She briefly pats herself on the back and then, New Jersey being MaryAnne's Cohen's home state, she (MaryAnne) comments on this blog on March 15:
...for those who do no understand, a contact VETO and contact PREFERENCE are two different things. A contact preference, as exists in Oregon and some other real open states, is just that, a PREFERENCE, not binding and with no penalties. The adoptee still gets their full OBC with nothing whited out. They are also told that their mother "PREFERS" not to be contacted, but if they ignore that and make a contact there is no legal penalty. Most adoptees respect the mother's wishes, but that is a personal matter, not a legal one.
A contact or disclosure VETO prevents the release of the OBC or releases a damaged document with things like the mother's name whited out. If a contact veto is in place and the adoptee violates it, there are fines and other legal punishments in place under law.
I would be a little less upset about badly compromised adoptee access legislation if those supporting it were honest and did not refer to it as "adoptee rights" or "adoptee birthright" legislation, because it is not.
What it is is search and reunion legislation, sometimes with a mishmash of other things like medical records to further complicate things. It gives new legal rights of confidentiality to birth mothers that did not exist before under law, which most of us do not want. It is not about rights, but about permission from Mom and the state for some adoptees to get their own OBC. Such legislation admits this is not about civil or human rights for all adoptees, but about granting a favor to some.
The point is often made that "99%" of adoptees will still be able to get their OBC because so few mothers will file vetoes, so what's the harm? Another point also made is that "adoptees are dying" in large numbers without being reunited because mean people like BN insist on only clean bills.
Both these assertions are distortions and exaggerations. Even if your point of view is about reunions, not rights,certainly more than 1% of birthmothers do not welcome contact, based on the experience of search results for many years, Yes, a majority want to be found, but nothing in the real world indicates that high a majority. Self-selected surveys are skewed, always....
Badly compromised bills such as those some want to pass in order to pass something/anything on their watch do more harm than working for more years to pass a clean bill. Look at the facts, and decide which kind of bill you favor for your state for years to come.It is almost amusing that someone who knows not of what they speak, begins with "for those who do not understand"! If you are going to criticize something it is best to understand it first. It makes your criticism far more credible. And it is. after all, your home state, you'd think you'd take the time to understand a bill you are opposed to!
MaryAnne's 's distinction between contact and preference veto is correct. However, she first conveniently ignores or doesn't know that the veto in the NJ bill is limited to ONE YEAR. After that the bill is clean!
Secondly, she is likewise ignores or does not understand or know there is also a difference between an OPT-IN and and OPT-OUT veto. The NJ legislators vehemently favored a passive veto wherein mothers would have to take action to allow OBCs with their names to be released - OPTING IN. They pushed very hard for it and NJ-CARE pushed back, refusing to accept a bill with that provision. In the end, a compromise of a one year limited proactive OPT-OUT disclosure veto.
"Disclosure Veto" is apparently something MaryAnne is unfamiliar with, but is what this bill provides. Mothers are required to PROACTIVELY submit a certified letter requesting their name is redacted from the OBC.
Finally, contrary to MaryAnne's contention that the veto means no OBC, ALL NJ adoptees WILL get their OBC, albeit a precious few might have their mother's name redacted.
Is it optimal? No. However MaryAnne gives stats on percentages of mothers who want to be found versus those who are not welcoming. This falls under the heading of "lies, damned lies, and statistics." The number of mothers who welcome contact is different from the number or percent of mothers who take advantage of proactive opt-out vetoes in states that have him. That number is 1% or less!
The decision to accept this compromise was based on THAT and on 31 years of experience with the powers that be in NJ including opposition by a COALITION consisting of NCFA, the Bar Assoc., Catholic Conference and NJ-ACLU that NJ-CARE made a difficult decision to chance those few adoptees whose mothers would go to the trouble of writing a certified letter - or throwing ALL NJ adoptees under the bus for who knows how many more decades!
NOW...as if that's not bad enough that MaryAnne spouts off lies, myth and misconceptions...Marley adds her 2 cents after this comment by commenting:
Thanks for posting these Maryanne. I really don't understand what is so difficult to grasp about conditional access other than deformers and deactivists don't want to feel guilty about the people they are screwing over. The sickening display of sell-out at the Hard Rock was probably actually good but painful to experience Now we really know who our friends are; and they aren't in the so-called movement.By not correcting one thing, Marley proves she is as clueless what it is she vehemently campaigns against as is MaryAnne! It is frighteningly prophetic when she says "I really don't understand." Indeed she really does not understand and it seems difficult for BOTH of these self-appointed judges of other's work to "grasp" the facts of what they are objecting to. One can only wonder if they really object to the actual bill or just to their imaginings of what it is. Guess they were both too busy complaining to actually read the bill A1406/S799. Unless they are intentionally being deceptive? But I doubt it!
Either way, I believe that anyone who was not there for the 31 years working on this and knowing the options has no right to complain! I myself am not 100% thrilled with the bill, none of us are, but I participated very minimally in working on it and so I have the courtesy to respect those who did.
We were NOT cheering compromise at the Hard Rock or anywhere. It is what it is and it it was a difficult choice. It is far better than other states, including Marley's home state of Ohio which has one of the worst access laws in the nation - a law which eliminates all adoptees born between 1964 and 1996. They complain about the NJ bill and those who worked on it when NJ-CARE refused to accept a year limited bill!
The argument that a bill cannot be revisited simply because no one has revisited an access bill YET, is bogus! It most certainly COULD be and it has just as much chance of passing as the did the original, it just needs a little bit of time between the first and a second go around and it needs people to do it! Instead of arguing it can't be done wouldn't it make more sense for Marley to TRY to fix the Ohio mess? But that takes actual work, not just blah blah blah bitching and moaning and complaining!
Bottom line: Know what it is you are against!