Response to Von’s Bitch Slap With Troops on the Ground

This post is written in response to Von’s post today: Bitch Slap.

As for myself, I’ve been using the term “adoption reform” for so long, over 30 years, and it’s only within the past few years that I’ve come to realize it isn’t adoption reform that’s needed. What’s needed is the end to adoption. What’s needed is a soul-searching of the inhuman practice of permanently separating parents and their children and permanently and needlessly separating sibling groups. When the realization hits those who are a part of this horrific chain of separators, they will certainly have a gut-wrenching remorse for what they’ve done. I have seen it. A slow realization for some, and for others, it hits like a ton of bricks. Once the correct words are spoken so as to change the focus of their agency-speak, then those in power experience an awakening and they are changed. And once those regular people who insist on telling me their opinions on adoption, as if those opinions carry more weight than my 57 years of life experience and my research for 39 years, once these people hear my words from the point of view of being the victim of adoption, then I see a change: one person at a time.

 

This soul-searching realization then turns into the awareness that family preservation, kinship care, guardianship and adoption prevention must then become priorities.

 

Beyond that, I’ve achieved one-on-one change by telling ordinary people the facts of adoption that go beyond the destruction of a family to create the “loving option of adoption”. I tell them that every single adoptee in America suffers the confiscation of their birth certificate by the State Government via the Court Judge controlling the adoption and that the Judge then initiates orders to place that birth certificate under protective seal, and then the Judge orders the Registrar of Vital Statistics to create a new, amended birth certificate that replaces the names of the parents of birth with the names of the new adoptive parents as if they gave birth to the child and that child now has a new name on this new birth certificate.

People are stunned. They ask, “They do this? Still?”

I say, “Yes.”

They ask, “Why?

I answer, “Because that’s the way it’s been done since 1930 in America and States aren’t too eager to let adoptees have their true birth certificates. For the States that do ‘allow’ adoptees this ‘privilege’, there are conditions and restrictions because illegitimate bastards aren’t worthy to own the truth of their shameful births. But I’m not illegitimate, yet, I am bound by this archaic law that wipes out all adoptees’ births as if they never happened. And for the two States that never sealed adoptees birth certificates – Kansas and Alaska – those states have been, and still are, falsifying adoptees new birth certificates.”

People then ask me, “I never heard of this. In this day and age, why does anyone care about illegitimacy? Every child is precious.”

I say, “Of course every child is precious, but if you are born to unmarried parents, then the law says you aren’t worthy. And every other way a child becomes adopted – me, a half orphan, full orphans, and step-parent adoptees and foster care adoptees – we all are bound by the law of shame and secrecy. Of course you haven’t heard of this. The government and adoption agencies don’t want you to know. No one is stopping the continued falsification of birth certificates when a child is adopted. It’s all big business. All of it. Adoption agencies and social workers and adoption attorneys and court staff and court judges get paid. And the Registrars of Vital Statistics get paid to seal away a child’s birth rights and then commit fraud and perjury for the sake of doing their jobs.”

People then ask me, “I never realized the scope of this. So what can be done?”

I answer, “Just stop it. Demand that these barbaric practices cease. The whole process of permanently separating families needlessly must end, and, unethical confiscation and sealing of an infant or child’s birth certificate must end, as well as the unethical and fraudulent practice of lying on government documents must end. Now you know what really happens in adoption. People can achieve the same goal – of giving a child who actually needs a home – by promoting family preservation, kinship care and guardianship instead of adoption. You are hearing it from an adoptee. Word of mouth. Go spread the word. You now know the truth and now you must decide: will you join us in the legislative fight to change these barbaric, but legal, atrocities? I can provide you with information on how to stop this.”

People need to know and are stunned to hear the facts. Change is happening.

Daniel Ibn Zayd is right. People on the ground, in the community, talking about the realities of adoption – this is making a difference in my home city, one person at a time.

But we in New York State, and America as a whole, are so far behind the accomplishments of Australia. I, too, as Von points out, may not live long enough to see the drastic changes in public opinion and public policy that are needed. I sure as hell am giving it my all while I am here!

My Response to Sara Feigenholtz: No Thanks for the Insult

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

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

 

April 27, 2010

Sara Feigenholtz, Illinois State Representative

1051 W. Belmont

Chicago, Illinois 60657

staterep12@aol.com

 

Dear Sara Feigenholtz:

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

To:Lori Jeske

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

Subject: Re: HB 5428

Lori:

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

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

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

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

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

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

NOT.

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

 

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

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

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

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

In fact, I have already done the work for the Federal level. See: Chapter 41, Proposal for Federal Legislation on Adoptees’ Birth Records, in my enclosed book, Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing (http://www.trafford.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000137652). See also: Chapter 37, Presenting My Personal Documents as Evidence of State Fraud. See also: Chapter 38, Unequal Treatment of 1 Half Orphan Out of 36 Resulted in a Traumatic Life Outcome — A Social Work Assessment (of my adoption). Yes: three out of four families (my adoptive mother’s family, my adoptive father’s family and my natural mother’s family) all conspired to keep me away from my siblings and my father. These are the keys to my adoption, as you snidely asked Lori Jeske to provide to you about her adoption. I know you mean legislative and legal keys, but without understanding the family dynamics, you won’t have a clear picture of the destruction caused by adoption. Once you see how the interwoven family dynamics worked within, and because of, the framework of legal adoption, you then have a better picture of what to do to dismantle the beast of adoption and free its victims.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very Truly Yours,

 Joan M Wheeler

born as

Doris M Sippel

 

PS

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

 * * *

Other bloggers on Sara Feigenholtz’s email:

Cheaper Than Therapy: http://lilwalnutbrain.blogspot.com/2010/04/asshat-of-week-illinois-rep-sara.html

Baby Love Child: http://www.babylovechild.org/2010/04/27/illinois-hb5428-and-rep-sara-feigenholtzs-offices-contemptuous-use-of-the-term-ungrateful-bastards/

73adoptee: http://73adoptee.blogspot.com/2010/04/so-called-champion-of-adoptees-illinois.html

Bastard Grannie Annie: http://bastardgrannyannie.blogspot.com/2010/04/another-open-letter-to-representative.html

The Daily Bastardette: http://bastardette.blogspot.com/2010/04/sara-speaks-sara-feigenholtz-tells-us.html

 

 

~ ~ ~ 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.