The Killjoy Responds To Complaints About Why I’m Not Happy For Illinois Adoptees

I’m sure you’ve heard that Illinois adoptees are throwing off their shackles as fast as Sara Feigenholtz can round up cameras to film their joyful receipt of their birth certificates. Everybody knows I’m the killjoy at the party, and people have started to complain. Apparently my inability to shut the fuck up is interfering with others’ ability to bask in the moment.
The following is from a conversation on a public Facebook page. I’m not going to identify the people and I’m only going to paraphrase the conversation, because my intention here is not to point fingers at any one person. This is not the first time someone’s said something like this to me. On the contrary, I hear it every day, usually from fellow Illinois adoptees who happened to luck out under the new rules.
I posted the following on my wall:
“Quit supporting conditional adoptee rights legislation! Study the bills and understand the difference between true adoptee rights (Maine) and conditional bills that leave some adoptees behind (Illinois). Don’t just throw your weight behind a bill because it has the word “adoptee” in it.”
This was reposted to the page by its owner. I responded with “thanks for the repost.” The page owner commented asking why there had been so many likes and few shares, reiterating the importance of equal rights for ALL adoptees.
Someone else answered: “I am 64 and one of those Illinois adoptees who is waiting for her OBC. Please don’t deny some of us our happiness.”
The page owner said: “A favor is not a right and can be withdrawn on whim.” (And a big THANK YOU for that.)
The other person answered: “whatever. you depressed me today, thanks.”
Let me get this straight. This person is getting her OBC via legislation that blocks me from getting mine… and she’s upset with me because I’m not happy about it?!
What. The. Fuck.
Adoptees face discrimination. Left-behind adoptees face discrimination from their peers as well as from everyone else. Now, let me ask you this…
What makes one person more deserving of identity than another?
What are the criteria? Is it when they were born? Where they were born? Whether they were an agency or private adoption? Should we have different rules for interstate adoptions? International adoptions? Transracial adoptions? Situations involving rape? Who gets to choose these criteria? Who enforces them? What options remain for those left behind?
I will answer.
  1. The rules are arbitrarily enforced.
  2. They are chosen by the adoption industry.
  3. There are no options for those left behind.
Because they don’t know! And they don’t care. Adoptees are a repressed and silent population. No one notices when we complain because the adoption industry has taken great pains to make sure that adoptees who question are considered mentally dysfunctional. Left-behinds who complain are even more mentally dysfunctional.
Shall I tell you what makes me mentally dysfunctional? Bullshit like that.
And bullshit like this. Also in the news this week, the duo of Feigenholtz and Mitchell (sort of like Simon and Garfunkel without the musical talent) is having a par-tay for those Illinois adoptees who now have access. (None of the left-behinds I know were invited, go figure.) Jean Strauss is going to be there filming what I can only assume is going to end up one hell of a one-sided viewpoint on Illinois adoptee access, if there are no left-behind adoptees in it. Without that it’s just more propaganda.
(And, to answer another complaint people have made about me: that was not a plug trying to get myself in the film. I really don’t care who’s in it as long as the left-behind viewpoint is given a fair shake. Truth be told, I hate telling my story in public and especially hate being on camera. Yes, I tell my story in public all the time – because it sucks so bad that I don’t want it to happen to other adoptees, not because I like the limelight. And I know certain people aren’t going to believe that no matter how many times I say it.)

In the Doctor Who episode The Happiness Patrol, the planet Terra Alpha is run by people who insist that everyone must be happy all the time. Dark colors are forbidden and only cheerful music is allowed. As a result there is an underground of people who believe in expressing their sadness and despair, called the Killjoys. The Happiness Patrol exists to kill the Killjoys and thus keep them from making the rest of the population unhappy. As the Seventh Doctor points out, “There are no other colors without the blues.”
We left-behinds are so inconvenient. Here we are, living proof that Illinois’ new law is flawed and discriminatory. Better make sure no one hears about it.
So yes, I’m a fucking killjoy. I’m dressed in dark colors playing blues on the harmonica while everybody else is eating their cotton candy and listening to elevator music. Lucky, lucky bastards…. haven’t you ever seen a horror movie? Don’t you know that nothing in this universe is picture-perfect? Don’t you know that this so-called “access” is going to come back and bite someone in the ass? I guess it doesn’t matter if your ass isn’t the one bitten. But it could be. And how would that make you feel?
How does it make you feel to know that the law that restores your access denies other people theirs?
While some people are getting their OBCs, other Illinois adoptees remain in the dark. (Not to mention the first mothers who aren’t even on the agenda.) We still have to struggle with our searches, relegated to tidbits and hearsay and the leavings off the plates of the more fortunate. Don’t patronize us by saying you’re coming back for us. Not only does the new legislation continue to deny us, it makes it infinitely harder to restore our rights.
The message is clear: Access for some now is preferable to access for everyone later, even if a few end up permanently denied. And you knew that from the beginning, yet you still supported the bill.
I am stunned that you can look yourselves in the mirror. Shame on every single one of you.
I am not going to shut up, as some would prefer. I am going to continue to speak out for those left behind in Illinois and in other states that have enacted discriminatory compromise legislation.
And I encourage the rest of you to become killjoys too, for the sake of those who remain without access and who continue to be discriminated against by people who, a short time ago, were in the exact same boat.
How fast do the oppressed become the oppressors?


  1. http://Judy says


    You are correct. It is not right that some people benefit at the expense of others who are just as deserving. I fear this same type of legislation may get slipped through in NY State also. The Bill of Adoptee Rights there is supposed to be a “clean Bill”, but I am worried that powerful anti-adoptee rights groups will influence legislators to alter things at the last minute.

    Equal rights and equal access should mean ALL adult adoptees have access to a copy of their original birth certificate, not just some, or most. As long as ANY adult adoptee is denied their equal rights, you keep on pointing this out. Not one single adoptee chose to be relinquished, or to have their original identity locked away, yet they are being punished and controlled like perpetual children throughout adulthood. It is disgusting that in a country like the USA, discrimination still occurs. Without “killjoys”, the truth would not be heard. Thank you for remembering that we are all in this together.


  2. Another hit out of the ballpark!

    Of all the rotten bills that have been promoted, and sometimes passed,Illinois’ the most vile. If it had passed in a vacuum, that would be one thing, but the Feigenholtz Mitchell Gang knew what would happen if their shenanigans had been known before it was too late. They’d have their asses BBQ’d on a skewer. They snuck the bill through, kept it and hearings off the IL leg page, and kept the media quiet. The first time I knew that anyone heard about it, if memory serves me right, was in a very short piece in the St. Louis newspaper. NO Illinois newspapers covered thebil, although during the preevious attempt there’d been a huge media campaign.

    Sneaky Sara even had her own special hand-picked committee to run the bill through. Seriously. Her Adoption Committee. Does any other state have one of these committees? Of course not!

    Triona, me, BN, IL Open and others did what we could to keep this atrocity from passing, but it was a done deal. The Sen. sponsor was Sara’s mentor. He cut off testimony.

    This woman needs booted out of office. She screws adpotees and I’d bet the bank she screws her gay constituents, unless they have money. To top if off, SS has even told people she “hates” being a State Rep. Hey, I know a great solution to that problem.

    I’d add one thing to what Triona said. The adoption industry may set the rules, but they are aided and abetted by deformres, asskissers, and fully supported by so called “friends” who make their living off the misery of others, like Mitchel and her White Oak Foundation. Like the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Foundation which claims to support us, but trows us to the dogs every time. At their Hard Rock event last year, Bastard Nation was told sot shut up and sit down when we objected to their bullshit.

    Even if a bad billed passed, if the so-called reform movement would Just Say No! in one voice, at least they could walk away with dignity. Instead, we have scum spewing their vermin over us.

  3. Judy – Thank you. It’s difficult enough to find people to support adoptee rights much less those willing to support those rights for *everyone*.

    BD – The shenanigans surrounding passage of this bill were unreal. I would not have believed it myself if I hadn’t witnessed it firsthand. For those who missed it you can get yourselves an unpleasant taste here:

    You are SO right when you say that if we would just stand firm on equality for all, we would be able to look ourselves in the mirror even if we lost. Of all the people who fight against adoptee rights – the misguided, the uninformed, the prejudiced – to me the worst are the yes-men, those who will sell out others to benefit themselves.

    You know who you are. And you disgust me.

  4. http://Anonymous says

    Triona I support you being a killjoy. I was neither born nor adopted in IL, though I reside here now.

    Plus, I think it is absolutely criminal that those who do get their OBC via this new law can’t use it for “official” purposes. It really makes my blood boil.

    Here’s your BC, but wait you can’t use it. WTF???

    Yet more discrimination, heaped upon discriminination.

    I promise I will never forget that you’ve been left behind.


  5. Thank you, Elizabeth. I’d forgotten about that, the “not official” part. The whole thing just makes me madder and madder!

    Could we PLEASE dispense with the bullshit and treat adoptees like everyone else?