Friday, March 12, 2010

Lessons Learned From Hindsight and Defeat

We did not make the top ten Change.org competition. Perhaps it was just a case of American Idol syndrome in which it is not necessarily the most deserving who wins – but the one who has the most friends to keep voting multiple times.

We gave it our best. I sent and received DOZENS of email reminders to vote. But perhaps we preached too much to the choir and not enough outside “our own.”

On Facebok, blogs, conferences…we talk to ourselves!  Are we reaching and educating the public or even the vast numbers of adoption-touched persons?

We reached under 3,000 votes. This, in a country with a country with a 2.5% adopted population, a nation in which adoption touches nearly everyone in one way or another, with the Adoption Institute's Public Opinion Benchmark survey finding that 58% of Americans know someone who has been adopted, have adopted a child, or have relinquished a child for adoption.

We need to look at the latest defeat not in isolation, but rather in conjunction with the history of attempting to allow adoptees access to the truth of the birth…you see little success. It is approximately SIXTY YEARS “we” have been fighting this battle beginning with Jean Paton in the 1950s – almost immediately after they were sealed. In those six decades we have succeeded in getting a handful of states have some form of openness” averages out to one per decade.   If we continue at the same pace it will take us 460 years to be successful in al states – or never in our lifetimes!  Seems it is time to rethink our strategies and try something different.

Step One: LOOKING AT WHAT STYMIES US


•    Drop Out Rate
For the thirty plus years I have been involved in adoption reform< “open records” etc., we have been plagued by the “Join, Search, Find, Reunite, Quit” syndrome among our members. Our retention rate is pitiful!

•    Lack of Finances
We are a frugal group. Members too often ask “what’s in it for me” before paying member dues. We are failing to make it clear that we need the member NUMBERS to effect change. Groups struggle to stay afloat, even when holding costly conferences which are choir preaching events in any event. On top of all of that, we have struggles with misappropriations of funds and embezzlement

•    Overcoming Fear
I see our movement as comparable to the very early years of the civil rights movement. Back to the Rosa Parks and Martin Luther king, Jr. days.  At that time in history average Black Americans were still afraid to speak out. They feared retribution. They were thankful to no longer be enslaved and didn’t want to make waves and disturb the small taste of freedom they had.

Many adoptees are totally convinced – without reunion – that they are “better off’ having been adopted and are grateful.  The fear rocking the boat, biting the hand that feeds them, being ungrateful, finding themselves rejected – again.

Recognizing this, it al the more behooves us to keep the message very simple and NOT about search, reunion, or even medical need to know. Keep it purely a RIGHTS issue.  

•    Lack of National and International Focus
Yes, adoption laws and policies are under state auspices. But we need to create  a strong national organization to represent our common/mutual goal; to get the word our to the general public and complacent “grateful” adoptees.

Bastard Nation came into the game with the goal of focusing on the RIGHTS issue and moving us away from search and reunion. They correctly new that keeping reunion out of the mix made it less threatening for adoptees harboring strong loyalty and concern not to hurt their adoptive parents. I love, admire, respect and have the highest regard for Marley. But she cant do it alone!  BN suffers the same lack of personnel and lack of money, not even able to put out their quarterly newsletter right now. BN chose their name intentionally for its shock value, however it seems contrary to meeting the needs of the “closeted” adoptee. BN does not have the manpower to be a cohesive national voice for the state efforts, including necessary training for state activists.

The AC was intended originally to be an umbrella organization for the myriad of state and local search and support groups. It has however weakened its mission, IMHO, in order to court the finances of adoptive parents.

WHAT TO DO?

II was asked recently if I thought petitions worked. I also noted that Joe Soll, bless his soul, is asking if there is interest in yet another march on Washington.

I personally think that marches and petitions are a total waste of time (and the later a lot of effort) only if they reach a participation level of TENS OF THOUSANDS and grasp media attention. Thus, now is not the time for such efforts. We need to increase our base first.

I suggest a new national organization with a name the likes of the NAACP and a clear simple focus to galvanize us and recruit. Our message and focus must be clear and simple:  Adoptees deserve the same rights as non-adopted persons regarding access to their own OBC.   

I see the MAJOR purpose of this organization to be EDUCATION and ADVERTISING. The counter NCFA disseminating op eds, articles, press releases, interviews etc, to educate the public and adoptees about the discrimination and denial of rights. A long-term goal: the possibility of a class action suit.

I suggest a powerful non-offensive or cutsie name such as:
•    National  International Adoptee Human Rights Association, or
•    National International Association for Adoption Human Rights, or
•    Association for Equal Rights for Adopted Persons

It will take a group of committed people who are willing to put in time and money to get it off the ground.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE

WE need to understand the simplicity and focus of our message.

Keep It Simple. It can be flushed out of course with an explanation of the issuance of a falsified birth certificate and the sealing of the original certificate; the history of sealed records; etc.

The Southwest Florida Chapter of ACLU adopted the following on April 21, 1987: The Rights of Adult Adopted Persons, Policy Statement (excerpt)

"Numerous states have laws or procedures which impede the ability of adopted adults, their birthparents and other relatives to ascertain each others' identities. The ACLU believes that so long as state and/or local governments choose to maintain birth records, such records must be maintained and accessible without discrimination by virtue of adopted or non-adopted status.

"Toward this end, the ACLU believes that laws suppressing information about adoptees and/or their birthparents, and laws allowing access to such information only upon consent or registration, or laws allowing access to such information only upon court order, deny adopted persons, their birthparents, and their relatives equal protection of the laws and constitutes unwarranted interference by the government with the right of people to choose whether to associate.

"The political debate on the adoption issue has tended to be framed in terms of psychological issues; emotional issues; medical and sociological issues. The above policy confines itself to a civil liberties analysis."
Sadly, some sate reformers seek access to “records” which muddies this clarity.

The original birth certificate is the property of those named on it. Denial of that access is unique and no mother was never promised her child would not know t whom he was born. 

Yes, adoptees are at risk medically not knowing their family history. This disparity is equalized by allowing them access to their OBC and then leaving it up to them if they want to pursue finding and asking their birth family medical or any other information – THE SAME AS IS DONE BY NON ADOPTEES. 

Other records such as medical, or agency files are confidential and are protected by HIPAA law. Such records are not available to non-adopted adult children so their access dos not come under an equality agenda.

Agency records contain information that was given IN CONFIDENCE to social workers, they and may or may not be true, and are often filled with judgments of mothers in a state of stress. In terms of their medical worth, they can only contain what was known to YOUNG mothers – not what their parents may have subsequently died of, or any illness they themselves my have subsequently been diagnosed with.

Mothers who was raped, or committed adultery, or had tried to abort, would be horrified to have such facts revealed by strangers rather than being able to share them herself with her offspring as she would with any child she had not relinquished.  No citizens have access to their parent’s medical records or any other such personal files told in confidence to a counselor. Access to them is a violation and is not consistent with simple EQUALITY to non-adopted citizens.

It muddies the issue, gets it off equality and a human rights issues, and losses the support of the ACLU and many mothers who otherwise support adoptee access to their OBC.

UPDATE 3/18: Any newly formed org should be INTERNATIONAL, not national. It has occurred to me since writing this that there is a very large of transnational adoptees, mostly Korean right now, who we need to embrace. This community is growing rapidly and in the not to distant future domestically born adoptees will be the minority. We need to help them with their issues and have them come on board and support us on access to the OBC, even if it would not directly effect the, But if we build solidarity we add strength in numbers and help al of us.

34 comments:

Heather said...

I agree with you. I was just telling an adoptee not to long ago that we need to concentrate our efforts and take it National. The only way we will be effective is to make a million triad member march on DC. Not a 200 or 700 person March. This though takes money. The only thing I see bothersome is the ability for a first parent to veto access to an Original Birth Certificate. Now let me explain why. My child who I did not relinquish, has every right to go get his Original Birth Certificate and I as his mother have no right to veto his access. But my child who I relinquished can try to get his OBC and I CAN veto. This, I have heard is what people want, the right of a first mother to veto. I say, NO WAY. Give them their OBC, NO VETO's allowed. Instead allow the first parents to request they not be contacted if that is what they choose.

AdoptAuthor said...

NO VETOES. NO INTERMEDIARIES, NO CONTACT VETOES. No restrictions or limits of any kind. Because it's not about reunion, it's about a RIGHT to a legal document. And it's about EQUALITY. You said it: NO mother ha a right to stop her child from obtaining a copy of his birth certificate.

If a mother doesn't want to be found, she says NO. If that is not abided, she has the same recourse all others have: laws against harassment and stalking. Truth is anyone is at "risk" for being found - with or without access to OBCs.

Special laws for SOME people is DISCRIMINATION!

The Improper Adoptee said...

Yeah, I gotta tell you, one thing Christians have really screwed up is this sweep it under the rug and hide what you've done mentality. Maybe that was (excuse the pun) "Adopted" so priests, bishops cardnials could do all the nasties they wanted and parishoners wouldn't lose faith and CC clergy wouldn't loose donations! Real Christians admit what they have done and are forgiven by other real Christians. I'm not surprised that we lost-we are the weaker army, with out the funds or the media to aide us-I'm tired too of getting slaughtered but I think alot of other Adoptees and BSE Mothers are scared as you said Mirah-I mean look at how we get attacked on the internet-to have that in one's face offline is just too much for alot of people. I know I have stomach aches all the time and headaches in part due to this war-I don't how stupid this suggestion is other than a million person march which is a good idea, but if it could be done financially, what about a banquet where we would invite politicians and have speakers such as yourself, Lorraine, Marley Greinier, DMN and Zara, Robin, Triona, Kali etc-and of course Paula Boinot-maybe if we could all appeal to them at once it might help. Whether we could pull this off or not (fund wise) I don't know. I like the first tittle you wrote for an Open Record group to btw.

AdoptAuthor said...

The pro-life block is in bed with the NCFA to promote adoption and keep us silenced, yes. Much has been written about that myself and Kathryn Joyce.

I am glad you mentioned Paula Boinot. I meant to mention that people like Paula and two other legislators who have and are fighting for access should be board members of any new org that gets formed.

Banquets and all else come later. First we ned to build a strong doundation in an or. We need to see if we even have enough people to THAT. if the apathy and in-fighting continue, we can just close up shop and give up.

Personally, I am more concerned with the future of adoption than the past anyhow. We need to STOP TODAY issuing false BC's and then we won't continue to have this issue at all...

maryanne said...

Why would yet another organization with a different name have any more success than those already existing in raising interest or funds?

This reminds me of the South Park Underpants gnomes plan:

Step 1: Steal underpants
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Make huge profits

Nobody ever knows what step 2 is. The proposal of yet another organization, which would have to be run by the same people running existing organizations because nobody else cares, just seems like another one of those sorts of ideas. I am underwhelmed.

AdoptAuthor said...

Perhaps it won't be any different than past attempts. We'll never know if we don't try, eh?

One reason to make such attempt is the fact that on Facebook I have encountered HUNDREDS of people interested in adoption reform: names I have never heard before. Perhaps this new "younger" blood has some better ideas and more energy than us old farts.

Another reason, is that I have talked about more than just a nee name for an org. I am talking about a new fOCUS! I think we need bOTH! The "respectability" of a more professional name and a clear, focused goal.

We can either try and fail or give up without even trying...each of us can make that decision individually.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Mirah, you make so many good points I don't know where to begin. Great post!

One could tell last week that no matter how much we promoted the vote on change.org, we were going to fall short. I'd love to see a national organization but as you rightly point out, adoptees either are too grateful to stay passionate about their rights for a long period of time, or fall away after reunion, and so the records stay frozen in time. Slammed shut. Gays, on the other hand, continue to be discriminated against and shunned in some cases, and so their anger level and involvement stays high. Also they do not feel disloyal by taking part in the movement.

And I do feel you are right, the American Adoption Congress generally has moved too conservatively, though they still do good work and have clout with legislators. But still, when I was a state rep getting people to keep on sending in their dues was not easy.

Lorraine from
Birth Mother, First Mother Forum

Anonymous said...

From Improper-DMN. Sigh. DMC I meant. And I disagree with maryanee as usual, LoL and I agree that Paula Boinot on the commitee of a new board/organization just might move mountains.

AdoptAuthor said...

Donaldson has clout to...but they all have a goal of "ethical adoption" and they cater to adopters...because....that's where the buck$ are!

Anonymous said...

"Our message and focus must be clear and simple: Adoptees deserve the same rights as non-adopted persons regarding access to their own OBC."

Agreed. It has to be clear, concise, and easy to remember.

And a name such as "National Adoptee Human Rights Association" gets the human rights aspect in there. That also opens up funding possibilities from human rights organizations.

Funding, and professional management, is necessary.

Good luck!

maryanne said...

BN has always had the focus you want, on rights, not reunion. But you think they need a more neutral name. How would this new group with the same focus as BN but a more neutral name get many more people involved, generate many more donations, influence legislators? Step 2 is still missing.

Anonymous said...

Your rhetoric simply doesn't make any sense to the average person except for the OBC argument. That can be made sensible. The rest of folks have real trouble wondering what we're on about. Quite frankly, it's a lost cause.

Anonymous said...

Part One -
I think you just may have hit the nail on the head is that we are preaching to the choir. We need to find a way to educate the GP about the realities of adoption practices and the life-long effects that adoption can have on adult adoptees.
Your point that in our country 58% of Americans are touched by adoption yet our idea on Change.org garnered only 2,500 votes brings up two issues – How many people are aware of Change.org and the opportunity it offers; and, How hard are those that oppose Adult Adoptee Access willing to work to protect the industry that supports them??
“It is approximately SIXTY YEARS “we” have been fighting this battle beginning with Jean Paton in the 1950s – almost immediately after they were sealed. In those six decades we have succeeded in getting a handful of states have some form of openness” averages out to one per decade. If we continue at the same pace it will take us 460 years to be successful in al states…” I, personally, was deeply moved this last Friday, by Emmitt Smith’s search on Ancestry.com’s show, Who Do You Think You Are… his ancestors voyage on slave ships – our “ancestors” voyages on “orphan trains”… his ancestors personal history being segregated from white history – our personal histories being sealed while non-adopted citizens have full access… the feeling of being separate and not good enough or somehow suspect because they were “colored” and we are adopted.
Step One: LOOKING AT WHAT STYMIES US
You listed four very important things to be sure, yet I would say the number one things is – We do not stay on point.
We get side tracked with issues that do not address our primary goal. We want Adult Adoptee Access, but we get caught up in debates about abortion, which is a totally separate issue since there are laws already in place governing it, and Adult Adoptee Access has been shown to have no negative affect on the abortion rate. We get caught up in concerns about unwanted contact, which again is a non-issue because there are laws already in effect that protect all of us from “unwanted contact.” And, we get sucked into debates about children who were removed from their family of origin, and/or children born to people of questionable moral or drug related practices (or what may have been portrayed as “questionable practices”). The children who were removed from their families should be protected as long as they are children and the practices of the parent(s) of a relinquished child are just that – the practices of the parents; but, more importantly – our goal, the point of our concerns, does not – DOES NOT – involve the child. Our concerns are about the Civil Rights of the ADULT.

Anonymous said...

Part Two -

“I love, admire, respect and have the highest regard for Marley.” Me, too… 

“Increase our base”? If the baby brokers, shame and blame mongers, and maternity home promoters have their way our “base” will be increased… but it will also be silent and fearful because of what those baby brokers, shame and blame mongers, and maternity home promoters and owners are. Our situation has often been compared to dog breeding… unscrupulous dog breeding – we have the dog brokers that travel around the country collecting puppies, that are then sold to “pet stores” which in turn sell the puppies to customers. It’s All about the money.
The problem I see with new organization is that it will just be one more thing/group that confuses people. We can’t get the groups we have now to work together, another one will only be seen as “competition”, because as you said, we have financial problems. We have misappropriations of funds and embezzlement within the very groups that present themselves and that we expect to be working toward the same goal and supporting our efforts whether they be reform or reunion.
Paraphrased - “I see the MAJOR purpose of this organization to be EDUCATION and ADVERTISING - disseminating op eds, articles, press releases, interviews etc, to educate the public and adoptees about the discrimination and denial of rights. A long-term goal: the possibility of a class action suit.”
Right on Sister!! My contribution to the name… National Human Rights Association of Adoptees… just an idea.
“Sadly, some sate reformers seek access to “records” which muddies this clarity… It muddies the issue, gets it off equality and a human rights issues, and losses the support of the ACLU and many mothers who otherwise support adoptee access to their OBC.” An excellent point and one that needs to be addressed.
Thank you, Mirah, once again for making us Think with our Brains. Cully

AdoptAuthor said...

You echo my point that no one outside our circle was being made aware of the change.org site! We do not reach the general public, which I see as critical. (I had submitted an op ed for that purpose, but alas it was not accepted.)

I too was moved by the new TV show produced by Lisa Kudrow. It shows how natural the desire to know is...and these people are finding great, great, great, great grandparents and adoptees cannot find their mOTHER!

Yes, STAY ON TRACK - KEEP IT SIMPLE AND FOCUSED!

AdoptAuthor said...

By "Increase Our Base" - I mean reach out to adoptees - the rest of t 2.5% beyond the 3K who voted and are already involved!!

"We can’t get the groups we have now to work together, another one will only be seen as “competition”, because as you said, we have financial problems."

This comes under the category already responded to to MaryAnne: If we never try, we'll surely never succeed!

Thanks CULLY!!

maryanne said...

So...what is it you are going to "try"? I assume it would be you starting this new organization since it is your idea. If as you say there are many young people on Facebook interested in adoption, would they be interested in joining such a group? Giving money to it? Why not put it out there and see?

I don't think yet another group would interest those who already belong to several of the existing ones. This really is not anything new.

AdoptAuthor said...

MaryAnne says:

"BN has always had the focus you want, on rights, not reunion. But you think they need a more neutral name. How would this new group with the same focus as BN but a more neutral name get many more people involved, generate many more donations, influence legislators? Step 2 is still missing."

My belief is that the name Bastard Nation is a turn off to the 'Good" adoptee who is afraid of OFFENDING. A name that focuses son the human rights aspect MIGHT help. Of course, whatever it is called it takes WORK and people willing to do it. And it takes $$.

BUT...I never cease to be blown away at the amount of time people in our "movement' find to talk to one another on email lists, at conferences, via Facebook, blogs, etc. Talk, talk, talk. Everyone's got an opinion. Easy to start your own blog and express your now opinion - but we lack cohesiveity (is that a word?). On erasonis arguing about the nuances.

KEEPING IT SIMPLR hopefully does away with disagreements and focuses everyone and vreates a coghesvie org that has a possbility of making an impact!

Or, we could sit and say it'll never work, so why try and we'd be right - cause that will SURELY accomplish nothing!

Must be great being a pessimist cause you can't fail at doing nothing at all and are always right about being a failure at everything and anything. It most appealing. Almost makes me wish I could. But I'm a cockeyed optimist...otherwise I'd have taken the cyanide long ago!

AdoptAuthor said...

Yes..."putting it out there" is what I am doing.

Amanda said...

There once was such an organization. ALMA would sue states and take them to the supreme court. They tried everything from slavery, to 1st Ammendment deprivation of useful informaton, to 14th Ammendent Equal Protection Clause violation....every arguement you could think of and were shot down. They eventually became a search and reunite organization--largely because, indeed, those who happen upon our cause often do so when they are trying to reunite.

To disclaimer myself there, I am only 24 years old. I was not even alive when ALMA placed said law suit so I only know the details from the professional journals on the issues I've read in my Social Work career and studies (I was not, nor will ever be, an adoption worker BTW, for anyone who may be concerned).

I agree with your points. I am part of the lead of the Adoptee Rights Movement here in Pennsylvania, founding and heading the Advocates of Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights (www.adopteerightspa.org). Many individuals contact me in reunion persuits. Many individuals offer to support the effort on the basis of what reunion can provide. Those who have been in the "game" a long time who understand the issues are so tired of the insensitivity of friends, the scrutiny of family and the ignorance of the public and legislators that they tire from constantly being beat down.

The #1 issue that deters adoptee rights? STUPID Adoption stereotypes. Society is overly-sympathetic and overcome with anything that undermines the adoptive family or offends infertile prospective adopters. Research has estimated that 81% of prospective adopters adopt to create a family due to frustrations of infertility. Research has found that idealized expectations are made of adoptees---we are NOT supposed to be out there finding our real families, we are supposed to be respecting the family that "rescued" us from "disaster!" Society is SO afraid to enforce any sentiment that might make adopters "feel bad." This is what the anti-movement is about: securing adoptive families as a marketing plan to adopters. The more "permenency" and lack of interferance from natural families that can be guaranteed to adopters the adoption agencies can get, the better. It's all about keeping the industry alive, unethically managing dependence, and catering to the money and power-holders (the adopters). Any movement toward access to truthfulness is a threat to that. Truthfulness threatens to expose all of the misdeeds against women they've done in order to perpetuate this horrible industry.

We need people who are strong, who can take all of this nonsense and who can keep going. Our characters will be attacked and our mental stability as adoptees and First Mothers WILL be questioned. Personal insults will be made and our adulthood will be put on stand...but we MUST keep going on.

AdoptAuthor said...

MaryAnne can speak more about ALMA than anyone. She WAS there!

Whatever they did and failed can be tried again.

The Equal Rights Amendment was first proposed in 1923 and wasn't passed until 1972. They didn't give up; didn't decide it was impossible so why try again and again and again.

maryanne said...

ALMA was first and always a search and support group. They also got involved with trying a class action lawsuit in NY, which did not go anywhere. Pam Hasegawa was one of the plaintiffs if anyone wants more information about it. You can email her at pamgawa@optonline.net

ALMA still exists and has a registry:
http://www.almasociety.org/

Hope this is helpful, Amanda. Geez, I feel older than dirt:-)

Joan M Wheeler said...

Ah, maryanne, while I was just a "kid" in the 70s, I barely remember that ALMA court case. I was in college then and sent in testimony.

I think we should do it again. People may be more receptive to the class action suit now as we have more knowledge base and more people in the movement. We have grown, if we stay focused on the goal. The other issues can be dealt with in smaller groups and there's never an end to the topics to write and talk about. It is time for action!

Great post, Mirah.

O Solo Mama said...

About Change.org. I don't believe you could actually vote twice because I gave it the college try and I wasn't allowed to!

Amanda said:

“The #1 issue that deters adoptee rights? STUPID Adoption stereotypes. Society is overly-sympathetic and overcome with anything that undermines the adoptive family or offends infertile prospective adopters.”

As the mother of a child with NO birth certificate, my feeling is a bit different. I think it would be better to reach out to sympathetic adopters and get them onside with OBCs. Open access is the most logical and most airtight argument there is. Once it is established by law that birth identity cannot be erased, that access to information is protected by law, that there are TWO legally recognized sets of parents, that's automatically a game-changer. It automatically changes how adoption is viewed and practised.

From where I stand, this blog and others are at core anti-adoption. So if you're talking about not preaching to the choir, that (anti-adoption) is one the public will resist. And every time somebody keeps saying we have to get the “truth” out to people . . . that usually doesn't work either. Causes work when they connect to what people already believe. That is why OBC access has the potential to be such a great argument. I believe that those who are working to abolish adoption (and not just reduce the circumstances that lead to it) should declare themselves openly and distinguish their campaign from open records.
Anyhoo . . . nobody wants to be part of a cause that has a big hate-on for them. So I really think you're back to square one.

AdoptAuthor said...

OH Solo,

Interesting that you label the blog by those who comment and call the blog anti-adoption my position on OBC is the same as yours.

O Solo Mama said...

I wasn't commenting on the people who leave comments--just the general tone and approach of your blog others like it and your own comment that cooperating with Donaldson amounts to cooperating with the adopters. The fact that we agree on OBC is great. That's why I think any political lobby should stick to OBC and stick to talking about that issue, i.e., a tight message. Then many, many partners can be involved.

AdoptAuthor said...

Yes...keeping it simple and focused i beleive will help us overcome our dfferences that we seem to spend an extraidinary amlunt of time focusing on instead.

But MOI? Donaldson and adoptive parents? While I don't totally disagree (likewise the AAC - and the reason is that's who has the $$ to pay dues, attend conferences and donate more than other "triads"), but did I really say that??? I don't recall. Especially not in light of Adam's clear statement on this issue. To that I say HOORAY!

O Solo Mama said...

That is what I took from your statement. It was the *but* in that statement:

Donaldson has clout to...but they all have a goal of "ethical adoption" and they cater to adopters...because....that's where the buck$ are!

AdoptAuthor said...

Thanks. I'm getting old. Can't remember my own words, but yes. I do think when push comes to shove they are the primary ones catered to.

The fact is that adopters' demand - and the fees they are willing to pay - drive all adoption. This everyone whose livelihood feeds off adoption - directly and indirectly - are beholden to the SOURCE.

Adoptees do not support adoption, nor do parents who relinquish.

Thus, any agency and many organization that wants to remain alive will be less likely to anything to offend adopters.... with the exception of BN, CUB and origins-USA and smallr local support groups....who are usually BROKE! :-)) (We're not poor, but we are "thrifty" bunch!)

Supporting access to the OBC, as you and I have both noted is so basic that its hard for anyone, no matter where they fall right to left on the adoption reform continuum - to oppose! That's the beauty of this one simple and focused goal. If I could only get the "reformers" here in NJ to understand that now! :-))

I would also refer you to FAQs - link on top, and this post: http://familypreservation.blogspot.com/2010/01/nomenclatures-and-euphemism-accusations.html

I do not like being labeled "anti-adoption" because t has pejorative connotations, much like pro-choice supporters object to being called "pro abortion." There is a finer line that both of those labels do not express. Pro-choicers are not like rah-rah let's all have abortions...nor do I believe that every mother should keep her child, even if she is unfit - as many relate anti-adoptionists to be (even though *none* I know of are that radical).

I hope you understand and might honor my right to self-identify and not be pigeon-holed with labels that have negative connotations and extremism that I do not share.

Peace...

Anonymous said...

"There is a finer line that both of those labels do not express."
It's so fine it's invisible.

AdoptAuthor said...

In my opinion:

Anti-adoption feels like a negative term. It seems to imply hating and blaming and being against adoption and venting anger.

Family Preservation - for me - encompasses far more. It entails working to support families in crisis and also recognizes a need for and suggests alternative solutions for children whose families cannot provide safe care for them.

F.P. seeks POSITIVE and realistic solutions for the future, rather than being stuck on anger at the past and seeking apologies for being victimized. As you will note if you read the Family Preservation link under the title of this blog - there are many organizations working toward family preservation that one would never confuse with being anti-adoption at all.

These are differences that I feel. That does not mean that someone who choses to label themselves as anti-adoption feels similarly and sees their mission as limited. They my in fact just prefer a more "in your face" identification, as BN chose to do.

Each of deserve the right to identify ourselves as we see fit,and this I asked not refer to my blog as anti-adoption. Of course, i have no control of what others will do and say. Pres Obama is labeled all kinds of names. The more you do, the more detractors. (Not that I am comparing myself to the President!)

Anonymous said...

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck........." must we respect its right to self-identify as an eagle?

Mirah Riben said...

How about an early stage - pre-op transgendered person? Say, for instance Chas Bono, formerly Chastity?

Do they deserve the right to identify their gender or do YOU or anyone else?

What do you care what I call myself? I am quite comfortable and confident of who and what I am.

Ironic that someone who hides behind anonymity would have a problem with my identity! ROFL!!

Mirah Riben said...

MaryAnne asked how a new org would differ from BN. BN - which began with a strong theoretical differentiation between one's right to their OBC and search and "medical and psychological need to know" does not maintain that distinction in their mission and blurs the lines by using the term "records":

Bastard Nation advocates for the civil and human rights of adult citizens who were adopted as children. Millions of North Americans are prohibited by law from accessing personal records that pertain to their historical, genetic and legal identities. Such records are held by their governments in secret and without accountability, due solely to the fact that they were adopted.

Bastard Nation campaigns for the restoration of their right to access their records. The right to know one's identity is primarily a political issue directly affected by the practice of sealed records adoptions. Please join us in our efforts to end a hidden legacy of shame, fear and venality.

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