When the California Adoption Reform Effort (CARE) announced itself in January 2009, it also announced a list of CARE “committee members”–its dream team recruited to help them turn California into a adoptee paradise. I was surprised at some of the people who should know better who showed up on the roster. Other people did not surprise me. The list has never appeared on the public CARE website, though it may be in their special “members only” section. Since $85 is a lot of money to pay to see who CARE glommed on, we regretfully decline the membership offer.

I want to make clear that not all of the dream team have been involved in a substantial way with CARE nor are they necessarily on its board.

I’ve spoken to a couple people listed and they said they signed on only to act as advisers if asked. Whether their advice is taken is up for grabs. Some members appear to be window dressing. All should consider pleading temporary insanity and take a long rest in the country.

Below is a list of “committee members.” CARE has not posted the names of its 20+ board members but I’ve marked the ones on the committee who have self-identified as board members with an *. At the end of this committee list I’ve added others who have ID’d themselves elsewhere as board members or officers.

Annette Baran, social worker, therapist, pioneer in open adoption

Susan Castagnetto, adoptee, Coordinator of Women’s Studies, Claremont College

Scott Lowell, , actor, Queer as Folk

*Linda “Mama O” Orozco, first mother, CUB (CARE VP)

*Gene Sperring, adoptive father, PACER board member, AAC N. Cal Rep. (CARE VP)

*Jean Strauss, adoptee, writer/screenwriter, filmmaker (CARE President)

Paula Benoit, adoptee, former Maine Senator and Senate sponsor of successful Maine unrestricted access law

Carol Bishop, co-founder and Exe. VP of Kinship Center

Pam Hasegawa, adoptee, veteran adoptee rights activist

Mary Martin Mason, adoptee, author, ACC legislative director, Adoption Clearinghouse Director for Minnesota Adoption Support and Preservation

Eileen McQuade, first mother, AAC president

Adam Pertman, Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, author of Adoption Nation

Ellen Roseman, adoptive mother, founder of Cooperative Adoption Consultation

Sharon Roszia, Program Manager of Kinship Center

Elizabeth Samuels, law professor, University of Baltimore

Marsha Temple, adoptee, lawyer

Additional people identified as board members:
Karen Vedder, first mother, former president, CUB
Pat Lubarsky, first mother, former vice president AAC, CUB
Bonnie Burnell, adoptee (CARE VP)
Mimi James, first mother, CUB
Sarah Burns, first mother, CUB
Stephanie Williams, first mother (CARE Exe. Director)

If you want to read the utter contempt with which CARE’s minions hold us ordinary unkempt bastards go over to Joy’s Division Yes, Miss Stephanie Williams, I’m Surprised, but No it is Not Pleasant entry where the ubiquitous “Rich Patrick” (Anonymous on Bastardette) lectures Joy on her stupidity while he shows an abysmal lack of knowledge of the history of California’s sealed obc law. Dale Carnegie he’s not:

Have you ever been to school or even studied Common Sense 101? You can’t just jump to the conclusion you like or nobody will listen to you. Obvious they don’t except your little groupthink buddies. Adoptees would not have their records sealed if CA had no Privacy guarantee in its constitution. The lawmakers would have no basis but they did so they did make laws. So yes all adoptees records are sealed because of the privacy right that gave the original lawmakers a legal basis.

How much longer can CARE continue to blunder on?

When will the dream team wake up and smell the nightmare?


  1. The filthy RATS have been exposed. It’s a list of arrogant, ignorant, glory-hungry monsters. No-gooders who live to screw others over. I hate the lot of them.

  2. I don’t condemn everybody on the dream team. I think some signed on in the belief that the bill would be clean. If I were them, I’d let it be known far and wide that they support neither the the current abomination nor the “elegant strategy” that CARE is supposedly following.

  3. I particularly liked the haven’t you even taken Common Sense 101, I can’t even respond to that, it would be like picking on a child.

    I would like to know what this Mr. Patrick’s official relationship with CARE is. I def. believe he has one.

  4. You know what I love (sarcasm)about all this open the records crap?
    The bottom line. Which is;

    The records were sealed at the time of the adoption finalization and not at the time of the surrender. Period !Had the surrender occured and
    the adoption NOT taken place the records wouldn’t be closed.

    Had the surrender occured and
    the adoption taken place BUT the child was returned into foster care for an adoption dissolution the records would be re-opened.

    So let the opposition explain how is it mothers were the ones who wanted the records closed?

    It’s high time the adoption industry and the adopters come clean with colluding in this crap, and ENOUGH with making the mothers the scapegoat.

    Give us mothers and our children our records!

  5. Oh, do manage to bring in the light of truth. Of course, we were told that our children went directly to adopters. 2 or 3 decades later, we find out that it just wasn’t so. Closed records are for the adopters and to cover the grimy butts of the facilitators.

    Someone said, on another post, that open records isn’t about reunion. BUT, that is the very thing that is scaring the bejeesus out of adopters and the one who want to keep them happy. And, it is where knowing who your mother is ultimately leads.

    I do know that any clean legislation for adopted people or mothers cannot be achieved by those who think they can sleep with the enemy. Once you bring in the industry and their customers, the original, proposed legislation becomes muddy and unrecognizable.

    Just open the records, already, and let the ADULTS involved (adopted people and their natural mothers) make the rest of any personal decisions. I am tired of being treated like an eternal, scared teen (and a slut, which I wasn’t then and am not, now) just as adopted people are tired of being treated like eternal infants.

  6. Damn!! I am really shocked by some of the ‘names’ on this list, that are supporting this less than equitable bill and/or the org known as CARE. But then there are always the Good Beemommies that will say yes to just about anything, even of the negative type of anything…just to be approved of and see their names printed somewhere, preferably in Neon Lights! These Good Beemommies truly can be a hindrance, rather than a true force for change. Of course I am not surprised seeing Annette Baran’s name…she herself separated many a baby and mother during the Closed Adoption Era. She was covering her own sorry ass when she became a full-time supporter of Open Adoptions…just another way to get babies to the Adoption Market…IMO! She speaks with forked tongue!

  7. Thanks Robin,
    The sealed records fight isn’t a mothers vs children war.
    But a war against mothers and children which lies solely at the feet of one unholy alliance: the industry, state and the adopters.

    Leslie B
    Give us mothers and our children our records!

  8. “”The sealed records fight isn’t a mothers vs children war.””

    I agree with you. Yet the Bill Creators who incessantly cry out about protecting the birthmothers privacy, have perpetuated the ‘war’ between mothers and their now adult children lost to adoption. For decades adopted people were led to believe that their mothers were abandoners, drunks, drug addicts and prostitutes..that their children were all unwanted…where were The Protectors then, to decry these untruths? Nope, they didn’t say a word…let the adopted person believe what they believe…they will never be the wiser. Let the adopted children believe their mothers were cold-hearted bitches, we’ll just let them think whatever they want. Now here comes the Open Records Wars…and who do they throw in an important reason adult adoptees cannot have equal open access to their OBCs…none other than the former ‘cold-hearted, abandoner bitch’ who now needs her privacy protected from the lost now adult children…who will do harm if they get their hands on their OBCs. For far too long, legislators, pro-adoptionists and the adoption industry have played mother against child…for nobody’s benefit other than the adoption industry, and those that seek the services of the adoption industry and any person fearful of what true Open Records (for both adopted person and the mothers of) would reveal.

    Reading at different places I am still stunned by the amount of very adult adopted people who truly believe that surrendering mothers had a hand in closing adoption records. Last I heard or one asked me at any time if I wanted my daughter’s OBC sealed or open. Nor was I ever guaranteed privacy (verbally or in writing)…it was implied by closed adoption. Closed Adoption was to guarantee the adoptive parents that they would not be molested or interfered with by the natural include kidnapping our children that no longer belonged to us…at least on paper.

    I’m just sorry that so many former surrendering mothers and adult adoptees could not have joined forces in this ‘war’ for Open Records. What a force we could have been to be reconciled with, challenging these antiquated laws, together. But the Adoption Industry deliberately created a wall..a long-lasting wall between so many mothers and adoptees…that has caused harm and much distrust within the dyad. It is true that many mothers have joined forces in the fight for Open Records.. Still there are far too many closeted mothers and far too many adult adoptees who simply have not educated themselves on the history of Sealed Adoption Records..rather still believing that it was the mothers doing. I hope someday to see when mothers and adoptees will openly join forces, in great numbers and confront the Creators of Secrets, Lies and Myths. But first we must tear down The Wall that has separated natural mothers and adopted people. That surely will be half the battle won in the War of Open Records.

    Sorry for preaching to ‘the choir’’s just I would so love to see The Creators of Secrets and Lies…shit their pants!

  9. Wouldn’t that be nice, Chris. If they would use common sense and logic, they would have proof that we had nothing to do with the sealing of the records. This was a combined effort, on the part of the SW’s, attorneys, agencies and adopters to wipe us our and protect themselved from US. We wouldn’t just go away and die, quietly, like they hoped we would.

  10. Like Marley, I would not condemn all on this list either, as they all signed on when it was a clean bill. Yes, they should be paying more attention and asking questions now, but at least some of them started with good intent and had the wool pulled over their eyes by appeals to friendship and some slick talk about the mysteries of lobbying.

    Trashing a good and honorable woman like Annette Baran and calling people “Beemommies” is just insulting and sheds no light on anything. I have spoken out against this legislation from the start, on the CUB Board and elsewhere. I was never taken in by CARE’s deceptions, but I was never at their in person meetings either, which seem to have swayed a lot of otherwise sensible people, nor do I have a connection to CA.

    But I use the dreaded word “birthmother”. Does that make me a “Beemommy” too? Should I rent the Bee suit from Saturday Night Live?

    I think the further downhill this legislation goes, the less people will support it and a few CARE diehards will be left standing alone.

  11. The reason that the argument is presented as adopted parents vs bparent -or- child vs mother is because they are arguing on the basis of reunion. Once they wise up to the fact that they cannot argue any equal access based on reunion, then the argument will be focused on adult adoptees vs the state. It is not bparents that sealed the records nor is it the adopted parents who sealed the records. It is the state. And it is the state that will have to unseal records. They will not do that simply because an adoptee wants a reunion. However, they might find the unfairness of the sealed law in the argument that was made so well by anonymous (6th comment). The mess in CA is a result of a strategy that is based on reunions, not on equal access for all adults. My hope is that you all would continue to use our arguments that have worked in AL, NH & ME. Exert the rest of your energies toward killing the CA bill.
    Janet Allen

  12. My eldest son, who I relinquished in the UK in 1962, was, like other UK adoptees at that time, denied his history and OBC until 1975 when the government reversed the law that kept adopted peoples’ files sealed.
    Since that year, every adopted citizen, when adult, has had the right of access to his or her original birth certificate and family history (a right that began to be undermined in the early part of the 20th century)

    IMO a significant part of the problem is that this natural right is so wholly assumed by the non-adopted population that they fail to see the injustice that is being perpetrated on their adopted fellow citizens – who, other than in those states that have already successfully opened records, continue to be deprived of their *own* information and OBCs.
    I can’t state too strongly that personal history IS personal property.
    And that to deprive a person of their historical and genetic past is a egregious form of state sanctioned theft.

    As well as my eldest, I have two other sons, one adopted, the other biological, both of whom were born in Quebec during the 1980’s. Our adopted son is denied knowledge of his biological origins (and, just in case ‘Rich Patrick’ is still reading and hasn’t scuttled off to hide under a stone somewhere, this IS *because* he’s adopted. Were he not adopted it would not be the case), while his non-adopted brother has full possession of his history and of course of his original birth certificate.

    It is unjust.
    It is as simple as that.

  13. And as others have said, the fight for open records is an entirely separate issue from reunion, and the two should not be conflated.

    When they are, it is invariably by those who are seeking to further their own agenda.

  14. The use or non-use of the “b” word is up to each of us, personally, Maryanne. I don’t think that a pissing contest over the distaste some of us have for the term is in line with what Marley is trying to get across, here. “Beemommies” is just a term some of us use to define those who are still lost in the lie. As long as I didn’t call YOU a beemommie, I don’t see the problem. I still don’t like the “birth” term for myself or my reunited children and I won’t use it and will not be defined by it.


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