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?

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

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.

Thoughts on Being an Imposter

In the past 35 years of being in reunion and having my true birth certificate and true baptismal certificate, along with my legal birth certificate that states that I was born to a woman who did not give birth to me, and a baptismal certificate in my adoptive name that states that the person named was baptized three years before that person legally existed, I find it amazing that many other people are confused by my identities.

I, however, am not confused. It is troubling to view my true and falsified documents, but I know who I am, and I know my legal name prior to adoption. I know my religious name prior to adoption. Actually,my religious name will always be Doris Michol Sippel because, according to the Catholic Church, once baptized, a person is always that name in the eyes of God.

Because I have these documents, people assume all kinds of nasty things about me. They assume that I falsified my own documents. Some people have accused me of fraud. Some people are so confused themselves about who I am that they argued with me because they could not warp their brain around my life’s complexities.

It is not the fault of reunion, nor is it that my adoptive mother threw my sealed birth records and adoption decree at me three days into my telephone reunion in 1974, that caused this “identity” problem for me. Opening up adoptees’ sealed records will not cause otherwise intelligent adoptees to go into a tale-spin. The identity confusion for the adoptee comes in when the adoptee realizes that the government is at fault. Changing an adoptee’s birth certificate is inherent within the process of legally adopting an adoptee. It is part of the legal documentation of the exchange of that baby or older child from one set of parents to the other set of parents. The parents do not change the infant’s name: they do not cause the legal incongruities — the court and Registrar of Vital Statistics do that.

However, adoptive parents come to accept, expect, and eagerly await their new adoptee into their lives and with the receipt of that baby, they (the adopting parents) wait for the “new” amended birth certificate to arrive in the mail. This “new” birth certificate “proves” that they are the child’s new parents! The “old” parents now no longer exist, so adoptive parents develop an attitude of Entitlement over their adoptee.

But they forget: they would not be ADOPTIVE parents if it were not for the conception and birth of that infant to another set of parents.

When we get to the point of telling  the truth in both adoptive-parent-to-adoptee relationships and on the documents that record adoptions (a falsified birth certificate should actually be a Certificate of Adoption), then this adoptee who sometimes feels like an impostor in her own life, will be happy.

Truth in adoption and reproductive technologies needs to happen.

Rebuttle from Yesterday’s ABC Article

This post, too, will be quick. No time for editing. This is written in response to this article: 

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/adoptees-cite-discrimination-landmark-study-push-open-birth/story?id=9138141

I agreed to be interviewed, but I DID NOT say I would have preferred to be in foster care!!! The foster care and guardianship topics came up in my interview when the reporter asked me, “You’re not anti adoption, are you?”

I said, “Yes, of course, I am!”

The reporter said, “Well, what would you like to see done differently?”

I said, “Preserving the natural family is the first step. If a child cannot be raised by her parents, then kinship care,, and after that option, then guardianship.” I DID NOT SAY THAT I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED TO BE RAISED IN FOSTER CARE!

That kind of twisting my words has resulted in, again, more misunderstanding abaout adoption.

Of course I enjoyed my childhood. I was raised by doting, loving parents who gave me everything a child could want: a secure home, tucks in bed at night, good meals, snuggles and cuddles as a young chid, a good education, family get-togethers with extended family at other homes and at parks, and emotional closeness. I loved my parents while I grew up and they loved me.

But that love was destroyed when I got that phone call from a sister I never knew. It was at that moment at age 18, and a high school senior, that I realized a rush of information and acceptance. The two most trusted people in the world to a child are her parents. And mine lied to me. Not only did they lie, but they willfully prevented me from knowing my siblings during the time when it is most crucial for a child to have siblings: childhood.

The reporter made me out to be some kind of uncaring nutcase. I resent that characterization.

Foster care would not have been my preferred choice to the childhood  that I did have. However, finding out at age 18 that I actually had full blood siblings, devastated me.

Here is what I wrote in the onnline comments to that article. I acnnot stay to read comments waitiing for psoting, or to answer email. I need to go back to  hospital for my dying adoptive mother. Mixed feelings? Yes. How would you feel if your parents lied to you and prevented you from growing up with your siblings?

My reprints from online comments:

Part 1

The responses to this story reflect the ignorance of adoption that still exist. It is appalling what people perceive adoption to be.

 I will be posting a series of posts (due to space limitations) to correct mistakes in the bad reporting and mischaracterization of my adoption and reunion. First, it is not the reunion that went bad, it was my entire adoption that was wrong. Reunion, itself, is not a bad thing, and in miss-representing what I said to the reporter gives the wrong impression. Reunions are a good thing, if handled appropriately. Adoptions can be a good experience, if handled appropriately.

 I was an 18 year old high school senior, raised a socially isolated only child by parents who chose to keep secrets from me. They knew I had siblings within 5 miles of our home, and they chose to prevent me from access to them. Meanwhile, members of my adoptive father’s family and members of my deceased natural mother’s family socialized with each other, passing around rumors about my natural father and secret stories of me growing up. I was unaware of this and so was my father. This was social engineering and certainly not the proper way to handle a “relative adoption”. I was treated as an outcast by most of my adoptive family after my reunion – good enough to be in the family while my adoption is secret, but toss me out after I reunite with my father and finally grieve the death of my mother. I did not create resentment – adoption myths and taboos did.

 Part 2

When my older full blood siblings found me, it was a shock. Of course it would be: to learn that the most trusted people to a child lied, on purpose, and treated me as a possession. My siblings and I and our father had as good a reunion as could be, considering I was at everyone’s mercy for they told me their versions of the truth and assumed that I should get on with life quickly.

That does not happen. The shock of being found, the shock of lies, and the growing turmoil of both families putting me down because I chose to become an adoption reform activist, resulted in life-long psychological trauma. Do not twist my words around to make it seem that I had a “Bad Reunion.” THAT is mischaracterization of what I told this reporter.

It is the total accumulation of misinformed relatives, societal myths, and definite discrimination against adoptees in general that made my life difficult. How can one person defend herself against an adoptive family network of rumors and disgust, a split natural family (one side believing that my father was responsible for my mother’s death from cancer, and my father not knowing the full extent of the involvement of other people in the adoption of his child. There was total lack of concern for him as my relinquishing father, total lack of concern for the five children at the death of our mother.

  Part 3

The only thing that mattered was that I, the adoptee, had a so-called better life to be away from wretchedness of the father and siblings left behind. I paid for the “sin” of accepting my father back into my life by having hate mail sent to me and hate phone calls from anonymous adoptive relatives who took it out on me that I even dared to have a reunion with a man they hated. THAT is what was wrong in my adoption and reunion—distortion of beliefs surrounding adoption. I DID NOT say to this reporter that I wished I was raised in foster care or was under guardianship. THAT is a twist of what I actually said.   

If my adoptive parents were truthful to me while I was growing up, if the judge had realized that there were four other children involved and made it a part of this adoption to have ongoing sibling and father visitation, and if there were no hateful rumors spread for 53 years, then there would have been a cooperation in visitation for the sibling group, I would have known that my mother died and where she was buried. Better yet, my family should never have been separated by adoption in the first place. Family preservation should have prevailed, but no, adoption was seen as the only solution.

 Part 4

I said that, adoption as a social practice should be replaced by family preservation. IF a child cannot be raised by her family, then guardianship should replace adoption because adoption creates a new identity for the child and destroys the natural family connections. Adoption itself causes distortions in peoples’ attitudes.

This reporter misrepresented what I told her. And she chose to ignore the very real birth certificates I sent her. All adoptees’ birth certificates are seized by the government and a new, falsified, birth certificate is issued claiming the parents of adoption actually gave birth. The reporter was shocked when I told her this, “They don’t still do that, do they?” she asked me. “Yes, they do!” I responded. I sent her copies of all of my fraudulent birth and baptismal certificates, and true birth certificates. But she chose to ignore my message.

This is why I have written a book — because reporters are too casual with information given to them. I have told my story to numerous reporters since 1975, and it is always the same. They report a twisted version of what I actually said.

  Part 5

This adoptee has faced a variety of discriminations:  1st in my relinquishment that could have been prevented, then my adoption that was full of lies from the very beginning, and the lies told behind me as I was growing in a social circle similar to The Truman Show. Do not place the burden on a “bad reunion” upon me. Remember this: an 18 year old faced with psychological shock of this magnitude does not emotionally heal well, nor do the adoptive parents who lied for 18 years and defended their right to lie by screaming and yelling and blaming the adoptee, nor do the siblings of that adoptee, and, the relinquishing father who was talked into giving up his newborn at the funeral of his dead wife.

Adoption itself is wrong. Morally, ethically, humanly, wrong. Adoption is a no-win situation.

This reporter was more interested in getting a decent photo to put my face in her story to prove the bad side of reunions, without printing the evidence I gave her to expose the worst discrimination of all: sealed and falsified birth certificates that all adoptees suffer. Creating new and fraudulent birth certificates for each adoptee, and forcing us to beg for our truthful birth certificates, is the biggest discrimination in adoption today.

Joan Mary Wheeler, born as, Doris Michol Sippel

November 23, 2009

From this Morning’s Email – NCFA

This post will be written on the fly. I’ve been in the hospital with my dying mother till 2:30 AM, came home, slept for a few hours, and just got a call to go back for her transport.

So many of my adoptee/mothers of adoption loss friends wrote about yesterday’s ABC article, thank you! I’ll get back with you all later today.

But this had to be posted. Now I know why I’ve been seeing mysterious IP addresses from Alexandria, Virginia, that’s because the National Council For Adoption had been reading my website!!! Welcome, NCFA! Maybe you guys can learn something by reading what adoption has done to me. While you are at it, stop by the Links Section to view some more adoptee/motehrs of adoption loss blogs. There are some great blogs by donor-conceived women and men, too. Oh,, yes, Adopted Jane, I will add your blog, too! I am so sorry to have left you out. I may have left others out of my lists,, too, as the frantic effort to keep blogs and websites up has been difficult. (My former blogs were shut down by people who want me to be quiet).

So, enjoy this lovely little nugget of wisdom from the NCFA. I joined thier email list about a year ago. Glad they continue to send me their enlightening emails, such as this:

Celebrate National Adoption Month Part 4Tuesday, November 24, 2009 10:15 AM

From:

“National Council For Adoption” <ncfa@adoptioncouncil.org>

 
 
   
   
 
Donate today to help keep adoption strong!
 
 
 
You can contact NCFA by mail, phone, fax, and e-mail:National Council For Adoption

225 N. Washington Street Alexandria, VA 22314

703-299-6633 (Phone)

703-299-6004 (fax)

http://www.adoptioncouncil.org

ncfa@adoptioncouncil.org
To unsubscribe/change profile: click here.
To subscribe: click here.

 Oh Darn! The photo of the little girl on a slide did not come through, must be copyrighted. So this is what was writen for that photo’s caption:

“To those who help build families through adoption, we say … “Thank You.” Because every child deserves a loving, permanent family.” “Donate today to help keep adoption strong!”

Where were the donations of emergency financial help to feep my family together when our mother died and our father was told by a Catholic priest, “The baby needs two parents,” and a kind Christian woman came up to my father at his dead wife’s funeral and said, “I know a husband and wife will who take your baby”?

Yes, donate today to keep the attorneys and adoption agencies filled with money that could otherwise be used to keep struggling families — which include a single motehr and her pregnancy — together.

Family values indeed.