This is an update of my August blog The Shame’s in Maine. Safe Haven Baby Boxes now law. And it got weird. Please read it first for background.
The August 25 edition of the Portland Press Herald featured a more detailed account of Maine’s newly passed Safe Haven Baby Box law (SHBB). This update is a perfect example of what I mean when I call out incurious press and politicians that regurgitate whatever baby box promotors puke out. Nobody bothered to fact-check. or ask questions.
Take bill sponsor Patrick Corey, an adoptee who should know better, but apparently doesn’t.
Maine is one big small town,” Corey said, and mothers might be reluctant to surrender their infants to people they know…“My interest in adding to the list of safe havens for infant surrender is to provide a reasonable option when other backstops have failed,”
Maine has a near-zilch history of discarded baby cases. The state doesn’t need another backstop.
According to reports, including one from Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc, itself, Maine doesn’t have a discard problem. SHBB, Inc reports no known discard cases in the last five years. My own reliable source recorded 6 traditional Safe Haven “surrenders” in the state between 2006 and 2015. (1 each in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, and 2015). and 1 discard in 2015. Finito! That’s it! Tell me why the SHBB solution is necessary for a problem that doesn’t exist.
As my Shame’s in Maine blog noted, things got weird with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine’s bizarre testimony. submitted by Suzanne Lafreniere, JD, its hot-shot policy analyst who first submitted testimony in opposition to the bill because it didn’t include money for anti-abortion services, then later submitted new testimony in support sans her crazy abortion rant which included eccentric references to the ERA. Again from the Press Herald:
For Corey and Suzanne Lafreniere, a policy analyst with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland who brought him the idea, the bill is personal. Both were adopted, they said, and had spoken before about working together to pass something that would honor their stories
What fresh hell is this? How does promoting sneak-dumping a newborn anonymously into a box in the wall at the local fire station honor adopted people or their stories? How does it even honor the adopted promotors of this atrocious bill other than to get them an A-1 approval rating from the adoption-is-beautiful crowd?
Hilariously, I’ve heard SHBB promoters claim that an anonymously boxed baby isn’t abandoned. It’s putting the proverbial lipstick on the pig. Call it whatever you want. It’s abandonment as far as the vast majority of adopted people are concerned.
Abandonment issues, no matter how “ethically” the adoption was accomplished or how “good” the adoption may be are the root of all the psychological and spiritual “issues” that adoptees suffer universally. Self-esteem, relationships, decision-making, trust, and more are all defined by the adoption-abandonment. paradigm.
Sweet baby Jesus! SHBB makes it even worse.
Adoptees indoctrinated incessantly that “your mother loves you so much she gave you away,” now are tasked with scrunching under an even lower FU Bar: “Your mother loves you so much she didn’t murder you.” What’s wrong with people? Does anyone say, “Your wife/husband loves you so much they didn’t run off with the neighbor?” “Your wife/husband loved you so much they didn’t kill you?” Yet for adoptees, this is SOP mind-fuckery every day pushed by politicians, the media, adoption agents, and evangelical do-gooders.
The whole baby box scheme is anti-adoption, anti-adoptee, and anti-family. It is considered unethical by virtually all adoptee rights and adoption and foster care reform advocates, child welfare agencies. AND The National Safe Haven Alliance and various individual traditional Safe Haven advocates The only adopted box-pushers I’ve run into are evangelical anti-aborts who are persuaded that adoption saved them from the abortitorium. They seemingly are unaware that:
- nearly all the women who have relinquished into the adoption system for decades did not seriously consider abortion–and they get really pissed when you suggest they did;
- abortion is a decision to not be pregnant; adoption is a decision to not parent;
- anyone could have been aborted
None of these box pushers are looped into the adoptee rights movement, adoptee social media, or even AdoptionLand at-large. They have no idea what we are talking about when we discuss rights, identity, history, context. don’t. They prefer maintaining a comfort zone for a handful of people they don’t know, then pushing their own class interests. Sure, I’d like that information, but I am so thankful I wasn’t aborted. Women demand privacy! I dislike the phrase “coming out of the fog. It often sounds like virtue signaling. I’ll make an exception. though, in this case, because those in the fog cause harm to the rest of us–individual adoptees, the adoptee rights movement, and anonymous adoptees they create.. So please, go de-fog before it’s too late.
The way to honor adoptees and their stories is to support us in our struggle for legal equality–and healing for many– not to create more inequality, bad child welfare, and adoption practice, and pain with anonymous box dumping . Not to create more of us. I’m really grateful that Cory and Lafreniere, glowing with adoptee self-loathing, an over-abundance of gratitude, and benevolent misogyny weren’t mucking around the statehouse 12 years ago when Maine restored the right of all Maine adoptees to their OBCs. Anonymus baby abandonment by box is nothing to celebrate.
Benedict Bastard Hall of Fame