Thursday, December 17, 2009

Being There

I remember tearfully signing the surrender document that took away my parental rights and responsibilities to my daughter, a week after her birth. I don't remember signing those papers after delivering my son, at all, but he was still taken.

Something that I DO remember, very clearly, in both cases, was giving information for the original (TRUE) birth certificates for both children. At the time of the inception of those documents, I was the only true, legal parent of each child. All the documentation of all the medical care that each of us received up to the time of legal surrender was legally mine. If the law is read, correctly, it all should still legally be mine and unavailable to anyone, including adopters, but my children and me.

In that same vein, the original birth certificate should be accessable to only me and each adult child. If any other legal, public record were to  be altered in the way the OBC's were, it would be a capitol offense and punishable by imprisonment. Yet, though the majority of us knew the father of our child, they insisted on writing "unknown" in that slot. Then, they locked these precious documents away and substitued a legal lie, and a physical impossibility and that was used to identify our children from that point forward,

This makes the demand that mothers be included in the numbers of those who receive copies of identifying information all the more righteous. We were there! Many of us did name the fathers. Many of us did name our children. Many of us believed the stories told us of perfect, wise and wonderful adopters who would gladly help our children find us when they came of age. Many of us were sucked into the legalized lie of adoption, much to our painful regret.

We have more than a desire to be included in the numbers of those who receive indentifying information. We have a right..a right based on the fact that many of these documents, especially the OBC and medical records, were generated while we were still the legally recognized parents of our children. WE have a right to this information.....NOT the adopters. And our medical and psychological histories belong to us, kept private under the auspices of the HIPAA requirements and ours to share with our adult children as we choose.

I really admire the courage, the chutzpah and the irreverent humor of Bastard Nation. I have written many a letter to members of congress and newspaper editors, stating, in no uncertain terms, that we neither sought nor were promised anonymity from our own children. The only reason many of us are not standing with linked arms, beside BN in their fight is simple. We want in. We want what was taken from us just as every adoptee wants what was taken from them. Years of separation have made our reunion awkward. Years of lies have made our children see us as what we aren't and instilled painful resentment in so many of our children,

The only cure for this adoption disease is a heavy dose of the truth. Until the truth is openly available to adoptees and mothers, and until the enormity of that truth is realized, it will be business as usual for those who traffic in human flesh to fill the demand of the self-entitled and the arrogant. Sad but true, the fact is that only about 2% of women giving birth truly do not want their child and I know that is not enough baby-flesh to fill the demand. Tough. I don't remember any of us being presented with a gold-edged certificate of guarantee, when we were born, entitleing us to bear children when we became adults. Stuff happens, People.

The truth, overt, brightly lit,unmistakable and there for all to see, is the only way  that we can return to a child-centered way of caring for the ones who truly need the help. But we need to be included, or only one half of the truth will be told. And remember...we Mothers were there.


Cassi said...

I know my son's adoption came many years later but I just wanted to state that the practice of placing "unknown" for the father still existed even twenty-two years ago.

My husband (then boyfriend) had a blood test done while my son and I were still in the hospital, proving he was my son's father and yet they still told me I could not name him on my son's birth certificate.

Just another way for the industry to twist their lives to some kind of sick, warped reality.

Robin said...

I know, in some areas, there was still a lot of the bad old practices going on. The fact that it happened as recently as that makes it even more important that the EMS be seriously investigated by those in power and addressed by same.

maybe said...

I suspect the refusal to record the naming of the father is still happening today. I'm of Cassi's era (early '80s) and the law at that time stated the father could only be listed on the BC if he came to the hospital or vital records department and signed the form. The father of my child never showed up, so no signature, no father listed on BC.

I'm sure adoption agencies love this practice - good way to make sure the father doesn't assert any parental rights.

How sick that the father of Cassi's child was not allowed to sign!

Anonymous said...

Of course that's why they do it! Anything that makes it easier to get the baby. If the father is known (and contrary to belief in most cases he IS known) he should HAVE to be listed. Practices like that make it difficult for fathers to assert their rights when needed and impossible for mothers to get financial support that fathers SHOULD HAVE to provide for their babies. Another win for the agencies...fathers can't fight and mother's have no access to support that might help them raise their children!

Like Maybe said, SICK!

Anonymous said...

In Ontario, mothers and adoptees can have the obc's (unless there is a disclosure veto)

It has been found that no unwed father's have been named in documents dating between the 1960's and the 1980's, even though the law allowed for unwed fathers to be named provided they did a declaration of paternity.

We are now demanding an explanation from the Ontario government about this and we are hoping that they will agree to "update" our records as Ontario law allows for that too.

I am personally putting on some serious pressure. My son's father has given me a copy of his declaration of paternity - the one the government claims doesn't exist.

Some opposition politicians are also helping in this too.

We are hoping that the government will let us get father's names down.

Apparently, only 10 percent of fathers on named on all Ontario birth certificates - there is definitely something wrong here.

Triona Guidry said...

I've heard about the scrubbing of father's names in Ontario. Horrible! Here's an article about it.

This is a practice that seems to be reviving in this day and age of increased call for adoption reform. Because if you never keep the information in the first place, then if those records are opened the secrets are still concealed. It's also happening with donor-conceived people who have no way to figure out who their genetic parents are.

Cedar said...

Robin, I am appalled that in the United States, those few states that do have open records discriminate against natural parents. Why has there not been a campaign for open records for both natural parents and adoptees, the same as we have had up here in Canada? We have opened 4 provinces, and several others are actively contemplating open records.

Robin, would you support a campaign for records to be opened such that both the adoptee and his/her natural parents can obtain the OBC, ABC, and adoption court order?

Anonymous said...

I have long believed that the mothers deserve the same access. I have even fought for it. It falls on deaf ears in Texas and Indiana