Is adoption reform even possible in Texas? I think it is. I don't think Texans really know what is going on behind the scenes of adoption. Here you have the most powerful lobby and adoption agency centered here in Texas. Texas for the most part is about business. It is a business oriented state. Adoption is a very big business. Estimates used to be 2 billion dollar business. I hear closer to 11 billion dollar business. That is a lot of money. Money that is centered around human lives. Money that is totally unregulated. I am seeing many many forms of corruption come out of this business.
Adoptees in 45 states don't have their rights to view the very documents that record their birth. Texas is one of them. It is not as bad as some states like my own birth state of Indiana. An adoptee can go to a courthouse and get their records but they have to petition the court. It is a hassle to beg for the records that we should own anyway. It is a humiliating experience.
In the last ten years, a grassroots group has begun fighting to change the laws. Now by my standards I think what they have come up with is too restrictive and condescending to adoptees. An adoptee actually wrote the bill. I agree with Bastard Nation is that it should be trashed. Point blank it is a mother, may I bill. I have seen it on their site and many many others. If adoption records were sealed to protect the first parents, then the relinquishment papers would have been sealed. If you go back and look at old newpapers, you will find in the legal notices that this was not the case. Those relinquishment notices were published. The bill was expected to go through pretty fast. As one member of the group told me, it would allow 95% plus adoptees in the state of Texas to have access to their records. That is better than the current status. Birth certificates and adoption records were sealed to protect adoptive parents. It isn't about the first parents. The first parents didn't want confidentiality. As more and more younger adoptive parents begin educating themselves on adoption, the more that they want adoption reformed. Here is an example of this: http://justenjoyhim.wordpress.com/2007/03/27/what-is-the-infrastructure-of-adoption Just read her and she gets it.
One member was told by a Heidi Cox to make it prospective only. That would be the only compromise that Gladney Adoption Center and the NCFA would allow the bill to go forward. That they would kill this bill period. Now this ticked me off. I have argued with these people for contact preference not contact veto. I have argued against the confidential intermediary portion of it. I do realize that these people have already compromised beyond belief. That is what the profiteers of Gladney and the NCFA don't realize. The profiteers don't want their secrets out. Its that simple. They will argue it will increase abortions. Alaska and Kansas never had a high abortion rate as Texas does. We are in second place just behind New York. These two states who have never closed their records have some of the lowest rates of abortion in the country. Is it related to adoption? Good question ~ I don't know. It does make you wonder though. The other misconception is that the first mothers were promised confidentiality. There has yet to be presented one piece of paperwork with this promise. Their implied promise was "Go on with your life, forget this ever happened." Sorry these women never forgot. These women never really got on with their lives. Look at the Adoption Institute's research study on first mothers. They concluded 90% of first mothers needed contact with their children, wanted contact with their children, and never wanted the confidentiality that these agencies are proclaiming. These women never got over the loss of their child. These women are now standing up and fighting along side with adoptees of Texas.
Adoptive parents are also doing the same. In both Oregon and New Hampshire, an overwhelming 99% of first parents wanted contact. Only 1% wanted no contact. Only .4% wanted contact through a confidential intermediary.
In Oregon and Tennessee, the NCFA and adoption agencies, ACLU, and many others fought against this. In Oregon, it was a voter referendum. In Tennessee it was the state legislators that fought to change the laws. The court cases in these two states both ruled in the favor of adoptee access to their own original birth certficiates. Here we have the statistics, research, and the laws on our side. Here we go again. We have been fighting ignorance, lies and corruption for years. We will win this one. In fact if I were the one writing the law on this, because of Ms. Cox, I would have open the flood gates and asked for the full access for all adoptees with no restrictions. That is just me. I can be an ornery little bastard. Many of us living adoption are sick and tired of adoption attorneys like Ms. Heidi Cox running our lives. They treat our first mothers like producers. They treat adoptees like products. They treat adoptive parents as the demand.
Future adoptive parents, please don't use any agency that is associated with the NCFA nor the Gladney Adoption Center. They do not have your best interests at heart. That was the reason why they were sued twice by adoptive families. They did not give truthful information to them. Future first parents don't use them. They will violate your rights. Adoptees have to fight their secrecy, lies and corruption. Its time to let these folks know that we know that they are wrong. Adoption as it was supposed to be is NOT how it really is. We know that it didn't work that way. It still isn't working that way. WE live adoption. We should be the only ones that have input on the adoption law. Adoption agencies profit from us. They don't support our rights. They only support their own self interest in the profit.
Lets get this battle going. Its time to fight for what is rightfully ours. State legislators we won't be silent any longer.