Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cutting Off The Nose....

.....to spite the face. I used to wonder what that meant when I heard that phrase used. Well, according to Wikipedia, it means, "...an expression used to describe a needlesly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem. 'Don't cut off your nose to spite your face' is a warning against acting out of pique, or against pursuing revenge in a way that would damage onself more than the source of one's anger."

Now while many adult adopted people would not admit to harboring vengeful anger against mothers, some of the recently proposed and some passed legislation concerning open records makes some of us feel otherwise.

Just take a look at what the MO. bill would require of mothers.
(Thanks to my friend, Musing Mother.) This would be a form that mothers would have to fill out, completely, which would include but not be limited to;

1. Congenital or genetic history.
2.Psycosocial history. (WHAT!!!!! THAT is nobody's business but our own!)
3. Chronic diseases.
4. Infectuous diseases (Why...these are not inherited?)
5. Allergies
6. Pregnancy and birth histories
7. Causes of deaths of (natural) family members that may affect the medical history.


This opens the door to a world of woes for the mother. Being legally  required to furnish this information, even on those family members that have not given their permission for this, would leave us vulnerable to lawsuits, imprisonment...you name it. So, I guess my main question is why the people who are pushing for open records in the different states want to gain their civil rights by violating ours? Do you resent us so much? Do you honestly feel so entitled that our rights as human beings to share only what we see fit about our private lives can be disregarded?

I have signed many a document stating that I did not ask for, nor was I ever promised anonymity, especially
where my children were concerned. I have always felt that my children had the right to know who I am. But I never signed on to be invaded and disregarded. Many mothers in the US are still fighting for respect and acknowledgement of the fact that we were used as breeding stock for the social engineers. It's bad enough that those who seek open records assume that they are entitled to a pound of our flesh, but we are not even considered as worthy of being equal recipients of those opened records. What is going to happen is that those in opposition of these bills will have some new ammo in the form of those of us who reserve the right to share only what we see fit about our lives, our histories and our ailments. Better no open records law than one that would put such an unfair onus on the shoulders of the mothers. We are people, damnit!

I am tired of the stereotype of the crackwhore, promiscuous, careless slut who just wanted to get rid of the "problem." I am tired of hearing "relinquisher" and "abandoner." Those descriptions are  not, by any means, an accurate picture of the average mother of adoption loss. Most of us wanted our babies. Most of us were in committed (at least on our part) relationships. Most of us were dependent on our families and constrained by their actions in our "behalf." Most of us were shamed, blamed, isolated and had to work for years to gain back a modicum of self-esteem.


If I was a non-reunited mother of adoption loss and I read these proposed laws and some of the venom that our adult children post, online, it would scare the reunion right out of me. I don't let my raised children place that kind of crap on me. I will not allow it from my reunited children, either. Fortunately, I have gained their respect and I don't see that happening. But I worry for my sister mothers. We are women with hearts that were broken. We bleed red and cry tears just like anyone else. We deserve the same protection under the law and the same respect for our rights as anyone else.

Now, I will agree that the basic civil rights of the adopted person are violated by denying them access to their basic, identifying information. But non-adopted people don't have the right to require, by law, such intimate information from their mothers. Why should the adopted have more rights than the non-adopted? Where did such a sense of entitlement originate? If our adult children want all of us in the fight for their records, then maybe they should consider our feelings, as well.

By all means, demand your original birth certificate. Contact your mothers. Learn about your heritage. Most will be glad to share with you. And then ASK, respectfully and privately, for the history you seek.

Attempting to make us legally liable for this kind of thing is just pissing off any of us who has any self-esteem, at all.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kitta here:

yes, these laws violate the constitutional rights of mothers who surrender and their families. Medical privacy is a protected right, under the 4th and 14th Amendments.

Children can be adopted openly without anonymity. Information can be shared directly by the parties to the adoption. It is not neccessary for the state to gather such personal private data on parents.

Nor is it "fair." Non-adopted people do not have the right to a medical history on their relatives...especially without their consent.

Some states have already been doing this for many years. California has been taking DNA samples on surrendering parents since the 1980s, and has required a complete family medical history since then. Even in the 1960s, Cali was recording "family data" on natural families....some of which was completely inaccurate.

And, that, as you point out..is another major issue..how accurate is the data and whose fault is it if it is wrong?? And who pays? Because someone always pays in adoption.

Robin said...

Kitta, from your keyboard to our society's eyes..I would pray that someone, anyone with the honesty to see that this is wrong would speak up in the halls of state governments. But the adopters hold the purse-strings and the facilitators get the goodies and, in this land of the bottom line and puritanical attitudes, we are on the bottom of the heap. I am becoming heartsick at this blatant disregard for us as human beings and American citizens.

Anonymous said...

Kitta here:

Robin, I do contact lawmakers with regard to these issues. One lawmaker, way back in 1999, said that requiring a natural parent to supply medical history was 'unconstitutional." She was a Republican Senator.

I have also contacted the agency that handled my child's adoption.

I have testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee in my own state and told them I will not supply any medical history to the gov't or to anyone else via a third party.

I did, however, supply medical history directly to my child. If adopted people and adoptive parents want information from us, they should be willing to share their own information..like grown-up people.

I wonder if the "right-to-lifers' have thought about the effect this can have on some mothers choice...who would want to give birth to a child, if they face being sued later for medical issues??

Robin said...

Excellent point, Kitta. This definitely makes a case for abortion.

maybe said...

I get the impression that the adoptees who are in an uproar over our suppossed refusal to supply medical history don't understand what we are truly protesting. We are against the requirement that we submit information to an agency or government body. We are not against sharing information in a way that is personal and appropriate for the individuals involved.

Can you imagine the outcry if every American was expected to submit a form to a state agency detailing medical and personal history?! The ACLU would be on that so fast your head would spin! That's the distinction that is missing when we're accused of not wanting to share info. We don't mind sharing, but we do not want to do so publicly or via a third party.

Are adoptees and APs willing to complete the same form for our review? I doubt it.

Sandy Young said...

maybe,
perhaps they should think about that, because medical information flows in both directions and when one party is impacted, equal protection demands that the other parties be equally impacted. And, the medical information of the adoptee can be just as important to their natural family as the family's information is to the adoptee. Mothers and siblings need transplants, corneas, kidneys blood transfusions the same way that adoptees do. They would be equally impacted.

Anonymous said...

Kitta here:

I agree Maybe. I gave my son all of my medical history and even sent my medical records to Bosnia when he was deployed there and was having some medical problems.

It is odd that some adopted people cannot see that we don't want to be violated by the gov't and don't want the gov't reading our medical records. It is a privacy violation.

Interestingly, once the adopted person is re-united they become part of the 'family medical history' and so their history will come under the "required history" as well. Should another child be surrendered out of the family, any re-united people will also have to provide medical history to that person.

Mandy Lifeboats said...

I suspect the "entitlement" trait in adoption, is one which is passed on via Nurture. More and more a lot of adult adoptees are sounding like the 'entitled' folks who raised them. They are screaming 'moral' and 'ethical'...too bad these same people are not screaming these same words in regards to how they were permanently separated from their mothers..simply because she was young and unmarried. Too bad they don't use the words 'moral' and 'ethical' to scream about the government approved falsified lie known as the Amended Birth Certificate and how their adoptors relish that little piece of paper, lies and all. Guess there is nothing immoral or unethical about the ABC, that strips the adopted person of their true identity, and their true origins. But let's scream 'IMMORAL', "UNETHICAL' when an nmother states she does not agree with the proposed legislations that State Mandate the natural mother to divulge every medical fact about herself and every family member, known or unknown, whether she is reunion or not (see my comment on the blog below). Wonder how many adopters would agree to same if the shoe was on the other foot...wherein the law stated the nmother and her family had the 'civil right' to know every medical facet of the adopters and their extended families, BEFORE and AFTER an adoption has taken place. Where an adoptive couple had to update their med info every couple of years to be passed on to the original mother..wonder how many would sign up for that? NONE! They would tell us..."It's none of your business"! I so believe in "What's good for the goose, is good for the gander"! This Open Records stuff is a One-Way Street and so begs to become a Two-Way Street with a few Stop Signs. As we can see there are now more accidents occuring in the intersection..I'm sure there will be more. And who will be continuously blamed for the *accidents in the intersection*?..bet we all know the answer to that question.

Amanda said...

I just want my Original Birth Certificate. I never asked for anything else :-)

I think that attempting to force a First Mother to give out personal medical information is wrong. But I also feel that it is not what the majority of adult adoptees are asking for. The Adoptee Rights Movement's demand to lawmakers, in my state of residence, is very simple: give us our OBCs. You can't always help what some legislator puts into a bill. Legislators, with much pressuring from the NCFA and other groups, are convinced that the ARM is a "birth mothers vs. adoptees" thing. Adoptees approaching legislators for a clean access bill (we want our OBCs...period) end up with bills that instead attempt to micromanage reunions and interpersonal relationships (e.g. requiring medical information if a First Mother vetos so on and so forth). Forced medical information is something I know is something I would never ask for and when the NJ adoptee access bill asked for it, Bastard Nation posted a position statement AGAINST it.

I'm tired of the stigmas that follow adoptees too. We both need respect and I realise I am preaching to the choir here but: we're not going to get any respect while at each other's throats.

lava said...

As I have said before, this bill is under the impression that mothers would know how to fill out such a form.

I don't mean this as an insult to mothers at all, but I am educated, do I know how to fill out such a form? I doubt it. I am not in the medical field, and what exactly does psychosocial even mean? I don't know. I know somethings sure, but it seems to me that this weirdness in this crap bill is a bit of a red-herring.

I think it is important to remember that a lot of adoptees do not support this bill.

A lot of adoptees, myself included would like to see mothers introduce bills themselves demanding to see the adoption decrees of their own children. I mean that only seems humane does it not?

After you strip a woman of her child, does she at least not have the right to know if her child is in fact adopted and by who?

what about the wording of the TPR, why isn't that changed, why isn't it a contract, why isn't there a guarantee of adoption at all?

Why aren't women given real choices?

Why are the legislators allowed to scapegoat mothers YET AGAIN, with the sealed records laws?

Why are we told that we can't talk about the emotional aspects of adotpion, we can't talk about reunion if we want open records?

Why are we told that we can't work for unsealed birth certificated and work with mothers?

I don't believe that.

Mothers themselves were the tipping point in Australia, why not here?


Adoptees need to support mothers, and we need their support.

Let's stop this division.

Joy

lava said...

As I have said before, this bill is under the impression that mothers would know how to fill out such a form.

I don't mean this as an insult to mothers at all, but I am educated, do I know how to fill out such a form? I doubt it. I am not in the medical field, and what exactly does psychosocial even mean? I don't know. I know somethings sure, but it seems to me that this weirdness in this crap bill is a bit of a red-herring.

I think it is important to remember that a lot of adoptees do not support this bill.

A lot of adoptees, myself included would like to see mothers introduce bills themselves demanding to see the adoption decrees of their own children. I mean that only seems humane does it not?

After you strip a woman of her child, does she at least not have the right to know if her child is in fact adopted and by who?

what about the wording of the TPR, why isn't that changed, why isn't it a contract, why isn't there a guarantee of adoption at all?

Why aren't women given real choices?

Why are the legislators allowed to scapegoat mothers YET AGAIN, with the sealed records laws?

Why are we told that we can't talk about the emotional aspects of adotpion, we can't talk about reunion if we want open records?

Why are we told that we can't work for unsealed birth certificated and work with mothers?

I don't believe that.

Mothers themselves were the tipping point in Australia, why not here?


Adoptees need to support mothers, and we need their support.

Let's stop this division.

Joy

Robin said...

Thank you, Amanda. I do know that the industry, its lobbyists and supporters have a lot to do with what appears in these bills. I have seen a lot to admire about BN and I do believe that the majority of adopted people just want a clean bill with access to the OBC. If BN could come out in support of the mother's rights being complimentary to theirs, you would see a lot more of us supporting you.

Unfortunately, like there are some mothers who want to hide in the shadows, there ARE some adopted people who do want a pound of our flesh. We have, too often and to our dismay, run afoul of them, online and at conferences, etc.

Both adopted people and mothers are being used by these control freaks. Between the money angle and the Puritanical attitudes, we mothers find ourselves still at the bottom of the heap.

Good luck getting a clean bill. I know not all of you want us to suffer.

Robin said...

Joy, psychosocial would be such things as sex partners, how many-how often, histories of depression, treatment for psychological problems, in other words, ways to make the mother look like a crackwhore beemommie. Any of this, if it applies to any of us, is NO ONE'S business but our own. This is our information to share as we choose with ones we love and trust and, even then, we should be allowed to have our personal secrets as does everyone.

I don't like the divisiveness any more than you do, Joy. But the adopted people who do speak of how entitled they our to our blood and souls don't make coming together easy. If we work together, that means literally fighting for each other's rights as well as our own. To date, that has been a very one-sided proposition.

maybe said...

I like Joy's comment, especially when she talks about mothers fighting for legislation that is about mothers' rights in the adoption process.

I'm also happy to hear that someone else was stumped by "psycho-social." That could mean almost anything. And how would this appear on a form - as an open ended question or will it be multiple choice / check box / fill in the blank? Will there be a question about whether you know the difference between the salad fork and the dinner fork? Maybe they'll want to know if you or any of your psycho-social pals ever live in a trailer? Or on a commune?
Or in a crack house?

The whole thing is ridiculous.

Lori said...

Robin, I think I have a response to some of this - but it is big so I am putting it on my blog.

Mandy Lifeboats said...

"Let's stop this division"

Joy, the problem as I see it is this...too many adult adoptees who are in the front lines of fighting for Open Records believe that the natural mothers have no horse in this race, since we were the ones that 'chose' to 'abandon' and surrender our parental rights to our babies. Far too many of the adult adopted population 'choose'(refuse) to believe that the BSE mothers had no choice, rather choosing to believe the lies of their adopters (she loved you soooo much, she gave you away...GAG!!)and the adoption industry that the adopters sought out to avail themselves of newborns. I did not surrender my newborn out of love..I surrendered out of desperation and hopelessness. Many BSE and more recent nmothers only see their roles in Open Records to help the adult adoptee and not to also help themselves.
I am also sick to death of reading the filth, the vitriol, the not so thinly veiled hatred and contempt spewed towards natural mothers in general. Why would I want to help anyone, who places no value of and towards myself and my sister nmothers, as the real live human beings, women, mothers and grandmothers that we are?
And still I want to know why adult adoptees are not up in arms about the government approved falsified lie, known as the Amended Birth Certificate?? I have broached this subject in a few places and to date I have not had one reply from one adult adoptee, though I have had replies from a few adopters..some saying "well yeah, it isn't true that I gave birth to the child I adopted..but what am I suppose to do about it"? Why isn't the supposed enlightened adult adoptees making a stand against the ABC that strips the adopted person of their identity, their origins? Natural mothers have nothing to do with the ABC, but the ABC has everything to do with the adopted parents. I always get the feeling that adult adoptees are afraid to tackle this legal problem, because it will directly affect the people who adopted them, afraid of upsetting their aparents, afraid of hurting their feelings. Yet so many adult adoptees in general have no problem insulting the general population of natural mothers, making them the butt of their adoptee jokes, or out and out contempt for. I can totally appreciate and respect the adult adoptee who speaks to only his/her own nmother, but I'm sorry I take real exception with being called an 'asshat' or 'asshole' by someone I NEVER gave birth to, but simply because I am in the population of natural mothers who surrendered.
So Joy,what about the ABC..what do your adult adoptee friends think and feel about their ABCs on a personal and legal level?? Would not the eradication of the ABC better serve the adoptee population (especially newborn adoptions) and those adoptees in the future? I have read in places where some adult adoptees say their apars.."Get it" about Open Records..OK..so do their apars also "get it" about the legal lie that was furnished to them after the transfer of parental rights was finalized and how that ABC has been the cement foundation of closed records? Would really like to hear your thoughts on the subject of the ABC.

Robin said...

To the anonymous poster who just commented, privately; What is "necessary medical information?" Do you understand that many of us, in natural families, don't have access to all our medical information? Families don't keep medical logs about ailments unless it is something major that get talked about for generations. Many of us have contacted agencies when we or someome in our family were struck with an illness that could affect our children. MOST of the time, that information was either not passed on or given to adopters only who sure didn't want their adopted child to know that their mother was showing a caring interest in them. Get real. Most of us don't know about these genetic bombs until they hit us. We find out after the fact, like everyone else. And asking for history of infectuous diseases, psychosocial issues and number of births and birth histories have NOTHING to do with health information pertinent to the adopted person's well-being. I hope you read this and I am very sorry that your mother has not been forthcoming. But that doesn't mean that anyone has the right to delve into our lives in such an intrusive manner.

Robin said...

Good post, Lori. I went, read and commented.

Robin said...

Again, to anonymous, I see what you are saying, as well. What is happening is the faciloitators are pushing the moms into the blades of the fan to cover their own arses. All of the previous generations in my family are now gone. I have recently had some health issues as has my daughter and I don't know where they came from. The point is, even in nfamilies, you don't always have a lot of info. My oldest has lupus but there is no known history of lupus in either my family or her ndad's.

Case in point...no in in my dh's family has ever talked about having a history of IBD or RA. In the past 5 years, my dh developed Crohn's, as did one of his nieces and another of his nieces developed Ulcerative Colitis. His brother also developed rheumatoid arthritis. All of these are suspected to have a genetic component, yet everyone, including dh's mother who recently passed at age 94, were caught with their mouths gaping in shock. There was no known history of any of this.

The medical history form is about as useful as a leaking boat in a flood in the majority of cases.

Mandy Lifeboats said...

Just read your latest blog Lori. Truly thank you for further educating and enlightening me about the agendas of others that don't care squat about mothers and the children they lost to adoption. Seems to me that many enlightened adult adoptees and plenty of nmothers are playing right into the hands of 'others' and their agendas. Adoptees and nmothers should be in this totally together...but I suspect that more than a few people masquerading as one or the other, have made good their agenda of division.
"United we stand...divided we fall"!

Mandy Lifeboats said...

Robin..
There is such a thing as spontaneous gene mutation. It appears this has what happened to my youngest grandson, my youngest son's son. The little guy was born with Hemophilia..it does not appear that his mother is a "carrier". My DIL also has 3 sisters..of which 2 of these sisters (twins)also gave birth to boys. No Hemophilia, nor is there any other case of Hemophilia in the males in her extended family.
I have Type II Diabetes, my mother never had this nor anyone in her maternal & paternal families, that we know of, nor do 5 of my 6 siblings. I have an unknown different father from my 6 sibs, as my youngest sib also has a different father from the rest of us. Now that youngest sib has diabetes also at the age of 40 and he is not overweight, though his lifestyle begs to be improved. My youngest son also has a blood clotting problem, but his is the reverse of his son (the one with hemophilia). Nobody else in our family, including his father's family has had this condition either. There are a lot of diseases that do occur with no rhyme or reason..like they say..'shit happens'.
This reporting of 'infectious diseases'..what on earth is that all about?? Both of my daughters are medical professionals who deliver babies for a living..infectious diseases are mostly caught when the expectant mother is admitted into the hospital thru a series of blood tests, to be forewarned of any potential problems of the baby soon to be born. So how in the hell, does the reporting of 'infectious diseases' have any relation to or serve the adopted person years/decades after their birth?? Infectious diseases are not hereditary..infectious diseases are passed on thru person to person contact. What? they want to know how many STDs a nmother contracted so that they can prove even further her unworthiness to keep and raise her own child, thus once again 'proving' that adoption is better than being raised by a diseased pig of a woman!? I also question the many infertile women who want babies...how did they become infertile? Damaged fallopian tubes, endometriosis? Those problems can and are often the end result of contracting Chylmidia, an STD, that can go quite often undetected, until infertility problems arise. Pregnancy and birthing history?? Again that is not a hereditary condition, most of the time. In most instances, labor and delivery is most similar for most women..some have harder labors, some have easy labors, some require c-sections, others do not. That occurs in the same fashion with the females that are related to us. My one daughter had huge babies!! But I and my eldest daughter did not. This pregnancy and birthing crap history..is only to also keep track of our other children, grandchildren and our offspring into infinity. Something smells really, really bad about these State Mandated Medical Questionaires to be filled out by any mother who has surrendered her child. There is more behind this...way more and is very disturbing. Wonder if TMAP and Big Pharma have a dirty finger in this as well.

Robin said...

Mandy, I can remember talking to my husband's GI doctor about the lack of any genetic pre-warning of his CD. He said, basically, the same thing you said...that sometimes genes mutate and you will have a generation with an auto-immune disease that never existed in the family, before.

Anonymous said...

Kitta here:

Regarding the bill in NJ and the support there for the medical history amendment. The NJ Catholic Conference of Bishops gave heavy support to the medical history requirement, calling it a "right."

I was told by the AAC rep that a lawmaker put the medical history requirement into the bill.

Adoptive parents are often the proponents of requiremements for medical history, and social, psychological history. This is to help them decide whether to adopt the child. and actually, they have no right to the information before the adoption, because the child isn't legally "theirs."

I can only support medical information that is shared openly between the parties, as they so choose. that includes all parties. The adoptive parents and the adopted person should supply medical history also. The adopted person's medical history can be valuable to the rest of the natural family, and the natural family should have some idea of how healthy the adoptive parents are.

Mandy Lifeboats said...

I wonder if surrendering mothers today are directly furnished a medical and psycho-social history of the potential adoptive parents she chooses to adopt her child. If not, why aren't surrendering mothers of today demanding this? Shouldn't they also know all the particulars of the people they are choosing to give their child to? Are todays surrendering mothers furnished with a copy of the homestudy? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Kitta here:

In Cali, the natural parents are allowed a medical history report on the adoptive parents. I don't know how complete it is.

This makes sense to me. Medical history should be taken into consideration when placing a child for adoption. The family that would be adopting the child should be a suitable place for the child, and that would mean they should have understanding of medical conditions that might occur, so ideally, the families should be similar. This would help in recognizing symptoms and understanding the effects of illness.

Ideally, children should just stay with natural parents or family.

Marley said...

eidi Cox from NCFA spoke at length at a NCFA conference about "medical histories" in general at Gladney. Unless a client (that is the pregnant wman or new mom ) is specific about what she does not want released, everything from medical to counseling sessions goes to the parent in the end. The way I remember it, each sessions, once it is tuyped up (or something) has a sign off sheet, and anything that "client" doesn't want revealed is marked.

The whole thing is creepy If a "client" doesn't want the pap to know, for instance that there is a history of schezophrenia on both sides of the family, she just says not to tell the paps, which strikes me as pretty irresponsible and dangerous. But, she can let her life be an open books too, and to me there's just some thins paps don' need to know.

All this chummyness comes from fear of law suits.