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By Stacey Patton | June 15, 1998
WITH 15 months to go before a new Maryland law takes effect that's designed to help adopted children find their birth parents, a lot of people may be getting anxious.As a veteran of such a search, my key advice to adoptees is to proceed with caution. Four years ago, in my home state of New Jersey, which has a similar law, I successfully searched for my biological family, finding answers to questions that had bothered me for a long time.The experience didn't end happily, but it helped fill in details of my life that were missing, allowing me to move on to other things.
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FEATURES
By Joseph Burris and Baltimore Sun reporter | January 27, 2010
At first Stanley Hermane held up a toy phone to his ear as if an expectant caller had rung. Then the 21-month-old decided that the object was a baseball and threw line drives. Then it was a hammer that he banged with delight. The Haitian orphan that adoptive parents Michael and Monica Simonsen just brought back from the earthquake-ravaged country has already latched onto a favored object — so much so that he seem unfazed by the reporters who keep coming to witness the latest chapter in his story.
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NEWS
By Ellen Goodman | October 23, 1998
BOSTON -- The way Helen Hill sees it, her life as an adoptee has been part of a vast social experiment: "What happens if we seal away the true facts of people's birth?" What happens if adoptees don't know their biological parents?For most of U.S. history, adoption was informal and fairly open. But at some point before the 43-year-old Oregonian was born, states began shutting down the records and keeping the birth certificates secret.This "experiment" was begun with good intentions. In an atmosphere of shame and secrecy -- the Scarlet Letter era of unwed births -- this was seen as a way to protect the birth mother, the child and even the adopting parents from the prying eyes of outsiders.
NEWS
By Adam Pertman | February 14, 2005
THE U.S. SURGEON General, Richard H. Carmona, has embarked on an admirable quest. Citing the obvious fact that many diseases are inherited, he has created a national campaign that encourages all American families to learn more about their health histories. To make this important task easier to accomplish, Dr. Carmona's office has created software that all of us can download at no cost to help track medical information about our parents, grandparents and other relatives. And to underscore how serious the surgeon general is about getting us all to act, he designated an annual National Family Health History Day to coincide with Thanksgiving.
NEWS
By Sherry Graham and Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 23, 1999
NOVEMBER IS National Adoption Awareness Month. One Eldersburg family is very aware of the joys of adoption and is enthusiastically celebrating the event.Dennis and Peggy Scherr are the parents of three adopted children, Amy, Laura and Brian, who were born in Korea. Peggy and the children spent last weekend in New York City attending a celebratory church service in St. Patrick's Cathedral and visiting with other families who have adopted internationally.The Scherr family had the opportunity to travel to Korea in July as participants in a Homeland Tour sponsored by the Mugungwha Foundation.
NEWS
By Craig Timberg and Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF | January 22, 1997
She was wealthy and single. He was her employee, and their relationship likely was unwelcome just after World War II in the high-society world of New York's Westchester County.A half-century later, that's about all that their son, Del. Frank S. Turner of Columbia, knows about the people who gave him life, then gave him away. It's the kind of private mystery that Turner hopes to end for tens of thousands of Maryland adoptees.Turner, a Democrat, introduced a bill Monday to open all the birth records of adoptees 25 years old or older -- unless either of their birth parents files forms specifically blocking that access.
FEATURES
By Marie McCullough and Marie McCullough,KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | July 23, 1996
Deb Schwarz assumed that she was entitled to know her parents' medical histories, even though, under Pennsylvania law, she knew she couldn't get their names.Like many adoptees, she was naive.It took months for the agency that handled her adoption 36 years ago to dig her file out of the archives -- and only seconds for her to see that the information was worthless."Both your parents," the agency divulged, "were in their mid-20s and were considered American."But what really outraged Schwarz, and turned the San Francisco marketing research consultant into a national crusader for open adoption records, was what she discovered after a private investigator located her mother in a Harrisburg nursing home.
NEWS
By From staff reports | April 3, 1997
Legislation to give abused women more divorce grounds losesA bill that would have allowed women who are physically abused by their husbands to obtain divorces more readily was defeated in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee yesterday.The measure, sponsored by House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr., an Allegany Democrat, and others, would have added two more grounds for a court to grant a final divorce -- "cruelty of treatment" and "excessively vicious conduct."Advocates for victims of domestic abuse had pushed for the legislation, which had cleared the House of Delegates.
NEWS
By M. Ann Rutledge | July 5, 2000
SPARKS - The Supreme Court made no error in supporting Oregon's Measure 58, which allows adult adoptees the right to acquire their original birth certificates. Quite the contrary, it is the righting of a wrong that has been perpetuated for more than 50 years. Adult adoptees are denied the constitutional rights to both due process and equal protection. They are denied access to documents pertinent to them as individuals, based solely on the fact that they are adoptees. The biological parents do not have to present evidence as to why they may need protection, nor even if they still desire it, years after the fact.
NEWS
By Laura Lippman and Laura Lippman,SUN STAFF | May 12, 2001
Sharon Glennen still remembers the eerie quiet of the Russian orphanage where she spent 10 days in 1997, waiting to adopt her daughter, Irina. The place was clean and well-maintained, the female caretakers invariably kind. But they did not speak to their charges, except in the rare one-on-one moments of changing and dressing them. And as soon as the toddlers learned to use spoons, they were left to eat on their own -- again, in total silence. The image was one that would recede over time -- especially as Irina, now 4, has blossomed into a chatterbox known to her family as the little czarina.
NEWS
By Josh Getlin and Josh Getlin,LOS ANGELES TIMES | October 28, 2003
Officials took swift action yesterday on the latest scandal engulfing New Jersey's child welfare agency, but they conceded that the shocking discovery of four emaciated adoptees in their suburban home revealed monitoring and oversight problems that could not be cured overnight. Although state caseworkers reported they had visited the victims' home 38 times in the past two years, most recently in June, they reported nothing amiss to their supervisors, officials said. The lead caseworker, whom officials would not identify, has since resigned and nine other agency employees were fired yesterday in a widening investigation.
NEWS
By Lorraine Gingerich and Lorraine Gingerich,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 27, 2002
Gale Monahan had an experience Thursday evening that some adoptees only dream of. She met her sister Teresa Muse, 47, for the first time in her life. The tearful meeting at Baltimore-Washington International Airport was a pivotal moment in a series of recent events that have introduced Monahan to a long-secret family, including two half-sisters and a half-brother. An avid trail rider, Monahan, 51, lives on Mink Hollow Road, just north of the Patuxent River in a rural corner of Howard County, with her husband and two horses.
NEWS
By Donna W. Payne and Donna W. Payne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 5, 2001
Americans from China, Vietnam, Korea, the Philippines, Russia, Romania and the United States met in Elkridge yesterday to celebrate their cultural heritages. Some of the delegates wore diapers. Foreign-born adopted children of all ages and their adopted families gathered at St. Augustine Church for an afternoon of multicultural crafts, games, foods and socializing. "November is National Adoption Month, so we try and have a celebration every year around this time," said Ellen Warnock, associate administrator of Catholic Charities' Center for Family Services, which sponsored the event.
NEWS
By Lisa Richardson and Lisa Richardson,Special to the Sun | October 7, 2001
It was news coverage of the Tom Cruise-Nicole Kidman divorce that catalyzed years of accumulated exasperation into an actual campaign. No, it wasn't the blitz of reports on the marriage's end but the repeated references to the couple's two young children as "adopted." Those constant reminders that Cruise and Kidman had adopted Isabella and Conor was flint to tinder, sparking a nascent nationwide grass-roots movement in the adoptive community. "It was the straw that broke the camel's back," said Rachel Adelson, president of a computer and home electronics publication.
NEWS
By Laura Lippman and Laura Lippman,SUN STAFF | May 12, 2001
Sharon Glennen still remembers the eerie quiet of the Russian orphanage where she spent 10 days in 1997, waiting to adopt her daughter, Irina. The place was clean and well-maintained, the female caretakers invariably kind. But they did not speak to their charges, except in the rare one-on-one moments of changing and dressing them. And as soon as the toddlers learned to use spoons, they were left to eat on their own -- again, in total silence. The image was one that would recede over time -- especially as Irina, now 4, has blossomed into a chatterbox known to her family as the little czarina.
NEWS
By M. Ann Rutledge | July 5, 2000
SPARKS - The Supreme Court made no error in supporting Oregon's Measure 58, which allows adult adoptees the right to acquire their original birth certificates. Quite the contrary, it is the righting of a wrong that has been perpetuated for more than 50 years. Adult adoptees are denied the constitutional rights to both due process and equal protection. They are denied access to documents pertinent to them as individuals, based solely on the fact that they are adoptees. The biological parents do not have to present evidence as to why they may need protection, nor even if they still desire it, years after the fact.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | September 2, 1997
Ellen Berman and Mitchell Rosenwald met two years ago for the second time in their lives -- and learned that reunions between a birth mother and the child she once placed for adoption can be complicated."
NEWS
By Brenda J. Buote and Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF | March 9, 1997
About 40 adoptive families gathered yesterday in Northwest Baltimore to seek support and share their experiences at the first Baltimore conference for adopted children."
NEWS
By Allison Klein and Allison Klein,SUN STAFF | May 1, 2000
A line of sobbing young adults walked along the Vietnam Veterans Memorial yesterday, clutching hands and searching for missing pieces in the puzzles of their lives. Twenty-five years ago, as the United States lost the war in Vietnam, these young people lost their homes. At the wall, their search for identity was palpable. Grown orphans of the Saigon "babylift," rescued as the city fell to the Communists in 1975, gathered at the memorial to conclude a weekend reunion held in Baltimore.
NEWS
By Sherry Graham and Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 23, 1999
NOVEMBER IS National Adoption Awareness Month. One Eldersburg family is very aware of the joys of adoption and is enthusiastically celebrating the event.Dennis and Peggy Scherr are the parents of three adopted children, Amy, Laura and Brian, who were born in Korea. Peggy and the children spent last weekend in New York City attending a celebratory church service in St. Patrick's Cathedral and visiting with other families who have adopted internationally.The Scherr family had the opportunity to travel to Korea in July as participants in a Homeland Tour sponsored by the Mugungwha Foundation.
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