Legislative Call for Action: State of Michigan, USA


From: Mary Foess,

Bonding by Blood, Unlimited, of Vassar, MI, founder and president since 1988


Thur, February 4, 2010

Dear Friends,

I became privy through an e-mail sent to me yesterday that two hearings have been scheduled by the Committee for Families and Children’s Services (House of Representatives) for these two bills:  House Bill # 4006 and House Bill # 4015. The chairperson for this committee is Rep. Mary Valentine. The sponsor of the bills is: House Representative Lesia Liss.

ASAP: Send your 1 page letter of support, preferably snailmail, to:

State Rep. Lesia Liss, House of Representatives, 792 H.O.B, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, Michigan 48909


On the envelope (I put this type of thing on both the front and back of the envelope), include:

ATTN: Chief of Staff: Elena P.

We have at least 2 weeks to compose a 1 page letter, one which will include at least 3 reasons why you support the release of an adopted adult’s original birth certificate, and any/all of your contact info printed in the letter, as well. I suggest that you put your cell phone # (or landline if you don’t have a mobile phone), an e-mail address, and any other contact information. I used to include a work phone before I carried a cell phone. I include my Web site card; I used to put in a color photo of myself, just to get their attention.

I cannot emphasize this enough: You do not have to be a ‘member’, or a person who has experienced adoption, or a parent who had to relinquish your child, a person who was adopted as a minor, or an adoptive parent, to be qualified to write a letter. Also, your issues could have taken place outside of Michigan, as mine did (Washington, DC). You may be a counselor, a preacher, a teacher, a psychologist, or even just a ‘mom or dad’. Our birth records (adoption files) and original birth certificates have been sealed in our state for over a 64-year-period, to my knowledge. Though a newer law was passed in about 1980, we still have people whose finalizations of adoption fall between the years re: approx. mid-1945 and mid-1980 such that they have had their files and original birth certificates sealed – – – forever. This is a 35-year period called, ‘The Sandwich Years’. For all the previous years, since certified birth records were recorded by our state, anyone’s original birth certificate was available! This practice of sealing our records and our OBC – Original Birth Certificate – – –  document is a recent phenomenon. It came on the heals of Freud’s Blank Slate Theory. The question I keep coming back to is this: WHY are our birth certificates sealed at all? This document is available to all other citizens…so why not us?

The legislator’s chief of staff, Elena P., told me that the birthparent letters are needed – – by a high number. They are still using the old, tired argument of the problems surrounding their claim that they made promises to birthparents that they’d have a lifetime of protection from this ‘said’ child that they relinquished. We have had to include a veto, so their claim holds no water. An issue of the AAC Decree had a good article which had a chart naming the main arguments they use against unsealing our records. It was posted in the form of a chart. Each claim or “red herring argument” was disproven by statistics, those well researched by either the AAC or other organizations. Another common practice which I’ve seen in states (and Ontario), ones which have successfully passed legislation for release of our original birth certificates, is posting the date this will take effect in newspapers and on the Internet. This is in reference to the release of the original birth certificate upon request of the ‘said’ person listed on it! The time period varies between the law’s passage and when the OBC will actually be issued.

More info:

The hearings are on March 17 and March 24, at 10:30 A.M. in: Room 326, 124 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing, Michigan

Since I had attended similar hearings there 2 years ago, I recall that there was seating in the lobby. We then went through some simple security screening before being allowed to ride the elevator upstairs. My childhood years’ memories include remembering this building as a big, Lansing hotel and restaurant on the ground level floor. It faced the capitol and was a ‘corner’ building (Michigan Ave. and Capitol Ave.) There is a parking ramp to the south, just off to a nearby side street which is the first one south of the Capitol (runs east and west, whereas Capitol Ave. runs north and south). I am driving to the hearings and have room for at least 3 adults. I will be leaving my home by 7:45 a.m., barring bad road conditions which could prevent me from going! Parking was a problem for me in 2008, but I managed….

The Fax # for Rep. Lesia Liss’s office is: 1-517-373-5910, in case you’d prefer to send your letter this way. She will be taking ALL the letters to the committee in a large, manila envelope or portfolio, then giving them to the members of this committee. Call me if you’d like a complete list of the committee members and all their contact information.

Thank You,

Mary L. Foess, 

Bonding by Blood, Unlimited, of Vassar, MI, founder and president since 1988

cell phone:  1-989-823-4013 E.T. zone

e-mail address: mlfoess@Gmail.com

Web site: http://www.ArmenianAncestryBook.com (you may get some writing ideas for your 3 points from viewing this Web site)

profession: elementary teacher

AAC, CUB, ORIGINS, Am-FOR, A.I.M. (Michigan), and Truths in Adoption Triad of Michigan member

CUB Statement: Haiti’s Children Best Served by Care, Not Removal

http://www.cubirthp arents.org/ haiti.html


SAN DIEGO, February 3, 2010 – Concerned United Birthparents (CUB) urges the governments of Haiti and the U.S. to stand strong against suggestions that the best way to help Haiti’s children is by removing them from their families, culture and homeland.

A national non-profit of birthparents, adoptees and adoptive parents, CUB shares the world’s concern for Haiti’s most vulnerable in the wake of the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010. But the 33-year-old non-profit says it has a unique understanding of how important it is to reject quick-fix solutions when it comes to a child’s life, especially in its time of greatest need.

“Years of working with family members who were separated by adoption have taught us that good intentions are not enough,” said CUB president Mary Lou Cullen. “The hasty transfer of traumatized children, many with family status unknown, to foreign shelters, foster care or adoption agencies, should not be tolerated. Haiti’s devastation should not be compounded by anything that inadvertently, or intentionally, contributes to the risk of family separation for any purpose.”

As the United Nations’ Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners – including the Haitian Government and the Red Cross – establish safe spaces for the hundreds of thousands of children separated from their families before and after the earthquake, and begin to register all unaccompanied minors, CUB urges the governments of the U.S. and Haiti to halt any further airlifts of children or any new adoptions.

In addition, CUB urges that any groups with clear or potential conflicts of interest – such as adoption agencies and ministries – be removed from the decision-making process about how best to serve Haiti’s children. Humanitarian policies should be applied on a case-by-case basis for those children whose legal adoption had already been approved, and were in the process of being adopted, with the support of the latest and best practices in the field. “But,” Cullen says, “all other pending adoptions should be immediately suspended.”

Haitians living in the U.S. should get help to locate their youngest relatives on the island, and the transfer of any children with documented parents or family members in the U.S. should be expedited, for temporary or permanent placement.

The recent arrest of an Idaho church group for transporting 33 Haitian children across Haiti’s border – without papers or approval – has drawn the world’s attention to what can happen when well-meaning but ill-informed forces swoop in to “help.”

MORE ABOUT CUB: Through a network of regional groups and an annual conference, CUB provides mutual support for the ongoing challenges of adoption – resources, referrals and a strong network – and works to educate the public about adoption issues and realities. It also assists adoption-separated relatives searching for family members, opposes unnecessary family separations and supports adoption reform in law and social policy.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a CUB representative, please contact Eileen Drennen at 800-822-2777, ext. 81, or send an email to vpmedia@cubirthpare nts.org.

http://www.cubirthp arents.org