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LETTERS IN VIEW : 'Adoption Triangle' Reveals More Than Three Sides to Issue

August 20, 1993

I write regarding "Which Side to Take in the Adoption Triangle" (Aug. 11) with the pain of our own failed adoption fresh in my heart. My husband and I are the parents of two adopted sons. We recently had to return our third son, 3 months old, to his birth mother after she changed her mind.

Adoptive parents are often painted as wealthy, greedy people out to "buy" a baby. Our recently failed adoption is a tremendous financial setback for us. Our baby was born two months prematurely and required five weeks of hospitalization. We have been left with several thousand dollars in medical bills.

More important, our family had a tremendous emotional investment with the baby and we have all been devastated with his loss. I harbor no animosity toward the birth mother, only anger at a legal system that offers so little protection for adoptive families and that could let a case like Jessica DeBoer's take so long to resolve.

CAROLYN POLCHOW

Glendale

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Hail to the newest class of "victims"--remorseful birth parents. Let's get to the real issue of Marty Smith's problems with adoption and her search for her child 25 years after her voluntary relinquishment of parental rights.

Marty's psycho-babble is unreal. "Adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary situation." Hey Marty, children are permanent, they are forever. They are a lifetime commitment. You don't turn them over to adoptive parents until you can get your life together.

BRUCE A. BRAUN

Sherman Oaks

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The argument that birth parents don't count would wipe out the ethnic heritage, genetic ties and historical connections that societies and their laws have valued and protected for thousands of years.

REUBEN PANNOR

Pacific Palisades

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The picture of baby Jessica being carried away by a lawyer for delivery to her biological parents is one that most people will not soon forget. It brought tears to the eyes of many who had never personally addressed what many adult adoptees know at the core of our being--the system that was meant primarily to protect the rights of adoptees is an archaic and often cruel institution.

The right to know our biological roots is a fundamental right, a right we have been systematically denied in all states but two. It is this right, so basic to self-knowledge and information about how we are linked to the rest of humankind, that is being ignored while the rights of birth parents and adoptive parents are being thoroughly investigated and discussed. Because she is so young, the rights of Baby Jessica have been shoved aside for the rest of her life.

This case should never have been allowed to proceed so slowly through the justice system. She should have been given back to her birth parents when she was still an infant, thereby causing less trauma to her and everyone else concerned.

SUSAN E. LOEWENKAMP

Beverly Hills

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Are we to understand that women who choose to have their babies, and are unable or unwilling to raise them at the time they are born, give these children to someone to raise until the birth mother feels emotionally, financially and physically strong enough to take over? What a convenient arrangement--for the birth mother.

Marty Smith talks about infertility not being an entitlement. Biological parenthood without assuming the responsibility is not an entitlement either. People who have and keep their children and raise them to the best of their ability are not always emotionally, financially or physically ready to undertake such a demanding job, but they do it.

They take their babies home and get up with them in the middle of the night. They clean strained carrots off the wall, change a thousand dirty diapers, walk the floor all night with ill or unhappy babies and take care of their homes and families and go to work.

They accept the responsibility for the life they have created. They don't ask someone else to raise it until it is convenient or comfortable to become a parent.

GLORIA DILBECK

Altadena

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As an adoptee, I feel that an adoptive child must have open access to biological records and that there needs to be an option for the biological parents and adoptive child to make contact when medical or emotional needs require it or when the child becomes a legal adult.

A child at any age has a very good idea and strong feelings of where, and with whom, they belong. The child is not a pawn to be tossed back and forth among biological or adoptive parents without regard to their own feelings.

NOH-RA AMRANI

Studio City

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I am an adoptive parent of a 14-month-old boy. I look at him as a gift from God.

"Nobody seems to honor the fact that in order to build a family by adoption, they are disrupting another family," Smith says.

I am sure every adoptive mother honors the birth mother. The whole thing is based on honesty. The adoptive parents didn't drag you off the streets and take your baby. You chose to disrupt your life when you got pregnant and didn't choose to keep the baby. JACKIE ARNADO

Los Angeles

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