Monday, February 19, 2007
MaryAnne Cohen has asked numerous questions and raised every conceivable argument AGAINST what I am suggesting. I have decided rather than answer her in the comments section to begin a new post so that others who might share her concerns could have their questions answered as well.
MAC “A lauadable [sic] goal, but one that many of us have already been working on for many years from several different groups and points of view.”
To my knowledge, no one has ever tried to do anything federally, and no one has tried to ban falsified BCs. Again, I bow to you as being far more knowledgeable about the history of adoption reform than I.
MAC “You keep saying you support open records but want recipropal [sic]support for your proposals, even when the intent of what you are proposing, as far as I can see, is very different and more in the realm of the anti-adoption, replace it with guardianship view.”
Yes. Exactly. As my last post stated I think we can work from both ends at the same time and only help one another by garnering additional public support and sympathy. The perfect analogy is doctos who TREAT cancer patients and try their best to forestall death, and researchers who at the same time, work on a cure to prevent further suffering. Neither one is morally right without the other.
MAC “When you gather these people, will it be to try to pass a federal law or even a constitutional amendment outlawing amended birth certificates as you state is your goal?”
Yes. As I have said, I am THINKING right now in terms of using the ERA as a model. But of course attorneys and others with more experience may suggest another approach. Experts in these fields have done studies, research and written book ad nauseam to “educate” the public and law makers. Where has it gotten us? Not too far. It’s time for a radically new approach!
MAC “And how will that take the money out of adoption??” That would undoubtedly require separate, additional legislation, to outlaw the virtual sale of human beings as human trafficking. That could, however, also be worked on simultaneously. Cancer and AIDS researchers work on many different theories at once.
You yourself said: “I doubt that even those adoptive parents who want this information would support legislation that said adoptees had to go through life with name on their original birth certificate, first and last.” Very true. If adoption were totally open – truly enforceably open, with no false BC, similar to guardianship it is LIKELY to reduce the numbers of people wanting to adopt to those who are more concerned in truly helping a child. This combined with a great deal more effort placed on family preservation and this far less need for adoption to begin with.
MAC “I find it inconsistent that on the one hand you state that laws can be passed in small increments, "baby steps" and you take to task those who criticize this in the realm of open records, yet you are asking for support for legislation that has not got the chance of a snowball in hell to ever pass, citing a string of "dream the impossible dream" type quotes.”
Yes, it seems a daunting challenge – like climbing Mt. Everest blindfolded. It is! What I propose in terms the ERA model is perfectly consistent with taking “baby steps.” Look at how omen’s rights have improved – especially in the workplace despite it never formally “passing” federally. I think taking the tobacco industry is another fine example of grass roots teaming up with professionals to incrementally, and in a variety of different ways, greatly reduce their power and influence on future smokers while also helping past smokers.
Who is to say it hasn’t a snowball’s in hell? How do you know until you try! For myself, success it not always in reaching the exact ideal goal. Success comes from DOING instead of sitting around wringing my hands, but knowing I gave it my all. Thirty years ago you and I were 30 years younger. Twenty years from now we will be twenty years older. We can chose to either be octogenarians bemoaning the fact that all that happened in those last two decades was perhaps one more state opened their records to adults, or I can look back at the end of my days and believe that I started a ball rolling in a new direction. Did Jean Paton complete her goal in her lifetime? Was it a pipe dream? Did he follow her dream? Did it start a revolution! Yes, I am a dreamer! And proud of it. Without dreamers and visionaries nothing would ever get accomplished! What if Martin Luther King thought that integration was impossible and gave up without even trying? The list of so-called impossible things have happened just in our lifetimes is exhausting!
Here’s another quote: “Hope has two beautiful daughters, their names are anger and courage. Anger that things are the way they are.
Courage to make them the way they ought to be.” ~St. Augustine
I am ANGRY at the status quo. I see wrong and I cannot simply turn my back to it and walk away and let go on and on and on. My anger fuels my courage and resolve. I KNOW there is a better way.
MAC “in the real world there would be very little support for federal legislation such as you propose.”
Perhaps in YOUR “real” word reality that is so. It is not in mine! I dare say that only you and Karen B. of OUSA are the only two people I have heard from who are not “onboard” with this.
MAC “This is not a matter of law but of agency policy and the prevalence of open adoption today.”
The falsification of someone’s most basic identifying legal document is very much a matter of law.
MAC “And contrary to what you have stated, it would make a difference that many adult adoptees would not support this kind of legislation, because who else could legislators ask what its effect might be?”
Your sarcasm about children voting aside,…please try to understand that seeking open records for those adopted a generation ago who are now adults is in column A and seeking to stop the continuation of children waiting from birth to adulthood is in column B. Perhaps BB Church can explain this better to you than I. They are different and yet do not in any way contradict one another. It is just that we cannot go back and retroactively not falsify certificates that have already been done that way, so for those people they can be given the truth as they reach whatever age the state they are in sees fit to give anyone their birth certificates. But there is no conceivable reason on earth to continue to make adoption the secret mess it has made into since the 1940’s which hassled to it’s corruption by baby brokers. I am seeking REPEAL of these outdated laws. Does that make sense to you? Or so you think it a child is better off living a life of lies, or half lies. Knowing that he is adopted and knowing nothing more???
For me, it is a simple question. Is adoption, as it is being practiced in the US today optimal? Can it be better? Does making it better require more than simply returning access to adoptees when they are adults or is there more we can do to improve it? It IS BROKE, so let's roll up our sleeves and fix it!
I hope have addressed all of MaryAnne's questions and given a fuller understanding of my goals (which BTW, are still fermenting and forming as I write - FAR FROM not cut in stone.)
As always, I open the discussion ot more questions and comments...
thank you again. I believe you are right.
I imagine that you have read Janine Baers excellent book'"Growing in the Dark" which tells the story of the 1935 sealing of the CA adoption records. Baer strongly suggests that Georgia Tann, convicted adoption racketeer, was at least partly responsible for the CA sealing, and, then of course,the idea spread around the country.
We are all about the right age here to remember when adoption was whispered about and few people searched. It just wasn't done.I knew a number of adopted kids when i was a child, and they sometimes expressed pain about it, but not very much. it was unacceptable to talk about it very much..
So, we are old enough now to have seen changes. It is different than it was then.Scientific research has taught people that our identity is indeed at least partly(maybe greatly) in our genetic makeup and it cannot be altered, erased, or nurtured away by other people.People are doing more than whispering.The genie is out of the adoption bottle.
And it is time to move forward and suggest the "impossible".That the birth certificate falsification is wrong.That falsifying a government issued identifying"vital record" is a violation of constitutional and civil rights.
Thank you. I appreciate your support.
I know Janine but have not read her book. I did however know that Tann is believed to be the root of sealed records.
yeah...it's kinda like when the time came to stop calling people niggers and let them drink from the same drinking fountains!