Second-class citizen?

Full story: Eureka Times Standard

All I wanted for Christmas was my civil rights back. California's adopted citizens are discriminated against and denied the simple human right to look at their own birth certificates -- a right all others take for granted.

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Ummm

Santa Rosa, CA

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#1
Dec 30, 2009
 

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Be thankful kids are put up for adoption rather than placed in a dumpster. This thirst for "rights" will lead to more deaths and you stigmatize placing babies up for adoption.
Happy Hippie

United States

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#3
Dec 30, 2009
 

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Stop this hatred Brothers and Sisters. This writer's plea for civil rights totally supports the mandate to have an abortion in all cases except a very few. There are too many unwanted people here now. Use birth control and use abortion. It is a moral mandate that only the wanted shall live to inherit the fruits of this planet.
Gaye Tannenbaum

Montevideo, Uruguay

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#4
Dec 30, 2009
 

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This issue has NOTHING whatsoever to do with abortion.

In states where access rights have been restored, abortion rates have been unaffected. In some cases, they've even decreased.

Studies about why women have abortions have shown that they do not consider adoption an alternative BECAUSE of sealed records. They very much would want to know what became of their child. These days, the overwhelming majority of women (like 95%) INSIST on an open adoption.

And just WHO is "stigmatizing" babies (or the adults they become) placed for adoption? I would say it's the State of California that has stigmatized adoptees (of all ages) by denying them the same rights given to all other people born in the State.
Marsha

Missouri City, TX

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#5
Dec 30, 2009
 
Very well said, Mara! It is ridiculous that some adoptees can't even obtain passports due to having the amended birth certificate. Who are adoptees and original families being protected from? There are so many more adoptees and original parents who would LOVE contact but have to pay companies out the nose to get the information than there are those who do not wish to have contact. And, as Mara said, those people can simply refuse or use measures that already exist to deny contact. Adult adoptees are NOT children, they should not be protected from their own medical histories, lineages or families!
Vita

Hingham, MA

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#6
Dec 30, 2009
 

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Ummm wrote:
Be thankful kids are put up for adoption rather than placed in a dumpster. This thirst for "rights" will lead to more deaths and you stigmatize placing babies up for adoption.
How would having access to one's original birth certificate lead to more deaths? This is a matter of civil rights plain and simple.
erimentha

Prahran, Australia

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#7
Dec 30, 2009
 

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I still find it incredible that here in Australia, adoptees have access to their original birth certificates and all of their adoption records and yet most of our US counterparts do not. In the UK, adoptees are issued an adoption certificate and their birth certificates remain in tact. The United States is extremely behind in this aspect of civil rights. It is high time that the land of the free provided adoptees with their basic human right.
Krebs

AOL

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#9
Dec 30, 2009
 
White Pride wrote:
Agree
<quoted text>
So, you mean, like, I shouldn't go to a tanning parlor if I am white, because then I'll be brown? You twit!
elizamay

Somerville, MA

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#10
Dec 30, 2009
 
Thank you so much for your letter! As a person adopted in New York I am extremely frustrated with the lack of voice or rights I have. I hope soon will will all have the access to our heritages we deserve!
Theresa

Brooklyn, NY

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#11
Dec 30, 2009
 
Thank you Mara - well said!

These outdated laws are long overdue for an overhaul. Here's best wishes to everyone who has worked so hard in the past to restore access to our birth certificates in Oregon, Alabama, New Hampshire and Maine, and a successful 2010 for those working in the other states.
Samantha

Bixby, OK

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#12
Dec 30, 2009
 
Excellent letter ~ adoptee access legislation is way past due in America. We and our children after us deserve this important information that is withheld because of archaic laws which fail to protect anyone other than the adoption industry itself.
More information about this important issue can be found at adopteerights.net
Stephanie L

Pleasanton, CA

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#13
Dec 30, 2009
 
Thank goodness I was adopted in MA, because I was not only able to get my birth record, I am happily reunited with my Birth Mother. She's been waiting for me for years. The Adopted Baby Boomer's Birth Mom's received very stern warnings (not in writing) not to look for their children....to leave them alone, or else! Many have been afraid to look for years and years because of shame and fear, but have always wondered. The fact there is mostly Open Adoption now just tells you that this closed adoption record was a failed experiment by the U.S. Now it's time to make it right. In my mind, I now have two loving mother's, two families - both of whom I love. Sounds pretty all-American to me.

By the way, I am a descendent of the Mayflower. Heck, I had no idea what I was until recently.

Open the records. Let the kids (now adults) find their birth families, and let the mother's and father's find their children. It's the ethical and moral thing to do.
Amanda

Kinsman, OH

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#14
Dec 30, 2009
 
Ummm wrote:
Be thankful kids are put up for adoption rather than placed in a dumpster. This thirst for "rights" will lead to more deaths and you stigmatize placing babies up for adoption.
Actually, decades of thorough research have over and over again proven your statement to not only be false but also a societal perpetuation of the archaic stigmas against unwed mothers and their "illegitimate" children. Mothers who are poor and without resources who give their babies up for adoption because they want them to have a "better life" have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in common with a woman who would abuse or leave her baby in a dumpster. To judge all birth mothers as would-be criminals in this way is a horrible statement against these women and women as a whole.

The fact of the matter is, statistics from the 2 states who never sealed records, the 4 states who have opened access and the 2 states that have almost-full-access show that these states have the LOWEST abortion rates in the country and some of the HIGHEST adoption rates. Additionally, 47 states have "Safe" Haven laws and yet, somehow, babies end up in dumpsters any way. According to my research, Hawaii, which has no "Safe" Haven law, has not had an unsafe abandonment in almost two decades. Why? Like I said, women who harm their children have NOTHING in common with those who come into an adoption agency trying to find "a better life" for their kid.

Did you know that the widespread movement across the country in the 1940's to seal access to OBCs was a result of three major things?(1) to cover up the "bastard" and "illegitimate" stamps that were commonly but on the birth certificates of babies born out of wedlock.(2) by the push of adoptive parents who wanted to be reassured that the biological family would not show up down the line later and (3) as the result of a scandal involving Georgia Tann, a 1940's adoption worker and convicted baby thief who wrongfully took countless babies from their mothers. Records closure was a result of her and her lawyers pushing to hide her misdeeds. In the state of Pennsylvania, records access was permitted up until 1984 when it was closed to attempt to limit the number of abortions on a state level after Roe v. Wade. It did nothing to impact abortion levels whatsoever and research has shown that this reasoning is not only faulty but absolutely rediculous.

Mothers did not ask for, were not promised and still do not want anonymity from their relinquished descendents. Anonymity is forced on birth mothers in almost all of the 50 states as an act of the state; she has no say. Here are over 1,200 birth mothers trying to be heard: http://www.petitiononline.com/forbmoms/ . The video on the home page of this site is also very good: http://www.origins-usa.org .

Adoption should NOT be a form of indentured servatude. We should not be seen as being brought into this world and a better life by "contract" and therefore are indebt to birth mothers, adoptive parents and society forever. Another human being has no constitutional right to supress documentation belonging to another human being. I am no less human than anyone else; I ought not to be expected to be any more "grateful" for enjoying the SAME humanity that everyone else enjoys.

-Amanda, the Declassified Adoptee. I've had access to my Original Birth Certificate for almost a year and somehow, society and the rest of the world are still going on just fine despite that. http://adopteerightsreform.blogspot.com
Amanda

Kinsman, OH

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#15
Dec 30, 2009
 
Stephanie L wrote:
Thank goodness I was adopted in MA, because I was not only able to get my birth record, I am happily reunited with my Birth Mother. She's been waiting for me for years. The Adopted Baby Boomer's Birth Mom's received very stern warnings (not in writing) not to look for their children....to leave them alone, or else! Many have been afraid to look for years and years because of shame and fear, but have always wondered. The fact there is mostly Open Adoption now just tells you that this closed adoption record was a failed experiment by the U.S. Now it's time to make it right. In my mind, I now have two loving mother's, two families - both of whom I love. Sounds pretty all-American to me.
By the way, I am a descendent of the Mayflower. Heck, I had no idea what I was until recently.
Open the records. Let the kids (now adults) find their birth families, and let the mother's and father's find their children. It's the ethical and moral thing to do.
Stephanie, I just traced my lineage and I am a direct descendant from the Mayflower too!!

By sealing my records, not only were we robbed of our birthright to our amazing family heritage but these ancestral heroes were robbed of having US as their legacy!:-)
Gaye Tannenbaum

Montevideo, Uruguay

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#17
Dec 31, 2009
 
While I'm pleased that some Massachusetts-born adoptees have had their rights restored, please note that if you were born or adopted between July 18, 1974 and December 31, 2007, you have no rights.

Can anyone explain how this is NOT discrimination?
Beth

Fort Worth, TX

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#18
Dec 31, 2009
 
Great letter! I agree 100% A child shouldn't have to give up his life history and his very identity to receive a loving home. This is not in the child's best interest.
newzy

Seal Beach, CA

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#19
Dec 31, 2009
 
what a bunch of self centered cry-babies,searching for some fantasy movie star mommy or Navy hero daddy. when in truth all they were was bio-mom & sperm doner. how about spending time investgating your adoptive parents history, thats your real family, the one that loved & raised you
Gaye Tannenbaum

Montevideo, Uruguay

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#21
Dec 31, 2009
 
@newzy - I've already investigated my adoptive family's history, my ex-husband's family's history and my current husband's family's history. I will continue to investigate them as information becomes available. I'm also investigating my first mom's family's history (and that of her husband) with help from a newly found cousin. I would investigate my birthfather's family's history (both sides) but it's already been done back to 1700 or so, and it's online.

At the age of 45 (when I started searching), I had no fantasies that my original family would be anything but ordinary people. I was wrong.
Amanda

Kinsman, OH

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#22
Dec 31, 2009
 
newzy wrote:
what a bunch of self centered cry-babies...
Let's discuss what we "cry babies" are really in search for...
-The removal of archaic practices that were started to hide illegitimacy.
-The right to recieve the same birth documentation as every other citizen in the USA.
-The ability to obtain high-security type jobs. The amended birth certificate that adoptees recieve is NOT an adequate proof of birth OR identity.
-The ability to obtain a Passport so that we may travel internationally. Again, the ABC for MANY adoptees does not fit the standards set by the Western Travel Initiatives made in 2001.
-The ability to obtain a Driver's Liscense (again, the same reasons listed in my previous two examples).
-The ability to know our correct date, city and state of birth. Many adoptees who have uncovered their records or found their birth parents have found that their dates of birth, city of birth and state of birth (all vital elements of establishing identity) are not what they thought they were their entire lives. This is the result of it being "legal" in many states for agencies and adoption entities to change birth details on documentation to "protect" the adoptee. Some states allow adoptive parents to change information to reflect their location--not the actual place and city of birth.
-The ability to embrace original identity and heritage. Do you know there are African American adoptees whose Amended BCs say that they are "white" just because their adoptive parents are? Is this OK? Should Asian adoptees be expected to spend their entire lives pretending to be white? Native Americans under ICWA do not have this expectation, they are not permitted to be denied their biological heritages--why should any other race or group of people, including Caucasians, be any different?
-To restore the ability to put the pieces together, especially in case of a medical emergency or PREVENTING a medical emergency because are without knowledge of and access to an on-going family medical history. It's easy for an outsider or an adoptive parent to write off the necessity of connection to biology until lumps and masses start showing up on the X-rays of their children and have no clue why (happened to me TWICE growing up). Then all of a sudden, information from the birth parents becomes a life-saving demand. If we embraced contact and openness to begin with, we would not have to be so reactionary about absolutely everything--especially when it may be too late.
Amanda

Kinsman, OH

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#23
Dec 31, 2009
 
newzy wrote:
what a bunch of self centered cry-babies,searching for some fantasy movie star mommy or Navy hero daddy. when in truth all they were was bio-mom & sperm doner. how about spending time investgating your adoptive parents history, thats your real family, the one that loved & raised you
The word "real" does not describe ANY parent; it's a term that was created to be hurtful and pit nature vs. nuture against each other when there is no need. Are their "fake" parents? Are their "real" kids vs. "fake" kids? Come on now; we have to come up with something better than this to deny someone their constitutional and basic human rights. Again, I have no more to be "grateful" for than any other human being. I deserve the same life, liberty and persuit of happiness that everyone else is allowed. I owe nothing more to my adoptive parents than any other descendant owes to their parents. I am not a child, I am an ADULT with rights. I deserve the same rights YOU get.

Like I said, adoption should STOP being about indentured servatude. I owe "loyalty" and "gratitude" to NO one and being stripped of my rights due to some perceived "extra gratefulness" that I should have is completely rediculous.

And in defense of my birth mother, she is an amazing woman. I care about her very much. My quest to find her was not about expecting her to be a hero and to claim some notariety. It is because she is a human being who carried me in her womb and in her heart and she deserves to know that I am OK and to have a relationship with me if she wants one. Someone being a "hero" or not does not make them deserving of more closure or comfort than anyone else. Being a human being is enough. Reunion is not about loyalty and it is completely ignorant to make it about loyalty. We are not pets or possessions, we are human beings who have had our biological roots erased. We should be more than allowed to put the pieces back together that were so carefully removed for us if we choose. That shouldn't be up to YOU or any legislator to decide.
Wanting your civil rights restored is completely seperate from wanting to reunite. It is not the job of the state to medel in the personal affairs of its citizens and ensure fairytale reunions. It IS, however, the JOB of the state to ensure that all citizens are treated EQUALLY.
Angela

United States

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#24
Dec 31, 2009
 
newzy wrote:
what a bunch of self centered cry-babies,searching for some fantasy movie star mommy or Navy hero daddy. when in truth all they were was bio-mom & sperm doner. how about spending time investgating your adoptive parents history, thats your real family, the one that loved & raised you
You are obviously not adopted.

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