March 16, 2014

Bitter-Sweet Surprises



(Originally published in 2009)


Since my Mom's fall and move to assisted living, I have been busy cleaning out her house ~ the same house I grew up in.
It is surreal to go back all these years later and revisit childhood memories.

I have found some sweet surprises in the midst of the clutter. Some that remind me of how very much I mean to my Mom. One thing I found the other day really made me smile, though. It was a small wallet-size photo album filled with pictures of me growing up. Thinking it was my Mom or Grandmother's (Nanny), I started leafing through the pictures and surprisingly found my Aunt Kay's old AARP card in it. I realized it was hers and then pulled out a folded-up, yellowed paper. It was so neat to unwrap this small surprise and find a poem written in her own handwriting.

Aunt Kay passed away in 1984, when I was in the tenth grade. It was a traumatic three years watching my Nanny (her twin sister) walk right beside her as she battled cancer. Aunt Kay was a beautician and I spent many a day in her "shop" on Florence doing my nails and hearing her little gray-headed clients tell stories of yesteryear. She gave me my first hair-cut.
 
I so looked forward to her annual New Year's Party. If I try real hard, I can still smell the delicious appetizers, and feel the tickle of sparkling Cold Duck. I remember the low drone of football roaring from the living room tv. Uncle Olan would somehow make sure my favorite number #10 was the winning football team in the annual "pot" and every year I believed them when they exclaimed how "lucky" I was. Isn't it amazing what memories stay with you from childhood? 
 It saddens me that my son will know hardly anyone from my adoptive family.
Only his Grandma is left, and some wonderful cousins who live out of state. 

After my reunion, I marvelled at the fact my first Mother was ALWAYS within a few miles of me my whole childhood.

She adored all kinds of animals and always wanted to live in the open where she could enjoy many around her.  Little did I know (this little animal lovin' adoptee ~ remind me to write about my one and only detention in H.S., due to illegal posting of PETA posters on all the bulletin boards), that all the while I was a preteen, busy exploring (among other things) my Aunt Hazel and Uncle Dean's new acreage and homestead in Collinsville, that my first Mother was living just a few miles north in Ramona.

I spent a lot of time at my best friend's house by the elementary school we attended, never knowing that her Dad, L.D., worked at the carrier company my first grandfather, Papa Sid helped establish just a few blocks away. How many times did my first family and I pass each other on the old Admiral "traffic circle" over the years? Or were in the same store. The old TG&Y my Nanny managed or Borden's Cafeteria?

The first time I laid eyes on my Grandmother Carolyn (the first birth relative I met, my first Mother's mom), we had immediately decided to meet at that first phone call, and the closest place we could think of was the Grandy's where I had worked all through high school.   Never realizing she lived less than a mile away and frequented the restaurant regularly.

Finding out things about my first Mother gave me goose bumps ~ like how we shared the same favorite color, love for animals and writing, and we both attended "beauty school" (although my lame 11th grade vo-tech attempt only lasted a couple of days, when I found myself an official "beauty school drop-out" realizing real quick it was going to be a lot harder than learning how to "just cut hair" lol).  My First Mother's grandfather (my Great-Grandfather Ernie Terrell) owned a barber shop on Cherry Street and was friends with Uncle Olan (from my adoptive family) who owned Anchor Barber shop on Harvard. 

The "synchronicity" in adoption is truly amazing. Almost mind-blowing when you let yourself think about it. Treasured pieces of information that help define who I am. Yet having to wait until adulthood to find one tidbit here, another there, rationed over the years of my reunion.
No matter how much I learn, I still yearn for more.

I so wish I could sit down with my first family yet again (even 20 years in) and pour over every detail and morsel of their lives and mine.

This process of reunion is so painful that most of the time adoptees and first families take it in tiny increments and then back away emotionally, trying to integrate and survive the loss they experience, even in reunion. Like the waves of the sea, waxing and waning.

After finding out my first Mother passed away so young, another memory came back to me ~ attending a funeral in 6th grade of the mother of one of my girl scout friends. The most disturbing part of this vague memory is hearing the constant, judgmental criticism coming from some of the other Mothers about my friend and several other girls who apparently "had the nerve to 'play' at her own mother's funeral."  This little girl was coping the only way she knew how.

For some reason that really made an impact on me and bothered me a lot. But I didn't know why.
As an adult looking back on this, and now knowing that my own first Mother's funeral was literally taking place around this same time, right around the corner, it really hurts. 
These women had no idea what this young girl had gone through losing her mother so young and really shouldn't have gone on and on about her behavior, no matter what she was doing.

Maybe the reason this memory has bothered me so much, is that it finally hit me that, in a sense, adoptees are actually EXPECTED to "play" at our own Mother's funerals. Society gives us little freedom or validation to appropriately grieve losing that profound connection and how it permanently alters our very identity, emotions, childhood, and life-long experiences. Instead, we find ourselves in hiding, behind plastered-on-smiles at "Gotcha Day" PARTIES, complete with streamers, balloons, and cake.
 
All these memories came back to me after I carefully unfolded this tiny, yellowing paper tucked away in the photo book. It seems like God uses little reminders to guide me gently through bitter-sweet memories ~ even though I sometimes feel like a stranger in a foreign land.

Here are the beautiful words I read and continue to bring comfort: (Thank you, Aunt Kay)

"God is no stranger in a far away place.
He's as close as the wind that blows on my face.
It's true I can't see the wind as it blows,
But I feel it around me and my heart surely knows.
That God's mighty hand can be felt every minute
For there's nothing on earth that God isn't in it."
(Helen Steiner Rice)

March 9, 2014

Where's the Beef?

 
 
It seems like every day my sweet son decides he wants to be something different when he grows up.  The other day he came home from school proclaiming he wants to be a bull rider...what every mother wants to hear! 
 
As I sat through an all-day seminar recently, entitled "Trauma: How it Affects Growth and Development in Children", hosted by the OK Adoption Coalition, I felt as if I was getting a taste of my son's desired profession.

Being adopted feels like quite a bull ride in itself. 
Much less hearing "professional" commentators give the play by play, without any riding experience of their own.  Adoptees are left to dismount and clean up after the animal ourselves.  Can you almost smell it?
 
Seriously, it isn't funny. 

I can't tell you how difficult it is to live in a society which disregards the fact that changing an already traumatized child's name, sealing their history from them indefinitely, and then asking them, as well, to emotionally navigate a role as a "new" member of a family they share no genetic history with, and whose caretakers need to be emotionally and legally seen as "Mom and Dad", only serves to disenfranchise the child's trauma and loss, and piles on an added layer of complex loyalty issues. 

Does adoption, the way it is done today, truly serve the child it claims to serve, or those who are in the business of "building" families? 

I am certainly not advocating for children who need homes not to have them. 
I am simply asking if adoption may need a second look in order to serve those it claims to serve.

Must a child exchange his identity, name, and right to his own history in order to have a family? 
Could that possibly give him the message that his worth is based on his ability to accept a new reality or identity, rather than find worth in his own God-given innate identity and place in his birth and family line?    

"Attachment Theory" labels a child defective if they fail to "attach" (who get's to define this concept?), because, as the speaker stated...
 
"This doesn't start at birth...it's not in their DNA...babies will 'indiscriminately' attach up to six months old.  That is why it is SO important to terminate parental rights as quickly as possible and provide 'permanence' for these "kiddos". 
 
I felt more like a goat than a human being after hearing this.
We are not ducks who will "imprint" on the first person we see after hatching from the egg. 

We are humans who experience loss when separated from our mothers and families.  Our society gives more respect to the need for animals to bond with their mothers than we do human-beings. 



If DNA and genetic mirroring were not essential parts of our human experience in relational development...why is the internet full of searching adoptees and first families?
 
And what of this:
 
 
 

This is a visual of a theory which the adoption industry works hard to dismantle. 
Nancy Verrier, a psychologist and adoptive mother, says...

"There exists a great need for legislative action and concern for the rights of adoptees.
Few dare give voice to that which they know in their hearts: that the connection between biological family and child is primal, mystical, mysterious, and everlasting.
Far more than merely biological and historical, this primal connection is also cellular, psychological, emotional, and spiritual."

The defining moment during this seminar, was the moment the entire room erupted in applause when the speaker made the assertion that...

"'culture" is defined only through 'relationship'".   
 
"Best interest" of a child cannot be undermined in the "name of culture".    
 
It was obvious, everyone was thinking of the Baby Veronica case and the role ICWA played in that long-drawn out tragic battle over a child's very identity and livelihood.

Veronica Brown is living her life separated from the blood that created her, the relationships that could have, and did, nurture her very core.  All because of this theory, unethical adoption practices, and the power it has garnered by an adoption community that still sees children as "blank slates" and, unfortunately, possessions.  Talk about (unnecessary) trauma this child continues to endure. 

When will America wake up and ensure an end to the commodifying of children and conflict of interest in our adoption system?

This entire seminar asserted continual "put downs" of "bios".
According to the people in that room, it seemed as if the only relationships that matter are in man-made "legal" families.
There was not one word or acknowledgement of the need (or right) of a child to be raised in their family if at all possible.


The inherent right of a child to be raised by his/her fit and loving family is often thwarted by a system which gives agencies and foster/ hopeful adoptive parents the legal ability to draw out a contested adoption in court and then argue "best interest" of a child to stay with the "only family they have ever known".

We need to ensure ethical adoption laws which protect natural families who contest adoptions.

We need to ensure that "permanency" isn't influenced by financial federal incentives and tax credits which bring money into states that encourage "adoption" placements over reunification efforts with a child's natural family if at all possible. 
 
"Attachment" for an adoptee feels like dangling over the cliff-edge by our last fingernail. 
There are many ways of coping.  Some will be vocal, others will keep their silent screams inside.  Whether we were thrown over the edge willingly, or we slipped out of weak, unsupported arms, or maybe even pulled from begging arms by coercive, entitled hands who feel they "love more"....it is survival none the less. 

The last thing we need is a lucrative adoption industry feeding society more myths and flawed theories which further disenfranchise and exploit the very ones they claim to be serving. 
Yet these same "experts" are the ones who seem to have the ear of our court systems, DHS, legislators and behavioral health services.  The ones making life-long decisions.
 
It feels like adoptees are perpetual children in the middle of a never-ending game of keep away. 
We are bullied and marginalized by being labeled "bitter" if we speak of the injustice of having our names changed, identities sealed, and families separated through coercion or profit.

I once spoke to an adoption attorney who asserted that a new "amended" birth certificate and name must be assigned to an adoptee in order to prevent them from being seen as "second class". 
The more I thought about it, the more I realized, that it is the act of changing and sealing our identities that actually makes us "second class".

We get the message that we are not acceptable unless "amended".
 
My heart went out to one mother who stood up asking for help for her eighteen year old adopted son.  She said he had gone through all "the therapy" and was still struggling.  What could she do?  Out of an entire room full of self-asserted "expertise", she got no help whatsoever.  Instead of being given resources that could truly help her family and son, she was given a "band aide". 

The speaker described an exercise they do with "traumatized" children which consists of handing the child a band aide and asking them to put it on their body somewhere.  This supposedly helps the child feel more comfortable to "unload their baggage" because if they can acknowledge they have an "owie" somewhere on their body, they can then acknowledge a heart issue more readily. 
 
How willingly will a child (or adult) adoptee acknowledge true heart issues of genealogical bewilderment while also trying to navigate complex loyalty issues in a new role and family they are assigned; and receiving "therapy" which asserts their only "trauma" was caused by the "bios"?

Adoptees are forced to live a life-script written by others.  The conflict of interest issues and the myths perpetuated by those who profit off "placements" skew these narratives.

With flawed theories of "attachment" like defined in the comment below, no wonder adoptee's live a life-time of disenfranchised grief. 

  
 
We deserve better.  We deserve an adoption system not driven as a business, run by the economic principles of supply and demand.  The sealing of our records steals not only our identities, but also any accountability over the businesses who profit from us.

If adoption and state agencies are contracting with behavioral health "experts" who perpetuate these myths (and many others) to adoptive parents, what kind of damage does that do? 
Foster and adoptive parents deserve better.  Children deserve better. 

I was blessed with an adoptive family who supported my search and reunion. 
I grieve the time we lost as a family, and found that I could only truly embrace myself when I was able to know and embrace my dual identity as an adoptee...by both birth and adoption.
  
When I found the courage to grieve the losses that had been disenfranchised my entire life, I was finally able to feel both the good and the bad in life, and embrace my families fully.  Adoptee's developmental tasks are stunted by archaic "sealed records" laws and the myths that hold us apart and at bay in understanding and acknowledgment. 

The only other adoptee I could tell was in the building the day of this seminar was a darling baby boy dressed in business casual being cooed over and passed around the table like fresh meat. 

I pray for him, and for the eighteen year old son of the concerned mother. 
And for all of us.   

February 28, 2014

Be Still...



It is 5:23am.  I woke up at 1:47am and have been sleepless since.  I guess I might as well write. 

As I lay in bed with my body aching from tiredness, I couldn't decide why I felt so restless, other than the fact my Mom passed away what seems like both forever and just a day ago, all at the same time.  I also auditioned for "Listen to Your Mother" on her birthday, last Saturday, and surprisingly was chosen as a participant in the show.  How can I handle this vulnerability in front of an audience?  Especially an audience that may not understand the complexities of being an individual who was adopted. 

My husband also let me know last night that he has to go to a short business meeting today, out of town.  We worked it out so that we can drive together and talk, which we get precious little time to do, since our son has some special needs and we rarely leave him, except during school hours. 

Yet I'm triggered. 
Fear has been my biggest enemy.  My most deplorable battle. 

Laying in bed, I'm wondering why in the world can't I just sleep, when it hits me.  Today is February 28th.  The 34th anniversary of my First Mother's death.  I block it out half the time.  But the other half...

I don't know why I searched, except that I was driven to.  The day my 21 year old ears heard the words, "Norma passed away...", it felt as if the 21 minute old infant inside my heart screamed in terror and wilted in despair, all over again. 

It has taken all of my life to slowly understand the significance of why this would affect me so, when I never "knew" her.  Oh, but I did.  That is the misunderstanding of so many, including myself, for too long.  Babies know.  Babies are their mothers, for several months after birth...at least in their own experience.  If a child is not given permission to grieve the tremendous loss of her mother, and is expected to bond like an animal imprints...they will experience "disenfranchised" grief, possibly their entire life.  Being vulnerable enough to love deeply triggers such fear of loss it is almost unbearable.  If not awakened, and given the courage to grieve and heal, we hold it in our bodies; our subconscious memories.  Incongruence is no way to live. 

February 28th holds yet another significance now.

In 2005, my tiny son lay in an incubator, less than two months old and not yet weighing two pounds.  IV's pumped continuous high-dose antibiotics into his veins due to a hospital-induced staph infection he acquired on Valentine's day, his one month birthday.  This mother was beside herself.  He was the first baby in this hospital to receive Zyvox, a brand new drug, with possible side-effects a mile long.  The neonatologist had warned us that if his blood culture continued to come back positive for infection, they would have to start this regimen. 

It had been two weeks exactly, since his blood culture first showed infection, and Riphampin had not seemed to work, even though they never could pin-point exactly where the infection was, and the initial symptoms had resolved.  They infused the first dose of Zyvox on February 28th and did a routine blood culture that evening.  It came back negative.  He was infection free. 

We had been praying for two weeks and on the anniversary of my First Mother's passing he was well. 

I begged the doctor to stop the drug.  The known side-effects were enough to scare any mother.  What were the unknown?  He said it was necessary to finish the protocol once it was started. 

I devoured the internet for information and found Zyvox had only been tested on a handful of neonates.  Each night, for two long weeks, when the nurses would walk away, I stared intently as this bitter-sweet poison dripped slowly into his vein.  With everything in me I held back the intense desire to push the stop button. 

Instead, I wept, and shouted inside. Was my son being used as a guinea pig, because he was the first baby to fit the criteria to "need" this new drug, even though for less than a day?  Then, the same concerns surfaced again a few weeks later, when the doctors wanted to vaccinate my son while he was still so small and fragile.  I didn't have the fortitude or wisdom at the time to know I could refuse.  It wasn't until after his four month vaccinations, and I nursed him through high fevers yet again, that I had the presence of mind to research and know my rights.  The doctors had saved my one pound son.  They operated when he was three days old to repair a heart valve that would not close and was threatening his life.  I had to trust them.  Over the course of the next few weeks, he turned jaundice, the color of glowing ember...even his eyes glowed yellow.  It was horrible.  I thought I would go mad.  He endured hernia surgery through this as well, the first of three. 

Even after he came home he still glowed yellow.  The pediatrician mentioned that some babies never bounced back and needed a new liver, but he felt confident that my son would.  It was mostly drug-induced jaundice, he thought.  For weeks we stood on the scripture, "He will brighten our eyes"

God healed my son.  Yet again.

No wonder I am sleepless.  I feel better just pounding this out through my fingers, no matter how they hurt through the process.  I will enjoy my day today with my husband and choose peace.  I'm looking forward to attending a Women's Conference at my church tonight as well. 

I so treasured the last week I spent with my Mom in the hospital.  We would enjoy perusing the gift shop every day.  She seemed to gravitate towards a beautiful plague that we purchased to take back to her room.  It now hangs in my living room and as I look at it now, the words are such a tender reminder. 

"Be still, and Know that I Am God" Psalm 46:10    

As I write this and morning has broken, I can now hear my son's sweet voice as he plays before school, acting out an "adventure" and singing "Everything is Awesome" he learned from The Lego Movie the other day.  It reminds me of an evening several years ago.  Long before Andrew was born, a lady was praying for me and she felt that God was encouraging me to..."Feed my Lambs"...she mentioned the word "lighthouse" and then the word "adventure".  All of these words hold great significance to me now.  It comforts my heart. 

Dear Father, thank you for loving us.  Thank you for life.  For being faithful.  Help us learn to trust you.  Give us strength and hope.  We resist fear and receive your promises today and every day. 

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future".  Jeremiah 29:11 
 
"The thief came not but for to kill, steal, and destroy, but I have come to bring life, and life more abundant".  John 10:10
 

February 9, 2014

The Best Advice I Ever Got...



 
 
Came from my Mother(s)...




{Left to me as part of my First Mother's china collection}

***************************************************
 
 




{A gift from my Mom to my husband and I on our Anniversary}

February 8, 2014

Adoption Reunion In The Social Media Age, An Anthology

 
 
http://www.amazon.com/Adoption-Reunion-Social-Media-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00HUEATVY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389704484&sr=1-1&keywords=adoption+reunion+in+the+social+media+age



This anthology gives voice to the wide experiences of adoptees and those who love them; examining the emotional, psychological and logistical effects of adoption reunion. Primarily adult adoptee voices, we also hear from adoptive parents, first moms and mental health professionals, all weighing in on their experience with reunion. The stories run the gamut, and I think even non-adopted people are likely to find something in here to which they can relate. The memories of adoption reunion in this anthology are joyous and regretful; nostalgic and fresh; angry and accepting. They show pain, but they also tell of resilience and strength in the face of incredible loss.

In short, the essays of this anthology relate the human experience: raw, resilient, and most of all real.
 
See the recent blog tour of conversations led by a few of the authors here.
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 

 
 
(Editor: Amanda Transue-Woolston)

This anthology is a collection of writings by the authors of the Lost Daughters blog.
 
Lost Daughters is an independent, collaborative writing project that was founded in 2011 in an effort to give an accessible writing platform for adopted women. Boasting nearly 30 authors, Lost Daughters is written and edited entirely by adopted women, several of whom balance multiple roles in adoption and foster care along with being adopted. The blog’s name was inspired by author and adoptee B.J. Lifton’s concept of one's self becoming lost and found throughout the experience of being adopted.

The mission is to bring readers the perspectives and narratives of adopted women, and to highlight their strength, resiliency, and wisdom--to critically discuss the positives and negatives of the adoption institution from a place of empowerment and peace. The authors come from all walks of life and have a variety of worldviews, religions, political stances, types of adoption, countries of origin, and countries of residence.
 
Lorraine Dusky offers this review of the book at First Mother Forum ~ "Lost Daughter's:  Strong, Brave Essays Written from the Heart."

*I am thrilled and thankful to be a contributor in these new releases. 
  It is a blessing to know and work with these sweet friends.
 

"Nothing About Us Without Us"

 



"Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all.  So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help." Hebrews 4:14-16 (Message Bible)


"Nothing about us without us" is a term I first heard in the autism community as they advocate to be included in advocacy reform efforts regarding their lives.  It resounded with me as an adoptee.

I wrote this a few years ago in my prayer journal after attending several OK Adoption Review Task Force meetings (open to the public) at our state capitol.  We adoptees sat on the outside of the circle listening in as the "experts" (those who make their living doing adoptions) argued over money regarding our lives.  Passionately arguing that adoption "fees and expenses" in OK shouldn't be "capped" because it might make OK less "adoption friendly". 

Adoption is supposed to be for children who need homes.  Yet adoption law and practice leans not towards protecting the human rights of children and families, but towards the profit gained through paying "parents" who need children.  It is a business and adoptees are the commodities. 

I'll stop writing like this when adoptees are in the inner-circle of decision-making in this reform effort, and not marginalized into the corner by those who speak for us.  We are either perpetual children who don't have the capability of self-advocacy or we are property (with no humanity, rights, or voice).  We are to be seen and not heard.  Give us our original birth certificates and take the money out of the adoption equation and I'll stop comparing adoption to slavery.  We are the only other citizens whose identities are stolen and sealed upon a paid contract.

Dear Father God,
It is hard to lift my head or pen to you after silently listening to hour upon hour of debate regarding our price tags...stripping us of name, family, and dignity.  We are transferred through payment, approved by law-makers and courts, but with no relegation of rights.  A sealed contract of which we are subject, but not party to.  

We feel like chattel or property, rather than human.  No worth apart from man-made ownership.  No rights to our identities or self-determination.  We are second-class, not by our birth, but by these legal constraints.  Never on the same level as those determining our fate, even in adulthood. 

Please deliver us.

Some day the politicians, courts and brokers will fall silent and the paid contracts will be unsealed and undone.  We will be set free like birds out of the cage and our collective voices will be heard.  The secrets will no longer silence us and we will sing our songs of search and suffering under "sealed" identities and lives. 

They will no longer debate our cost before our silenced cries.  We will arise.

Society had no room for you when you born, Jesus...you understand.

You had to set aside your identity and live a life of substitution...you understand.

Fate argued by government officials, strangers...you understand.

They cast lots for your covering...you understand.

You paid the price for other's greed and selfishness...you understand.

Abused, ridiculed, misunderstood, spat upon for speaking truth...you understand.

Deemed radical, marginalized...you understand.

A life given for the highest bidder...you understand.

Father, forgive them...they know not what they do...You understand.
 


"Sealed" in a tomb, guarded day and night....you understand.

Yet the "seal" could not contain You.

May the adopted ones arise and walk free from sealed identities and tombs of dark unknowns.

Please shine your light and reveal the hidden agendas of those who fight so hard to hide their business of greed and ownership and deny us our identities. 

We shall know the truth, and the truth shall set us free.  Deliver us, we pray.   

February 3, 2014

"Personhood" for Whom?



“The laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state." ~ language in the newly passed Oklahoma "Personhood" bill

* As a pro-life Oklahoman and an adult adoptee, I am saddened by the lobbying effort of the Right to Life groups against ethical adoption reform and adoptee access legislation.  See "When It Is Illegal To Know Who You Are."

Think about it. Adoptee's very identities are aborted when their birth certificate is sealed. No matter how much they love their adoptive family, they live their entire lives asked to fulfill the legal role of someone they were not born as. They are human beings who have a right to know their truth. 

I would like to address pervasive myths regarding Adoptee Access Legislation currently
being passed in several states across our nation. Restoring the
unconditional right of adult adoptees to obtain their original birth
certificates is a human right supported by The Child Welfare League of
America and several other child advocacy and adoption groups. Statistics
in the states that have restored this right show that abortion rates do not increase and adoption rates do not decrease.
(See American Adoption Congress at http://www.americanadoptioncongress.org/reform_adoption_data.php)

The Supreme Courts of both TN and OR (both adoptee access states) have ruled that birthmother's were never promised confidentiality under the law, but instead, archaic
"sealed records" laws in adoption were only enacted to
protect the newly formed adoptive family. In fact, if a birthmother
relinquishes her child for adoption, but for some reason the child is
never adopted, that child's original birth certificate is never amended
or sealed. This alone proves that "sealed records" was not enacted to
protect the "privacy" rights of birthmothers. It was enforced upon them.


The true story of Philomena Lee shares the plight of millions of women during the "Baby Scoop Era" who lost their children to adoption. 
(See Jan Baker's article, "Open Records: Do Birthmother's Need Protected? at http://adoption.about.com/od/adoptionrights/a/openbirthmompro.htm
Kansas, our neighbor to the north, has never sealed original birth
certificates to adult adoptees. Restoring the right of adult adoptees to
obtain their original birth certificates is a basic human right.


Birth certificates of American citizens should never be "sealed" or "amended" (falsified) from the very person they belong to, yet the adoption industry continues these practices. This is unethical and violates the very core beliefs that the "right to life" movement claims to support.  Whose interests do we serve?      

True "personhood" mentality would not permit this to happen to millions of fellow human beings. Yet, these very organizations lobby against adoptee access legislation.  They lobby against ethical adoption reform measures that would ensure human-rights protections for the very ones they claim to serve (OK HB 2442 & HB 3011).  See "Veronica Case Leads to Adoption Reform Proposals".   

Their powerful lobby reduces adopted individuals to a commodity; our very identities sealed and amended for the fulfillment of an economically driven supply & demand based system.(See "Shotgun Adoption" in The Nation ~
http://www.thenation.com/article/shotgun-adoption) or "Giving Away Baby".

Legislators can prove themselves as "pro-life" by extending the SAME rights and privileges of "personhood" to adult adoptees

Currently, in all but 7 states, adoptees remain "perpetual children" in the eyes of the law, without the rights and privileges afforded to every other American citizen to access their own record of birth. Archaic "sealed records" law strips adopted citizens of their human dignity, identity, and history.
(For information about the states that have enacted this legislation see Adoptee Rights Coalition at http://www.adopteerightscoalition.com/p/for-legislators.html)