Today we welcome author Mirah Riben.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
Mirah Riben: I live in NJ with my cat, Sebastian. I have three grown kids and 3 grands.
Book ‘Em: Which books have you written?
Mirah Riben: Shedding light on…The Dark Side of Adoption (1988) and The Stork Market: America’s Multi Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry (2007)
Book ‘Em: What are they about and why did you choose to write them? Do your books have a message? Are they fiction or nonfiction?
Mirah Riben: Non-fiction; investigative journalism; exposes. Written with a mission to eliminate the corruption, coercion, commodification, and exploitation of adoption.
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
Mirah Riben: No, but when I do I pop off a Huffington Post. Just completed this one:
#MeToo: In the Wake of the Harvey Weinstein Scandal
Book ‘Em: What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?
Mirah Riben: When my second book was nearly done, I became very hyper and got into a severe bout of insomnia. I was very paranoid about it having something be wrong in print. It did!
Book ‘Em: What sort of research do you do for your work?
Mirah Riben: I mostly research online, carefully documenting sources of facts and quotes to back up my positions.
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?
Mirah Riben: I just finished re-reading my all-time favorites book, Catcher in the Rye after seeing the movie Rebel in the Rye about Salinger. It inspired me to work on my memoirs, again.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
Mirah Riben: Not until after I did!
Book ‘Em: would you say are your strengths as an author?
Mirah Riben: Speaking truth to power and writing what I am passionate about.
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
Mirah Riben: Not at all! I write when the passion drives me to write, often very late at night.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Mirah Riben: Maybe I’ll finish my memoirs someday…
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
Mirah Riben: Write what you know and care about. Journal.
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?
Mirah Riben: People have told me it changed their life.
Book ‘Em: Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.
“Child adoption is intended to be a means of providing care for orphans and children who are abandoned, abused, or neglected and need care by a non-family member. It is believed to be altruistic and humanitarian. It is believed to be a win-win that provides for the best interest of children.However, there is an enormous gulf between these ideals and the reality of adoption and reality. Today, adoption has become a supply and demand, consumer–driven, mega-billion-dollar industry that ignores the best interest of the child and the constitutional right to nurture one’s children, and instead caters to those willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a child. It’s a process that too often exploits, marginalizes, and demoralizes mothers and families in crisis. At its lowest level, this occurs by ads soliciting for babies in Penny Savers and on Craiglist (which restricts the selling of animals) alongside ads to buy and sell commodities such as cars and furniture.”
“This is the accepted notion of what adoption is.
Child Adoption and Parental Rights
“Adoption abounds with romanticized win-win myths, but the reality is that domestically, as well as internationally, adoption is a multi-billion dollar ($6.3 worldwide; $2-3 in the US annually), largely unregulated business of finding children for clients. To meet the demand, adoption practitioners frequently use unethical and quasi-legal tactics to procure infants from economically disadvantaged mothers. Tactics range from outright kidnapping to more subtle but effective “counseling” that reinforces the myth that the only way a less prosperous single mother can be a good mother is by giving her child to a more well off family. “Adoption, which in the past three decades has redistributed over a quarter of a million of the world’s children to the United States, is an integral component and manifestation of global violence against women.”
REVERSE ROBINHOODISM: Pitting Poor Against Affluent Women in the Adoption Industry