Friday, June 24, 2011

Imagine What is POSSIBLE!

NJ Governor Chris Christie gutted and destroyed the bill that had been 31 years in the making -- a bill that was already a compromise. The Governor conditionally vetoed and and in doing so made it a totally unacceptable atrocity sham of a bill.

In a clear misunderstanding that this bill is was intended to restore the rights of ADULTS, Christie said: "The decision of any biological parent to seek adoptive parents for a child is an enormously complicated choice, and the protections of anonymity can be a significant consideration when choosing adoption."  HUH?  Shows whose anonymity he is thinking about!

Christie's changes are twofold:
•People put up for adoption years ago would be able to use agency-provided intermediaries to search for parents and request their consent to share their information with the adoptees. If the intermediaries can't locate the birth parents in one year, adoptees would be given access to their original birth certificates, with the names of their parents included.

But if parents are located and say no, adoptees would be denied access. In that situation, parents would still be required to provide family medical histories, which health advocates say are important for screening for genetic illnesses.
•For future adoptions, parents would be required to state their contact preferences at the time of adoption, and adoptees would be required to respect them.
On the very day the devastating news came, I was at a spiritual convention in Charlotte, NC. The national Unitarian Universalist convention called General Assembly.  I was blessed to hear a woman named Linda Stout present. Linda has worked to lift up the impoverished in America for decades. A thirteenth generation Quaker, herself born into abject poverty, she has stood with the marginalized poor of this nation as Martin Luther King, Jr. stood with and led the Black population. 

Linda spoke on the subject of her book: COLLECTIVE VISIONING.  She specifically uses the term "collective" - not a shared vision, she said. Not a common vision. Because it does not compromise but values and integrates all input.

Linda brings all the players to the table. Not just the victims of economic injustice, but those who have the power to make a difference. She brings together people who are appalled at the thought of being in the same room with one another, much like the PUBLIC CONVERSATION: five years of groundbreaking dialogues between pro-life and pro-choice leaders after the fatal 1994 shooting of two women's health clinic workers in the Boston area. The continue to teach others to get to the table together.

She brings diverse sides of issues together and she asks them to close their eyes and take a ride in her time machine. She jettisons them 20 years into the future to the year 2041.  Do this now as you read... Imagine exiting your time machine twenty years from now and with your eyes still closed imagine adoption EXACTLY as you would want it to be!  Perfection.  The IDEAL.

Now build a path to it with a strategic plan for each year along the way.

While the details will vary, there would be one commonality on that vision whether you are on the right, left or middle of the pro- anti- adoption continuum.  ALL adoption reform activists would envision one similarity and that is a world with no falsified birth certificates. A world where every person knew who they born - their original mother and father-  to just as they knew who raised and cared for them: their mom and dad. Where each and every individual had the exact same RIGHT to their identity, their heritage, their roots and genealogy EQUALLY. No restrictions. No hoops to jump through.

On this we all agree no matter how disparate we are on the details of how to get there.


What is needed to arrive at our collective nirvana is for the AAC and Donaldson and Ethica to step up and FOCUS their game and DEMAND THAT NO ADOPTION IS AN ETHICAL ADOPTION THAT BEGINS WITH A FALSIFIED BC!!! The AAC needs to organize demonstrations at their conferences like we did in 1989 and organize marches on Washington demanding our rights! Mobilizing adoptees, birth and adoptive parents to take to the streets like gays are and get the ear of the media and the attention of the public that this is a civil rights issue and as such cannot be compromised!!!
Acting JUST in states, for the most part in isolation of one another, is not enough without a huge NATIONAL media push behind us. State actions only get media within that state. The national needs to be made aware that NINETEEN states are battling this issue and there's more than need to! We need a unified, centralized FORCE!
Linda Stout worked with school children in New Orleans after Katrina. They told her of their school condition, even before the floods had destroyed many of their homes and schools. Their school bathrooms had no doors on the stalls, no toilet seats, no toilet paper. They had outdated text books that they shared and couldn't take home to do homework because there weren't enough. many sat on the floor or shared desks during their school day.

Linda got them new bathrooms, books, desks and chairs. They also got rid of candy machines and got salads and healthier choices for their lunches. And every new school built in NOLA now has a community garden. She changed their lives forever in many ways, not least of all by empowering them and teaching them the art of negotiation!
IMAGINE what we COULD ACCOMPLISH!!  Imagine our collective vision becoming reality. It CAN if we work together with a focus on the one thing we all agree on. Work with those we have had harsh words. Work with those who have hurt and offended us, those we think are boastful and those we think are "flakes" or just plain stupid! Those who annoy us and those who provoke us. IGNORE all that and focus on the VISION - the GOAL! If pro-lifers and pro-choice activists, who couldn't at first even decide to agree to what each other called themselves can work together on a common goal, surely we can put our petty bickering and in-fighting aside and get this done!


The simplest, most direct way to accomplish PURE, CLEAN, UNCONDITIONAL and UNRESTRICTED access AND and end to falsified birth certificates going forward is to see REPEAL of the laws that created these lies! The laws were created in a time when adoptive parents were told not to reveal the adoptive status of their children - to the children!  All such ideas about secrecy have been reversed and it is high time for the laws that enforced those lies to be ABOLISHED  It is the only way that would put all adoptees in all states on an even keel with those in Alaska and Kansas, and we ALL deserve NO LESS! !

Read more about repealing the seal in the upcoming AAC Decree.

NJ Senator Vitale, who sponsored the NJ legislation, has called it UNACCEPTABLE and PULLED IT!!

As disappointing as it is to see such a long and tedious effort destroyed by one man, I believe there is a silver lining in this travesty: the door was closed but there is a window of opportunity open to us now to introduce the first ever "repeal the seal" legislation in NJ and serve as a model for all states to follow.

That would be step one on the path to creating my vision.

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