Guest Post: Census Rant

Recently, I found the 2010 Census form hanging on my door.  As I began filling it out, I came across a dilemma.  The U.S. government wants to know if my children are adopted or not and it wants to know what our races are.  Being adopted myself, I had to put “Other” and “Don’t Know Adopted” for my race and “Other” and “Don’t Know” for my kids’ races. 
Can you imagine not knowing your ethnicity, your race?  Now imagine walking into a vital records office and asking the clerk for your original birth certificate only to be told “No, you can’t have it, it’s sealed.” 
How about being presented with a “family history form” to fill out at every single doctor’s office visit and having to put “N/A Adopted” where life saving information should be?
Imagine being asked what your nationality is and having to respond with “I don’t know”.
It is time that the archaic practice of sealing and altering birth certificates of adopted persons stops. 
Adoption is a 5 billion dollar, unregulated industry that profits from the sale and redistribution of children.   It turns children into chattel who are re-labeled and sold as “blank slates”. 
Genealogy, a modern-day fascination, cannot be enjoyed by adopted persons with sealed identities.  Family trees are exclusive to the non-adopted persons in our society.   
If adoption is truly to return to what is best for a child, then the rights of children to their biological identities should NEVER be violated.  Every single judge that finalizes an adoption and orders a child’s birth certificate to be sealed should be ashamed of him/herself. 
Mara Rigge 
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Posted by Joan M Wheeler at the request of Mara Rigge, March 14, 2010.

One thought on “Guest Post: Census Rant

  1. Hi Mara! What’s the matter with the Census writers? Why do people think of adoptees as “children”?

    I was adopted as an infant and I am now a middle-aged adult. My children are young adults who were the children of an adopted person. My children are slightly better off than yours as I have information for them about their backgrounds because I had a reunion early in life and I know ethnic and medical information to pass along to my young adult children.

    But millions of people who were adopted as children are not so “lucky”. If WE adoptees cannot identity for ourselves who we are and where we came from, then we cannot provide that to our children and our children’s children.

    Adoptees are not re-born when we are adopted into a new family.

    I haven’t recieved my Census Form yet, but I do have questions: Are adoptees counted by virture of being adopted? Are we counted by birth? Are we counted twice? Once?

    To quote the letter sent to my home from Rober M. Groves, Director, US Census Bureau, letting me know that the Census Form will be arriving shortly: “Without a complete, accurate census, your community may not receive its fair share” [of government funds for highways, schools, health facilities, etc]. Adoptees cannot accurately fill out the Census Form because we do not have accurate information about our own lives.

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