Sunday, February 04, 2007
WANTED: Lawyers, Law Students, Legal Assistants...
"IDENTITY FRAUD - also known as document fraud, is the manufacturing, counterfeiting, alteration, sale and/or use of identity documents and other fraudulent documents to circumvent immigration laws or for other criminal activity. Identity fraud does not itself confer lawful status upon the perpetrator. Identity fraud often underlies or supports the crime of benefit fraud. Identity fraud in some cases also involves identity theft, a crime in which an imposter takes on the identity of a real person (living or deceased) for some illegal purpose."
Is it not illegal in any state to manufacture or use a false driver's license or other form of official ID? If it's illegal for an individual to manufacture false ID, what about the state that issues false birth certificates?
WANTED: anyone with a legal background or the know-how to find laws pertaining to state-issued fraudulent documents.
Once we have found the exact law that is in violation...we need an adoptee in each state to challenge the state in a class-action suit on behalf of all adoptees in that state who have been issued false birth certificates.
If we lose in any state, we take it to the U.S. Supreme Court and force a decision - with public support - that the federal government make it illegal from this point forward for any state to issue a certificate of birth with people named as parents who did not conceive and birth the child. People are not born into their adoptive families. It requires a legal action which should be duly noted.
Since this would affect only adoption moving forward from this point, it would not detract from the quest of those adopted in the past seeking open records. It could only help as it will generate a great deal of public understanding, sympathy and support to an issue that is very much misunderstood. It takes the issue totally away from "birthmother versus adoptee."
Some claim that a class-action suit was tried and failed, referring the ALMA's suit in NY. However, this is totally different. ALMA's suit was to gain access to records for those already adopted.
2. Assuming arguendo that sovereign immunity is moot, the operative phrase is "to circumvent immigration laws or for other criminal activity." Legal adoptions are, by definition, not illegal.
3. Your only real shot is with a substantive due process argument, but that won't fly with our current far-right court.
Sovereign immunity is a fact. However, publicity could still be gleaned from just TRYING.
The quote I found on a very quick first try of a search for "state-issued false documents" was related to immigration.
The adoption is legal - but is falsifying the BC legal? If so, perhaps we need to seek out the law that allows a state to do this and seek to have it repealed. As far as i know, the law states the original records shall be sealed and an "amended" certificate issued. To amend means to add on. When we amend the Constitution we do not destroy or hide from the public the original document.
I don't know - I'm brain storming.
Please explain "susbstantive due process argument"
The 4th amendment states that the people shall be secure in their homes, their persons, their papers... free from unwarranted government seizure.
Our papers were seized and falsified. Our bodies were violated when our children were taken. Our children were seized.
The fact that 'adoption" is legal does not make all of the practices in adoption, also legal.
Adoption of a child should not require that false documents be issued. And since adoption existed before there even were birth certificates, obviously there was a time when it did not do want it tries to do today.
Yes, clearly adoption existed in the U.S. long before the records were falsified and original records 'sealed." Then the states passed laws making it legal for them to do that. The question is - do those laws violate any constitutional right.
Unwarranted government seizure is interesting...not sure it would apply. And of course we all know the gvt does what it wants. Look at eminent domain. They can come and seize the home you paid for!
I do not think our children were illegally "seized" because, as you yourself have said the relinquishment and adoption were legal - with the individual exceptions where there was specific fraud and coercion. That would have to be proven case by case, because clearly not all of us were coerced by the letter of the law. I, for instance, like many, was simply not offered options. The law did not require that at the time and is still vague as to what "option counseling" means and who must provide it.
But I think you are lookign at this from the wrong perspective. There is a far clearer case that it is violation of the adoptees' rights than ours. It is after all THEIR birth certificate, not ours, that has been falsified. We know our identity and who our parents are and we have our original birth certificate!
Therefore, the fight against falsified birth certificates need to be fought as a violation of our children's rights! I was promised my child would have a "better ;ife" - not be treated as a second class citizen with less rights than a convicted felon in regards to their own records. I am indignant and fighting like a mother lion for her CUB...like the mothers of MADD...we are fighting, not selfishly for ourselves. What was done was done. We cannot erase or change the past or get our kids back.
We need to start with clarity that is the rights of the adoptee that have been violated because it is THEIR birth certificate.
We fight for THEIR civil rights that have been violated. In doing so we put an end to all closed adoptions. No more mothers, no more children to suffer as we have and our children have! An end to falsified BC's means totally open adoptions. It means exact same as PERMANENT GUARDIANSHIP! Children who NEED to be cared for and have no family to do so, are cared for without any name change, or if it is changed it is done like marriage is done, with free access to the original information and original family members. This, in turn will reduce the number of people who want to adopt!
The 4th Amendment doesn't say that only some people have a right to be protected from unwarranted government home invasions/siezure/of papers or persons.Presumably, it is everyone.I did check with a lawyer about this..he said that adoption itself, the way it is done in secrecy, pressuring mothers who have just given birth, and with falsified documents, is a violation of the privacy of both the mother and the child. You can't separate the birth from the mother.
The lawyer also said that pressuring pregnant and new mothers violates the legal standard of "sound mind and body".He said that most surrenders are signed too early after the birth to fit the legal standard.
Your comparison with eminent domain abuse is a good one, and I have used that myself.There is a reform movement around eminent domain as well.It has taken a long time but it is happening.
Many of our children were seized in the hospital, which is illegal. I know many mothers who were not allowed to see their babies and threatened with court action against them if they tried. That is blatantly illegal.
Lies are lies, no matter who it is who is doing the lying...or who they are lying about.
I signed my childs real and only birth certificate, which also contains information about my medical history and my address/residence. So there is quite a bit on there that is about me.If everything that referred to me were removed, there wouldn't be much left for my child to claim a right to.
In fact, the law does not say that the birth certificate is primarily anyones' property. Birth registration laws usually state that only "persons who have a direct and tangible connection to the registrant" can have a copy.That includes the natural parents, who are usually the ones who get the certificate first.And of course the state maintains the right to keep the registration/certificate on file.Birth certificates didn't exist until about 1900, and there are still some older non-adopted Americans who never had one.( I have some relatives in this category)
In my previous post, I said that surrender and adoption, as actions by free citizens, are legal.In other words, it is legal to surrender a child and it is legal to adopt a child. I didn't mean that all surrenders/adoptions are legal. In fact, I doubt if they were.
Lots of actions in life are legal is done 'legally" but not if they are coerced. or done dishonestly, or some other necessary legal ingredient is missing.
I know that the surrender of my child was illegal, he was taken from me in hospital before I had even signed anything, I was sent across many state lines,I was offered foster care.... an offer that I took, and then I was subjected to threatening calls from the agency to 'sign" or else.
I am primarily interested in the right of families to stay together,and also to restore and reconcile those which have been separated.I am not primarily interested in the rights of individuals to only get a birth certificate or any other paper when they are 18.This is not at all the same 'right' as other people, who grow up with whatever birth certificate they were issued at birth, and whatever situation is in their family...inclduing being a "bastard". There are many non-adopted bastards.
Did you know adoptee Jean Paton?You must have. She advocated for opening records for mothers as well as adoptees. By the time of her death she stated that adoption doesn't work and families should be kept together whenever possible.When not possible, then permanent legal guradianship was the best option, especially within the kinship family.
Open adoption doesn't impress me..it is still adoption/separation and it is still a business.
I don't know what you mean by 'getting our children back'. Many of us are reunited with our children very successfully and we have grandchildren we know, love, and who love us..
None of those reunions were supposed to happen, but we did it anyway.
I know a number of adoptees and bio mothers from Kansas..their experience in adoption is identical to everyone else's.They feel the same way, the same loss the same rejections, etc..The only difference is that because adopted people can get their records at 18, it is easier for them to search. but many of them do not even know the records are open so they never get them. Or they don't know they are adopted.
Is your book available yet?
I find I must simply repeat what I have already said:
SOME adoptions were illegal, such as yours. Some are not, such as mine. My body was not violated. I simply gave birth. My child was not "seized" as stolen merchandise is seized in a police raid. She was legally relinquished for adoption by my signing relinquishment papers.
Yes, "pressuring pregnant and new mothers violates the legal standard of "sound mind and body".He said that most surrenders are signed too early after the birth to fit the legal standard."
This is true. As for taking children directly from the hospital for adoption, it is perfectly legal in many states. Shouldn't be - but, unfortunately, it is.
Laws regarding the time a relinquishment can be signed, etc. vary from state to state and depend on both where and when the birth and relinquishment took place. In cases in which the law was broken, those mothers who have been pressured and coerced need to seek legal recourse, as anyone who has had a crime committed against them.
I don't know what state you relinquished in, but neither my address nor my medical information is on the birth certificate of my relinquished child nor any of my subsequent children's.
What medical info is on anyone's birth certificate? Other than maybe number of previous pregnancies, if you consider that medical info.
The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, and was originally designed as a response to the controversial writs of assistance (a type of general search warrant).
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
It demands law enforcement obtain a search warrant and have reasonable cause to get one. period.
No one came into any of our homes and took our or our children birth or medical records. Now were they taken from our persons.
I totally agree with you that: "I am not primarily interested in the rights of individuals to only get a birth certificate or any other paper when they are 18.This is not at all the same 'right' as other people."
Reunion does not "get our kids back" - nothing can. Not even having an adoption declared illegal.
My point is that birth certificates should not be falsified, listing strangers as the parents of the child as if he/she was born to them. PERIOD!
I am pro-family preservation and believe that a change in custody should be only a very last resort -- only when every means of helping to keep the family together has been tried and failed. There are some kids who have no family whatsoever to care for them. They need care. In THAT case the guardianship should be done without any name change. NO FALSIFIED BC! That's it!
BTW - BN doesn't even ask for records at 18...they ask for 21!
I will want to get a copy of your book.It sounds good. I have your other one'Shedding Light on the Dark Side of Adoption' I think it is very good and was/is an important book, a real eye-opener...and very brave,especially at the time.
At the time that the Bill of Rights to our constitution was written there were few if any hospitals,no social workers,agencies, or birth certificates. There was the militia, the sheriff, etc.Children were usually born right in their mothers beds. And that was still common in the early 20th century. Neither of my parents were born in a hospital. There was little in the way of regulation of any kind. You are a researcher so you know all that.
In the 1962 supreme Court case, Griswold vs Connecticut, the anti-birth control statutes were struck down using 20th century arguments...not 18th century ones.
Laws have been added/rewritten to reflect the times..
For example, there is a whole body of law now on aviation...but there were no airplanes in the 1700s..
It is still a matter of applying the principles in the constitution and the Bill of Rights to today, not to restrict the principles to what was available and who the authorities were in the 18th century.
My child was seized in the hospital,against my will, by hospital workers...I had not signed anything and I was trying to find a way to keep him.They did not have a warrant to take him...and today our laws here do require that....I have helped get those laws passed.
I was not in a maternity home. He was taken away from me and I was forbidden to see him, and so were my relatives.
I was paralyzed by drugs and could not move.I saw the nurses carrying babies to other mothers but they would not bring mine to me..I begged, I pleaded, but they refused and I could not move.This was, most likely, "hospital policy" but it was not legal..it was seizure of a person...it was kidnapping.(eventually my doctor intervened for me and I was able to see my child)The doctor was very angry that I had been treated that way.
My records were taken from me and falsified.
The hospital used their authority, and so did the agency, acting as an agent of the state.They filed papers with the court which did not even give my residence or age and I was not a resident of that state, and I was still a minor. The papers stated that they were licensed by the state...which gives them authority and also culpability.They would not give me any copies of these papers but about 5 years ago, I got them.
Juvenile courts did not exist until about 100 years ago.But, now they do, and that has created a new system of procedures and rights as well as abuses.
I have helped get laws passed that does make their behavior illegal, stated in law..
I have been reunited for a long time. I think it does get our kids back. At least some of us.It doesn't erase the lost years, but those years are gone anyway.I would be this old(LOL) whether I had raised my kid, or if we had never been reunited. And I have grandchildren.Reunion has made a big difference.It isn't much different than peole I know who were separated by divorce.They establish a relationship with their relatives and then they have that.
The birth certificate I signed did ask for my address and I put that on it.It also had my doctors name and various details about the birth, which pertained to me and to my body.It was very personal and medical.
Those details were put on the amended(fake) birth certificate, also.I have a copy of it.It is right here in my house. It has my medical information, doctors name, details, all with another woman's name on it.When I go to my ob-gyn and give my medical history, I am effectively in conflict with what that "official birth certificate" says about me. It says I am lying....or the state is. We cannot both be telling the truth.
I am planning to send it to a lawyer I know, a relative, who thinks it is a violation, misrepresentation of the facts by the state or identity theft.
I thought BN was looking for the right to birth certificates at age 18...has it always been 21?I didn't know that...
I am sorry you had such an awful birth experience. What a shame you didn't know to see an attorney quicker.
Maybe BN varies the age in different states.
Good luck and let me know how you make out with the lawyer.
yes, "Dark Side of Adoption" was always one of my favorites. Thank you for writing it.
yes I think the reunion experience varies with families, and with individuals.As you know from your research, there are lots of variations on the theme.
And I know quite a few reunited families. I also work with families who were separated by CPS...and divorce. It is interesting that some of the adopted people in those situations reunite very well with their families, even when there was abuse and neglect. The anger issue doesn't seem to be tied to any particular situation. Some are very angry and some are not.
And some of the angry ones still reunite. The anger subsides for some and for some it does not.
My son was only barely into adulthood when I reunited with him.He is nearly middleaged now, and I can see how he had grown and changed in the decades I have known him.
Childhood is gone for all of us.it can never be 'gotten back" but that is just about yesterday, not today and tomorrow.
It amazes me how much I have been a part of my sons life when i see people reuniting with older adult adopted people, and I realize how much I actually have been there for.
I suppose the loss of the 'child"(as in childhood) also matters a lot more to mothers who are 'baby' people. I am talking about those women who just adore babies(not being critical of them, just observing)
I was never one of those. Older children/adult children have always been more interesting to me.That was why I felt the loss of my child increasingly as he got older.
I wonder if there even were attorneys who would help a mother who was being threatened and coerced by hospitals and agencies back in "those days." I suppose there were, but I was just a student in school, and dependent on my family.And there was no DNA testing then, so I couldn't prove paternity(although I knew). The state didn't even consider my son's father to be a 'legal father" because the birth was out of wedlock.
I look forward to your new book.