Motherhood, Adoption, and Reproductive Rights

“Fetal Heartbeat” Bills: An Assault on the Personhood of Pregnant Women
“Fetal Heartbeat” Bills: An Assault on the Personhood of Pregnant Women

“Fetal Heartbeat” Bills: An Assault on the Personhood of Pregnant Women

This past Thursday, Ohio became the latest in a growing list of state legislatures proposing and passing “fetal heartbeat” bills that would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected — as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

The Myth of “Pro-Abortion”
The Myth of “Pro-Abortion”

The Myth of “Pro-Abortion”

Before you cast your vote, consult your own hearts and minds, not the politicians

Nominating a Mother: Reflections on the DNC
Nominating a Mother: Reflections on the DNC

Nominating a Mother: Reflections on the DNC

My mother was nothing like Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama—or even like their mothers, who struggled with their own hardships but managed to pass on lessons of strength, independence, and resistance.
Will The “Real” Parent(s)(s)(s)(s) Please Step Forward?: Beyond Our Fears and Fantasies About Open Adoption
Will The “Real” Parent(s)(s)(s)(s) Please Step Forward?: Beyond Our Fears and Fantasies About Open Adoption

Will The “Real” Parent(s)(s)(s)(s) Please Step Forward?: Beyond Our Fears and Fantasies About Open Adoption

“So you’re not Cassie’s real mother, then?” The woman’s face was innocent and open with curiosity. My then-four-year-old daughter was standing beside us, impatiently waiting for the story-telling hour for toddlers to begin. I automatically shot a glance at her, wondering if she had heard. But her attention was on the Thomas the Tank Engine table, around which several little boys were clustered, arguing over who would get to be Thomas. The woman asking the question was the manager of the toddler reading program at our neighborhood “progressive” bookstore, the person parents go to for instruction and guidance when they are picking out books for their children.
Cassie’s Hair
Cassie’s Hair

Cassie’s Hair

In the first year and a half of Cassie’s life, her hair was basically not an issue because she didn’t have much. Then one day she came home from day care with a dozen tiny braids marking a complex and delicate pattern on her tiny head. I was, first of all, mystified. I had no idea she had enough hair to do anything like this. Where had all that hair come from? How had her teacher gathered it up like that? And how had she gotten her to sit still long enough to do it?
Musings: Adoption
Musings: Adoption

Musings: Adoption

I am one of those baby-boomers who "forgot to have children" until my early forties. Once we began trying, I was amazed, then distraught, when pregnancy didn't happen as it had, unplanned, when I was thirty, the very first time the birth control barrier was down. Susan Sarandon, exactly my age, was radiantly pregnant; in fact, it seemed that every movie star of my generation was. People magazine was celebrating: "It's never too late!" So I was startled when my doctor sternly put a damper on my enthusiasm. "It's going to be an uphill battle," he warned, writing out a prescription I was sure I didn't need.
Are Mothers Persons
Are Mothers Persons

Are Mothers Persons

Many people, both in academic and nonacademic circles, have come to regard feminist arguments concerning the biases and exclusions of Western culture either as outmoded by progressive changes in gender relations, or as paranoid delusions, fueled by a mania for "political correctness" rather than truth.
All of Us Are Real: Old Images in a New World of Adoption
All of Us Are Real: Old Images in a New World of Adoption

All of Us Are Real: Old Images in a New World of Adoption

As someone who for over twenty-five years has written and taught about cultural myths and images, I had the hubris to imagine that I was savvy about all the major norms and assumptions that comprise contemporary Western "constructions of reality." That was before we adopted a child.