Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Open Records for Mothers, Too! Why....?

Intrinsic; in·trin·sic; Adjective /inˈtrinzik/ /-sik/  inherent; 1.Belonging naturally; essential

Esoteric; es·o·ter·ic; Adjective /ˌesəˈterik/ 1.Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest in a subject or issue.
Egalitarian; e·gal·i·tar·i·an ;Adjective /iˌgaləˈterēən/; 1.Of, relating to, or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.
 Dignity; dig·ni·ty: Noun /ˈdignitē/; (dignities plural);1.The state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I am not big on long, dry recitations of legal prescedents, dates and data. There are those who are much better at that sort of thing than I am. I tend to follow what I know, in my deepest self, to be true and right and extrapolate from there. If I have managed to pick up pertinent data and can readily access it, I will include it. But rambling through the history of this arena of activism is not my bag. If I have an idea, I'll put it out there. If someone says it can't be done, I'll ask why. If the reasons are sound, I'll look for another avenue to the goals I want to pursue.

The question was raised, on First Mother Forum , of whether Natural Mothers should also be granted access to the amended birth certificate of their surrendered, adult child. I firmly believe it is fair and right and that we should be granted equal access to all records pertaining to our surrender, labor, delivery and our child's adoptive name. The Original Birth Certificate gives identifying information about the Natural Mother. Why shouldn't a Natural Mother have identifying information on her adult child?

It has more to do with those words up there than with the possibility of reunion, although I think that the right to know who your child is and how that child has fared is our right based on a primal need. Not everyone went through what I and many other mothers did during the EMS. But a huge number did. So many of us had all our autonomy, our self respect and our very worlds taken from us, along with our child. We were secreted away, shamed and went through our pregnancies in atmospheres of punishment and censure.

When the search phenomenon began, we either started looking, ourselves, or filed our names with registries and waited and hoped. Others hunched their shoulders and hid themselves even deeper in the personas they had generated for themselves out of old, entrenched fear and shame, I am sorry to say. Many of us who lost our self-respect fought hard battles to regain it and still managed to stay honest about our pasts. The freedom and lightness of being brought about by simply telling the truth was heady stuff.

But for me, reunion, and knowing aren't enough. How we are and were seen and treated by society is also important. We've been the bad girls/delinquents long enough and I, for one, am terribly tired of it. I don't care how much hostility flows my way from adoption facilitators, attorneys and adopters. You used me and my sister mothers in the worst way and then we were discarded. Well, guess what? We are still here. And we are no longer helpless, young, dependent girls afraid of an intolerant society.

So, I can't quote the legal and constitutional reasons, former legal battles fought, and their outcomes to explain my strong belief that Mothers should be included in the fight for open records. But I can say that it is intrinsically the right thing to do. We have the esoteric understanding and involvement that places us in midst of those concerned with these rights. And to do so will open the door to true egalitarianism in the adoption activism milleu and allow us all our dignity. That might not be backed up with all the data, but I believe we definitely should have access.

More than that, I believe we deserve it. Sometimes, it's just a matter of what is right.


Unknown said...

Justice for one group at the expense of another group is simply wrong. I feel it, too, Robin. thanks for saying it well....

jenny81271 said...

data smata.....you are so right about this topic!!!!

Lori said...

Robin - I have been saying this for a long time. I hope more people listen now that someone else is saying it. I am just as important as my daughter. If she has the right to information about me, I have the right to information about her. All the information she seeks on me and the family, I should be able to seek about her - including her ABC, health and mental health... Otherwise, it is unfair.

Anonymous said...

Kitta here:

totally correct, Robin, and from a legal aspect you are right on.

This is a 14th Amendment equal protection issue...and there is support for this concept. I have worked with lawmakers who supported us.

Records were once OPEN to all parties to adoption and the adopted person. Some states, for example, Colorado, didn't close their records to all sides until 1967!

General state birth certificate laws allow copies of birth certificates to many relatives of the 'registrant" based on a "direct and tangible connection". In other words, if a person is closely related to the person born, the gov't considers those relatives to have a right to a copy of the birth certificate.

Mothers certainly qualify..not only do we have a direct and tangible connection to the registrant...we participated in the birth. We were there and the event is part of our history.

Our children are still the same people we gave birth to, regardless of which birth certificate they are on.

Denying us is like trying to 'disappear us." But...like you say...we have not gone away.

Pollie said...

Absolutely Robin,it should be open for us as well,as our children. But then the social wreckers,and baby brokers would have to open the records,and "horrors" reveal their "dishonesty" and evil deeds! Oh there is a special place in hell for those people. I recall talking to Mary (socialwrecker) after she had been moved to a nursing home. She wanted to know how I found her...heheh. I asked "Are you near water?,I know you always loved living near water? She replied" No! All I see is military....everywhere I look.........I'm covered up with military" H-mmmm I like to think she saw all the Mothers coming back to haunt her!

Anonymous said...

Here, here! Thanks for this post.