Slowly Coming Around to a New Way of Thinking.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Many know where I stand on the issue of OBC's, (original birth certificates). I had no idea they were sealed, no idea what problems this caused, no idea it was going to be impossible for Rachael to get one. So as time goes on and I do what I can to talk to people about unsealing records on behalf of those who live with it, I start to hear another voice rising up about first mothers having access to their childrens records as well. Everybody gets to know where everyone else is at.

I have to admit the thought didn't sit well with me. I was against it. I thought it was pushing it, and I was reluctant to get behind it. I was afraid it would open the door for those opposed to take the whole thing back to the drawing board for a few decades as a stall tactic, and I didn't want to be responsible for anyone losing out on a possible reunion because of it.

In a forum I frequent, this topic came up and I voiced my objections, as i often do. I was told that what I am presenting is more along the lines of an adoptive parents point of view, which I also do often. I can understand to a certain extent why some adoptive parents would be uspet. They were promised something that others are now trying to change. I can respect that. The problem is we were all promised something and all of us have been let down by the empty promises. If this is going to change, someone has to be the guy who takes it on the chin so things can.

So here is a chance to change the laws that exist for all current and future adoptee's. I suggested that we fight for their rights first and worry about ourselves another day. Wrong, and here's why. 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.

As I listen, I begin to understand that this has been the problem all along. What I didn't understand was that there were no laws to uphold. How can anything be upheld when nothing exists?

I see the problem. I was told that as a first parent, one day we would reunite if my daughter wanted to. They didn't tell me that they were going to make it next to impossible for her to do so. So I feel a little betrayed, but I did sign the papers willingly, which makes me different than most during that time frame of surrender. I agree with most of what has been said so far but something still isn't sitting quite right for me about this proposal of first parents being granted access also. I know there will be lots of rebuttle and I don't want to be caught with nothing in our defense. So far I've heard their argument and I can't come up with anything to dispute it.

Then it slowly, over days, begins to sink in. When adoption started it was to hide the sins of an unwed mother and the embarassment 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.

It was never about me. In fact they spent almost 30 years protecting my daughter and her new family FROM me. So now that they are losing on this false front of theirs, they have shifted their focus, their concern, their attention to me. The same people who kicked me to the curb like a mangy dog, who lied about my age and my status at the time, never returned any of my calls, now want to show compassion for my plight. Thanks but NO THANKS.

I will be joining this fight to unseal records for "all" involved, based on the lack of compassion that they showed me for almost 3 decades. You are not basing your argument on me not wanting to be found. I stand before you to say, I have waited for and always welcomed reunion, wanted to and do know my child, and am still enough of a mother and human being to answer any questions presented to me by "any" of my off spring. Most importantly their story of ancestry, heritage, and medical information that they can only obtain from their blood relatives. I never was, and am not now ashamed that my daughter was conceived out of wedlock. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and expect to be accounted for when you gather your statistics of how many first mothers do or do not want to be reunited.

The very clever underlying scenario behind all this is that the women who do not want to be found, also do not want to stand up and be counted. It would blow their cover. How convenient. I guess in order to have accurate numbers, those who do want to reunite need to be more visible than their invisible counter parts. How can you accurately account for someone who wants to be invisible? How can you honestly know how many exist if they will not stand up and be counted?

I've found MY justification for opening records to all. Consider me standing. Standing to be counted.

It makes sense to me now and I hope it does to others. If you want to be accurately counted there is no better way right now that to come out, join those who are not afraid to be visible, and tell them that you want to "establish" your surrendered childs rights. Rights you didn't know they didn't have. That you want to establish rights to reunite, and pass on info. Show them that you want accurate numbers in their study of just what percentage of first parents willing accept and look forward to contact with their adult child. Establish accuracy in Adoptee's Rights.

Off my soap box now.

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7 comments: to “ Slowly Coming Around to a New Way of Thinking.

  • Unknown
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 5:17:00 AM PST  

    Great post Lori! You rock!

  • legitimatebastard
    Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 9:17:00 AM PST  

    This is my first visit here.

    Thank you for this post. I'd like to quote it and link to it from my blog: Please come and join me over there. Bring your friends, too.

    There are two main focus points for me: adoptees' sealed true birth certificates, and our false birth certificates, AND why I am anti adoption and for Family Preservation.

    Please read alll pages and at least some of the Posts. I've left Comments Open even on the Pages.

    If this is a States by States rights issue, and we have no leg to stand on, WHY is the federal govenment looking at my website? Is it because I have posted in several places close snippets of my TRUE birth certificate and my FALSE one?

    We activists need to be heard. Somehow, my website has attracted the viewership of The US Dept of State, The US House of Representatives, Law universities and major univerisities are the country, and insurance companies.

    I don'[t' have all the ansers, but I have set up a place to voice what you say here. I'd like to have as many comments and links to other blogs about BIRTH CERTIFICATES as possible.

    Maybe we CAN affect the proper attention to achieve the proper solution: we want full access to our ture birth certificates just as non-adotpees have. And, nataural parents should have access to the birth certifcate for their child lsot to adoption --- to prove they gave birth.

    Please come over and take a look1

    Joan Wheeler

  • legitimatebastard
    Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 9:19:00 AM PST  

    oops adding the email followup

  • Lori A
    Monday, December 21, 2009 at 4:08:00 PM PST  

    Bare with me Joan, I am not the world most prolific blogger. I have visited your blog but do not know how to add people to my blog roll. some one did the ones I have for me. Thanks for the quote and I'll try toget your site added so I can keep track of it.

  • Anonymous
    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 2:44:00 PM PST  

    Great post, Lori. As a mother who is blessed to live in a open records province, I took for granted my right to apply for open records when my son turned 19. This was 10 years ago and I had never researched adoption issues on the net. At the time I applied, I had NO idea that what we in B.C take for granted was NOT the status quo everywhere else! And not only was it not the rule in every other province and state, but it was actually considered "radical" in some places!

    I joined a well-known U.S. natural mothers group in 2001, & asked about whether open records was part of their mandate. I was told that open records was an "adoptee issue." I couldn't wrap my mind around this (It was like saying that fleas are "a dog issue" - what about cats?). For me, open records meant I could get my 19-yr-old son's original birth record, adoption court order -- and most precious of all -- his ADOPTIVE NAME! :) I could offer him the chance of a reunion, and of course he could decline. But even if he did, I could tell him first-hand that I loved him and never wanted to lose him (this was in my first email to him). I could provide him with medical history, and a chance to learn his ancestry (e.g, he had never been told he was M├ętis. He had grown up thinking he was White).

    In 1995, B.C. passed open records legislation that enables adoptees and natural parents to both apply for and receive open records. Equal access. It wasn't radical or shocking. Similar legislation has since been passed in Alberta, Ontario, and Newfoundland. Other provinces are on the way.

    Canadian adoption laws were based on the same 1851 law that first invented adoption in Massachusetts. Many children were adopted from Canada to the U.S. and vice-versa. I can see no reason why the same equal-access we enjoy in 4 Canadian provinces cannot be enjoyed in the U.S. as well. And perhaps these laws may even garner more support and pass quicker than one-sided adoption laws that open records only to adoptees. We did not up here, mothers not only supported adoptee rights but got their own rights as well. Same with adoptees supporting the rights of mothers for open records. It worked.

  • Anonymous
    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 11:10:00 PM PST  

    TYPO correction:

    "We did not up here" in the last paragraph was supposed to be "We did have that division that up here"

  • Lori A
    Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 12:52:00 PM PST  

    Thanks Cedar, I too had no idea that what i was signing my daughter up for was a life of secrecy. They forgot to mention that when they wanted me to sign away my rights. I had no idea I was signing hers away as well. I'm glad to hear that this worked so well in Canada and look forward to it having that trickle down effect here in the states.


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