Thanks for running our press release with information about the Crittenton Connections registry. While there is indeed currently a search function for the database–based on your feedback, we understand that it is not doing the job, and will make changes to create a tool that is more useful to people searching for family members as the database gets bigger.
The registry is a response to the phone calls received by us and our family of agencies—instead of trying to deal with these calls arbitrarily, we’re working to develop a system that in some way can assist in connecting adult adoptees, birth parents and family members.
While for most of our 125 year history we placed a priority on keeping mothers and babies together–we are very aware that there was a period of time when this was not true and that not all young women who came through the doors of Crittenton agencies/homes had a positive experience. We are in no way attempting to minimize the damage, loss or pain–or to try to make amends. But rather, we want to provide support as we can–as such, we welcome your suggestions and those of others.
I do want you to know that we do respect your perspective and will not just write it off. Perhaps there is little solace in this, but Crittenton homes did learn from those years, and today the Crittenton agencies look very different as do the young women with which they work–but the cornerstone they share is the passionate belief that young women must make their own decisions for themselves and their children. Thank you for taking the time to making suggestions that will help us do a better job.
In response to Ms. Pai-Espinosa;
It is of some comfort that you are taking the time to listen to our concerns. That is rare in our world. Thank you for your time.
I must say based on both the history of Crittenton and information I have received regarding current practices I would not necessarily agree that keeping mothers and babies together is (or has ever been) a “priority”, but in all fairness that is entirely speculative. I’m sure there are certain people within your organization that keep family preservation as their number one goal but I am extremely skeptical that this is/has ever been a priority of the whole. After all NCF is in the business of adoption.
While I certainly agree that women should ultimately have the right to make their own decisions regarding themselves and their children, I also understand that in order to make those choices effectively they must be presented with factual information regarding both current AND future consequences of each path being considered. It has been my experience that young women are rarely counselled properly on the lifelong effects of placing a child for adoption. It is NOT something they magically “get over” as is often claimed. As I’m sure you are aware placing your child for adoption imparts LIFELONG effects on both mother AND CHILD. I understand sometimes adoption may be the best choice but unbiased facts should be presented regardless.
Facilitating the future of our children is a powerful position indeed. It would be gross negligence to hold this position and not always have the child’s best interests as your first priority. Wouldn’t you agree? When the choice to place a child is made (if in fact adoption is presented as a choice) and we are truly honoring the lifelong effects of this decision, we would be remiss to ignore the fact that this child will in fact grow up. The one party with no say in the matter and obviously most affected by this choice IS the child. If one is taking their job as steward of another human being’s life seriously, if they are truly considering the best interest of the child, one must look at the WHOLE picture. It has been proven extremely damaging, irresponsible and completely dismissive to be of the mind that this tiny human being (for which care has been placed in your hands) should never be entitled to the knowledge of their origins.
If we are to believe Crittenton has truly learned from the mistakes of the past, after having seen first hand the damage past practices has created, if you are TRULY listening……….then I guess it would be safe to assume we can count on your support for open records?
I look forward to your response.