Thursday, September 18, 2008

MICHIGAN A CALL TO ACTION

Michigan has two bills currently on the table for the state Senate to review and vote on. I do know that Michigan OBC and Michigan Searching worked very hard on this bill. They worked very hard to keep it clean. Their efforts were in vain. The legislators in Michigan under the influence of Michigan Right to Life and Bethany chose to handle it very differently. They went in and changed the bill to include a disclosure veto under the auspices of contact preference form. They did this without the consultation of these two organizations. These two organizations have fought valiantly.

As an adoptee rights activist, I can not support this bill. It still violates some adoptees access to those documents. There is also no indication that the mothers of the past, also known as former parents, shall receive a copy of that same document. What many legislators do not realize is that it is a violation of due process for both adoptees and their families, it is a discrimination violation.

The bills in question, HB 4896 and HB 6287 are interconnected. One can not pass without the other.

HB6287 states:

Sec. 27b. (1) The department shall establish and maintain a central adoption registry to control the release of identifying information described in section 27(3) of this chapter and the contact preference form described in subsection (6).

(2) The central adoption registry shall keep on file the statements of former parents consenting to or denying the release of identifying information, the contact preference forms described in subsection (6), and the statements of adult former siblings described in section 27a (2) and

(3) of this chapter.(3) The department shall develop forms for former parents to use to consent to, deny, or revoke a consent to or denial of, the release of identifying information, contact preference forms described in subsection (6), and forms for adult former siblings to use to provide notice of the death of a former parent and to consent to the release of the adult former sibling's name and address to an adult adoptee. The department shall make the forms available to child placing agencies and the court. The forms shal linclude the current name and address of the former parent or adult former sibling. The denial form shall contain a space for the former parent to indicate, if he or she wishes, the reason why he or she does not wish to be identified or contacted. The department shall also develop and distribute clearance request and reply forms to be used by child placing agencies, the department, and the court to request and receive information from the central adoption registry.

First things first. This bill allows the natural parents the objection to deny access to the original birth certificate. It also allows her children and her partner's children to also deny access. It still allows special immunities and privileges to others that have relinquished their rights. It still creates an atmosphere of seperateness for the adoptee. Seriously do the non adopted siblings have this right? Do the non adopted parents have this right? No it is. It still violates the court case rulings of Brown vs. Education. It also continues violate the right to privacy of adoptees as described in Roe vs. Wade, Griswold vs. Connecticut. It violates Michigan's right to privacy under their laws.

According to HB 4896, it also still allows the system of the confidential intermediary.

Upon written request of a confidential intermediary appointed under section 68b of the Michigan adoption code, chapter X of the probate code of 1939, 1939 PA 288, MCL 710.68b, presentation of a certified copy of the order of appointment, identification of the name of the adult adoptee, and payment of the required fee, the state registrar shall issue to the confidential intermediary a copy of the original certificate of live birth of the adult adoptee on whose behalf the intermediary was appointed.

I personally do not like the confidential intermediaries. They deny the capability of adoptees and their families to handle their own affairs. It still treats adoptees as babies unable to deal with their own affairs. These two bills can not pass without the other one. They are attached to each other.

Here are the names to contact:

Email:

Cut and Paste email addresses:

senjallen@senate.michigan.gov, senatoranderson@senate.michigan.gov, senjbarcia@senate.michigan.gov , senrbasham@senate.michigan.gov, senpbirkholz@senate.michigan.gov, senmbishop@senate.michigan.gov, sendcherry@senate.mi.gov, coleman@senate.michigan.gov, senhclarke@senate.michigan.gov, senacropsey@senate.michigan.gov, senvgarcia@senate.michigan.gov, sentgeorge@senate.michigan.gov, senjgilbert@senate.michigan.gov, senjgleason@senate.michigan.gov , sentahunter@senate.michigan.gov, sengjacobs@senate.michigan.gov, senmjansen@senate.michigan.gov, senrjelinek@senate.michigan.gov, senrkahn@senate.michigan.gov, senwkuipers@senate.michigan.gov, senmmcmanus@senate.michigan.gov, sendolshove@senate.michigan.gov, senjpappageorge@senate.michigan.gov, senbpatterson@senate.michigan.gov, senmprusi@senate.michigan.gov, senrichardville@senate.michigan.gov, senasanborn@senate.michigan.gov, senmschauer@senate.michigan.gov, senmscott@senate.michigan.gov, ofctstamas@senate.michigan.gov , senmswitalski@senate.michigan.gov, senbthomas@senate.michigan.gov, sengvanwoerkom@senate.michigan.gov, sengwhitmer@senate.michigan.gov

Snail mail and phone contact:

The Honorable Jason Allen
State Senator
Farnum Building, Room 820
PO Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536



MICHIGAN STATE SENATE

Senator Jason Allen
Majority Caucus Whip
Office: Room 820, Farnum Bldg.
866.525.5637
senjallen@senate.michigan.gov



Senator Glenn Anderson
Assistant Democratic Floor Leader
Office: Room 610, Farnum Bldg.
866.262.7306
senatoranderson@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Jim Barcia
Office: Room 1010, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2131
senjbarcia@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Raymond Basham
Democratic Caucus Whip
Office: Room 715, Farnum Bldg.
NO toll free number.
517.373.7800
senrbasham@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Patricia Birkholz
Office: Room 805, Farnum Bldg.
888.28.PATTY
senpbirkholz@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Michael Bishop
Majority Leader
Office: Room S-106, Capitol Bldg.
877.9BISHOP
senmbishop@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Liz Brater
Office: Room 510, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.0318
senlbrater@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Cameron Brown
Assistant Majority Floor Leader
Office: Room 405, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.0316
sencbrown@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Nancy Cassis
Majority Caucus Chair
Office: Room 905, Farnum Bldg.
888.38.NANCY
senncassis@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Deborah Cherry
Office: Room 910, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2126
sendcherry@senate.mi.gov


Senator Irma Clark-Coleman
Office: Room 310, Farnum Bldg.
866.747.7803
coleman@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Hansen Clarke
Office: Room 710, Farnum Bldg.
877.252.7537
senhclarke@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Alan Cropsey
Majority Floor Leader
Office: Room S-8, Capitol Bldg.
866.305.2133
senacropsey@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Valde Garcia
Office: Room S-132, Capitol Bldg.
1.800.516.0026
senvgarcia@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Tom George
Office: Room 320, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2120
sentgeorge@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Jud Gilbert
Office: Room 705, Farnum Bldg.
877.445.2378
senjgilbert@senate.michigan.gov


Senator John Gleason
Assiatant Democratic Caucus Chair
Office: Room 315, Farnum Bldg.
866.268.2914
senjgleason@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Bill Hardiman
Room 305, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2129
email & website are the same:
www.senate.mi.gov/hardiman



Senator Tupac Hunter
Assistant Democratic Leader
Office: Room 915, Farnum Bldg.
866.262.7305
sentahunter@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Gilda Jacobs
Democratic Caucus Chair
Office: Room 1015, Farnum Bldg.
888.937.4453
sengjacobs@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Mark Jansen
Assistant Majority Caucus Chair
Office: Room 520, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2128
senmjansen@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Ron Jelinek
Office: Room S-324, Capitol Bldg.
866.305.2121
senrjelinek@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Roger Kahn
Assistant Majority Whip
Office: Room 420, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2132
senrkahn@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Wayne Kuipers
Office: Room 1005, Farnum Bldg.
877.KUIPERS
senwkuipers@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Michelle McManus
Assistant Majority Leader
Office: Room S-2, Capitol Bldg.
866.305.2135
senmmcmanus@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Dennis Olshove
Assistant Democratic Caucus Whip
Office: Room 920, Farnum Bldg.
NO toll free number. 517.373.8360
sendolshove@senate.michigan.gov


Senator John Pappageorge
Office: Room 1020, Farnum Bldg.
877.SEN.13TH
senjpappageorge@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Bruce Patterson
Office: Room 505, Farnum Bldg.
866.262.7307
senbpatterson@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Michael Prusi
Office: Room 515, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2038
senmprusi@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Randy Richardville
President Pro Tempore
Office: Room 205, Farnum Bldg.
866.556.7917
senrichardville@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Alan Sanborn
Assistant President pro Tempore
Office: Room S-310, Capitol Bldg.
888.353.ALAN
senasanborn@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Mark Schauer
Democratic Leader
Office: Room S-105, Capitol Bldg.
888.962.6275
senmschauer@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Martha Scott
Office: Room 220, Farnum Bldg.
800.SCOTT.78
senmscott@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Tony Stamas
Office: Room 720, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2136
ofctstamas@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Michael Switalski
Office: Room 410, Farnum Bldg.
866.303.0110
senmswitalski@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Buzz Thomas
Democratic Floor Leader
Office: Room S-9, Capitol Bldg.
866.348.6304
senbthomas@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Gerald Van Woerkom
Office: Room 605, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2134
sengvanwoerkom@senate.michigan.gov


Senator Gretchen Whitmer
Office: Room 415, Farnum Bldg.
NO toll free number. 517.373.1734
sengwhitmer@senate.michigan.gov








3 comments:

maybe said...

..."develop and distribute clearance request and reply forms to be used by child placing agencies..."

How easy will it be for adoption agencies to falsify the forms? Or to coerce young women into signing them? Since they are the ones driving the veto issue, I see this as a real possibility.

KITE KAMP GIRL said...

I have written Dee about this so that we can all have further clarification.

KITE KAMP GIRL said...

Reposting this for Lorraine minus personal information.

Dear Senator Allen:


I write as a birth mother who relinquished a daughter for adoption in 1966, when the world was a far different place. I kept my pregnancy secret, as I did not want to be known as someone who "got in trouble," or identify to the world the (married) father of the child. But I—like the vast majority of women who have been in this position—never sought or desired anonymity in perpetuity from my child. I desperately wanted to know her one day. I did find her, and have had a relationship with her—and her adoptive family—for more than 20 years. I represent the overwhelming majority of birth mothers, as every survey or record of birth mothers shows. In Oregon, where the records have been open since 2000, more than 7000 adoptees have asked for their original birth certificates. Of that number, only 1.1 percent have found letters their mothers did not wish to be contacted.



Our toughest opposition usually comes from people with adopted children who think the sanctity of their family will be violated if adoptees have the right to their original birth certificates. But they don't say that—they invariably use the smoke screen of the birth mother's privacy as their excuse. However, most adopted people say—if they have a good relationship with their parents—that searching and reunion improved that relationship because now there were no secrets, no pretense, no lies. The elephant was out of the closet, so to speak, and he didn't bring down the house.


As you search your heart about this issue, please consider that—after holding numerous hearings with birth parents, adoptees and adoptive parents and social workers at several locations around the country—the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare included this in a proposed Model Adoption Act in 1980:

"There can be no legally protected interest in keeping one's identity secret from one's biological offspring; parents and child are considered co-owners of the information regarding the event of birth….The birth parents' interest in reputation is not alone deserving of constitutional protection."

While some provisions of the act were promulgated, organized opposition from adoption agencies who wish to keep records sealed for their own purposes kept this part of the bill from passing. The greatest opposition comes from the "National Council for Adoption," which sounds as if it speaks for the good of the adoptees, but it really is for the continued welfare of agencies that support closed adoptions. Two of the largest memberships of NCFA are Bethany agencies, and those of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, which supports closed adoptions for religious reasons. If you doubt me, check out their membership agencies at their website.

It is time to give adoptees the right that the rest of us take for granted, that is, the answer to the question: Who Am I? Identity is many things…but surely it begins with the knowledge of one's true origins—the name, date, and place of birth, information that is contained on an original birth certificate. To say that it is inconsequential is to deny the obvious.--

Please consider that as you deliberate this bill. Do not include a "contact veto" for that once again takes the right of ownership of one's own heritage away from him or her.

Lorraine Dusky
I am the author of the first memoir from a birthmother, Birthmark, published in 1979. I now reside in New York.
lorraine from Firstmotherforum.com

well, I tried. I'm originally from Dearborn, Michigan.

good luck!!!