March 29, 2009

New birthfamilies search/contact listserv

The information on this new listserv is being posted on behalf of the list owners at their request. It is not affiliated with

A new listserv has been established for families with children adopted from Guatemala and/or Guatemalan adoptees themselves to discuss, learn, find resources, and seek support for issues related to searching for/ongoing contact with birth families/first families. We welcome open, respectful discussion about when/whether to search, how to search, maintaining contact with birth/first family, meeting birth/first family members, and other related issues.

The new listserv can be found at

Posted by Kevin at March 29, 2009 07:08 AM

I think there is certainly "room" for two lists on the same topic and I have no problem folks' decision to create a new list. It's too bad, however, that the new list was not created without denigrating the well-established list and/or it's owner. In my years as a participant on Guatemala Birthfamilies, I have never seen or heard of allegations like the ones that you're making. I do know that the list owner has made efforts to ensure that people stay on-topic but "censorship" for another reason? I find that hard to believe. Maybe there is a problem behind the scenes -- maybe it's censorship, or maybe there is a logical explanation. Regardless, I find this vague and one-sided criticism to be neither helpful nor tactful. (and yes, I realize that the new list is not affiliated with GuatAdopt).
Elizabeth S.

Posted by: Elizabeth S. at March 29, 2009 08:47 AM


You were correct and I have since changed the post. Now I'm the one guilty of editing. In hindsight, I should have done better this morning.

I had to put one of our dogs to sleep today, so needless to say I'm not thinking straight. For anyone with the John Lennon song "Imagine", play it tonight in her honor. We got her just after 9/11 from the pound. She was deaf, abused, and stage three heartworms. So we named her after the song when Neil Young sang it at the 9/11 benefit concert.

AS always, the comments are for free discussion so long as they are not personal attacks.


Posted by: kevin at March 29, 2009 12:00 PM

Oh Kevin,
I'm so sorry for your loss. Big hugs to you, Sheila and the kids today. Don't have the song, but I like to sing it--will sing it for her tonight.
Lizzie, Anarosa and Migdalia

Posted by: EB at March 29, 2009 01:09 PM


i am SO sorry to hear about your loved pet - it's never easy - just wanted to say that

Posted by: mary-kate at March 29, 2009 01:50 PM

I'm so sorry about your dog, Kevin. It's so, so sad to lose a pet. The words to Imagine are in my mind as I write this.

Thanks for the edit...

Posted by: Elizabeth S. at March 29, 2009 02:44 PM


Trust me - as the person who set up the new listserv, I kept things vague to avoid fanning the flames. Let me just say that I, and many well-regarded members of that listserv, have found ourselves blocked/delayed from posting and that efforts to get an explanation from the listserv owner were unsuccessful. I myself sent her at least 3 separate emails over the past couple of months trying to find out what transpired and never got a reply. In contrast, there have been occasions on the Big List where I misspoke and was promptly told by listserv owners what the nature of the problem was.

I am happy to discuss more privately. Feel free to email me at Suffice it to say that I did not do this lightly and the reasons I did so were not petty/frivolous.

Posted by: Lee at March 29, 2009 02:48 PM


To respond to your post, you should know that had the Guatemala birthfamilies listserv owner not intentionally blocked our posts, and not refused to answer numerous respectful emails asking why posts were being blocked or suddenly requiring individual approval, there would be no need to create a new listserv.

Since I posted a note about my problems on the Big List (before Lee made the decision to create a new list), I have heard from many many people who also have been censored/blocked and who thought they were the only ones. Some of them think they were blocked due to a poor experience using the listowner's adoption agency, others believe they were blocked for saying something negative about a friend/colleague of the listowner, and others are just confused and hurt and prevented from being a part of many important conversations. I know of a couple of us who were trying to post emails looking for bio-sibs (of children adopted thru the listowners agency) and were blocked from doing so. Somehow I fail to see how this behavior is supportive or in the spirit of connecting with birthfamilies.

I'll stop there, as I could tell some real horror stories -- but our experiences are real, and many of us thought we were the only ones until some of us spoke up. If the listowner had made any effort to reply and explain, there wouldn't be a new list. But she did not. And I believe that wrongdoings are never corrected if everyone keeps them hush-hush. I think secrecy and hiding the bad actions of persons in the adoption business is a disservice to us, our children, and their birthfamilies.

Now there is a new listserv committed to transparency and openness and vigorous debate. I can tell you that Lee is an honest broker, has no horse in this race, and is not a part of the adoption business. If someone is way out of bounds, I suppose he will communicate with them privately, much the same way the Big List Listowners do. and that list works very well. People have the freedom to join one or both lists, or not. either is okay.

Respectfully, Sonia

Posted by: Sonia at March 30, 2009 08:08 PM

First Kevin so sorry to hear about your beloved pet. I have been there and it sucks. Imagine is a beautiful song and a great name for a pet.((((HUGS))))
Have I missed something. Is the other group not up anymore. What is going on?

Posted by: NAncy at March 30, 2009 11:18 PM


I've met Lee, and I agree with your assessment of his character. ;)

Kevin posted on the front page of GuatAdopt that a new list had been created because of problems at the older list including censorship, etc. I *still* think a new list can be created and advertised without denigrating the existing list and was surprised to see this on the first page. Kevin apparently agreed and modified GuatAdopt's post.

After hearing from Lee, and reading your post, I do understand that there are concerns with the other list and I respect your decision to begin a new one. I'm glad to see that Lee is involved and I hope it is a successful and healthy group!

(fwiw, I have absolutely no affiliations with adoption professionals and do not even know with which agency the list owner is affiliated).

Posted by: Elizabeth at March 31, 2009 07:06 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?