STEPHANIE AND EVELYN BENNETT

WHAT THEIR STORY MEANS TO ME~

Their story is a tragic and heart breaking one. It is also one that will always confound me. In no other courtroom drama is a minor allowed to not be fully represented. Only adoption. They want a young pregnant woman to consider adoption as a viable option. Yet they don’t fully inform her on adoption. They don’t give her any options.

On a contradictory side, they want the parents to give consent or be contacted if she is getting an abortion. A young girl is in the same position no matter how you look at it. What is so wrong with fully informing a young woman? What is so wrong with fully empowering a young woman? What is so wrong with just listening to a young woman work through her fears, angst, and worries instead of stripping her of her child? That is exactly what happened in this situation. The adoption agency stripped this family of a child. A child which they made a profit of. A CHILD THAT WAS BEING RAISED BY THIS YOUNG WOMAN AND HER FAMILY. A FAMILY THAT HAD CUSTODY OF THIS CHILD.

How can we as a society continue to put our collective heads in the sand when it comes to mothers and children? You see I am that child fourty years from now. It is heart wrenching to know that my father fought for me. It is aggravating to be lied to by the adoption agency. To be told that she had a choice on whether or not to hold me. Now knowing that is absolutely not the case. They never gave her that choice. It wasn’t even an option for her. How can they even tell me that? It is infuriating to know that the name listed in my records that she supposedly gave me is probably a lie. It was a name given to me by some social worker. This child if allowed to stay with the so-called adoptive family will forever try to bury the secret of what they allowed themselves to be involved in. They won’t be able to though because there are just too many of us to tell this story.

Does anyone not see that we need to deal with truth when it comes to human lives? Why is it that PETA will stand up for the animals of this country? When will we as a society start to treat the parents and children of adoption as human beings instead of merchandise to be bought and sold as accessories to our adoptive parents? When will our society stop acting like we owe our adoptive parents our very lives? When will our society stop acting like we adoptees should be so grateful that we weren’t aborted by our first parents that we must forever honor their privacy because they feel shame? As an adoptee, I did not have a choice. The choices were dictated to my first parents and my adoptive parents by society. I did not have a voice. I still don’t have a voice because the laws feel that I can’t handle my truth.

ADOPTION AGENCIES, ADOPTION ATTORNEYS AND THEIR MAIN LOBBYIST, NCFA, DON’T CARE ABOUT US LIVING ADOPTION. NOW WITH MANY STATES PRESENTING ADOPTEE ACCESS LAWS INTO PLAY. ITS TIME TO STAND TALL AND FIGHT BACK. ITS TIME TO END THEIR EXCESSES AND THEIR ABUSES. WE NEED TO LET THE ADOPTION AGENCY, A CHILD’S WAITING, KNOW THAT WE WON’T TOLERATE THEIR ABUSING A YOUNG WOMAN AND TAKING HER CHILD. WE WON’T ACCEPT THE CRUEL AND BRAZEN WAY THAT THEY TOOK THIS CHILD.

NEXT ON MY TARGET LIST IS ~ GLADNEY ADOPTION CENTER

WE ARE GONNA PROVE YOU TO BE THE LIARS, THIEVES, AND PHARISEES THAT YOU ARE.

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4 Responses to “STEPHANIE AND EVELYN BENNETT”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Amy: Sorry for the long comment, but I don’t have a blog and I know you are active in Texas. This is from ALIA group.

    Sara

    Please distribute this notice to anyone or any group you know who is concerned about adoption, especially if they have any links to either Texas or the Gladney Adoption Center.
    ============ ========= ========= ========= ========= ========= =========

    The following actions are NOT approved by the TxCARE board.

    We need volunteers willing to help picket the Edna Gladney Adoption Center on 4-29-07! You may certainly circulate what is written here to anyone or any group who may help locate volunteers interested in joining with us the afternoon and evening of 4-29-07 in Fort Worth .

    It appears that the agency that carries the Gladney name is effectively killing our original birth certificate access legislation in Texas again, just as they have 8 times before over the past 16 years. ( Texas only has legislative sessions every other year.) The Gladney name is being abused – AGAIN!

    The Edna Gladney figure presented in “Blossoms in the Dust” would certainly be fighting with TxCARE to help pass HB 525/SB 221 into law. Instead the agency carrying her name is trying to stop this reform to protect adoptees and birth parents. The agency is only using the Gladney name made popular by the movie.

    The Gladney Center is having a large fundraising event on their campus the evening of 4-29-07. It is the Gladney Cup – “Gladney on the Green Dinner & Live Auction” More details are at http://www.gladneyc up.com/.

    The Gladney Campus is in the new medical district surrounding Harris Hospital . There are many great locations for picketing, public sidewalks that we cannot be restricted from, one right in front of the Gladney Center . We will have 3 foot by 4 foot signs with the words “GLADNEY NAME ABUSED!”, plus any other signs demonstrators want to make and bring. With 10 “GLADNEY NAME ABUSED!” signs and 20 people working in teams, one with sign and one handing out information sheets, it may make a difference. We must presume that Gladney will know all our plans and they will tell people attending to ignore us and not take the brochures. Since this will not be an event TxCARE supports I will volunteer my web site, http://www.openadop tion.org/ to put on the signs with copies of the information sheet we will be handing out available there online. Then folks can go home to see what we were demonstrating about without disobeying what the Gladney Adoption Center may tell them to do.

    If we can get about 20 people to join us we could cover both entries to the Gladney Center as well as both Harris Ave/John Ryan Drive intersections on each side of the Hospital. Please email bbetzen@aol. com if you are interested in joining us in Fort Worth . Photos have been taken of the sites we will be demonstrating at. They will be available online to those contacting me soon. Everyone attending the expensive Gladney fundraising event, as well as a large number of the general public, would see our signs, as well as any media present. Then as the people slow down to actually enter the Gladney campus we could have people with information to handout to those attending this event. Maybe a handout something like this:

    ========== Handout Draft ============ =

    Gladney Name Abused!

    (This document is also at http://www.openadoption. org/gladney/ with multiple hyperlinked footnotes.)

    The Edna Gladney Center was the only adoption agency in Texas to have a paid staff person appear and testify against HB525/SB221. Such actions would make the Edna Gladney reflected in “Blossoms in the Dust” adoption classic turn over in her grave!

    This legislation will for the first time allow birth parents to publicly record their desire to specifically withhold their names from their birth children and have some assurance that this confidentiality request will be honored until their death. Probably because such requests by birth parents rarely, if ever, existed, such assurance does not now exist under Texas law. HB525/SB221 will help to correct that.

    Based on similar legislation in other states, it is estimated that this legislation will allow 99% of adult adoptees to have access to their birth information because their birth parent has not filed a request to stop that process. It would take the state out of the lives of birth parents and their birth children unless birth parents were to ask for that specific protection to withhold their names from their birth children.

    The record of the House Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee hearing is at http://www.house. state.tx. us/committees/ broadcasts. php?session= 80&committeeCode= 340 Scroll down to 3/21/07. HB 525 is presented by Representative Goolsby about 50 minutes into the video. The video record of the Senate Jurisprudence Committee 3-28-07 hearing of SB 221 is online at http://www.senate. state.tx. us/avarchive/ ?yr=2007. Go down the page to the link to the 3-28-07 hearing for the Senate Committee on Jurisprudence. The testimony on SB 221 starts 38 minutes into the hearing when Senator Lucio introduced SB 221. It ends with testimony by the Gladney representative, the only witness registered against the bill. She lost the other 7 lawyers who had signed up against the bill a week earlier in the House hearing but who never testified.

    It now appears this one speaker, a Gladney Center Employee paid to be there, may have effectively killed the legislation adoptees and birth parents have worked so hard for.

    The testimony at these hearings on HB525/SB221 covered many additional issues related to this legislation that are not addressed here. Please invest the time to watch them. Adult adoptees should have the same rights as any other adult to their birth history unless a birth parent had documented their wishes otherwise.

    To put HB525/SB221 into the perspective of adoption history you must consider two former Edna Gladney Center employees, both prominent figures in US adoption history for very different reasons. One is Edna Gladney who pushed legislation through the Texas Legislature to improve adoption. The other is Georgia Tann who worked for the Texas Children’s Home in the 1920’s, which is what the Gladney Center was then called.

    (Over) TO NEW PAGE ON BACK SIDE

    Here are facts about Edna Gladney and Georgia Tann:

    Both Edna Gladney and Georgia Tann were employees for the Texas Children’s Home in the 1920’s.
    Edna Gladney was the director for the Texas Children’s Home from 1927 until 1950 when the home was renamed after her.
    Georgia Tann was the director for the Tennessee Children’s Home from the late 1920’s until 1950 when the home was closed due to the child placement scandal.
    Both of them had movies made about their work in adoption, one because their work changed adoption law during her life, the other due to actions that ultimately changed adoption laws after her death so adoptees could more easily access their records.
    Both movie titles are about the children served: “Blossoms in the Dust” (1941) and “Stolen Babies” (1993).
    Edna Gladney was played by Greer Garson who won an Oscar for her performance.
    Georgia Tann was played by Mary Tyler Moore who won an Emmy for her performance.

    It is recommended to anyone concerned about adoption that they watch both these movie classics. Then study Texas HB525/SB221 now before the Texas Legislature, online at http://www.capitol. state.tx. us/. Also view the testimony given in the House and Senate Committee hearings. Note that the only person paid to be there for these hearings was the person representing Gladney and against the legislation. All the others testifying were there without pay and in support of the legislation. They were people living adoption who came at their own expense to Austin to present the case for access by adoptees to their own records.

    Which of the movie classics mentioned above are about the person who would most vehemently be against HB525/SB221? Would that not be Georgia Tann, the person with something to hide? Would the heroine in “Blossoms in the Dust” be working to delay adoptees in getting the birth information that thousands are asking for? Or would she be fighting to pass this legislation for the welfare of the children she served? Some adoptees are even dying due to untreated genetic medical conditions they do not know of due to sealed adoption records! Edna Gladney from “Blossoms in the Dust” would certainly be working day and night to protect them and provide them with needed information.

    What is the best way to improve the public image of adoption?

    Please help HB 525/ SB 221 become law in Texas . Would the Gladney Adoption Center sponsor a public showing of these movies about their former employees followed by public discussion?

    ============ End of proposed handout – DRAFT ============ =

    Needless to say we are all very frustrated. Ideas and ways to improve this idea are welcome. TxCARE will not support this plan due to their non-profit status. However, the rest of us can legally be on a sidewalk and can hand out information as long as we are not on Gladney property. We can also use my http://www.openadoption. org web site for the signs so that people can go to it for the reasons behind our demonstrations. (I have not yet updated that site with the above linked handout.) Since the http://www.openadop tion.org/ is very visible nationally with hundreds of hits daily, and is still the first hit when you google infant adoption, information of our demonstration and legislative efforts will spread nationwide. Constructive criticism of this plan is welcome!

    We need to strike while the iron is hot. We must get our legislation voted to the floors in the House and Senate as soon as possible. We are planning to contact Gladney with our demonstration plans that will go forward unless the legislation is voted in its current form to the floor of the House and Senate by 4-27. They could pull out their stops and get that done. Otherwise the testimony their representative gave will be made public in the above handout.

    Will you join with us in this effort? At least 20 volunteers are needed who can be on the streets surrounding the Gladney Center starting about 4:30 PM on 4-29-07 and going till dark. 10 signs will be provided but you are welcome to bring your own with your own statements. Media will be notified.

    Please circulate copies of this email to anyone you think may be interested in these efforts to improve adoption practice. Email bbetzen@aol. com if there are questions, or if you want to join with us on 4-29-07!

    Bill Betzen

    http://www.openadoption. org/gladney

    Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.
    ************ ********* ********* ********
    Rainer Maria Rilke

  2. Ungrateful Little Bastard Says:

    You are great.

  3. Jen Co Says:

    I thought I read an update yesterday that HB 525/SB 221 died in committee and wasn’t expected to be revived this year. Is TxCare still planning on protesting at Gladney on 4/29/07 if the bill was already shot down earlier this week?

    Jennifer

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I will be in Ft Worth picketing Gladney. The comments made by their attorney during the Senate Committee Meeting opened my eyes. If you look online you can see that meeting and you can see and hear what that attorney said. It is obvious that the Gladney Center has no concerns about adoptees. Adoptees need their original birth certificates and to keep hiding such from them is a violation of civil rights. This birthmother believes there has been too much interference from the Gladney Center and they need to get out of the Texas Senate and let the citizens of Texas make up their own minds.

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