June 8, 2012

Last Will & Testament of an Adopted Person

(Thank you, Brian Stanton, for filming this moving satire...it touches the heart
  of so many adoptees and their families.)

I wondered why this piece struck at my heart so much and decided to look up the word "amend".  As Brian points out, when a person is adopted, their original (factual) "Certificate of Live Birth"  is "sealed" and a new, "amended" birth certificate is issued, often with adoptees given new names and "intended" parents listed as those who actually gave birth.  Why is it legal for a government document to be falsified (amended)?  Parents who never gave birth to that child are listed.  Parents who did give birth are erased.  Why?  To satisfy the needs of the new parents to be "legal"?  Then why not issue a more truthful document such as a "Certificate of Adoption" and leave the birth document intact? 

It seems as if adoptees are only deemed acceptable in society if our names, parentage, and histories are erased and falsified in order to fulfill a new role ~ a violation of our very personhood.  Look at this definition of "to amend."

"amend" - to make better; improve; to remove the faults of; correct. 

So our very identity (through our birth certificate) must be "made better", "improved", "removed faults", and "corrected" in order to exist?  No wonder we struggle with self-esteem issues and feelings of worth. 

What is so wrong with our original identity, heritage, and history that it has be completely erased, sealed, and "amended" on government documents?  It seems as if we are forced to live as what we were not born to be, in order to fulfill a role in new family ~ and then we are deemed "ungrateful" or "angry" when we question the very system that erased and created for us a falsified (amended) birth certificate.  The only other time in American history where humans were exchanged for money, and their government documents "amended" and held from them, was in the era of American slavery.

I completely agree with Brian ~ if adoptee's God-given identities (who we were born as) had to be "amended" in order for us to exist in American society, it is only right to release those records "sealed" from the very persons they pertain to and allow us to live as whole individuals.  How many adoptees have died without knowing?  Who knows, but we do know it is far too many. 

Six states have passed legislation (supported by The Child Welfare League of America) restoring the unconditional right of adult adoptees to obtain their original birth certificates.  America, please end this unethical era of American history and restore our civil rights, our personhood, and our dignity. 


Linda said...

What an amazing idea!!

*Peach* said...

It gave me chills too, Linda. Thanks, Brian Stanton, for filming this as a satire piece. I just thought I'd share it here on the blog and hope it is shared widely on other blogs as well.

Gaye Tannenbaum said...

When I first saw people posting it, I thought it was real and avoided it because it would have been too triggering for me - and I do not get triggered often.

Powerful piece.

Susie said...

"put both of them together... then I will have died a compete man"

Took my breath away. Very powerful video. I will share it on my blog Peach.

Linda Hoye said...


*Peach* said...

Gaye, I avoided it also for awhile, but my curiosity got the best of me. I believed the whole thing until I read the comments on YouTube and realized it was a satire. I've seen Brian Stanton's one-man show "Blank" in Kansas City and had the priviledge of meeting him, and still didn't recognize him until reading the comments on the under the YouTube video. It was so hard to watch, but hits at the very heart of us adoptees, doesn't it? Hugs to you all.

Anonymous said...


Lavender Luz said...

I watched that, too (maybe it was you who pointed it out to me). Very powerful.

And I'd never thought of the word "amend" and how the definition might strike someone who has had her birth certificate "corrected."

I would never want my children to feel as if their existence needed to be "improved." No child should feel that.

*Peach* said...

Lori, it was SO GOOD to meet you and Cassi tonight and have dinner! You are making such a difference in the world of adoption and it is an honor to know you. Your kids are amazing as well! : ) Hugs!

Faith Barron said...

I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing it.

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