JUST SOME INTERESTING HISTORY STUFF

Today was just a rough kind of day. A fellow Coleman adoptee had emailed that she finally got in contact with her natural mother. I met this gal through one of the many Indiana adoptee groups on the internet. We have kept in touch for last two years. She knew my horror story with St. Elizabeth’s/Coleman and their confidential intermediary, Katrina Carlisle. I had advised her not to use this individual. She had gone with Omni Trace which ended up ripping her off. She emailed me about a month ago about Kinsolving. I said that this company was great as long as you can afford them. I unfortunately can’t at this time. Well they found for her. Katrina had told her not to search without her assistance. Katrina did everything she could to discourage this friend from searching period. Well she recently contacted her natural mother. Low and behold, all of the information that Katrina gave her was a lie. Not surprising really. Katrina had lied to me about the law, about who I could and could not use as a CI, and other bits and pieces of my own information. I worry daily what my own natural mother has been told by this woman. I worry whether or not she was even contacted. I worry about whether or not that she took my money and fed me a line of bullshit. I worry that she tried to get more money from my natural mother. I worry that because she could not get the information that my mother wanted about me, she assumed my mother refused contact. All of these are very real worries. I have heard them from all over the country.

Another friend of mine wanting to help an expectant mother sent her my way. Lets just say that conversation was very very triggering. So she and her fiance prayed about the relinquishment of their child and decided that it was God’s will. Great tell that to an adoptee. Not a good thing to do. I would much rather deal with the most entitled adoptive parents in the world that walk that line of fire again. Give me the Needhams and the abductors of Stephanie Bennett’s child any old day.

My youngest daughter got herself into trouble with her teacher. She and I got that one worked out. No big deal.

Then I discovered this website. Low and behold I got the sock in the gut that sent me reeling. This is the comment that blew my mind. “Indiana enacts a law that makes it the most restrictive state in the nation in regard to keeping adoption records confidential.” Oh shit. I could have had access in 1983 when I turned 18. Oh fuck. Adoption so sucks today.

I have also been reviewing history on adoption in Indiana and St. Elizabeth/Coleman and their part in it.

  • 1894 The Suemma Coleman Home is founded for “erring girls and women who had been living lives of shame and had no homes.” (Today, it operates as Coleman Adoption Services.)
  • 1905 The Indianapolis Humane Society is established to prevent cruelty to animals and children.
  • 1900 A struggle develops between proponents of asylums and advocates of placing children in outside homes, known as foster care. State governments begin to resolve this conflict by choosing a third option-mother’s pensions, which provide money to the mother so that she can keep her children with her instead of sending them to an orphanage in times of distress. During the next two decades, people in Indianapolis will debate the validity of mother’s pensions.
  • 1909 The White House holds a Conference on Dependent Children. This watershed event advocates aid to widows and other needy women to enable children to remain with their mothers. Experts at the conference assert that foster care-not the orphanage-is the second-best option if maintaining the family unit is impossible.
  • 1919 The Indiana General Assembly passes an act creating mother’s pensions to provide money to needy women with children. It also funds the Division of Infant and Child Hygiene of the State Board of Health.
  • 1932 The Indiana Birth Control League, later known as Planned Parenthood, is founded to help married women who have two or more children plan for future children.1952 The board indicates that the press has an indifferent attitude toward the work of the Children’s Bureau, except in regard to the efforts of the auxiliary However, a Carl Sandburg radio program gives the Bureau time to recruit foster parents. There are ongoing discussions with the board of the Suemma Coleman Home about having the Bureau assume responsibility for finding homes for infants born there.
  • 1955 Planned Parenthood offers services for unmarried women for the first time; its services have previously been restricted to married women with two or more children.
  • 1960 Indianapolis’s population is 476,258. The Federal Drug Administration approves birth control pills.
  • 1964 Since 1959 the number of children and adolescents served by the Children’s Bureau has increased dramatically The number of unwed mothers has risen 111 percent, to 346; the number of children placed for adoption is up 109 percent. There are 1,495 children receiving some care and 571 receiving full care, up 82 percent and 38 percent respectively
  • 1967 Audrey Oliver-Owens made history in Indiana back in 1967. She became the first person to adopt as a single parent. An article in the IndyStar.com, Making Family History, by Courtenay Edelhart, notes that while single parent adoption was common back in the 1800s, by the 20th century it was determined not to be in thn the late 1960s, with California leading the way and Indiana following, changes were made and the growing need for homes brought back the idea of single parent adoptions. Oliver-Owens is proud to be the first person in Indiana to adopt as a single parent, bringing her three-month-old, baby girl home the day before Thanksgiving in 1967. She followed with another adoption of another little girl in 1969. Daughters Candy and Cooky do not feel that they missed out on having a father as they have plenty of male role models in their lives. The best interest of the children. Child welfare workers made single parent adoptions impossible believing that single parents were financially unstable and emotionally harmful. The key note in this particular case is that the adoptive mother is African American.
  • 1970 Evans House, a private home on the north side of Indianapolis, is donated to the Children’s Bureau as a home for unwed mothers. It has facilities for as many as 10 girls and house parents. It also has a hospital room for emergencies. Members of the auxiliary establish one-on-one relationships with these girls through activities such as shopping trips. Evans House is an open home, meaning that it has fewer restrictions than traditional facilities for unwed mothers. It “de-emphasizes” family life because most babies are put up for adoption.” Adoptive homes are found for 153 children, the highest number in the history of the agency to date. The number of children available for adoption will decrease hereafter as more unmarried women choose to keep their children.
  • 1993 Indiana makes changes to the law regarding the confidentiality of adoption records. Now both parties can file with the State Board of Health to make contact.

I thought it was particularly interesting that it was okay for African American women to adopt as single parents while Anglo American women were not. They were shamed and coerced into relinquishing their children in order to get themselves redeemed. I have still only read small doses of “Wake up Little Suzie” by Rickie Solinger. Reading this book scares the crap out of me. If the religious right of our society has its choice, we would go back to all of this.



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