Sunday, February 18, 2007

ADOPTION ACCESS LAWS

This road has been a long one. It looks like there is no end in sight. So many feelings so many words. I can't even begin to put them all on paper. It is easier for me to fight the laws that exist instead of address my feelings. So maybe I will try today. I don't think I will come close. I am sure that I will hear about on another level.

How do I really feel about adoption? I think it sucks. It is filled with pain, lies, coercion and corruption. I do blame society back then and now. I blame her parents. I blame the adoption agencies. Will they ever accept responsibility for any of this? NO. Society loves to blame women and children. Its the women's movement that has created all the flaws. For the most, men do not step up and take responsibility. I am not saying all. I for one am surrounded by men who do take that very seriously. They are either great dads or they could be. I disagree with that argument. The women's movement came about out of defense of women. Just women. The children were the fallout. We get stuck with that blame. There is nothing that I can do to remove that blame from myself. I get all kinds of crap from the pro-life movement. I guess they don't want to see what adoption has done to women. It still to this day shames the women from the past. I hate that my first mother could very well be suffering a great deal of pain because of it. I do love that mothers are now standing up. I have a long list of friends who would gladly step up and be her support. They would be better support than an adoption agency. They are taking a lot of hits because of it. No one wants to hear what they went through. In order for me to even begin to search, it took courage, it took learning, and it took understanding how all feel and what kind of hell that she went through.

With registries, they don't work. They have been proven only to be effective 4% of the time. In Indiana, it is 14%. Many people do not know about them. When first parents have been told that they can't search and when they have been told that it was criminal to search, how can these things be successful? When state passive registries put restrictions on who can apply to be added like Indiana does, how can they be successful? My own adoption agency puts this on their web page:

The Indiana State Department of Health has established an adoption history registry for adult adoptees and birth parents. This registry is considered a mutual consent registry, meaning that if both parties agree to exchange identifying information, the exchange will be made.
The way it works is an adoptee or birthmother files a form (known as the blue form) with the registry agreeing to the release of their information. When the state receives the form they process the information to see if the other party in the adoption has also registered. If so, a “match” is made and it is determined that both parties have agreed to the exchange. They will send the adoptee the name, address and phone number of the birth mother. The state will send the birthmother the name, address and phone number of the adoptee. It is up to the two parties to make contact with each other.

The adoption history registry is a free service. Adoptees must be at least 21 years old to receive identifying information. Birth fathers are not allowed to use the registry unless they were legally married to the birth mother when the child was born, or they legally established paternity for the child. This registry is just for adoptions that took place in Indiana.

This is disparaging to first fathers. I also see nothing absolutely nothing in regards to restricting information to first fathers in the laws. I see nothing in the laws restricting information to just the first mother. I found out recently that this was not the case. That this is the policy of the adoption agency or at least it is for mine. What applies to one part of the state does not apply to the other part of the state. Catholic Charities in Indianapolis charges anyone $325.00 to look into the files but Fort Wayne's Catholic Charities charge only 25.00 bucks. Private agencies have much leeway. They own the records, not first parents, not adoptees, and not adoptive parents. I wonder if there is a certain quota of good reunions, reunions, or no reunions that these agencies must have. I wonder if they decided who gets what.

How do I feel about Confidential Intermediaries or Adoption Search Specialists? I hate them. They control my records. They get to view my records. There is no accounting system for them. They can nickel and dime an adoptee/first parent to the hilt. They don't answer to anyone about it. The state legislature lets them get away with this. There are no laws regulating them other than they can't release information. I feel that my own CI has lied to me. She did not tell me that I was in foster care for three weeks. She did not tell me that she used to be the executive director of the agency before they merged with Catholic Charities. Because I have heard from another adoptee who had the very same story as mine, I really doubt what she said was true. Because I had a searcher looking into my stuff, she feels that my story is a lie. She can't find a damn thing. This CI that I used also helped cover up the lies in the file of a first mother that was forced to give her child up for adoption. Too many lies and deception. It is all to cover the a$$ of the adoption agency. I would love it if the first mothers of the baby scoop era would all file a lawsuit against every single one of them.

The laws as they stand now humiliate and harm the participating members of adoption. I feel like I am the forever child of adoption. I feel like I am owned by my adoptive family, the state, and the adoption agency. Even within my own family, I feel that my feelings, my thoughts, and my opinion are unimportant. I feel like I have to please everyone. This process is teaching me about healthy selfishness. I haven't come very far with that. I still need to learn to balance it. Adoption has hurt, humiliated, and lied to me. It has been mentioned to me that maybe that God doesn't want me to search and find. That maybe I should accept what has been done to me, my first family, and my adoptive family. That maybe there is something in there that I may not like. No I disagree. Why? It is my truth and I should decide whether or not its good or bad. I have even had the question - Are you doing God's will? Every time I think that I need to step back. I am reminded that my voice needs to be heard, read, and written. I have come to believe that God wants the truth out. Current adoption law in 45 states humiliates adoptees. It treats them like would be criminals. With some laws the states are actually giving credibility to the adoption agencies' and their theories on first parents, why? States are actually being sucker-punched into believing that they are responsible for the promises made by these agencies, the medical services, the social services, and the religious services. Now how does a state become responsible for the actions of these groups? Because they believe the lies that adoption agencies and their lobbyists put out there.

I have felt like I have been dead for years. I finally feel alive. I feel frustrated. I feel a gut wrenching pain that I just can't get away from. No matter where I turn its there. I know that I must figure out my emotions on my own. I must find a way to let this crap go. I must find a way to help myself be acknowledged by my family. I want to begin to feel like a real person. I don't want to feel like property or an object. I don't want to be a person that is kicked around by the system. I want to be validated as a human being. I don't want to have to validate others. Their feelings are their issues. I don't wanted to be guilted into feeling others feelings first ahead of my own. I am different. It is okay to be different. I just want to do it all on my terms. I no longer want to be the object that is bought or sold by the system of adoption. All adults including adoptees should be allowed to govern their own relationships.

Some day I hope to find my truth. I hope to be able to own it as mine. It is mine to accept or deny. It is not up to a state government, adoption agency, a CI, or anyone else to decide what I can or can not face. My identity, my story, and my life are up to me to guide and change as I see fit. I want my power back. I want my choice to mine not anyone else's.

1 comment:

BethGo said...

Oh, Amy. If I hadn't found my firstmom on adoption.com recently, I would be in the exact same boat as you. I filled out the "blue form" 10 years ago and heard nothing for all these years. It turns out that when my firstmom called the agency, she was never informed of the registry. Her son learned of it in September 2006 and she filled it out immediately.
She never registered before because she didn't know it existed.
Neither of us were contacted about a match until I found her and then called them. Have you spoken to the lovely women who handle the registry? They are the meanest, nastiest human beings I have ever dealt with. We finally got our letters right after Christmas. I'm not sure they would have sent them had I not called.
You want to know the funniest thing? The letter arrived at my firstmom's house while I was there visiting her! I saw my original birth certificate for the first time while sitting next to her.
The system in Indiana sucks. The people running it are inept and I suspect corrupt.
I hope you eventually get your info and find what you need.
I'm going to write a letter to all the Indiana reps tonight. Maybe my experience can make a difference for you.