a) Money: Gays have more money than the rest of us (or, the average); this has been demonstrated in various studies that look at income. It's often their careers, and the two-high income earners in one couple. Of course I am generalizing here, but in general...gays have more money than our population of first mothers and adoptees. Many first mothers would not have relinquished their children if they had more money.
So to start with they have more cash to throw at a campaign. They have the clout to get corporations to donate to it. They give more money themselves. Even our organizations charge small annual fees to encourage women to belong, but that is indicative of their sense of how much money they have to devote to this cause. Every trip up to Albany for me, which requires an overnight and a second night on someone's couch in Manhattan, costs me over $300. So I've only done it twice myself, even though I enjoy going to Albany and working for the cause; it is exhilarating, and would go every time Unsealed Initiative puts together a lobby day--if I could afford it. I need to find a way to get there more myself, dammit.
And our population, especially the younger birth mothers, relinquished their children precisely because they did not have enough money to pay for child care while Mom went back to school. Celebrities who are adopted (say, Scott Hamilton or Kristen Chenowith or...don't come out for their rights as adoptees with no heritage--hell, Chenowith has written she isn't even interested in finding out who she is.)
So we have less money than gays to give; our celebrities don't associate with the cause...and that translates into small numbers at demonstrations. In Albany and Trenton and Sacramento and all the other states.
|Demonstrating in Dallas--great, but not exactly a throng|
b) Once gays are out of the closet, they have less difficulty in staying there--first mothers need only to come "out" to their families, and not to the whole world, and many are still ashamed and don't want to be public that leads to not wanting to be so public. Yes, 500 signatures is a good thing--and the American Adoption Congress hit a thousand after we posted the call for signatures at First Mother Forum, but there should be ten thousand of us willing to be counted.
c) And call me crazy, but the gays have more testosterone than we do, which leads them to be more confrontational, with their legislators, with their families and neighbors, if necessary. And all that translates into more swaying power.
d) And so many adoptees have been brainwashed into thinking that even asking for the birth certificates and knowing their real heritage is disloyal to their adoptive parents. So. while they might think that in the abstract they it would be "nice" of they had their birth certificates, they in general are not a rock-the-boat crowd. Until something wakes them up. And all too often, after someone has a reunion, they lose interest in the fight. The gay marriage thing is still a crazy-quilt of laws, and so their issue is not settled.
f) Then we run into this damn "birth mothers were promised confidentiality" which is the biggest lie of all, but that particular bit of baloney is what the legislators hide behind. Maybe Your social worker said that You could never be located by Your Own Child, but that was NEVER written into the law in any state that I know of, and certainly not in New York or New Jersey. I can promise you a rose garden, along with a million dollars, but there is no law that says I have to deliver.
And unless something major changes, we get someone like Chris Christie in NJ and Sheldon Silver in NY who just holdup the legislation because they can. It's emotional bondage, it's wrong, it's unjust and I hope to heaven this all changes before I die. We need to simply work for Information Equality, and bypass the whole concept of the birth mother who will drive her car off a bridge if she is "outed."--lorraine
*Gays have political clout; bastards don’t. Lessons from New Jersey and New York.