ACTION ALERT! Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization

SOUTH DAKOTA –SB 152 – Unconditional Access to OBC’s   – Vote Yes

 

SB 152, a 100% unconditional open records bill, will be voted upon on the floor of the South Dakota Senate on Tuesday, February 16th.

 

Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization, urges everyone to write to the Senators of South Dakota immediately and ask them to vote YES on SB 152, which will give all adoptees equal rights.  SB 152 will allow any adoptee 18 years or older to obtain a copy of that person’s original birth certificate upon written application, with no conditions or restrictions.

 

SB 152 is sponsored by Senators Adelstein, Jerstad, and Merchant and Representatives Lederman, Feinstein, Lust, McLaughlin, and Sly

 

The bill was heard first by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The only change made in committee was omitting a contact preference form in the bill. It was felt that this form was not necessary to the bill. The Senate committee passed the bill with a vote of 4 to 2.

 

Help make 2010 the year South Dakota goes over the top! Please bombard the senators with your letters of rousing support!. You can read the bill at:

 

http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2010/Bill.aspx?File=SB152SHE.htm

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

 

South Dakota has made it very easy for everyone to write.

 

 http://legis.state.sd.us/email/LegislatorEmail.aspx?MemberID=30s:

 

Go here to get started:  Start out with first Senator on the list.  Put SB 152 in your email subject line. Write your letter or attach it, click Send, and then in the Drop Down Box, choose next Senator in line and click Send, etc…  It’s like an easy cut-&-paste arrangement. All you need is one letter.

 

PLEASE FORWARD FREELY.

~~~

NOTE: Even though the above link “Start” does not work (blocked from their site), go to the link above, or here:

http://legis.state.sd.us/email/LegislatorEmail.aspx?MemberID=30s: and create your letter. The drop-down list is easy to follow to click and send your email letter. I just did it and sent my letter to all the Senators on the list. Took about 20 minutes. Do it. Do it NOW.

~~~

Here’s the bill:

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY, 2010  

 

823R0481  

SENATE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ENGROSSED    NO.  SB 152 –  2/10/2010  

 

Introduced by:    Senators Adelstein, Jerstad, and Merchant and Representatives Lederman, Feinstein, Lust, McLaughlin, and Sly

 

 

        FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to provide procedures by which adopted persons may obtain their original birth certificates.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
    Section 1. That § 34-25-16.4 be amended to read as follows:
    34-25-16.4. When a new certificate of birth is established pursuant to §§ 34-25-15 to 34-25-16.2, inclusive, the original certificate of birth together with the adoption information or other evidence upon which a new certificate is made shall be sealed, filed, and may be opened only upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction, or by the secretary of health for purposes of properly administering the vital registration system or for purposes of complying with section 2 of this Act.
    Section 2. That chapter 34-25 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:

    Any adopted person who is at least eighteen years of age and who was born in this state, such adopted person’s attorney, or if such adopted person is deceased, any descendant of such

adopted person may obtain a copy of that person’s original certificate of birth from the Department of Health by filing a written application with, and providing appropriate proof of identification to, the department. Upon receipt of the written application and proof of identification, the department shall issue to the applicant a noncertified copy of the unaltered original certificate of birth. The department may charge the same fee as provided pursuant to § 34-25-52. The Department of Health may promulgate rules, pursuant to chapter 1-26, for the administration of this section.

Stop the Cycle, Stop the Loop of Lies

Cully Ray posted the following today on the Change.gov website:

http://www.change.org/ideas/view/return_adult_adoptees_the_right_to_their_original_birth_certificates_2

                                                                                                                

The end of this round will be this Thursday (the 18th) and then the Final round will begin on Monday the 22nd… THIS IDEA WILL BE IN THE FINAL ROUND!!  Thank you all so much for your support and All the Information that has been shared in your comments.

The Final round will be from Feb 22 thru Mar 4th.  There will be 60 ideas presented and the Top Ten vote getters will be presented in Washington DC.  As many of us know the amending/falsifying of Original Birth Certificates can and has caused problems, not only on a personal level but on State and Federal levels as well.

Please help get out the vote for the Final round, and again Thank You for everything you’ve done to get this idea to the Final Round!!!

love and hugz to all.

posted by Cully Ray

 

While the ideas presented by Mara and myself drew considerable less votes, I attribute the reason is because we were short-sighted in our wording. Cully Ray said it best, thus her idea got the most votes. In her above follow-up discussion comment, Cully links the two causes together with a slash: “amending/falsifying of Original Birth Certificates…”

Still, 457 votes for “Return adult adoptees the right to their original birth certificates” is a huge jump from the low-count of 43 for “Make Falsifying birth certificates of adoptees illegal”, and 71 votes for “Release Original Birth Certificates to Adoptees”.

Pay very close attention. I will add this word: CERTIFIED to the idea of “Return adult adoptees the right to their original birth certificates”.

There is no use to the release of UNCERTIFIED Original Birth Certificates to adoptees because that is another CONDITION that the government sets up to perpetuate the infantile treatment of adoptees who were factually born of one set of parents and adopted by another.

To release UNCERTIFIED copies of our true birth certificates is to continue the official lie in presenting our falsified birth certificates as true. Do not let the State and Federal governments get away with this! We know that our falsified and fraudulent birth certificates issued to us at the time of our finalization of our adoptions do not accurately state the facts of our births. THESE documents should be declared NULL AND VOID because of the official lies they uphold. We need to call an end to the issuance of such documents, and call an end to our dependence of the false legal need to have such documents as our legal identity papers!

The message really needs to reach the general public as well as drilled into the heads of adoption reformers: adoptees not only need to demand our civil rights to our true birth certificates, but we need to stop the legal practice of falsifying new adoptees’ birth certificates. We need to create the issuance of an official ADOPTION CERTIFCATE to REPLACE the falsified birth certificate.

Why? Because without stopping the falsifying of adoptees’ birth certificates, the system creates thousands of FRAUDULENT birth  certificates for American citizens each and every day. This horrendous civil rights violation clearly must end.

If this practice does not end, 30 years from now, we will have witnessed yet another generation of adoptees fall victim to fraud and identity theft for the benefit of adoption. Thirty years from now, these fresh-faced adoptees will take over our activism and the right to unseal their (and our) true birth certificates. I don’t want to be fighting the same fight when I’m 84 years old.

We see it happening today. Those of us who are old enough to have been around 30 and 40 years ago at the start of our fight for Open Records know all too well that we have witnessed — and were powerless to stop — another generation of adoptees locked into the falsified birth certificate loop of lies.

Stop the cycle. Vote for the “Return adult adoptees the right to their original birth certificates” in this first round of votes in President Obama’s Change.gov’s website under the Human Rights Ideas for Change. Let the voice of the American people be heard by President Obama and his cabinet. Vote for this idea in the 2nd Round and make sure it reaches the final count to be sent directly to the President. The release of our birth certificates to us is our civil right AND it is our civil duty to prevent the falsifying of new adoptees’ birth certificates. STOP THE CYCLE. STOP THE ABUSE. STOP THE EROSION OF ADOPTEES’ CIVIL RIGHTS.

There are at least 6 to 7 million adoptees in America, yet obviously they are not stepping up to the plate to make their voices heard. Many adoptees still don’t rise up to political action. When adoptees themselves are so worn down by adoption’s dirty little secrets, we cannot stand up to fight the injustices perpetrated upon us. Therefore, it is up to us who do see the connections and injustice to keep shouting our cause loud and clear.

Adoptees … there are millions of you out there! Get off your duffs and vote! Get your pens and pads of paper. Get your computer keyboards tapping. Get to the post office and send your letters to President Obama yourselves. Tell him: Stop the abuse of adoptees. Slavery should hit home to Barak Obama. Slavery is alive and well in the American Adoption System. End adoption abuse now!

Parents of adoption loss also need to get off your butts and take action. Your rights are also being abused by the present adoption cycle. Put an end to it. Fight with all you’ve got.

TRUTH is on our side!

We know who our parents are!

We need to put the emphasis on truth: 1 birth certificate and 1 adoption certificate = Adoption Truth.

See it clearly and get the job done.

 

Joan M Wheeler

Author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009

The above ideas are laid out in finer details in my book.

Guest Post – Kinship Bonds, Adoption and Discrimination

Kinship bonds cannot be diluted by the sealed original birth certificate. States began passing laws forbidding marriage between those males and females who were bound by close family ties such as father/daughter, mother/son, brother/sister, and first cousin/first cousin. The reason  given was that it was more likely that undesirable traits would be passed on to the resulting offspring between closely related parents. While the genes were not always recessive, these inherited DNA traits were not to be desired…. Any adopted persons, now adult age, have no evidence of existing kinship bonds to anyone whom they  would meet and could marry – – if their adoption was finalized in a state whose adoption records, including the original birth certificate, is sealed for life. Thus, it is legal for any of them to marry kin even though the law of the land forbids this – – for good reason (to protect the offspring). Adopted persons who live under this condition of the sealed record/original birth certificate, for a lifetime, are defined by the law, by implication,  of having a separate status. The blood tie is simply not in existance for them. Separated from the rest of the non-adopted population, these adults suffer discrimination.
 
Mary L. Foess
AAC, CUB, ORIGINS,Am-FOR, A.I.M, Truths in Adoption Triad, and Bonding by Blood, Unlimited

Racist Comments on Haiti Prompt Re-Post of Statement by Adoptees of Color Roundtable

As the title of this blog post states, some very rude and ignorant racial slurs were left in my inbox this past weekend. I have closed all sections to Comments as a result. Also, though I am of mixed white ethnic groups, I fully support adoptees of color. Here is a re-print of their excellent statement on adopting Haiti’s earthquake victim children:

http://www.adopteesofcolor.org/?page_id=14

Statement on Haiti

Jan 25, 2010

This statement reflects the position of an international community of adoptees of color who wish to pose a critical intervention in the discourse and actions affecting the child victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. We are domestic and international adoptees with many years of research and both personal and professional experience in adoption studies and activism. We are a community of scholars, activists, professors, artists, lawyers, social workers and health care workers who speak with the knowledge that North Americans and Europeans are lining up to adopt the “orphaned children” of the Haitian earthquake, and who feel compelled to voice our opinion about what it means to be “saved” or “rescued” through adoption.

We understand that in a time of crisis there is a tendency to want to act quickly to support those considered the most vulnerable and directly affected, including children. However, we urge caution in determining how best to help. We have arrived at a time when the licenses of adoption agencies in various countries are being reviewed for the widespread practice of misrepresenting the social histories of children. There is evidence of the production of documents stating that a child is “available for adoption” based on a legal “paper” and not literal orphaning as seen in recent cases of intercountry adoption of children from Malawi, Guatemala, South Korea and China. We bear testimony to the ways in which the intercountry adoption industry has profited from and reinforced neo-liberal structural adjustment policies, aid dependency, population control policies, unsustainable development, corruption, and child trafficking.

For more than fifty years “orphaned children” have been shipped from areas of war, natural disasters, and poverty to supposedly better lives in Europe and North America. Our adoptions from Vietnam, South Korea, Guatemala and many other countries are no different from what is happening to the children of Haiti today. Like us, these “disaster orphans” will grow into adulthood and begin to grasp the magnitude of the abuse, fraud, negligence, suffering, and deprivation of human rights involved in their displacements.

We uphold that Haitian children have a right to a family and a history that is their own and that Haitians themselves have a right to determine what happens to their own children. We resist the racist, colonialist mentality that positions the Western nuclear family as superior to other conceptions of family, and we seek to challenge those who abuse the phrase “Every child deserves a family”  to rethink how this phrase is used to justify the removal of children from Haiti for the fulfillment of their own needs and desires. Western and Northern desire for ownership of Haitian children directly contributes to the destruction of existing family and community structures in Haiti. This individualistic desire is supported by the historical and global anti-African sentiment which negates the validity of black mothers and fathers and condones the separation of black children from their families, cultures, and countries of origin.

As adoptees of color many of us have inherited a history of dubious adoptions. We are dismayed to hear that Haitian adoptions may be “fast-tracked” due to the massive destruction of buildings in Haiti that hold important records and documents. We oppose this plan and argue that the loss of records requires slowing down of the processes of adoption while important information is gathered and re-documented for these children. Removing children from Haiti without proper documentation and without proper reunification efforts is a violation of their basic human rights and leaves any family members who may be searching for them with no recourse. We insist on the absolute necessity of taking the time required to conduct a thorough search, and we support an expanded set of methods for creating these records, including recording oral histories.

We urge the international community to remember that the children in question have suffered the overwhelming trauma of the earthquake and separation from their loved ones. We have learned first-hand that adoption (domestic or intercountry) itself as a process forces children to negate their true feelings of grief, anger, pain or loss, and to assimilate to meet the desires and expectations of strangers. Immediate removal of traumatized children for adoption—including children whose adoptions were finalized prior to the quake— compounds their trauma, and denies their right to mourn and heal with the support of their community.

We affirm the spirit of Cultural Sovereignty, Sovereignty and Self-determination embodied as rights for all peoples to determine their own economic, social and cultural development included in the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the Charter of the United Nations; the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The mobilization of European and North American courts, legislative bodies, and social work practices to implement forced removal through intercountry adoption is a direct challenge to cultural sovereignty. We support the legal and policy application of cultural rights such as rights to language, rights to ways of being/religion, collective existence, and a representation of Haiti’s histories and existence using Haiti’s own terms.

We offer this statement in solidarity with the people of Haiti and with all those who are seeking ways to intentionally support the long-term sustainability and self-determination of the Haitian people. As adoptees of color we bear a unique understanding of the trauma, and the sense of loss and abandonment that are part of the adoptee experience, and we demand that our voices be heard. All adoptions from Haiti must be stopped and all efforts to help children be refocused on giving aid to organizations working toward family reunification and caring for children in their own communities. We urge you to join us in supporting Haitian children’s rights to life, survival, and development within their own families and communities.

……………….

49 Comments follow on their website: http://www.adopteesofcolor.org/?p=6#respond

This one is my favorite:

“Comment by Leanne LeithJanuary 27, 2010 at 12:20 am”  

“Acts of benevolence by the color-blind privileged add yet another layer of violence to the personhood of vulnerable little people, compounding their losses. The redistribution of children of color is rooted in the marginalization of ethnic groups and the propensity to make fetish objects of their children. It is no charity to exploit a time of tragedy – or any time – to take a nation’s most valuable resource for personal gain.

It is a sad statement when those that capitalize on tragedy pat themselves on the back for their charity. The truly charitable would offer to help victims to help themselves. This feeding frenzy we are witnessing today by would-be child importers truly reveals the darkest aspects of man’s ability to rationalize the ugliest of acts.

It’s high time we respect the humanity of all peoples by preserving families and allowing them the dignity to build their own strong societies without the intervention of self-interested parties. THAT would be the action of an enlightened, advanced, civil society.”

And this one is second runner-up:

Comment by United Adoptees InternationalJanuary 26, 2010 at 9:10 am  

“…It is time that Adoptees all over the world become active and participate in the international and national adoptiondebate at all levels of society and decision making government bodies and show that the time of Infantilization and the monopoly on adoption by adopters and their politics is over.

The adoption triangle starts with the (intersts of) parents, not the adopters. It seems that everyone in the adoption debate forgot that. Including the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.

We can change the world. Not by sitting down and wait, but to feel the power flowing within in us and everyone who is capable to understand what is really going on.”

 

Haiti tragedy, adoptions

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=125&article=67740

 

Haiti tragedy, adoptions

Stars and Stripes
Letters to the Editor, Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The New Jersey adoption community is not too surprised that an adoption agency may have skirted the laws to acquire healthy babies from Haiti (“Americans arrested on human trafficking suspicions,” article, Feb. 1). This particular organization is seemingly following (White House Chief of Staff) Rahm Emanuel’s motto, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

Agencies are no longer seeking adoptive parents but are rather seeking babies for desperate and sometimes high-paying couples.

Profit motive and secrecy will continue to plague adoption, but at least the American culture has evolved a bit. We no longer separate child from mother simply because the mother is unwed, a practice made popular by the Catholic Church. Today, it takes inhumane governments like that of China, or a natural disaster like in Haiti to grease the adoption machine and create a pool of adoptable infants. Some unethical brokers of adoption hardly care about the source of babies and some, like the New Jersey Bar Association, desperately fight to keep secrecy in adoption.

This only serves as a reminder that although the culture and practice may have changed, archaic laws from the 1940s still rule, placing biological families and their children at an unfair disadvantage.

Army Reserve Capt. Peter W. Franklin
AdopteesWithOutLiberty.com (AWOL)
Haskell, N.J.

Legislative Call for Action: State of Michigan, USA

FORWARD THIS TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN…AND ASK THEM TO DO THE SAME.

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

SEND IT NOW!

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

HAITI’S CHILDREN BEST SERVED BY CARE, NOT REMOVAL

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

Vote for Adoptees’ Civil Rights at Change dot gov

I’ve been reunited for 36 years and in the adoption reform movement for the same amount of time. We march on Washington, carry picket signs, send letters, write books, conduct research, cry, organize conferences, organize state legislative lobby groups, get side-swiped, start over, sign petitions, blog, start new groups, over and over and over again. 

Other countries are 40 years ahead of America in terms of equality for adoptees and their parents of birth. 

What is America NOT doing right?

We are not demanding to stop the nonsense at the heart of the problem: stop falsifying birth certificates for adoptees. Repeal the law that started the whole mess in 1930. Go read the books. I’ve quoted them in  my book, and in this blog. The authors have been pointing out the history of the heart of the problem for many years. Yet we keep circling around the issues. The people with the money, and their god, rule over the people with no money and no power. 

Stop it. Just stop it! Put an end to seizing birth certificates and falsifying them when a child is adopted. Stop it. Don’t do it. End this barbaric practice of fraudulent birth certificates of adoptees —now.

I, and other adoption reformers, have called for an end to the practice of adoption itself.

In the place of adoption, we need to strengthen families in crisis so that they can stay together. If a child cannot be raised by the parents of birth, kinship care and guardianship must be the final options presented. Both closed and open adoption has been proven over and over again to be detrimental to the adoptee and to the families that get left behind.

Please see the Widgets at the left Side Bar to vote at the Change.gov website for adoptees’ civil rights under the general topics of Human Rights and Human Trafficking. Add your comments to these pages. Even if you are not an American, leave a comment and vote.

End adoption slavery now.

California’s Relative CareGiver Law Recognizes Guardianship Over Adoption by Non Family Members

Even though this was made public in 2007, this bit of legislation – now is California Law – has just come to my attention (bold emphasis added): 

 CALIFORNIA STATUTE PUTS EMPHASIS ON PLACEMENT WITH EXTENDED FAMILY

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed the Relative Caregiver Bill (AB298) into law, allowing foster children greater access to permanent placement with extended family members. The statute allows for extended family members to be given legal guardianship as a preference over adoption by non-family members. In addition, the law – enacted in October – requires relative caregivers to be given information regarding the options of legal guardianship and adoption, including the long-term benefits and consequences of each option. To read the law, go to: http://www.legislat ure.ca.gov/ port-bilinfo. html and search by bill number.

            When I searched for the Bill under the above number, I could not find it. Fellow adoption reformer, Cully Ray, confirmed the correct Bill name and number to be Relative Caregiver Bill AB12 (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_0001-0050/ab_12_bill_20100128_history.html).  

             There have been recent amendments made to his law (269 pages can be found at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_0001-0050/ab_12_bill_20100125_amended_asm_v95.pdf).

            There is even a newsletter. Again, I am late to this, but the information, though late to me, is valuable: Kinship Quaterly: A Resource Newsletter for Relative Caregivers in LA County Written by Relative Caregivers in LA County (PDF – Issue 1 Vol 1 Year 1).   http://dcfs.lacounty.gov/kinshippublic/documents/kinshipquarterlyvol1.pdf.
            This is hope for the children NOW who are faced with temporary family crisis of poverty, job or home loss, parental death of one or parents, or foster care placement, to not only stay together as a sibling group and a family, but to have the decency and respect of care-giving adults to acknowledge that a child’s family of birth comes before ANY consideration of coerced relinquishment to adoption, ANY “placement” for adoption, and that LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP is preferred BY LAW before adoption by a stranger is even considered.
            Imagine that: human compassion, respect, dignity for children who suffer family stress and loss, especially children who have lost one or both parents by death. Real, domestic, half and full orphans in California (USA) from the legal separation by adoption, and protected from the seizure and seal of their birth certificates, and protected from the falsification of facts on a “new” and “amended” birth certificate issued upon the finalization of every adoption.
              If the adults involved in coercing my father (in 1956) into relinquishing me, a newborn infant, to a closed adoption of distant relatives of my deceased mother, had been faced with a law to prevent such coercion, I would have been raised perhaps by my father, or by the distant cousin and his wife who actually adopted me — in a totally open and honest relationship with my father and my siblings.
             Instead, the resulting trauma of losing my mother of birth to her early death was compounded by my loss of my father and my full blood siblings because people thought that they were doing the right thing by: taking me off of my father’s already full plate of worry and obligation, giving me to a loving married couple who were childless for the first 18 years of their married life.
            My idylic childhood of 18 years as the only child of these loving parents in no way is a fair trade-off of the losses I, and my siblings and our father, had to endure for the sake of closed adoption. The love of my adoptive parents and most of my extended adoptive family, was conditional: I was never to know I had siblings, or blood kin, living in the same city. And to be socially shunned and mocked because because I accepted a reunion with my natural family…to this very day…
            Thank you, California, for officially recognizing the sanctity of a child’s family and birth identity.
           Added Information: NOTE — Bill number is AB 12, not AB 298:
           http://www.actnowinc.net/AMUSTREAD.html

ASSEMBLY- MAZE BILL AB 298

ASSEMBLYMAN Bill Maze, R-Visalia, has heard too many disturbing stories about relative caregivers being “strong armed” by social workers to either adopt a child — or risk having him or her taken away.

It’s not right.

“Relative caregivers should be our first line of placement,” said Maze.

The source of these horror stories is no mystery. California judges who are determining the fate of a child are guided by state law to give preference to adoption by a stranger over guardianship by a relative. Also, the federal government rewards the state with a $4,000 incentive payment for each adoption of a foster child above a baseline rate.

“Given the difficult task of finding adoptive homes for the many foster children who do not have a relative caregiver, it is hard to understand why we would want to threaten to remove a child rather than accepting a relative guardianship as a permanent plan and placement … yet existing law allows this exact scenario to arise on a daily basis,” the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, which represents 20,000 abused and neglected youth, wrote in a recent letter to Maze.

As the law center noted, there are many reasons why a relative caregiver may prefer legal guardianship over adoption. “A grandmother or aunt might view adoption as ‘taking the child away’ from her own daughter or sister,” the law center wrote.

The law center is leading the push for Maze’s AB298, which would adjust state law to make clear that a child living with a relative guardian should be allowed to stay in that home when possible. The best interest of the child should be the guiding principle of these often excruciatingly tough custody decisions — and AB298 helps advance that goal.