My Response to Sara Feigenholtz: No Thanks for the Insult

Sara Feigenholtz spouted off to an adoption reformer on Monday. Bastardette wrote a post displaying the email and commentary yesterday; see it here.

After reading Ms. Feigenholtz’s email, I decided to give Sara an education by writing her a real letter:


April 27, 2010

Sara Feigenholtz, Illinois State Representative

1051 W. Belmont

Chicago, Illinois 60657


Dear Sara Feigenholtz:

Sara, you, or a staff member using your email address, wrote the following email to an adoption reformer; shame on you. Very unprofessional, indeed:

To:Lori Jeske

Sent: Monday, April 26, 2010 10:00 PM

Subject: Re: HB 5428


Thank you so much for your kind remarks about HB 5428.

We will pay for your travel and housing expenses if you will come here and start working on a new bill that completes the effort so that all adoptees get their obc. Are you ready to move to Illinois and sacrifice your life to work for adoption reform for the next fifteen years in the frigid winter tundra of Illinois?

Would you consider giving Representative Feigenholtz the key to your (delusional) Eutopian world where all ungrateful bastards think it’s easy to pass a bill that makes everyone happy AND CAN ACTUALLY PASS ? Pass a law? what a concept !!

Many Illinois born 65+ year old adoptees will get their birth certificates BEFORE THEY DIE— very soon.

We will tell them that you would prefer to throw good under the bus while waiting for perfect and that you think they should wait a little longer.

Good luck in Washington state with your efforts. We can hear the unsealing now…….


YOu sound so positive and committed to opening all records that I wish you could give me the key to your adoption.


Sara, I demand a written apology from you. I am an adoptee, but I am not a bastard.

Sara, I hereby take you up on your offer for a job. I live in the frozen tundra of Buffalo, New York, so moving to Illinois will not be that much of hardship for me. I am a disabled social worker, (SSI not SSDI) disabled by 54 years of stress caused by adoption and ignorance. You will have to provide me with accommodations to my disabilities (which I will not discuss with you until I have the job you offer).

I have sacrificed my life by working on adoption reform and personal recovery from adoption trauma since I was 18 years old. I have been fighting prejudice against all adoptees and our natural parents since 1974. I have been victimized by adoption for all of my life.

I will be happy to work with you to devise a clean bill that will not give compromises: you either have full civil rights, or you don’t. Adoption reform legislation should give all adoptees what they deserve: unconditional access to certified copies of their true and sealed birth certificates. No person is under parental authority after the age of majority, and so it should be in adoption reform.

In fact, I have already done the work for the Federal level. See: Chapter 41, Proposal for Federal Legislation on Adoptees’ Birth Records, in my enclosed book, Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing ( See also: Chapter 37, Presenting My Personal Documents as Evidence of State Fraud. See also: Chapter 38, Unequal Treatment of 1 Half Orphan Out of 36 Resulted in a Traumatic Life Outcome — A Social Work Assessment (of my adoption). Yes: three out of four families (my adoptive mother’s family, my adoptive father’s family and my natural mother’s family) all conspired to keep me away from my siblings and my father. These are the keys to my adoption, as you snidely asked Lori Jeske to provide to you about her adoption. I know you mean legislative and legal keys, but without understanding the family dynamics, you won’t have a clear picture of the destruction caused by adoption. Once you see how the interwoven family dynamics worked within, and because of, the framework of legal adoption, you then have a better picture of what to do to dismantle the beast of adoption and free its victims.

So you think all adoptees are ungrateful bastards, do you? Well, I am not a bastard, but I AM an ungrateful half orphan, dear Queen Sara. How dare you insult me and my fellow adoptees!

Adoptees come in all flavors: adopted by step parents — meaning that they were conceived within a marriage; children of married parents are lost to adoption for a variety of reasons; and many of us were born legitimately but lost one of both parents by death — we are either half or full orphans. All of us in these sub-categories of adoptees are technically NOT illegitimate bastards, but we are all funneled together with bastards under the sealed records laws of adoption. By law, I am treated like a bastard because New York State seized my birth certificate as if I were a criminal, then issued a falsified birth certificate that indicates I was born to woman who factually did not give birth to me.

Meanwhile, illegitimate bastards are conceived everyday and live with their parents in their common-law marriages, and these bastards are never “legitimized” by adoption, nor are they ever given a “new” birth certificate, nor is their birth certificate ever sealed. Not one single legislator has ever given me an explanation for the direct discrimination against all adoptees. In a society that glorifies: single women (lesbians or straight women) with money who can pay for fertility treatments using anonymous sperm; or gay men who use the services of a rental womb of a surrogate mother and then use anonymous eggs to create children; or married people who trick their children into believing that they were conceived within a marriage when, in reality, a mother accepts anonymous sperm and pretends that her husband is the father and that child’s birth certificate does not reflect the truth — NONE of these DC (Donor Conceived) individuals are considered illegitimate bastards, nor are they treated as such in society or by laws that seal and then falsify their birth certificates.

I deeply resent being swept up in the dirt bag and persecuted because I am a half orphaned adoptee. My mother DIED when I was three months old. I was the youngest of five children born to married parents. My father relinquished me and kept the others. And I am expected to be grateful for being raised for 18 years in the same city as my siblings, yet being forced to live a life in protected custody apart from them. Disgusting. This was not only identity theft, but child abuse of me, and the siblings from which I was separated.

At age 54, I am still legally banned from obtaining my own birth certificate, yet my full blood siblings (who also lost their mother and who are also half orphans) can get their birth certificates. We have the same parents. The only difference is that I was surrendered to a closed and sealed adoption.

Adoption is destruction of personhood and family. It should be abolished. And don’t give me any crap such as “what about the children who need homes?” I did not need a new home, my adopting parents wanted a child; it was their insistence that I never see my own full blood siblings. I needed my birth identity and my siblings and my father. I needed to be told when and how my mother died. I needed to be taken to her graveside on Mother’s Day and her birthday and my birthday. I needed the truth. If a child is truly homeless and family-less, then guardianship needs to replace adoption. Guardianship retains the child’s identity and birth certificate, retains family connections and identity formation while providing a home for that child. That’s why I wrote my book as a testimony as to the destructiveness of adoption.

I needed then, as I do now, unconditional access to my sealed and certified real birth certificate. I also need my amended birth certificate stamped in big red letters: VOID. I demand a truthful Certificate of Adoption issued to replace this lousy piece of garbage that I must hold up as my real birth certificate.

The Bill you propose, should I live in Illinois, would not benefit me in any way.

I have worked in adoption reform for the past 36 years. Give me a job, Sara, and I’ll show you how to write a Bill that will take care of adoptees’ long-overdue and long-abused civil rights. Adoptive parents and natural parents do not have the authority over anyone over the Age of Majority. In most states the Age of Majority is 18, some states it is 19, and some states it is 21. If young adults are allowed to die for their country in war, they can certainly have the maturity to handle the emotional impact of their civil rights to the truth of their births. And for those of adoptees who are aging, get the job done right: include us all in clean legislative action. Obviously, I do not buy the notion that this is a State-by-State issue. Civil rights are a Federal concern.

Your website says that you are an “adult adoptee”. Really? You sure holler as a two-faced bigot. Stop being so patronizing.

 I hereby submit my bill for adoption consultant fees of $500 an hour for 2 hours, $45 for the cost of my book, and $20 for shipping and handling to mail the book and legislative tips to you.

Very Truly Yours,

 Joan M Wheeler

born as

Doris M Sippel



I do mean TRULY. I know my birthname and I have my birth certificates because my father gave them to my adopting parents, but I am still legally banned from obtaining my short and long form OBC from the Registrar of Vital Statistics in Buffalo. America is not a free country.

 * * *

Other bloggers on Sara Feigenholtz’s email:

Cheaper Than Therapy:

Baby Love Child:


Bastard Grannie Annie:

The Daily Bastardette:



~ ~ ~ Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.

Re-Post From Basdardette: WHAT IF? Illinois HB 5428 and Woman Suffrage

This needs to be shared:

WHAT IF? Illinois HB 5428 and Woman Suffrage

Friday, April 23, 2010

You can listen to the HB 5428 Senate floor debate at the link at the bottom of this blog. The debate is about 33 minutes long.

What I find interesting is that many of the senators theoretically “got” the idea of our “rights”–but failed to grasp that the bill, with its multi-layered “consents,” forms “information exchanges” and liabilities obviated those rights, kept the state in control, and gave adoptees and their families nothing but a big messy pile of obtuse rigmarole that can only be sussed out with a pitchfork.

On June 10, 1919, Illinois ratified the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. What if Illinois leggies that day declared:

All women have the “basic right” to vote. However, we are concerned about the affect female voters will have on male reputation and status in the community. We need to protect the rights of those husbands who believe that the marriage contract promised them that their wives would never be allowed to vote.
To balance the right of women to vote with the right of husbands to protect their reputations and status, we are mandating a mutual consent voter registration law, which authorizes husbands to dictate what level of franchise their wives can practice: full, limited and/or’s (school board, municipal, state, national, initiative, referendum, tax) and, of course…none at all.


Actually, that scheme would have made suffrage reactionaries quite happy as the passage of HB 5428 has made our current crop of bastardphobic reactionaires and adoptahacks happy.

Posted by BD at 11:28 AM  

Musings From Mary on Adoptees’ Original Birth Certificates and Ancestors

Mary L. Foess, adoptee and activist, founder & president of Bonding by Blood, Unlimited, of Vassar, Michigan (since 1988) writes today’s Guest Post:

Wednesday April 21, 2010 (yesterday) is our THIRD hearing in front of the committee for the House of Representatives in our state of Michigan. I will be there, again…for the 3rd time. The irony is, speaking from a non-legal lawyer type convoluted laws angle, it is ironical that those of us who have American Indian blood have to have about 25% to qualify for having our sealed, OBC unsealed. This is discriminatory toward we ‘mostly ‘white’ people. My ancestors on Father’s side go back to the VERY earliest settlers from England…and many signers of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution, 2 direct line veterans of the Revolutionary War (great times 5 and great times 4 grandfathers in my bio-dad’s line), and at least 8 U.S. presidents…yet I cannot get my OBC unsealed from Washington DC. Their excuse is ‘jurisdictional boundaries’ between Washington DC, and Maryland, where my adoption record/file was unsealed. Washington DC won’t give it to me ’cause the finalization was in Maryland. My American Indian ancestors OWNED Maryland and Washington DC…and Virginia. An illegal alien can sneak into the U.S.A, give birth, and the offspring has full rights – – – citizenship and his/her birth certificate. Yet, I cannot. I am a descendant of 3 lines from Mayflower family lines. YET, I AM DENIED MY TRUE RECORD OF MY BIRTH.

~ ~ ~ Written by Mary L Foess.

~ ~ ~ Posted by Site Administrator Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.

Bastard Nation Action Alert: Illinois HB 5428

Distribute Freely and Quickly!



Don’t let Illinois gut what few rights
Illinois adoptees still possess!

This afternoon the Illinois Senate passed HB 5428:
the Illinois Adoption CI/Registry Cash Cow Protection Act

HB 5428 is NOT an original birth certificate access bill
HB 5428 is NOT an adoptee rights bill
HB 5428 is NOT an adoption reform bill

HB 5428 is an adoption industry bill, dressed up as obc access, intended to kill rights-based adoptee access to our own birth records.

HB 5428 is an Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Exchange (IARME) promotion bill with virtually no support from adoptee rights and adoption reform advocates and organizations.

HB 5428 separates adoptees into two classes by date of birth and then into numerous subclasses of “access” and “contact” eligibility dependent on parental and state “consent”

HB 5428 “grants” rights to some at the expense of others.

HB 5428 criminalizes adoptees that use information from the IARME to locate and contact families of origins.

HB 5428 dictates relationships between adults

THE BILL IS HERE: legislation/fulltext.asp? DocName=09600HB5428eng&GA=96& SessionId=76&DocTypeId=HB& LegID=50466&DocNum=5428&GAID= 10&Session=HB%3C/span

GO HERE FOR BN TESTIMONY AND TALKING POINTS http://bastardnation.blogspot. com/2010/04/bastard-nation- testimony-hb-5428-oppose.html

Contact Governor Pat Quinn immediately and ask him to veto HB 5428


Springfield Office
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield , IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244
TTY: 888-261-3336

Chicago Office
Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph , 16-100
Chicago , IL 60601
Phone: 312-814-2121


EMAIL TEMPLATE: contactthegovernor.cfm

Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization
P.O. Box 1469 | Edmond , OK 73083-1469 | Phone / Fax: 415-704-3166


~ ~ ~ posted for Bastard Nation by Site administrator Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.

Predatory Pedophile Catholic Priests Fathered Children

Much has been written about the now-worldwide phenomenon of predatory pedophile Catholic priests who molested young boys, but it is important to note that priests also molested young girls and older teens. These girls and young women (how many?) were also impregnated by these priests.

A recent NPR audio caught my ear on Tuesday, April 20, 2010’s Morning Edition: “Priest’s Dual Legacy: Transgressions And Money”. The transcript can be found here:

NPR hosts Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne use these statements to introduce the story:


Father Marcial Maciel built the conservative Legion of Christ into a
powerful Catholic order. Over several decades, Maciel raised millions of dollars for the church. Some estimate the order’s assets are worth $20 billion. After Maciel died in 2008, his order revealed that he had fathered a daughter. Others have come forward claiming to be his sons.


There were years of allegations ignored by the Vatican that Father Maciel sexually abused seminarians as young as 12. Our next guest has reported that Father Maciel hid his secret life by buying the protection of key Vatican officials.

The fact that Father Marcial Maciel fathered children does not seem to be an issue; discussion of the money and assets followed. The adult children get an “honorable mention”, but the mothers of these children get NO mention at all. The story focuses on the MONEY but is missing crucial details.

While this story focuses on just one priest, it raises the as-yet-not-publicly-addressed topic of what happened to the children of these predatory priests? What happened to the mothers of these priests’ children?

I’ve recently been told by a friend, Mary L. Foess (Bonding By Blood, Unlimited) that this a major reason why The Catholic Church and its organizations oppose the opening of birth and adoption records to adoptees. This makes sense, but is not addressed by main stream media — not even NPR.

Mary adds:

The main reason which I believe is responsible for lobbies for adoption agency, owned by Catholic Church organizations, ones which keep blocking the release of original birth certificates to persons formerly adopted as children, is this: Once the mother is found by this adult who was adopted,  she will then tell her adult ‘child’ who his/her father is. This may lead straight to the priest. There are adoption agencies funded by Catholic church sources; they have powerful lobbies. The Associations for Lawyers, too, block these bills, too, by opposing them when they speak in committee meetings (public hearings). Some birthdads, too, are ‘married men’ who had an affair with these birth mothers.

The Catholic Church’s opposition to unsealing birth and adoption records to adoptees is based upon the unspoken and unacknowledged problem that many, possibly thousands, of priests are indeed fathers — and not just “men of the cloth” religious fathers. The Church wants to keep under wraps the identities of priests who sired out-of-wedlock babies.

For the girls and young women involved, the cover-up means that they remained silent for decades because they conceived outside of marriage. The shame of conceiving through the rape of a priest is even more horrifying. These girls and young women were, of course, forced into relinquishing their illegitimate children, sentencing both the mothers and their adopted-out offspring into lifetimes of shame, degradation and guilt.

But that shame, guilt and degradation doesn’t belong on the young mothers and their children. Let’s put the shame and blame where it belongs: on the not-married fathers — priests — who, not only molested children, but broke their vows of celibacy, destroyed trust, mocked their vocational priesthood and took away the innocence of thousands of children, and their own children.

A very long time ago, I watched the romantic movie series The Thornbirds, about a priest and his love for a woman. Romantic and melancholy, this story tugged at my heart. That was when I was much younger than what I am now. Now, decades later, the thought turns my stomach. Not because I don’t think priests ought to be married, but because if marriage were allowed, perhaps some of the sexual problems of priests might be solved.

We have real-live adoptees who want their birth certificates unsealed, who want their adoption records unsealed, and who want to know who is responsible for giving them life. Because the Catholic lobby is so strongly opposed to opening these records, these adoptees will never know the truth. Correction, these specific adoptees — and millions of other adoptees not produced by predatory pedophile priests — are forced to live life not knowing the truth of their births because protecting the identities of these flaky fathers is more important than fessing-up, telling the truth, admitting to the sins committed and going about the business of rectifying the wrongs. Opening birth and adoption records would help millions of adoptees answer their questions of personal identity, but the Catholic Church says no.

Perhaps the reason the world has not heard about this issue is because The Catholic Church cannot cope with more public scrutiny.

I want to know why more Senior Mothers, and perhaps younger women who were impregnated by priests, do not step forward. The shame is not on you, the shame belongs on the perpetrator. Your adult children need you to step forward and step up to the plate to rally with adoptees to open birth and adoption records. Let’s start naming names of the priests who first committed the rapes, and then causing pregnancies, and who then forced the relinquishment of thousands of their own children.

Father Marcial Maciel of the conservative Legion of Christ is not the only priest to have fathered out-of-celibacy and out-of-wedlock illegitimate children. Who are the others?


~ ~ ~ Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.

~ ~ ~

By coincidence, the following was sent via Adoption News Service about the fight for open records in New Jersey where adoptees are being held back by the Catholic Conference:

At adoption standoff’s center

Regarding Contributing Editor James Ahearn’s “Battle to open adoption records” (Opinion, Page O-2, April 18):

The true battle is the adoption community (to include birth mothers) against the Catholic Church.

Ahearn has written on priestly abuses in the past, so it is especially frustrating that he did not make the connection that the church wants secrecy in adoption to protect clerics who are, well, fathers.

Ahearn goes on to say that there are Democrats and Republicans on each side. Really? That’s funny. In the state Senate, only one Democrat voted against the bill to give adult adoptees access to their birth certificates and family medical histories of their birth parents.

The adoption community longs for a brave editor or reporter who might think it a bit funny that the Catholic Church is advocating for secrecy over transparency.

Peter W. Franklin

Haskell, April 19

The writer is associated with the Web site

Lessons Learned From Salman Rushdie on Writers, Religion, Civil and Personal Rights

Salman Rushdie appeared in Buffalo’s Kleinhan’s Music Hall on Friday, April 16, 2010 as part of the Babel series of the Just Buffalo Literary Center. He also spoke with WBFO’s radio interviewer, Joyce Kryszak.

During his morning interview with Joyce Kryszak, Salmon Rushdie addressed not only writers, but character development.

“Writers will write what they will write”, he said, adding that “history of literature is resisting all kinds of threats”. Writers write “in spite of considerable danger to them. Writers continue to confront the issues of terrorism and other forms of oppression. Writers have the courage to take on these issues.”

Kryszak: “Has it tempered your writing in any way?”

Rushdie: “No, not at all. In a way, maybe it did the opposite. When people try to silence you, the best answer is to speak louder. I don’t see myself as a writer about religion (not motivated to write about religion). I’m more of an urban and cosmopolitan writer. My subject is to show how the world adds up, how one part of the world connects to another.”

Rushdie says that the “individual has to be understood in the very big context of his society and the history of that society.”

About his book, Midnight’s Children, Rushdie says “the central character takes so long to get born…you have to read about generations that come before him. When children are born, they don’t come naked into the world, so to speak, they come with carrying the baggage of their history, and that history and family history, as well as national history, already shapes them, already shapes a lot about the kind of person that child will be, even from the moment of birth.”

“The book (Midnight’s Children) tries to show how the lives of the main character’s grandparents, then his parents, how all of those lives are enormously important in the kind of child that he then grows up to be.”

Kryszak: “I would think, too, the ongoing history would have to be consumed.”

Rushdie: “Yes, indeed. …The boy is born at the same moment (of India’s) independence. …That they are twins born at the same time, one would have to tell the story of both twins. It became a novel about the way in which the individual life (of the hero) and the history of the country that he is growing up in interacts with each other and shape each other.”

At the evening lecture, Salmon Rushdie began with comments on “writing the novel” and the writer. He said he was content at being the writer and that when he began writing over three decades ago that he never thought so many people would gather together to listen to a writer speak. He said that writing has “a social function; writing is good at strangeness”. Very often, he said, “truth in writing conflicts with official truth”. That is where political novels come in. “History collides with literature” and the “writer’s response to history is to defend privacy; that there is a public life vs private life: the center of the novel is the human being”.

“The subject changes with time,” Rushdie said. “A public issue may make a book out of date, but that “character (of a human in the novel) is destiny… Events we have no control over shape our lives. Human character is still at the heart of outside events”.

“Who has power over stories?”, Rushdie asks, then answers his own question.“Interpretation. Is slavery acceptable or not? It is Society’s ability to argue about it that makes it a free society.

About his book, Satanic Verses, (for which he was exiled by death threats) Rushdie states that “the battle was won by people at the publishing companies, bookstores that sold the book. People did not give in to opposition and attitudes. (Many people were shot and killed or wounded defending the book) “It is what people value. Nobody owns” the story. It is “one individual voice spreading in its own way; it doesn’t belong to anyone. If you don’t like it (the story, the book)…” At that point, Rushdie’s voice trailed into a mumbled “mift”.

“Artists try to measure the sum total to understand, to push out the boundaries. Powerful voices try to shut down counter voices. That’s their job. Writers question. View history by having access to facts and different occupations. The interests of the writer who imagines, interprets, the past” makes “objective history tricky… one can remember well or badly”. On memory, Rushdie says, “No one can agree on remembering the past.” He “prefers memories” and points out that there is a “strange fallibility beyond memory” and that “artists and writers” find it “difficult to be optimistic”.

Did he do it on purpose (write Satanic Verses)? Rushdie says he wrote it to “start interesting arguments”. He acknowledges that “controversy creates argument” and that there was personal risk.

Was it acceptable to kill writers?

“No”, he says.

“Writers are obstinate creatures. Writing is vocational.”  Writers “can’t censor yourself” and must “feel free to speak out. Do it with all your heart, or, don’t do it.”

Writers often have “conflict with religious or secular authority” and “deliberately use blasphemy to make a point”.

Rushdie’s take on religion is that “it is personal” and that “imposing is not my business” but when there is religion in public affairs, “then it is my business”. Salman Rushdie is a proponent of separation of church and state: “Keep religion out of public affairs”.

A few closing quips:

“The world is a mess. It’s not my fault, I’m just noticing it”.

What came out of the 1960s is that “personal actors, individuals, can change the world. …The Civil Rights Movement, by direct action and individuals acting together, large numbers of people can influence and change the world.”

“A writer first imagines things. By invention, imagination becomes reality. Writers must have determination and talent.”


~ ~ ~ posted by Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.

Vital Statistics of Adoptees are Government-Imposed Misrepresentation of Material Facts of Birth and Official Denial of Adoption

I had to fill out yet another government form today:

“I am the individual to whom the information/record applies or that person’s parent (if a minor) or legal guardian. I know that if I make any misrepresentation which I know is false to obtain information from Social Security records, I could be punished by a fine, imprisonment or both.”

Each time an adoptee fills out a form that requires “name, date and place of birth” that adoptee is either knowingly or unknowingly lying. Adoptees are forced to lie by the very nature and status of our known and unknown identities. All adoptees have a legal identity that is different from their identity at birth. And, officially, our adoptions are not acknowledged as part of our identity.

I rush through the data, seething inside:

Name: Joan Mary Wheeler

Date of Birth: 1-7-1956

That is my legal identity. But I was not born with that name. In fact, Joan Wheeler did not legally exist until one year and one month AFTER my date of birth. Joan Wheeler was adopted not born. To be accurate and truthful: I was born to a mother who is not my legal mother and no paperwork exists — legally — to prove my birth. So I am forced to lie whenever I write my name and date of birth. To be accurate I should write the following on all forms:

Name: Doris M Sippel

Date of Birth: 1-7-1956

Date of Finalization of Adoption: 1-14-1957

Date of legal name change: 1-14-1957

Date of sealing and falsification of birth record: somewhere between 1-14-1957 and March 1957.

Date adoptive parents received new, amended and falsified birth record for Doris Sippel/Joan Wheeler: March 1957

So, when I see these words on government forms: “I know that if I make any misrepresentation which I know is false… I could be punished by a fine, imprisonment or both”, I take that as a threat to me by my government. Each and every time I am forced to write my name and date of birth, I know I have to write the accepted version of truth for simplicity’s sake. I am, however, forced to live lies perpetrated by my city, state and federal governments.

The ones guilty of fraud and perjury (misrepresentation of material facts; false statements of facts) are: the Surrogate Court Judge who signed my Final Order of Adoption; The Registrar of Vital Statistics of Buffalo, New York; New York State Department of Health; and the US Federal Government for lack of clarity and standardization of birth and adoption records.

The United States of America needs a federal mandate to correct these inconsistencies for all domestic and foreign-born adoptees.

Join in the fight to change our laws by clicking on these links: Equal Access for Adult Adoptees: (a Petition to the President of the United States and the US House of Representatives);  Letter to President Obama at Family Preservation:; Adoptees: Fight for the right to your own identity in Illinois!; Restore Adult Adoptee Access to Original Birth Certificates


~ ~ ~ Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.

Update on Maria Venus Raj’s Birth Certificate and the Miss Philippines Contest

There is a birth certificate issue in the story of Maria Venus Raj re-gaining her crown for the Miss Philippines contestant for the upcoming Miss Universe Pageant.

There are translation problems in this reporting, so I’ll try to update this post in English, or clarify, later.

On April 13, 2010, Fiona Acaba reports in her article that

Binibining PilipinasCharities reconsidered returning the Bb. Pilipinas Universe crown to Maria Venus Raj after a series of investigations. The beauty queen felt relieved and happy to learn that she will be the one to represent the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant. “Sobrang natutuwa po ako na lahat ng paghihirap namin talagang nagbunga,” Maria Venus said. Her friends and supporters are also happy with the news because they believe that Venus deserves it. They are confident that Venus will make Filipinos proud in the 2010 Miss Universe pageant.

The Binibining Pilipinas Charities and the Dept of Foreign Affairs have stipulated

She needs to ensure a valid passport which the DFA will thoroughly check through a committee. … “Kung may pagaalinlangan sa mga entries sa birth certificate, humihingi po ang DFA ng supporting or secondary documents, school records, voter’s ID, baptismal certificate and there will be a committee who will be responsible for the recommendations,” a DFA representative said. He also made a reminder for all Filipinos who will be applying for a passport so as to avoid any problems in the future. “Ingatan po ang pag-fill up ng application form ng birth certificate at ibapa pong documents na magiging basehan ng paga-approveng passport at importante po na may integridad po ang ating birth certificate.

Yes, I know the Philippine language does not translate well. If anyone from the Philippinesreads this post, please jot down a comment for translation help to improve our understanding of the issues here.

In an article mostly in the Philippine language dated April 5th, Bernie Franco reported inconsistencies in the contestant’s birth certificate.  Franco quotes Maria Venus Raj

Sobrang sakit lang po sa akin ang sinasabi nila na I am disqualified kasi I am born out of wedlock and hindi ako qualified for Miss Universe (pageant) dahil hindi ako ipinanganak sa Pilipinas at kung may inconsistencies man po, sa tingin ko, hindi ko kasalanan ‘yon,” …. ‘I am Maria Venus Raj, I was born in Qatar, I was raised here in the Philippines.’”

When one examines the following paragraphsclosely, one can see that the problem lies in misleading documentationof Raj’s birth.

Inamin din ni Venus na aware siya sa inconsistency na nakalagay sa birth certificate niya na sa Camarines Sur siya isinilang subalit nagpapakilala siyang isinilang sa Qatar, pero hindi na niya inayos pa ito dahil sa simula pa lang ng competition ay alam na raw ito ng Binibining Pilipinas management. “Mahirap kaming pamilya, kung magulang ka ang iisipin n’yo lang ay pampakain sa mga anak n’yo. Iisipin n’yo pa ba ‘yung mga dokumentong ito na gagamitin sa pagsali sabeauty contest?” himutok pa ng dalaga. 

May isang rebelasyon ding inihayag si Venus hinggil sa kanyang birth certificate. “Ang totoo po ang tita ko ang nagpa-register sa akin nung bata ako kasithree years after (akong ipinanganak nang ipa-register). Ang nanay ko nahihiya po siya noon na lumalabas at magpa-register sa akin kasi tsinitsismis ng mga tao na nasa paligid niya,” pag-amin niya. “Hindi alam ng nanay ko na ‘yun ang information na sinabi ngtita ko so ‘yun po ang pagkakamaling hindi kasalan ng nanay ko at hindi ko rin kasalanan.” 

Nilinaw ni Venus na hindi siya galit sa pamunuan ng Binibining Pilipinas at ang tanging hiling ay linawin sa kanya ang dahilan ngpagkaka-disqualify sa kanya na sinabi pa nang matapos siyang makoronahan. “Sana linawin nila ang dahilan ng pag-dethrone sa akin kasi hindi po malinaw. Alam ko po nakapasa ako kung anuman ang qualifications na mayroon sila at sigurofrom the very beginning sana sinabi nila para hindi napo ako umasa. Hindi ako nagtago sa kanila, hindi ako nagsinungaling sa kanila from the very beginning may mga videos na makapagpapatunay nito noon pa lang. I know I deserve the crown at wala po akong nakikita para i-disqualify nilaako for that.” 

Because I don’t have the definitive translation, I can only guess at the exact reasoning. As stated in my previous post about this, I questioned if this was an adoption. If so, then there would be two different birth certificates for Raj. If this is not an adoption, but a question of illegitimate birth, then there is still the point of being discriminated against because of circumstances of one’s birth. If this is an adoption, the inconsistencies between two birth certificates would be because one birth certificate shows the actual facts of birth, and the birth certificate issued after an adoption shows falsified information placed upon an official government document as per the guidelines of the automatic issuance of false birth certificate upon adoption.

I may be totally wrong in my assessment due to the inability to read the foreign language. If so, my apologies to all involved.

However, it does need to be stated that the circumstances of one’s birth, or adoption, need not interfere with any life goal of a person. How one enters the world, or how one is transferred from one country to another as a minor child, or how one becomes the adopted child of married adopting parents, or how one’s parents later marry — are all circumstances out of control for a minor child. The child grows into an adult. Upon adulthood, a person must be judged by character, or in this case, beauty and qualities within the guidelines of a beauty pageant. One’s birth or subsequent marriage of parents or adoption should not interfere with the achievements of that person as an adult.

Maria Venus Raj: good luck to you.

~ ~ ~ Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.

Philippines’ Miss Universe Contestant Ousted Because of False Information on Her Birth Certificate

Another stunning announcement about birth certificates, this time from the Miss Philippines-Universe organization. Maria Venus Raj was disqualified not because she was born in Qatar, but because:

she got the boot after local organizers realized she was born overseas to an Indian man and Filipina mother, who were not married.

Her citizenship was not questioned, but the status of her parentage was:

because her birth certificate contained false information, such as she was born in the Philippines to married parents.

The un-named runner-up will replace Maria Venus Raj in the summertime Miss Universe contest.

Enough of beauty woes, what I want to know is: was she adopted? Did she have a sealed original birth certificate that indicated that her true parents of birth were not married? Did her amended birth certificate indicate she was “born” to married parents? How was this discovered? If  Maria Venus Raj was adopted, then this is yet another case of discrimination against an adoptee.

If not, was her birth certificate part of an identity scam to cover up her illegitimate status and help her win by pretending that she was born to married parents?

Why should the single or married status of one’s parents’ be the determining factor in winning or losing a contest, or holding a job, or any title?

And if this really is a case of a sealed original birth certificate vs an officially falsified “new” amended birth certificate and this IS an adoption, then this is truly evidence of the crimes commited by adults who were in charge of an innocent baby girl. The ones who seal and falsify birth certificates of adoptees are at fault.

Guess we will never know the truth in this case. Just another adoptee who can go through life with a false birth certificate and that’s okay, until she tries to do something she wants to do for herself, and then, she gets booted — for false information on her birth certificte — as if it is her fault.

If this is due to falsified birth records that are routinely falsfied because of adoption (and not the OTHER kind of birth certificate fraud, maybe The Hague or The United Nations should look into ALL birth certificates of ALL adoptees to make sure we ALL know who we were really born to and who we weren’t born to.

Certificate of Adoption anyone?

~ ~ ~ Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.

Do You “Believe” in Adoption?

That was the question put before me from the hairstylist as she cut and styled my hair yesterday.

I answered, “No, I don’t.”

She was surprised.

I told her my story, and especially highlighted about the unwarranted government sealing and falsifying of my — and all adoptees’ — birth certificates. This got her attention. She did not know this about adoption.

So, her “belief” in adoption had changed from one conversation. By telling her the facts about adoption’s dirty little secret, I influenced her perception that adoption should not be “believed”.

But what does “belief” in adoption mean?

Adoption is not a religion. There is no creed, no doctrine, no holy book. There is only individual and group thinking that adoption is a “good thing”.

What is a “good thing”? Does that mean that if one “believes” in adoption, that one believes that the adopting parents are the saviors of a poor, wretched child who will live a life of hell until she or he is saved by adoption? By believing that adoption is a good thing, what is the “thing”? The act of adopting? That’s not a thing, but an action. Why is the general perception of adoption as a “thing”, a noun, a tangible object? Is the object the adopted child?

Or is the belief in adoption seen as an act of charity? Is the act of adopting a good act? Is that why adoptees are expected to be grateful for the handout of being adopted? Did our adoptive parents actually save us from a life of hell? Is adoption as we know it a part of a religious way of life? Is this why do-gooders rush to the aid of earthquake or other disaster child-victims? Why the presumption that children are in need of rescuing? Why are the parents of children-in-need seen as unworthy to raise their own children? Why are the children seen as gifts of life to the adopting set of parents but not to the set of parents who actually gave them life?

In my correspondence with European adoptees, I see language use as different. Europeans say “wish parents” for people who wish to be adoptive parents. But would that wish to be parents change if the world would see adoption for what it really is?

My belief, my opinion, my perspective on adoption takes into account the realities before me. Before any “better life” of being the “adopted child”, the “rescued” child, and even before records are sealed and falsified, is the act of convincing parents that they cannot and should not take care of their own infants and older children. For brevity’s sake, I’m not addressing all possibilities here, but you can see the philosophy at work. For adoption to begin, a parent or two parents must be convinced that they cannot or should not raise their own child.

Once the convincing takes hold, the relinquishment papers are signed. That starts the events in motion to “free” the child from being in the legal care of one set of parents to an agency or directly to another set of parents who are then considered to be in the process of adopting. The child is not perceived by society as ever growing up.

So, the hair stylist’s question, “Do you believe in adoption?” is indicative of society’s lack of awareness of what actually happens in adoption.

After hearing how my family of birth was destroyed by adoption, the hair stylist now understands that the glorious accolades bestowed on adoption are biased. She now understands that we — society —are influenced by by what we hear, and what we hear influences our perceptions of the world around us.

How did the two of us get on the topic of adoption as I sat in the chair getting my hair cut? By conversation. The question was put to me, “What do you do for a living?”

My answer, “I’m a published author beginning to do public speaking and promoting of my book on my adoption”, prompted the question, “Do you believe in adoption?”

The moral of this story is: the more we talk about the realities of adoption, the better chances of changing public perception and beliefs. People believe that adoption is 100% good, but when adoption reformers tell of what adoption actually is, then the general public can see that adoption is not a thing, but an act. Slowly, the general public will begin to see that our (adoptees) things — our birth certificates — were unjustly taken from us and replaced by falsified birth certificates. Our families were unjustly taken from us. Belief and opinion can be swayed by what we say.

Adoption reformers: Get out there and do some more one-on-one conversations about the realities of adoption. Promote family preservation, not destruction by adoption. Promote intact identity, not destruction by falsified birth certificates causing a lifetime of identity issues for adoptees. People who want to adopt will then see that guardianship is the only option for a child who absolutely cannot be taken care of by her family of birth, if that is the case at all. Chances are, if people really try, adoption is not really needed, nor is it wanted by the family being destroyed by the belief in adoption.

~ ~ ~ Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.