A Belated Tribute to Annette Baran

Pioneer adoption reform pioneer and adoptee rights advocate Annette Baran died on July 11. Due to my unplanned writing hiatus, I am only posting our Bastard National Memorial today. Annette Baran was one of those rare people in adoption: she listened to bastards and learned. She abhorred adoption secrets and lies. Going against her social work training, she worked for decades, with much opposition from “professionals,” lobbyists, and adoption bagmen, to undo the damage caused by the adoption industry. She may have been a traitor to them, but she is a hero to us. No one enjoyed kicking Annette around more than Bill Pierce, founding president of the National Council for Adoption. His NCFA Factbook 3 (no longer online) is full of attacks on Annette’s “junk science” of adoption openess and honestly. Annette was, in fact, one of the most radical thinkers in AdoptionLand I have ever known. In her lifetime she moved from being the keeper of adoption secrets, to advocating open adoption–and records–to promoting guardianship and simple adoption over the closed secret system. Annette believed in adoptee dignity, integrity and identity. She believed that each of us have a right to our own identity, history, and documents. She Continue Reading →

Erggkkk! Bastardette is Back! I Think…

July has been unintended down time. It didn’t start out to be that way, but travel, the horrible heat ( air conditioning only in my bedroom and I hate typing in bed) and a yukky mystery ailment that’s kept my hands, arms, legs and feet (but not my middle) red, welty, blistery, scratchy, and scabby, reduced me to spending my time developing a relationship with re-runs of of Bones, NCSI and Mad Men marathons. I’m back now. I think. The mystery ailment is not as severe and the weather is cooler. If Don Draper can come back, then I can. I don’t even need a prostitute to slap me around to get me here. Besides, there’s is so much to say. I’ve been mulling over where to begin on my review of the Evan B. Donaldson’s double dealing For the Records 2, Then, there’s my trip to the Annual National Council for Adoption Conference (beware of Elizabeth I’m-a-Progressive Bartholet, the Evil Witch of Harvard). And how about that nutty op-ed in the Times of Trenton under the signature of the troglodyte New Jersey Coalition to Defend Privacy in Adoption: Open birth records will mean fewer adoptions that is almost enough Continue Reading →