Sunday, March 21, 2010

Open Records, Again; Who's Protecting Who?

It has been reported that the Michigan chapter of the National Orginazation of Women (NOW) opposes the legislation, HB 4015, being considered in that state espousing open access to the original birth certificate for adult adopted people along with the usual demands for contact vetoes and mandatory medical forms. While we mothers at SMAAC have reservations where all the open records bills are concerned that attempt to compel medical information forms, we found the NOW statement and reply to backers of the bill interesting. As Alice said, "Curiouser and curiouser."

The women of NOW are just as emotionally and, probably, financially invested in keeping adoption a going concern and the lowly b****mother in her place as any other group that favors adoption and closed records. Many of these women have pursued the dream of "having it all" and delayed starting a family until it was too late to produce many viable of the leading causes of infertility in the US. Thus, many have adopted and they want their "as if born to" fantasy as much as any other adopter. Many of them are attorneys. It is so good of them, they who endeavor to present women as strong and capable, to feel that we weak and vulnerable mothers need protection. Which side of the mushroom do I bite on that one?

If the OBC were opened to all adopted people and mothers, there looms, for the adopters, the specter of reunion. If the idea that SMAAC has espoused, repeal of the amended birth certificate, were enacted, then the fantasy of as if born to is crushed from the start. So the lobbyists and protesters (like the MI Bar Association, the NCFA, NOW) start bombarding the committee the minute the bill gets to them. And all of their protests and all of their conditions and requirements seem to have one (admitted) rallying cry...the assumed-to-be "guaranteed privacy" of the (natural)mother. YEAH, RIGHT!

They completely ignore the fact that we were never promised any confidentiality past our stays in maternity homes and situations prior to coerced surrender. They just want to keep the fantasy going so as not to kill the lucrative market and are not above placing mothers' heads on the chopping block, yet again, to get what they want. And neither adopted person nor mother is, obviously, considered capable of handling their own information and relationship.

My good friend, "Mandy Lifeboats," stated it well when she said, "Bottom-line. ..medical history aside, adoption agency records aside...the Adoption Industry does not want to allow anything that may compromise their business of adoption. They are fearful of the paying adopters deciding not to adopt at all, if the adopter cannot pretend forever, that the child they may want to purchase will not be 'as if born to'. If one has been reading at the blog I gave the link to the other day...which included comments from adopters not wanting to fill out the 2010 Census truthfully about the adopted children in their households, one can see that adopters are still fighting tooth and nail to uphold in their adopter heads....'as if born to'" Hey Mandy! I lost the link...send it to me. I'll plug it in.

Here is an excerpt from the MI NOW response letter to the bill backers that shows how the NCFA works.
"There is additional information on this issue at National Council for Adoption. Here is a quote from one article; "Unfortunately, the loudest voices legislatures and the public generally hear regarding this issue belong to a small minority of adopted persons who insist upon an absolute right to identify and even to contact their birthparents, without birthparents’ consent. A small but nationally well-organized group of activists seeks to eliminate confidentiality in adoption, or “secrecy and shame,” as they attempt to caricature it. This vocal minority has little to lose simply by persevering year after year in their efforts to eliminate confidentiality in adoption. That is not the case for birthparents who desire their privacy, however. By standing up for their rights, they lose them in the process." Consent or Coercion? How Mandatory Open Records Harm Adoption , Thomas C. Atwood (adopter)"

Atwood has also been heard to remark that the adopters, who understood what we were subjected to when forced to surrender, couldn't help the b****mothers because they would never have been able to become "parents" if they had.

Our adult children, the adopted people who are seeking the right to their original birth certificates are also, in many cases, feeling compelled to protect their adopters. So, despite what is said, if you keep moving around the Mad Hatter's table at the tea party, you can only come to the conclusion that no one is protecting natural mothers or adopted people. That is why we have to do it ourselves. If we want to avoid legal battles and unfair, one-sided regulations we have to stand up and say, Not No, But Hell No. Adopted people who are knowledgable, want what they have yet to get...a clean bill.

Whenever I read about all of this, I can come to only one conclusion. Someone has been down the rabbit hole too long.


Sandy Young said...

Bravo, Robin. I will be doing one, too, on this issue. This is really something, isn't it? The organization that professes to empower women so they can be on an equal footing with men feels that poor, fragile birthmothers must be protected from the children they bore and remain anonymous to them, even though the records were not sealed until these same children were adopted!

I think it is, with the NCFA, with NOW and with the industry, protecting their income by protecting and increasing the business of adoption. Despicable!

Maryreunited said...

Atwood is a Richard Cranium- and you are correct in your assesment. A small minority? Seriously? Really Atwood? Are you so stupid that you believe we will allow this to continue?

As for NOW they suck- always have. They don't speak for all women and never have-

Robin said...

ROTFL, Mary...a "Richard Cranium," huh? I LIKE that! NOW became elitist, very quickly. I retreated when I saw that happening about 30 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Well said Robin! This is one thing that gets under my skin. As if anyone was out to protect me!?!

(I had to look up Richard Cranium... duh)