Lauren Sabina Kneisly is a real Bastard, as “illegitimate” and buried under shame based records secrecy as the State could possibly manage.
She was born in the late 60’s in the mid-west and was adopted not long thereafter. Her original unaltered birth certificate was impounded (upon adoption) by the State and has remained under lock and key ever since. She has no knowledge of her family of origin.
Sabina, as her friends call her, wishes she didn’t have to adoption-blog. Unfortunately, the avalanche of secrecy, lies, and adoption industrial complex related corruption make acts of truth telling vital, thus, the noisy and unpleasant birth after many years of labour of “Baby Love Child,” the blog.
As truth tellings go, Baby Love Child lays no claim to a ‘universal experience,’ no, the rants herein are from Sabina’s perspective alone. That said, Sabina is far enough external to the industry, and the seats of power that it’s relatively ‘independent’ by comparison.
Baby Love Child, the blog, also has roots in exploring adoption and how it is deeply entwined with many social factors, particularly poverty. Many real life “love children” who are later adopted, are not ‘given up’ for lack of love, but for lack of resources. Many of those mislabeled “orphans” are in fact made available to the adoption process as a byproduct of grinding poverty, both domestic and global.
Diana Ross and the Supremes 1968 hit, “Love Child” spoke to that, and while there is no child in the song (just as there is no actual “baby” or “child” writing this blog) the lyrics addressed the fear that cycles of poverty and pregnancy can lead to. (Video here- just ignore the text across the bottom.)
M’s blog entry, “A Double History of the Supremes’ “Love Child”" articulately explores the heart of the song:
“Love Child” is a protest song in the same way “Blue Suede Shoes” was–a warning, or a plea, for someone to back off, in this case Diana Ross’s boyfriend. He’s pressuring her to have sex, and she wants to wait. 1968 was the year that the birth control pill, then on the market for eight years, was compared to the discovery of fire in terms of importance, but the sexual revolution wasn’t yet in full swing, and anyway the Supremes were essentially singing for kids (not a pejorative). More to the point, Diana Ross was singing as a kid–the narrative voice is clearly that of a teenager even if no ages are mentioned–a teenager telling her boyfriend why she won’t have sex with him–she will not get pregnant and continue the cycle of unwed, teenage motherhood.
Diana is also singing about something that Motown had previously used to less cutting ends: class. It came up sometimes, usually as a hurdle to be joyously overcome, as with Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight,” about “a poor man’s son” who wins the girl. The poverty in “Love Child” isn’t cute, though: It’s something you deal with because you have no choice, and something that, however successful you become, you never completely escape.
Finally, on perhaps a lighter note (or perhaps not) “Baby Love Child,” the blog, owes a great debt to Matt Groening and David Cohen’s “Futurama”, as Leela’s story, and specifically the episode “Leela’s Homeworld,” brought the plight of those adopted and whose origins are hidden from us to living rooms everywhere.
The intentional extension of the ending montage of the episode, (off air recorded tribute video here) to include more of the Pizzicato Five’s song “Baby Love Child” is given small tribute in the blog’s tagline:
I know you love me most,
no one else take my place.
2010 Update: There have been some significant changes in my life since this was first written back in 2007. No doubt I will eventually be blogging about them. Bear with me.
Sabina’s non-blogging real life defies description, but her general outlook and bits and pieces of her life’s work can be found on the “Biblical America Resistance Front” (Resisting The Biblical America) which she coauthors with her life partner, Mike Doughney. Mike also has his own blog, which touches on adoption entitled Sleeps with Bastard.
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