Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Customary Adoption Without Termination!

The California Assembly's Judiciary Committee is taking comments until January 22, 2010 on AB 1325 "Tribal Customary Adoption".

SUMMARY : Establishes procedures, until January 1, 2014, to allow Indian children in the child welfare system to be provided with the permanence offered by adoption without first terminating the birth parents' rights through the use of tribal customary adoption.

You can comment here.

This bill has been signed by Governor Schwarzenegger.  Now, the Judiciary Committee has to evaluate it and come up with methods to implement it. 

It has been suggested that those of us fighting for equal access comment in order to enlighten the JUDICIARY committee of the DISCRIMINATION this bill creates, compelling them to repeal it. 

Of course, ideally, this is what we want for all adoption, but unlike some, believe that social and legal changes can and have been made incrementally. This baby step  is a way to set a precedent and hopefully will encourage these rights for all future adoptees.

I think this would be excellent first step and serve as a model.  U totally support passage of this Bill while seeing it as an opportunity for a massive letter writing campaign demanding equal access for ALL adoptees and an end to the bizarre practice of issuing adopted persons falsified birth certificates.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

And ICWA was an example of how to give adoptees their birth certificates when they turn 18? Ya, the incremental process worked out really well...NOT!!!!!

If you don't stand for ALL, you stand for NONE!!!


AdoptAuthor said...

I feel you anger and understand and appreciate your all or nothing position. I however have never personally felt comfortable throwing anyone under a bus, and see this as a a model, as I said.

Cedar said...

Adoptee without termination. I wonder if this adheres to one particular model of first nations adoption that is anything but mother-friendly. In this model, a family can decide to take a mother's baby away from her and let an aunt, grandparent, or other member of the tribe adopt the baby. The mother has no say in it, no voice. She is bullied to keep silent. "Custom adoptions" are not something to be admired. They are still adoptions with falsified and sealed birth records -- the difference in many is that the mother didn't even get to refuse to sign a paper as under "custom adoption law" the family can just decide to take her baby.

Anonymous said...


I'm tired of this country openly discriminating against adoptees and then picking and choosing which ones of us will be granted the golden goose. It's BS!!!!!

AdoptAuthor said...

Cedar, Thank you. Do have any sources you could recommend for more research into this?

Anonymous said...

Non-Native American adoptees ARE being thrown under the bus!!!!

I'm not going to stand by and watch, especially when I'm under the bus, too.

AdoptAuthor said...

I admit being confused here. Mara (here and in emails to me) seems to believe this is the "golden goose" - the ultimate panacea being offered Native Americans and denied others while Cedar thinks it's bad for Native Americans.

Cedar, when you say the mothers family often decides and the mother has no say - are you speaking of a minor? Truth be told, any minor is under the pressure (or force) of her parents. While we of course are opposed to any such pressure and would prefer families support their children to keep their child, it is really not something that can be legislated.

However, it surely seems more advantageous if you are going to be pressured to give up your child yo another to raise, that at least your rights are not permanently severed.

It seems to me - and I could very easily be wrong - that this is describing what is also called "simple adoption" or adoption as it existed in this country prior to the 1940s when records were sealed, where it was known by all that the Jones boy was being raised by the Smith family. A form of Permanent legal guardianship or enforced open adoption.

That is why I see this as a possible model.

Inasmuch as Cedar is saying she "wonders" -- looks like this is a topic that requires further research.

Anyone have a source for more details than the link I provided???

And please - can we the discussion to issues and facts and not just anger and name-calling? That accomplishes nothing! None of us want to harm anyone. Let's all start out knowing that all of us are seeking what is best.

Anonymous said...

If you read the bill (available online), it states that the child will have 4 parents and that this is an experimental bill that will sunset in 2014. Why can't it be an experiment involving all adoptees? Hmmm.....

PS: Discrimination is something to be ANGRY about. Don't dismiss someone because they are angry at being discriminated against.

AdoptAuthor said...

Yes...but if we kill it before the experiment has an opportunity to be useful, then it seems to me that we have far less hope of seeing it revisited on a larger scale.

Look, adoption is a state's issue. So, simply by virtue of that process, equal access legislation has the possibility to be good for adoptees born in one state that will - according to your way of thinking - "discriminate" against adoptees in other states. Should we then suggest that no access laws are passed for any adoptees in any states until they are passed in every state of all adoptees? Of course not! That's absurd.

Experiments test a change in practice and have the possibility of being used as precedents for more such change.

I have started a Facebook groups to discuss this issue. Please look for "Customary Adoption" on Facebook.

AdoptAuthor said...

In 2005 the Supreme Court abolished capital punishment for juvenile offenders.

Do you think those opposed to capital punishment should have fought AGAINST this legislation because it was unfair to adult offenders? Or do you see that it acted as stepping stone in legislation and practices that led to reduced use of the death penalty?

But there is a primary question:

Is this a good idea that we would like to see spread to all adoptees or is it a bad idea, as Cedar suggests?

Anonymous said...

Giving one child a priveledge and while taking it away from another is cruel.

Here Johnny, you're brown so you get a cookie. Oh no, Jimmy you're black so you get NOTHING.

All babies, children, people, are created EQUAL. Treating them differently and tolerating DISCRIMINATION in the name of "experiments" is just morally, ethically, spiritually, logically WRONG.

AdoptAuthor said...

As I have said, I fully understand that position, but your analogy is flawed cause no one is taking away any existing right (cookie) from anyone. What you are really is:

Is it cruel if Johnny is given a cookie and his friend of another race is not. To which i ask: is it fair to take it away from the one given it to make those not given it feel better???

Or - perhaps - let Johnny have his cookie and the world will see how happy it make shim and then give out more cookies to more people!

The 15th amendment (1870) gave voting rights to all MEN regardless of race (though literacy tests continued). It wasn't until 1920 that the 19th amendment extended that right to women. Was that moral? Fair? Fight? No, but it's how things happen sometimes. One step at a time.

Is it far that an adoptee born in Oregon or Maine has access and one born in NY or NJ doesn't? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Pisses me off no end! Yet we accept those steps as well.

Cedar said...

Sorry, have not been able to dig up further resources. The voices of First Nations women tend to get silenced in Canadian culture through a combination of racism and sexism. Crimes against them are under-reported, and domestic violence often keeps them silenced within their own families. The few who speak out are often ostracized by their bands and this is devastating. So, they put up with it. I first heard about these cases thru online support groups and then had it confirmed when I attended a child protection conference where "custom adoption" was discussed as a way to keep First Nations children out of foster care, by band decision rather than parental choice.

Reading through the California bill, there is no mention of filiation. They talk about terminating parental rights, but legal child adoption according to the Western model terminates both parental rights and filiation. The adoptive parents gain full parental rights and filiation "as if born to." I think that this needs to be clarified in the bill. Does the child remain legally related to the natural parents (filiation)? This is implied, but never fully clarified.

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget