A Wag Of My Finger to those members of the Ohio House Health Committee who walked out on open records advocates’ testimony at the April 30 hearing on HB 7! Even if you don’t agree with the message, it’s your job to listen to it.
Fortunately that testimony can be heard through the hard work of those who refuse to be silenced any longer. Adoption Network Cleveland has put PDFs of the testimony online for those unable to attend. And bloggers like Bastardette and Baby Love Child call a spade a spade when it comes to the real intent behind silencing adoptees.
Despite there being NO public testimony opposing records access, the language has been stripped from HB 7. As Baby Love Child says:
If legislators only want to ’support adoption’ when we the adoptees are too young to speak on our own behalf/protect our own interests, then it’s long since time we as adult adoptees began to call it like we see it. Legislators who thwart adoptee equality are anti-adoption.
As an adoption expert – an Ohio adoptee of the Sealed and Secret generation – I call upon the Ohio House Health Committee to restore access language to this bill. If you care so much about “child-centered” policies, prove it. I was one of those children on whose behalf you spoke decades ago. I return now as an adult to tell you that sealed records are a chokehold on our very existence.
Again from Baby Love Child:
To genuinely “care” about children in adoption means to also care about us as we reach adulthood, and to give us the tools we need to conduct our lives as any other citizen would, not enduring lifelong hindering by unnecessary State interference and records confiscation.
Our personal information has been transformed from something originally held and protected for us, to be returned to us as we reach adulthood, into perpetually State held dossiers, records locked away from the very people they pertain to, such that the State knows more about me in some ways, personal and intimate than I do about myself.
My Ohio adoption file is buried, lest the universe implode should it see the light of day. My original Illinois birth certificate is sealed tighter than toxic waste. Adoption is great when you’re giving the poor (profitable) waifs homes, but when they come back wanting answers – or, worse, asking questions – it all begins to unravel. It’s so much easier to turn your back, pretend the testimony doesn’t exist. The secret-keepers undermine behind the scenes, while the disenfranchised have nothing but words.
But words can work wonders. I urge every single one of you to write the Ohio House Health Committee and tell them you will be silenced no longer. Insist upon adult adoptee records access in Ohio!
“Oh, how I love my name,
And what you do to me is a shame.”