"The decision of any biological parent to seek adoptive parents for a child is an enormously complicated choice. The emotional struggle preceding any adoption is unlike any other step facing a parent, with ramifications for the mother, father and child that will endure throughout their lives."You got that right, Guv. First, Christie says look, we understand that it's hard to give your child away, and that this is going to affect all of you for the rest of his lives. Women come here to First Mother Forum a few years after it hits them just how awful it feels to "celebrate" another birthday and not know where their children are. They are bereft. They weep and mentally moan. They spill their grief. They want to know their children. Christie then goes on:
"And for many birth parents, the protections of anonymity are a significant can be a significant consideration when choosing adoption."So maybe if we let you take away that child's identity for the rest of his life it might be easier for you to get on with your life. Nice. In other words, we really don't care about what the kid wants, we are going to continue to make it possible for you to screw him for the rest of his life, just like Catholic Charities, New Jersey's adoption lawyers, the anti-abortion evangelicals, and the misguided American Civil Liberties Union of NJ, want, as they are all unconsciously committed to trampling the rights of the adopted, not only at birth but into the dark night of perpetuity. The law that sealed the records did not give you this "protection," but we have now decided that you want to be so protected, and so...we bighearted folks are going to let you stay in the closet and not have to tell even your nearest and dearest, from whom you have kept this secret. We wouldn't want you to be embarrassed that you have been lying by omission all these years.
|THE ADOPTION CLASSIC|
The misguided and misinformed head of the NJ ACLU, Deborah Jacobs, says she is protecting the rights of closeted birth mothers. But how, we ask, can you do this in good conscience when to do so you must trample the rights of another group? How did the rights of anonymous-seeking birth parents become paramount over the rights of the children? Call us crazy, but we think that she has an ulterior motive in mind--either she knows a closeted first mother, or she...is going to be an adoptive parent herself in the not-so-distant future and assumes that there must be a woman who doesn't want to interfere with the raising if any child she adopts....Given her logic, she would be on the side of slave owners who depended on slaves to keep their cotton plantations running, rather than the slaves...yes, that's where her logic takes us. Christie continues:
"Yet I also strongly empathize the adopted child, and adoptive parents who may long to know the identity of the birth parents."
|KIDS TELL THEIR STORIES|
A LOSING FIGHT FOR INFORMATION EQUITY
So what did Christie, in his battle against Information Equality for all propose? A intermediary system...to "balance the needs of adoptees seeking the identity of the biological parents with the expectations of birth parents who may wish for their identities to remain private."Ah yes, all adoptees will be denied their original birth certificates to please the immoral throng who want to stay anonymous from their own children. I simply cannot have any sympathy for these women, no matter how long or how deep they have buried their secret, how shocked their current loved ones and other children will be with the news of the long lost child. In terms of strict information, the needs the adopted, who never asked to be born, who never were asked if they wanted to be adopted, who never were asked if they wanted their records sealed for all time--the needs of the adopted are paramount.
In the statement, Christie also refers to bill as passed by both house of the New Jersey legislature as one that might have "the chilling effect on adoptions." Right. We the women have to keep selling our children down the River Styx--oh, I mean, the River of Endless Anonymity. But as the research has shown, this does not happen in states with open access to original birth certificates. Kansas, a state that has never had sealed records, has the county's fifth highest adoption rate. Alaska, which also never sealed birth certificates, has the nation’s highest adoption rate, and until recently one of the lowest abortion rates.
|A GOOD NEW READ|
ADOPTEE NEWS FROM ELSEWHERE
It was a bad week all around on the adoptee rights front elsewhere. In New York, my home state, where we had high hopes that our clean bill (without a birth parent veto, instead a contact preference) would make it to the legislative floor for a vote, nasty amendments were tacked on at the last minute, and in the end, it died in committee as the session ended with the brouhaha over gay marriage, which did pass. While we are happy that New York joined the list of states where my nephew and other gay folks can legally marry, we hope that in the not too distant future adoptees will be able to enjoy Information Equality.
The one spot of good news came from Rhode Island where the Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that gives adoptees at age 25 the right to access their original birth certificates. It now goes back to the House where similar bills to give adoptees their OBCs at age 18 or 21 had passed in previous years.
Why age 25, which is frankly a slap in the face to all adoptees? It was a compromise after Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin wanted to raise the age to 30 so adoptees wouldn't ask for their birth certificates out of spite. Goodwin's sister has two adopted children. “I think 18 is too young,” said Goodwin, a Democrat from Providence. “It’s a tender age. I want them to be able to find their records in an appropriate and meaningful kind of way, not because they want to get back at their adoptive parents.” Eighteen and twenty-one a tender age? Tell that to the judge.
We at First Mother had been encouraging everyone to leave their comments objecting to this noxious age requirement at the projo.com site* about this absurdity and we hope that in some small way we made a difference. You can go to war at the tender age of 18 but apparently it's too explosive an age to find out who you really are. We cannot extend good feelings towards Goodwin; in our mind, she is such a Badloser.
As if Information Equality was about getting back at one's adoptive parents.--lorraine
*Link is to the current story from Rhode Island.