BraveLove.Org – Another Front for Adoption Profits

Adoption propaganda beware!

Bravelove Funneling More Adoption Mis-Information Your Way. Beware!

Just in time for National Adoption Awareness Month, we have another expose of the connections between seemingly “innocent” adoption promotions and the money.

How lovely! A new press Releases announces the début of BraveLove.org:

BraveLove Launches Movement To Increase Domestic Adoption

The mission of BraveLove is to provide honest, informative and hopeful communication about domestic adoption. BraveLove wants to change how people think about adoption by conveying how courageous it is for a woman to place her child with a loving, adoptive family. Ultimately, BraveLove wants to witness an increase in domestic adoptions.

“We are very excited to see our vision come to life and to spread our message of love and courage,” said Ellen Porter, founder of BraveLove, who has adopted two children herself.

My spider senses are tingling. Of course I always mistrust these places that claim to “provide honest, informative and hopeful communication” and then have a clearly pro-adoption agenda. Plus this one is in Texas, home of the mighty Gladney Center for Adoption.

Time to do some digging. Who do YOU think is behind BraveLove.org? Let’s go on a little trip to reality. I’ll take you with me!

Our first step is do a quick peek on WhoIs is to see who IS behind the website;

  • Registrant Email:baxter@underwoodmail.com
  • Admin ID:CR100929133
  • Admin Name: Baxter Underwood
  • Admin Organization: Clapham Capital
  • Admin Street1:2527 Fairmount
  • Admin Street2:
  • Admin Street3:
  • Admin City: Dallas
  • Admin State/Province: Texas
  • Admin Postal Code:75201
  • Admin Country: US
  • Admin Phone: +1.2149260285

So the organization “behind” Bravelove is Chapham Capital? What could they be?

An Investment Group Behind Bravelove’s Adoption Awareness?

Surprise! They are an investment group! Why could an investment group be backing  a new grassroots type imitative to promote the relinquishment of babies to adoption? Oh, because:

“Clapham is always on the lookout for high quality assets that can be purchased at a fair price relative to intrinsic value. The firm is not “transactional” in nature, but instead underwrites acquisitions opportunities for long-term investment.”

They are a relatively new company and seems like there are not too many folks there besides our Baxter Underwood.

“Active officers include Baxter Underwood. Clapham Capital, LLC filed as a Domestic Limited Liability Company (LLC) on Friday, February 11, 2011″

A  Bit more digging, this time on Manta: Clapham Capital in Dallas, TX is a private company which is listed under investors (unclassified). Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of $92,000 and employs a staff of 2.

There’s not much more on Baxter himself.   So back to BraveLove. Who is Behind this!

The BraveLove.org Board of Directors

I love digging. Here’s a nice neighborhood promo that gives us the names and faces behind this newest batch of adoption misinformation.

Board of BraveLove.org Pushing Adoption BS

Pictured here (from left to right): Eliot Kerlin, Frank Garrott, Ellen Porter, Mary Jayne Fogerty, Marissa Cope and Jonathan Harper. Don’t they look so cute in their matching t-shirts!

So let’s see who these people behind BraveLove.org are!

  • Ellen Porter: Oh look. Ellen Porter, who is the founder of BraveLove has two children adopted form Galdney Center for Adoption and is listed as a reference!
  • Eliot Kerlin: Interesting , he is a Partner at Insight Equity
  • Frank Garrott: Frank Garrott joined the Gladney Center for Adoption as Chief Operating Officer in 2007. One year later he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, just the 8th person to lead Gladney throughout its illustrious 125 year history. Garrott had previously served nine years on Gladney’s Board, but his affiliation with Gladney dates back much further – to 1987 when he and his wife, Rebecca, adopted Phillip and four years later adopted their daughter, Hayden. They completed their family in 1993 with the arrival of their biological son, Sam.
  • Mary Jayne Fogerty: is the  Executive Director of Dallas Pregnancy Resource Centers (DPRC)  which is Right to Life based
  • Marissa Cope: Is a blogger at MashaGarbage. She’s 29 and was adopted at birth. Is pro-life and has no desire to find her original family per her adoption story. She is also the Director of Marketing, Research and Communications at Heroic Media. Guess what they are? Prolife Adoption pushers!  “Heroic Media is an international faith-based non-profit that utilizes media to connect women with hopeful alternatives to abortion and build a culture of Life.”
  • Jonathan Harper: Is a bit more underground, but oddly enough when I google him, the Chapman Capitol site comes up. Granted they do not list  who ar the peole behind this investment firm behind this adoption Mythology machine, but my SEO knowledge tells me that if Google is giving me a first page search result for this name, then there IS a connection somewhere.

Ok so let’s recap who Bravelove is. We have TWO investment connections, The PRESIDENT of the largest adoption agency in the county, the Executive Director of the Pro-life pregnancy funnel in Dallas, a grateful adoptee who knows marketing and is prolife and our founder, an adoptive mother beholden to Gladney for her children.

 ETD: Direct Connection Found Bravelove to Gladney

The Gladney Center for adoption is part of a new adoption education awareness projectBraveLove is a campaign that seeks to drastically increase adoption rates in the U.S. The mission of BraveLove is to change the perception of adoption through honest, informative, and hopeful communication conveying the heroism and  positive choice that a birthmother displays in placing her child with a loving family for adoption.

Also to note, it has been discovered ( Hat’s off to Leenburke at Out of the First Mom Closet ) that Bravelove.org has taken down the line about increasing adoptions from their mission statement, however, we now have their intentions documented twice.  They want more babies, folks.

So why is this so bad?

Let’s look at what BraveLove says.

  • NEARLY 3 OUT OF EVERY 4 ADOPTED CHILDREN AGES 0-5 ARE READ TO OR SANG TO EVERY DAY
  • 9 OUT OF EVERY 10 ADOPTIVE COUPLES SAID THE RELATIONSHIP THEY SHARE WITH THEIR ADOPTED CHILD IS “VERY CLOSE”
  • 90% OF ADOPTED CHILDREN AGES 5 AND OLDER HAVE POSITIVE FEELINGS ABOUT THEIR ADOPTION
  • 9 OUT OF EVERY 10 PEOPLE SAID THEY WOULD “DEFINITELY” MAKE THE SAME DECISION TO ADOPT AGAIN
  • OVER 50% OF ALL ADOPTED CHILDREN EAT DINNER WITH THEIR FAMILIES AT LEAST SIX DAYS PER WEEK
  • 100% OF ALL BIRTHMOTHERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE THE AMOUNT OF OPENNESS IN THE ADOPTIVE RELATIONSHIP
  • 9 OUT OF EVERY 10 PEOPLE SAID THEY WOULD “DEFINITELY” MAKE THE SAME DECISION TO ADOPT AGAIN

The Source for all Bravelove’s “Adoption Statistics are : Adoption USA: A Chartbook Based on the 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents

So Bravelove only asked ADOPTIVE PARENTS. I wonder how they made such blanket statements about what their adopted persons feel? How close they think their relationships are? I love the way they make it sound that 9 out of 10 would “do it again”   as if birthmothers and adoptees would have the same responses! And don’t even get me started on  the 100% of Birthmothers have the RIGHT to choose the openness? OK they might have the right to CHOOSE, but that does not mean that that choice is HONORED. How many moms had Gladney Adoptions that have closed???

Bravelove Guilty of Spreading Adoption Propaganda or Innocent? You Decide

As a final though. Lets read the words from this interview with  the Frank Garrott President and Chief Executive Officer of Gladney and Bravelove Board member.

Q: What’s Gladney’s biggest challenge today?

A: Growth in a flat to declining market. Domestic infant adoption continues to shrink overall. On the international side, countries shut down or slow down adoption and we have to contend with the volatility. But we believe tough times create opportunity. We have a game plan and the will and capability to see it through.

Q: How does Gladney set itself apart from others in the field ?

We are working hard to lead our field toward greater collaboration and away from the mindset that we need to view each other as competitors. We believe that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Q: What are the trends in domestic infant adoption?

A: More and more young women are choosing to be single parents. Combined with those choosing the abortion option, that leaves less than 2% who decide to place their baby for adoption. We have to do a better job of educating the public that adoption is a wonderful option.

Oh, you mean like this with BraveLove?

I’ll let you make your own determination whether Bravelove.org is actually ethical or not. Let me know what you think in the comments.

I rest my case.

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About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine, Adopt-a-tude.com, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

21 Comments on "BraveLove.Org – Another Front for Adoption Profits"

  1. GAG! that is horrible on so many levels!!!

  2. What the FAH-QUA!!?!!! Everything else aside for a moment, that video is gagworthy for a number of reasons.

    The fact that the narrative is in a child’s voice is awful. It plays on an expectant mother’s hopes that adoption is what’s best for their baby. The company seems to be speaking for adoptees and what they want by making the narrator a child.

    Not only are mothers supposed to feel selfless for giving away their babies, but now they’re also SUPERHEROES?!?! Funny, I don’t feel so heroic. I’ve never asked my uterus, but I don’t think it feels like a superhero either.

    And… not all moms can be mothers? Not all mothers can be mom? But “maybe” mom and a mother will find each other and join hands…?? I wonder if we take the weird little kid running around in this video and replace him with a PAP speaking instead, how would it seem then? To me, if it was a PAP giving this little speech, it would smack of entitlement. It sounds like whining…it’s not fair!!!!! Blech.

    And this….”she can turn 9 months into a lifetime”…if the creepy jedi superhero kid added “of pain” on to that sentence it would be more accurate.

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  4. *made a grammar mistake, the perfectionist in me couldn’t let it stand so I edited it*

    Oh man, their facebook page is a sight to behold. They have a fill in the blank post on there that says “Adoption is…”, so tempted to write something besides “a gift” “a blessing” “an act of selflessness” ugh!

  5. 1. Why doesn’t it ever occur to these people that the reason there are so few children available for adoption is because most mothers don’t want to give their children up?

    2.So because Adoptive Parents would adopt again that makes adoption a good thing? The scary part is most people accept this and don’t realize how skewed of a perspective they are getting, that the first mother and adoptee voices are missing.

    3. I don’t believe that most adopted children ages 5 and over are able to be fully honest about their feelings about being adopted. They have already been ‘rejected’ by their natural parents and are often reluctant to say anything that might cause an abandonment by their adoptive parents.

    4.Could they make children any more of a commodity?

  6. Let’s all fill in the blanks on their page with how we really feel about adoption. They asked! First I have to get over my nauseated feeling after watching their video.

    • I couldn’t hold back and did fill in their blank. Even though I gave my son up 14 years ago, I’m just in the beginning stages of dealing with my anger. It’s probably not the best use of my voice to comment on their page but it still feels damn good to say something kwim?

    • Oh I did that while I was digging.. could not help myself!

  7. Okay, just went to their site to give them my input and discovered they have started a BraveLove Club in a high school to promote the organization. I am so angry about this that I can’t even begin to come up with appropriate words. Talk about grooming prospective baby bearers to their philosophies!

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  9. I could have sworn that yesterday their mission was “to increase domestic adoptions.” Today it is “to show how adoption is an amazing act of love and courage.”

    Way to go PR people.

  10. Nice sleuthing to find this is just another Gladney offshoot. No shock there. I hate the name especially. If I had had “bravelove” I would have walked out of the hospital with my baby no matter what anyone said and that would have been the end of it. That would have shown courage, not “giving up” as I finally did.

    • I agree with you 100%! If I truly had been “strong” and “brave” I would have left the hospital last year with my daughter still in my arms.

  11. This bit from the Press Release shows who really *are* most important in adoption:

    “Yet the number of families able to benefit from domestic adoption isn’t nearly as large as it could be. Currently in the U.S., only 2 percent of women with unplanned pregnancies consider adoption according to the National Council for Adoption. BraveLove, a new Dallas-based movement, is dedicated to growing that number by encouraging young women to consider adoption when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Since adoption is rarely considered, many families interested in adopting a child have to do so from another country”

    At least they are honest about admitting it is all about supply and demand.

  12. “…Since adoption is rarely considered, many families interested in adopting a child have to do so from another country”

    Not so. Families interested in adopting are free to adopt from foster care, but choose not to do so.

  13. The not all moms can be mothers thing irritates me to NO end. What a friggin insulting thing to say. Not all mothers are ready to be parents. But once you give birth, you’re always a mother.

  14. Also-her adoption story? Gag me. I can’t stand it when people say “Oh I’m so grateful to my birth family…but oh, I don’t give a crap if I ever meet them.” If you’re oh so grateful don’t you feel even a slight obligation to seek them out and let them know you’re okay?!

  15. I’m so sad to hear that you and so many others here have had painful adoption experiences. As someone who briefly worked for Gladney, I can tell you that I’ve never seen people so passionate about birthparents and their children. Their needs always came first. Pro-adoption groups do not have a goal of inducing mothers who would otherwise parent to give up their children, but they usually do want to “increase adoption” as an alternative to abortion.

    There are so many unique challenges and emotions that go along with every adoption–it really does take tremendous courage to make the choice to carry a child for nine months and then entrust him to someone else. I hope that as you heal you will come to see that, though you weren’t loved the way you should have been through this process, the vast majority of individuals working in adoption care deeply for people just like you. I certainly have nothing but respect for you and wish you all the best. And I really do believe that you are heroes.

    • Are you for real? Me, and every other adoptee and birth parent, wasn’t “loved the way you should have been through this process” and THAT is why we are complaining about unethical adoption practices and the life long grief and loss that is the foundation of ALL adoptions??
      Not even wasting my time responding to the rest of this insulting and dismissive comment. Keep readying, sweetcheeks.
      Oh and that that brave hero shit.. and shove it.

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