Tuesday, March 09, 2010

We Have To Do What?

Freedom of association

Main article: Freedom of association; US Constitution

Although it is not explicitly protected in the First Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled, in NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958), freedom of association to be a fundamental right protected by it. In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, 530 U.S. 640 (2000), the Supreme Court ruled that a New Jersey law, which forced the Boy Scouts of America to admit an openly gay member, to be an unconstitutional abridgment of the Boy Scouts' right to free association.

There it is again...that "by implication" thing. So this means that we are free to associate with whomever we please and, also, NOT to associate with a particular person if we do not wish to. While I find the anti-gay discrimination behind this example a bit off-putting, I understand the premise. This is akin to the freedom of religion which also, by implication, protects our right to freedom FROM religion. I am learning so much from my friend, I never thought I would find constitutional law so fascinating. It is important to know, not only what it says, but also what it implies and how it can be interpreted.

We spoke again, last night. He had been giving the whole issue of mandatory medical records provisions in some of these dirty bills a lot of thought and done a lot of reading. He related that there have been laws and regulations that have slipped by, that walk all over the constitution but that leave the door open for some really effective class-action suits. His advice was that, if these measures pass, we should watch, very carefully, how these provisions are used, especially by the facilitating entities and have a good attorney in the wings.

In talking to him, I related how unimportant we mothers are considered to be, as far as our rights are concerned. I opined that our rights and our feelings are ignored, as though we were there just to be used. He countered with an opinion that sounded sort of right to me. He said, "They might want you to think that you are unimportant, but I believe many of the adoption pros are scared to death of you along with the adoptive parents and these adopted people you have been telling me about." Wow, the natural mother as Big Bad Wolf. I wish the world would make up their minds about us. It's a wonder we are not all suffering from multiple personality disorder, We are either careless sluts or noble heroines or troublemakers or loving moms or just convenient uteri or goblins out to eat up open records bills. The mind boggles and none of it fits.

We have been marginalized and ignored for a long time. For many years, many of us followed the edicts of our families and the social workers and kept silent. Many still allow the fear of discovery to keep them in hiding. I wish I had come to my senses decades before I did. While I never really kept my two surrendered children a deep, dark secret, I went along with the happy, sappy adoption myth. I can remember when a very sweet young woman I worked with found herself to be with child. As she talked with us and mulled over her options, I would break out in a cold sweat. When she decided to keep, I felt a constricting pain around my heart that had nothing to do with heart disease. I also remember thinking that there was a mother and her child who would never have to wonder, hide or question.

I am proud that I can experience the unconditional love that the mother feels, even when it has to be tough love. This kind of love seems to be confusing to many adopted adults. For many of them, "parental" love has come with requirements and conditions. I love my children just because they ARE. They don't have to fit any criteria or burden themselves with my emotional welfare. And I, as their mother, will do what I think is right for them, even if they don't like it.

And, if any of them, raised or reunited, step over the line with me, I will back off and not feel guilty for doing so. Mothers are not the property of adoptees or raised children to do with as they wish. We are not whipping-boys or unimportant bystanders. I am part of a group of mothers who will not sacrifice our rights on the altar of the poor adoptee, nor will we allow ourselves to be bled dry, emotionally. That is not good parenting. How could any adopted person respect a mother that would allow herself to be used, her needs ignored?  And believe me, the healthiest kind of love has mutual respect as a component.

So rail against us, argue and slam us....but don't ignore us. We know our rights and are learning more about them, every day.


Sandy Young said...

The thing that I am learning is that the law, despite its flaws, is logical and if you follow the logic and the literal words of law, it all makes sense. I am enjoying the challenge of learning about the process, and it all makes perfect sense once you understand that it is logical, sequential and one step builds on the ones before....

Anonymous said...

Kitta here:

Robin, I am really glad that your law expert is taking an interest and helping. Obviously, the Constitution and its Amendments are taken seriously by people like him. He lives it.

I have been told that the First Amendment right of the people peaceably to assemble is where the freedom to associate derives. If we can "assemble with people of our choosing" then we have that freedom, and also the freedom not to associate.

Adoption has stripped us of that freedom to associate with our own relatives, and by seizing and falsifying birth records, we are prevented from associating with them. This gov't action also violated the 4th Amendment, seizure of personal papers, and the 14th, equal protection under the laws.

In many cases during the BSE, mothers and infants were violated in their persons(4th Amendment) because we ourselves, and our infants, were seized, and held without our permission and against our wills. This was under gov't authority in many cases as it was licensed social workers or others acting with authority that supposedly came from the gov't.

It truly was a gov't program of legalized kidnapping.

Mandy Lifeboats said...

I also find it quite disturbing that some adult adoptees (some middle-aged) and a few nmothers are now engaging in a "Witch-Hunt" on the internet. Acting as "Sleuths", determined with their self-inflicted state of paranoia, to hunt down others who they suspect have 'multiple personalities'on the internet. If it wasn't so sad, it would be downright laughable. This newest wrinkle in the Saga of Abandonees, has left me shaking my head in disbelief. Wouldn't their time be better spent in getting clean OBC bills in their individual states? AND introducing opinions/suggestions in how to eradicate the Amended Birth Certificate...that one piece of paper that totally eradicates their original identity and the identity of their original mother?
Talk about "hiding"...that piece of paper beats all!

Anonymous said...

Kitta here:

"Talk about "hiding"..that piece of paper beats all!"

Mandy, I so agree. The amended birth certificate is fraud, medical theft of the natural mother's medical history, and even identity theft.

I don't understand the "need" to hide behind a fraudulent document like the amended birth certificate, when the adoption decree is legal proof of adoption. The adoption decree is like a marriage license. It proves the legal connection between the adopted person and the adoptive parents.