The National Council for Adoption today announced the appointment of Chuck Johnson as its permanent CEO and president. Johnson has been Acting President since April when Mary Robinson, after a few inglorious months in office, left the position unannounced and from my perspective, unmissed. Johnson also held the post of acting prez after Tom Atwood resigned in November 2008. He is the former director of NCFA’s Infant Adoption Training Initiative.
Johnson’s appointment marks the end (so-to-speak) of NCFA’s transformation into the nicer kinder NuNCFA, bereft of Piercian existentialism, angst and cranksterism. NuNCFA, for better or worse (it’s easier to kick them around for worse) is more concerned with international and foster adoption and Beltway politics than calling Bastard Nation anarchists and terrorists and “birthdads” drive-by sperm donors, and locking pregnant unmarrieds in closets. We seriously doubt that Johnson has been booted out of Congressional offices or in times of high snit, has orchestrated a dirty tricks campaign against John McCain or other blowhard politicians. As Johnson said to me at one point ,”Folks want to work with us again.”
Well, not everyone, Chuck! But enough to take NCFA off the endangered species list.
In other words, NuNCFA has corporatized and now swims in the mainstream with the Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institute,which it ideologically resembles, though both may deny it. Both are rooted in liberal do-goodism. Both love adoption as if it were sliced white bread, and make it just as boring. Both use worn-out triad and politically correct adoption language and project reunion and therapy and self-esteem issues on to us, dismissing our rights while pretending to address them in their self-projections. Neither represents bastard interests as political beings. The only real difference between them is that NCFA does what it says it will do, and the Donaldson doesn’t.
If Bill Pierce could spin, he would.
Last month I attended the annual NCFA conference at National Harbor, which I still need to write about it. At no point– just as at no point in my previous four NCFA conferences- was obc access even mentioned. I swear!
I have argued for years that adoptee rights activists need to revise their paradigm. The National Council for Adoption is not the only bad guy in town. Often, it’s not the biggest one either. If NCFA were to go away tomorrow, our records and rights would still be difficult to get back. To be sure, NCFA founding president Bill Pierce invented the language and the framework of the anti-bastard political culture that now runs amok amongst the ACLU, anti-aborts, churchies, fake corporate feminists, newspaper commenters, and extends into the blue horizon of urban myth. Scratch a deformer and you’ll find an individual or a group that has internalized Piercian ideology and language up-ending our bastardy into privilege for some, rights for none. Here is the Massachusetts example, where deformers there actually validated, for low political purpose, the very NCFA arguments they claimed to reject.
Dr. Pierce left NCFA 10 years ago and he’s been dead for over six years. NuNCFA is not Bill Pierce’s NCFA, and anyone that treats it as if it is, is a political naif. No serious rights advocate can live in the past. Sure, use the history (you’d be surprised at how many NCFA staffers I’ve met over the years have no idea why their corporation is loathed by the people they think they speak for) but work in the present. Know your enemy now. All of them.
No one is more responsible for pulling the NCFA dino kicking and screaming into the mainstream than Chuck Johnson. I talked to him several times during the NCFA conference. He made it clear that NuNCFA is willing to work with anyone where there is an area of agreement. Johnson is particularly interested in “ethics and responsibility” in adoption So far, of course, those ethics and responsibilities don’t include obcs on request and unrestricted, but I’m not about to give up. NCFA has already raised the white flag on open, single parent and gay and lesbian adoption. Bastards are their last frontier. And we have have no white flag.
NOTE: that’s a bad picture me in my Stop the Adoption of Evelyn Bennett t-shirt and Chuck Johnson at the conference. Photo by Gladney’s Heidi Cox, believe it or not)
Well I saw the announcement but it meant nothing to me, thanks for this run-down I get it now.
So they’ll work with anyone they agree with? Handy.
You were in some company there!
Thanks for this insight Marley. I wondered how they were different from Pierce’s NCFA.
When I’ve heard Johnson speak, he certainly hasn’t sounded like he’s very sure of his position. Maybe it’s just me, but in last week’s NPR interview, he came off as a bumbling fool.
These comments he makes that mothers are fearfully calling him to say they are afraid their adopted out child will find them sound a bit disingenuous at best.
What mother in her right mind would call the NCFA if they were concerned about being outed?
“So far, of course, those ethics and responsibilities don’t include obcs on request and unrestricted”
Yep. They claim to support wholly unrestricted access for adoptees and then weasel out of or around it.
SSDD. Marley, would you believe that Sandy and I also blogged about El Chuck? LOL I didn’t know she was going to or that you already had.
If they have surrendered to the idea of gay and single party adoptions, why then encourage unarried Mothers to surrender? Just thinkin’.
Thanks for this update, Marley. I think that keeping your friends close and your enemies closer is always good advice when dealing with adoption issues, from all camps.
I cannot understand women who expect organizations like Donaldson and the NCFA, under Atwood, Pierce or now Chuckles, to feel compelled to protect their rights! What part of ADOPPTION Institute and PROMOTING ADOPTION are they NOT getting?
I will wait and see, but I suspect that when he gets his feet under him a bit better we may yet find an enemy to be reckoned with.
Chuck has been running NCFA for some time now. I don’t see anything changing or going back The dino had to adapt or die. Right now it’s more mainstream than I ever remember it. Sane people are there.
He shouldn’t be accepted as Prez until he proves he’s an American by producing his original birth certificate.
Chuck has removed all natural mothers from the NCFA facebook page who did not agree with the NCFA and who were not “happy little birthmothers”, but mothers sharing their truths and experiences of adoption coercion and long lasting psychological effects of adoption. Yeah…he’s a great guy….ugh Valerie
Look what Chuckie sent out to his list of adoption supporters:
Dear Friend of Adoption,
At NCFA, we believe a nurturing, permanent family is every child’s birthright, yet there are those who actually oppose adoption and attack NCFA for our strong advocacy. In fact, the anti-adoption community is working overtime to counter our mission to promote a positive culture of adoption.
This opposition demonstrates our success as the nation’s authoritative voice for adoption. We have seen passage of several NCFA-supported initiatives on Capitol Hill, enjoyed our most successful National Adoption Conference ever, had a wonderful night out with 500 children waiting to be adopted and their foster parents with Kids at Heart at Nationals Park, appeared on CNN, and contributed to stories in Time magazine, The New York Times, and the Associated Press.
What can you do to stop this negativity and anti-adoption efforts?
You can make an urgent online, tax-deductible gift right now of $50, $75, or $100to ensure that adoption remains strong. We need your immediate financial support so that we can continue our important advocacy on behalf of children, birthparents, and adoptive families all around the world. Please, visit our website and make an urgent online, tax-deductible gift of $50, $75, or $100 and support our efforts to promote a positive culture of adoption.
You can also show your support for NCFA and adoption by joining our official Facebook Page by clicking here. Then, suggest our page to your Facebook friends. We want our page to be a positive place where birthparents, prospective adoptive parents, and adopted persons can share their experiences about adoption and help raise awareness for the positive option of adoption for women facing an unplanned pregnancy. Together, we will keep adoption strong, and we will not allow the anti-adoption minority to negatively influence policy and practice.
Will you please make an urgent online, tax-deductible gift right now of $50, $100, or $250 to ensure that adoption remains a positive option for women facing an unplanned pregnancy?
You can STOP the negativity and anti-adoption efforts: DONATE NOW to keep adoption strong.
With sincere thanks for your support,
President and CEO
P.S. Will you please forward this message to your friends, family, and contacts and ask them to make an urgent online, tax-deductible gift of $50, $75 or $100 to ensure that adoption remains strong?
National Council For Adoption
225 N. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 299-6633 phone
(703) 299-6004 fax
http://www.facebook.com/adoptioncouncilTo unsubscribe/change profile: click here.
To subscribe: click here.
Chuck Johnson and NCFA have made it very clear now that they will censor and delete Non-Terrified Birthmothers, who speak up and out, with their own voices. He & NCFA only like, want to protect the mythical Terrified Birthmother.
I doubt that was written by Chuck; I remember him as a real nice guy, but he is not that smart. His MO, both when he was in Alabama and now, is to parrot the lines given to him from a PR firm playbook.
He has no argument re adoptee rights, so he resorts to ad-hominem attacks (“Anti-adoption zealots”) when he knows the truth — grassroots parties to these contracts who are pissed off. He won’t acknowledge the truth because that would force him to confront his deeply held beliefs, and he won’t go there.
Hence, his removal of adoptees/parents from the NCFA “safe place” FB page.
To deal with him, do NOT allow him to distract you with logical fallacies. Make him stick to the issues.