Oh, dear! Just days before this website launched, Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc. blocked me from reading its Facebook page. Previously, I was blocked from SHBB Inc.’s Twitter and TikTok accounts, the latter apparently because I posted a gentle reminder (it was polite) that the National Safe Haven Alliance and individual traditional Safe Haven advocacy organizations oppose the baby box movement.
The dispute is no secret. Various traditional Safe Haven organizations have made public statements against baby boxes in the media and testified against baby box bills in various state legislatures. Even national media has reported on the dust-up. Monica Kelsey, founder and CEO of SHBB Inc, criticizes their work frequently and what she perceives as trad failure to hop over to her dark side. She wonders why they don’t want to “walk beside us.” since the baby box is basically an adjunct of already established safe haven practice, a claim to be argued on another day.
Obviously, Mrs. Kelsey should and does have every right to block anyone from her own social media, but it was no surprise. I can only surmise why, after around six years of reading her site, writing about the baby box movement, and occasionally IMing with her, I was blocked:
I am adopted. I am vocal. I oppose baby boxes. I support adoptee rights over adoptee harvesting. I oppose baby boxes from an adoptee point view, a POV worthy of exclusion.
Class Bastard—the Adopted—to the minds of the baby box tycoonery poses some kind of existential threat to their evangelical stampede through America to normalize baby-abandonment-by-box-in-the-wall. Class Bastard (and I) are not on their politically correct page. Objecting to baby boxes turns adoption saviorism of all creeds and colors on its head disrupting the adoption mythology and mythological uses of adopted people in a patriarchal culture. And for that, box pushers have no reputable answer other than to claim we are disturbed, had a “bad experience” in adoption, “just want dead babies,” or the most popular accusation, “hate adoption.” Now go stand in the corner, you ungrateful little bastard!
Mrs. Kelsey, herself adopted, her staff, and her fanbase, react incredulously when they hear that adopted adults aren’t fans of them thar boxes.
In 2020 I wrote two posts for the Daily Bastardedtte, now posted on SSHBBN! Thoughts and Prayers.and Shut Up and More Thoughts and Prayers, and Shut Up. These two posts, the second featuring direct quotes from Mrs. Kelsey and her gang, illustrate the complete disregard she and the movement have for adoptees and our rights—as well as their total lack of comprehension of how her baby box crusade adversely affects the adoptee rights movement. Here are two examples of Kelsey- comments about adoptee critics, but please go over and read the whole blog:
They said that these kids are entitled to their medical …their medical information. And this is the part that really frosts my tail. This frosts my tail when they even bring this up because as an adoptee. I would rather have my life than know who my parents are. Same thing with a baby being placed in a baby box. I can guarantee you 100% that these babies would rather have their life than know their medical history. Your argument is absurd.
It’s like you know, I look at my life and I think I would rather have my life and know who my parents are right I mean how can we argue this I mean how can this person come out, and somebody that’s been abandoned that’s been in this position, and say, Well, you know, you might feel really really bad that your birth mom, you know, abandoned you and placed you in this cold box in the sight of a firehouse it’s like, lady….
Mrs. Kelsey sees baby boxes as a way to “save babies” without any proof that a baby has been “saved” from anything worse than a standard adoption—or remaining within their own biological family. Of course, box cases do not reflect murder-intentioned moms, but moms (and some dads) caught up in bad mojo. What murderous moms leave notes with their abandoned babies? What murderous moms chat up Mrs. Kelsey after the abandonment to check on the child’s welfare or strike up personal relationships with her? What murderous moms go into open adoptions or take up volunteer work with SHBB Inc. after they’ve left the inconvenient infant in a box? Yet Mrs. Kelsey constantly double-speaks these “dangerous” but “loving” mothers to the public, thanking them for “saving the lives of their babies” by tossing them in her box, not the nearest dumpster.
Two years ago set I up a Stop Safe Haven BabyBoxes Facebook page. Here is what SHBB board member/hotline coordinator/counselor, and prominent evangelical “sex educator” and purity teacher Pam Stenzel (aka “The Sex Lady,” also adopted) posted on it shortly after its launch:
Here is a comment from Kevin Albin, an Ohio adoptee and SHBB’s social media director:
Cathie Humbarger, retired long-time director of Northeast Indiana Right to Life and founder and current director of Reprotection—an organization dedicated to running women’s clinics out of business through legal harassment—also posted. In her spare time she’s the SHBB lobbyist:
I did not block any of them or their friends who posted on my site. They went away on their own. Too bad. It’s sorta fun when haters go public, especially when they aren’t accustomed to pushback.
SHBB, admittedly, has a small fanbase of adoptees who support the organization. None of them have any connection to the adoptee rights movement or appear to know that it exists. They are perfectly happy to live an unequal life, since, as Mrs. Stenzel likes to say, “I will meet my birthmother in heaven.”
Adoptee opposition to baby boxes remains unacknowledged within the SHBB Inc happy bubble. It is easier and politically acceptable to attack the Ohio and Indiana Departments of Health and Chris Hicks and his one-man truth-reaping machine than to seriously acknowledge that adopted people as a class, oppose Safe Haven Baby Boxes, the movement, the organization, and its misguided, often well-intentioned allies. It is easier to dismiss objections to baby boxes from government institutions or officials or politicians or professional organization “stakeholders, or someone they can label a “crank” than to face an army of adopted people –the very people they claim to represent in some weird way–who reject their baby dumping program as politically and personally anti-adoptee. It is easier to spew out adoptee/adoption mythology than to face the fact that adoption is a corrupt broken social experiment that disrupts the lives of millions of people, disenfranchises adoptees from their families, histories, and identities, and abrogates civil rights. It is more expedient to buttress the rot than bury it. And adoptees be damned! See, they don’t get it. We don’t want to create more adoptees
It will certainly be interesting to see the reaction of the poodle-trotted boxed babies when they come of age and figure out the bamboozle. And the reaction of their creators. What will that be?