I’m sorry Ohio – Your adoptees are not granted full civil equal rights to non-adopted people

Here is an article on good news for Ohio adoptees:

New Law Allows Adoptees to Request Once-Sealed Birth Records

The article begins:

Their applications completed and notarized and the $20 fee paid, Ellaztre Barnett and more than 300 other adoptees left the Ohio Department of Health Vital Statistics Office and went home to await the mail.

And this

Now, adults adopted between 1964 and 1996 — the group that had been barred from obtaining their records — can request their files. Such records usually contain the adoptee’s original birth certificate.

Adults whose adoptions were finalized in Ohio before 1964 already had access. Those adopted on or after Sept. 18, 1996, can receive their files unless their birthparent asks to be excluded.

And this

“Nobody should have to beg or grovel to find out who they are,” she said. “This was like a pseudo witness-protection program.”

I should be happy for my fellow adoptees in Ohio, but I am not.

Perhaps it is because the last quote above really says it all. Adoptees are in a type of witness-protection program. However, we did not step forward, as adults, to witness in court and place ourselves in danger. We did not, therefore, need the government’s help to protect us from harm.

No. Instead, we were born and then adopted. No matter what the circumstances of our conceptions and births, we were stripped of our true identities by the process of adoption. We were given new identities, new birth certificates, and new families.

As a result, our actual birth certificates were sealed. We were issued new birth certificates which are our operable birth certificates now.

We cannot go back. Ever. Unless we have our sealed birth certificates returned to us in full certified fashion.

Even when these bitter-sweet happy adoptees in Ohio receive their sealed birth certificates in the mail, they will not have won the battle. Oh, they will have an uncertified copy of their record of birth, but they will still be bound by the second half of the law that changed their identity upon adoption. Their amended birth certificates are still their operable birth certificates. Their identities are still changed. And their sealed birth certificates are still sealed.

Why did I say that? Because they will be issued UNCERTIFIED copies of their sealed birth certificates, that’s why. That means that the government just releases a mere photo copy and not an officially certified birth certificate. To do so would mean that an adoptee would have two official certified birth certificates, and that, some say, would give adoptees the opportunity to commit fraud.

Commit fraud? By taking back our sealed identities?

The whole concept of identity theft of millions of infants and children for the sole purpose of being adopted makes my blood boil.

I realize that my comrades in Ohio are jumping for joy right now.

I am not jumping for joy. They will get a piece of paper that will give them information that they never had before. But that uncertified piece of paper is not an official recognition that the birth actually took place. These adoptees have won nothing but the right to own a piece of paper that has information written on it.

These adoptees still are not free to claim the name printed on their sealed birth certificate. They still are legally bound to the name on their  operable birth certificate – the amended birth certificate made after they were adopted.

If that is all they want, fine.

But I want more. I want a certified copy of my sealed birth certificate. The government took it away from me for no reason other than I was adopted at my age of one year and one week old. My birth certificate was changed three months later.

I want to know from these Ohio adoptees: what will your uncertified birth certificates look like? What words will be stamped across the front – “Not for Official Use” or ” For Genealogical Purpose Only” or “Pre-Adoption Birth Certificate” as is the case in other states that have passed adoptee-access laws.

How will you feel when you are confronted by those words on your birth certificate?

Is Ohio’s release of uncertified sealed birth certificates to adoptees a step in the right direction?

I am not so sure. While once I thought this would be a victory (and I happily supported other states in their push to pass access laws) I know the truth is that we will not have our full civil rights returned to us. That will only happen when adoptees are granted access to our full, certified, birth certificate that was sealed from us upon the finalization of our adoptions.

I’m sorry Ohio. Your adoptees are not granted full civil equal rights to non-adopted people.

 

 

 

AdoptionLand: From Orphans to Activists

legitimatebastard:

Congratulations, Daniel Ibn Zayd,on your inclusion in AdoptionLand: From Orphans to Activists. The editor, Michael Allen Potter, asked me to contribute. I didn’t. I was immersed in another project at the time. And I thought I should leave space for other adoptees to give their voices. I said that to Cryptic Omega recently. She thanked me. She now has a place in this intense and much-needed anthology. I am glad to see names of people I know, comrades in this journey of self-discovery, of frustration and determined social and legislative efforts to change the forces that made us who we are today. Congratulations all who contributed! Congratulations on the book re-launch today! https://www.facebook.com/events/1582385132006583

Originally posted on Daniel Ibn Zayd:

I am privileged and honored to be included in this anthology of adoptee voices from around the globe. Quoting from the book’s web site:

For the first time in adoption history, families of adoption-loss from all over the world unite, each sharing a unique perspective. The anthology’s contributors are emerging, educated, and established writers, promoting the right to original family.

Our anthology condenses the topic of adoption–a global movement of children–into a revealing look that identifies and acknowledges a crisis specific to orphans who have been torn and isolated from our first families.

Families separated-by-adoption face unique concerns, rarely recognized by the mainstream. Some of the issues we face include forced and coerced relinquishment, child trafficking, reassigned identities, falsified birth records, inaccessibility to one’s family lineage, lack of citizenship, void of cultural connection, belittling of the trauma caused by adoption, resistance toward reunions with family, denial against justice.

All humans—including…

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Introducing Identity Press and Their Call For Submissions

Introducing: Identity Presshttp://identity-press.com/

Identity Press is an independent publisher giving voice to orphans, bastards and adoptees through memoir and biography.

 

http://identity-press.com/call-for-submissions/

Call For Submissions

For our forthcoming book –

FORBIDDEN AND CREATED IDENTITIES:
Adoptees Speak Out on Sealed and Falsified Birth Certificates

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Identity Press will publish this book as a tool to educate the general public – especially policy makers – on the realities of the sealed and amended birth certificate problem in America and the world.
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Seeking 20 to 40 Adoptees (Domestic-USA and Intercountry) who are interested in publishing their views on how sealed and falsified birth certificates have affected them – including being denied a US Passport. Essays will be accompanied with each contributing adoptee’s scanned images of their Original Birth Certificate (certified or uncertified) and their Amended Birth Certificate, and Final Order of Adoption, if available.
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If you would like to participate in this project and you are an author, this will be good exposure.
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Deadline for Submissions: June 1, 2015
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Target Publication Date: October 2015 — Just in time for Adoption Awareness Month (November 2015), National Adoption Day and World Adoption Day.
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Please email us via the Contact Form to begin correspondence and to receive Submission Guidelines.

Birth Certificates for Adoptees and Donor Conceived Should Be Truthful


Jennifer Lahl, President of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, recently published an article, which is linked to here: Sex, Lies, and Birth Certificates,that addresses what we adoptees and donor-conceived individuals have been saying for decades, that

A birth certificate should record the name of the biological mother and biological father of the child, not the wishes of adults.

Hmmm. For 80 years in New York State, adoptees have been issued Amended Birth Certificates to replace our Actual Birth Certificates (notice I did not say “Original Birth Certificates – if we keep the language of the government policy makers, we are falling in line with them), changing our identity at birth, name at birth, and our parents of birth with our new name, new parents and sometimes a new birth place and birth date (time of birth is only recorded on the Actual Birth Certificate). At first, this was to hide illegitimacy, but this really was done to give the adopting parents the upper hand: they were now visibly, on paper, parents. Instead of creating a Certificate of Adoption, New York State (along with the rest of the United States) took the politically correct road to appease the sensibilities of the new adoptive parents. They were, and are still given a piece of paper that documents that they gave birth to the child named. This goes against logic. Everyone knows that this “birth” did not happen, so why are we all pretending?

How absolutely preposterously wrong!

In reality, a person is born only once. Everyone knows this. Yet the government creates these false birth certificates as a public show of political-correctness.

Adoptees’ Actual Birth Certificates are sealed and can never be unsealed. This is to benefit only the adults involved, not the child whose birth is recorded. Correction – this decision does not benefit the natural parents at all. This act wipes them off the legal record of birth. It is not enough for them to sign away their parental rights, but they are obliterated from the public record of birth.

In her article, Jennifer Lahl (writing about her state of California) states

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) authored Assembly Bill 1951, which amends the California Vital Records Birth Certificate law in order to “modernize” California birth certificates by allowing each parent to self-identify as mother, father, or simply “parent.”

Gomez said, “I authored this bill to say that it’s okay to have two mothers or fathers. I believe that parents do see themselves as a mother or a father and that they want to express that on their child’s birth certificate. We should give people the flexibility to accurately reflect their relationship with their child.”

We all know why this bill, which will become law next year, was written. It was to appease gay men and lesbian women who are creating children through sperm donation, egg donation and surrogacy, or by adoption.

If Assemblyman Gomez would take a long look at his own statements, he would realize how ridiculous they are. No one in their right mind would say to any child that you have two mothers because we wanted it that way, when, in school (and life), this will backfire. The child will learn the truth – that a baby is created by one egg, one sperm, and gestated in one uterus. It is definitely NOT okay to have two mothers or two fathers or parent one and parent two named on a certificate that is designed to record the child’s real birth, and not some politically correct mushy sentiment of the two legal and social parents.

What is right – and what would officially record the real truth –  is to have a birth certificate and then an adoption certificate. The adoption certificate not only would show the truth, but it would also serve to “accurately reflect their relationship with their child” – and on THIS document, then, two mothers or two fathers can be named as mother and mother, or father and father, or parent one and parent two. It is important to make the distinction between biological facts and legal facts. The legal parentage, in the case of adoption, also spells out the parents who will be raising the child – they are the social parents.

No one seems to understand what adoptees and donor-conceived people already know: we really DO have two sets of real parents. We really do have two mothers and two fathers; some of us actually were adopted more than once so we have another set of legal parents. One set of parents created us; we share our DNA with them. The other set raised us. We share our memories, daily life, and love with them. Some of us, though, were raised by adoptive parents who did not treat us with love, kindness nor respect, but we cannot get out of the adoption contract easily. And for most of us, we do have love for our genetic parents.

But society says we can have ONLY one set of parents. That is very clear by the new law that will take effect in California.

Not all angles have been discussed, nor planned for in the legal documentation of the splitting-hairs of parentage. There is the surrogate mother, who might be paid a fee and lying in a poor house in India, or she might be in a rich neighborhood in LA, making babies because pregnancy comes easy for her and she wants to be altruistic in making a baby for someone else. Her name, and that of the egg donor, and that of the sperm donor, belongs on the child’s birth certificate. If you doubt that, ask anyone who is the product of such arrangement. Think you want a baby so desperately that you are willing to burden your future child with this for her or his lifetime? What about future generations? Messing with human natural selection and human consequences will NOT be felt by the arranging parents. They will get what they want – the pleasure of parenting. But the child so produced will experience lifetime ramifications for the cavalier decisions made by those in charge.

 

Spotlighting the Center for Bioethics and Culture for Writing About Reproductive Technologies

Quoting from their About Page, here is information on The Center for Bioethics and Culture:

The Center for Bioethics and Culture (CBC) addresses bioethical issues that most profoundly affect our humanity, especially issues that arise in the lives of the most vulnerable among us. The CBC works through a variety of media platforms—documentary film, writing, speaking, interviews in mainstream media, and new media platforms.

 

I’m very interested in their work, particularly the ethics of Reproductive Technologies. As an adoptee, I emphasize with the donor-conceived because they were created from donated sperm or eggs, a rented uterus, and, like adoptees, are forbidden to know their donor-parents.

Here is a link to the Center’s publication:

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The more people know about this topic, the better.