada many adoptions allow you to keep your original birth certificate however a new one is still issued with your new name which becomes your legal birth certificate.

Read: The Declassified Adoptee: Why my Amended Birth Certificate is a Lie.
Read: The Lost Daughters: Birth Certificate tag search.

Biological privilege is being able to go to your parents, your grandparents, your aunts and uncles to discuss your family heritage. Adoptees do not have this privilege. People do not adopt entire families, they adopt a child. The aunts, uncles, grandparents and family do not come with them. The knowledge of their family heritage is lost when these connections are severed.

Biological privilege is never having to worry about being raised in your culture of origin and heritage. Adoptees do not have this privilege. Adoption does not bring culture with it and while many adoptive parents make noble promises of continuation of culture, two people alone doth not a culture make. It’s difficult to partake in your original culture when you have been moved hundreds or thousands of miles away from it, when your adoptive parents know nothing about it and also have little to no support from anyone who knows anything about it, when schools you attend know nothing about it and even teach misinformation about it.

Read: Split Feather Syndrome by Carl Locust.
Read: Whispering Eagle’s Trading Post: Lost Birds.

Biological privilege is taking for granted that you are a person and not a commodity. Adoptees are commodities. We are purchased with expenses justified under the guise of ‘necessities’, ‘agency fees’ or ‘expenses’. How much would you pay for an asian child? A private adoption agency in Ontario says that child’s worth is $32300 if that baby is from South Korea, $26500 if he or she is from Vietnam and around $12000 for a child from China. For a private adoption agency in Texas a child from China is $14400. Black children are often cheaper, a child from Ethiopia is $7000 to $9450. How would you feel to have a price tag attached to you? To have to ‘live up to your cost’ when you know that your parent(s) purchased you for a large sum of money?

Biological privilege is the assumption of access to all your rights when you need them. Adoptees don’t have this. Many rights are tied to lineage and family, especially in trans-racial adoptions. Registering with your culture’s tribe, group or organization often requires specific data and documents, documents and data that is sealed away from you at the moment of your adoption. In some places this is forever. In others you can access this data but only after jumping through many bureaucratic hoops that can take months or even years and often at-cost. Many private agencies destroy records after a few years. Governments have routinely fought against adoptee rights to access their own records and information.

Visit: Adoptee Rights Coalition.

And perhaps most crucially, biological privilege is knowing that you are truly you. If a stranger gave you a piece of paper with a new name and list of strangers names and told you that that was who you were and your new family, would you accept it? Would you feel grateful? Even if the people on the list were ‘nice’ to you would it make any more ‘real’? Of course not. But this is the job that adoptees are saddled with, often before we can even sit up or count to two. Our job is to provide an infertile person or couple with a family. To go from being the individual we are at birth to whatever person they wish to create through name changes, alteration of the birth certificate, the residential change that occurs as part of the process and even language and cultural shifts. It legally terminates the person you were at birth while you go on living. Who you were at birth is issued what is essentially a death certificate while your new identity with your adoptive family issued a new birth certificate. The problem is that you never actually died but everyone treats it that way. This fake persona that is little more than a facade is a burden we carry every day of our lives.

Obviously this list does not fit everyone. I’m sure there are adoptees out there that are pleased with their adoptions but I find them to be the rarity and whenever I come across one I can’t help but wonder if the over insistence of happiness is simply denial. The lady doth protest too much comes to mind.

Biological / Non-Adoptee Privilege