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Pre-conceived notions

Posted by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 6:11 PM
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Someone brought up the coercive tactics of the BSE (baby scoop era) that included things that one might only equate to prisoners of war in today's thinking.

However, we do know that coercion still exists in adoptions today despite the lack of "force" being used. I am not saying in ALL adoptions, but in SOME adoptions there is still an undermining of the expectant woman's ability to parent or desire to parent. 

I, too, am wondering if when coercion in today's society is brought up, are we thinking of the tactics of decades past and saying that we know that no longer happens, thus coercion no longer happens? 

by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 6:11 PM
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hollyanne31
by Member on Jun. 13, 2010 at 6:50 PM

The world according to Holly:

Coersing someone to relinquish today:

Sitting her down in front of a video and having testimonial after testimonial of birthmoms who are happy with adoption.

Having her go to  "birthmom group activities" which is actually for expectant moms considering adoption- so that they don't feel like they are the only ones making the choice and keeps her actively involved in agency supervised activities to make sure she doesn't stray.

Giving her gifts often.

Offering to pay for all of her bills for the entire pregnancy. This makes her feel endebted.

Flying her away from her support system, to a State where the adoption agency operates- to a fully paid and furnished apartment. This makes them feel endebted and isolated.

Offering her biased "counseling" that gets her to "realize" that adoption is the best option.

Discrediting any other forms of choice in reference to her pregnancy.

Telling her that she will "get over it" and that time will heal.

That open adoption is the solution to her pain.

 

There are probably more, but I am running out of the door right now. These are the ones that upset me the most.

doodlebopfan
by Silver Member on Jun. 13, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Holly, Thank you. Many of these, I believe, were factors in my relative's decision to place. While much of the blame for me goes to the facility (Gladney) that she was housed in, and where she attended the group meetings, and made friends that were also placing so that it's hard to make an independent decision, but instead a "We're in this together" sort of mentality exists, but I also believe that family members can, at times, add to a expectant mother's sense that she cannot possibly parent this child if she hasn't lived a blameless life. In my relative's situation, she wasn't allowed to come home unless & until the baby was gone.

I believe that lack of support, or a negative support system, can lead to a mother placing when she'd rather parent, and that it will impact her in the future. I do understand when some birth moms comment that "it's like watching a train wreck". She wasn't held hostage with a gun, or tied down, but where else was she to go? I only learned of her pregnancy after she was housed. I wasn't allowed to call her there. 

I fully support her, listen to her when she's happy, worry with her when pics are late, and pray for the future. Thanks for your reply. 

Southernroots
by Group Admin on Jun. 13, 2010 at 8:24 PM

 

Quoting doodlebopfan:

Holly, Thank you. Many of these, I believe, were factors in my relative's decision to place. While much of the blame for me goes to the facility (Gladney) that she was housed in, and where she attended the group meetings, and made friends that were also placing so that it's hard to make an independent decision, but instead a "We're in this together" sort of mentality exists, but I also believe that family members can, at times, add to a expectant mother's sense that she cannot possibly parent this child if she hasn't lived a blameless life. In my relative's situation, she wasn't allowed to come home unless & until the baby was gone.

Good grief, don't even get me started on Gladney!  IMHO, there are one of the most coercive agencies on the face of the planet.  I actually gave a talk on adoption once for  a friend's Ethics class, and read to the class all that Gladney offers to expectant women.....trips to the mall, luxury quarters to live in, etc.  They were appalled.

Isolation was an extremely part of coercion in the past, but, places like Gladney still do it.  Call it coercion, brainwashing or whatever you like, but all those things Holly mentioned are still common tactics for some agencies. Hard to imagine that in 2010, religious groups still are involved in coercive tactics, but they are. LDS is I hear stepping back from this position somewhat, but in the past, ALL unmarried pregnant women were strongly encouraged to relinquish.  I've heard a few of their radio clips for adoption, and I can hardly stand hearing them.

doodlebopfan
by Silver Member on Jun. 13, 2010 at 8:55 PM

 

Quoting Southernroots:

 

Good grief, don't even get me started on Gladney!  IMHO, there are one of the most coercive agencies on the face of the planet.  I actually gave a talk on adoption once for  a friend's Ethics class, and read to the class all that Gladney offers to expectant women.....trips to the mall, luxury quarters to live in, etc.  They were appalled.

Isolation was an extremely part of coercion in the past, but, places like Gladney still do it.  Call it coercion, brainwashing or whatever you like, but all those things Holly mentioned are still common tactics for some agencies. Hard to imagine that in 2010, religious groups still are involved in coercive tactics, but they are. LDS is I hear stepping back from this position somewhat, but in the past, ALL unmarried pregnant women were strongly encouraged to relinquish.  I've heard a few of their radio clips for adoption, and I can hardly stand hearing them.

 I KNOW, SR, WHY DO YOU THINK I WAS FREAKING OUT OVER IT? Not yelling at you, emphasizing out loud. (Frustrated!) She went into Gladney at about 3-4 months pregnant. When you spoke of isolation and I asked her parents if I could call, the response was "there are no phones in their rooms." When I asked if she had a "support system" or counseling, I was told about the group meetings, the on-staff counselor, and that there were "other girls going through the same thing as she is". She was NEVER allowed to be alone with the baby, and actually induced a day later than scheduled, so that the baby's new parents could get the baby straight from the hospital, rather having the baby go to the "transitional care" facility, because she was NOT allowed to have the baby with her in the dorms. She was allowed to stay for 6 weeks after the birth. They helped her find an apt that she couldn't pay the 2nd months rent on, as she couldn't find a job, and did end up moving back in with her parents. I know that she received gifts from the AP's, and that there is NO direct contact. No visits. All contact is handled thru the agency. When her pics are late, she calls the social worker at the agency. It's only been 14 months, but I pray that everything turns out well.

But that's why I changed my opinions, started listening & understanding more in the Q&A section, started digging more on my own, and while I know that it's not the case in every adoption, it's why I do want to give every EMCA the benefit of the doubt, even when she is doubting herself. If I can be an encouragement for her, if I can help her see things that maybe she isn't seeing because of all the turmoil she's dealing with in the unplanned pregnancy, if I can help her see the future past the due date of her baby, then whether she places or not, I feel like I have contributed something to her life & her baby's life. I feel like I owe it them, because I couldn't provide it for my own family and maybe her family isn't providing it for her.  :(   

That reminds me, I was wondering if they were really a crisis agency that gave them options, (placing or parenting) besides group meetings, wouldn't they have had parenting classes in case you keep the baby? I'm guessing that's a no. I can see the agency's interest in getting her pre-natal care to insure that the PAP's get the healthy baby that has been promised.

susie703
by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 9:54 PM

In my opinion, another form or coercion is not informing them of the resources available to help them keep their babies.

Southernroots
by Group Admin on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:07 PM

 

Quoting doodlebopfan:

 I KNOW, SR, WHY DO YOU THINK I WAS FREAKING OUT OVER IT?

Until people have personal experiences with a place like Gladney, they make many assumptions that are totally wrong.  They assume that because it has been there a long time, that means they must be good. I know moms who were at Gladney in the 60's.  Isolation, group meetings, no changing your mind.

 Not yelling at you, emphasizing out loud. (Frustrated!) She went into Gladney at about 3-4 months pregnant. When you spoke of isolation and I asked her parents if I could call, the response was "there are no phones in their rooms." When I asked if she had a "support system" or counseling, I was told about the group meetings, the on-staff counselor, and that there were "other girls going through the same thing as she is". She was NEVER allowed to be alone with the baby, and actually induced a day later than scheduled, so that the baby's new parents could get the baby straight from the hospital, rather having the baby go to the "transitional care" facility, because she was NOT allowed to have the baby with her in the dorms. She was allowed to stay for 6 weeks after the birth. They helped her find an apt that she couldn't pay the 2nd months rent on, as she couldn't find a job, and did end up moving back in with her parents. I know that she received gifts from the AP's, and that there is NO direct contact. No visits. All contact is handled thru the agency. When her pics are late, she calls the social worker at the agency. It's only been 14 months, but I pray that everything turns out well.

But that's why I changed my opinions, started listening & understanding more in the Q&A section, started digging more on my own, and while I know that it's not the case in every adoption, it's why I do want to give every EMCA the benefit of the doubt, even when she is doubting herself. If I can be an encouragement for her, if I can help her see things that maybe she isn't seeing because of all the turmoil she's dealing with in the unplanned pregnancy, if I can help her see the future past the due date of her baby, then whether she places or not, I feel like I have contributed something to her life & her baby's life. I feel like I owe it them, because I couldn't provide it for my own family and maybe her family isn't providing it for her.  :(   

That reminds me, I was wondering if they were really a crisis agency that gave them options, (placing or parenting) besides group meetings, wouldn't they have had parenting classes in case you keep the baby? I'm guessing that's a no. I can see the agency's interest in getting her pre-natal care to insure that the PAP's get the healthy baby that has been promised.

Gladney is NOT an options type agency. They do adoptions. No parenting classes are offered, as far as I know,  because if a mom changes her mind before her baby is born, she has to leave.  Having parenting classes might make an expectant mom think she COULD change her mind. They make no bones about being all about adoption.

They are some places women can go that say they offer options counseling but are tied to adoption agencies, so adoption is pushed strongly. However, there are some homes that offer true options counseling, parenting and life skills classes. A few of the best homes let women stay there for up to a year, but, I think there is a waiting list for ones like that. There simply are not enough of the good ones.

 

hollyanne31
by Member on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:07 PM


Quoting Southernroots:

 

Hard to imagine that in 2010, religious groups still are involved in coercive tactics, but they are. LDS is I hear stepping back from this position somewhat, but in the past, ALL unmarried pregnant women were strongly encouraged to relinquish. 

LDS Family Services doesn't bribe expectant moms by offering to house them, fly them away from their families or even pay for a ton of expenses. If the expectant mom asks, they do pay for a maximum of $3,000 in expenses, but strongly discourage the girls to do this. In fact, if the girl chooses to parent, they do not pass on those expenses to the adoptive family- THEY take the loss. They discourage the giving of many gifts. They also only charge adoptive couples 10% of their income with a maximum of $10,000- so, really, they are not making what other adoption agencies are charging adoptive families.They also offer free counseling for life to birthmoms and they strongly encourage the women to use it.

However, I do think that there are things that are questionable about their practices. The discrediting of choosing to parent is a big one for me. The making out adoption to be a happy choice is misleading. Calling them birthmoms, having group activities, having them watch the video of testimonials...all of these things I don't think are fair to expectant moms.

Don't by any stretch think that I am in favor of any adoption agency. I hate them all.

BeJuicy
by Bronze Member on Jun. 14, 2010 at 6:13 PM

I think coercion in adoption is horrible. I was never pressured by anyone. I called the adoption agency myself and said "hi Id like to place my baby for adoption". They sent a adotion worker over a few days later with profiles to look at.

But I know what places like birthright and pregnancy care centers do. I knew a girl who worked there. She said she was told by her boss to say things like keeping the baby is selfish and it deserves two parents.

BeJuicy
by Bronze Member on Jun. 14, 2010 at 6:17 PM

 

Quoting hollyanne31:

 

Quoting Southernroots:

 

Hard to imagine that in 2010, religious groups still are involved in coercive tactics, but they are. LDS is I hear stepping back from this position somewhat, but in the past, ALL unmarried pregnant women were strongly encouraged to relinquish. 

LDS Family Services doesn't bribe expectant moms by offering to house them, fly them away from their families or even pay for a ton of expenses. If the expectant mom asks, they do pay for a maximum of $3,000 in expenses, but strongly discourage the girls to do this. In fact, if the girl chooses to parent, they do not pass on those expenses to the adoptive family- THEY take the loss. They discourage the giving of many gifts. They also only charge adoptive couples 10% of their income with a maximum of $10,000- so, really, they are not making what other adoption agencies are charging adoptive families.They also offer free counseling for life to birthmoms and they strongly encourage the women to use it.

However, I do think that there are things that are questionable about their practices. The discrediting of choosing to parent is a big one for me. The making out adoption to be a happy choice is misleading. Calling them birthmoms, having group activities, having them watch the video of testimonials...all of these things I don't think are fair to expectant moms.

Don't by any stretch think that I am in favor of any adoption agency. I hate them all.

 i placed with LDS and I got a scolarship worth $1500 (i had to ask) I also got all my bills paid and time off from work paid, although Im not sure if that was the agency or the APs.

Cedartrees4
by Silver Member on Jun. 14, 2010 at 6:48 PM

Bejuicy, would you have got all this money, aid, and the scholarship had you decided to keep your baby?  Or if you had phoned them during your pregnancy and asked for help with parenting? Or was the aid dependant on your baby going for adoption? 

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