Friday, November 30, 2007
Lizard Chronicles today has a very important blog for all of us who value free speech, free thought, and political dissent: Democracy is a VERB.
As LC points out, "The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act" can affect all of us. Yes, adoptee rights activists, organizations, searchers,—and even bloggers--could be targeted as terrorists if this Draconian proposal passes. (It's now in the Senate; the House passed it nearly unanimously)
About 3 years ago in my own state, under the regime of evangelical Christian Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, "Ohio Homeland Security" threatened to prosecute professional adoption searchers and search angels (if they took reimbursement for their expenses) under an obscure and vague law (ORC 4749(3)(a)(9)) that limits adoption searches for “pay”to PIs, who incidentally usually don't like or know how to do them, and are more than happy to slog them off to people who do know how. With the state's apparent attempt to redefine privacy as protection from government intrusion and interference in private matters to the government's duty to protect people’s private communications and financial information (and coincidentally spy on you while they're protecting you), adopted persons are a prime target for scrutiny. I can hear the knock on the door now.
Please go over to Lizard Chronicles and read Democracy is a VERB and click on the links. Then act.
From Democracy Is Not a Verb:
Maybe you think it's as benign as the Patriot Act (which is not really benign at all) and that if you are an upstanding, tax-paying citizen, you have nothing to worry about. Think again. Think again, if you are passionate about anything - Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Pro- or Against the Iraq War, Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestinian, Pro Open Records... it doesn't matter. If you're passionate about it (whatever it is), you could be labeled an "enemy combatant." You or your sons, your daughters, your sisters, brothers, even your mothers or your fathers - all will be at risk if this bill passes.
Addendum: I want to clarify that Ohio Homeland Security did not initiate the investigation. It was brought by a so-called Search Angel on a mission to purify searching by removing paid, experienced professional searchers--who just happen also to advocate for records access. In snitch culture of course, this is perfectly acceptable. Turn in your competitor, your neighbor, your friend with absolutely no repercussion to yourself. In this case, the "Search Angel" shut down one of the few real outlets adopted persons and first families in Ohio have of reconnecting until records are reopened. All for her self-aggrandizement. The precedent for adoptees is scary.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Here is a truly stupid editorial from Saturday's Willoughby (Ohio) News Herald: Don't Open Up Adoption Records. While the sentiment certainly isn't new, I have no memory of ever reading anything this (excuse the pun) ill-conceived, ill-education, and plain ignorant on records access. Who wrote it? A high school intern?
There are so many things wrong with this editorial it's hard to know where to begin. The writer obviously knows nothing about how adoption operates in general, and in Ohio in particular. A 5-minute jaunt to Ohio Vital Records would have shown him or her that a substantial number of obcs are already unsealed in Ohio. (Pre-1964's are open without restriction; 1/1/1964-9/17/1996 are sealed but by court order; and anything after that date is available to adoptees 21 or older unless a bparent has placed a disclosure veto with the state. (Adoptive parents can access them for adoptees between the ages of 18-21 unless there's a veto)
But you need to read it for yourself, If I didn't know better I'd think this is a parody.
These are my favorite lines:
They suggest that the specter of birth parents being forced into unwanted relationships with grown children who have tracked them down doesn't occur. America should encourage this noble practice.
Apparently, then, the "editorial board" (and I use the term lightly) is suggesting that stalking birthparents to force them into "unwanted relationships" is a noble American practice. WWNCFAS? (What would the National Council for Adoption Say?)
November 23, 2007
Don't open up adoption records
Imagine being an adoptee and desperately wanting to know your birth mother. Someone who was adopted as a baby can grow into adulthood with a passion to have a relationship with their biological mother and father.
That has triggered the push to open adoption records in each state. Eight states now let adult adoptees have access to those records and they want Ohio and others to follow them.
But one size doesn't necessarily fit all situations.
Advocates for opening up records to adult adoptees say people should disregard the fear tactics for doing so. They suggest that the specter of birth parents being forced into unwanted relationships with grown children who have tracked them down doesn't occur. America should encourage this noble practice.
We don't believe this plan for open adoption records accomplishes that.
Both parties should consent to the release of information, which is the current practice.
The only records that should be opened up are health records of adoptees so that adoptive parents know all of the health information about their new child.
Maybe there is something about Willoughby that makes people stupid. Back in the mid-1970s Bastardette spent some time there. One night she and a friend got an $85 hotel room (quite pricey at the time) so they'd have a place to sit down and eat a pizza they'd just picked up. (Could I make this up?).
The News-Herald accepts comments, so feel free to post. As of this writing there are 6 up, but there should be more coming. I sent my own a few hours ago, but comments are monitored and it's Sunday....
PS Don't forget the Bad Binkies!
7085 Mentor Avenue
Willoughby, Ohio 44094
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The other day on BEST (the Bastard Nation list) we were discussing the erasure of "us" from "our" month when resident Bastard theologian Fr. Jack Sweely wrote:
> I saw a commercial last night for a new series to start soon on the
> Hallmark Channel. From what I gather it will highlight the warm fuzzies of
> adoption one story per week compete with the gurgling Gerber Baby and amom
> who "felt" her non-pregnancy pregnancy as she waited for "God's gift." My
> guess is this series will be about as close to representing the reality of
> adoption as is the Easter Bunnie representing Easter.
Now, not to mix holidays (or is that metaphors?), but resident bmom poet and sometime lyricist, Mary Ann Cohen responded that our month simply needed a theme song to get us rolling, and proceeded to furnish us with one--gratis. And a highly appropriate one it is, in view of Britvan's attack on adoptees
(To the tune of "Peter Cottontail")
Here comes Lawyer Rottentail
Hopping down the Bastard trail
Hippity Hoppity 'doption's on its way
Selling every girl and boy
To folks who can pay with joy
Money back if your kid grows up gay.
There's a brand new name for Johnny
A new ethnic group for Sue
And their OBC is sealed so tight
That they'll never have a clue! Oh....
Here comes Lawyer Rottentail
Hopping down the Bastard trail
Hippity Hoppity 'doption's on its way
Every kid's a grateful soul
Fits right into his new role
Never, ever asks from whence he came
There's a picket fence and pony,
And the sky is always blue
God drops babies down from Heaven
We SWEAR that this is true! Oh.....
Here comes Lawyer Rottentail
Hopping down the Bastard trail
Hippity Hoppity 'doption's on its way
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Here is an adoption plan even Bastardette can support!
ADOPT A PENGUIN!
What's really good about this is that the penguin you adopt will have more information about him or herself than a lot of bastards--including you!
Each penguin adoption comes with a cuddly penguin plush toy, beautiful penguin photo, a fact sheet chock-full of fascinating information about these amazing birds and a personalized Certificate of Adoption.
Adopt a penguin, Then write your local politicians and demand the same rights as Mumble!
Sleeps with Bastard is a longtime friend and colleague of Bastardette. You'll be reading some amazing stuff from him involving addressing bastardy in a larger political and cultural context As he writes in his intro, About this blog:
The state of American politics, along with that of American culture, social structure, and yes, the practice of adoption, often can be tied back to one manifestation of that hum: a set of underlying assumptions about how the world works, assumptions that are often false but that ultimately serve to benefit some people and harm others.
This is an important blog!
I'm also happy to introduce to you Michael Allen Potter, one of the most articulate adoption writers in the field today. Old timers may remember his Who Am I? and Killing the Buddha, both of which now appears on his blog I Cartographer. I was just thinking of him the other day, and I suddenly found a note from him n my mailbox!
Both these men are exciting additions to the AdoptaBlogosphere and I urge you to link and read them regularly.
Monday, November 19, 2007
NOTE: I'll be adding new citations as they come in, so check back.
AdopteeAmy: Adoptee Foes vs Adoptee Friends
As someone who is denied access to her original birth certificate on the basis of her birth, I honestly can't tell you what I would do if I had that document in my hands. I couldn't tell you if I would make contact. Still no matter what, it is my right.
Baby Love Child: Adam Pertman, please shut up.
The crux of his argument was ’see, our RESEARCH shows, open records don’t hurt anybody’. NCFA will be more than glad to provide an ENDLESS parade of those ‘hurt by openness’, in response, I assure you.)...The crux of our argument is the demand that what the government robbed us of be restored as a means towards which we too, may become full participants in and equal members of society, not the second class citizenship we currently are relegated to by policies that hide misdeeds and benefit only people other than the directly affected.
BB Church's Fun House: Adoption as Melodrama, Pertman v Atwood
On general the media loves us when we tell sob stories. They encourage us to portray our lives as a freak show to entertain the masses. It's standard operating procedure for daytime talk shows like Maury Povich and Oprah and their ilk to exploit our tragedies, but it was the allegedly high-minded NPR that played us for melodrama today, with Atwood and Pertman as context and window dressing. They wanted our "stories", they didn't give a shit about our rights.
Bastard Granny Annie: An Adopted Woman Talks Back
The only way to accomplish this change is for the legislatures to repeal the antiquated sealed records section of their laws. Then we adoptees will once again be free to access the records of our birth. That’s all we are asking.
FOIA Blog: Should Adoption Records by Made Public?
I think it comes down to this--Is the interest of the adopted adult greater than the privacy interest of the birth parents. I don't know the answer to this, nor do I know the psychological effects on the parents or the child. My guess is that the states will continue to have mixed laws on this issue.
Just Enjoy Him: Riddle Me This
I can’t think of one legitimate, compelling reason. Why is this person treated as a second-class citizen because of the decisions of his/her parents to not raise him/her? It makes no sense to me. To me, the discussion should stop there. As it has been said before, people cannot be forced into having a relationship with others. There are laws for things like that, laws against harassment and laws against stalking. Why someone cannot have some pieces of paper that pertain to HIMSELF or HERSELF is simply beyond me. It does not require the person to talk to or meet his/her first parents. It doesn’t bind the first parents and his or her relinquished child(ren) in any way, shape or form. It is NOT about a relationship. Can that be any clearer? It is about records, and that is ALL that it’s about.
Musings of the Lame: NPR, the EBD, and Making Waves
The show was particularly annoying for the simple reason that once again, they spoke FOR us!! It would have been a heck of a lot better if they actually had an ADOPTEE on there! Or a Mother of adoption loss! Holy cow... could you imagine that?
Production, Not Reproduction: Why Open Records Still Matter in Open Adoption
Maintaining closed records perpetuates those stigmas and, in doing so, works against open adoption. Closed records play into the fiction that there is something shameful in adoptees' pasts, something which needs to be hidden away for everyone's protection. They reinforce the idea that first parents should disappear into the shadows after relinquishment if they know what's best for them and their child. They suggest to adoptive parents that the only way to be their child's real parent is to see themselves as replacements for the biological parents. Those are baneful ideas in open adoption.
Cud be moar dat teh nachural pplz members voicez wuz relegatd 2 call-in censord bits. Maybe next npr show will has sum voicez frum, i dunno, peeps liek bastard nashun or origins.
Also check out Talk of the Nation's blog for lots of comments.
If you know of any blogs or internet commentaries on the report or the NPR show let us know.
Here's a some commentaries (by state) in support of adoptee rights. These do not include news articles about the EBD report or articles on which I have already commented on below).
Anniston Star, November 16, 2007
Adopt This Plan--Give Them Access, Phillip Tutor, (Commentary Editor, adoptive dad)
It’s past time for this paradigm shift in our nation’s thinking about adoption and the rights of adoptees. Anything less perpetuates the stigma that’s unmercifully dogged adoptees for generations — a stigma that, slowly, diminishes with each passing decade.
Arizona (Flagstaff) Daily Sun, November 18, 2007
Adopees Deserve Open Birth Records, Letter from Kevan Taylor-Perry
The law claims "privacy" must be protected, but at what cost to adoptees? The adoptees are bound by a contract they never agreed to. Because of that, the adoptees lose their very identities. This is not justice in any sense of the word.
DesMoines Register, November 14, 2007
Help Adoptees Learn About Themselves, editorial
The practice of sealing adoption records dates to the 1930s and 1940s. It was justified as a way to protect adoptees from public record of "their illegitimacy" and safeguarding family information. But the lack of public disclosure has resulted in keeping information secret from adopted adults....More and more state lawmakers are realizing it's wrong to deny adults information about their identity and family history.
DesMoines Register, November 14, 2007
A Matter of Rights and Roots by Andie Dominick (adoptive mom)
The government should not stand in their way by keeping secret the document that links adoptees and their birth families. I can go to a government office and obtain my original birth certificate. But my daughter doesn't have that right, simply because she's adopted. And that's wrong.
Morristown Daily Record, November 19, 2007,
Letter: Birth Certificate is Their Right, Letter from Maryanne Cohen
The only piece of this that the state needs to be concerned with is allowing adopted adult citizens the same right that the rest of us have to request their original birth certificate: show ID, pay a small fee, and get it. What they do with the information contained therein is up to them and not to any agency or nanny state.
Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin, November 19, 2007
Guest Viewpoint: Adoptees Need Better Rightsm, by Holly Aiken (adoptee)
Adoptees and birth families who have served this country in many ways are denied the very basic and individual civil rights they defend that rightfully should belong to all of us.
Ada Evening News, November 20, 2007
Adoptees birth records should be open to them
The Donaldson report portrays adopted people as the only class of Americans not permitted to routinely obtain their birth certificates. Giving adult adoptees full access to their birth certificates is a step toward placing everyone connected with the adoptees on a level playing field without the stigma, shame or treatment they have experienced in the past...Oklahoma should join other states opening their birth records to adult adoptees. Give them a choice in learning more about their origins.
Two people, both over 21, walk into the county clerk's office and plunk down $13 to order a certified copy of their original birth certificate. Only one is able to obtain that piece of paper, which is so important not just for identification purposes, but to trace their ancestry. The other, who was adopted at birth, will get a revised document showing the names of his adoptive parents.There is no compelling reason to deny adults their original birth certificates, other than to continue a long tradition of secrecy -- borne of the shame that once was attached to unwed mothers. Those were the days when a pregnant woman often left town and returned after having given the child to 'a good family,' meaning a married couple.A comprehensive new study released last week for National Adoption Month, provides strong evidence that those myths no longer are valid. At the very least, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute's findings support changing state laws to allow adopted adults to obtain their original birth information.Illinois, like most states, keeps original birth certificates and most other adoption records sealed, including any genetic problems in the birth parents' family. That information is released only by court order. Only Alaska and Kansas have always allowed adults to see their original birth certificate. Six other states -- Alabama, Deleware, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee -- have re-established adopted adults' rights to direct access to their original birth record.Resistance to change has been strong, however. Critics say birth parents were assured confidentiality when they gave up their child, and that it's unfair to 'expose' them later on. That promise should expire when that child becomes an adult and entitled to the same rights as other adults. And why not? The Donaldson Institute found that in states that provide direct access to original birth certificates, the biological parents' lives were not ruined by revealing their names, and in fact many welcomed a meeting. Moreover, abortion rates did not rise and adoption rates did not fallJulie Tye, president of The Cradle adoption agency, said many biological mothers welcome the chance to see their adult child and know they made the right decision in giving him or her a chance for a better life. Each year, the agency acts as a go-between for about 30 birthmother reunions, including one for a mother in her 80's.
State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), an adoptee, four years ago sponsored the Illinois law that allows adoption agencies to search adoption birth records for medical information. "There was a time when you could go in and get a birth certificate over the counter, and you should be able to do so again," said Feigenholtz, referring to an earlier era before there were such restrictions. She was reunited with her birth mother in the late 1980's. She plans to introduce a bill early next year that gives all adults access to their birth record. "That's a pretty basic civil right."Times have changed. Adoption no longer is a hush-hush arrangement a woman makes to avoid the stigma of being an unwed mother. It's time Illinois law changed as well and stopped treating adopted adults like children.
Please go over to the site (link above) and add your own comments--or write a letter.
To the Editor:
David Bundy, CEO of the Florida Children’s Home Society claims that parents who place their children are guaranteed anonymity (Nov. 18). Under what authority does Mr. Bundy make this promise?
In the 30 year War Against Adoptees, the adoption industry has been force feeding this mythical promise to lawmakers and the public in an effort hide their own misdeeds. They have been unable, however, to present one single document or other evidence that shows these “guarantees.” Original birth records are sealed when an adoption is ordered, not when parental rights are terminated. If the child is not adopted, the birth records remain unsealed. During the relinquishment and adoption process, names and other identifying information about biological parents are often posted in legal ads in newspapers and appear on court documents given to adoptive parents.
The not-adopted need not justify why they want their vital records. They have a presumed right to their own birth certificates and can do with them what they please. All arguments for access, therefore, must flow from the presumed right of all adults to unrestricted access and possession of their true birth certificates, not just a majority class... The real issue is adoptees’ relation to the state. Who owns our identity: us or the state?Bastardette
Apparently Bundy believes the state.
Adopted persons and their families do not need the speechifying of David Bundy and his cronies. Get out of the business of supervising our lives, and get your own.
I obviously have problems with the report, but I've also got a problem with adoptacrats who write to newspapers, grinding their fangs because the beneficiaries of their hard work don't sufficiently appreciate their efforts to disengage us from our identities and rights. And first mothers....it's a wonder, at least according to these bullies, that the poor "vulnerable" dears answer their phones for fear of what BBB's (Bastards Behaving Badly) might do. After all, our moms (why don't these hacks ever mention dads?) were "promised anonymity." Did they sign the papers in invisible ink?
Anonymity? Bastardette must be dense. I thought it was all about "confidentiality" and "privacy" But then, since the advent of legalized baby dumping (what the adoption class nicely calls "Safe Haven laws") we've seen a conflation of these two Axis of Evil favorites with their new favorite "promise": anonymity. Or maybe these guys think they're all the same thing.
If you don't believe me, read the following excerpts.
Britvan wrote in Newsday under the title: Keep Limits on Adoption Records:
Regarding "Access to adoption records urged" [News, Nov. 12], when considering an adult adoptee's right to adoption records, it is important to do a balancing act between the adoptee and the birth parents, who may be seeking to maintain anonymity.and
The placement of children for adoption by birth parents who seek anonymity can be thwarted by an absolute open-record doctrineBundy writes in an oddly titled Orlando Sentinel commentary, Protect Birthmothers/Adoptees: (note: from what?)
While I sympathize with any member of the triad who initiates a search, we must remain sensitive to those women who found themselves unready or unable to parent a child and chose instead to place their children with loving adoptive families. To promise them anonymity during this vulnerable time only to break that promise years later is simply wrong.And it gets worse. Bundy brags :
For 105 years, Children's Home Society of Florida (CHS) has provided adoption services designed to respect all members of the adoption triad: the birth mother, the child and the adoptive parent, serving the best interests of each.BBB Commentor M. Paul responds aptly:
If mothers were promised anonymity from your agency, Mr. Bundy, then you lied to them. Your adoption enterprise has been operating unethically for 105 years. Shame on you.
I'll add: Perhaps these mothers should seek legal counsel and sue CHS for misrepresentation.
I suppose more of these professional shills will show up in the media in the following weeks. I'll try to keep you informed when they appear. Go to their letters and commentaries and talk back. Send letters to the editor. Post comments when you can. Take your blood pressure meds. Don't let these croooks get away saying they speak for you or your families!
LETTER TO NEWSDAY
To the Editor of Newsday:
How much flogging can a dead horse take? In “Keep Limits on Adoption Records”, (Nov. 18) adoption attorney Aaron Britvan continues his decades-long fight against adopted adults ungrateful enough to demand that the government unseal their birth records.
Britvan maintains that parents who relinquish their children for adoption are guaranteed “anonymity” from their own offspring. Britvan knows better. In nearly 30 years of The War Against Adoptees, Britvan and his adoption industry cronies have been unable to present one single document or other evidence that shows any such guarantee. Original birth records are sealed only when an adoption is ordered, not when parental rights are terminated. If the child is not adopted, the birth records remain unsealed. During the relinquishment and adoption process, names and other identifying information about biological parents are often posted in legal ads in newspapers (Britvan has likely posted them himself) and appear on court documents given to adoptive parents.
In 1996, Britvan along with the National Council for Adoption, Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice, The Tennessee Eagle Forum, The Family Research Council, The Tennessee Christian Coalition and other rightwing organizations were amici in a suit that challenged a newly enacted Tennessee law that opened original birth certificates to some Tennessee adoptees. The court rejected their arguments ruling that the opening of records did not violate constitutional rights to familial and reproductive privacy and privacy against disclosure to confidentiality of all information. That ruling was affirmed by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. (Doe v Sundquist).
The not-adopted need not justify why they want their vital records. They have a presumed right to their own birth certificates and can do with them what they please. All arguments for access, therefore, must flow from the presumed right of all adults to unrestricted access and possession of their true birth certificates, not just a majority class. Otherwise, the right of anyone to possess their own birth certificate is not a right but a favor the state grants to some. The real issue is adoptees’ relation to the state. Who owns our identity: us or the state?
Apparently Britvan believes the state.
Adopted persons and their families are tired of Aaron Britvan and his ilk claiming to speak for us. We are adults and quite capable of running our own lives without his supervision. Mr. Britvan should lay own his cat-o-nine-tails, bury his horse, and retire to the New York countryside to tend the bank account he’s built on the misery of others.
If privacy and confidentiality "promises" are dead defenses to keep adopted persons from their own information why in the world would the atoptocracy think "anonymity" would work? I can't wait for them to argue "promises of anonymity" before somebody who actually knows the law. As bastards move toward full citizenship and identity, the adoption industry grows desperate. May they soon anonymize themselves
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Monday the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute issued For the Records: Restoring a Right to Adult Adoptees, a “comprehensive study” on US adopted persons’ right to access their original birth certificates and other identifying information, a right systematically stripped from us during the McCarthy Era.
The report is a conservative document with nothing new for Bastards to chew on though newbies and the public may find it useful. It advocates “rights” but unfortunately continues to address sealed birth records as a “personal” not a class and political problem. It conflates the absolute right to acquire our own government- confiscated records and information with the personal desire of search, reunion, and “medical history.” These internal contradictions mitigate our rights while validating opposition arguments and deformer compromise “solutions” to OBC access.
That doesn’t mean the report gets it all wrong. Bastard Nation’s rights-based arguments for unrestricted access appear in the report. And we are certainly pleased that the Adoption Institute calls for the restoration of birth certificate access for all adult adoptees throughout the US. The report refutes dearly-held opposition lies that uppity ungrateful bastards with their selfish claims to rights and identity cause abortions and violate “privacy rights” of first parents, especially mothers. There are some useful stats. Most important, the report has generated substantial media interest. As of this writing there are over 230 Google News hits on the report, many of them linked to AP reporter David Crary’s article which went out on the wire Sunday night. Internet forums, chat rooms, email lists are buzzing; bloggers are blogging; and adopted persons are speaking up. If we act immediately, we can utilize this interest to expose state-facilitated identity stripping, the violation of adoptee civil rights by adoptacrats, social engineers, and politicians—and press for our records, especially in states with clean pending legislation.
I have seen no serious resonse to the report from the National Council for Adoption (only a weird comment on abortion rates in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), except for Tom Atwood’s Tuesday appearance on NPR’s Talk of the Nation with Adoption Institute director Adam Pertman. And what an aggravating show it was! It should have been billed The Battle of the Adopter Dads or The Battle of the Adoptacrats since both men are adopters who run “adoption advocacy organizations” opposed to each other philosophically, except when they are joined at the hip. Like when they want to shut up Masha Allen (Daily Bastardette, Nov. 29, 2005) or pull Who’s Your Daddy? (Daily Bastardette July 22, 2005) from the Fox lineup to “save adoption.” From what? Sexually abused dime-dropping pre-teen international adoptees? Pissed off, politically active adult adoptees? Reality TV?
Atwood (above left with Bastardette) got the vapors over “mandatory openness,” portraying adoptees as degenerate stalkers out to wreck the lives of “courageous birthparents.” He forgot to mention that NCFA was formed in 1980 by Texas oil money and private adoption businesses as a brass knuckle dragging trade lobby to keep original birth certificates sealed, first parents in the closet, and adopted adults and their identities state chattel.
Pertman (above right with Bastardette) wasn’t any better. Although the report contains no mention of compromises, as soon as Atwood hit him with bad case “reunion” scenarios, Pertman retreated with a laundry list of compromise alternatives, including contact vetoes (at least that’s what it sounded like in the muddle) to save first families from bastards behaving badly. Among his suggestions, of all things, was a national adoption reunion registry, a proposition scoffed at by even the most rabid Do-Bee deformer. I thought for a moment he was sticking it to Atwood since NCFA opposes a national registry but promotes state registries. Don’t ask! Adoptaphrenia is a hallmark of adoption. Putting the finishing touches on this blog, I re-played the show to see if I'd missed something. I didn't. The civil rights of adoptees was discussed as much as Exene Cervanka's influence on Amy Winehouse. (See Baby Love Child for an amazing reconstruction and analysis of the adopta-event: Adam Pertman, Please Shut Up!)
OF COURSE NOBODY ASKED US WHAT WE THOUGHT
To no one’s surprise adopted persons (and their first mothers and fathers who everybody pretends to care about) were banished to the children’s table. We were not invited on the show except as callers and internet commenters. Even adoptees that managed to get a word in were censored by producers. Cathy Robishaw, instrumental in this year’s overturn of Maine’s sealed records law, writes on the Internet forum AdoptedAdults.net that she was coached by a producer to discuss her personal story only. When she behaved badly, going off-script to discuss rights and ask Atwood why he feels compelled to speak in her name about hers, she was cut off. Ron Morgan was summarily dismissed by a producer who told him that there was a pile-up of calls from those who wanted to make similar points as he. Why sweat it anyway, BB Baby? Adoptee rights is a shoe-in according to the Talk of the Nation crack production team.
Proof = pudding. Most callers exhibited virulent adopteephobia as NPR demanded melo over rights. (See BB Church’s Funhouse: Adoption as Melodrama: Pertman v Atwood.)
IF IT SAVES JUST ONE!
The reaction of adoptacrats nationwide who fear autonomous adoptees as much as they fear the soup kitchen they’ll find themselves in when birth records are opened, has been quite amusing. Take Marlene Lao-Collins, an apparatchik for the New Jersey Catholic Conference who never met an adoptee whose picture doesn’t belong on the post office wall. According to the Crary article, Ms Lao-Collins claims that even though she has no data to support her “fact” that adoptee OBC ownership causes women to run to the neighborhood abortitorium to excise their dirty little secrets from the town gossip mill, “even if it happened once, that would be one too many.” Where have we heard that before?
Self-proclaimed Michigan Child & Family adoption expert Dawn Mead argues that it’s the government’s duty to protect people from getting their feelings hurt. (Can I prosecute my boyfriend when he tells me I need to lose weight?) She tells WLNS-TV News: “An adoptee can find their birth parents and the birth parents don’t want anything to do with them and then that child is devastated more than once” (Oh-oh! What’s the first devastation? The loving adoption option?)… “Even if there’s only a handful of them (reunions) and they become disastrous, that’s a handful we don’t need to have.”
Adoption hack Nancy Golden, official Confidential Intermediary for Illinois opines in the Chicago Tribune that letting adoptees obtain their information (without her $ervice$) will open a “Pandora’s Box”. (Note to Nancy: Read Penny Partridge’s Pandora’s Box poem.)
And remember the Washington State ACLU—the folks who told Bastard Nation 10 years ago that nobody over the age of 18 needs a birth certificate; that they’d support a bill that seals all birth certificates from their owners? According to W-ACLU spokesperson Bill Honig, “When parents gave their children for adoption under a promise that the name would not be disclosed, we believe that promise should be honored. Otherwise we think that people should have access to that information.” Huh? Bill, read Doe v Sundquist and check back with us.
And, don’t’ get Bastardette started on Freepers! Here’s my favorite (emphasis mine) (no direct link. Go to "blogs" and type in "adoption" for Crary article threat. This comment is on the last page) :
This is the left’s attempt to shut down the only viable alternative to abortion. Changing this policy/law would have a chilling effect on parents deciding to put their babies up for adoption. I’m an adoptive parent, and I was told pointedly that our daughter wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t the case. To all adopted children: Just thank God you weren’t hoovered out of your brave mother’s womb and get on with your life. It’s really, none of the child’s business. Sounds cruel, but as long as society welcomes abortion over adoption, that’s the deal. If public opinion shifts, and adoption becomes the ‘global warming’ type trend of the next few years, then you can contemplate changes.A MISSED OPPORTUNITY
I have been struck by the amount of anger exhibited on adoption forums, mail lists, and blogs about the NPR debacle, including the silencing of adoptees. The jumble of contradictions on the show, reflect the jumble of contradictions in the report.
For the Records: Restoring a Right to Adult Adoptees is a missed opportunity. The Adoption Institute could have argued birth certificate access strictly as a rights issue. While it is impossible to disregard personal issues such as “reunion” or "medical history," it could have dismissed these understandable and legitimate desires as irrelevant to the absolute legal right of everyone, including all adopted folks, if they want, to their own personal information without the interference of the nanny state. After all, no one (except the W-ACLU) seriously argues that the not-adopted don't have a perfect legal right to go down to the health department or vital stats, plunk down a few dollars and walk away with their birth certificate.
The ultimate question then is who benefits from these contradictions. Certainly not us! I believe that the Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institute and Adam Pertman are well-intentioned and capable of good work. We’ve seen it in the past. But like the National Council for Adoption and Tom Atwood they represent adoption industry interests. Neither are activist organizations and neither are interested in digging out adoption abuse at its root. One promotes policy tweaks; the other the status quo.
WE OWN IT!
This means it’s up to us to control what comes down. The unintended consequences of fuzzy thinking are obvious. Cut and paste a few phrases from a study; a few muddled public comments by “the professional adoption class” and we’ve got a big problem on our hands. Keep a clear and simple message without apology and we win. We’ve already proved that in Oregon, Alabama, New Hampshire, and Maine. Who’s Next? Your state?
DO NOT SHUT UP!
Do a Google search and check your hometown newspapers and TV stations for reports on the study. Hit the keyboards, faxes, and phones. Email comments, call reporters, send letters to the editor. Blog. Ask your media to cover adoptee rights with a local angle. Who knows adoption better than you? Offer your expertise to reporters and friendly legislators. Join Bastard Nation or other groups that support equal access with no restriction to birth certificates. Come to New Orleans with us next July for a Day of Adoptee Protest. Take back your records! Take back your identity!
The Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institute is holding a “strategy meeting” for adoptee rights advocates and wonks in New York in December. We know what wins and Bastard Nation will be there. BN will present a more detailed critique of the Adoption Institute report and the reaction to it, along with successful strategies for records restoration for that meeting. It will be posted on the BN website close to the date of the meeting.
Photos: Bastardette with Tom Atwood, May 2006, Alexandria, Virginia Bastardette with Adam Pertman, January 2005, Augusta Maine
BastardHazard: Fred Nicora
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Claudia must be extraordinarily strong and resilient--and the ultimate disappointment for the mini-me adopter who went all the way to Korea to "save" her. (And who in the hell let this nutter adopt?) Since she is still a minor and under the adopter/owner's thumb, there's not much we can do for Claudia but send her our support. We hope that she's not sent off to an indoctrination camp for bad bastards and transgressive females.
Our 18th birthday wish for you: run Claudia run! As far as you can! There's certainly a place for you in Bastard Nation
Please go over to Fetch Me My Axe (with links) and read the whole disgusting sordid story. Claudia is one of us!
Oh, and fuck you, Amy Contrada! You aren't!
For more information go to
Common Ground Common Sense
Pam's House Blend
Know Thy Neighbor.org
Friday, November 09, 2007
And is Barbara ever in grand company: Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson (The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944), Jonathan Gould (Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America), Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism), Milan Kundera (The Curtain: An Essay in Seven Parts); and Studs Terkel (Touch and Go: A Memoir).
Allow me to exclaim a great big WOW! Bastardette can only imagine how Barbara is taking this!
If you have not yet read The Baby Thief, DO IT NOW! Buy an extra copy for your local public or university library. Donate a copy to a nearby law school. Give them to your family and friends this holiday.
The Baby Thief makes sealed adoption records radio active! Use what's in the book to take back your records! This is our story!
(Photo by Bastardette. Fred Greenman and Barbara Raymond, AAC, March 2007)
Sunday, November 04, 2007
This is not The Onion. This is serious stuff. This is about "visioning" the baybee YOU want." Perhaps "visioning" a '68 Mustang or a Mediterranean villa will substitute for those of us who wish to remain baybeeless. Or in the case of bastards, their obcs.
If this were just about acquisional "visioning" I'd ignore it. Been there. Done that. But this site is weird. It sucks you in like an Orek infomercial.
Especially "What About the Birthmother" where we are told:
Remember this, your baby may come through another womb to get to you and your baby LOVES that womb and chose that women to bear them.
it is important to bless and honor the womb that brings you your baby...your baby sure does....
The babies tell me it is vital that someone who is waiting for adoption release completely all judgment of the woman whatever her reasons are.
MS REBECCA GIVES THE TERM 'DUMB BASTARD' A WHOLE NEW MEANING
Does this mean that bastards are like those people who drive all over Colorado for 3 hours looking for Pike's Peak rather than ask directions at the BP station? Do bastard baybees really float and bob in the ether looking for any old open womb to fly into that will eventually transport them to the white picket compound for which they were intended all along? After reading the Quicker Baby page I can almost forgive Rosie O'Donnell for her "god put you in the wrong tummy" remark. Its one thing for God to be distracted by Britney Spears or Iraq and stick baybees in a trailer park or The Maury Show. Quite another if bastards are so dumb that they can't go from from Point A to Point B without getting lost. It's all our fault.
And what to make of my family? My first mother "relinquished" me and later adopted 2 kids. I'm surprised any of us can pat our heads and rub our stomachs at the same time.
I can't remember reading an adoptablog or website this funny, intentional or not, for years. The comments following "What About the Birthmother" are even better than the original post, ranging from pure outrage to remarks like:
Saints Preserve us... Yet another religion...that of 'Womb Worship'!! What's next 'Kidney Worship', 'Liver Worship', 'Lung Worship' or maybe even 'Heart Worship'?? Honor/Worship 'Wombs'... what planet in the universe have you just arrived from? Wombtonia? (Sandy Young)
Someone has been eating some of those funny mushrooms or smoking something weird. Listen, you juiceless stick...I am not a womb...I am a MOTHER and a WOMAN!!!! (Paging System)
It makes me vomit to think of some creep "honoring" my womb. ( Leprechaun)
Perversely, we are not told to honor the penis.
It comforting to think that Ms Rebecca is on crack or a skit writer for SNL, but she's not. There are people out there who really think like this. Maybe it makes them feel better. I'm pretty sure neither of my moms did.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Well, I just got off the phone with the illustrious Don Mencarini up at the Kids-4-Less sales office. Don runs the Adoptions Support Unit at the SS in California. (Yes, interesting how Social Services has those initials, what? Why not, though? Do a web search for "Lebensborn"...) He's also the CI in my sibling contact nightmare. I decided to try and get some closure from my foolish participation in the new California Lame-O Law (Leno Law) for adoptee sibling contact. I asked Don if he bothered to tell my brother that I am also adopted and our birth mother didn't raise us. See, Don has been trying since July to get my brother to send in the Waiver of Rights to Confidentiality the state requires in this bullshit CI system. So he says. My brother has been saying he's sending it and never does. So I told Don, look, he was adopted when he was two and he's older than I. Maybe he thinks, "Mom KEPT him but not ME?! Fuck him! I'll just drag this out and see how HE likes feeling like this!" Well, no, Don never told him. What's more, he can't tell him because it will violate "confidentiality" even though they have my waiver. So, next week, I will get a written letter from Don telling me I'm fucked and my brother won't send the waiver. So, sorry, tough luck to you, Kevan! He also told me this has happened with another adoptee whose sibling said, "Fuck her/him!"
So, I strongly urge all of you reading this to never, ever trust the government in your search. I told Don it's pretty darkly comical how with all this "confidentiality", a private investigator can get me my brother's contact information within a day. For a price. Adoptees begin life victimized and we are victimized every step of the way. It's just one long theft by tyrants who keep telling us how much "better off" we are having been adopted. Oh? If that's so, how come I feel like shit having lost my brother a second time? Don says, "Well, maybe he'll send it in later..." Now why would anyone want to live on that Fantasy Island rerun?! Oh, yeah, maybe he'll send it in! What, am I supposed to applaud these assholes for this emotional hell?! I urge all of you reading this---do not let the State be your first contact with your sibling(s). Let my case be a warning. Just suck it up and pay a reputable PI and do this yourself. The State is not to be trusted. I am going to have to do the PI thing myself now and hope like hell that Don didn't poison the well with this ham-handed approach. "You have a sibling! No, can't tell ya anything about your sibling. You have to fill out a Waiver of Rights to Confidentiality first!" Yeah, boy, I bet that jerks the tears right out of their tear ducts!
Need I point out the moral and ethical outrages committed here? Isn't it self-evident? Well, the "truths" that were allegedly self-evident at the founding of this nation do not apply to adoptees. All men are NOT created equal. Some animals are more equal than others. We are mere chattel of the State, for the State to do with as it wishes. I get to lose my brother not once, but twice. Once at birth and now again through this CI system I stupidly, idiotically, thought might work. I hope Don is proud of himself. "Just following orders", must preserve confidentiality at ALL COSTS: So, he can't tell my brother the ONE thing that might make all the difference in reuniting us. I also hope Assemblyjerk Leno is proud of himself for creating this self-fulfilling failure. I suppose he can quaff his Zinfandel with pride knowing he has made himself feel SOOO good at the expense of so many. See, the CI cannot tell your sibling anything about you. Nothing. So will someone please explain to me how the fuck this CI for contact is supposed to work? It doesn't. And that is just the point they're wanting to arrive at. "See? Nobody wants contact! Closed records are fine!" Oh, Don did tell me how one contacted sibling was overcome with joy and they arranged contact and everything was as seen on TV. Sweet. Wish I had that. Don refuses to go the extra mile for me, though. Yeah, might fuck up a promotion. How do people like this sleep at night? Oh, well, I guess like all the other "just following orders" people through history slept: Like a baby. A baby not given up for adoption, mind you.
I was a fool. I thought a CI might work. And what a fool I was! They could not find my five paternal siblings. Yeah, got to lose them, too. The Non-Identifying Placebo the State sent me said, "You had one maternal brother. Blah, blah, You had five paternal siblings..." Notice that word? HAD. You HAD these brothers and sisters and you lost them, thanks to the State. Why? Because adoption is a racket. They are more than happy to tell you what you HAD and lost because it doesn't identify anyone you can then hopefully find. Yeah, I keep hearing ALL about what a tyranny Iran is. Well, Mahmoud Amahdinejad didn't deprive me of my brothers and sisters and my own identity and birth certificate. So Iran is not my enemy. They have done nothing to me. But this government continues to victimize me. Personally, I am amused by Iran's antics in telling our government to go fuck themselves. They took the words right out of my mouth.