Press Release 3/17/2014
I have just this minute published “Cast Off
: They called us dangerous women. So, we organized and proved them right.”
The poignant quote in the subtitle spotlights a never-before-revealed true account of sweeping personal and social change.
“Cast Off” retraces the life of a ‘70s housewife whose “unwed” pregnancy a decade before had forced her to drop out of high school. The story describes her triumph over the unnecessary surrender of her child and the “psychological amputation” she could no longer deny.
The story begins with her discovery she can’t live another minute as a passive victim. She takes tentative steps beyond the safe harbor of her ideal “new life,” where she enjoys respect and prestige in a Cape Cod village with her husband and their two children. She anguishes about putting them all at risk. But she knows she has to do something.
She knows that beyond her sheltered world, the cruel, yet socially-beloved, practice of adoption continues to coerce vulnerable parents to surrender their children. She knows such surrenders consign browbeaten parents to a lifetime of secrets that forever verge on discovery — by others, even by themselves. She is compelled to stop unnecessary separations and to end the secrecy that bars missing children and their banned mothers and fathers from finding each other.
She begins by breaking the taboo to avoid other mothers like her. Instead, she searches for them and invites them to trust her half-baked vision. She tells them she wants to create an organization — the first of its kind in the world — that devotes itself to the support and advocacy of parents with children missing in adoption. In personal terror of what their work could mean to all they hold dear, they call their innovative and controversial organization “Concerned United Birthparents (CUB).” To stay on the safe side, she uses a false name and appears on TV in shadow. Within nine months, her emerging self boots that compromise out her last secret door.
Her unique band of mothers support her and each other. They pioneer new affirming language, publicly reveal their secret yet somehow “irrelevant” stories, and create novel ways to work around a social Goliath that tries to force them to surrender, again. But more driven than daunted, the mothers advance reforms, sometimes breaking the “worst” taboo of all. Some find their minor children’s new identity, and, while exercising the mother of all restraints, they follow their lives from a distance. Along the way, they enlist the help of some professionals who “get it” — many who are now “late” but forever “great.” Together, they begin to batter the gates of closed adoption.
What many reformists today don’t know is that, in 1980, the original Model Adoption Law brought needed reforms to the brink of their dreams. But Goliath redoubled its money and might, trashed the law, and, continuing its path of destruction, expanded adoption into the full-fledged profitable industry it is today. In grotesque irony, some adoption “professionals” now lure vulnerable parents with empty promises of “open adoption,” which some adoptive parents close as quickly as they legally can.
“Cast Off” exposes the roots of adoption reform and offers a blueprint for the wings that adoption reform still needs. “Cast Off” also offers a personal postscript. My work in adoption reform revealed the real Lee Campbell’s thirst for knowledge. After I earned a doctorate, I taught social sciences at the college level for 30 years. When I retired, I returned to CUB as its Curator. I reassembled CUB’s history.
Now, here’s something else you may not know: “
and its prequel “
Stow Away: They told me to forget. And I did. Now my memory has mutiny in mind”
are far more than memoirs.
They narrate my collection of CUB history. And after 2015 — drum roll —my books and the CUB collection will become permanent fixtures of history . . . at Harvard University!
More good news is, you won’t have to travel to Cambridge to appreciate these works. CUB has advanced a chunk of change to digitize 4,000 pages of the collection for its website (www.cubirthparents.org
). As for my two books, both of these are now available, too.
For print copies, visit www.createspace.com/406829
(“Cast Off”) and www.createspace.com/4147943
(“Stow Away”). You could also search the book titles along with my name at www.amazon.com
. If you prefer e-books, they are available at Amazon’s Kindle store and other e-book outlets.
As with “Stow Away,” I’m not going to actively market “Cast Off.” So, if you believe in their message, I hope you’ll let others know.