And then there’s Illinois. Yeah, I’ve been quiet because of Illinois. If I hear one more person cheering November 15, 2011 as some kind of liberation day for adoptees of the great State of Illinois, I will go stark raving John-Crichton-on-Farscape crazy. Search my blog on keyword Illinois or read this about the new law for just some of the reasons why.
- Spending all my time on adoption. I have other things to do with my life, and I am heartily sick of focusing on adoption. I can’t even stand the word anymore. It’s ridiculous that I have to spend this much energy and effort for access to my own identity.
- Posting frequently to 73adoptee. See above. I’m around but I’m probably not going to post very often simply because I am busy.
- Arguing over semantics. Don’t come to me with any more partial pseudo-access schemes. I will not support them and I really don’t want to discuss them. It’s a waste of time and effort better spent toward the goal of truly equal rights.
- Helping with searches. I just don’t have time. There are plenty of resources available with a simple Web search. Just don’t jump right into schemes like confidential intermediaries without knowing what you may be in for. Trust me on that one.
- Participating in reform organizations. Some work, some don’t, but I need to strike out on my own, for many of the same reasons that I quit working in Corporate America to become a freelancer. I’m just too GDI (god damn independent), and volunteerism can become a total time-suck as I’m sure many of you know. I may choose to support bills but ONLY if they are clean and ONLY if they will be yanked if they are butchered in session. But any support will be personal and not affiliated with any organizations.
- Analyzing reform legislation. I’m not going to write reviews of which bills are good or not, there are other bloggers doing that (and kudos to them because it’s incredibly time-consuming). Doubtless I’ll comment as the desire (read: irritation level) arises but you shouldn’t consider 73adoptee a clearinghouse for info on all reform efforts everywhere.
Working on a couple new blog posts, but in the meantime, please contact New Jersey legislators TODAY and ask them not to support this legislation. The following is an Action Alert from Bastard Nation on the subject. And, to my friends in the adoption community who support this bill… please, no flaming. We may have to agree to disagree, but I cannot support any bill that includes disclosure vetoes, further entrenches confidential intermediary programs, or redacts original birth certificates. I know people have fought long and hard for this but once such legislation is enacted it is nearly impossible to get rid of it. That is exactly what happened in Illinois. Some may think it’s okay to leave some adoptees behind if others are granted pseudo “access,” but the picture looks a whole lot different when you’re one of the left-behind. See here for my thoughts on this. — tg
Monday, January 03, 2011
Bastard Nation Action Alert: Write NJ Legislators Today; Vote NO on A1406/S799!
BASTARD NATION ACTION ALERT!
STOP DISCLOSURE VETO/WHITE OUT LEGISLATION IN NEW JERSEY!!!
ASK THE NEW JERSEY ASSEMBLY: VOTE NO ON A1406/S799
A1406 (companion to S799 already passed in the NJ Senate) is scheduled for a floor vote sometime in the next few weeks. Proponents of this bad bill hoped to have it on the schedule for a January 6, 2011 vote, but it’s not on the list.
Please contact Assembly members immediately and urge them to VOTE NO ON A1406/S799. (Contact information below.) If you are from or in New Jersey or have a New Jersey connection, mention it in your communication.
Be sure to put: “Vote No On Adoptee Birthright Bill “in the header
Bastard Nation’s letter to the Assembly is here.
A1406/S799 is: restrictive, discriminatory, creates a new, special and temporary ”right” for “birthparents,” and exempts the state’s adopted adults from equal protection and treatment regarding the release of the government-generated public record of their births.
*includes a 12- month open enrollment period, starting after the Department of Health releases regs for A1406/S799 implementation, that allows “birthparents,” to file disclosure vetoes (DV) before obcs, past and future, are unsealed
*authorizes the state to replace the original birth certificat, of those subjected to the DV with a mutilated copy of the obc with all identifying information, including the address of the parent(s) at the time of birth (if it appears on the cert) deleted.
*requires “birthparents” who file a disclosure veto to submit a family history and a possibly illegal intrusive medical form to activate the veto.
*requires “birthparents” who file a “contact preference form,” which, in fact, acts as a disclosure veto, to fill out the same family history and possibly illegal intrusive medical history form to activiate the veto.
*seals by default all “safe haven” birth certificates, even though most “safe haven” babies are born in hospitals to identified mothers.
*requires adoption agencies and adoption lawyers to receive a written veto status report from the state before they can release identifying information to adoptees
*requires the state to mount an “information” campaign to inform “birthparents” of their “protection” options
A1406/S799 IS NOT AN OBC ACCESS BILL.
A1406/S799 IS NOT ABOUT RIGHTS.
A1406/S799 IS ABOUT PRIVILEGE
Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization opposes legislation that denies any adult adoptee access to his or her own original birth records on par with all other citizens. Please let the Assembly know that this issue is not about relationships between adoptees and their “birthparents.” It is about basic human and civil rights.
Passage of bad legislation is New Jersey could easily undermine efforts of dedicated reformers who are holding the line for adoptee rights in other states.
New Jersey’s A1406/S799 is an abomination in light of the restoration of the right of original birth certificate access to all persons adopted in Oregon, Alabama, and New Hampshire, and Maine. Adult adoptees and all who support adoptee rights should stand united for unrestricted access laws and not sell out just to get a bill passed! Disclosure veto legislation is unethical and unjust!
Please e-mail the New Jersey Assembly today and urge members to VOTE NO ON A1406/S799.
(write one letter, cut and paste for all)
AsmAlbano@njleg.org, AsmMilam@njleg.org, ASmDeAngelo@njleg.org, AsmGusciora@njleg.org, AsmChivukula@njleg.org, AsmEgan@njleg.org, AsmBarnes@njleg.org, AsmDiegnan@njleg.org, AsmCoughlin@njleg.org, AsmWisniewski@njleg.org, AsmCryan@njleg.org, AsmGreen@njleg.org, AsmMcKeon@njleg.org, AsmCaputo@njleg.org, AsmCoutinho@njleg.org, AsmBurzichelli@njleg.org, AsmMainor@njleg.org, AsmODonnell@njleg.org, AsmPrieto@njleg.org, AsmRamos@njleg.org, AsmGiblin@njleg.org,
AsmSchaer@njleg.org, AsmJohnson@njleg.org, AsmMoriarty@njleg.org, AsmWilson@njleg.org,AsmGreenwald@njleg.org, AsmConaway@njleg.org, ASmConners@njleg.org, AsmHolzapfel@njleg.org, AsmWolfe@njleg.org, AsmRible@njleg.org,AsmOScanlon@njleg.org, AsmThompson@njleg.org, AsmBiondi@njleg.org, AsmAmodeo@njleg.org, AsmPolistina@njleg.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, AsmDiMaio@njleg.org, AsmPeterson@njleg.org, AsmChiusano@njleg.org, AsmBucco@njleg.org, AsmCarroll@njleg.org, AsmDeCroce@njleg.org, AsmWebber@njleg.org, AsmDancer@njleg.org, AsmMalone@njleg.org, AsmSchroeder@njleg.org, AsmRumana@njleg.org, AsmRusso@njleg.org, AsmDelany@njleg.org, AsmRudder@njleg.org, AsmRumpf@njleg.org,
AsmFuentes@njleg.org, AsmDiCicco@njleg.org, AswWatsonColeman@njleg.org,
AswQuijano@njleg.org, AswStender@njleg.org, AswJasey@njleg.org, AswTucker@njleg.org, AswSpencer@njleg.org, AswRiley@njleg.org, AswQuigley@njleg.org, AswRodriguez@njleg.org, AswOliver@njleg.org, AswEvans@njleg.org,AswPou@njleg.org, AswVainieriHuttle@njleg.org,
AswVoss@njleg.org, AswWagner@njleg.org, AswLampitt@njleg.org,
AswAngelini@njleg.org, AswCasagrande@njleg.org , AswHandlin@njleg.org,
AswCoyle@njleg.org, AswMunoz@njleg.org, AswMcHose@njleg.org, AswVandervalk@njleg.org,
ALSO WRITE TO GOVERNOR CHRISTIE
Drop a line to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie now and ask him to veto A1406/S799 if it hits his desk. Letters should be no more than 250 words. Use this template : http://www.state.nj.us/governor/contact/
or contact him at:
Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625
Bastard Nation’s letter to Governor Christie is here.
Don’t forget to cast your vote for Pound Pup Legacy’s 4th annual Demons Of Adoption Awards. Votes are due by October 30. You can cast your vote here, and (if you have a strong stomach) read more about the nominees here.
Each year Pound Pup Legacy presents the Demons of Adoption Award to raise a voice against adoption propaganda and the self congratulatory practices of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s annual Angels in Adoption AwardsTM
Until October 30 you will have the opportunity to vote for the recipient of this year’s award.
The nominees are:
* LDS Family Services: for being the most secretive of all adoption agencies, using coercive tactics in obtaining infants for adoption and having no respect for father’s rights;
* Gladney center for adoption: for being one of the most profit-centered agencies around and blocking open record efforts in Texas;
* Christian World Adoption: for their involvement in “harvesting” practices in Ethiopia and their blind ambition to “save” each and every “orphan” in this world;
* Larry S. Jenkins: for his involvement in nearly every case where father’s rights were violated;
* Joint Council on International Children’s Services: for promoting the interest of adoption agencies at the expense of children, and pushing agency friendly legislation in Congress;
* Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute for giving their seal of approval to persons and organizations that promote the interests of the adoption industry and pushing agency friendly legislation in Congress;
* Council on Accreditation: for their lack of research done on inter-country adoption agency histories prior to giving out Hague accreditation;
* American Adoption Congress: For failing to remove state reps who were openly working against open access for adult adoptees;
* American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey: for opposing open records for adoptees and “protecting” closet moms, based on a “stack of anonymous letters” claimed to be from “birthmothers”.
* Christian Alliance for Orphans: for promoting the business interests of adoption agencies through churches.
* Southern Baptist Convention: for passing resolution no. 2 , pushing the business interests of adoption agencies to the members of their church;
* Adoption.com for systematically banning voices that oppose current adoption practices and their continuous pro-adoption propaganda;
* Scott Simon: for his vomit-inducing book “Baby, We Were Meant For Each Other” and his grotesque crying and blubbering about his purchasing of another human being;
* WE tv: for their hideously exploitative series ‘Adoption Diaries,’ turning what is a highly emotive and complex topic into ‘reality’ show fodder.
Dear Advocates,As you may have read in our previous email, HB 1968 stands to makeadoption law in Pennsylvania even worse, as well as threatens theability of HB 1978 (the good bill) to move forward.We cannot let this happen.Monday, August 9th, is Contact Representative Sonney Day.Representative Sonney is the Primary Sponsor of this bill. Send himyour letters, emails, phone calls and faxes on Monday and tell him towithdraw this bill!Hearing all of our voices at once cannot go ignored.Hon. Curtis G. Sonney149B East WingPO Box 202004Harrisburg, PA 17120-2004Phone: (717) 783-9087Fax: (717) 787-2005For more help discussing the issues with Rep. Sonney, here are someresources:Our education page:PAR’s Position Statement on HB 1968:PAR’s call-to-action on HB 1978:A Guide Letter for drafting letters and emails:If you decide to call, it is likely that one of his staff members willanswer. Tell them you would like to make a position on a bill. Theywill ask you the bill number and then ask your position. They may askyou to give a short reason as to why you oppose the bill. Should theyask you a question you can’t answer, refer them to our website or givethem our email: email@example.comThank you!PAR Board
Dear Advocates,As you may have known, there were two bills in the Health and HumanServices Committee that seek to change the portion of adoption lawthat governs an Adult Adoptee’s access to identifying information.HB 1968 is the BAD bill. HB 1978 is the GOOD, equal rights, bill.Unfortunately, despite all of our outpouring of support for HB 1978,it is still sitting in the HHS Committee. HB 1968, on the other hand,has made its way out of committee and is now before the PA House ofRepresentatives for consideration.It is of utmost importance that HB 1968 be defeated. HB 1968 not onlydoes not change the current law much at all; it actually makes itworse. Worse even yet, should HB 1968 pass, we worry that legislators(1) will believe that the law is improved when it isn’t and (2) won’twant to re-address this issue and portion of law, and will leave HB1978 to die in committee.We cannot let the law get worse with HB 1968. We cannot let HB 1978die.We have created a call-to-action made available at this link:In the call-to-action you will find:(1) the text to the bill(2) bill sponsors to contact(3) a guide letter to assist those who are new to contactinglegislators in drafting letters and emails.(4) ways to help PAR and defeat HB 1968(5) our Position Statement of Opposition to HB 1968 to give you anoverview on the bill and why we oppose it.(6) information on how to find and contact your representativeIf you need help with any of these things. Please do not hesitate tocontact us firstname.lastname@example.org If the above link to the call-to-action does not work when you copy and paste it into your browswer,please visit our website www.adopteerightspa.org.Thank youPAR Board
- Almost every single article spouted sponsor opinion that this bill “opens adoption records.” That is inaccurate. What this new legislation does is grants a few rights for some, while consigning others to a permanent black hole of no access. And it’s Russian roulette: you won’t know which way it will turn out for you until you go through the process. The sponsors have co-opted adoption rights terminology, claiming that this bill is about “rights of adoptees.” (Case in point: this self-aggrandizing propaganda from sponsor Rep. Sara Feigenholtz.) But a bill cannot be about the rights of adoptees unless it applies to ALL adoptees.
- “Contact preference” is another co-opted term. What Illinois has is a disclosure veto that has been termed a “preference.” But if it’s binding on the adoptee, it’s a veto.
- Adoptee opinions were for the most part excluded. This is exemplified by the repeated use of the phrase “adopted children” when referring to adopted adults.
- When adult adoptee opinions were included, they were often the parroted opinions of the sponsors. In other words, the viewpoints of token adoptees presumably summoned by the sponsors and/or the media to make it appear that this is what all adult adoptees want. An example is Howard Griffith, adoptee and former Denver Bronco, who attended the signing of the bill.
- Those whose voices were heard are primarily those who make money from adoption (more below).
I learned early on what an emotional and tricky area of the law this is,” said state Senate President John Cullerton, who teased Feigenholtz that the reason he signed on to her crusade was that, “She said if I can pass this bill out of the Senate, she’ll vote for any bill I tell her to vote for for the rest of my life. It’s like I have my own vote over in the House. We’re going to start with that next week.
Feigenholtz said the law was modeled after similar laws in Maine and New Hampshire to balance the rights of adoptive children and parents.
Modeled after Maine? Are you kidding? In Maine any adoptee who is of age can walk in and get his or her original birth certificate, for the same fee as non-adoptees. In Illinois it depends on when you were born, whether you are accepted and whether you can afford to pay fees that only apply to adoptees.
A number of medical and child advocacy groups supported the legislation, including: Illinois Psychiatric Society; American Adoption Congress; Agudath Israel of America; Child Care Association of Illinois; Chicago Bar Association; Voices for Children; National Association of Social Workers of Illinois; Lutheran Social Services of Illinois; UCAN; Illinois Department of Public Health; Department of Children and Family Services; Jewish Child and Family Services; Illinois State Bar Association; The Cradle Adoption Agency; Adoption Advocates of America; Adoptive Families Today; Chicago Area Families for Adoption; Midwest Adoption Center; Search and Genealogy Services; Murphysboro, IL, Stars of David Adoption; and The Baby Fold, Bloomington, IL.
- The AAC never expressed a position on the bill. Melisha Mitchell falsely claimed she was the AAC rep for Illinois at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when she had actually been dismissed from her AAC post prior to that hearing. Why has there been no mention of this in the press? And, because AAC is the only group listed here who represents adult adoptees or birth parents, that means everyone who supported this is either an adoption professional or adoptive parent; in other words, the people who benefit from adoption.
- Similarly, why has there been no mention of Sara Feigenholtz’s foot-in-mouth bastard bashing?
- The majority of these groups either make money facilitating adoptions (LSSI, The Cradle) or are professional organizations representing people who do so (Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association).
- The Midwest Adoption Center is the sole-source no-bid contractor who provides Confidential Intermediary services in Illinois (e.g. makes money from records access).
On the other hand, a group going by the name Adoption Reform Illinois [emphasis mine] criticized the new law as not going far enough, saying any adult should be able to obtain unredacted birth records. “Any proposed change that does not recognize adult adoptees as having the same rights and responsibilities of every other Illinois resident is unacceptable,” the group says in its opposition message.
“It does not actually open adoption records,” said Triona Guidry, whose birth mother will not let Guidry get a copy of her birth certificate. Even under the new law, the best Guidry will get is a birth certificate with her mother’s name redacted. “Equal rights apply to everyone. Everyone should have the right to go into that courthouse, pay their $15 and get their birth certificate.”