Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What Does Christie's veto really mean?

Lorraine, when smiling
Governor Chris Christie's veto of the adoptee reform bills to give adopted people their original birth certificates memo is a suggestion that goes back to the Senate for POSSIBLE passage next session. It sets up an intermediary system, plain and simple, with all the power in the hands of the birth parents who wish to stay in the closet. Here is the press release language:

"Commending legislative sponsors for their courageous leadership and reform work on the issue of adoption records access, Governor Chris Christie today conditionally vetoed S-799 to provide common sense changes that address both privacy and access concerns in the legislation. The revisions suggested by the Governor aim to provide additional safeguards that balance the needs of adoptees seeking the identity of their biological parents with the expectations of birth parents who may wish for their identities to remain private."
Christie's veto is a 20-page rewrite of the bills (S799 and 1399), line by line, so while he was going about saying how hard a decision this was, his staff was busily rewriting the bill to put ALL OF THE POWER IN THE HANDS OF BIRTH PARENTS. To say he "conditionally veteoed" the bill is total BS. He outright gutted it and sent the Senate (and of course the Assembly) a whole different bill. Conditional, my ass. Veto. Period.

Basically, he is saying: this is what I will sign. Adoptees ain't in enough pain, gotta save those closeted birth mothers. For now, as long as he is governor, Deborah Jacobs and the ACLU of NJ, Council of Bishops, Catholic Charities, and the evangelical and righteous anti-abortion crowd, all of whom do not know how to read statistics, win. (For those who don't know what I am talking about, see previous post*)

There is talk of a one-day protest at Catholic Charities in New Jersey or in Albany where we aim for as many people as possible to show up.  Sometimes I think it's only blood on the steps of the capitals of this country that is going to wake people up to the injustice that is visited upon the adopted. --lorraine
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There's other stuff afoot and I will try to post later in the day, but for those who wonder what Christie's veto means, this is the brutal truth. Which we aim for here, not like on the sites for first mothers run by adoption agencies, which are designed to make relinquishing women feel better about their decision...since that is how adoption agencies make money: women give up babies and fees change hands along with the babies....yeah, feeling feisty today. Off to Pilates. 


* CHRISTIE Vetoes Adoptee Rights in New Jersey and other legislative news

9 comments :

  1. I don't understand how allowing yet another STRANGER to read a mothers file at an agency protects her privacy over a FAMILY member knowing your name...you know the old saying if you tell one person a secret it is no longer secret...just saying...

    Amanda has an excellent post on how unbiased can an adoption agency be...

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  2. " rewriting the bill to put ALL OF THE POWER IN THE HANDS OF BIRTH PARENTS. rewriting the bill to put ALL OF THE POWER IN THE HANDS OF BIRTH PARENTS."
    well, if this is true then it's up to all these "birth parents" to let the governor know how WRONG he is and let the Legislators know how much they SUPPORT the bill(s) as they were passed.

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  3. Thanks Lo! That is pretty much what I thought, but the whole thing is confusing as well as depressing.

    In NJ, Catholic Charities are not really the big villain, it is the Council of Bishops, who speak for the most conservative, reactionary, self-protecting and corrupt hierarchy of the Church, not for individual employees or parishioners.And of course the fanatic fringe of Right To Life and on the other, liberal side, ACLU. Christie is screwing up everything here, even giving away our NJ Network Public TV station.

    He claims to be about "cutting taxes" but not for his rich buddies, and soon we will be hauling our own trash and being our own firemen and police, if he has his way.

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  4. Thanks Maryanne: I did change the post to reflect the Council of Bishops and their CMA position.

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  5. Cully, NJ birthparents have been showing up for years at legislative hearings, writing to legislators, being interviewed by all segments of the media, and still we are dismissed in favor of the shadow mothers hiding out there "somewhere", too afraid to come forward except for poor Elaine P's vicious and crazy birthmother who with her husband have made themselves fully available to the opponents of openness as "victims" of the big bad adoptee wanting to know her heritage. Elaine can tell you more about her:-(

    You see, the "good" virtuous, repentant birthmothers are all hiding and in need of protection. Those of us who speak out are seen as uppity trouble makers who are not sufficiently ashamed of our slutty ways, and so we are dismissed. You can't win.

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  6. Well..... Where would you like us to start? Because I know that I wrote that fat ** and I know that Elaine's mother is a nutcase... I also know that it is about not just mothers, fathers - but all of us. Maybe we all need to go sit on the steps, lawn and area of the governors mansion, his parents home, his sisters home and the capitol - do you think that would work....?

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  7. Annonymous,

    We can't win as mothers who want to find, and know our adults. Those who want to keep the records closed are protecting those who adopt, those who have abused, and
    those who want to think a mother out there needs to be
    protected from their own child for whatever reason.
    I do not like interference by church in state matters.
    Vice versa way to much control of others lives.
    I do not need anyone speaking for me . I have found my son and communicated with him from the first day I found him. We are all adults.

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  8. "You see, the "good" virtuous, repentant birthmothers are all hiding and in need of protection."

    You said it, Anonymous:-)
    And the extraordinary thing about them is that, unlike regular folk, they aren't even required prove their existence in order to exert their influence.
    They really are a phantom constituency.
    It's absurd.

    Haigha

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  9. "Mother", fully agreeing with you. We are all adults, do not need protection. For those few adoptee who harass their natural family, laws against stalking and harassment by anyone are already in place to deal with that.

    By the way, I am the previous anon, just hit the wrong key by mistake. Haigha, yes the anonymoms are a phantom constituency. They are like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, never seen but often invoked and and believed in when convenient. Of course there are some moms who don't want to be found, but so what? There are people who do not want anyone to know they were married before, but divorce records are open. It is not the state's task to protect private lies and secrets.

    Lori, demonstrations, no matter how large or on whose doorstep have no influence on Christie. See my comment in the next thread.

    Being a birthmother for adoptee access in NJ is indeed Catch 22, since by speaking out, you invalidate your "repentant sinner" credentials and what you have to say does not count. Even if there is a whole roomful of birthmothers, as I have seen at Trenton hearings several times. I would love to see them trot out a whole room of anonymoms with bags on their heads, testifying to their need of protection from the Big Boys. Somehow they never show up, but they always dominate the discourse in absentia.

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