Two recommended bloggers: Patrice Ripley and Maureen McCauley Evans

My friend Patrice Ripley has started blogging again with The Happy Housewife. Don’t let the title fool you. She’s not trying to teach you how to clean your sink  with candle wax or make crepe suzettes from kitchen scraps. Patrice is addressing with delightful militancy,  hardcore issues such as sealed records and the danger federal laws such as Real-ID endanger and impact the rights of adopted people   In conjunction with her latest blog, It’s Time for Adoptees to Get All Anarchist, Up the Heat…. Patrice has put out an internet call for adoptees suffering from Late Amended Birth Certificate Issuance  Syndrome causing them an inability to receive passports, Social Security benefits,and even jobs: I am looking to connect with American adoptees that have amended birth certificates that show an issue date of three years or more after their date of birth, and/or no actual certificate number . These pieces of paper are non compliant with the real ID act and can cause real problems with gaining or retaining employment , or retaining or being issued a passport under the new e-verify system. This is an issue that needs to be addressed in a public forum. This is something that access to Continue Reading →

Adoption in Film: A Summer Place Revisited and Expanded

A Summer Place, (1959) the penultimate dirty movie for a generation of high school girls, is full-blown melo, featuring family secrets, illicit sex, repressed sexuality, and alcoholism all exposed in public scandal. The plot centers on nice girl Molly Jorgenson (Sandra Dee) and her summer romance in Maine with clean-cut Johnny Hunter (Troy Donohue). Molly is sexually precocious but clearly a virgin with a disturbing habit of chatting up her dad while wearing nothing but babydoll pajamas. Johnny vacillates between wanting to sleep with Molly and putting her off. Continue Reading →

Facts of Life: Natalie’s Adoption

Natalie’s Adoption was broadcast in April 1980, the year the Carter administration was discussing unsealing records and the National Council for Adoption was founded specifically to coldcock the discussion. CUB was five years old and the American Adoption Congress was only two years old,. BJ Lifton had recently taken off, and Joanne Wolf Small was starting to publish her work on sealed records in professional journals. Only Jean Paton’s Orphan Voyage and Florence Fisher’s ALMA Society predated,but not by much. Although small political oriented search and support groups were springing up across the country,t here wasn’t anything that could be called a viable national movement operating. 1980 was also the year I got my OBC from the State of Ohio.. I’d never known anyone personally who had done that. much less searched and found.

For decades the portrayal of adoption on TV was limited to happy tales of legitimates adopted after the deaths of parents (Ernie on My Three Sons and Cissy, Buffy, and Jody on Family Affair for instance, or later Different Strokes and Webster.). A couple times Sterling Siliphant addressed bastard adoption (or child abandonment/orphan loss) realistically in his visionary scripts for Route 66 and Naked City. Usually serious dialogue on bastard adoption was exiled to soaps where it could do little harm..I’m not being factious. The only time I ever ever saw adoptees, even if they were just actors, was on soaps. Continue Reading →

Adoption Books

I’m working on making fixes on the new Bastardette format, and i’ts taking much longer than I thought.  Too much racket at home, so I packed up everything and came down to Subway on campus since there’s free WiFi here..  It’s open 24/7 and nobody cares how long you stay as long as you at least by a small drink.. It’s quiet (more or less but what a strange mixture of music–dance and country) with plenty of room. AA  mouse keeps running across the floor.  I’m not snitching. I’m trying  to do one “page” a day. Today I’ve listed my favorite adoption books.  Look under “Media”.  Keep in mind that these are books that I like, not necessarily what you like. They range from adoption history to policy to memoir to novel.  No Primal Wound! There’s more to add, but it’s enough for tonight. BTW, I don’t know why last nights blog on the anti-ICWA folks decided to format different from the rest.  I’ll work on that later.  

My Second Adoptee: James MacArthur

The Young Stranger had a terrific impact on me. I knew by my voracious reading of movie magazines that James MacArthur was adopted. When I saw the film, I was at the age where I was angry about a lot of stuff, including adoption, though I had yet to intellectualize much of it. I’d made a speciality of systematically rummaging through the house while my parents were away, looking for anything about my adoption. (It never seriously occurred to me to ask, since I was sure tears would ensue. They had a year earlier when I’d shouted “You can’t tell me what to do . You’re not my real mother.”) The Young Stranger had nothing to do with adoption, but it was about identify formation, hypocrisy, and crappy middle class status styles. And Hal Ditmar was portrayed by an adoptee. Was James MacArthur playing out adoption? I felt like he was playing out mine. Continue Reading →