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.

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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.

Things That Need Reform….

This post is part of Grown In My Heart‘s blog Carnival.  Anyone can participate, get hooked up here.  Mr. Linky

Things that need reform, as simply as possible….

Birth Certificate Access

C’mon people, this is obvious.  The sky has not fallen where access by adult adoptees to their original birth certificate has been granted.  It’s simple, and it’s the right thing to do.  Which leads to….

Uniform regulations on all adoptions

Honestly, it’s like the wild west out there. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about adult adoptee issues, foster care adoption, agency adoption, private adoption, international adoption, anything adoption related.  When the first thing you have to ask someone is “Where are you at?” there is something very wrong. We are talking about human beings here.  Can we come to some general guidelines please?

Yeah I know, I’m dreaming. So what?  You asked me.

Doing just these two things would do more to make adoption more ethical and humane than anything else.  Honesty, equal rights for all involved, and a standard set of rules.  Simple and beautiful.

There are many specific things that need to be changed in adoption, but most could be cleared up if these two things were in effect.  If it’s about the children, and I have to think the adults these children become, give us our rights and a standard way to access them.  Not only would this make things better for those already adopted, it would make things better for future adoptees, and those who relinquish, or adopt.  From every perspective in what is good for adoptees is good for everyone.

Free Haitian Orphan With Every Order

Update 2/2/10

It’s been brought to my attention that the link I gave for Safe Families Haiti does not match the text I quoted.  That’s because the site I pulled that text from has been taken down.  But luckily it’s available in cache..

The site they don’t want you to see.

I’d like to thank my commenter Jill for pointing it out to me.

If you read through the enteries you’ll find all kinds of interesting craziness.

Gee, I wonder why they took that down?

In my place somewhere in the middle of the adoption world, I get to explore many different perspectives on every issue.  Things bubble up, points are made, and very little ever seems to change. This has intensified in the last few days, just this morning I found these on my Twitter feed.

First an organization called Safe Families Haiti, whose mission is stated as…

Safe Families is a network of Christian families that extend a safety net to children by providing at-risk families a sanctuary where they can place their children in a time of crisis. As a voluntary, non-coercive alternative to the state child welfare system, SFFC temporarily relieves parents from the responsibility of caring for their child and provides them time to address life issues without the fear of losing custody. Children are cared for by volunteer host families that are screened, trained, and serve to demonstrate Christ’s transforming love.

..seems to be looking for anyone who wants to take a Haitian child.  Here’s their website..

www.safe-families.org

Sounds OK, right?  A bit churchy, but non-coercive, and temporary.  Just what may be needed while families of Haitian children get their lives back in order after a terrible disaster.

Wrong.

Their next message reads like this….

Because of the response of families who desire to adopt children, we no longer need families who are interested in temporary housing. We are looking to place all children we receive with families who are considering adoption.

So I guess it’s just to hell with the temporary stuff, and you get to keep the kid.

All kinds of problems there.

But as I said, I’m in the middle, so I got this on my Twitter feed too.

Whites Make Pact With God, Expedite Haitian Adoptions

http://outlandishremarks.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/whites-make-pact-with-god-expedite-haitian-adoptions/#comment-54

Reading that, if not really changing anything about the situation, made me feel better.  I’m not just imagining this becoming some kind of free-for-all for ravenously entitled PAPs.

And you know what the really bad thing is? The above blog is about folks who were already involved in the process of adopting from Haiti.

Just think of the kids who weren’t matched, who won’t have any paperwork, who might have families that will come looking for them, and find nothing.

What is wrong with people? Folks can’t just help a kid out?  They have to get to keep them?  That’s hardly selfless, or well thought out.

Birth Certificate, Death Certificate, Whatever

I just saw the strangest thing.  My adoptive great grandfather’s death certificate.

Death cert.

What’s so strange about that?  He doesn’t share a name with either of his parents.  There is a totally different name at the top of that document.  That’s because he was raised by another family and took their name.

His real parents names are on his death certificate.

I haven’t been able to locate it yet, but I know his real parents names are on his birth certificate.

He was born in 1862.   The story that has come down through the family says that his mother died when he was a toddler and his father could not care for him.  He was taken in and raised by another family.  He took their name and so have all of his descendants.

Years ago a member of the family compiled a book about my adoptive family.  The usual thing with newspaper clippings, charts, amusing stories from the past, etc.  It pulled together all the resources that were so hard to find in the pre-internet age.  She traveled to West Virginia and England to find these things.  All of it was bound up in an impressive looking hardback book that every member of the family bought.

My aunt delivered these books on a holiday, I can’t remember which, but the whole family was gathered.  As we all sat there in my grandparents house looking through the book, commenting on how we were descended from English royalty, my grandfather said something.  Something very telling, “None of it matters, we’re not part of that family, my father was adopted, we’re all Allens. ”

That put a damper on things. Grandpa was never worried about offending, and he was right.  That whole book was bullshit.  We were Allens.   Well, they were Allens, I didn’t have a clue what I was.

I don’t know any more than that about how my grandfather felt about adoption.  It seems that he was well aware of it.  I’m not sure if he made that comment to knock my uppity aunt down a notch, or he really felt like an Allen.  I don’t know how he felt about me either.  I’m not even sure if he ever as much as noticed me.

The fact that Grnadpa knew he was really an Allen means something though.  It wasn’t a big secret.  It was on the documents.  I assume his father talked about it.  There didn’t seem to be any shame involved.

My great grandfather was born in 1862. There was no lying, no secrets, no changing of records.  His adoption was just a fact.  My grandfather was born in 1901, he wasn’t embarrassed about his heritage.  So why was it when I was born in 1965, it was a big  secret?

I really don’t understand why everyone has to insist that my adoptive family is my real family.  Nobody ever did that to my great grandfather.  He was never asked to deny who he really was.

My great-grandfather had a choice.  He could have been an Allen if he wanted to.  No court made that decision for him.  No judge denied his right to know where he came from.

Maybe that’s why he decided to take their name.  They gave him a family without taking his identity.  They didn’t have to change him.  They didn’t have to claim him.  My great-grandfather was allowed to decide who he was.

Even when my grandfather decided to take a different name, he didn’t forget the other one.  Seems like a good compromise to me.  I wish I had been allowed that.

My great-grandfather died as he lived, with the name he decided to take, and the names of his real parents.  I will also die as I live.  My real parents names will not be on my death certificate.

No one will look up my name over 100 years from now and know that I was adopted.  I will live a lie even after my death.

Please tell me how that makes any kind of sense.

Sacred Cow Tipping and True Crime

I made the mistake of discussing adoption with one of the uninitiated recently.  I always do that, you’d think that I would have learned by now.  Anyway, after I related some of my experiences she remarked that it sounds something more like  a true crime story than the fuzzy wuzzy experience of adoption.

No shit, Sherlock.

She seemed to think that instead of bringing up all of the things that are wrong with adoption, and how adoptees are perceived we should be looking for answers and comfort.

Again, no shit.

Answers and comfort would be wonderful.  Folks having a complete understanding of the whole adoption thing would be great, no argument here.  But I guess that it is all too shocking for the non-adopted to wrap their head around.

Guess what?  It’s pretty hard for us to wrap our heads around too.

Exactly how are we to be comforted when we talk about lack of medical history?  Patting us on the hand and assuring us we probably won’t die of some cancer that could have been easily found and treated if we had known to test for it, doesn’t really cut it.

Just exactly what are we supposed to be told when somebody assumes that we were so much better off because our adoptive folks could afford a pool in the backyard?   Can you imagine anyone casually debating what a non-adopted person’s childhood might have been like if they had been raised in lesser circumstances?

How do you make it OK to be abandoned?

Should the fact that we turned out to be attractive people make up for not growing up with anyone that looked like us?

Is there a greeting card for those that are denied basic human rights by the states we pay taxes too?

Yes, it’s shocking, a little unsettling, and smacks of true crime.  To hear adoptees speak can sound like way too much information, but that’s what we’ve got.

I do find it very interesting that this woman chose the phrase “true crime”.  As if we the adoptees, the innocent little babies, are the criminals.   Are we vandals for tipping the sacred cow of adoption?

Should we charged with a misdemeanor or a felony?  Does one generally serve time for tipping sacred cows?  Would sacred cow tipping be considered a property crime?  If more than one person is involved, does it become a conspiracy?

 

Some folks are getting it, The Donaldson Institute has a very interesting report out.  It’s focused on international adoptees, but makes very good points for all of us.