I hate it when other people, with an interest in maintaining adoption as a thriving concern, try to speak for mothers. I hate it even more when what they say "in our name" is cunningly used to deflect the ire of the adopted person to the mothers rather than taking the responsibility upon those who pursue this specious argument.
Such is the ongoing "reasoning" being used by agencies, governments, social workers and any pro-adoption faction that the reason records, such as the adoptee's original birth certificate, are kept closed is due to the requirement of "anonymity" and "privacy" for the mothers. OK, here we go, one more time....I don't EVER remember anyone promising ME any kind of privacy. What I do remember was being told that if I ever tried to find my children, I would be breaking the law and would hurt them. Anonymity was for the ADOPTERS, NOT the mothers!
For most of us from the EMS whose children were surrendered and then placed, by agencies or social workers, for adoption, our fondest wish was to have our children know us, know we loved them and that we would have kept them had we been given just a modicum of support. I did not request anonymity and it was not in anything I signed as a guarantee, promise or suggestion. I was told, by the social workers, to never speak of my loss to anyone, but I broke that rule right off the bat.
Now, to cover their cowardly arses, the agencies and those that lobby for them are trying to insert, into some open record bills, a requirement that any mother who refuses contact must provide personal medical and other information. WHOA!!!! First, I am pretty darn sure that this violates my rights under HIPAA stipulations. And, to be practical, there are things that are my private business that I haven't shared with the children I raised. These arrogant social engineers took my children and now they want me to be a mere vessel of information just like I was a mere birth machine? I THINK NOT.
One of the things we are striving for in SMAAC and elsewhere is the respect and human dignity that was taken from us when we were young, pregnant and vulnerable. For many of us, self-respect is not a problem, but I, for one, refuse to be considered a convenience for others in any way just because of the tragedy of losing my children when I was a teen.
Hell yes, let's get those records open for adopted adults AND mothers of adoption loss, but don't demand that I dance to a tune that was written by someone else. I'm a mother, not an object nor a lackey. I have shared with my adult reunited children what they needed to know just as I have with their younger sister and brother. As a family, there are things we all share. But my personal business will remain that way. Sorry agencies and others. I am not bailing you out when adopters sue you for "lack of important information."
Deal with it.
This is the giant heads up to the industry, the agencies, the adoptees and the adopters that they need. It is just too damn bad that we have to keep saying it over and over and over....
Yes, it is, Sandy. In this nation, supposedly, we are ALL guaranteed a right to privacy. But this has been hammered to death. Why can't they stop treating us like incompetent "reformed sluts" and our children like possessions/infants??????
HIPPA has many raisons d'etre, including and especially anti-discrimination law. It is like dragging us in by our collective fear/consciences, treating us like mass murderers and demanding our DNA, to subsequently use it against us, at their discretion. No, no, and NO
I whole-heartedly agree with you, Robin. No anonymity was promised me, nor did I request it, in the early 1980's. I think this is why they are trying to insert these contact vetos all over the place now. If they can coerce a woman out of her child, they can certainly convince her to sign this bullshit piece of paper with the hope that she will never go back and revisit any scrap of the horror of her loss.
And absolutely not to our medical information being opened up, turned over to anyone else. No fucking way. If adopters cared so damned much about our children they'd be bending over backwards to contact us during our childrens early lives (when as in my case they had plenty of info on me, but I had no contact info for them). They should be making damned sure that our kids will have the best chance possible at a good reunion with us. If the don't, it just shows what they wanted all along was to be "owners" not "parents".
NY state is trying to pass a bill like this right now. It requires full medical disclosure at the time of an adoption....the "gathering of medical histories" to be given to adopters and the courts.
I remember that after my son was born in 1976, I sent along with him some clothing articles and a tear stained letter to the adoptive parents. I enclosed his newborn hopsital photo with his original full name. The letter had slipped by the social worker and she was pissed!!!
When I woke up from my adoption fog 25 year later, I realized that by sending that photo, along with his name, I was never wanting anonymity from my child.
I was never promised anonymity. I never wished for anonymity; the anonymity of my son was foisted upon me at surrender.
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