Wolverine And Adoption Part II: The Mutant Registration Act

Right after I posted yesterday’s bit about Wolverine as poster boy for adoption records access, the travesty in Texas crossed my path. Snikt!

There’s a lot to despise about what’s they’re doing to adoption records access in the Lone Star state. First there is the matter of contact veto, which is abhorrent in and of itself. We’ve rehashed this so many times I’m starting to feel like a Tater-Tot. Go read here, and here, and here.

Secondly there is the even more abhorrent notion of mandatory counseling–therapeutcracy in action again. As the BN action alert concerning Texas points out:

Mandatory counseling for the adoptee and his or her birth mother by a state-selected social worker or mental health professional with expertise in postadoption counseling. The bills require “verification of the counseling “in a form satisfactory to the state registrar.”

Just as a state registrar has great discretionary powers to approve the “matches” made by the state’s adoption registry, now the registrar will have a similar control over which adoptee/birth mother matches she will find have had “satisfactory counseling.”

I’m feeling those adamantium claws ripping out of my fists, aren’t you? This might as well be an adoptee version of the Mutant Registration Act. Records access is about EQUAL RIGHTS, nothing more, nothing less.

Go back and reread what I said in my post, Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut. There’s no way to logically argue against the idea that adult adoptees should have the same access to our birth certificates as the non-adopted. In fact, equal access is cheaper, easier, and uses the process already in place for everyone else. So the opposition resorts to calling adoption reformers crazy and telling us we need counseling.

Adoptees do not need therapy. We request only the restoration of that which everyone else takes for granted. If we, as adult citizens of this nation, can vote, drink, pay taxes, go to war and die for our country like anyone else, we deserve the exact same access to our records as everyone else. And while you’re at it you can restore equivalent access to our mothers and fathers as well.

Or are you going to brand us all as mutants and send us to Genosha? Subdue our abilities, not with chemicals to inhibit superpowers but with legislation that infantilizes us? Brainwash us into believing we’re subhuman and deserve to be treated that way? Force us through mandatory therapy sessions–therapy we ourselves have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for, only to be told it’s not “satisfactory” to whichever governmental entity takes it upon itself to decide what’s best for us?

Gee, that’s an awful lot of effort just to keep us rebellious mutants–er, adoptees–from being able to stand in line and pay fifteen bucks for our birth certificates like everyone else, isn’t it? But if you’re a powerful politician with a few bastards in the closet, or a profiteering ambulance-chaser–sorry, I mispronounced “adoption professional”–you know that the muddier the waters, the more lucrative the rewards. And profiting from the subclasses is easy because no one cares what happens to them.

Yup. Mutant Registration Act. Science fiction seems so science fictiony, until it happens to you.


  1. Mandatory counseling!!?? Outrageous and creepy – it suggests there is something inherently wrong both adoptees and mothers. And since most so-called counselors SUCK when it comes to anything adoption-related, I think these sessions could end up being a disaster.

    I can see it now – browbeating the mother to make sure she understands that she IS NOT a mother; browbeating the adoptee to remember who the REAL parents are and to be eternally grateful for the wonderful institution of adoption. Disagree with anything the counselor dictates, and wham, contact denied.


  2. Not only will we be declared “not with the program” but we will be labeled by ignorant-to-adoption-issues mental-health workers as having schizophrenia, borderline personality, narrsistic, obsessive…

    Actually, I’d like to see mandatory counseling for obsessed adoptive family members who abuse their adoptees.

  3. maybe–I went through a version of this when I attempted to use the Illinois intermediary program. The laws in IL don’t say that counseling is required, but when I began to question the intermediary process I was informed by the director that I “needed therapy.” It makes me wonder how much that mindset impacted their facilitation of contact between myself and my mother. Never mind that records access does NOT equal search and reunion, nor that the state shouldn’t be in the business of the latter anyway. If the people doing the facilitating think you’re crazy/unbalanced, how are they going to represent you to the other person? And if the therapist isn’t satisfied with your “progress,” is that when suddenly they “can’t find” your records or “weren’t able” to locate the person in question?

    Mandatory counseling already exists in some states. It shouldn’t exist at all.

  4. Joan–I’d like to see mandatory counseling for people who think adoptees and their relatives need mandatory counseling!

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