Missouri Update

Hey all, need some help from some Missouri folks, and anyone else who would like to take a few minutes for the cause.There are a couple of OBC access bills floating around the Missouri Legislature.  One is pretty much dead in the water this session, and the other is on the hearing list.  The bill on the hearing list is the same old tired hag of a bill that has been around for years.  It basically sucks.  Can you say contact preference, that is asked for over the phone by a state records worker when an adoptee applies for a copy of the OBC? And the adoptee has to sign a paper saying they will abide by the contact preference? Yeah.  I am not crazy about this bill.  Here’s how it reads now. With the particularly shitty parts bolded..

SB 53 – This act modifies provisions regarding adoption records. The State Registrar shall develop and, upon a birth parent’s request, distribute both a contact preference and a medical history form to the birth parent. The contact preference form allows a birth parent to list his or her preference for contact by the adoptee. If a contact preference form is filed with the registrar, a medical history form shall also be so filed. Upon receipt of the forms, the State Registrar shall attach such forms to the original birth certificate of the adopted person.

This act allows for an adopted person, the adopted person’s attorney, or the adopted person’s descendants, if the adopted person is deceased, to obtain a copy of the adopted person’s original birth certificate from the State Registrar upon written application and proof of identification. The adopted person shall be 18 years of age or older and born in Missouri. The adopted person shall also agree in writing to abide by the birth parent’s contact preference, if such preference is included with the adopted person’s original birth certificate. The State Registrar shall also provide a medical history form, if such form was completed by the birth parent.

The provisions of the act shall not apply to adoptions instituted or completed prior to August 28, 2009, except that a copy of the medical history form, which has had all identifying information redacted, shall be issued to such adopted person. For adoptions completed prior to August 28, 2009, the state registrar shall release the original birth certificate only if the birth mother is deceased. If the birth mother is not deceased, the state registrar shall, within thirty days of application by the adopted person, contact the birth mother via telephone, personally and confidentially, to obtain the birth mother’s written consent or denial to release the original birth certificate.

This act is identical to SCS/SB 1132 (2008) and similar to SB 322 (2003)

BUT, the same people who have been bringing this bill like forever are bringing Paula Benoit to Missouri.  She was instrumental in getting Maine’s OBC law passed, and probably doesn’t need any introduction here…

http://www.adopteecare.com/paula/

Here’s her blog with the latest update…

http://adopteecare.blogspot.com/?psinvite=ALRopfV9vIsE5jbcVzd-TeEXUyPVLdV46-b_Qowb1nmhhlchrGML4T2hN3Y9x29-kkrxx-F27CxQVCDkE0Y4BdaWgs6hoB6rTw

She has offered to keep us updated on her activities while in Missouri and would like anyone who can to come down and support her.   Since this is mainly a MoCare deal, most everything about this trip has been on an email list, and I’d like to make this information a bit more widely available.  

I have set up an email list, but will post anything I get here.  I’d also like to hear from you guys.  The more voices we have, the better we can do here.  And let’s face it, Missouri needs a kick in the ass.  

I’m going to see about visiting the following reps and senators (my locals and near bys)with Paula, if there is anyone else you’d especially like me to try to get seen, let me know…

Senator Brad Lager-12th district
Senator We Shoemeyer-18th district
Rep Casey Guernsey-3rd district
Rep Rebecca McClanahan-2nd district

So Much I Want To Do

I want to do so many things.  I want to direct you to my other blog and show you all the fiber arts stuff I’ve been up to.  But I haven’t been up to much.  I want to tell you about the reunion I have working in my life, but that is sort of on hold too.  I’d also like to be on a beach with my toes in the sand and a drink in my hand.  This is  the least likely to happen anytime soon.

So I’m going to hit the high points here.  

As some folks are aware, my state, Missouri, has at least 2  birth certificate access bills at some stage in the legislative process.  Not to mention a couple of more bills that pop up here and there that could have some effect on adoptees.  The only bill that is still breathing is far from perfect, and has, at present, one of the craziest contact preference clauses I’ve ever seen, here’s the summary in it entirety, with the contact preference section bolded….

 

SB 53 – This act modifies provisions regarding adoption records. The State Registrar shall develop and, upon a birth parent’s request, distribute both a contact preference and a medical history form to the birth parent. The contact preference form allows a birth parent to list his or her preference for contact by the adoptee. If a contact preference form is filed with the registrar, a medical history form shall also be so filed. Upon receipt of the forms, the State Registrar shall attach such forms to the original birth certificate of the adopted person. 

This act allows for an adopted person, the adopted person’s attorney, or the adopted person’s descendants, if the adopted person is deceased, to obtain a copy of the adopted person’s original birth certificate from the State Registrar upon written application and proof of identification. The adopted person shall be 18 years of age or older and born in Missouri. The adopted person shall also agree in writing to abide by the birth parent’s contact preference, if such preference is included with the adopted person’s original birth certificate. The State Registrar shall also provide a medical history form, if such form was completed by the birth parent.

 

The provisions of the act shall not apply to adoptions instituted or completed prior to August 28, 2009, except that a copy of the medical history form, which has had all identifying information redacted, shall be issued to such adopted person. For adoptions completed prior to August 28, 2009, the state registrar shall release the original birth certificate only if the birth mother is deceased. If the birth mother is not deceased, the state registrar shall, within thirty days of application by the adopted person, contact the birth mother via telephone, personally and confidentially, to obtain the birth mother’s written consent or denial to release the original birth certificate.

 

This act is identical to SCS/SB 1132 (2008) and similar to SB 322 (2003)

 

I was not aware that the telecommunications lobby was so strong to even reach into the area of adoptees rights.  I assume this means that they will call the first parent on the phone and then send out a contact preference formhat’s what I call reaching out and touching someone.  Okaaay….whatever.   

And yes,  this is the same old tired hag of a bill that has been floating around for years.  

At any rate, Paula Benoit is coming to Missouri very soon to lobby legislators very soon.  I’m seeing this as a bright spot.  

If you’re not familiar with her work in Maine, check here….

http://www.adopteecare.com/paula/

Now that’s what I’m talking about.  A good clean bill.  

Paula has offered to keep us that aren’t hooked up with the super secret workings of the inside scene of Missouri Adoptee Rights activism up with the goings on of her visit.  If you’d like to be inclued, just leave a comment here or drop me a line and I’ll get you hooked up.  The more folks that we can get on this the better.  This means everybody.  

And yes, those who know me have already guessed, politics is making for some strange bedfellows here.  But that’s par for the course in Missouri.  Maybe not so much everywhere else.  Just to tease you a bit, what would make an adoptee rights organization who claim to be the top dog (or should I say top bastard dog) in all things adoptee rights partner with an imfamous adoption agency?  Do they want an invitation to camp too?

I don’t know.

But I am mulling it over.

Really Bad Titles For Adoption Books

In honor of National Adoption Awareness Month I was perusing the adoption titles available at Amazon.  I’m not planning on reading any of them and certainly don’t recommend that you do.  I just wanted to see what passed for kiddie grab lit these days.  I just have one question.  What the hell were these people thinking?  

 

A Blessing from Above  (Little Golden Book) by Patti Henderson and Elizabeth Edge

Seems to perpetuate the stork myth.  Well might as well, at least from an APs perspective, hell babies might as well grow on trees, money trees from their perspective.


The Complete Adoption Book: Everything You Need to Know to Adopt a Child by Laura Beauvais-Godwin and Raymond Godwin 

Yeah right, get back to us in about 20 years.

 

I Wished for You – an Adoption Story by Marianne R Richmond 

Well if wishes were horses….blah blah blah

 

We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families by Todd Parr

Yeah, just keep telling yourself that…

 

The Complete Book of International Adoption: A Step by Step Guide to Finding Your Child by Dawn Davenport

Does it come with a map?  How about both hands and an ass?

 

Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections by Jean MacLeod and Sheena Macrae

Seems to combine adoption with DIY, interesting concept.  Did anyone tell them they can’t just pick up baby’s in front of the Home Depot every morning?

 

Happy Adoption Day! by John McCutcheon and Julie Paschkis

Do I even have to comment here?  Come up with your own.  It’s just too easy.

 

 

Adoption Is for Always (An Albert Whitman Prairie Book) by Linda Walvoord Girard and Judith Friedman

Unfortunately they are right.

 


I Don’t Have Your Eyes by Carrie A. Kitze

No, you don’t.  Duh.

 

Adoption for Dummies by Tracy Barr and Katrina Carlisle

Well that should make them feel comfortable.


Raising Adopted Children, Revised Edition: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent by Lois Ruskai Melina

Because we all know that it’s the APs who need all the reassurance. 

 

The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Adoption: Everything You Need to Know About Domestic and International Adoption by Elizabeth Swire Falker 

Funny, I wasn’t consulted.  Guess I’m not really an insider.  

 

The Post-Adoption Blues: Overcoming the Unforseen Challenges of Adoption by Karen J. Foli and John R. Thompson

All I can say here is just shut the fuck up.  Please.

 


The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Adoption, Second Edition by Christine Adamec

Seems that there are lots of idiots and dummies adopting these days.  It’s a second edition, did they lose the first one?  

 

Who Are My Real Parents? by D. L. Fuller

Let me guess.  

 


All About Adoption: How Families Are Made & How Kids Feel About It by Marc A. Nemiroff, Jane Annunziata, and Carol Koeller

Please tell me ALL about it.  Especially how I feel.  I can’t fucking wait.  

 

Adoption: The Essential Guide to Adopting Quickly and Safely by Randall Hicks

Wouldn’t want to get a paper cut.  

 

Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul: Stories Celebrating Forever Families (Chicken Soup for the Soulby Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and LeAnn Thieman L.P.N

Are forever famlies subject to salmonella ?

 

So I Was Thinking About Adoption…: Considering Your Choices by Mardie Caldwell

There you go thinking again, don’t hurt yourself.

 

Launching a Baby’s Adoption: Practical Strategies for Parents and Professionals by Patricia Irwin Johnston

Isn’t baby launching still illegal in several states? 

 

Riding on Angels Wings: My Spiritual and Physical Pregnancies: The Tale of our Two Sons by Cynthia Mae Burris

There is so much here I really don’t want to know.  

 

Sasha’s Little Red Box: An Adoption Story by Sandra Jones

Hmmm…sounds dirty and not in a good way.

 

Kimchi & Calamari by Rose Kent 

No thanks, I just ate.





 



A Day For Adoptee Fights

I suppose I should say something about the whole Bastard Nation living up to there name concerning the New Orleans Protest, but truth be told, I never much gave a shit for them anyway. It’s all been said. I think it’s safe to say, after this latest display of incompetence with a twist of arrogance, nobody else that matters gives a shit for Bastard Nation either.

You’d rather hear about what my adoptive folks have been up to anyway.

A-mom and pop stopped by the store as they were headed to visit some family graves last weekend. Mom was in her perennial pink pant suit, looking very much like the big pink peonies that bloom this time of year. Dad was wearing one of his “better sport shirts”, so I was pretty sure they were planing to make a day of it.

They were in full “lively discussion” mode.

Mom: (minus her pine scented air freshener spray, spring is in the air, after all) We need to get some flowers for your folks graves.

Pop: (looking desperately for a place to hide out and keep a Marlboro company) We don’t need any damn flowers. They just steal them anyway.

Mom: Who would steal flowers off your folks grave? Who are they? Nobody disliked your folks.

Pop: They all steal flowers.

Mom: Who are they, Bob? And why are they targeting your parents grave?

Pop: They steal from everybody’s graves and put them on their own graves.

Mom: How do they put them on their own graves? You’re just a clown, Bob.

At this point they spot me, the magazine rack did not provide sufficient cover.

Mom: We’re going to decorate your father’s folks graves and he thinks someone will steal the flowers.

Me: Oh, (as if their previous conversation couldn’t be heard all over the store) I don’t think they’ll steal the flowers.

Pop: Yes, they will, they just wait for you to leave and they take them.

Me: Why would they be targeting your folks graves? Everybody liked Nanny and Grandpa. (Sometimes I just can’t help myself).

Mom: Your father thinks they put them on their own graves.

Me: How could they do that?

Mom: They are apparently ghosts.

Pop: No they put them on their relatives graves.

Me: Ghosts put them on their relatives graves?

Pop: No! Other people do.

Mom: Well, that makes more sense. Ghosts put them on their relatives graves.

I give a knowing nod.

Pop: No people steal them and put them on their dead relatives graves.

Me: Well that does makes more sense. I have a ton of memorial flowers, pick out a couple.

Pop: No, someone will just steal them.

Me: What’s it matter, you put them there for yourself anyway. It’s not like you are going to come back and pick them up anyway. The cemetery just throws them away after Memorial Day anyway.

Mom: Yeah why does it matter? Just pick something out.

About this time Pop heads to the bathroom for a cigarette and Mom gets interested in the new flavors of diet soda in the case. I get distracted by a customer and the next thing I know I see Pop’s truck pulling out of the lot. About five minutes later the truck pulls back in, and here they come.

Mom: You were just trying not to get any flowers, weren’t you Bob?

Pop: They’ll just steal them anyway.

I grab a couple of memorial arrangements and head out and put them in truck. Mom and Pop continue around the store, discussing the rate of flower theft. I went to the back.

A few minutes later, I get a call. It’s Mom on the cell phone. “You did put a couple of flower arrangemnts in the back of the truck, didn’t you?”, she screams (she still thinks you have to scream into the cell phone).

“Yes mom I did.”

I Have A Brand New Plan

Well with every adoptee rights bill introduced in the current Missouri legislative session either withdrawn, on hold, or revised into a total piece of shit, it’s time to move on.

But how do we do that?

I’m glad you asked. This is where the new plan comes in.

What we are doing just ain’t working. We are going to ditch the kicking and crying, the victim attitude, the constant whining, and the Queen For A Fucking Day adoption beat me up so bad I can’t go on bullshit. We will also be jettisoning the back biting, the self-congratulatory boasting, and the goddamn circle jerk that the adoptee rights movement has become.

If you want to talk about your feelings, if you feel the need to cry into your dish towel, take a walk right now. You ain’t going to do that here. There are places for that, heck I administrate a couple of them, that’s the place for it. Go heal yourself and please come around when you are feeling stronger. We do have a place at the table for you, when you’re ready.

Now if you can put the pain aside and act like a grown-up for at least a little while, and truly desire your rights, let’s talk.

First let’s be honest, we aren’t even close in the state of Missouri. It’s going to take a lot of work and more than likely a lot of time. A lot of people would tell you that open records are just around the corner, it just ain’t so, right here, right now. All you have to do is look at what happened to all the bills that were considered this session to see that.

That’s not to say that it can’t be done, it can. But getting everybody’s hopes up over something that was obviously going to amount to nothing does no one any good. Expect to get beat up. There are very powerful people who do not want us to have access and the truth be told, those that do support our cause have shown no inclination to go to war recently.

We need to give the people that can help us a reason to champion our cause. While our cause is a noble one, and almost anyone can be convinced of that fairly easily, someone else’s noble cause is rarely a reason to go to war. We need to give them a real reason to help us out.

One of the best reasons I can think of to help someone is that they have helped you out in the past.

The first step in The Brand New Plan is not-so-random acts of kindness. We are going to help out those that could help us out. First go here..

Missouri Leggie Look-up

Find your legislators. Many of them are up for re-election this fall. You can go here to see if they have filed..

Who’s in the running

If they have filed, call their office. You are going to be the best johnny-on-the-spot volunteer they have ever seen. You are going to make phone calls, knock on doors, fetch coffee, eat dirt, what ever, and talk to everyone you know about voting for your candidate. You will impress your candidate with your dedication and nobility. Study up, know all the issues, not just adoptee rights. Let them know that you aren’t one dimensional. That you are a citizen concerned with all aspects of life. They will hopefully see you as the real and noble person that you are.

When you come to them later you will be more than one of the many people who wants something, you will be someone that has helped them. This may help to incline them to help you. You are noble and dedicated after all.

This approach will be most effective in the House races. The House candidates always have less people working for them. State Rep races just don’t have the glamor of the national races, you will have less other people performing not-so-random acts of kindness to compete with.

We need to focus on the already friendly leggies first, of course.

Davis in District 42

Roorda in District 102

In the State senate races, the once and maybe future friendly Connie Johnson has filed for the seat in district 5.

I’ll be throwing myself at my incumbent state rep hoping to curry favor.

This is only the beginning. We need to present ourselves as adults, with some knowledge of how things work in order to be treated as adults.

We are starting all over here folks. This is the first step.

What We Have Learned From Carolyn Pooler

If you’re wondering who the heck Carolyn Pooler is, check these links out..

 The Missouri Compromise

and

Carolyn Pooler Come Out And Play

The short answer, not much.

The longer answer, quite a lot.  We’ve learned that reform isn’t always about what’s best for everyone, sometimes it’s about desperation and clinging to things that no longer work.

Nobody is really sure if we heard from Carolyn or not, though I’m pretty sure that we did.  Twice.  There’s a good lesson.  If you are not willing to take credit for your actions and defend them, you probably shouldn’t be working on anybody else’s behalf.  You have to believe in what you’ve done enough to put you name on it and claim it.  Hiding behind different screen names and posting from public computers, so you can’t be traced isn’t going to inspire a lot of confidence in what you have to say.  So from Carolyn we learned to be ready to explain your actions and claim them.  If you’ve managed to fuck up royally, admit it.

I suppose there is a an argument riding into town, hoopin’ and hollerin, killin’ all the women and rapin’ all the cattle.  Hell, I’ve done it myself.  But if you are going to do that, you need to case the place you are ridin’ into first.  Carolyn didn’t do that.  And because she didn’t do her research, all she managed to get done was fall in a pile of shit.  Hell my blog was right there.  If she had even read the previous post to The Missouri Compromise, she would have found that I’m staunchly anti-whining.  As to the other folks she managed to insult, she didn’t check up on them either.  There’s a lesson.  Do your research.  I don’t imagine she’s researched adoptee issues, or the current state of reform actions, any better than she researched me.

Lastly, and most importantly, we learned the price of alienating those that can help you in your cause.  I can tell you it will be Frozen Margarita Night In Hell before I’d piss on her if she were on fire.  I’m guessing there are a few others that feel the same, most of them in a better position to help her than I am.

Yes,The Carolyn Pooler Affair, as it will from now be known, because I say so.  Has been an excellent lesson to us all.  All the lame newbie internet insults, all the pathetic kicking and crying aside, Ms. Pooler has given us something to learn from.

There will be a test afterward.

Carolyn Pooler Come Out And Play..

I’m still waiting here.  See this post The Missouri Compromise.  So far absolutely no explanation. And I’m not the only one who wants one.

Amy wants to know.

Gershom wants to know.

And Marley really wants to know.

Oh and these folks are curious too Nullius Filius.

Along with a lot of other people.

Exactly who do you claim to represent? Are they all Missouri adoptees? Were they all on board when you refused to support Representative Connie Johnson’s bill?

Oh and is it MO CARE that you represent, like you signed your letters with, or is it more like mocoare? Because through a typo I did find that group, with 5 whole people in it. Which is it?

Or are you speaking for the American Adoption Congress? Or Adoption and Triad Support Network? Or The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks? I can’t tell. And you don’t seem to have any friends that are forthcoming.

C’mon set me straight here. Educate me. And everybody else.

BTW, I see you’re having a meeting Thursday evening. Would you be more comfortable explaining this to me in person? I promise to listen very slowly.
Again comments section is below.