Friday, January 16, 2015

BMB Reform Blog: Meet Robyn!

Hello again readers!  This weeks Reform Blog Interviewee is Robyn, an adoptive mom with a lot to say! We thought it would be interesting to interview an adoptive Mom and see if what she feel needs to be changed in adoption is similar or different to what some of the birthmoms interviewed in the past had to say.  So let's jump right into it shall we?

1.  Please tell us your name and a brief intro to your story.  

 Hi!  Thank you for allowing me to participate.

I'm Robyn, and I'm a mom through adoption.  I always wanted to adopt, instead of having bio kids,
and it's a good thing, as I ended up with a medical condition that requires me to take meds that are incompatible with pregnancy.  We adopted our son, Jackson, in 2006 and our daughter, Cassie, in 2011.  They were both private domestic infant adoptions.  We have open adoptions.  My children are mixed race (black and white), and my husband and I are white.

2.  Are there any aspects of adoption you would like to see changed?  This can be within your own journey or adoption as a whole.

The biggest thing I would like to see changed is to have national adoption laws, instead of this state-by-state, county-by-county nonsense.  I believe we could create a much more ethical environment.  Adoption agencies wouldn't be able to fly expectant moms to a state with more "favorable" laws for adoptive parents, or to a state where biological fathers have no rights.  All states would be the same.

For the most part, I'd like to see facilitators banned.  You're either a licensed agency or an adoption attorney.  I'd like to see more agencies be full service, for all parties.  I'd like to see counseling required for all parties.  I'd like the focus to be on ensuring that if a mother wants to parent, and has the mental capacity to parent, then the agency should be helping her find resources before finding a match.  If there simply aren't resources, or the expectant mom doesn't want to or truly can't parent, that's where matching comes in.  Matching happens at the expectant mom's (and expectant dad's) pace, not the agency's or PAPs'.

I'd do away with closed adoptions entirely.  I would encourage, though probably not mandate, open adoption agreements.  When it comes to placing, I'd ensure that bio fathers have at least some rights.  I do believe that expectant moms should have slightly more, about 60%/40%, just because women take on more of the risks.  I don't want to see men lose their kids, but I also don't want to see men trap women by refusing to give away "their blood" when they have no intention of stepping up as parents.

I think it should be stressed that the time between birth and when TPR can be signed is a MINIMUM.  I'd make the minimum TPR time 3 days after birth, but stress that a new mom (and dad) can take as much time as needed to make that decision, and ensure that agencies had resources in place for that to happen.  After TPR, I believe there should be a 1-2 week revocation period, to allow the new parents to ensure that their decision was the proper one.  This revocation period could not be waived, unless social services is involved.  That is, social services was going to take the child (for whatever reason) but the new parents decided to place privately instead.

Oh, and fees would be regulated and capped.

3.  What does adoption reform mean to you and why do you think it's important?

Adoption reform means that adoption is more ethical for everyone involved.  That adoption becomes less of an industry and more of a service.  It's important because children's lives are at stake.  I'm really not sure that any state actually takes the children into consideration when making their laws.  I think it's all about the adults, and that's not OK.  Sure, the adults have to be protected, but so do the kids.

4.  This is your space to write any additional comments, link to your blog, etc.  Anything you would like to share!

I do have blog, here.

I actually wrote a series on what I would do if I could make all the adoption laws, here.

Thank you Robyn!

If you or anyone you know would like to be interviewed for this section, or if you have an important reform topic you would like discussed, please feel free to email me!  I look forward to hearing from you!

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