It was her line.

"How many child relinquishments have resulted from something other than a conscious, voluntary decision? The answer is deeply disturbing. For by delving extensively into the matter, it is possible to compile a sustantial body of evidence identifying the troubling influence traditionally exerted upon child relinquishments by such forces as punishment, coercion, shamings, biased counseling, legal disenfranchisement of parents from their offspring, and numerous other forms of manipulations and pressure. As the available data is assembled, one very unpleasant conclusion eventually stands out: that the reigning myth of American adoption has been that of the voluntary relinquishment of children by their [natural] parents for placement in new families." p.41-42 Adoption in America: Coming of Age, Hal Aigner (Paradigm Press,1992) Larkspur, California

Must have been her line.  I wonder how many children she got for sale by using that line. Did the agency provide it during sales training or did she come up on it on her own?

No really. I do wonder that. I also wonder if she received a commission from the agency.

One of the many moms that has come out of the Kurtz agency closet lately wrote me and informed me of the following via email:

"After my daughter was born, I rethought my decision and I really wanted to keep her. I was informed by my caseworker from Easter House, Colleen, that if I decided to keep [name removed for privacy] my parents and I would be responsible for my stay at Crittenden Home and all medical expenses amounting to thousands of dollars !!"

See a trend here?

This mom had the same caseworker as I did, did what I did (attempted to keep her child) and was threatened with the bills and likely a lawsuit.

This. Makes. Me. Ill.

Correction, it makes me rage.

Oddly, simultaneously, I find it comforting.

As recently as a few weeks ago I wanted to hear from this caseworker. I wanted to know what she thought. I CARED about what she thought. I wanted some kind of proof that she was good and cared about me. I wanted to believe she was good. I wanted proof that my warm feelings toward her weren't misguided. I cared about her. (barf)

I don't care anymore.

Now that I have seen her work at play with another mom, I realize, finally, she was not a nice person. She did not care about me.

How did she live with herself? How many babies did she take from unwilling mothers so she could hand them over to her employer to sell to the highest bidding prospective adoptive parent? Do you think she told the agency or the adoptive parents that the mothers really did not want to give up their children but she strong armed them into it?

It is no wonder she doesn't answer me.

She has an awful lot to answer to and clearly avoidance is better.

I don't blame her.

If I did what she did, I would hide to.

7 Thoughts.

  1. Blame her. She did you wrong. She pretended to be on your side when she wasn’t.
    (Sorry, that was my son’s reaction. “If you aren’t to blame, then who is? Someone has to pay!”)
    I am so sorry. And I am glad that you are letting go of your need to have answers from this vile woman. How does she live with herself indeed?!?!?!

  2. With your quote: “How many child relinquishments have resulted from something other than a conscious, voluntary decision?
    I think something very important to remember here is this: even mothers who are at peace with their decision and always have been don’t necessarily fall into the “conscious, voluntary decision” category. If they were lied to at all, like I was, it was not a conscious, voluntary decision. It was one based on half-truths or out-right lies. In my case, neglecting to inform me (and other mothers like me) that open adoptions were not legally binding in my state made a world of difference. Neglecting to tell me so many things did not help me make that informed decision. (Heh, but I’m not at peace so I don’t count anyway. Just using my unethical agency as an example as some birth mothers who placed through them do talk of “peace” but were fed the same junk I was.)
    It’s really scary.

  3. Your caseworker knew exactly what she was doing, I’m sure her methods were used on many mothers. And if that particular method hadn’t worked, she would have found another trick up her sleeve. They spent a lot of time developing methods to ensure surrender. Hell, she probably got a bonus for meeting her baby quota.
    The research documented the harmful aspects of adoption, yet these so-called social workers ignored it and acted with impunity. They were, and still are, guilty of deliberately committing a wrongful act.
    Yet all the adoption healing theories tell us mothers that we have to take responsibility for the adoption, and we have to forgive those who forced us into it (i.e. forgive our parents, caseworkers, whoever).
    I call bullshit on that. Compare it to the criminal justice system – if a wrong is committed someone must take the blame. The victim can choose whether or not to forigve, that’s the victim’s perogative. But society assigns both blame and punishment to the wrong-doer, which are necessary for preventing future wrongs.
    The caseworkers, parents, the whole system deserves the blame, and they have earned ZERO forgiveness from me.

  4. “Maybe” wrote: “Yet all the adoption healing theories tell us mothers that we have to take responsibility for the adoption, and we have to forgive those who forced us into it (i.e. forgive our parents, caseworkers, whoever).”
    Actually, no they don’t. Just those theories that were created by people who benefited from the industry: adopters and adoption workers.
    I also think I know where this crap comes from: social worker DeSimone’s 1994 PhD dissertation, where he found that grief levels correlated with coercion levels. His unresearched solution? Voile! Convince the mother she was not coerced!
    Ass-backwards thinking, right? Maybe” and Suz, email me privately and I can provide more evidence. “Maybe”, if you have evidence in pre-1994 therapeutic literture, let me know.
    And there is NO proof that this theory works. If you have proof otherwise, I would like to hear it. Because, frankly, how ethical would it be to tell a rape victim that she “has to take responsibility” and “forgive”?
    I’m constantly surprised at how many women who experienced blatant coercion insist on “taking responsibility” for having “placed” or “decided.” When I try to point out how coercion rendered nil any decision, i get silence in return. It seems like they somehow cling onto the belief that it was “their choice” and bear the resulting guilt and shame as if it was necessary.
    Like a conversation posted on a Cafemom board, a mom went to a therapist who asked first-off who she felt was responsible, she said “Myself.” and the therapist said “Good.”
    Please tell me how this is supposed to be healing? What if the trauma had been rape instead of surrender? Therapist, who should know better, are blaming and shaming us as much as the general society, and for NO valid reason.
    But yes, i would like to take names of every author who promotes this crap, every therapist who damages mothers in this fashion, because “blaming the victim” is unethical, damaging, and unnecessary.

  5. Cedar – Your comment reminded me of this recent article in the Washington Post. Talks of PTSD and how trauma victims often take the blame, guilt, on their own for what was done to them. Seems to be parallel to adoption trauma. Link below but here are two paragraphs that struck me
    “Two things happen in this process, Foa said. Patients come to
    replace actual recollections of trauma with other perceptions —
    taking on blame and guilt, for example, for being afraid. Second, by
    avoiding situations, patients can fail to see that much of life is
    not dangerous — the movie is only fiction.
    AND
    “People don’t recover because they avoid thinking about the trauma,”
    Foa said. “Every time the trauma comes to the mind, they push it
    away. They don’t allow themselves to process and digest the memory,
    so it keeps on haunting them with nightmares, flashbacks.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
    dyn/content/article/2007/10/18/AR2007101802186.html

  6. Cedar said, “Just those theories that were created by people who benefited from the industry: adopters and adoption workers.”
    Which are the only theories I’ve ever been exposed to. (I might except Joe Soll, his book seemed to encourage mothers to acknowledge coercion.)
    But I would also add the whole lot of religiously promoted theories of “forgiveness” (you know, the same people who are so forgiving that they are happy to tell me about my forthcoming eternity in hell).
    Cedar also wrote, “I also think I know where this crap comes from: social worker DeSimone’s 1994 PhD dissertation, where he found that grief levels correlated with coercion levels. His unresearched solution? Voile! Convince the mother she was not coerced!”
    If only I had known! Abbracaddabra, I was not coerced, happy days are here again! No wonder I think therapists are full of s..t.
    Thanks for the info Cedar, I’m sure there are people who “get it,” I just seem to always stumble across the other kind.

  7. “Correction, it makes me rage.” ~Yep, that’s what I feel Suz – rage.
    As for the discussion about forgiveness, I can’t say for sure whether or not I’ve run across it in journal articles on mothers of loss. I tend to spread out into other areas when I’m trying to heal myself and certainly have read many articles about forgiveness as THE way to heal. For me in adoption related stuff – I tried it for about a half a day and thought, FUCK NO. My adoption triad is the pap, the adoption worker, and the fucking attorney they hired and called my very own. Those 3 women are not getting my forgiveness – no f’ing way.
    Sorry to “F” all over you comments section, but some of your posts bring out the very best in me. Happy to hang on to my anger, its something I never thought I was allowed to feel, but now that I’ve found it, it feels pretty damned righteous!

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