Second-class citizen?

Second-class citizen?

There are 46 comments on the Eureka Times Standard story from Dec 30, 2009, titled Second-class citizen?. In it, Eureka Times Standard reports that:

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.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Eureka Times Standard.

Dana

Columbus, OH

#25 Dec 31, 2009
If the nasty comments I've been seeing here from anti-equal-rights types are any indication of what the public thinks of adoptees, why do we allow adoption at all? It's not fair to take a child with no say in the matter and assign a social status to them that leaves them open to discrimination and abuse. Nobody who is asking for equal rights here, asked to be put in this position in the first place.

By the way I would not judge the legitimacy of open records by whether it reduces abortions or increases adoptions. I want women to always have full reproductive rights no matter how much money the adoption agencies lose. And I want women who want to keep their kids to be ABLE to keep their kids and not feel like they *have* to give them up.

I would be parenting two children instead of one today had I felt like anyone was in my corner when my almost-three-year-old son and I ran into trouble. This was after AFDC was turned into TANF so even if I had turned to the government for help I would have been condemned to indentured servitude and then kicked out to fend for myself after the time limit expired. This in a city where two different children died in overheated daycare vans within a month of one another in the same summer.

As for women who leave their babies in dumpsters, it goes back to the way women are treated when we reproduce without society's permission. Most of us can take the strain and do not take it out on our children. Some of us are, shall I say, a tad more delicate psychologically. Maybe y'all should think about that the next time you decide you want to paint a single mother with a gender or racial slur, or deprive them of help, or punish them in some other way. Having a child is not a crime and never has been. Why then does it invite such rancor? Poverty, singlehood, youth and the lack of a college degree or job are all temporary conditions. Children have thrived in far worse conditions than being raised by a mother with any of these issues.

In the end we are talking about human beings and I do not just mean the babies. It's LONG past time we began seeing women as human too.

(Not to mention the men who lose their children to infant adoption. I don't usually go in for "what about the men" arguments but it would be instructive to talk to first fathers and see how many of them would have parented had they been given the chance.)
Stephanie L

Irvine, CA

#26 Dec 31, 2009
"Navy hero Dad"?....nope, not even close to ONE of my fantasies about my birth Mom. I was looking for a single woman who was vastly weathly and didn't have any other relatives....

Oh come on. That's just stupid.

I was looking for my medical history (very important stuff) and instead found my heritage and a woman who has loved me my whole life.....Yes, when you talk about fantasies, I'd say that was the icing on the cake. Oh yes, forgot to say, I have three siblings. Being an only child gowing up, that was double icing.
Dana

Columbus, OH

#27 Dec 31, 2009
By the way, I'm sick of the stupid argument that adopters are somehow "more" the parents of an adoptee than the people who gave the adoptee life. You're not parents, you're guardians. Think about it. What if you adopted your grandchild, or your niece or nephew? Would you be their mother or father then? No, you would still be their grandparent or aunt or uncle. What is it about being a genetic stranger to the child that suddenly makes you their parent? Not a damn thing. You just want to be their parent because they are your substitute for the child you couldn't or wouldn't create yourself.

If you have that much of an issue about other people's relationships that you would guilt-trip your adoptee for wanting to know the people actually responsible for his or her existence, you shouldn't have adopted in the first place. Raising a child is not psychotherapy.

I wasn't adopted but was lied to by my stepmother about who my real mother was. Either my dad didn't know, or wanted to present a united front so decided not to argue with her in front of me.(Both are equal possibilities; he would later allow her to abuse and berate both me and my brother rather than intervene for the stated reason that he didn't want to undermine her.) Even after I found out the truth and met my mother four years after I was taken from her, my stepmother would not let up. She'd insist that she was my real mother because she was raising me. She would tell me whenever one of her friends remarked on how much I looked like her.(I look NOTHING like her.) So on and so forth.

It was disgusting. Yes, she raised me from the age of three and a half until I grew up and left home, and deserves credit for that (well, except for the times she was guilty of neglect or abuse), but that DOES NOT make her my mother, any more than my grandmother remarrying tomorrow would make her new husband my grandfather.

I mean, we have daycares and public school teachers practically raising most of our kids for most of the waking hours of the day, for nine months out of the year. Does that make them our children's parents?

So yes, I'm afraid genes DO count for something. Again, if you have issues with that idea, go see a shrink. Don't take it out on the kids. And do NOT adopt just to prove yourself to anyone.
Lori A

United States

#28 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
This seems like a good place to put this.

I just spent 3 days with my daughter and her family. It was great. I'm not a movie star, her father isn't a navy hero or a sperm donor, and her parents knew I was coming. They were excited for both of us to be able to have those rare few days together. Back lash from a closed adoption, a search that took 10 years too long,(thanks to sealed records) and some additional information about "our family tree" is what we shared. Not the "family tree" she grew up with, the one that affects her personally. The one that affects her kids, that will affect her grand kids and every generation after that.

How wonderful that they caught her sisters breast cancer in time. She's a great woman, and went through MAJOR surgery that was terrifying for my daughter. Not Terrifying due to it happening to her, but to the thought of losing the only sister she has ever known. Studying "that" family ancestry and medical history is all fine and well for the pure information of it all, something that might help a cousin or niece, but it's useless to her and her children.Useless, U. S. E. L. E. S. S.

It does not pertain to her or her children in any way. And yet, you wish for her a life of questions with no answers as her children age and show ailments that no one in her "family" knows or understands. How nice of you to be so kind, caring and non judgemental to the child that "all four" of her parents care deeply about. Who would no more want to see her or "our" other grand children suffer, than any of our other children.

We really don't need your help. Mostly because what you suggest isn't helpful, to any of my family.
rainbow haze

United States

#29 Dec 31, 2009
Best wishes Stephanie. But you probably are not a descendant of the Mayflower! If you believe that one you may also believe in chupacabras , aliens in area 51 , or that Elvis is still alive. My mom told me that I was a descendant of an Indian "princess". It's always a princess and never a whore! haha. Families invent these stories and in time they become "fact". Ask for verification and you might get some story about what some dead person told some other dead person. We are who we are , whether our people got here on a fine ship or an innerube from Cuba. Happy new year!
rainbow haze

United States

#30 Dec 31, 2009
i got bleeped. I should have said "lady of the evening".
clare

United States

#31 Dec 31, 2009
It's also worth pointing out that records are sealed upon adoption and not upon surrender of the biological parents rights, so if for some reason a child is never adopted then he can access his original birth cert as an adult without trouble. So, the whole idea of this policy being for the protection of biological parents is outlandish. And as to those who argue that babies who are not adopted will be abused or abandoned in dumpsters, I would like to remind you why Russia has become so hesitant to place their children with Americans. Please see the following link http://bastardette.blogspot.com/2005/08/forev... couple this with the new stories on post adoption depression and I think you will find seperating natural families is be no means always in the childs interest.
another adoptee

Bloomfield, IA

#32 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
Look no further than the mirror for the self-centered cry-baby. All we're asking for is what is rightfully ours. You seek to impose your selfish will on others. My paperwork is none of your business. Quit trying to keep me sealed out of it. Surely you have enough secrets of your own to worry about.
Gaye Tannenbaum

Montevideo, Uruguay

#34 Dec 31, 2009
I'm sure Stephanie would be very happy to have her Mayflower heritage verified. The thing is - she CAN have it verified now that she knows her mother's name and her grandparents' names. As opposed to whatever our adoptive parents told us or what the adoption agencies told them.

I'm in a similar position in that the man who MAY be my birthfather has a family history that includes ancestors by which he and his descendants can claim membership in several lineage societies. Absent a DNA test with one of his sons, I'll never get there. But HIS heritage is solid and online thanks to the efforts of genealogists in his rather huge extended family.
Amanda

Conneaut Lake, PA

#35 Dec 31, 2009
rainbow haze wrote:
Best wishes Stephanie. But you probably are not a descendant of the Mayflower! If you believe that one you may also believe in chupacabras , aliens in area 51 , or that Elvis is still alive. My mom told me that I was a descendant of an Indian "princess". It's always a princess and never a ****! haha. Families invent these stories and in time they become "fact". Ask for verification and you might get some story about what some dead person told some other dead person. We are who we are , whether our people got here on a fine ship or an innerube from Cuba. Happy new year!
lol. There's a difference between growing up being told something and spending years and years trying to trace your biological roots and having birth, death and marriage certificates tracing all the way back to when the pilgrims first landed. This is my situation and if someone who is an adoptee has found these things, from experience, I would also assume the same.

On another note, I am very glad to see the support in the comments (save the few who called the "whaaambulance" and resorted to name-calling which ever-so makes us take them all the more seriously). I hope this is something that the Eureka Times plans on following up with as it's obviously something that captures interest.
froggy

Westford, MA

#36 Dec 31, 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.
That is great for you but not all us MA adoptees are able to get our records. There is only a small window where the records were opened up. There are still so many of us that are not able to get our information.
Lori

Camrose, Canada

#37 Jan 1, 2010
So many people think that adopted people should be grateful for not having been aborted or left for dead.

Has it occurred to any of you that you all should be grateful for this? The fact that YOU are alive and reading this right now simply means that you were lucky enough that someone bothered to feed and clothe you when you were a child, or possibly that abortion just wasn't available to your parents!

Those of us who were adopted should not have to feel any more gratitude than anyone else in this world, and we DO NOT deserve to be treated as though we should feel that we don't have JUST AS MUCH of a right to life and freedom as anyone else!

Those of you preaching that we don't have the right to know OUR OWN IDENTITIES, can stick it where the sun don't shine! When you find out first hand what it means to be denied the basic knowledge of your own identity, then you'll be qualified to comment.

Those of you preaching that we shouldn't have the right to know OWN OUR IDENTITIES because our adoptive parents are our "real" families, can also take a flying leap. You act as if this is about how much an adopted person loves their parents. You act as if we need to CHOOSE between our adoptive families and our biological families, when that is simply utterly rediculous and stupid! As adults (YES, contrary to popular opinion, we are NOT children forever), we aren't looking for "parents". We're looking for the TRUTH. And as Amanda said it so well, we are NOT property. We do NOT belong exclusively to ANYONE!

And don't you DARE claim to know how any of our birth parents feel/felt about any of this! You have NO idea of what kinds of things went on and still go on today to coerce single mothers into surrendering their babies.

Good on you, Mara, for an excellent article!
Myst

Parramatta, Australia

#38 Jan 1, 2010
Well said Mara Rigge. Why should adoptees be discriminated against like this? It isn't like they chose adoption for themselves. Their adoption was not their choice either and yet they are being treated like criminals. Shame! ALL people INCLUDING adoptees deserve their birth certificates. It belongs to them, not anyone else. To deny them this basic right is breaching their basic human rights. If adoption is all about them, why hold this back? A bit of double standards wouldn't you say? No love in that!
Mr Jeffrey Hancock esq

Rochester, NY

#39 Jan 1, 2010
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.
"Ummm," you are clearly *NOT* an adoptee! My advice for you, "Ummm," is to experience the humility of not being allowed a drivers license, US Passport, life insurance, or a host of other state-sponsored indignities for lack of your Original Birth Certificate. "Ummm" just how would it make you feel as a US citizen to be denied that one single slip of paper that confirms who you are? Also, "Ummm" just what gives *you* the right to have yours, while we are denied ours?
Before exposing your ignorance any further, I suggest you read the Evan Donaldson Report on Open Access. You will clearing see (that is if you can read) statistics support open access, regardless of the myth that receiving our rights causes abortions.
It's our "thirst for rights" that enables adopted adults like myself to tolerate ignorance from the non-adopted who freely spout erroneous beliefs based on myth.
malama

Belmont, CA

#40 Jan 4, 2010
1. A quick google search shows that Mara knows who her parents are. She just doesn't know how to reach her biodad, which might've been the same whether or not she was adopted.
2. I am also adopted and have an amended birth certificate. It has never once caused me a problem with getting a passport. So I don't know where that one's coming from!
pissed

Coatesville, PA

#41 Jan 5, 2010
As an adoptee I am not a second class citizen, I deserve my original birth certificate and full disclosure. This isn't a topic to be debated by people who weren't adopted. This is a civil rights issue and we shall overcome!
Wondering thru this world

AOL

#42 Jan 5, 2010
Would an adoptee be happy with a newly-revealed birth certificate if it showed his or her parents were brother and sister? Things like that do happen, unfortunately. Would living with a shocking fact like that be less hard than living with the uncertainty of not knowing who their parents were?
TRUTH

Long Beach, CA

#43 Jan 5, 2010
So only people who are affected can argue a point?

Point out what rights have been violated. Just because you are mad that you can't see your birth certificate doesn't make it a civil right.

People give up children for all sorts of reasons. They were promise anonymity and the system should uphold their rights.

As far as the article stating that the baby didn't get any legal representation, that is just idiotic. The parent is the legal gaurdian and can make legal decisions for the baby, one of which is to give him/her up for adoption.

There are a lot of things that occur in life that you might not like, that doesn't make it a civil rights violation nor does that mean you can violate the privacy of the people who gave you up for adoption.

Grow up and move on with your life.
pissed wrote:
As an adoptee I am not a second class citizen, I deserve my original birth certificate and full disclosure. This isn't a topic to be debated by people who weren't adopted. This is a civil rights issue and we shall overcome!
Mara

AOL

#45 Jan 6, 2010
Dear malama- I can't find my biological father because I can't see my birth certificate. It contains his date of birth and middle name. With a common name like he has, I'm having problems finding him. I might as well be searching for John Smith with no date of birth.(You think you're so smart.)

Truth- You're nothing but. It is a violations of a person's civil rights to withhold vital information from them and falsify their birth certificate stating that two people laid down and created him/her when that wasn't the case. Falsified "legal" documents are what amended birth certificates are.

A person is ONLY BORN ONCE. Amending a birth certificate is making a lie into a FALSE "truth". A false document that a person must use as identification for the rest of their lives. Stupid BS.

I have grown up and I refuse to sit back and have ignorant people tell me to shut up and be grateful for the crock of sh*t me and other adopted persons in this state have been served.

People who falsify documents to get illegal immigrants into this country service hard FEDERAL TIME. But our local vital records departments get to "legally" do it under the "geise" of adoption.

Wondering thru this world: Reality is reality. People don't need censorship from the truth of their origins. Really.

After 9/11 adoptees are finding that the federal government no longer recognizes amended birth certificates as proof of citizenship. They are automatically denied passports if their birth certificate was amended over a year after their birth (standard time frame for amending) and are forced to pay more money and send in other proofs of citizenship.

This BS did not happen before 9/11. Yet, it's another indication that the process of sealing and amending birth certifcates is disfunctional and does not adequately document a person's birth.
malama

United States

#46 Jan 7, 2010
Nope, Mara. I got my passport after 9/11 (in 2004) using my amended birth certificate, which was amended 12 years after my birth. I did not pay more money than my other family members and did not need to send in other citizenship proofs.

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