October 2005        Vol. 1 No. 17
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Bastard Nation extends its thoughts and prayers to all the people who have been affected by the disastrous hurricanes.
GRANNY ANNIEíS 8 STEP PROGRAM
1. Go to Google (or other search engine of your choice) and key in "[name of your state ] Legislature"
2. At the Legislatureís website, find the link for "New Bills" or "Bills Introduced 2005" Different states use different names. Donít give up. Itís there!
3. On the New Bills page, look for a "SEARCH" feature.
4. The "SEARCH" feature will usually give you a choice of searching for a new bill by its number, by the name of the billís sponsor, or by a keyword.
5. An important word about keywords: Never key in just "adoption" or "adopt" or youíll be drowning in hundreds of bills that are adopting everything.
6. GOOD KEYWORDS: adoption of children; original birth certificate; adoptee rights; confidential intermediary, infant abandonment; adoption records; adoption registry
7. Good keywords should bring up any pending legislation. You will then have a choice. Do you want a summary of the bill or the full text? Try the summary first. You will be able to tell from the summary whether or not this is a bill about adoptee rights. If you find one, then you can go to the text of the bill. And donít be put off by legalese. Every good Bastard knows its just very wordy English.
8. Now look for STATUS of the bill. Here youíll get a chronological list of all actions taken on the bill thus far.
THEN RUN, DONíT WALK, TO "BEST" AND REPORT YOUR DISCOVERY.
TRY IT Ė YOUíLL LIKE IT.
BASTARD IN THE TRENCHES: KL BJORN
"I think the biggest enemy of open records is ignorance. There isn't a big outcry because not enough people even know this issue exists," says Bastard Nationís new Web Mistress, K.L. Bjorn, an adoptee out of California now residing in Alabama.
KL is very surprised the the adoptee rights movement has moved so slowly. She is amazed that so few people even seem to know about the issue. KL wrote, " I don't understand why civil rights organizations won't touch the issue. I mean if you made the same blanket law but instead of adoptees you said some ethnic group, you would be shot!"
When I asked KL what turned her from an adoptee into an adoptee activist, she replied, "I was pushed into it." It seems that KL went to a D.C. march and rally one year.....in a wheelchair with a broken ankle. Little did she know the route they took was NOT wheelchair accessible, until they were in the middle of gravel and it took 2-3 people to push her through the gravel. "It was fun, though."
KLís adoptive parents live near her in Alabama. Sadly, her birth mother passed away since they were reunited, but KL and her birth father stay in touch. In fact, he helped her get back into college.
KL told us that she canít say enough about how happy she is that she put the money into searching. Sheís sad because that is what it took for her to find her birth family, but happy that she was able to meet her birth parents and develop a wonderful relationship with her birth mother before she died.
KL shares her time with her two dogs - George and Scarlett. Scarlett is a HUGE Doberman....totally a spoiled baby, and wouldn't hurt a flea! George is the most mild-tempered dog ever! He is just a sweetie and a dream come true dog. Unfortunately, her neighbor is threatening to kill her angel George!
QUICKIE QUOTES FROM KL:
**WORK: "Isnít that a four-letter word?"
**Bastards in Trenches: "Trenches? We have trenches?? I just thought this was how everyone lived ;-)
**How to "win the war": "Calm heads"
**What made you an activist? "Time and friends"
Bill 183 was introduced last spring as a bill to issue original birth certificates to adopted adults and birth mothers of adopted adults. The bill included a contact veto with a fine of $50,000 for adoptees who violate a birth motherís wishes. However, the bill became more and more embroiled as other amendments were considered. Some Members want to add a disclosure veto and others have proposed a sort of "Government Tribunal" where birth mothers could go to plead their personal cases about not issuing original birth certificates to their biological offspring.
Bill 183 is now out of committee in its original form and will move back to the legislature for third and final reading and the vote. The House will be prorogued and it is believed that the legislature will reconvene on October 11th. Bill 183 was carried over so it will not die.
Upon hearing that Bill 183 is still alive, the secrecy police came out in force; adoptee bashing has begun anew and another media frenzy is occurring. Fear is trumping fact! Runaway, unfounded fear is turning mother against child against mother.
"Like some ghastly monster from the deep you thought had been harpooned, gutted and left on the dock to dry, the adoption disclosure bill has resurfaced, fangs bared, ready to claw some unsuspecting souls." So says reporter Christina Blizzard in an Op/Ed article in the Toronto Sun on Sept. 14th, "Opening Old Wounds."
According to Ms. Blizzard, birth mothers performed a "noble act" back in the 1950s-1960ís. They did the right thing and then they got on with their lives. And now, she says, these good women are in danger of having their lives ripped apart by us monstrous adoptees. Call out the local dogcatcher.
On that very same day that Ms. Blizzardís article appeared, The Toronto Sun wrote its own editorial "We Knew It Was Too Good to Last." This editorial refers to Bill 183 as "The legislation as proposed is a Kafkaesque nightmare."
Also during that same week, The London Globe/Mail reported, "Adoption Changes Would Open Door to the Past. But unwanted revelations could destroy lives, say privacy advocates." This newspaper is based in Toronto but is distributed throughout Canada.
There it is, over and over and over again. Adopted adults are portrayed as the Plague. They destroy lives. They track down birthmothers and rip out their souls. They must be stopped at all costs. Quarantine these monsters!
Still another article, this from Newmarketís New Era Banner, Sept. 22, 2005, headlines its story with "Ontario adoption bill morally Ďrapesí citizens."
In this article, itís the adoptive parents who are fearful. They never told their teen that she was adopted because she had been removed from her birth motherís care due to abuse. With the advent of this new law, the adoptive parents ask, "What kind of person is going to try and get hold of her? Is the government going to force that horrible family to be visited upon my child. (This is like) being intellectually and morally raped. We're considering leaving this country we're so frightened. What right does this government have to frighten its own population?
Reminds us of Privacy Minister Anne Cavoukian, who had a big hand in the first feeding frenzy last spring. She told us about birth mothers who were going to leave the county, or commit suicide if their biological children were issued original birth certificates.
Adoptee bashing and birth mother baiting must stop immediately! It is the duty of responsible Canadian journalists to respond to the feeding frenzy going on in the media. Take a look at the mother country, England. Original birth certificates have been issued to adopted adults since 1976. Look to Australia and New Zealand. And then take a look at the states in the United States where original birth certificates are being issued to adopted adults. All is calm. All is well.
Birth mothers are not throwing themselves out of windows, adoptees are not lurking on the back porches of their birth families, and adoptive families havenít left town because original birth certificates are issued to adopted adults, upon request and unconditionally.
Our own President Franklin D. Roosevelt said it best. "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Where The Action Is
CANADIAN BIRTH MOTHER STRIKES BACK
Lisa Sainsbury, of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, has jumped down the throats of those who are perpetuating the adoptee bashing. Sheís a birth mother and member of Bastard Nation and we couldnít be more proud of her! In her latest letter, published on September 19th in the Toronto Sun, Lisa refutes their editorial, "We knew it was too good last."
"As a mother who relinquished a child in 1962, I believe adopted people have the absolute right to all existing information about their origins, right down to the last detail. It's their information, not the birth mother's nor the state's. Non-adopted people don't have to question this right. Why, under any circumstances, should adopted people? It's nonsense for them to be denied rights that are the prerogative of others -- unless of course, one believes that there are two classes of citizen.
"Vetoes and fines have no place in a citizen's right to their own history and information. "Privacy rights" for birth mothers is a misnomer. What Anne Cavoukian really wants is the option for such women to remain anonymous. Anonymity is not privacy.
"Retroactivity" is another misnomer. There never were any "deals" for birthparents that could guarantee anonymity into perpetuity. Consequently, they can hardly be made retroactive. Perhaps there was a perception that such guarantees were given, but it's a wrong perception. How could it be otherwise when the parties that supposedly made these promises never had the authority to do so? That such deals were made is hearsay only, emanating from sources that may or may not exist. Now that really is Kafkaesque.Toronto Sun, September 19, 2005.
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Editors: Anita Walker Field and David C. Ansardi
c. 2005 Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization
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