Monday, October 6, 2008

I Did Not Want Anonymity

I've been thinking about all the pain and anguish that is evident from our own postings, and those that come through in the comments, and how this can be translated into something for the good of mankind....and the only way I can see out of revisiting the grief, like an old phonograph record stuck on a groove, is to work for change. Open the records. Get them out of those moldy, dusty basements and into the light. Free everyone from feeling they have to decide whether to search but let them have the idea that it's not a slap in their adoptive parents' sense of well being but normal and natural....so I say to all, adoptees and first parents, get involved in your state, and the state in which you were adopted or relinquished parental rights.
When we go to lobby, legislators will say that they haven't heard from enough people to warrant a change in the law. That they have to "protect birth mothers in the closet." Which makes me particularly crazy and mad. Unless you let them know how you feel, they are going to go on protecting you until the end of your days.
Change is not going to happen until we make our voices heard. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and write a letter. Call your legislator and make your voice heard. Do it. Do it now. Do it again tomorrow.
A few weeks ago, I called Sheldon Silver, the head of New York's Assembly, and let them know I was a birth mother in favor of the Adoptee Rights Bill, and would they please move it out of committee and pass it. ! Last weekend I got a letter from him saying that my "situation will be useful during future discussions on this matter." Damn straight.
I unearthed a piece I wrote for womensenews, in 2004, just before New Hampshire opened its records for adoptees, and it explains my "situation" as well as any. The piece is going to be reprinted in a book of some sort--womensenews didn't tell me the name of the book.
And a note to Mairaine:Thanks for correcting the source of the quote in the previous post. I fixed post.

To get more involved, check out these sites:
American Adoption Congress
Origins-USA.org
Concerned United Birthparents
and in New York:
Unsealed Initiative
For information on Illinois, click on 73Adoptee website on fav blog list at right.


5 comments :

  1. Thank you for this post, Lorraine. I agree it's vital that we all get involved with the legislation surrounding adoption records.

    Anyone who is interested in open records legislation in Illinois, I am maintaining updated coverage on my blog at 73adoptee.blogspot.com. At this time HB 4623 (the haves/have-nots bill) is still pending. Adoption Reform Illinois has been sending letters to legislators and media on the importance of open records. We especially need to hear from first moms. If you'd like to help, contact me at me-at-73adoptee-dot-com.

    ReplyDelete
  2. For years I was active in previous attempts to open records in California. Why are our most populous and supposedly open-minded states lagging behind? GO NEW YORK AND ILLINOIS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. http://www.hopejoyandafewlittlethoughts.com/

    http://www.brignonifoundation.org/


    Just got these addresses through Linda's email, in case any of you know of any pregnant teens struggling with a decision...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lorraine,

    I go the same letter from Sheldon Silver.....said exactly the same thing. Think people who called to say don't pass the bill got the same response?
    As an aside, my son saw the letter on the table (he's 20 and has no interest in getting bills passed, though he did once tell me how angry he was that he had to wait until he was eighteen to get my name) smiled when he read it and made a comment about me "getting political" but I know he was pleased to see what the bill was about.
    Thanks for posting the info about contacting Silver.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lorraine,

    I go the same letter from Sheldon Silver.....said exactly the same thing. Think people who called to say don't pass the bill got the same response?
    As an aside, my son saw the letter on the table (he's 20 and has no interest in getting bills passed, though he did once tell me how angry he was that he had to wait until he was eighteen to get my name) smiled when he read it and made a comment about me "getting political" but I know he was pleased to see what the bill was about.
    Thanks for posting the info about contacting Silver.

    ReplyDelete

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