Welcome to NAM Day #15! If it saves just one!
More than 20 years ago the late Dr. Pierce coined the term “non-bureaucratic relinquishment” to describe the Baby Safe Haven movement. I like that term, and I use it. What he meant was, I think, no tiresome non-directive counseling, no clumsy and boring paperwork signing, no pesky dads or family members interfering, no declaring in person before a judge that you are severing your rights to your child and giving it to a stranger. In many states, however, a Safe Haven hand-over is not an established relinquishment, but an emergency custody transfer that, of course, can end up in relinquishment of adoption later. I’m not going there today.
Rummaging through some files over the weekend I found this doozy. A short interview on WFYI-FM with Safe Haven Baby Box Inc associate, Linda Znachko, the founder of He Knows Your Name Ministries, an organization located in Indianapolis, that claims, names, and buries discarded, deceased infants. The interview was broadcast in February 2015, after the Indiana legislature legalized Safe Haven Baby Boxes over the objection of the Indiana Department of Health and Department of Children’s Services. Although the law was on the books, the battle continued well into 2017 when the legislature created a legal remedy to de-legitimize objections. Today, both IDH and DHS do only the minimum required by law, to publicize the privately funded but legal baby box initiative.
Sorry. I diverged for a minute. Here’s the money quote:
Znachko says she has the funding for a baby box, she’s just waiting for the go-ahead. ‘There’s no reason now that the law is signed. DCS is out of the way, the health department is out of the way, and I have a baby box paid for waiting to go in somewhere.’
Talk about abolishing best practice!
Talk about getting the government out of relinquishment!
Talk about free-range adoption!
Talk about trafficking!
Talk about non-bureaucratic relinquishment!
I’m not sure this is what Bill Pierce had in mind. For all his flaws, he was a stickler for protocol in child shifting. Other people aren’t.
I’d like to think that that Znachko’s words just came out wrong but . . .
Znachko, famously at least for me, likes to say weird things in public. Things that anyone attuned to authentic adoptee experience instead of romantic adoption agitprop, even if they believed it, would keep their trap shut about for fear of walking away with a bloody nose. When she speaks at baby box blessings, for instance, she refers to the day a baby is boxed up and left behind, as “a birthday party waiting to happen.”
I challenge Znachko, a rabid forced birther, to say that to the adoptee who finds their birthday (or the day attributed to their birth since records can be
amended faked by the state ) the most depressing day of the year. Does she even know how many adoptees, due to adoption secrecy spend thousands of dollars and years of work to discover their origins and families, or suffer lifelong depression over their relinquishment, or say they wish they had been aborted, or want to see the entire institution of adoption aborted?
In case you’re wondering, the box that was “waiting to go” in 2015 wasn’t installed in Marion County until July 9, 2018, at the Decatur Township Fire Station.
Originally published in The Daily Bastardette on November 15, 2021