2018 NAAM Adoptees’ Poll – Can you Hear Us Now? By Adoptees Connect

⚡️ National Adoption Awareness Month⚡️

On behalf of Adoptees Connect we asked a series of questions via How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? taking advantage of the poll feature. Our campaign is called “CAN YOU HEAR US NOW” We’ve encourage adoptees to participate so we could share the results for #NAAM18

Thousands of Adoptees have participated in these polls, and our hope is these questions validate the experiences of so many adoptees who’ve always felt isolated and alone regarding their adoption journeys. They are also to help raise awareness on how adoptees feel regarding different topics that might have a direct impact on us in multiple ways.

For those who don’t agree or can’t relate to these polls, or results please know while you are entitled to your opinions, our main focus is reaching the adoptees who are struggling with abandonment, rejection, grief, loss and all the other complexities many adoptees face today. If you are one of the adoptees who can’t relate, great but please allow the space for those who have different journeys than you do.

Experiencing connections over the years with Adoptees who are hurting and hurting deeply, it’s obvious these adoptees have come across my path because I’ve opened my life up to receiving ALL ADOPTEE STORIES, not just the ones that are happy, positive and well adjusted with the adoptees experience which are the stories everyone wants to hear. Adoptees are dying out here, being heard is life or death for many of us.

Let me challenge you to the fact that there is another side of adoption and I ask you consider opening your heart to learning what you might have never known before. Once we learn and know something, we can’t unlearn and unknow it. I know there is another side to adoption because I’ve been dedicating my life to adoptee advocacy for many years and I’ve invested in building hundreds of real relationships with Adoptees all over the world.

All we’re asking for #NAAM18 is that you have the willingness to listen and learn from adoptees and understand not all adoptees share the same experiences. Our mission is reaching the hurting and broken adoptees, who have felt helpless regarding their journeys. Let’s consider having compassion for them, while gaining the willingness to understand different adoptee perspectives and viewpoints.

Every poll and every poll vote matters. Each of them is making a difference. Everyone that shares this is making a difference. Please consider sharing these poll results to help us raise awareness on the adoptee perspectives.

Below are some adoption/adoptee resources for all.

www.adopteesconnect.com
www.howdoesitfeeltobeadopted.com
www.adopteeinrecovery.com
www.adopteeson.com
www.dearadoption.com
www.iamadopted.net
https://adoptionsurveysblog.wordpress.com/

We’re focused on raising Adoptee Voices. Help me raise Adoptee Voices by sharing this information and participating in helpful dialogue of discussions should arise with those who have the willingness to listen and learn from adoptees. Pamela Karanova 💝

#NAAM18 #naam #adoptee #adoption #adopted #justlisten #adopteevoices

Can You Hear US Now 2018

My Take on “Runs in the Family”

It is a tragedy that a mother felt helpless when she was pregnant and 16 years old. It is a tragedy that she made the decision not to tell the father of her child that he was the child’s father. It is a tragedy that their son grew up without either one of his natural parents.

It is important to know that there should never be a need to separate a baby from his parents. A mother and her baby should never be separated. Not even when the mother is 16 years old. And the father should always be told he is a father.

When adoption separation does happen, the mother, father, and son live life without one another; until one of them begins a search and discovers the others.

What follows is a well-balanced reunion story. This adoption, and this reunion, was handled in the best possible way.

But keep in mind, the point is: the goal is to never be separated in the first place.

But since adoption separation happened, everyone involved here had the sincerity, the maturity, and the humanity to handle this reunion with grace and love.

In July, a huge family reunion in Youngstown brought McCullough, Briggs, Smith and Comer together for the first time. All of McCullough’s parents in one place, reflecting on nurture versus nature, what is inherited versus what is taught and the many different forms of parenthood. It was both the culmination of a journey and the start of something new for the families that the journey had introduced. A man found his parents, a mother found her child, and a father discovered a son he never knew he was missing. There is no jealousy, no resentment and no regret. There is just gratitude for the winding paths that brought them all together.

You can read the whole story at this link.

 

 

 

My Response to “The twilight of closed adoptions” published by The Boston Globe

S.I. Rosenbaum wrote this sort-of good article titled, “The Twilight of Closed Adoptions.”

I say, “sort-of” because of the “birth” terms used repeatedly. When will reporters stop insulting families in this way? My father sired me, he did not birth me, therefore, he is not my “Birth father.” Stop it. Just stop it.

The research is good, interviews good, content and intent, all good. Go read it for yourself. If you feel compelled to subscribe, please do, because that is the only way you  will be able to comment. I cannot afford to subscribe, so I will comment on this article here.

“…states refused to open birth records even when petitioned by adoptees who were searching for relatives because they needed organ donors. Only recently have states begun to reverse course; Massachusetts still doesn’t give all adoptees access to birth records.

But by now, it almost doesn’t matter.”

Ah, but it does matter.

Yes, adoptees and our natural blood kin are being reunited through DNA and social media, but adoptees’ birth certificates are revoked, sealed, and replaced by false-fact birth certificates meant to simulate our real births. Except that they don’t carry real facts. In some states, even birth dates and places can be falsified.

Think about it. My current amended birth certificate states that I, Joan Wheeler, was born to D and E Wheeler. Nope. Not true. I was not born as Joan Wheeler, nor was I born to the parents named. In reality, I became Joan Wheeler one year and one week after my birth when the final court order of adoption changed my name and finalized my adoption. Three months later, New York State revoked and sealed my birth certificate, the one that is the medical record of my birth, the one that names me as Doris Michol Sippel, the daughter of G and L Sippel. Upon my adoption, New York State issued a new, amended birth certificate in the name of Joan Wheeler. Sixty years later, I legally changed my name back to my name of birth, but my legal birth certificate remains in the name of Joan, and the adoptive parents of Joan. But no where in that birth certificate is the word “adoption.”

That does not sit well with me.

To some who are eager to reunite with blood kin, fine, if reunion is all you want, then by all means, seek out social media, order your DNA kit, spit in the tube, and get your DNA. I understand your needs and wants.

I also understand the push for legislative access to sealed birth certificate because that will give adoptees knowledge of who they were born as and to whom they were born.

But for those of us who are purists, we must fight to our dying breaths to end this oppressive system that annuls our birth certificates as if our births didn’t happen, seals these documents, and then replaces them with fabricated lies.

These amended birth certificates are the condition of adoption – today and decades past – that legally severs adoptees from our blood kin forever. We are, whether born bastards or not, legitimized through legal adoption by a married mother and father. The laws were written at a time in history in when babies who were born without a legal father were considered to be born illegally – illegitimately. What better way to hide that shame by creating a new identity for such an unfortunate child?

Trouble is, children who were born within a marriage were also adopted when one or both parents died. Or when grandparents adopted their grandchildren. Or when step parents adopted their step children. And older children were adopted out of foster care.

All adopted people suffer the same identity theft perpetrated by the State – and by adoptive parents.

The State then pretends that this horrendous secret must be kept from us. Our birth certificates continue to be revoked and sealed; no matter if we have been in reunion for decades, no matter if our natural parents (Please STOP using that disgusting word “birth” mother and father) give written permission to release the sealed birth record, no matter if all natural and adoptive parents are dead.

What’s worse, States will continue to do this to every new adoptee today and tomorrow, too. It doesn’t matter if we all get our DNA tested, if we all find close or distant relatives via DNA matching, or if we search on social media, or if we search in State registries or global registries. Annulling, sealing, and replacing our birth certificates with false-fact pretend birth certificates will continue to be the default of all adoptions – closed and open – unless we change the laws.

Adoptees of color were not born to their white adoptive parents, yet their legal birth certificates state that they were. Adoptees who were born in Korea or China or Africa are issued birth certificates that state false facts that they were born to white American parents in their country of origin.

Many white adoptees can “pass” as if they were born to their white adoptive parents because the race or ethnicity is not that far off. Sure, an adoptee with dark hair and eyes won’t fit in very well with blonde, blue eyed adoptive parents, but white is white. Adoptees can “pass” as their adoptive parents children.

But “passing” is not what we should be forced to do. We should not be forced to pretend  to be someone we were not born to be.

Non-adopted people have rights to their factual birth certificates. Adopted people do not have those same rights. Our identities were changed for the sake of being adopted.

Legislation to provide access to our revoked and sealed birth certificates will only achieve access – and hopefully without compromising parental controls, permissions, and redactions. Access legislation will not stop the problem.

The problem is the law that continues to revoke, annul, cancel, rescind, invalidate and vacate the medical record of live birth. The law then seals the medical record of live birth, then refers to it as the Original Birth Certificate, and then replaces it with a piece of fiction created upon the finalization of adoption. Adoption is the process of legally appointing strangers as guardians who are assigned the title of “parents” by adoption.

Legislation must repeal, rescind, annul or replace the old laws from Victorian days with new laws that will achieve full equality of adoptees to that of non-adopted people: the right to one birth certificate, the right to name of birth, the right to parents of birth, and the right to extended family. Even when parental rights are involuntarily terminated, even when natural parents voluntarily sign surrender papers giving up their parental rights, the child has rights of identity. Adoption destroys those rights.

If three siblings are in foster care, parental rights terminated, and two siblings are adopted into separate adoptive families, the third child retains her name and birth certificate when she ages out of foster care. Meanwhile, her two siblings are required by law to be stripped of their identity rights when the State revokes and seals and replaces their birth certificates by adoption.

This legal game of pretend must end.

My Take on Texas woman who sexually abused adopted daughter, forced her to be surrogate gets 33 years in prison

I’ll let the title and opening paragraphs of this story give you your first impressions:

Texas woman who sexually abused adopted daughter, forced her to be surrogate gets 33 years in prison

Laura Castillo, 33, left, was sentenced to 33 years in prison for forcing her adopted daughter to carry husband Eusebio Castillo’s children. Eusebio is awaiting trial in Bexar County. (Bexar County Jail)

A Texas woman arrested with her husband for subjecting their adopted daughter to more than decade of sexual and emotional abuse has been sentenced to 33 years behind bars.

And this

Alvarado, now 28, told police the couple had been abusing her since she 9 years old. Around that time, she’d been taken away form her alcoholic mother to live with her relatives on an Army base in Hawaii. The Castillos would go on to legally adopt her.

In an interview with San Antonio-Express News, Alvarado recalled how Eusebio would climb into her bed and molest her in the middle of the night. When she turned 13, he started to rape her, she said.

Castillo initially dismissed the girl’s abuse allegations and would go to participate in forced threesomes with Alvarado and her husband, the victim recalled. The ongoing assaults resulted in three children, all of who were raised to believe Alvarado was their older sister, not their mother.

 

You can read the full article for the other details.

Now for what’s missing.

How were the births handled? Did Abigail Alvarado go in to the hospital alone to give birth? Did she name the father? Did she insist that the father is unknown? Was the young mother threatened by her adopters, Laura and Eusebio Castillo, to tell lies to the doctors as she gave birth, and on the children’s birth certificates?

The birth certificates of these three children should state the truth, if not naming the father, then the mother – the real birthing mother. If those children continued to believe the story that the older woman was their mother, by the time they become young adults and their birth certificates become known to them, they would discover the truth of who is their real mother.

And then there is DNA and medical necessity.

Then there is the age factor. Laura Castillo is 33 years old. Her adopted niece is now 28. That’s a close age range for someone so young to adopt a 9 year old child. That would have made Laura Castillo 15 years old when she and her older husband, Eusebio, adopted the niece of one of them. Which one is the biological aunt or uncle – Laura or Eusebio? How old is Eusebio?

But back to DNA. This case proves my idea that DNA testing of an infant at birth should become mandatory law – not mere hospital policy – but State and Federal law. If mandatory DNA testing is done on every infant born, then the identities of the mother, and father, will be confirmed.

But hold on. As I wrote this blog post earlier this morning, a friend in adoption reform called me about something else. I brought this situation to her attention. She told me that pharmaceutical companies own the DNA people willing give to online companies to trace DNA to provide information on from where a person’s ancestors originated, and to provide connections to close genetic relatives.

I did not know that our private DNA is not our own. I did not know that Big Pharma claims they own the DNA of individuals.

While I’m trying to settle that shock, I’d like to know the rest of this story.

Is the mother still the mother of her children, or did the State remove these children into foster care?

Are the victims (Abigail Alvarado and her three children) of these two master-minds of depravity (Laura and Eusebio Castillo) provided with therapy free of charge? Are the therapists competent?

The young mother, Abigail Alvarado, certainly needs help to cope, but her three children do as well. They will have to deal with this for the rest of their lives.

This will affect future generations, too – medically, socially, psychologically, emotionally and perhaps financially.

Another thought: Gotta love the role religion played in this. How ignorant people must be to believe such ridiculous crap as the dribble coming from the mouths of two people who started a church in their back yard? Who would believe that the first-born child is a healer? And who would be stupid enough to donate thousands of dollars to this church who uses a child in this way?

The family moved to Texas in 2001 before settling in San Antonio, where they established the St. Peregrine Chapel behind their home. They solicited thousands in donations from those who believed Alvarado’s first-born was a healer. … They duped dozens of people into believing the little girl was a “Miracle Child” with the power to cure cancer.

Obviously not much education, or common sense, in this community at all.

Is this entire situation the result of uneducated people, and/or the result of mental illness?

To me, this tragic situation is more evidence that adoption distorts people’s already twisted minds. If their niece at age 9 needed a home to be safe from her alcoholic mother, then there should have been safeguards to allow only temporary legal custodial guardianship. This would also include visitation with and knowledge of her mother.

It is unclear from the scant details if 28 year old Abigail Alvarado’s mother was able to become sober from alcohol and if she is in contact with her now adult daughter and her three grandchildren.

The whole thing is a sham from the start.

On that note, I’m wondering about the now-28 year old adopted daughter’s real birth certificate. Her name appears to not have been changed upon adoption. This is unusual. Was her birth certificate confiscated and revoked, sealed, and then replaced to name her adopters as if they actually conceived and birthed her? This is what happens, by law, in adoption. Did the adopters allow her to keep her own name while the State carried out the law to replace her birth certificate with a false one? That is what happens in adoption. The new, amended – falsified – birth certificate is proof that these court-appointed guardians are assigned as legal parents. But you wouldn’t know they were legally signed because the falsified birth certificate names them as parents by birth.

What does this lie do to the minds of people who adopt – especially ones with already twisted minds? These lies on a false-fact amended birth certificate perpetuates the belief that someone else’s daughter magically became their own child. The adopted niece not only has a false identity as the biological daughter of her adopters, this was an in-family adoption, so this means that her three children also have false identities as well. This is  because their mother’s identity was officially falsified. If she were allowed to keep her full original name (and that seems to be the case), her parents’ names are falsified on the amended birth certificate issued after adoption. Therefore, the father of the children is factually Eusebio Castillo, but legally he is their grandfather. And, depending on who is the blood relative (Laura or Eusebio, the aunt or uncle by blood, one of the pair is the biological aunt or biological uncle of the adopted daughter/niece. This makes one of them the biological great aunt and uncle of the three young children.

If you are having trouble following this, so am I. If I somehow have managed to incorrectly map-out the relationships, will someone from my readership correct me?

I think you can see my point. Adoption distorted this family’s perception as to who is who in their rightful place on the family tree. A therapist will need to help them diagram this out on paper.

Problems started in this extended family long before this adoption and before its twisted forced rape and surrogacy occurred. Treatment for alcoholism in the 28 year old’s mother, temporary separation of mother and child may or may not have been warranted (not enough information here), but certainly, family reunification should have been the first priority.

The second priority should have been to prevent compounding the problem by allowing this adoption.

Then, if legal custodial guardianship was, in fact, needed, then safeguards should have been put into place to protect the now-28 year old niece from further harm. Did anyone conduct a home study on these two adopters before finalizing this adoption?

There is no remedy here. Prison time will only remedy the crimes. The victims will be addressing these issues imposed upon them for the rest of their lives.

The situation provides more evidence that Adoption Must Be Prevented.

Re-Posting: Progress and Goals for “CLEAN” NY Adoption Reform. Preparing For 2019 – 2020

While I remain disappointed and discouraged that our Adoptees’ Rights Bill did not pass this legislative session (which ended June 20), progress has been made.

I don’t know the specifics as to why there was another hold up; I have my concerns as to why. I think it has to do with the opinions of others who scream “mothers’ rights to be left alone” and abortion, and making this out to be search and reunion orientated.

None of that applies. This bill is about ADOPTEES’ RIGHTS TO OUR REVOKED AND SEALED BIRTH CERTIFICATES AND NOTHING ELSE.

Here is an update that continues at the links provided:

Progress and Goals for “CLEAN” NY Adoption Reform. Preparing For 2019 – 2020.

Tim Monti-Wohlpart
Brooklyn, NY
Jun 24, 2018 — Friends of “CLEAN” adoption reform,

Our cause— “CLEAN” NY adoption reform—gained immense ground, with your help, during the 2017 – 2018 legislative session! Albany hears you and we are not being ignored. While the legislature adjourned this week without passage of our bill, dialogue is slated to continue soon. So, we are already preparing for the 2019 – 2020 session (starting in January 2019). Giving up is not part of the equation. We remain humbled and grateful for your support and polite outreach to all key officials.

DIALOGUE WITH GOVERNOR CUOMO STAFF:
It’s tough knowing that A9959-B / S7631-B is not headed to Governor Cuomo, so he can enshrine long overdue adoptee equality—this time. But vital dialogue has progressed and is slated to continue, even this summer, and well in advance of the start of the 2019 – 2020 legislative session.

On Tuesday two of our partners, Annette and Barbara, from the New York Adoptee Rights Coalition (NYARC) reported, as requested, to Governor Cuomo’s office for discussion. With thanks to April, on Wednesday, Tim contributed to a call with a senior staffer who has assumed direct involvement on adoption reform. Her work, linked to the Department of Health following our March workgroup meeting, will be key in further consideration our appeal! Because of you, “clean” adoption reform has gained gradually rising consideration at the highest levels of New York government.

THIS CONTINUES HERE.

Re-Blogging: Don’t Keep Adopted People in the Dark – New York Times

Re-bloging from the New York Times…

Tim Monti-Wohlpart could see the differences between him and his adoptive family from an early age. He had olive skin and black hair; they were fair. But he wasn’t compelled to seek more information about his background until medical issues in his mid-twenties galvanized him to learn more about his birth family.

Because he was adopted in New York State in 1971, he had no legal right to such information.

It would take Mr. Monti-Wohlpart two years and several thousand dollars in private investigators’ fees in the late 1990s to find his birth mother and father, and learn more about his history. For years since then, Mr. Monti-Wohlpart, a Brooklyn teacher and co-founder of the New York Adoptee Rights Coalition, has been working to allow adopted New Yorkers access to nearly 650,000 original birth certificates. “I believe it’s a fundamental human right to know where you came from,” Mr. Monti-Wohlpart said.

To continue reading, go to…

ReBlogging Lorraine Dusky: Human rights going down again in New York

Reblogging this from Lorraine Dusky:

Human rights going down again in New York; Sometimes anger is justified and this is one of those times!!!

I am so f&^cking angry and upset. This is not a regular blog post but instead I want to tell you why I am so angry, Dear Reader.

Again it appears the 2018 legislative session will end in New York, and again we are getting shot down in New York–unless Joe Lentol, chair of the Codes Committee in the Assembly, is struck by thunder and enlightenment, unless the what’s-in-it-for-me governor of New York, Cuomo, sees a political advantage in our bill over the next few days, our bill to end the tyranny of sealing original birth records of some people will again die.

It is a clean bill–no hide-behind-the-skirts of women in the closet bill; no, the bill, (A9959-B; and S-7631-B)) would give adopted people over 18 the right to their own birth certificates. That’s all it would do. It wouldn’t bomb anybody, cause panic in the streets, destroy the environment, cost an appreciable amount or anything at all,  but no, once again some people will lose out of the full freedoms that the rest of us know because we are: not adopted. 

 

To see the rest of this post go here.

NYS Assembly: Please PASS A9959B The Adoptees’ Rights Bill. Please DO NOT PASS 6959 The Surrogacy Contract Bill

June 15, 2018

Dear Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie and Brenda, and members of the Assembly:

Please advance A9959B, the Adoptee Rights Bill, to the full Assembly for a vote.

Please VOTE TO PASS A9959B as it will restore to all New York adoptees the unrestricted right to obtain their own original birth certificates upon request. I support access, without modification and without the necessity of a court order, to the original medical record of live birth as recorded within five days of every adopted person’s actual birth.

I have been an activist for the birth rights of adoptees since I was found in 1974 by full blood siblings I never knew I had. I also support the conception and birth rights of donor-conceived people. For over 30 years, I have written articles against sperm donation, egg donation, surrogacy, and embryo transfers because of the obvious violations against the human and civil rights of the children produced via anonymous Assisted Reproductive Technologies. I addressed the President’s Council on Bioethics in 2004 in Washington D.C. when I presented a short, three-minute paper defending the rights of all people to the truth of their conceptions and births.

It has come to my attention that the Assembly Health Committee recently held a hearing on Surrogacy. Assembly Bill 6959 on Surrogacy Contracts would abolish Governor Cuomo’s ban on commercial surrogacy in New York and put intended parents on birth records based not on genetic and biological facts, but based on intentions and contracts.

While the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (renamed Adoption and ART) supports adoptee access to our revoked and sealed original birth certificates, they are now proposing a future where intended (contractual) parents will be named on the birth certificate instead of the actual genetic and birthing parents. This means that birth certificates for people born of Assisted Reproductive Technologies, or born to surrogate mothers who signed pre-birth contracts, will not have an original birth record to access because the State’s only record of their birth will be based on agreements the person whose birth is recorded was not party to.

Adoptees, including myself, along with donor-conceived and surrogate-born people, stand for truth and honesty in recording the conception and birth of every human being. Every person has the fundamental human right – and should have the civil right – to have an accurate medical record of live birth that can be verified by medical records and DNA to prove parentage. I urge you to VOTE NO on Assembly Bill 6959.

Sometime in the near future, over and above the reach of the current Adoptee Rights Bill – A9959B, the 1936 law that revokes and seals adoptees’ medical record of live birth, and then issues replacement birth certificates upon adoption, must be abolished. Amended birth certificates serve no purpose. These false-fact birth certificates exist only to prove that the adopters have been assigned as legal parents. Legal parents are not parents by birth; therefore, their names should not be listed on a new birth certificate created after adoption. The law’s intended purpose was to legitimize illegitimate bastards via adoption, but hiding illegitimacy is no longer needed in today’s society. Birth and adoption are two very distinct events: a birth is a medical event in which a new human being enters the world, and an adoption is a legal transaction.

Is there any socially assigned shame applied to today’s myriad of ways a child can be created via Assisted Reproductive Technologies? All people created via donated sperm, donated eggs, and incubated in a surrogate mother’s rented uterus are conceived and birthed outside of marriage, yet the stigma and shame of an illegitimate birth is not assigned to people conceived and born this way. Why is that? Is it the sex act itself – the sexual union of not-married parents – that defines the product of such a union as an illegitimate bastard? When one examines the sexuality of producing a vial of sperm anonymously, or harvesting eggs from an anonymous donor, or implanting a frozen embryo created in a petri dish into the uterus of a surrogate mother, no one assigns shame to any of these acts. Yet, people conceived and birth via contracted arrangements are, indeed, conceived and birthed outside of marriage. Why is there a different standard applied to children born to a woman who is not married and to children born via Assisted Reproductive Technologies?

New York State holds adoptees to the strict definition of illegitimacy – despite the fact that many adoptees were born to married parents: children adopted by step parents, children who were orphaned by the death of one or both parents, children who were adopted by their grandparents or other relatives, and children removed from abusive or neglectful parents. In every case, each adoptee, whether born a bastard or not, is held to the existing law that removes the certification of the adoptee’s medical record of live birth and replaces it with a false-fact birth certificate. THIS law should be abolished!

All people deserve one, and only one, true and accurate birth certificate. Revoking, sealing, and replacing birth certificates of adopted people, and issuing false-fact birth certificates stating the names of the contractual intended parents and not the egg donor mother, the sperm donor father, and the surrogate mother, is inhumane, immoral, and unethical.

My mother died of cancer when I was three months old. She was a married mother of five children. I was not born a bastard, yet the law that existed in the year of my birth (1956) is the same law that continues to revoke, cancel, annul, rescind, seal, and replace all adoptees’ birth certificates since 1936. Since the law was written to hide the stigma of an illegitimate birth, this law should not apply to me.

But it did, and it does.

The 1936 law targeting adopted people still holds my accurate medical record of live birth as hostage from me, a person born the fifth child to married parents.

Why? Why is my birth any different from yours?

I urge you to VOTE TO PASS Bill A9959B that will give access to all New York adoptees’ revoked and sealed birth certificates.

Creating false-fact birth certificates upon the legal contract of adoption is almost the same as creating false-fact birth certificates based upon a signed contract of intended parents of reproductive technologies. I urge you to re-consider what facts belong on a birth certificate and what false-facts do not belong on a birth certificate.

Please PASS A9959B – the Adoptees’ Rights Bill.                            Please DO NOT PASS AB06959 – the Surrogacy Contract Bill.

Thank you,

Doris Michol Sippel

www.forbiddenfamily.com

author of

Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity

Amazon, available in Kindle and Print

Helpful articles:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-all-us-states-should-_b_8858162

Why All U.S. States Should Allow Adoptees Access to Their Authentic Birth Certificates, 2/22/2015 09:21 am ET, Updated Dec 06, 2017, by Mirah Riben

https://forbiddenfamily.com/2018/02/02/my-revoked-and-sealed-birth-certificate-and-its-replacement-issued-after-adoption-proof-that-new-york-state-vital-statistics-department-uses-false-facts-on-official-birth-records/

My Revoked and Sealed Birth Certificate and its Replacement Issued After Adoption – Proof that New York State Vital Statistics Department Uses False Facts on Official Birth Records, February 3, 2018, by Doris Sippel (legally re-claimed birth name)

https://forbiddenfamily.com/2018/02/02/arguments-against-punitive-and-compromising-adoptee-rights-legislation-using-cited-resources-and-my-sealed-and-falsified-birth-certificates-as-examples-to-legislators-to-write-equitable-legislation/

Arguments Against Punitive and Compromising Adoptee Rights Legislation Using Cited Resources and My Sealed and Falsified Birth Certificates as Examples to Legislators to Write Equitable Legislation, February 2, 2018; originally published March 24, 2017, by Doris Sippel (legally re-claimed birth name)

http://buffalonews.com/2017/07/14/another-voice-cuomo-must-veto-flawed-adoptee-bill/

Another Voice: Cuomo must veto flawed adoptee bill, July 14, 2017, by Doris Sippel (legally re-claimed birth name)

http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/12/global-call-to-stop-the-propagation-of-adoptions-altered-birth-certificates/

Global Call to Stop the Propagation of Adoption’s Altered Birth Certificates, December 18th, 2016, by Doris Sippel (legally re-claimed birth name)

http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/10/no-one-should-place-false-facts-on-birth-certificates/

No One Should Place False Facts on Birth Certificates, October 20th, 2015, by Joan Wheeler (former adoptive name)

http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/08/end-identity-theft-caused-by-adoption/

End Identity Theft Caused by Adoption, August 22nd, 2015, by Joan Wheeler (former adoptive name)

Letter to NY State Assemblywoman Paulin: Reject SB00017A/AB06959 on Surrogacy Contracts

Dear Assemblywoman Paulin,

 

We, the undersigned leaders and activists in the movement for gender, racial, and economic justice, respectfully urge you to withdraw your support of SB00017A/AB06959, which would legalize reproductive surrogacy contracts and the reproductive surrogacy industry in New York State. Our opposition to this bill emerges from our deep concern of the legalization of surrogacy contracts. We believe that the surrogacy industry in our state will harm the physical and psychological health of the most marginalized women in our State—women in conditions of poverty who disproportionately have histories of abuse and discrimination, including on the basis of gender and race—and will incentivize and unleash a ruthless industry to profit from their exploitation.

Many of the undersigned have a long, productive history of partnering with you to protect the basic human rights of women and girls in New York State and holds you in high esteem. While we know you to be a passionate advocate for the rights of women and girls and feel certain that your sponsorship of the bill to legalize surrogacy in New York State is well intended, we believe that you may not have at your fingertips comprehensive information about the magnitude of harm that this bill, if enacted into law, would inflict on the most economically vulnerable women in our state. We are convinced that if passed, this bill will legitimize the reproductive trafficking of women in New York State, open the door wide to the mass exploitation of women in consumer-driven contract pregnancies in our State, and ultimately render New York State a global destination for reproductive tourism.

Reproductive surrogacy creates risks to the physical health and well-being of women. In New York’s 2018 Report on the Status of Women and Girls, a key platform is reducing maternal mortality and improving women’s health. Legalizing and legitimizing reproductive surrogacy undermines these crucially important goals. A recent report on 124 surrogate mothers, showed that surrogate pregnancies and births “had significantly higher obstetrical complications, including gestational diabetes, hypertension, use of amniocentesis, placenta previa, antibiotic requirement during labor, and cesarean section.” These statistics translate into more high-risk pregnancies and longer hospitalization stays for both surrogate mothers and the infants born, who face higher rates of preterm birth and low birth weights.

The relationship between the surrogate mother who frequently is in a situation of economic need and the intended surrogate parents, who typically are people with considerable economic means, is premised on gross inequality. Although the proposed New York legislation on gestational contracts provides protections against certain onerous and invasive terms that have been imposed on women in surrogate contracts, such as restrictions on diet, submitting to testing, and proscriptions on sexual relations, this legislation cannot guarantee that such restrictions will not be used against the woman used as a surrogate since the intended parent(s) is allowed to purchase her medical insurance policy and pay for her legal assistance.

Surrogacy contracts institutionalize the commodification of women’s bodies. Even the language of surrogate and gestational mothers signals this commodification of women, pregnancy and reproduction. The so-called surrogate becomes an instrument of others’ desire for biological children. In the case of gestational surrogacy, pregnancy also becomes a commodity that can be bought by those who have means and sold by those who are disadvantaged economically.

Rather than a relationship between mother and fetus, pregnancy is treated as a product or a commercial service to be purchased. In the rarefied world of surrogacy contracts, pregnancy that under usual conditions is a relationship of the biological mother to the fetus, becomes stripped of any developing connection between the biological mother and the child-to-be-born. In fact, this normal relationship is frowned upon as interfering with the rights of the contracting parent (s) because the gestational mother is required to hand over the child born at birth. The chief function of women used as surrogates is to produce a child for the contracting parents and NOT develop any relationship with the intended child. She is encouraged to tell herself that she is not the mother of this developing child and is essentially treated as a breeder for others. Women’s wombs become mere environments for others’ reproductive choices.

In almost every country of the world, persons cannot legally sell their organs. It is recognized that selling organs, even with regulatory provisions, can create a burgeoning market and invite unscrupulous brokers whose goal is financial gain and taking advantage of those whose bodies are used. The poorest, the most disadvantaged, are the ones who usually come forward.

Some individuals believe that it is possible to create a legal market in live organs that would institutionalize safeguards against exploitation. As with those who argue against the legality of organ selling arrangements, we would argue that however surrogate contracts are regulated, surrogate arrangements can never be ethical because they will always target and harm the most vulnerable women. Why is it primarily the most disadvantaged women who participate in these contracts? We would further argue that the system can never be adequately regulated to prevent exploitation of the vulnerable because financial motivation and profit margin drive the decisions of the surrogate brokerage agencies.

The European Parliament “condemns the practice of surrogacy, which undermines the human dignity of the woman since her body and its reproductive functions are used as a commodity; considers that the practice of gestational surrogacy which involves reproductive exploitation and use of the human body for financial or other gain, in particular in the case of vulnerable women in developing countries, shall be prohibited and treated as a matter of urgency in human rights instruments.”

The new European Union policy framework to combat violence against women calls upon all member nations to “acknowledge the serious problem of surrogacy, which constitutes an exploitation of the female body and her reproductive organs.” It also emphasizes “that women and children are subject to the same forms of exploitation, that both can be regarded as commodities on the international reproductive market, and that these new reproductive arrangements, such as surrogacy, augment the trafficking of women and children.”

Women’s wombs are big business. Laws, regulations, and contracts overwhelmingly protect those with money, not those who need money.

As a lifelong and committed champion of women’s rights and equality, Assemblywoman Paulin, please withdraw your support of SB00017A/AB06959.

Sincerely,

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