Friday, November 28, 2008

SOME LEGISLATORS JUST DON'T GET IT

I can not believe the ignorance of some legislators. It stuns me. Recently a fellow adoptee sent an email to Senator Dennis Kruse up in Northeast Indiana. It was your typical "give adoptees access" letter. The legislator has now had his eyes opened up thanks to a couple of us.

Here is the email from him.

Thank you for your email on adoption records. One reason the current law is the way it is is to protect your adopted parents. They are the ones who took you and raised you. They become your parents. Many of the adopted parents want you to consider them your parents.

Your birth mother and father may want to remain a secret from you. They gave you up for adoption for a reason. Many of them do not want you back in their lives.

Adoption is a tough issue when it comes to changing the law. I will remain open to Sen. Miller's bill in the upcoming session.

I replied to him:

I am an Indiana adoptee. I am asking you to support the adoptee access bill. My adoptive mother does not want protection from the state of Indiana. She wants me to have access to the original birth certificate. In fact 90% of adoptive parents want their adopted child to have access to that record upon the age of majority.

As far as birth parents go, 90% of birth parents want adult adoptees to have access to the original birth certificate.

Are you adopted? No? Do you have ask your parents for access to your birth certificate? No. Why should it be different for adoptees? It shouldn't. That in itself is discrimination. By the way, the sealing of records occurs at finalization. It does not occur at relinquishment. In fact, the relinquishing parents do not even got a copy of the original birth certificate. So who are we protecting here again?

We are not chattel of the state, our adoptive parents, or our birth parents. From what you have said to a fellow adoptee tells me that you consider adoptees such. That is slavery. There was no contract to permanent confidentiality. If so, why are adoptees held bound by something that they did not agree to.

It seems like you need to do some reading. You need to educate yourself on adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents. You can start with The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler. You can also startwith the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. Then go to the many adoptee bloggers on the internet. After that read all the adoptive parent bloggers and birth mother bloggers. Then tell me that they don't want contact with their children. For every one birth mother who doesn't want contact, I can come with ten to 15 to that one.

Please take the time to read the following articles.

Sincerely,
Amy K. Burt

This is Oregon's official website on the statistical information on
the records issued:

http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/chs/order/58update.shtml

Here is what the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute said about both
relinquishing mothers and adoptee rights. They quoted 90% of
relinquishing mothers wanting contact.

http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/publications/2006_11_Birthparent_Study_All.pdf
http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/publications/2007_11_For_Records.pdf

Here is the information for the New Hampshire debate and subsequent
passage of their law.
Its all on You tube but its very informative. Janet Allen was
essentially in the passing of this bill. You will see that it did not
cost the state any extra money. This state has not had any issues with
stalking adoptees or relinquishing parents. Neither has Oregon,
Alabama, Alaska, or Kansas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHB0mCSnRE4 part one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDv4EBe9wcE part two
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfBMiKGUDLs part three

Here is my rough raw data that I gathered on the Oregon and New
Hampshire Laws.

OREGON STATISTICAL INFORMATION
ADOPTEE ACCESS LAWS
# OF RECORDS # OF RECORDS # OF NO CONTACT # OF CONTACT
YEAR REQUESTED PROCESSED PREFERENCE THRU CI
2001 5832 5565 79 (1.4%) 27 (0.4%)
2002 6722 6439 80 (1.2%) 28 (0.4%)
2003 7459 7296 81 (1.1%) 29 (0.4%)
2004 8021 7811 81 (1.0%) 28 (0.4%)
2005 8486 8190 83 (1.0%) 29(0.4%)

OREGON STATISTICAL INFORMATION
ON ADOPTION

YEAR # OF ADOPTIONS
1998 849
1999 922
2000 831
2001 1071
2002 1118
2003 854
2004 943
2005 1033

The law went into effect in May 2001. Adoptions have not gone back
down to the level of 1998.


NEW HAMPSHIRE STATISTICAL INFORMATION
ADOPTEE ACCESS LAWS
# OF RECORDS # OF CONTACT # OF NO CONTACT
YEAR PROCESSED THRU CI PREFERENCE
2005 778 6 (0.7%) 11 (1.4%)
2006 137 1 (0.7%) 1 (0.7%)
2007 139 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%)
2008 91 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%)

It was in 2005 that the law allowed adoptee access to their recordsin
New Hampshire.

You can check their statistics with the following link.

http://www.sos.nh.gov/vitalrecords/Preadoption%20birth%20records.html#progress
http://www.sos.nh.gov/vitalrecords/Publications/Contact%20Preference%20Form.pdf
contactpreference form

http://www.sos.nh.gov/vitalrecords/Publications/Medical%20History.pdf
birthhistory form

This is how I would like our bill to look like:

http://gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2004/SB0335.html (NewHampshire)

His response was the following:

Amy: Thank you for your email on adoption. In my original email response, I was simply stating some thoughts that came to me mind at the time. I don't not pretend to know much about adoption. I appreciate your letter explaining adoption. This gives me better understanding.


Here is his email address because I am not real sure he understands completely.

senatorkruse@gmail.com

Give him a hollar.

3 comments:

unsignedmasterpiece said...

Great letter.

I remain mystified at why this confidentiality argument keeps being trotted out.

I don't completely believe him that his first response to you contained just random thoughts that came into his head. He's a politician; they don't operate like that. Some one with an anti-disclosure bias fed him those words.

More and more I am starting to believe it is the current set of people who want to adopt that believe that lack of confidentiality will reduce the number of babies available.

Kippa said...

Wow. I think it's a great letter too, Amy.

Greegor said...

The Child Protection INDUSTRY in the form of CPS/foster/adoption
agencies are the INSIDERS.

When they go to any statehouse, the line between public servants and lobbyists are blurred.

Legislators see them as insiders but fail to appreciate the self serving LOBBYING side of their presentations.

It would be comparable to hiring a mechanic to fix your car and when they tell you it needs a new franistan, you fail to suspect their motives, get a second opinion
or get independent confirmation.