A hell of a lot better than what we have here in most of the U.S. of A., land of the free. Where only six states (Alaska, Alabama, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Tennessee) have open records...and the rest with a crazy quilt of provisions blocking total and complete access. For how crazy a quilt, check the White Oak Foundation page. It's very colorful. In Delaware, the law states that birth parents have to renew their desire to stay anonymous from their own children every three years, and the other states have a mishmash of laws granting various amounts of access and hoops for adoptees to leap through before getting their records, if ever.
Gosh, adoption is supposed to be such a great thing, to judge by the rush to adopt from all corners (see the last post here) but then, being an adopted adult makes you less than a citizen granted the same rights as the rest of the population. Who dreamt up those laws? Oh, yeah, adoptive parents...in the legislatures of this country. Adoptive parents gets very upset when I say such things, and to them I say, Do your homework.
How many birth people (that does have a ring to it, doesn't it?, kinda like Village People) have actually signed such a veto in faraway Queensland is a factoid I haven't been able to track down (anyone know? leave a comment, please) but given our experience here in the United States, in Oregon specifically, their number is likely to be extremely small. Teeny, even. Since Oregon gave adult adoptees access to their birth records in November, 1998, only 85 birth parents have requested no contact while more than 9,800 have received their original birth certificates. People, that's fewer than one percent--slightly more than .8 of one percent we are talking about here.
Seventy-nine of those people--okay, most or all of them women--signed the no-contact forms before the records were opened (and I'm just guessing here, but I'm guessing with a certain amount of insider info, most or all of them were of the Mormon persuasion) and to them I have no kind words. Rot in your closets, ladies, in this life or the other is my thought this afternoon where the wind blows fierce and the sun shines today here on the eastern end of Long Island. Why are you so afraid of you own children? Can't you give them the time of day?
Back to Queensland: "More than 3,000 Queenslanders affected by an adoption that occurred before 1991 are prevented from obtaining identifying information about their birth parents or son or daughter who was adopted," stated Acting Child-Safety Minister Karen Struthers. "The new Act will give these people the right to access information about their own identity or that of a son or daughter for the first time." But that contact veto? Ay, there's the rub, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Adoption campaigner Mick Gray says while being able to access information such as medical records will be beneficial the laws "still have a long way to go". Mr Gray, 35, who is an adoptee himself, says the Act will still prevent him from locating his sister because his mother signed a veto to contact.
"To see the documents you've basically got to sign a waiver," he said. "They are still treating us like second-class citizens. It's a natural birthright to know who we are. It makes the adoptee feel shameful."We get it. We hate contact vetoes because they are unfair, unjust, inane and unnatural. The right to know one's heritage, to connect with people who are your people by blood by history by culture should be above legislation of any sort.
As I watched President Obama's speech the other night, I applauded when he said that finally he is going to do away with the inane "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding gays in the military, and let gay men and women serve their countries proudly.
Great, I thought. When is it our turn? When can we tear down that wall that keeps adoptees in the dark, birth/first mothers crying to sleep at night because they don't know what happened to their kids, if they are alive or dead, in Iraq or in college?
Justice delayed is indeed justice denied.--lorraine