Wednesday, March 24, 2010

They're Coming Out Of The Woodwork

Now that it has been established (by NOW and whomever) that we mothers are fragile flowers of womanhood, unable to protect ourselves or set our own boundaries, and that all adopted people want or need is their genetic medical history, the dirty bills are popping up like prairie dogs from their burrows. Like prairie dog burrows, those machinations go for miles, underground and out of sight.

How can we tell a "dirty" bill from a "clean" bill? Ah, children, gather round and let me give you a quick tutorial in Legislative Shuck and Jive;101.

To begin, the objective has been a simple one...open all sealed original birth certificates in order to give adopted people the right to know who they are and where they originated. This also gives mothers the avenue to know how their children fared. We surrendered parental rights and responsibilities, NOT the right to know our children and know about their welfare and that was largely done under duress.

Simple and straightforward, this is all that the major players have wanted but no one counted on the influences of adopter loyalty (let's tell them we just want medical info so they don't get threatened), the industry who covers its own arse at any cost, legal eagles who also profit from adoption, and resentful adult adoptees who will approve anything that penalizes the mother. Add these to the mix along with other such influences  and, voila! The "dirty" open records bill.

The dirty bill contains contact vetoes, intermediaries, intrusive medical history forms and more loopholes than those in an attorney's wet dreams. Dirty bills treat adult adoptees like eternal children and mothers like fainting, weak sisters, hiding behind a curtain (shades of Blanche Dubois). The list of constitutional rights being stepped on by these specious pieces of proposed legislation is a long one, but the right to free association, and the right to true privacy (not the constructed idea of guaranteed anonymity that was never promised mothers in the first place) come to mind.

So, in NJ, MO, IL, and on and on, these crippled excuses for open records bills keep popping up and mothers who have any self-worth and adopted people who only want to be treated like everyone else are reading them with horror. This is "Open Records ala The Industry." The bottom line is that this nation is so absorbed in its capitalistic, assumed superiority that anything that threatens the market place, even if the product is a human child, cannot be allowed without oversight. "What we have here is a failure to communicate?" I don't think so. What we have here is the industry and its synchophants playing bully. This is deja vu for mothers and "too damn bad" for the adopted person.

I keep remembering an old movie where the line, "Ya can't fight city hall," was spoken and some brave soul went forward and did just that. We, mothers and adopted people, are so factioned and scattered that only a few of us are heard and, even then, the voices of the industry, the establishment, adopter, etc., do all they can to drown us out. To fight city hall and these dirty bills, we are going to have to challenge them from the get-go. We need to keep talking and talking loud and, when and if anyone tries to enforce some of these restrictions and conditions, we fight back and let them know why.

I am seeing something in this catering to special interests that has bothered me for a long time. We no longer have a great nation...we have a powerful one....for now. Like Greece, Rome, Ancient Persia, the USSR and others, if we keep on this elitist path where people like us, mothers and their lost children, can be so manipulated by the industry, and where poverty has become a crime punishable by the loss of children and sociall derision, then we are going the way of the civilizations listed above. I can feel our decline on many fronts, but especially on this one that is close to my heart.

Both we and our adult children deserve nothing less than a clean, simple bill. We can handle the rest of it, ourselves.

5 comments:

maryanne said...

Yaayyyyyy! Great post, all true. I am ashamed to be from NJ at this point.

Sandy Young said...

Your words speak my heart, Robin! I am seeing these bills popping up all over the place, and while I understand that many of them have been in the works for a long time, it seems odd that they are all coming to a head at the same time! There are no coincidences, in this or anything! There is something afoot here, other than finally reaching critical mass on these bills.

I don't think it takes an army of women to fix this, but it will take some who are willing to work at it.

Great post, Robin! Very important words!

Anonymous said...

Especially love the last two sentences.
Beautiful.

Lori said...

"I am seeing something in this catering to special interests that has bothered me for a long time. We no longer have a great nation...we have a powerful one....for now. Like Greece, Rome, Ancient Persia, the USSR and others, if we keep on this elitist path where people like us, mothers and their lost children, can be so manipulated by the industry, and where poverty has become a crime punishable by the loss of children and sociall derision, then we are going the way of the civilizations listed above. I can feel our decline on many fronts, but especially on this one that is close to my heart."

THANK THE GODDESS I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT SEES THIS!

I have been saying this for years and feeling like I am hitting the wall.

Sigh, I just wish we could all stand together - rather than throw ourselves down in our own paroxial tantrums and divide the front that should be solid.

Crap - what a useless thought. We mothers can't even decide to stand together and win or what we want. Sigh.....

Anonymous said...

kitta here:

The Nj bill S799, also gives the OBC to the adoptive parents and the descendants of adopted people. These same people are also given access to "any family medical history" in the mother's file.

The bill gives nothing to the natural mothers. ..except for options to veto disclosure of their identities.

Like many other one-sided bills before, natural mothers are only recognized as 'relatives" when our children need medical history or when the adoptive parents want the OBC.

But, when we would like to know if our children are alive or dead, or would like their new identities so that we can search for them...we are told that we are "no longer related to them and have no rights."

Related or unrelated?? Which is it?

It is a one-sided game.

And what about that population of adopted people who would like us to seek them out...it seems that they don't count. But there are many of them, and they are waiting for us to find thm, rather than to look for us.