In the ‘50s, Philomena Lee became pregnant outside of marriage at the age of 18. She was sent to an Irish convent to have her baby, and after that, worked off her expenses in the laundry, permitted to see her child for an hour each day. Against her will and as part of a large and secretive program of forced adoption, the nuns gave her young son away when he was three years old. Philomena was able to track down her son—a successful lawyer and former chief legal counsel to the RNC—only after his death. Her search is the subject of the movie Philomena, starring Judi [...]
So, what do you know about your birth parents?
Not much! I know she was 17, he was 19, and they weren’t married. I think my biological father had just joined the military service, and it was sort of a fork in the road—either they could get married and raise the child, or he could stay in the service, but not both.
How old were you when you were adopted?
I was born in September 1985, and I got to America on January 15, 1986.
Did your adoptive parents fly [...]
As Hairpin pal Betty points out, "Harriet Poppleton looks like a person." Also, her name is HARRIET POPPLETON. It's hard to believe that the same person who came up with that three years ago could now forsake her. What did you do, Harriet? Someone in Portland, preferably not a creep, can adopt her for $12.
"We found Digby in a Paris flea market in 1990 and we both had an immediate connection with him. We haggled over his price and paid £4 for him. He was a total mess, covered in mouldy dew and was not wearing any clothes. We brought him back to our room and cleaned him up and it was there that our family began." —A gay couple recalls how they found their "son" Digby, whom they adopted 21 years ago and now do not consider a doll but rather a "vinyl person." No word on how Digby feels about the arrangement, but from the pictures, he looks fine with it?
A couple of great long stories went up this week about the "orphan fever" that's been sweeping evangelical Christianity for the last few years. Jill Filipovic, writing earlier this year, sums it up well: "Adoption is crucial, [Christian advocates] say, to end an orphan crisis that impacts 153 million children. These are children from the Third World who have nothing; anything American parents can give them is better than their dire circumstances. They are living in orphanages just waiting for someone to come rescue them."
Alli is a 26-year-old woman who lives in New York. When she was 11 days old, she was adopted through a closed process, and she grew up in the suburbs of Chicago.
Do you remember finding out that you were adopted?
I don’t, really! I feel like it’s always been part of my consciousness. When do you start being conscious of things — maybe age 3, age 5? They must have told me when I was really young. My mom bought me these books for children about what it means to be adopted. She’d tell me I didn’t grow in her womb, I grew in her heart.
What is your [...]
I have no memory of my parents telling me I’m adopted. They started talking about it so early that it was always simply a fact of my life. I know other adopted kids who had the “big reveal” happen, or worse, the “big figured-it-out-on-my-own” when they were thinking, cognizant humans, and that was always a traumatic drama bomb. For me, being adopted was normal, even before I totally understood what it meant. (As a child, I imagined Adoption Agencies were like retailers, with rows of slanted shelving like Payless Shoes, but instead of pumps and sandals, there were babies, wrapped in pink or blue, lined up for easy viewing.) [...]
Reuters investigates "America's underground market for adopted children":
Another parent advertised a child days after bringing her to America. "We adopted an 8-year-old girl from China… Unfortunately, We are now struggling having been home for 5 days." The parent asked that others share the ad "with anyone you think may be interested."
Reuters analyzed 5,029 posts from a five-year period on one Internet message board, a Yahoo group. On average, a child was advertised for re-homing there once a week. Most of the children ranged in age from 6 to 14 and had been adopted from abroad – from countries such as Russia and China, Ethiopia and Ukraine. [...]
"She asked me if I wanted to hold the baby when he was born. This was a question I thought a lot about over the last few months. I said no, I wanted the first person to hold him to be his parents because that first touch is so important. It is the first and most powerful moment when a bond is formed between parent and child, and I didn’t want to steal that from Kristen and Brian. I was also terrified of getting too attached to him and then not being able to handle it when he is gone." —Photographer Callie Mitchell chronicles the process of getting pregnant and [...]
If you don't want to wait until you've lived with your dog for years before you two start looking like alike, the easiest thing to do is adopt a dog who already looks like you. Luckily, there is a new site that can help you find a dog that goes with your face. It uses your picture to match you to a dog in need of adoption that resembles you. (Right now it's only for dogs in New Zealand — though I'm sure it won't be long before this idea is imported to a city near you.) I didn't do it myself because I was too afraid I would fall [...]