Representative DOHERTY; Representative DEMBROW (at the request of Janette Barcenas, Ashley Peterson-Munoz, Leticia Munoz, Kiley Steward, Tamera Slack, Oregon Birth Mothers)
~Feel free to write Reps Doherty and Dembrow
to inform them of your opposition.~
A simple google search will lead you to this post on First Mother Forums. You are welcome to read it to learn more about Janette's experience with Oregon adoption law. But be mindful and recall that there are 2 sides to every story, 3 really - Janette's side, the adoptive parents side, and what really happened. This post is an emotionally written, one sided story that aims to pull at the heart strings. It leads the reader to believe that there was something wrong with the adoption law or the adoption process, not just in Janette's case, but potentially in all adoptions. It is worth noting that from a legal observation, it is very interesting that she lost her case in 2 different appellate courts. She could not prove fraud or duress against the agency or the adoptive couple and the current OR adoption law was indeed upheld to protect ALL the stakeholders involved in the situation. (btw- 'stakeholders' is the legal term that is used to describe any and all people involved in a potential adoption situation)
Here are some issues we have with Janette's story:
"....the adoptive parents limited Janette’s contact with her son after two months."
"...Then about a couple weeks later the family said that I could only see him certain times and the whole thing I was promised would not work."The key word here is limited. They did not close contact, they simply limited it, whether permanently or for a determined time period, we are not told. Janette also doesn't share with readers what the original post placement contact agreement was and whether or not she herself was violating the agreed upon boundaries and contact arrangements that she made with the couple. She uses the word 'promised', which is completely subjective. The reader has no way of knowing what the adoptive couple 'promised' her or agreed upon. What did Janette promise the adoptive couple? She doesn't tell us. She also doesn't tell us why the adoptive couple came to this decision. [Open adoption does not grant the right to do whatever you want, whenever you want, with your birth son/daughter. Open adoption is an agreement in which both sides agree to respect one another and communicate on a level that conducive to all stakeholders.] This part of Janette's story is a red flag to those of us who are birthmothers and have extensive experience in mentoring and counseling other birthmothers who don't understand that an open adoption is not a 'free pass'. This is a red flag to those of us who are adoptive mothers and have had successful open adoptions and to some of us have experienced communication challenges with our open adoptions. This statement, that the adoptive couple limited the contact, is a big clue that there was probably some boundary issues on Janette's part in the post placement contact. This suspicion is supported by the repeated dismissals of Janette's case by the courts.
"...11 months after she signed the surrender, Janette’s attorney filed a lawsuit ..."Eleven whole months went by before Janette even filed the law suit. That is simply incredible from a legal standpoint as the filing process isn't more than filling out a piece of paper(s) at the courthouse and doesn't even need to be done by an adoption attorney. The post claims that "The delay had been caused by Janette’s difficulty in finding an attorney, the Courthouse fire, and her attorney’s slowness in filing the lawsuit." Janette claims to have called all the attorneys in the phone book; what she doesn't tell us is when she started that calling process - from day 1 of relinquishment or from day 1 of month 11? We find it highly suspicious that it took her so long to file and yet another red flag regarding the one sided presentation to this story about a 'victim' of Oregon adoption law.
We do not mean to lessen Janette's personal pain or grief or undermine the sensation of loss that she experienced involving her own adoption from Guatemala or with the placement of her son in 2005. We are truly sorry that Janette's perception of what open adoption would be with her birth son was not her reality. Everyone is entitled to their own emotions and to experience life's trials as they see fit. What we have a problem with, is when one person's seemingly negative overall experience with openness in adoption, potentially determines what mandates will be placed on future stakeholders in ALL Oregon adoption situations.