Happy Adoption Day 53 Years Ago Today

Happy Adoption Day, my eyeball. The only ones happy were my adoptive parents.

Fifty three years ago, today, at age 1 year, I lost my legal right to be a part of the family I was born into. I lost my legal right to have the birth certificate that documents my birth. I won the legal right to own a birth certificate that says I was born to a woman who factually adopted me: that is misrepresentation of material facts, which is fraud.

Fifty three years ago, today, my dead mother lost her right to be my legal mother. Bad enough she faced dying knowing that she’d leave behind five children, one of whom was a newborn, but she did not know that adoption would not  only take away that newborn, but adoption would prevent her from forever being named on her child’s legal birth certificate.

Fifty three years ago, today, my father walked away from Surrogate’s Court in Erie County Hall, Buffalo, New York, a defeated man. He did what was told to him. He gave away his newborn because a Catholic priest said these words to him at his wife’s funeral ten months previously: “The baby needs two parents.” On top of that, a woman whom he did not know came up to him at his wife’s funeral and said, “I know a couple who will take your baby.”

And to this day, there are members of my dead mother’s family who believe that my father “didn’t want” me.

My father gave me up because he believed I would have a better life with two parents. At the time he relinquished me, he was a single father of five children. There was no help to keep his family together, only vultures swarming to descend and take away the children. “I’ll take the boy”, said one brother of my dead mother. But my father said no. My mother’s brothers got mad at him. My father was an only child. He had his sickly aging parents to help him. His own cousins had children of their own and did not help him keep his family together. Relinquishing me, letting me go, was his only option to save the rest of his family, and himself.

To expect a man in deep, profound grief to make life-altering decisions for his child and himself at a point of personal crisis is cruel. If he had been told the truth: that his dead wife’s family would hold this against him for eternity, that they would spread filthy rumors about him, that the adoptive family into which he relinquished his child would continue ongoing relationships with select members of his dead wife’s family and continue the gossipy rumors, all the while HE was told to stay away, he would never had agreed to relinquish his child to such an adoption. If my father were told that relinquishing his daughter to this permanent adoption would result in the utter destruction of his daughter’s personal papers, personal identity, emotional and psychological well-being, and that adoption would destroy her birth certificate, he would never have agreed to relinquishment and the adoption of his child. My father does not understand the true depth of destruction that adoption has caused me: he does not want to know because the pain is too deep.

That pain is what the adoptee experiences. That pain is not worth the benefits of Happy Adoption Day.

I am a defeated person, a shell of what I could have been. To live my life each day knowing that the very people who professed their love for me, who devoted their lives to me as my adoptive parents, loved me so much that they willfully and knowingly kept me apart from my own father and my own sisters and brother, kept me apart from my own cousins and from even knowing where my dead mother was buried, just so that they could have the luxury of raising a child “of their own”, knowing that my adoptive parents told so many lies to me for the first 18 years of my life, to know all of this was done “for my benefit” makes me so sick I want to vomit.

My adoption wasn’t love. It was possession.

I am supposed to feel grateful. I am supposed to feel happy that I wasn’t raised with my father and my siblings because “what kind of life would you have had with them?” This is the indoctrination said to me, the adoptee, by my adoptive parents and believed by extended adoptive family and the general public’s accumlated “knowledge” of adoption.

The adoptive cousins with whom I have had meaningful relationships in childhood have been what I cling to. Though we are not blood, we know each other as cousins. There are blood cousins with whom  I share closeness also.

But there is also this pervasive undertow of deception, rumor and gossip. What was it that my adoptive mother said to me just a few weeks ago as she lay in her nursing room bed? “Oh, by the way, there are people who believe that you had affairs with two of your adoptive cousins.” What? Who the hell is spreading this filth around? Again? Still? Many people in my extended adoptive family and natural mother’s family, that’s who. They are the ones who are sick. Manipulative. I want no part of perverted minds. I am tired of being the brunt of their jokes.

While Jaycee Duggard has had the unfortunate experience of having been raped repeatedly by her abductor, having two children by him, she is not alone in her captivity. How can I possibly cope with the misinformation and gossip that is said for decades among family members because they “think” or “believe” something is true?

I was raised in a beautiful middle class home in the suburbs of Buffalo, an only child, with all the attention my adoptive parents could give me. It was conditional love: I was never supposed to know my own siblings and certainly not my own father and I should never know about the truth of how my mother died. My happy childhood memories come with a price: no childhood with my own siblings. Yet my adoptive parents had theirs. I loved my parents. I loved my extended adoptive family. Only to find out at age 18 that my life was one lie built upon another. After my Reunion, a shock that sent me into oblivion for years, I was expected to bounce back, to recover, to build my life as an adult as if this shock did not “bother” me. I was accused of “living in the past” and “being obsessed with adoption” and “pulling that stunt” and “knowing my siblings all along”. The ones who “pulled that stunt” were my adoptive parents and extended adoptive family. The ones who were mad that I “was living in the past” had the luxury of knowing their own personal histories while growing up. The ones who accused me of “knowing my siblings all along” were guilty of preventing me from knowing my own flesh and blood: my adoptive parents and all who backed them in their secrecy and deception.

What is it that the psychologists say that Jaycee Dugard must undo? Is it called “Stockholm Syndrome”? Perhaps other adoptees have not had a life so entrenched with turmoil as I have had, but other adoptees sure do have sealed and falsified birth certificates. Many adoptees and adoptive parents will be screaming: “What? She can’t be comparing adoption to what Jaycee Dugard experienced!”

Oh, yes, I can.

I was held prisoner in my sheltered home for 18 years in an idyllic life away from the “crappy” life my siblings lived on the opposite side of the city. (again, indoctination from my adoptive parents against my own family of birth). I should feel grateful I didn’t live with them because they had rags for clothes, or so I was told by my adoptive mother after I was found by siblings she so intensely did not want to me ever know.  Who gets to torture an adoptee like that? I feel very much that Stockholm Syndrome fits my life, too. I was abducted from my own family by adoptive parents who selfishly kept me to themselves, knowingly and willfully depriving me of relationships with my own siblings. That is nothing less than child abuse. Beyond the mixed feelings of love for adoptive parents who “took care of me”, there are a myriad of conflicts I must cope with on a daily basis: the circulating rumors of sexual misconduct, feelings of being tricked by so many people whom I am supposed to love, feelings of wondering what other misconceptions people built up around me because they knew my blood family and I did not, feelings of shame and guilt because other relatives do not approve of my life.

There was a definite rift in my life when I was found by siblings I never knew. Certain members of my adoptive family sank away from me as if I were a leper. I am one person, people. If I am as bad as my relatives say I am, then I surely do deserve the hate mail and the obscene phone calls that have permeated my life since 1974 because I dared to accept a reunion with my father and my siblings. Form my point of view, this is gang-mentality against one adoptee.

Check out the Page on this blog “My Archives” to see the “dreadful” adoption reform newspaper articles I wrote. These articles are my way of defending the rights of adoptees, the rights of the donor-conceived, and the rights of our natural parents. I stuck up for Mary Beth Whitehead, the infamous surrogate mother, and her daughter. I got hell for that from my family members, people who are not in my direct social circle. I wrote against sperm donation. I got hell for that, too, again from family members who did not approve of my public statements against procedures that harm the chidlren created by these means. The general public’s stupidity is to be expected, but to be mistreated by my own families in the form of hate mail and hate phone calls and whispers behind my back and dirty looks and snide comments — all from my own families because I did what was right for me. This is the life of an adoptee well hated for being who she is: an adoptee advocating for humane change in the restrictive, discriminatory and de-humanizing adoption practices in America.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: for all the hate and disrespect I have been given because I was born to a woman who died and then relinquished to adoption, was found by siblings I never knew and was hated for that, endured criticism because I was slow to recover or did not do what other people wanted me to do: get over being adopted, I would have rather been born a bastard. Bastards get more respect than this adopted half orphan has ever received.

Happy Adoption Day — Fifty-three years of hell.

Are you catching the drift as to why I am anti-adoption?

Guest Post: AB 1325 Calif Assembly Judiciary Committee Taking Comments Til 1/22/10

I’m happy to fill this post request:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 9:17 PM

Hi Joan,

Could you please post the link below? 

The California Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is taking comments until January 22, 2010 on the discriminatory bill AB 1325 “Tribal Customary Adoption”. 

This bill will allow ONLY NATIVE AMERICAN CHILDREN in the state of California to be adopted WITHOUT THEIR PARENT’S RIGHTS BEING TERMINATED.

The California Assembly Judiciary Committee needs to be reminded that what’s good for one nationality of adoptees should be good for ALL ADOPTEES.  All children should be allowed to be adopted without their parents having to terminate their parental rights!  IT IS DISCRIMINATION TO ALLOW THIS FOR ONE ETHNICITY BUT NO ANY OTHERS!!!!!

Native American adoptees already get their original birth certificates when they turn 18 years old!!!!  This preferential treatment needs to stop NOW. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday is approaching and it reminds me and sickens me how far away his dream still is. 

Here’s the link if you want to comment: 

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/invitationstocomment/commentform.htm

(Just put W10-06 for legislation to be commented on.) 

—- Guest Poster

… … …

My observations: This doesn’t sound like adoption at all, but rather, legal Guardianship, which is a viable alternative to adoption. As we know, total and complete adoption severs a child from her family of birth and from her legal identity at birth, which means sealing the birth certificate and issuing a new one. However, with this California proposal, Native children in need of a permanent home and family will not lose their birth family nor their birth certifcate. This should not be called “adoption”. It would seem to me that the correct term for this is “Guardianship”.  

Yes, I find this offensive. I am very much for Native American rights, but not at the expense of others. Non-Native adoptees are forced to live lies, forced to give up their rights to their family of birth and relationships with them, and forced to live a new identity for the sole purpose of providing a child for adoptive parents to love “as their own”.

Identity confusion, loss of civil and birth rights, severance of relationships with blood kin, are not benefits of being adopted. These, and other losses, are suffered by adoptees, and our children. Perhaps the entire country of The United States of America could take this California Bill seriously to recognize the very real identity issues that all adoptees, not only Native Americans, experience. All adoptees deserve the truth of our heritage and continued relationships with our people.

 —- legitimatebastard

California Bill AB 1325 (Beall & Cook) Discriminatory To Non-Native American ADOPTEES

This came to me via an email. Sender is protected by no name indicated. —–

Joan,

Yes, please share this Bill with everyone you can. This bill can BE USED TO FURTHER OUR CAUSE IF USED OFFENSIVELY. IT REALLY IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILING TO STAND BY ALL ADOPTEES AND LETTING THE STATES PICK AND CHOSE HOW THEY ARE GOING TO TREAT US. I say this over and over… But there is NO “except for adopted persons” clause in the US Constitution. This could be an issue that would go all the way to the Supreme Court if argued properly.

… … …

Letter to the California Legislators:

Sent: 1/10/2010 11:26:56 AM Pacific Standard Time

Subject: AB 1325 (Beal & Cook) Discriminatory To Non-Native Americans

Dear California Assemblymembers:

It has been announced that AB 1325 (Beal & Cook) will go into effect in July, 2010. This bill will allow adoptions to occur without the termination of parental rights for Native children.

Why is it that Native American children relinquished for adoption are treated BETTER than non-Native American children relinquished for adoption in this State?

Why is it that ICWA protects their rights to their identities via their original birth certificate and their rights to Tribal membership? Why do they get to know who their biological parents are when they turn 18?

Now, AB 1325 takes this preferential treatment for Native American children relinquished for adoption one step further. Why is it that MY representatives in the Assembly refuse to release MY ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE TO ME? I am 40 years old.

Please explain to me how my civil rights are less important than the civil rights of Native Americans. I look forward to a response from at least my representatives in the 1st District.

Thank you for your time,

Sincerely,

(Name Withheld From this Post)

 

Here is the Tribal Alert:

2010-01-01 California Tribal Customary Adoption Harmonizes State Law and Tribal Custom

 

Sorry, Mara, Washington DC Gave Me a Better Birthday Present Than You Did!

 

Yeah, Mara, The US Dept of State AND The United States Department of Justice top your miniscule adoption voting poll on “Should Kids Given Up For Adoption Have Their Rights Defended in Court? (CASA)”.

See, the Big Guys on Capital Hill have been reading my website, either secretly or blatantly, for months. Perhaps years, well, since I began blogging in June of 2007.  

Hmm, The US Dept of State. The US Department of Justice. What are they looking for? Ammunition to use against adoptees? Pieces of the truth to use to actually change laws to end the tyranny against adoptees?

Are these US Federal government agencies solidifying adoption and birth certificate law to give back, or keep locked up, civil rights for adoptees and our natural parents?

If our birth certificates are really state by state issues to be handled by individual state governments and are not Federal issues, why, then, is the Federal Government reading my website?

Hey, Feds: stop giving me a bad name. You already took away my birthname, my birth family, and my dignity as an American citizen. Are you gonna confiscate me, too? You know, stupid people will get the wrong impression of me. I am being honest, folks. I am not committing fraud: my government committed fraud against me.

What about the barrage of government and military installations that stampeded my website in November 2009 to read about me, that baaad adoptee, that horrible, ungrateful bastard adoptee who was misquoted by an ABC news reporter who put quotes around her words as if I said, “would have preferred to live in foster care rather than be adopted…”?

No, I never said that, but again, a stupid reporter hell bent on getting out a biased article for National Adoption Month rather than accurately quote the adoptee for what she truly said, gets paid to spread wrongful information.

Well, that article sent THE PENTAGON and the US DEPTARMENT OF STATE and NAVAL and MARINES and lots of offices around WASHTINGTON DC flooding my website. Insurance companies, universities, foreign governments, social service agencies, adoption agencies and our dear friends: the NCFA – the National Council For Adoption.

So, in the wee hours of the morning, I wrote a blog post about the alternatives that could have been done had I had a defense attorney standing up for my rights as an infant being “put up for” and “placed for” and “relinquished for” adoption. THAT post sent The US Department of State and the US Department of Justice snooping around my website!

Are you kidding me? People, namely mindless relatives, think I’m doing illegal activity! Wish they’d mind their own business.

Hey, Hillary, snap to it! Adoptees are sick and tired of being slaves to the adoption-centric country and world we live in! Get to your job and straighten out America’s sick, perverted adoption and birth certificate laws. Take care of the lives of your own people right here in America before you go off traveling the world influencing foreign policy. We need you right here, defending the rights of your own citizens.

Adoptees cannot get Passports, or Enhanced Drivers’ Licenses, unless we prove who we are. We cannot prove who we are unless we get our “Original” birth certificates. We cannot get our sealed “original” birth certificates because our Federal and State governments confiscate our Certificates of Live Birth and replace them with fraudulent Certificates of Live Birth when we are adopted. And we cannot ever see or own a certified “original” birth certificate because some government official, or lawyer, is afraid we adoptees, no we dirty bastard adoptees, would commit fraud. Say what?

And don’t give me this crap from the Birther Movement trying to oust President Obama because they want to see his real birth certificate. If you Birthers would focus your attentions on the real issues of millions of adoptees who cannot access our true Birth Certificates, then we might live in a true free country. Stop focusing your energies in the wrong places and start focusing on doing justice for millions of enslaved Americans who were born here, or adopted and brought here, by their adoptive parents.

I’m speaking to you, people in The Pentagon. What threat do I pose to this country? Is it because I point out the truth of adoption in this country? I am not the only adoption activist to do so. Are you buzzing around other adoption activist websites and blogs, too? Are you gonna ban my book from being read because I published scanned images of my real and false Certificates of Live Birth issued by the State of New York?

Jeese Louise! Do your jobs and correct the mistakes perpetrated against adoptees since falsified birth certificates became the law of the land in 1930 to erase bastards’ beginnings from the sandstones of time. Chop our names and images off of the pyramids and temples of the ancients because we low-lifes are not worthy to know the truth.

I am not a bastard! I was born to married parents! My birth, and the births of my fellow adopted citizens, illegitimate bastards or orphans or adopted step children, are not births to be criminalized.

Children are not chattel! Children look to adults to take care of them and protect their rights. Adults need to grow up to do right and just action. Unseal adoptees’ birth certificates and stop issuing falsified documents just because the government says it is okay to do so.

Liars. Cheaters. This is America! The Land of the Free!

Listen up, US Dept of State! You are in together with The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. This Convention not only allows for falsified birth certificates for all intercountry adoptees, it requires pre-adoptive parents to obtain a “new” birth certificate for the child they wish to adopt before the adoption takes place! Who drew up these international treaties? Falsifying birth certificates BEFORE or AFTER an adoption is not right and just action, but it is legal. And because it is legal, this practice must be moral, otherwise, people wouldn’t do it. Nor would they blindly “believe” in adoption.

The United Nations urges all nations, even the poorest of the poor, to register the births of all children for the safety and civil rights of all children. Why should nations follow the suggestions of the United Nations and UNICEF, when the US Department of State and The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption requires the destruction of those birth certificates by overriding them with “new” birth certificates made in the child’s new name and the names of the intended adoptive parents? Might not justice be best served by telling the truth on official government documents of birth and adoption? Might it not be best to honor the births of all children by eliminating adoption all together? The same end result of providing a home for a needy child can be achieved with Guardianship, rather than adoption. Unless, of course, if the goal really is to provide children for waiting pre-adoptive and “intended” adoptive parents, then right action and moral action is to strip the child of her birth identity and replace the low-life’s origins with adoptive parents who are better suited to be parents.

Sorry, Mara, but you despicable bastard have been displaced. The US Department of State and the US Dept of Justice in Washington DC definitely beat you out as giving me a better Birthday present than you did. You only spurred me to speak about kids having attorneys in court to stand up for their rights, but these agencies spying on me gave me the impetus to speak out against the worldwide destruction of adoptees’ birthrights. You’ve been outdone, Mara.

Tomorrow,  we go back to change dot gov where we can pick apart President Obama’s misstatements on “making adoption more available”.  Adoptees’ work is never done. I’ve been neglecting my page on that website for far too long.

What’s a birthday for if you  can’t sit on your ass all day and write activist blog posts harassing the US Federal government and international law-making bodies?

Thanks, Mara. You started it! Best Birthday present ever!

Birthday Vandalism, President Millard Fillmore, and Adoptees

I just got back from a very unusual birthday celebration at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York: US President Millard Fillmore was born this day 210 years ago. I attended a memorial service at his gravesite to honor him.

There was a wreath presented by the current US President’s Representative, and other government officials, as well as dignitaries from educational institutions that owe their beginnings to Millard Fillmore. Since Millard Fillmore was a Unitarian, the minister of the Buffalo Unitarian Universalist Church gives the invocation prayer. Today’s service was not as cold as in other years. There was no bitter wind or snow falling. TAPS was played by a lone trumpeter and a military flag guard opened and closed the ceremony.

The first year I attended was 21 years ago. I brought my toddler daughter. A TV camera took her picture as she played in the snow. Then, the TV reporter asked the guests why they were there. The usual important people gave their usual official comments on this President’s contributions to end slavery and start hospitals and the University of Buffalo just 13 years after the British burned the village of Buffalo to the ground in 1813. In 1989, I was trying to duck the reporter, but he caught me and asked me why I was there. I said, “I share Millard Fillmore’s birthday and I was born in the hospital named after him. I am also a member of the church he belonged to. I came here to honor a man who became the 13th President of the United States”. The reporter thanked me.

I went home and watched the News at dinner time. Less than 5 minutes later, the phone rang.

“Hello, Joan. You pig! What the hell are you doing, talking to a News Reporter and plastering your face on TV?! You are an ego-maniac and have no business showing off!”

That call came in from an adoptive cousin. She and her sisters and their mother have hated me for “OPENLY declaring you have two fathers” since 1974.

This is the kind of stuff that makes me want to die. Because THEY out number me, they have the power. I am alone. Can I not celebrate my birthday in the way I choose? Who are THEY to judge me? What harm have I done to THEM? THEY do not approve of my reunion with my father — a man THEY have never met — a man THEY hate because, according to THEM, he gave me away so he does not qualify to be honored by me as my father. BUT HE IS MY FATHER. Without him, I would not be alive.

So much for family values – so much for adoptive family values. The adoptee only has value if she honors and obeys the adoptive family’s rules and ignores from whence she came.

My MOTHER gave birth to me today 54 years ago in Millard Fillmore Hospital in Buffalo, New York. Her name, and that of my FATHER, is on my hospital records, my hospital birth certificate, and my true birth certificate. But the State of New York seized that birth certificate in January of 1957 and by March of 1957, the State of New York BASTARDIZED my legitimate birth by issuing a falsified, certified as true, Certificate of Live Birth with a raised State seal and a stamped signature of a City of Buffalo Registrar of Vital Statistics. This fraudulent piece of paper is my legal birth certificate. It desecrates the honor of the woman who gave her life so that I may live.

Thank you, New York State, for dis-honoring my birthday.

I will fight till my dying breathe to avenge the violation of my MOTHER’s honor as the woman who nurtured me in her body and then died so that I may live. I will fight to my dying breath to win back my birthright and re-build after the destruction by State-sanctioned vandalism of my true birth certificate — the official documentation of my actual birth.

HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER, so says a Catholic Commandment.

Where is the honor befitting my father and mother of conception and birth?

A Catholic nun in my Junior High School used to say, “Look ashamed!” when she caught some unruly student misbehaving.

I say to all who violate adoptees’ sacred bonds of birth: Shame on all of you who mock adoptees and our natural parents!

Thanks for a wonderful life, you lousy relatives. I am ashamed to have been adopted into YOUR clan. Family values, indeed. The values you proliferate certainly are not Christian values of love. Only a few of you are worthy of my love.

I take away valuable lessons from President Millard Fillmore. He had the tenacity, strength and the personal integrity to stand for honor and justice, to stave off the American Civil War for a few more years, and to stand up to end slavery.

There is a quiet civil war going on right now: the US and State governments are imprisoning all adoptees by seizing our birthrights and birth certificates by forcing us to live lies every time we are forced to present fraudulent birth certificates as the real documentation of our births. Stop the vandalsim of adoptees’ true birth certifcates.

Poll Started by Mara – Should Kids Given Up for Adoption Have Their Rights Defended in Court?

WOW! Best Birthday Present EVER! Thanks, Mara!

First, take the poll:

Should Kids Given Up For Adoption Have Their Rights Defended in Court? (CASA)

Then, leave a comment.

I was the first to do so on my BIRTHDAY, thanks to Mara!

Here’s my answer: YES!!!

And my Comments, spelling mistakes and all:

If my rights had been defended in court by an independant attorney who was looking out for my true “best interest of the child”, my adoption might have been handled diffeerently. One solution to my pre-adoptive parents’ petition to adopt me could have been to totally negate their petition on the grounds that it would be illegal and immoral to remove an infant from an existing sibling group and change her name and her identity to conform to what the adoptive parents want for “their” adopted child. Another solution could have been was to modify the petition to adopt by restricting the pre-adoptive parents to Legal Guardians. That would have kept my legal and my birth name one and the same (thereby preserving my Birth Certificate), and at the same time, given my Guardians the joy of raising a child with the knowledge of and visitation with that child’s one remaining parent (mother died) and visitation with her older siblings. The third option — which is what actually happened — to sever the ties completely with the father and siblings of the adoptee and raise the child 100% as the “only child” of the adopting parents which completely cut off my ties to my natural father, wiped out my chance for a timely and appropriate grieving of my MOTHER’s death, and wiped out any relationship that could have developed with my full blood siblings. It is a crime what happened to me! NO CHILD SHOULD BE PERMENTENTLY SEPARATED BY ADOPTION. This is cruel and is child abuse!!!! I blame the adoptive parents and the adotpive family for lying, manipulating the system and lying to the relinquishing natural father who was vulnerable at age 31 because he was grieiving the loss of his 30 year old wife who was the mother of five children.

Oh, yes, another solution would have been to compelety restore my father AS my father, restore my siblings AS my siblings, negate 100% the Petition to Adopt by my pre-adotpive parents and provide emotional and financial support for this FAMILY to stay together.

Still another solution would have been to give me back to my father, but, since my pre-adoptive parents had taken care of me for 10 months prior to the Final Court Date securing my closed and sealed adoption, that would have been cruel to them. This last option would have validated those legal guardians’ rights to have contact with the child they had grown to love.

These situations happen all the time. Played out quite well in extended family within my adoptive family: my adoptive parents took care of a number of sinling groups who did not have a father (he ran off). But, my adoptive parents (years before I was born and adopted) had respect for the remaining parent, knew their own boundaries and limitations as Parent Figures, and loved the children anyway.

Love is best when it is honest and respectful. Closed and sealed adoption destroys family relationships for generations.

Children who are Relinquised for adoption and who are being Petioned to be be Adopted, SHOULD have legal cousel to prertect their best interests.

Had my legal rights been protected from the very beginning, I would have had a happier life.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak.

Joan M Wheeler of http://forbiddenfamily.com .

………

Now, all you good little adoptees, go raise some hell on this fabulous poll started by MARA!!!!

Dear Mr. President at Congress dot org

My letter to President Barak Obama on the website Congress.org:

Letters To Leaders

All messages are published with permission of the sender. The general topic of this message is Children/Families:

Subject: Adoptees’ Civil Rights to their true birth certificates

To:
President Barack Obama

December 5, 2009

Mr. President,

It is of vital importance that you pass Federal Legislation restoring the legal right for adoptees to not only have access to their true birth certificates, but it is also imperative that you immediately halt the state-by-state assault on illegitimate bastards, half and full orphans, and step children adopted by their step-parents and children born within a marriage to be “legitimized” by adoption. The process of adoption strips a child of her/his name at birth, parents of conception and birth, strips them of their relationships with these parents, and forbids any contact with siblings left behind.

I urge you to immediately pass Federal Legislation that would erase the automatic issuance of “new” and “amended” and false and fraudulent Certificates of Live Birth to adoptees at the finalization of their adoptions.

Adoptees do not have the full civil right to access and obtain a certified copy of their true birth certificates. Meanwhile, the Certificate of Live Birth that is issued upon adoption falsely states that the parents named on the document are the parents by birth, which is a blatant lie. Such a document is a fraudulent birth certificate, yet this is what adoptees have to pass off as their birth certificates.

Much better is the way it is done in The Netherlands:
1 birth certificate + 1 adoption certificate = adoption truth

I am 53 years old and cannot obtain my true birth certificate, even though I already have it (because my natural father gave it to my adoptive parents at my relinquishment.

Visit my website: http://forbiddenfamily.com.

Sincerely,

Joan M Wheeler,
born as,
Doris M Sippel

author of: Forbidden Family:
A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion

Falsified Birth and Baptismal Certificates Revisted

It amazes me that people really do not understand this issue. Adoptees do not falsify their own documents. Adoptive parents do no falsify the documents. Natural parents do not falsify documents.

When a baby or a child is relinquished to adoption, that infant or older child maintains her/his birth certificate (and religious baptismal certificate) from birth. That is the child’s legal identity. That birth certificate names the parents who are responsible for creating that infant whose birth is recorded on the birth certificate: “Certificate of Live Birth”.

Only when an  infant or older child has undergone the legal process of adoption, a six month or longer process, at the moment the Judge and the adopting parents sign the Final Order of Adoption, only then is the legal process set in motion to change the legal identity of that infant. This legal process takes from  about 1 month to 3 months for the Judge’s Order to arrive in the hands of the Registrar of Vital Statistics. Then, the Registrar takes the information that the Judge sends over, and puts the new name of the child and the names of the adopting parents and the birth information onto a form that closely resembles the actual birth certificate. But this “new” birth certificate is not the exact same form. It is, however, a legal form. It is a legalized method of lying. It is a legal “Certificate of Live Birth”.

All adoptees have a legally falsified “Certificate of Live Birth” that states they were born to parents who did not create them biologically. The mother named on this “Certificate of Live Birth” did not give birth to that named child!

This is fraud perpetrated b y the government.

Fraud perpetrated by any Church (does not have to be Catholic, but in my case, is) to issue a certified religious document stating that an adopted child was baptised in the adoptive name is jiust that: fraud. If, on the other hand, a child is baptised AFTER an adoption, then that baptism is correctly done and correctly documented.

In my case, the Catholic Church falsifed my baptismal certificate to indicate that I was baptised in my adoptive name, which I was not. You will have to buy my book to see all of these documents clearly printed in black and white. 

Adoptees are not guilty of fraud. The State and Federal Governments are guilty of fraud. It is time to put an end to adoption fraud.

Yes They are Using BirthMothers to Keep Adoptees’ Birth Records Sealed

Lori A at her blog, DNA Diaries, has an excellent post about how slowly she realized the issues surrounding adoptees’ fight to obtain a certified copy of their own true birth certificates.

In her post, Slowly Coming Around to a New Way of Thinking (Dec 16, 2009), Lori states “U.S. courts have ruled that there are no such things as ‘adoptee rights’. No rights exist in law or can be upheld in court. Let that soak in for a minute. No matter how old you get as an adoptee, there are still certain rights that do not and will not pertain to you, because of a decision that was made for you. You are disallowed certain rights that pertain to the non adopted, but there are no other rights that pertain to you under the law.”

And then, Lori states, “Then it slowly, over days, begins to sink in. When adoption started it was to hide the sins of an unwed mother and the embarrassment of infertile couples. As time goes on, it becomes more about privacy for the parents raising the adopted child. Now, it’s about my right to privacy as a damaged first parent. … Now I get it. They are using ME, my status to promote ‘their’ agenda.”

Yes, that’s right. Lori. They, The NCFA, and the ACLU, and the Catholic agenda, are all working against us to protect the rights of the unwed mother to remain in hiding. That not only is an inaccurate assessment of single mothers who lost their newborns to adoption, but it is a gross injustice to all adoptees. For we are punished for the “sins” of our parents, yet, many of us were born to married parents! I was. And then my mother died, making me a half orphan. A half orphan has rights. But then I was adopted and adoption overrode my first birth rights.

This cycle needs to stop.

Thank you, Lori, for your post.

Response to NCFA’s “Mutual Consent: Balancing the Birthparent’s Right to Privacy with the Adopted Person’s Desire to Know” – Re-Post

This is another Re-Post from my former blog. This article was originally posted on Sunday 2-22-09 in response to the article by Marc Zappala of the NCFA – National Council For Adoption, https://www.adoptioncouncil.org/resources/documents/NCFAAdoptionAdvocateVolumeNo10.pdf

This is so important to beat-down the opposition, considering adoptive parents who are not in the know fall back on the rape-issue as an important tool/weapon/excuse/reason to keep their adoptees (and the rest of us adoptees who are not products of rape) from accessing their/our true birth certificates.

Happy Reading!

HalfOprhan56 – December 16, 2009

…. …. ….

Sunday 2-22-09

My Response to the NCFA’s recent publication:

“Mutual Consent:
Balancing the Birthparent’s Right to Privacy
with the Adopted Persons’ Desire to Know”

by Marc Zappala
National Council For Adoption

Click to access NCFAAdoptionAdvocateVolumeNo10.pdf

Dear NCFA: One Size Does Not Fit All

Your organization does not speak for me, an adoptee reunited for 35 years. Nor do you speak for my adoptive parents, and you certainly do not speak for my natural parents. Your basic premise of protecting “the birthmother in hiding” has absolutely no applicable usefulness to my adoption whatsoever.

In your recent publication named above, you have not included the full spectrum of adoptees’ and natural parents’ experiences. Instead, you choose to focus on one small group of distraught birthmothers whom you claim need protection from being identified. Natural parents and adoptees come from many different family circumstances, so it is unwise to base all of your conclusions on just one aspect of adoption. By focusing on fear and intimidation, you are perpetuating the shame and guilt of pregnancy without marriage resulting in an illegitimately born infant. Flaunting terrified mothers-in-hiding whose infants were conceived of rape or incest shows your lack of concern for these mothers.

I find it interesting that you use a vulnerable group of childless mothers to achieve your goals. These women were so traumatized that they can’t face the horror of what was done to them, and what they had to sacrifice. Instead of seeking appropriate psychotherapy for coping with rape, incest, and unimaginable grief, their understandable rage is misdirected. They are under your direction. This small segment of birthmothers is held in high esteem by the NCFA (and religious Christian fanatics who claim to have superior morality). You use them as weapons against their own offspring! Worse yet, you use them as the galvanizing force to prevent all 6 or 7 million adoptees from achieving access to our true birth certificates. This is a grave injustice.

By being receptive to learning about the true-life situations of millions of adoptees and their natural families, your organization can foster healing and understanding. Not all adoptees are products of rape, incest, or not-married teenage mothers. Every adoptee has a natural father, too, but you don’t talk about fatherhood. Are you purposefully hiding the identities of fathers who impregnated unmarried mothers and ran away? You don’t take into account children who are adopted by stepparents, nor do you address the issues of older children adopted out of foster care. You certainly haven’t given any consideration to half or full orphans. Nor do you address relative adoption, in which, for example, grandparents adopt their daughter’s or son’s child. Each one of these situations has a variety of social openness.

No matter how open an adoption is, the adoptee’s birth certificate is always sealed and a falsified birth certificate is issued in its place. There is not one sentence or even one phrase in your recent publication that addresses the ethical, moral and legal complications of lying, committing fraud, and willfully withholding information to that adoptee who supposedly is loved by the adoptive parents. The only aspect of adoption you seem to caress with any passion is the perceived moral indignation of an exposed mother in hiding!

I’m just one adoptee, but you can learn a great deal from me, and others, if you open your minds and hearts. I’m a half-orphan, not an illegitimate. My mother died, so there is no fearful birthmother to “protect”. There are no secrets and there is no shame in my conception and birth. I’ve pointed this fact out in at least two private letters to the NCFA. You have chosen to ignore them with no response.

If you, the NCFA, can wave huge red flags with the token few birthmothers who refuse to get the proper counseling to cope with their specific needs, and then claim that they will dominate and take control over all adoptees’ civil and ethical rights, then I am going to raise holly hell about being a half-orphan! Orphans are a minority group within the larger adoptee population. No hiding birthmother for me! My natural mother is dead so she does not need your protection!

My natural father does not need you protection, either. He was never verbally promised confidentiality or privacy, nor was a written contract of such presented to him to sign. Instead, my 31-year-old father was verbally told to stay away from my adoptive parents. (My adopting parents, however, were not told to stay away from him! They needed protection from the possibility that he would interfere into their lives, yet, my natural father he did not get the assurance that they would not interfere in his life. They did, but for that story you will have to wait for the publication of my memoir.) The verbal promise my father made to the court to stay away from my adoptive parents and from me, was backed up by written court papers, signed by my natural father and my adopting parents. The Court Judge told my natural father that he could seek me out again, and establish a relationship with me, after my 18th birthday.

Yes, you read that right! Relinquishing mothers have been told that they will NEVER see their adopted-out children again!

Since my mother cannot speak for herself, I’ll speak for her. How does my mother feel looking through the Spirit World at her now adult children, knowing that her youngest was legally cast out of the family? How does she feel that no one, not even the Catholic Church, helped her husband keep the family together after her death? How does she, MY MOTHER, feel that HER RIGHT to be named as the mother of birth was taken from her? How does she feel about some other woman named on a record of false birth as the woman who gave birth to her child? I would guess that my mother is very sad, hurt, and confused. Common sense tells us that a person can be physically born only once, and yet, some other woman is now named on my only legal birth certificate as my mother by birth! That is a disgrace and a dishonor to the mother who actually carried me intimately inside her and then gave birth to me!

NCFA, you don’t seem to be concerned about the natural mothers (and fathers) who lose their rights to be named on a certified birth certificate for the child they gave birth to. Snarky people quip, “She gave up her parental rights!” No, my mother did not give up her rights at all. She died…of cancer… when I was three months old. My birth certificate was registered in the local Vital Statistics Office within five days after my birth. Yet, that certificate was stolen from me, and from my deceased mother, and from my distraught father, when New York State sealed my true birth certificate and issued a fake one!

My four full-blood siblings, who are also half-orphans, can get their birth certificates — but I cannot get mine. (No – this is not an invitation for them to jump on the bandwagon. I do not want them in my life. As has been previously stated, they are presently an unwelcome interference in my life and are certainly not wanted within the adoption reform community. Read my book to find out why.) The only difference between us is that I lost my legal right to be a part of that family. I lost the right to my birth certificate because adoption legally wiped out my identity and family.

Luckily for me, my natural father had my birth certificate, my baptismal certificate, and my hospital birth certificate. He gave these papers to my adoptive parents, who gave these papers to me after my siblings found me and exposed the secret my adoptive parents never wanted me to know. So I know what is behind the seal in the Vital Statistics Office in Buffalo City Hall, but I am still legally banned from ever asking for it and receiving it at the window.

For me, access to my birth certificate, and reunion with my natural family, is much more than finding the names of the people who created me. To see documented proof that I was born grounds me and connects me to the family I lost. And yes, identity formation of an adoptee certainly does include knowledge of the natural family from which the adoptee originated. To be denied this may seem trivial to some people, but when you don’t have the right to your birthrights, when you don’t have the needed validation of your physical self, there is a deep, psychic aching, a longing for connection.

This is widely published adoption psychology. But it appears the NCFA has not read anything written by Annette Baran, Reuben Pannor, Arthur Sorosky, Ken Watson, Miriam Reitz, Nancy Newton Verrier, David Brodzinsky, Ron Nydam, Betty Jean Lifton, Sandy Musser, Mirah Riben, Lorraine Dusky and Joyce Maguire Pavao. It also appears that you have little knowledge of H. David Kirk’s books, nor have you read The Handbook of Adoption: Implications for Researchers, Practitioners, and Families, by Rafael A Javier, Amanda L Baden, Frank A Biafora and Alina Camacho-Gingerich. Shall I dare mention Adam Pertman’s book? The way you, NCFA, slammed his organization and the careful research that went into The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute’s publication, For the Records: Restoring a Legal Right for Adult Adoptees, tells me you won’t even look at Mr. Pertman’s book, Adoption Nation.

Anything that criticizes your sanctimonious view of adoption should automatically be discredited by your organization and the pack of hateful natural mothers you carry with you. However, the short list of valuable authors listed above (there are many more)ought to be read by all people who are separated by, and connected by, adoption. The NCFA’s lack of knowledge in the life-cycle of adoptees, natural parents and adoptive parents and extended family on both sides, is frightening.

Adoptees have the psychological task of integrating their two identities. They have to come to terms with whatever transpired that was severe enough that they lost their first family. All adoptees have two sets of real parents, whether or not you want to admit that fact, it is fact! When you pit natural parents against their adopted-out daughters and sons, or arm adoptive parents with scare tactics, or treat adoptees as perpetual children, you are creating hostility between people who are intimately joined together by the adoptee in the middle! The emotional burden of sorting out the whys, the hows, the what ifs, the physical differences and awkwardness of being raised by a family that does not resemble the adoptee, grief and mourning the lost family, and so much more, all falls on the shoulders of the adoptee. Natural mothers suffer in ways most people can’t imagine, and yet, your organization promotes hate, fear, disgust.

Here’s a little background about me. I’m an adoptee from New York State who was found in 1974 by siblings I never knew. You, NCFA, can interpret that as a violation of my right to privacy, or, you can see that my four full-blood siblings wanted their baby sister so they found me. Yes, of course there are privacy issues of my adoptive parents who were never consulted. Also, my siblings did not consult with our father before they contacted me. Remember, this was 1974. No one really knew how to proceed.

I joined the Adoption Reform Movement within that first year of reunion.

In the very early 1980s, when the New York State Adoption Registry was just a bill, our local adoptees’ support group began a letter campaign against it. By 1983, I became the leader of the local support group. Many members wanted more emotional support, while others wanted to continue to fight against the Mutual Consent Registry. I wrote to then-Senator Anthony Masiello frequently, and he wrote back. Through this personal approach, I was able to get one man to understand deeper issues of adoption. Then I got married, had children, so my activism tapered off. When the Registry Bill became law, I wrote to the Editor of our local newspaper voicing my objections. A scanned copy of that published editorial is printed above.

In addition to what’s stated in that editorial, in my letters to Senator Masiello, I wrote that the Registry would not be of any use to me. My mother was deceased and could not give her consent to the release of any information, non-identifying or identifying. Even though I had had a reunion and knew all there was to know for 9 years before the bill became law, I did have an 11 year old half brother who lived with my natural father and his mother, my step mother. Because of this, I would have to wait until he reached age 21 before I could apply to the Registry. But I knew my blood-kin. There was nothing to hide! The Mutual Consent Registry simply was not at all helpful to me in any way.

I also pointed out to Senator Masiello that the required written parental permission would have to be obtained from both of my adoptive parents, and my natural father, and all three would have to pay their fees and file to the Registry. I was outraged that, at age 28, I had to ask my parents’ permission to gain information on myself, and my adoption, from the New York State Reunion Registry. Even if I had obtained written parental permission from three parents, the fact that my natural mother was dead and could not provide her written consent, her death would prevent me from being granted any information, even after paying the adoptees’ higher fees than the parents’ fees.

When I had my second child, I could not keep up the fight against this ridiculous law. A few years went by. I learned that a political action group in another city was successful in taking parental permission out of the Registry law. Finally! Validation that in every aspect of life, when a person reaches the age of majority, that person is free from parental control and does not need written parental permission to do anything!

I never filed with the New York State Reunion Registry. Instead, I petitioned Surrogate’s Court to unseal my adoption records. It was a long, drawn out procedure, but successful. The Judge gave me photocopies of most of my sealed adoption papers because I had proven that I had known my natural father and my siblings for over twelve years. But I still did not gain access to my sealed birth certificate.

The Surrogate Court Judge who presided over my adoption in 1957 knew that my mother died and that her death notice was public record, yet he proceeded with my adoption as if it were completely closed. On the day of finalization, the judge ordered my birth certificate in the Vital Statistics Office in Buffalo City Hall to be sealed from me and anyone else. He then ordered a new birth certificate to be made in my adoptive name with my adoptive parents named as parents by birth. Then, he sealed my adoption papers in Erie County Hall in downtown Buffalo, New York.

My four older siblings can get certified copies of their birth certificates; I cannot get mine. The only difference is that I am adopted and they are not. This is pure discrimination — not based upon circumstances of an illegitimate birth, not based upon implied “privacy and confidentiality protection” for my deceased natural mother to keep me from learning her identity, not based upon implied “privacy and confidentiality protection” for my natural father to keep me from learning his identity — but based solely upon my status as an adoptee.

I do not have the same equal rights to a certified copy of my true birth certificate issued within five days after my birth as my siblings do to theirs, or as anyone else has to their birth certificate. Instead, I have a New York State certified copy of a record of false birth. This record of false birth (officially titled Certificate of Birth, and Certificate of Live Birth) fraudulently states that I was born to parents who actually adopted me.

To correct this legalized fraud, I demand immediate access to, and a certified copy of, my true Certificate of Birth (both the short form and the long form), and the immediate revocation of my phony birth certificate. In its place, I demand a truthful adoption certificate, with complete facts of adoption, including the naming of my parents by adoption, certified as true by New York State.

For all the conspiracy theorists who warn that giving adoptees a certified copy of their true birth certificate would give adoptees freedom to commit fraud because they then would have two forms of ID in two different names, I need to remind you that I had been given my original birth certificate by my adoptive mother just a few days after being newly reunited with my siblings. I was 18 years old at the time. I am 53 years old now. I have never presented my certified original birth certificate to do anything illegal. I know my name was changed legally, and I know right from wrong.

To the larger issue, I say: change the law. Make it mandatory on a Federal level that adoptees need both the true Certificate of Birth and the Certificate of Adoption to prove identity and citizenship. This is how it is done in more progressive countries, such as The Netherlands. Dutch adoptive parents fully accept the truth. Dutch adoptees have full knowledge of their birth and adoption, and they have both: their certificate of birth and their certificate of adoption. That is an equitable, honest, and moral method of recording adoptees’ births and adoptions. Change the law and social attitudes will change.

Women were jailed and beaten to gain the right to vote in 1920. Blacks rioted in the 1950s and 1960s to gain civil rights equality with Whites. The Adoption Reform began in 1953, but we have yet to see full equality for American adoptees to gain back their civil rights to their own birth certificates and an accurate adoption certificate.

Yet, adoptees had rights to an unsealed and unaltered birth certificate before 1930. What happened in 1930? Three men decided they would protect adoptees from the stigma of illegitimacy by creating a new birth certificate for adoptees. This is documented history. For more information on this, see page 53 of historian E. Wayne Carp’s book, Family Matters: Secrecy and Disclosure in the History of Adoption. See also Elizabeth J. Samuels’ book, The Idea of Adoption: An Inquiry into the History of Adult Adoptee Access to Birth Records. See also Janine M. Baer’s book, Growing in the Dark: Adoption Secrecy and its Consequences.

Yours Truly,

Joan Mary Wheeler,
born as
Doris Michol Sippel