You’ve Got Yours, We Want Ours

YOU’VE GOT YOURS, WE WANT OURS!

This phrase should sound familiar to most folks reading here. It’s the chant repeated over and over as we march in the annual Adoptee Rights Demonstration. After demonstration day its so ingrained in your mind, you hear it in your sleep.

YOU’VE GOT YOURS, WE WANT OURS!

This isn’t the kind of statement that demands an answer, it stands alone. You don’t really expect a cadre of legislators to emerge from their meetings and answer, “Well gee, okay, you can have your original birth certificate, you’ve made a hell of a point there. We’ll get right on that.” They are simply words that you want to be heard.

YOU’VE GOT YOURS, WE WANT OURS!

The thing is I’m starting to hear an answer.

I’VE GOT MINE, SO SCREW YOU!

We live in a world where, at least a vocal minority, cheer at the thought of someone being allowed to die for lack of health insurance. Do you think that bunch is going to give a good god damn if you have your original birth certificate when you’re dying, at home, from a fully preventable cause, because you didn’t have the financial assets to find treatment? They won’t, being adopted, in their minds simply marks you as another useless member of a permanent lower class who didn’t fully embrace the American dream.

Empathy is in short supply these days and empathy is essential to our cause. Those who cannot put aside their own perceptions and feel the plight of their fellow man are sadly becoming more of a force in politics. Their number among state legislators is significant enough it must be dealt with. For that reason, I propose we add a new chant along side the others.

ABANDONMENT IS NOT FREEDOM!

We must make people understand that being abandoned by your government does not liberate us from our our origins, but creates a kind of inequality that will never allow us to be truly free. We are at our very essence people, citizens, even entities completely created, without our consent, by our government. If some would see our government as promoting freedom above all others things, shouldn’t we, the creations of this government, be allowed the truest freedom, that of our identity? If our government judged that we would better enjoy the benefits bestowed upon citizens of our county with revised identities, shouldn’t we allowed all the advantages of citizenship? What possible argument can be made for shrouding our origins in secrecy?

ABANDONMENT IS NOT FREEDOM!

I’m Back and In Trouble Already

I’m Seeing Double and have been sent to the principal’s office over at Grown In My Heart….

Seeing Double at Grown In My Heart.

Other than that, I’m adjusting.

I’m a freshman at a small mid-western university.  I always thought these things were made up, until it happened to me……

Actually I have managed to get myself enrolled in school.  We’ll see how that goes.  More later.

Ward Of The State (Slight Return)

Due to my recent employment situation, I am again dependent on the state.

It’s triggering.

As an adult adoptee most of my contact with the state has been adversarial.  I want my original birth certificate and they refuse to give it to me.  This because they think of me as a child that cannot understand my position.

The fact is, I understand my position very well.  Obtaining my OBC will not change a thing about who I am or what has happened to me, but it will make me feel like an adult.  It’s simple, but they won’t help me.  I’m  supposed to be fine with all that.

The state does  feel that I might need some help with my joblessness.  It’s been explained to me that losing a job can be very traumatic.

I get that.

The state has told me that’s it’s unfair and I shouldn’t be able to understand my situation.

I think I have a pretty good grasp on the situation, actually.

They tell me that I may feel like my identity has been taken away.

Um no.  I know what that feels like and this isn’t it.

They say this could be the most significant transition in my life.

Trust me, it’s so not.

They want me to know if I start to feel out of control or that I fear I might hurt myself, counseling is available.

Oh where have you been all of my life?

They even offered to set up a “rap session” for us to dicuss what we are going through.

No, in the name of all things holy, no.

I’m not trying to minimize  job loss here, it is hard, but it’s not like the end of my world.

Honestly I’m offended that they take unemployment so much more seriously than adoption.  I lost a job here, not my biological roots, not my name, not my identity.  I’m supposed to be just fine with being adopted and not require any kind of assistance dealing with it, but lose my job, and it’s time for intensive intervention.

What the hell ever.

Second Thoughts About Relinquishing Myself

As you all know I have been considering relinquishing myself to my governor, but now I’m not so sure.  It’s not that I don’t like my governor, I do, and it would be cool to be the governor’s kid.  I bet I could get into the state fair for free.  But, even with all the perks, I might be doing myself a disservice.

Since this would be a public adoption, it wouldn’t cost very much.  My states chief executive might even get paid to take care of me while the paperwork went through.  I think I’m worth more.  I think I’ll put myself up for adoption privately. Possibly internationally.

I’ll be acting as my own facilitator, oh course.  So what does a white kid go for on the international market these days? $30,000 or $40,000?  Hey for that I can throw in a collectible Barbie Doll and a teddy bear.

So if you know anyone that might be interested in a bright, fairly well behaved girl, with a smile that can light up the room and melt heats, let me know.

I Wonder If I Can Relinquish Myself?

Since my state continues to treat me like a child that can’t be trusted with my records, I think I’d like to relinquish myself, to the state.  the problem is I don’t want to be a ward of the court.   Since I’m relinquishing myself I think I should be able to pick my new adoptive parents.

I was thinking the governor would be a good choice.  He can afford another kid, and let’s face it, the prestige would be nice.  I think it would be a mutually beneficial relationship.  He could get all kinds of publicity for adopting and I could live in the governor’s mansion.

I think it would be a great way to bring adoptee rights issues home to someone who could do something about it.  At all the family photo ops, conventions, and tree lighting ceremonies I could raise my fist and yell “GIVE ADOPTEES THEIR ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES!!”.   I’m betting that could get something done fast.

We all should do it.  Just imagine if all the governors, in all the states that don’t allow equal access for adoptees, had tens of thousands adult adoptees trying to relinquish themselves to them…….

The potential news story.

Addie Pray Nixon, yeah that sounds good.

Alternatives To Violence

Being an adoptee can make you want to throttle everyone you meet sometimes, but you just can’t do that. Read more about it here….

Melanie’s bitchy post at Grown In My Heart

To anyone that might take offense, I was talking about someone else.  Really.  I was.

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What The Hell Was Going On?

Joy’s post about foster care got me thinking.  I was in foster care too, but I was with my adoptive parents.  I was about 2 weeks old when they took me home from the hospital on a trail basis.

I had known that I was a ward of the state until my adoption was finalized when I was 2, but I had not known it was a “trail adoption” until recently when my a-mother mentioned it.

What the fuck is a trail adoption?

A-mom really didn’t know.  That’s just what the social worker had told them.  They were pretty much under the impression that I was with them to stay.

I don’t know the date of my relinquishment.  All I have are my adoption papers and they only mention that my first mother had given up parental rights at an earlier date.  Not what date.

What the hell was going on for those 2 years?

Had I been relinquished immediately after I born?  Was I not relinquished until later?  Was my relinquishment voluntary?  Was I removed from my first mother because she was judged to be incapable of caring for me?

Were the concerns with my adoptive parents?  Had they not decided if they wanted to adopt me?  Did the state have concerns about their fitness as adoptive parents?

Was there some concern for my health? Were there questions about my mental fitness?  What?

I’d really like to know.

If the state hadn’t placed me, and I had grown up in foster care, I would be able to know these things.  But since I turned out to be a healthy little thing that somebody decided to keep, they won’t tell me.  As far as the state is concerned I’m a different person than the baby they were responsible for.  The foster child ceased to exist when I was adopted.

I ceased to exist.  I didn’t die.  I didn’t change.  I just ceased to exist.

That’s a pretty good trick, being able to make a person disappear.  Anything at all could have happened, then it’s all just gone.  Like it never happened.

But it did happen.  It happened to me.

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

Changes

I think that each and everyone one of us has the capacity for change.  Heck change is what I’m all about, and what this blog is all about.  I an an Adult Adoptee Advocating For Change, after all.

It’s not just me, I feel change in the air.  We are all growing, all changing, maybe we’ll all be better for it.   

Change takes inspiration and no one has inspired me more than Marley today.  Just to think a year ago her position on adoption agencies went like this…

Records and identity access is about our rights and has no connection with the marketing schemes of adoption agencies. BN has a long-standing, hard-line policy of accepting no support from the adoption industry. Bastard Nation specifically, and the adoptee rights movement in general, cannot and should not be co-opted or used by the adoption industry to promote its own agenda. We disavow all industry involvement in our work. Any entanglement with the adoption industry endangers the integrity and credibility of the adoptee rights movement.

 

And today when she says, in reference to her groups partnership with Holt International, commenting on my last post….

 

 We are partners with many groups with CalOpen. 

 

This includes 3, count them 3, adoption agencies, by the way.

 

I’ve always said that in order to get records opened up we must work with all kinds of people and organizations related to adoption, and here’s Marley living by that example.  

And I can only think that her presence will go on to inspire more good things.  More openness at Holt, an easing in the attitude that they display to natural mothers, a brand new day at Holt International.  I’m sure Marley, above all others, is working to make Holt the kind of adoption agency we’d all like to see.  Gone will be the days of half truths and difficulty reuniting.  

Change is good and I’m proud of you Marley.