My Second Article Published by Dissident Voice

My second article has been published by Dissident Voice:

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

No One Should Place False Facts on Birth Certificates

I urge everyone to read this to understand how important honesty is to adopted people, and to donor-conceived people.

Birth Certificates for Adoptees and Donor Conceived Should Be Truthful


Jennifer Lahl, President of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, recently published an article, which is linked to here: Sex, Lies, and Birth Certificates,that addresses what we adoptees and donor-conceived individuals have been saying for decades, that

A birth certificate should record the name of the biological mother and biological father of the child, not the wishes of adults.

Hmmm. For 80 years in New York State, adoptees have been issued Amended Birth Certificates to replace our Actual Birth Certificates (notice I did not say “Original Birth Certificates – if we keep the language of the government policy makers, we are falling in line with them), changing our identity at birth, name at birth, and our parents of birth with our new name, new parents and sometimes a new birth place and birth date (time of birth is only recorded on the Actual Birth Certificate). At first, this was to hide illegitimacy, but this really was done to give the adopting parents the upper hand: they were now visibly, on paper, parents. Instead of creating a Certificate of Adoption, New York State (along with the rest of the United States) took the politically correct road to appease the sensibilities of the new adoptive parents. They were, and are still given a piece of paper that documents that they gave birth to the child named. This goes against logic. Everyone knows that this “birth” did not happen, so why are we all pretending?

How absolutely preposterously wrong!

In reality, a person is born only once. Everyone knows this. Yet the government creates these false birth certificates as a public show of political-correctness.

Adoptees’ Actual Birth Certificates are sealed and can never be unsealed. This is to benefit only the adults involved, not the child whose birth is recorded. Correction – this decision does not benefit the natural parents at all. This act wipes them off the legal record of birth. It is not enough for them to sign away their parental rights, but they are obliterated from the public record of birth.

In her article, Jennifer Lahl (writing about her state of California) states

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) authored Assembly Bill 1951, which amends the California Vital Records Birth Certificate law in order to “modernize” California birth certificates by allowing each parent to self-identify as mother, father, or simply “parent.”

Gomez said, “I authored this bill to say that it’s okay to have two mothers or fathers. I believe that parents do see themselves as a mother or a father and that they want to express that on their child’s birth certificate. We should give people the flexibility to accurately reflect their relationship with their child.”

We all know why this bill, which will become law next year, was written. It was to appease gay men and lesbian women who are creating children through sperm donation, egg donation and surrogacy, or by adoption.

If Assemblyman Gomez would take a long look at his own statements, he would realize how ridiculous they are. No one in their right mind would say to any child that you have two mothers because we wanted it that way, when, in school (and life), this will backfire. The child will learn the truth – that a baby is created by one egg, one sperm, and gestated in one uterus. It is definitely NOT okay to have two mothers or two fathers or parent one and parent two named on a certificate that is designed to record the child’s real birth, and not some politically correct mushy sentiment of the two legal and social parents.

What is right – and what would officially record the real truth –  is to have a birth certificate and then an adoption certificate. The adoption certificate not only would show the truth, but it would also serve to “accurately reflect their relationship with their child” – and on THIS document, then, two mothers or two fathers can be named as mother and mother, or father and father, or parent one and parent two. It is important to make the distinction between biological facts and legal facts. The legal parentage, in the case of adoption, also spells out the parents who will be raising the child – they are the social parents.

No one seems to understand what adoptees and donor-conceived people already know: we really DO have two sets of real parents. We really do have two mothers and two fathers; some of us actually were adopted more than once so we have another set of legal parents. One set of parents created us; we share our DNA with them. The other set raised us. We share our memories, daily life, and love with them. Some of us, though, were raised by adoptive parents who did not treat us with love, kindness nor respect, but we cannot get out of the adoption contract easily. And for most of us, we do have love for our genetic parents.

But society says we can have ONLY one set of parents. That is very clear by the new law that will take effect in California.

Not all angles have been discussed, nor planned for in the legal documentation of the splitting-hairs of parentage. There is the surrogate mother, who might be paid a fee and lying in a poor house in India, or she might be in a rich neighborhood in LA, making babies because pregnancy comes easy for her and she wants to be altruistic in making a baby for someone else. Her name, and that of the egg donor, and that of the sperm donor, belongs on the child’s birth certificate. If you doubt that, ask anyone who is the product of such arrangement. Think you want a baby so desperately that you are willing to burden your future child with this for her or his lifetime? What about future generations? Messing with human natural selection and human consequences will NOT be felt by the arranging parents. They will get what they want – the pleasure of parenting. But the child so produced will experience lifetime ramifications for the cavalier decisions made by those in charge.

 

Spotlighting the Center for Bioethics and Culture for Writing About Reproductive Technologies

Quoting from their About Page, here is information on The Center for Bioethics and Culture:

The Center for Bioethics and Culture (CBC) addresses bioethical issues that most profoundly affect our humanity, especially issues that arise in the lives of the most vulnerable among us. The CBC works through a variety of media platforms—documentary film, writing, speaking, interviews in mainstream media, and new media platforms.

 

I’m very interested in their work, particularly the ethics of Reproductive Technologies. As an adoptee, I emphasize with the donor-conceived because they were created from donated sperm or eggs, a rented uterus, and, like adoptees, are forbidden to know their donor-parents.

Here is a link to the Center’s publication:

 .
The more people know about this topic, the better.

 

Unitarian Universalist Church Does Not Quite Get it About Mothers Day and Adoption

I write today’s blog post from the point of view of being the daughter of two mothers: one who gave me life and the other who raised me.

It is not easy being the daughter of two mothers, especially since my time with my first mother was so short. She died when I was three months old. She was dying during her pregnancy with me — a death that resulted in my father’s grief and belief that his only option and the best choice of action he could do for me was to relinquish me to the total care of another set of parents.

I do not believe that was the best choice. I needed to be with the family I was born into.

But since I was raised instead by a stranger who became my mother through a legal decree, I struggle through the sadness and loss each and every day of my life. I grieve for the family I lost because of adoption. I grieve for the loss of a mother who left the earth far too early. I grieve for the mother who adopted me as she was misguided in her possessiveness. She clings to me now in a nursing home. I give her what I can, but mostly, what’s done is done. I’m sad for her suffering and pending death. I also have a step mother who is married to my natural father.

Mother’s Day is a day of sadness for me.

I start each Sunday, including Mother’s Day, by attending a service at my local UU Church.

It’s bad enough that a dear friend of mine, a mother of adoption loss, will not attend our local UU Church (she used to) for the hypocrisy there. I agree with her. There’s wealthy adoptive parents who give lip-service about the natural parents of the adopted children they hold dear. Like the adoptive mother who got a standing ovation for adopting a three year old Haitian earthquake survivor. And don’t get me started about the abundance of gays and lesbians at church who use ANONYMOUS sperm and eggs and surrogate mothers and don’t seem to care that they willingly withhold knowledge of the absent genetic parent(s) to the children so created. In the face of all of that, I still attend the Buffalo Unitarian Universalist Church. My friend doesn’t. I miss her. I honor her for her integrity to stay away.

I look beyond these human failings, even our minister who spoke awhile back about the appropriations of other religions, or rather, the miss-appropriations, without even noticing, or caring, that many people appropriate other people’s children with a sense of entitlement.

It is not easy to look beyond these in-your-face adoption assaults.

I am at this church weekly for the spiritual, intellectual, and suburb musical performances of our choir and musicians.

Today’s guest minister, Reverend Sally Hamlin, participated in a service inspired and encouraged by Debra Hafner, an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, sexologist and Director of the Religious Institute. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-debra-haffner/honor-thy-mother-reducing_b_549650.html

This was the responsive reading: http://www.religiousinstitute.org/sites/default/files/initiatives/Rachel_Sabbath_Responsive_Reading_Mothers_Day_0.pdf

A Responsive Reading for Mother’s Day

On Mother’s Day, we honor mothers and caregivers everywhere – women who have given birth, women who have adopted children, women who care for the children of others.

We affirm the nurturing love of mothers, and the blessings of parenthood.

We pray for a society in which pregnancy is freely chosen, and mothers and children receive the care and support they need.

We affirm the sanctity of life and the moral agency of women.

We mourn the 1,500 women around the world who will die today in childbirth, or from the complications of pregnancy, because they lack basic health services.

We envision a world where childbirth is safe, and all children are wanted and loved.

Together, we break the silence surrounding women and their partners who suffer infertility, pregnancy loss, still births, and difficulties in adoption.

We bless them and hold them in love.

We celebrate the many ways that people create families and become mothers in our communities.

We call for a commitment to make every day Mother’s Day.

© Religious Institute, 2010, May 9

 

And this bulletin was read out loud:

Global Maternal Health

* Every minute, a woman dies in childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications – at least half a million women worldwide every year.

* 99 percent of all maternal deaths occur in developing nations. More than half occur in sub-Saharan Africa, and one-third in South Asia.

* Most maternal deaths take place during labor, delivery or in the immediate post-partum period. More than 3.4 million newborns die within the first week of life.

* More than one million children are left motherless every year due to maternal deaths. Children are three to 10 times more likely to die within two years of the mother’s death.

* The leading cause of death for girls ages 15-19 worldwide is pregnancy.

* There is no single cause of death and disability for men that compares with the magnitude of maternal death and disability.

* Doubling current global investments in family planning and pregnancy-related health care (to approximately $24.6 billion) could save the lives of 400,000 women and 1.6 million infants every year.

The Rachel Sabbath Initiative: Saving Women’s Lives supports the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal 5, which focuses on improving maternal health. The Religious Institute calls on congregations across the country to raise awareness and support for the UN’s targets of reducing maternal mortality worldwide and achieving universal access to reproductive health care by 2015. This initiative is named for the matriarch Rachel, who died in childbirth (Gen. 35:16-20).

Religious Institute, 21 Charles Street, Suite 140, Westport, CT 06880. Join the Faithful Voices Network at http://www.religiousinstitute.org

 

In an effort to spread the word that maternal health is important, the UU Church sorely misses the mark on the focus of adoption.

Here is what I AM ADDING to the above (in bold and italics):

We don’t have specific statistics, but for every adoptee there is a mother who gave birth. That mother suffers the loss of her child to adoption but society does not recognize nor acknowledge that loss. There are millions of childless mothers (because there are at least 6 to 7 million adoptees in America) who grieve for the loss of their babies and who dread Mother’s Day because they were made feel shame and guilt for even being a mother in the first place. We must practice Adoption Prevention.

 

A Responsive Reading for Mother’s Day

On Mother’s Day, we honor mothers and caregivers everywhere – women who have given birth, women who have adopted children, women who care for the children of others.  We also honor mothers who have lost their infants to unwanted relinquishment to the adoption industry by resolving to end this practice of taking other mothers’ children as our own.

 

We affirm the sanctity of life and the moral agency of women.

We mourn the 1,500 women around the world who will die today in childbirth, or from the complications of pregnancy, because they lack basic health services. We mourn the countless women around the world who suffer the moral indignation of disrespecting the pregnancies and infant births by the unwanted snatching of their infants at the moment of birth at Crisis Pregnancy Centers and Birthing Rooms that allow adopting couples to witness the sacred moment of birth, and mothers who are victims of Open Adoption scams and Open Adoption Agencies. We mourn the scorn still inflicted upon young teens and young women who are not married and humiliated into giving up their wanted babies because society tells them they cannot parent their own children.

 

We envision a world where childbirth is safe, and all children are wanted and loved.

Together, we break the silence surrounding women and their partners who suffer infertility, pregnancy loss, still births, and difficulties in adoption. Difficulties in adopting other women’s children? We break the silence that women who desperately want their children are taken advantage of by the cruelty of the adoption industry — women who want their children ought to not suffer their children ripped from their arms into the waiting arms of adopting parents. If and only IF a child does not have caring parents is GUARDIANSHIP NOT ADOPTION ever a substitute for motherhood. In cases of abuse and neglect, removing a child from harm is best, but working toward reunification and stabilization of that family unit is primary to the wholeness of that mother and her children.

 

We bless them and hold them in love.

We celebrate the many ways that people create families and become mothers in our communities. We celebrate to every mother the right to be mothers in life, and to be named on their child’s birth certificate, not dishonored by sealing and falsifying that document. This means that we honor the facts of birth by issuing ONLY 1 true Certificate of Live Birth and strive for the abolition of the amended birth certificate in adoption; such a document is a mockery of motherhood. Ultimately we strive for the abolition of adoption itself for every mother who gives birth and who wants her child needs to be a mother and every child needs their mother. For adoptive mothers everywhere, we strive for the acceptance that the role of raising children can be handled by a caregiver who is a guardian who does not usurp the dignity of another mother by taking her child.

 

I have no choice but to accept that I have two mothers: one by birth and one by adoption. My lesson learned from my life lived in this reality is to strive for a better world in which the sanctity of motherhood is respected everywhere on this planet. What might appear to be harsh to the adoptive mothers out there is actually a plea: stop trying to own someone else’s child and if you must fulfill your desire to be in a parenting role, be a guardian and not an adoptive mother. A guardian respects that child’s identity and true mother. Adoption, by its very nature, disrespects both the child and her natural mother by destroying the natural mother-child bond. Caring and love in a parenting role can be achieved by guardianship. Offended? I am offended that my life as the daughter of my mother who died in my infancy was not honored nor respected because of the all-almighty power of 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.

PS — See this post: Happy Birthmother Day or Happy Adopter Day; and this quote from AustinHolistic : Which makes me think, if a woman wants her child, we need to provide emotional support, financial support, and psychological support for women who want their children: and this post with this quote: There is no paradox, no contradiction and certainly no upside in having been on the loosing end of the adoption exchange.

 

 

 

 

The Real Issue in Two Fathers on a Birth Certificate: The Adoptee

I’m not going to get into a huge discussion on gays rights as that is not the focus of this website.

If two people are committed to each other and love each other, then they should be allowed to marry and adopt if that is their choice. Having said that, I must also say, because there are serious problems with the American system, adoption is not the best choice for the child. Guardianship, and not adoption, should take precedence for the child’s welfare, not the parents who “want” a child. Fiddling around with reproductive technologies, surrogate mothers, donated eggs and sperm, all confuse just whose egg and sperm and womb created the child. In the case of many parents who had a part in giving a child life, all of those parents names belong on a birth certificate. Adoptive parents names belong on an adoption certificate. Period.

In my blog post two nights ago on the article “5th Circuit Appeal: Court Upholds Child’s right to Both Fathers on Birth Certificatehttp://lezgetreal.com/?p=26855, a commenter had this to say following their article:

 Melanie Nathan

Posted on February 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm

The truth is that all adoptive parents get to go on an amended birth certificate and same should apply straight or gay

Well, that may all be well and good, IF that is your goal is. Having the same rights to nullify the personhood of an innocent child for the benefit of raising the legal equality standards for an oppressed group (gay men and lesbians), is just wrong. It is the wrong goal. The goals gays and lesbians want is to be able to adopt, not to be told they cannot adopt. In that process of fighting to win the equal right to adopt, gay and lesbian pre-adoptive parents lose sight of the most important person in this equation: the adoptee.

Another commenter at the above linked article had this to say:

Chloe

Posted on February 22, 2010 at 9:22 am

Accurate birth certificate?

An accurate birth certificate should state who actually gave birth to the child. The child became a second class citizen the minute his original birth certificate was replaced by the first falsified document.

This is not a gay rights issue. This is an adoptee rights issue. Falsifying birth certificates in the name of adoption is legalized identity theft. This child should be entitled to his true identity just as non-adopted citizens are.

Winning the right to adopt as two single men in a committed relationship is not a victory for gay rights, it is a stunning defeat for human rights, and a devastating defeat for adoptees and our natural parents. We, in the adoption reform movement, have been fighting since 1953 for the right to access our sealed birth certificates and sealed adoption records. In my opinion, we have been terribly short-sighted in our focus. We should also be fighting to PREVENT the sealing and falsification of more birth certificates by demanding an end to sealed birth certificates and the automatic falsification of a “new” birth certificate for every child who is adopted, whether the adopting parents are gay, lesbian, or straight.

I have written about this extensively on this blog, and in my book by the same name as this website. (UPDATE December 2013: second edition of my book, Forbidden Family, will be published in 2014.)

I must be writing to the blind and talking to deaf ears and trying to reason with irrational people. How hard is it to accept the facts of life? One mother and one father get together and one sperm meets one egg and there you have a baby! Throw in a surrogate mother and an egg donor and you have one genetic mother, one rented womb mother, and one sperm donor father. Is that explained clearly enough? Now, class, whose names belong on a factual Certificate of Live Birth? That’s right: the father whose sperm fertilized the mother’s egg and the mother who subsequently gave birth! That’s three parents! The fourth parent who wants to adopt must be named on an adoption certificate because no adoptive parent physically creates an adopted son or daughter. You cannot fabricate the facts of life.

Isn’t that a simple that concept?

But we have been doing just that and that is why the gay community sees this as a victory for their right to adopt.

Who the parents are gets muddied when a new set of parents come along and wants to take over parenting that child. This is why GUARDIANSHIP is much safer for the child: because in Guardianship, the child does not have a replacement set of parents. In Guardianship, the child’s rights to one mother and one father are protected. In Guardianship, the parent-figures have the legal role of care-taker, but they are not taking the place of the child’s true parents. Adoption makes the child’s true parents disappear. Adoption creates a new Certificate of Live Birth for the child and changes the child’s name to suit the purposes of the mother and father who adopt the child. But in the case of two lesbians or two gay men, the two parents who take on the social parenting role want the right to put their names on a new Certificate of Live Birth for the child. That is revisonist history.

The right to adopt should not be confused with the right to be a couple and take on a parenting role.  Adoption, as is practiced in this country, is a biased and unequal legal system with the adopting parents (gay or straight) having the upper hand. Gays and lesbians gaining the legal right to adopt is just one more step in the process of taking away a child’s right to the full truth of who created that child: one mother and one father gave that child life.

I get so tired of explaining this that I actually get tongue-tied.

So I’ll leave that alone for now.

Another commenter on the above article made this correction:

Daryl Royal

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Without taking anything away from the rest of the discussion, this decision is NOT from the U.S. Supreme Court, but is instead from the Fifth Circuit, which is a federal appeals court one step below the Supreme Court. It is only binding precedent for courts in that circuit, which include some or all of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

I stand corrected. So this is not a US Supreme Court ruling. None the less, this is certainly much more attention and “victory” than adoptee-rights legislation has received.

The adoption reform movement needs to stand up and take notice. Oppose such rulings as this! For what appears to be a victory for one oppressed group (the Gay Community) is actually a huge setback for the Adoption-Rights community.

Please, people, wake up! Each and every one of us has one mother and one father, and adoptees have another set of parents who should be named on a Certificate of Adoption, not a fraudulent birth certificate. Stand up and fight for what is right and just!

The United Nations, through UNICEF, has the goal of all children around the world to the right to a Universal Birth Registation and Birth Certificate.

I say we need to EXPAND that idea to include a UNIVERSAL Adoption Certificate. State the facts plane and simple. Put the truth right out there and stop playing with adoptees’ lives.

I still say that a full United States Constitutional Amendment should be made to overturn the Model  State Adoption Act AND this stupid, stupid case involving brain dead numbnuts gay men who can’t see the obvious crime they have just committed against the very child they claim they love so much. If they loved that boy, they would respect WHO he is and WHO his real parents are and not lie on a birth certificate! They would also insist on an accurate Certificate of Adoption to tell the absolute truth of who is the adoptive parent. The birth certificate should tell the truth of who are the biological, life-giving parents.

Gays and lesbians, go back into the corner. You can come back out only when you can recognize and honor the facts of life for another human being.

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: December 2013: second edition of my book, Forbidden Family, will be published in 2014.

This is Just Too Stupid: Two Fathers on a Birth Certificate: NumbNuts

This is just too stupid:

http://lezgetreal.com/?p=26855

5th Circuit Appeal: Court Upholds Child’s right to Both Fathers on Birth Certificate

 

Yes, that IS the headline!

When adoptees are now asserting their rights to the truth of their births (see previous post and vote here: http://www.change.org/ideas/view/return_adult_adoptees_the_right_to_their_original_birth_certificates_2), this numb-nuts Circuit Court upholds a “child’s right to Both Father’s on Birth Certificate”!

No, you stupid, stupid MEN! Men do not give birth! Women give birth!

This boy has ONE mother and ONE father who biologically created him! Those two parents’ names belong on a birth certificate NOT two adoptive fathers!!! The adoptive fathers’ names belong on an ADOPTION CERTIFICATE not a falsified birth certificate!

Just because this is a GAY RIGHTS “victory” in adoption, does not give anyone the legal right, or moral right, to side-swipe this child’s right to the truth! But the ACLU is standing for the rights of the gay adoptive parents on this, backing the adoptive gay men as adoptive parents in a sweeping National Constitutional ruling!

I have written about this before in my former blog, and was shot down by gay rights activists who saw my opposition to gay rights without giving a hoot about the stomping down of the adoptees’ civil rights!

You can read the whole above article at the link indicated above, but here are portions:

 The result – the  US Constitution requires state officials across the country “to respect the parent-child relationships established by adoption decrees, regardless of the state where that decree is entered.”

 and

A federal appeals court on Thursday ordered the state of Louisiana to issue an amended birth certificate for the child of the men stating that the State of Louisiana is ordered to put the names of both fathers on the new certificate.

and

Lambda Legal, a national civil rights organization based in Los Angeles, represented Adar and Smith sued on behalf of the couple in October 2007, saying Louisiana Vital Records Registrar Darlene Smith violated the U.S. Constitution in denying them an accurate birth certificate, which threatened the boy’s enrollment in a health care plan and treated him like a second-class citizen.

and

Because New York law allows adoption by unmarried couples, Louisiana had to follow those rules.  The registrar have the discretion to refuse to make a new, correct birth certificate for a Louisiana-born child,  when the New York adoption decree “indisputably satisfies” Louisiana requirements.

Marjorie Esman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, called Caldwell’s decision to fight the birth certificate request discriminatory.

“It was shameful that Attorney General Caldwell took such extreme measures to deny a small child a proper birth certificate simply because he didn’t like the boy’s parents,” said Esman, in a statement. “Hopefully this decision will make him think twice before wasting taxpayer money to defend his anti-gay activism.”

This is just too stupid for words. What the f…is going on here? Gay Rights vs AdopteeRights? Gay rights win a Constitutional victory to uphold a fictitious birth certificate for the adopted child of gay men? What is going unsaid here is the fact that this adopted son was born of a woman — he has a mother. And when this boy asks for his mother, he will be denied that natural calling.

This is a disgrace to human nature and common sense.

As I have stated before in answer to this article: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/national/general/view.bg?articleid=1141525

Judge: 2 adoptive dads’ names on birth certificate

By Associated Press
Saturday, December 27, 2008:

joanwheeler

Do these two gay men have the legal right to marry? I hope so. Marriage should happen before legal adoption. As for their adoptee: A person is conceived and born only once. Therefore, one, and only one, birth certificate ought to be legal. After that, if a same-sex couple, (male or female same-sex couple), or a traditional female-male couple, or a single man or a single woman wants to adopt a baby or older child, an adoption certificate ought to be issued, not an amended birth certificate. While same-sex couples want and fight for their rights, they often, as exampled here, stomp on the rights of the very children they so desperately want. Think of the fraud committed by false representation of two fathers on a birth certificate. Then think: lies beget mistrust. You cannot have a parent-child relationship based upon lies. Then think: once an amended birth certificate is created for an adoptee, the true birth certificate is sealed. The adoptee is banned, for life, from ever obtaining a certified copy of their true birth certificate because, according to adoption law, the adopting parents replace the parents of birth. In reality, adoptive parents are parents by legal decree, not by conception and birth. Adoptees bear the burden of living with this duality. How utterly ridiculous and ignorant of the facts of life for any adoptive parents (gay or straight) to be named on a falsified birth certificate! Shame on you! Shame on the court for allowing it! Joan Wheeler born as Doris Sippel Buffalo, New York adoption activist since found by natural family in 1974

 #478274 – Dec 27, 2008 4:05 PM EST

To which this comment was left on my blog:

Jason Finigan said…

As a person who is adopted, I can emphatically stated that your perception of what an adoptive child will feel about his or her “birthright” is far from reality. I’ve known since an early age that I was adopted. My parents (and yes they are my parents) never made that a secret, but they also never held that against me. They raised me as their own child, loved me, taught me right from wrong, and did all the things a person’s natural birth parents should/would do. The only difference is that I was not born to them. My natural birth mother, due to mental health reasons, was unable to care for me, and my birth father either did not know of me, or did not want me. Is this the type of birthright that I have been deprived of? A mother unable to care for her own child because of an illness and a father who does not know or does not care to know his own son? I have only known two people in my life who were my parents. They are my mom and dad and my birth certificate reflects that. Even if I found my birth mother and birth father… they aren’t my parents. I am also an openly gay man, and if one day in the future I am able to, I would adopt a child of my own. I would give that child the love he or she deserves and more importantly give him or her a family that he or she would otherwise have been denied through no fault of their own. Family isn’t about blood. It’s about what you feel in your heart for those in your life.

December 28, 2008 6:30 AM

 

To which I responded:

 Jason,

 What you say is the typical response from an unenlightened adoptee. I’ve heard thousands of adoptees, natural parents, and adoptive parents speak for nearly 35 years. I was found at the age of 18, by four older siblings. My adoptive parents lied to me because they didn’t want me to know the truth.  At age 19, I joined the Adoption Reform Movement. That’s 34 years of experience advocating for adoptees’ rights. And yes, the bottom line is: no amended birth certificate for adoptees, and, access to our original birth certificates.

 There is a big difference between civil rights and reunion, or the desire to know one’s family of origin, or to be complacent within one’s adoptive family.

 I did not state that my adoptive parents are not my parents, you do seem to be a bit on the defensive side about what you perceive is an attack on your adoptive family. As I’ve said, I’ve heard “your” story so many times in the past…your words are not new to me.

 You can say all the things that parents do, but, just remember, there are natural parents who did not get the chance to do all those things that parents do because many pregnant women were coerced into giving up their babies at birth. During the Baby Scoop Era, women were drugged, gave birth with blindfolds on their faces, and not allowed to see or touch the baby they had just given birth to. Mothers of adoption loss, and fathers, too, express that they did not want to surrender their babies, but were forced to.

 “A mother unable to care for her own child because of an illness and a father who does not know or does not care to know his own son?”  As I’ve said, this kind of story is not new to me. Yes, there are mentally incompetent people who aren’t fit to be parents, but the truth is, that woman is you r mother. That is a fact of life for you, one that cannot be denied. She probably does know that she gave birth to a baby. As a social worker, I’ve worked with mothers such as this. And they do feel emotional pain when they cannot be what everyone else is: normal. You should feel empathy, not disdain.

Ah, yes, the venom against the father for not knowing or not caring…this, too, is not an unknown to me. Many women often do not tell the father that she is pregnant with his child. Or, maybe it was a rape, or, maybe, true, he did not want you. That does not change the fact of life that he is your father. A baby must be created, conceived, and born, before an adoption takes place.

 Many adoptees will fly off the handle as you did, without understanding the larger issues. I’m not saying not to love your adoptive parents, or even that you have to develop a relationship with your first parents, I’m saying, no correct that: millions of adoptees around the world have been working tirelessly for over 50 years to understand their feelings about being adopted, and, fight for civil rights to get their original birth certificates.

“Even if I found my birth mother and birth father… they aren’t my parents.” Ah, yes they are. You wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them. Take a few biology and genetics classes, and know what inherited conditions you face. Also know that they are your first parents, whether you like that idea or not. THEY ARE YOUR PARENTS and no amount of screaming that they’re not will change the facts of life.

 I have no problem with gays and lesbians and transgendered people adopting children. My church, The Unitarian Church of Buffalo, has a large gay community. I’ve been a member there for 25 years.

 “Family isn’t about blood. It’s about what you feel in your heart for those in your life.”

Watch it with statements like this! Adoptees do search for and find their first parents and lost siblings. Relationships do develop into love. Even if adoptees never search, many are found because their natural parents or siblings search for them. If that happens in your case, please have a heart. Remember that you are not alone in this world. Strive to make the world a better place.

About that phrase: “openly gay man”…well, this is what my stupid adoptive cousin said to me in 1982 when my adoptive father died, “You OPENLY declare that you have two fathers! That means you don’t love the one who raised you! You don’t belong at this funeral!” 

 Yes, I’ve been open about advocating for adoptees’ and natural parents’ rights. It is a civil right to have access to one’s true birth certificate. Reunion and building relationships are an extention. I loved my father, he raised me. When my siblings found me, and my adoptive parents could no longer hide, my father said, “I’m glad the secret is out.” He had tears in his eyes.

 Now that you know this blog is here, check back occasionally. I’ll be posting other blogs I follow. Perhaps you can learn from other adoptees. Have a look at Bastard Nation’s website, and American Adoption Congress, for starters. Look up Concerned united Birthparents. Adoption is much more than what you know about….Learn and grow…Peace, Joan

 

 What I would like to know now is this: How is it that one oppressed group (gays and lesbians) can justify slaughtering the civil rights of two other oppressed groups: adoptees and mothers of adoption loss?

Where are the attorneys who will defend adoptees and our natural mothers and fathers in court all the way to make a Constitutional ruling that governs the entire USA?

Pathetic.

Gays and Lesbians — go sit in the corner until you have learned your lesson.

Right now, I have total disrespect for all of you pathetic worms. And some of you are my friends through adoption reform. You are a disgrace. Stand up for adoptee civil rights and the rights of WOMEN who give birth! Where is the National Organization For Women? We already know that the ACLU stands only for the perceived rights of adoptive parents.

America, the Land of the UNFREE for adoptees. Makes me want to emigrate to a foreign country that respects the truth of one’s birth and respects women as mothers.

True equality will happen when true respect and honesty rules over stupidity.

 

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.