I would like us to think outside the box that says that this is a state issue.
I would like us to think outside the box that limits asking for rights only for adults, as this is NOT true equality with non-adopted persons.
I would like us to brainstorm a means of WORKING TOWARDS the end of falsified birth certificates. Working Towards may mean never reaching that goal but simply bringing public awareness to it. Working towards
may mean it taking a very long, long time...but long is better than NEVER, if we do NOTHING!
This is best exemplified by the Equal Rights Amendment for women's rights which was first proposed in 1923. While it is still not part of the U.S. Constitution, the ERA has been ratified by 35 of the necessary 38 states. When three more states vote yes, the ERA might become the 28th Amendment. AND, no one can deny the public awareness and change in status of women's lives in the twentieth century.
Earlier this month I put out a plea for attorneys who would help us with a class action suit. I learned through a triad attorney who contacted me privately that this really was not a good idea. BUT...
What about an equal rights amendment for adoptees??? ERAAP - Equal Rights Amendment for Adopted Persons. OR: Equal Access Amendment: EAE??
Here is my FIRST ROUGH brainstorming idea on this:
WHEREAS, all individuals have a unique identity that is legally required;
WHEREAS, one's certificate of birth is most often the basis of all other forms of identity;
WHEREAS, it is one's certificate of birth that not only names an individual but also names his parents of birth;
WHEREAS, theft of such identity is a crime;
THEREFORE, be it unlawful for any person or entity to destroy, withhold, or change said identifying information from the person whom it identifies, without their clear and willing consent to do so.
OR: WE could follow more closely the ERA which states: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex" and simply change the last word to "birth status or adoption."
I put this out as food for very serious thought. Let's kick it around and see how it flies. I KNOW it will not be easy. I KNOW it will take decades. I KNOW it will take money. I am not asking for naysayers. I am asking for those who are will to TRY!
AND...let me clear: I am not asking anyone to do this INSTEAD of any other things they are currently committed to, i.e. open records for adults, search and support, inquiries, etc. I think we can all contribute some of our time and effort to more than one cause simultaneously. This is not an either or. It is not a put-down of any other goal. It is an ADDITIONAL goal and strategy I am suggesting.
Every fight starts with a first step!
"Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do." William Faulkner
"You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water." ~ R. Tagore
"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do." ~ Edward Everett Hale
"I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." ~Henry David Thoreau
"No one knows what he can do till he tries." ~ Publilius Syrus
"There is only one thing more powerful than all the armies of the world, that is an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo
"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic." ~ Dave Barry
"Change starts when someone sees the next step." ~William Drayton
"The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you. They are unique manifestations of the human spirit. "~ Wade Davis
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly." ~ Einstein
This is my part of the commentary. I love what Adoptalk says. I do believe that the amended birth certificate is a falsified document. It is difficult enough to get the state legislatures to even listen to us - adoptees, first parents, and adoptive parents about open access laws let alone state that they are falsified documents. If there is any group that actually have a voice , it is adoptive parents. Adoptive parents need to speak up and say that they want those records as well. I would like all to stand up and demand equal access to those records. It is not right or ethical for those records to be held by adoption agencies and their legal eagles to include the court system
I heard a story from an adoptive parent. She prayed and begged for a child. She finally got to adopt a baby girl. It is not your typical story. She wasn't a woman of wealth. She isn't an entitled type either. She does believe in adoptee access. I hope to get more time to just speak with her. The first parents in this situation were both married to others. They had a one time fling. To have this child in their lives would have caused great tension. They both chose a closed adoption. The adoptive parent in this story works with the first mother. They used an attorney instead of an adoption agency. The adoptive parents did not pay for any expenses. It was just the cost of the attorney. The company that we work reimbursed her $5,000. They ended up only paying 2,000. Since I am in a similiar situation fourty years later, I wonder how she will feel when she is my age. Good thing is that her adoptive mother has names. She will see to it that her child has those names. I think after speaking with her I believe that she is educated herself on all the issues of adoption. Her complaint about adoption is the agencies. They scam off all the participating members of adoption. One agency wanted $15,000. Gladney wanted $40,000. With the parents of the young women entering the maternity homes of Gladney, I am pretty sure that they pay out the a$$ for that - average costs is $3,000. That is a lot of money when you add all that up. So who is the true enemy of adoption and its families? Adoption agencies and those who enter adoption for the money. Believe me the non-profit agencies are in it for the profit as well.
Those who aren't comfortable about discussing adoption need to stand up and pay attention. Adoption does indeed have a darkside. Adoption should not be the answer to abortion. Those of us who blog are telling, writing, and speaking out against adoption as it stands today and yesterday. Those that have been injured by adoption past need to be heard. They need their injuries to be acknowledged and amended for. The states, the adoption attorneys, the medical services, the social services, the adoption agencies, and their families all need to atone for they committed against the mothers, fathers, and children of adoption. We need to bring honesty back into adoption. We need to take the money, corruption, lies, and coercion out of adoption. Maternity homes of the present and past need to be put out of business permanently. They either turn a blind eye to the coercion or they are a part of it. It needs to stop. I personally don't want another woman to be sucked into torture for the rest of her life. Allowing adoptive and first families access to those records is a step in the right direction. Adoption should not be about slavery and ownership. Adoptive and first families should not have to feel the shame, the loss, and the pain for the rest of their lives. It must end now.