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.

 

Concerning Jack Ryan’s Wedding Announcement in The New York Times and His Mother Carol Schaefer

In defense of my friend, Carol Schaefer, who wrote this article today on Huffington Post: “The Right to Love: Two Social Movements Converge on One Family”, I wrote the following Letter to the New York Times.

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To: Society@nytimes.com
Cc: editor@nytimes.com

Dear Editor:

To deny Jack Ryan’s mother , Carol Schaefer, who gave birth to her son in 1966, the joy, respect and dignity of being named as his mother alongside of the parents who raised him is to, again, slap her with the stigma of being “an unwed mother” the way she was so many decades ago.

New York Times: Your high society newspaper has chosen not to publish the names of the two people “who did the dirty” and who “had” to give up the baby to avoid being disgraced for life. Your staff has just reinforced those old stereotypes.

The shame now is on the editor and publisher and all the staff of the New York Times for disrespecting Jack Ryan’s mother and his father – the very two people who gave him life. Yet, come Mother’s Day, you will publish sentimental words honoring “all” mothers. It appears that only legal mothers are honored by your paper.

You have robbed Carol Schaefer of a once-in-a-lifetime event — of being named in your extremely-prestigious newspaper for the honor that belongs to her. Just because The New York Times is decades behind the times, does not mean we all are.

Joan M Wheeler, born as Doris M Sippel
Reunited Adoptee since 1974, Reform activist

If you think more positively you may find happiness

Earlier this morning, a dear older friend of mine slipped a note in my hand, saying that she had to leave church early but wanted to give me the note after reading the introductory papers to my memoir that I gave her last week.

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After reading her note, I wrote her the following letter:

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January 4, 2015

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Hi L,

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Thank you for your sweet note.

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Please continue to call me “Joan” since that is how you know me! “Doris” is the name I had at birth, and I use it to make the point that all adoptees lose the name they were given at birth. I know it confused you, for that, I am sorry. My legal name, Joan, has been the name I’ve had for 58 of my 59 years of life.

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Thank you for expressing condolences for my plight in life.

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However, I’m not bitter. I’m bitter for what happened to me, but I am neither angry nor bitter now. My writings express it to get the points across, but no, I am quite happy.

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In the last 4 years, I’ve been the happiest I’ve ever been because I no longer have to interact with hateful relatives. The last two of my parents died in 2011 and with that came relief – relief that their suffering was over, and relief that the negativity of the relatives associated with my adoptive mother and with my natural father was over for me. I no longer am forced to deal with people who have been cruel to me.

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There are positive relatives whom I miss, some I let go because I don’t want to interact with the rest of the relatives, and others are still in my life. Believe me, there are adoptive relatives who have never treated me cruelly, and there are a few cousins from my natural mother’s family who also have not treated me with cruelty.

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I surround myself with positive people. I have good friends at church, at the YMCA where I exercise daily, and at various live music venues where my musician friends perform.

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So, the papers I gave you explaining my life were meant to share with you why I joined the United Nations Envoy Team – where you and I met last year. With my knowledge, I want to join forces with existing programs to help make the world a better place for women and children, particularly poor women and poor children, especially women persecuted for giving birth to illegitimate children, and widows and orphans. I want to stop the trafficking of poor children in international adoption and to protect our own vulnerable pregnant women and their children.

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Yes, I’ve lived through unbearable trauma. But being in touch with adoptees worldwide through email and Facebook on the Internet, and with mothers (and fathers) who lost their children to adoption, I am contributing to make the world a better place. I am living our UU Principles of social justice! Networking with others to foster understanding of what each of us (adoptees and parents of loss) has lived through is energizing for me. We create legislation to change laws statewide, and we write books, we appear on TV and radio to talk about our lives with the goal of raising awareness of the realities of adoption. So you see, I am not alone in writing about my life.

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Yes, I do see the truth in your statement: “Who knows, behind every turn, life holds treasures that you can’t foresee at the present.” In what you perceive as bitterness in my papers on my life, please keep in mind that writing these specific pieces: “About the Author” and “About the Book”, are meant to be brief highlights of what my memoir is about and a short bit of what happened to me. It all happened in the past – being transferred from one family to another, I lost my family, and my name at birth and my true birth certificate.  Yes, the first years of reunion were filled with confusion and anxiety for me. But please do not believe I am not happy today. I am. It makes me happy to explain my life so that no other child – no other person – has to go through what I did. There are lessons to be learned – that is why I wrote my memoir. And as I said, it is currently being professionally edited and formatted and will be re-published this year.

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It’s amusing to me that you think I don’t accept the things I cannot change. See, I have been the only one doing just that: accepting all of my life. It is the rest of the people in my families (adoptive and natural) who have not dealt with the realities that created the trauma of all of our lives where my adoption is concerned. It is also the general public who does not want to hear the realities of adoption; they’d rather believe in the myths of adoption.

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It makes me happy to do the things I do. While you may not realize this, I am one of the pioneers in the field of adoption reform. I’ve been writing about adoption since 1975. I am one of about 500 to 1,000 activists around America and thousands throughout the world.

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It may seem to you that I am not happy since my story is tragic. I am, in fact, very happy inside myself, knowing that I am trying to change what I can to make this a better world.

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Blessed Be,

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Joan

They Deserve Your Baby

legitimatebastard:

And, this is Boxing Day, hurry up! Sale prices close at midnight!

Originally posted on elle cuardaigh:

handing_over_baby_small

To wrap up #FlipTheScript for National Adoption Awareness Month (also called Gimme A Baby Month) I would like to discuss the unfairness of everything. I’m talking to anyone in their childbearing years who is capable of creating a baby:

Why haven’t you? More specifically, why haven’t you made a baby for someone else?

All those empty cradles and empty arms! Couples desperate for an infant, holding fundraisers to pay the dubious legal fees, begging for “their” baby to come home. How can you let them suffer? How can you in good conscience keep your latest newborn (how many do you have: two? three? are you in competition with the Duggars?) knowing infertile couples are suffering? They want your baby! They need your baby! They deserve your baby!

They are obviously better than you. They have more money. They would love your child more. They would give your child more…

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The Most Unethical Adoption Agency in the State of Ohio

legitimatebastard:

This is a very valuable blog post on the actions of the Director of Adoption By Gentle Care Agency, Trina Saunders, in her treatment of the natural mother, Carrie Stearns, and her son, Camden. Read on about an unethical adoption.

Originally posted on Musings of a Birthmom:

I am continually baffled by how the director of an adoption agency can get away with behaving herself in the manner of a 12 year old school yard bully and still keep her job. Yes, we’re back to Trina Saunders and Adoption by Gentle Care and how they are handling Carri Stearn’s case in regards to her son, Camden. Trina has, once again, taken it upon herself to “make fun” of Carri in regards to future court hearings by changing her name on Twitter to “Flip Flops!”

trina

At first glance one may not know what she is referring to or what it is about. Trina has continually brought up Claudia D’Arcy Corrigan  in court proceedings and Carri’s relationship with her. In particular, Trina takes issue with Claudia’s blog, Musings of the Lame, and how she has publicly exposed the agency for what they are. (It is this very reason that…

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