Thursday, February 25, 2010
Open Records; The Final Break in the Bond?
A mother from another country attended a conference of the AAC, not too long ago, and was appalled at the overt hostility, the marginalization of mothers and some of the mothers' assisting in their own marginalization in this one-sided cause. If anyone has watched, one of the provinces in our neighbor to the north has passed an open-records law, imperfect as it may be with the disclosure veto attached, that includes both parties, mothers and adopted people, as having rights to identifying information. They don't share many of our national traits and taboos.
This fact has brought to the attention of some of us, the rigid, unforgiving nature of our American culture. We have two forces at work. One is the capitalistic drive for profit that makes anything (or anyone) a consumable "product." The bottom line is the god here and those that profit from adoption will fight to maintain it. Self-entitled PAPs will fight to maintain the supply.
The other thing is our Puritanical heritage. This is not the way most other nations think, unless you want to count the Muslim nations and even these theocracies are not fans of adoption. We got stuck with the most repressive sort of Christianity and, despite the hard work of the founding Fathers who were free-thinkers for the most part, it still lurks in the minds of the masses. It invades our bedrooms, our right to choose and our legal structures. It makes us a prudish laughing-stock in the rest of the world. It corrupts our citizenry with its assumption of ultimate righteousness. It makes criminals out of unmarried mothers and saints out of adopters and those who facilitate.
It speaks words of hate and entitlement into the ears of our lost children. I remember my daughter telling me, at our first meeting, that "it was OK," if I didn't know who her father was. I think I must have looked at her like she had just farted in church, because she became very flustered. I tried to put her at ease and told her that I most certainly DID know who her father is. I asked her where she got such an idea and she said, "its just what I had always been told about girls who had babies and gave them up for adoption."
Now that most open-records bids are not "clean" (meaning open OBC's only) and carry with them punitive requirements for the mothers, we are seeing the community of EMS mothers and adopted people growing farther apart. And who encourages this? Sorry, Kiddos...but your adopters and those who facilitate adoption are culpable, no matter what you might want to think. How could a clearly-stated bill, advocating OBC's and identifying records being made available to both adopted adult and mothers be "clouding your issue?" And don't give me that "you spread your legs" and "you made a choice" garbage. That insults my intelligence.
This series of posts has been difficult and emotional for me. I have worked hard, for many years, to get out from under that umbra of shame and unworthiness. I have learned that I am not a bad person now, and I wasn't a bad person then. I have learned that devils can come disguised as saints and that all was not and is not as it seemed or was presented.
I do know a number of adopted people who are kind, fair-minded and want our help. We want our children's help, too, and it is not in having separate but equal organizations, bills and goals. It may have two sides, but it is one page. Keeping it simple and in one package would be the ideal way to go. It has been asked before, but here goes nothing.
Maybe, we could do it together without all the hubbub? Just think about it.