' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Adoptive mother shoots down open-records bill
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Friday, January 29, 2016

Adoptive mother shoots down open-records bill

Lorraine
Oops--for all reading now I mistakenly thought this just happened--but it happened last May!  I was in a rush to post because when I saw it come up yesterday, I was outraged. Sorry for the confusion, but my feelings about sealed OBCs are one and the same. --ld

An adoptive mother--Texas State Sen. Donna Campbell--single handedly shot down a bill that would have given anyone adopted in that state the right to their original birth certificates, allowing for the potential to find their natural/birth/biological/first parents, and to learn of any heritable health risks. Sen. Campbell, the adoptive parent in question, pulled the bill back in May, the day it was to be voted on, without explanation.

Hours before the end of the session, the bill's author, Sen. Brandon Creighton, rallied 13 of its co-sponsors, and made a quiet plea to the lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, to put the bill back on the calendar before the deadline at midnight, but to no avail.
According the Marcie Purcell of Texas Adoptee Rights, the bill had enough support to pass: "With one emotional plea, a single senator, Donna Campbell, managed to override the will of 30 other senators, public opinion, and years of work," she said. There are 31 senators in the state Senate.

The bill had passed the House in April, 138-1, and passed unanimously through a senate committee, the last stop before a vote of the full senate. What is remarkable about the bill that almost became law is that it had not veto, but the preferred contact preference, allowing those named on the birth certificate (typically only mothers) whether they wanted to be contact by the individual, through an intermediary, or not contacted at all. But at least an adopted individual would most likely have her name, restoring to them the dignity of autonomy, which sealed records denies.

 Sen. Creighton said: "In the age of Facebook and social media, and the way families are coming together in spite of these boundaries, we are working to modernize the process."
When I spoke at an American Adoption Congress annual meeting some years ago, I pointed out that adoptive parents had been the greatest stumbling block to open records--then organized through the National Council for Adoption. I raised many hackles that day--I learned that the next few sessions that day were filled with talk and anger over what I said--but this kind of chicanery by adoptive parents in legislatures obviously still occurs and people need to know--in order to stop it. What happened in Texas is outrageous.

However, let me note that in New Hampshire, the individual who led the fight for a clean bill--no veto--in that state's legislature was Lou D'Alessandro, an adoptive father. He is an influential Democratic state senator, and worked hard on getting this bill passed. As it happens, I worked with him and received notes from people in the legislature after it passed.

In New York we too face an uphill and so far unsuccessful fight against a single woman, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein--who uses her considerable power in the state legislature to block any measures that would free adopted people from the iron grip of archaic adoption laws. She is not an adoptive parent. Given my recent encounter with a friend who appeared to be keeping the secret of a child she bore in France, I often think Helene Weinstein is a first/birth mother in hiding, or protecting someone else. Otherwise she is quite a liberal legislator.

How many people must die before all individuals can gain the right of self-autonomy? I've written about this so many times I'm simply going to quote here what I wrote in my recent memoir:

"Adopted individuals were never asked if stripping away their identities and histories was their choice, or in their best interests. These infants and children grow up into adults with all the rights and obligations of the rest of us, yet—due to a contract made by others—they are denied basic facts about themselves. Sealed birth records of any kind, with any restrictions that apply to the person whose record it is, codify the same kind of appalling thinking that allowed slavery to flourish in centuries past.

"Other than slavery, there is no instance in which a contract made among adults over another individual binds him once he becomes an adult. It takes from him full autonomy as a free person; it makes him subject to the whims and preferences of another, and it does so indefinitely and for all time. Anything other than full autonomy—which surely includes the right to know who one was at birth—is wrong morally, wrong legally, wrong anyway it can be interpreted.

"Courts in the past have held—and unquestionably courts in the future will find—that the mother has no constitutional right to remain anonymous from her child, and thus the state has no obligation to keep her identity secret from her offspring.

"The right to know one's heritage should be a given, not something to be asked for as a favor. It should—in a free society, it must—belong to all individuals by the very act of being born.-- from Hole In My Heart: memoir and report from the fault lines of adoption

As explained at the state website, the bill was a good one, and did not treat adoptees as second-class citizens:
"HB 984 would allow adult adoptees born in Texas or, if the adoptee was deceased, specified family members to obtain a noncertified copy of the adoptee’s original birth certificate for the same fee and within the same time frame as any other noncertified birth certificate copy. 
"Copies of original birth certificates under the bill would not need to be provided until July 1, 2016. Birth parents would have to complete a contact preference form and would be offered the option to complete a supplementary medical history form, both of which would be created by and submitted to the state registrar. The contact form would allow parents to authorize direct contact from the adoptee, to authorize contact through an intermediary specified by the parent, or to prohibit any contact. Completed contact preference forms and medical history forms would be provided to adoptees or to other authorized individuals. DSHS would be required to create the contact preference and medical history forms by January 1, 2016." (Since that date has passed, one assumes that a new date would have been substituted, or be immediately effective.)  


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50 comments :

  1. I am both heartbroken and furious all at once. I really have no words for her. Well, I do, but I shouldn't type them probably.

    What a terrible name this woman gives all adoptive parents... I think it's a terrible miscarriage of her position to use her personal experience in such a way.

    PS. Instead of writing my thoughts here, I am going to compose (yet another) letter to my congressperson about the needs to have a bill opening adoption records in my state of CA. I would encourage other APs reading this to do this as well- we should be outspoken supporters of adoptees as they are our children and they deserve their history.

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    1. Good for you Tiffany for being proactive. I am a volunteer adoption search angel who assists adoptees and birth parents find their biological families in California. It is my hope that one day ALL states will allow open records. It is truly heartbreaking to scroll through adoption registries and see the thousands among thousands of people who are desperately searching for their biological families. Until the day comes when unsealing these records becomes a reality, I will keep on searching and helping those who desire to know more about their biological existence.

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    2. What amazing work! I'm thankful that there are search angels like you out there assisting first parents and adoptees.

      My daughter will have her OBC (it's in a safe deposit box for her as we obtained a copy when her adoption was finalized) and we are in a fully open adoption. It makes me even more upset that even though everyone involved has total contact with each other (her parents also have a copy of the OBC and full contact with us all), my daughter is still bound by the laws of our state. If something was to happen to her copy of the OBC, she would have to petition for a new copy and would likely be denied. Even if all 4 of her parents showed up in court! It's very, very wrong. I should not have the power to keep her own story from her; she (and her parents) should not have to depend upon me to do the right thing and "allow" her her own history.

      The only people closed records protect are insecure APs.

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  2. This is such a good point: ""Other than slavery, there is no instance in which a contract made among adults over another individual binds him once he becomes an adult."

    And here is my letter to the Senator, adoptive mom to adoptive mom: http://lavenderluz.com/2015/06/senator-donna-campbell-adoption.html

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    1. Brilliant, Lori, just brilliant !! Let's hope the senator gets off her entitled high horse long enough to read it. Good job!

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  3. I think Gladney one of states biggest adoption agency had some type of involvement. After all it could directly affect their business interest. I have always felt that adoptive parents have had a hand in records remaining sealed. The have to protect their interest.

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  4. Senator Campbell's reasons for being against this legislation are spurious. In my opinion, she is threatened and wants to be her four adoptive children's "only" mother. Of course, that is in fact an impossibility given that they are adopted.

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    1. DNA will reveal what Adoptive parents think will keep things a secret. There is also public records like in newspapers that people can use. Then certain states have Birth index, which gives identifying information. So much for confidentiality. I agree all Adoptive parents who are not afraid to speak up, and support opening information should speak up. Thank you all, for fighting all these years.

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    2. If only it were that simple. Many of the sources you mention for information have been available for a long time, and DNA is certainly a very promising new area for searchers. However, I have known people who only found limited help through using the DNA testing services. Sometimes they only find very distant relatives and other times the people they contact either don't know who the searcher is looking for or aren't willing to reveal any information they do know. Having the OBC is the best source for any adoptee who wants to know where s/he comes from, and it should be available to every adoptee by right, just as it is for every non-adopted citizen.

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  5. To quote you, "The right to know one's heritage should be a given, not something to be asked for as a favor. It should—in a free society, it must—belong to all individuals by the very act of being born."

    When I signed the relinquishment papers (1970), nothing was said about MY anonymity. Only that I should never attempt to find or contact my son or his a-parents, just stay out of his life. No wonder I felt like a criminal when I decided to search. I can't believe that so little has changed in recent years. And I do believe that adoptive parents (not all, but too many), as well as the adoption industry, are what's standing in the way of open records.
    THAT'S what's criminal.

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  6. I am sad for Senators adopted children and for all adopted children unable to receive there un-amended Birth certificate. I am an adoptee from the State of RI. Finally after fifty plus years I could apply for my birth-certificate . I felt, real, whole and complete. I would like to know how old Senators children are and how they will feel when they find out their mom stopped them from getting what is rightfully theirs.

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  7. The audacity of people with power and authority who take it upon themselves to make judgements or attempt to control other people's behavior. Your excerpt from your memoirs is powerful.

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  8. It is truly a sad day for Texas adoptees, all because one biased senator has her own insecurities as an adoptive parent. I could understand if we were trying to protect children, but these are grown adults searching for answers about their biological existence. I understand that Senator Campbell as well as other adoptive parents love their children, but to deny their (adult) children the right to know is an injustice (and in my opinion selfish). It is sad that Senator Campbell cannot put her personal feelings, beliefs and fears aside to objectively see the "full picture." It is clear that she is uninterested in public opinion, the voice of her constituents or respect for her fellow Senators. This is not the kind of person we want representing the great State of Texas. The fight is not over, it is just beginning.

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  9. To quote my adoptive mother, Myrtle Lewis: "If a mother can have enough love for more than one child, why can't the child have enough love for more than one mother"? The birth parents made a choice to relinquish the child for adoption; the adoptive parents chose to parent through adoption; the "child" had no choice. It is now time for our (adoptee) choice. Whether we want to locate our birth families or just obtain information regarding our own medical and family history, it is now our turn, as adults, to make a choice. After a 14 month search, 39 yrs ago, I located my birth mother & family. My two mothers became best of friends. My birth mother came down from Alaska to California and took care of my adoptive mother for the last 6 weeks of her life. My adoptive mother was secure in our love of each other so as not to feel threatened by bringing in another person, my birth mother Maxine Walker, into our family. Her biggest concern while I was searching for my birth family was that I might be hurt. Not hurt, I just gained more love from a new part of my family. As the change of adoption laws in Alaska showed, opening records such as original birth certificates, did not cause the breakup of families. If a family breaks because the adoptee searches for the birth family, then there must have been some mighty large cracks in the foundation of the family to start with. Open the records & let adult adoptees have equal rights as non-adoptees have. Foster children, step-children, or kids separated from a parent through divorce can reunite with their families. We are responsible adults who have every right that the freedoms of our country affords us, except the right to know the truth of our origins. We just want equal rights.

    Joanne Lewis

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  10. Great story Joanne, and you said it all. Eventually the whole country will get it that when adoption records are open to adopted adults, nothing bad happens. Alaska, Kansas, Oregon, all the rest....not one disaster, just a simple human right restored.

    Texas...well. lets just say it is not one of our more progressive states. And being the home of Gladney that has made a fortune from adoption for decades, there is a very strong lobby for secrets and lies. This one adoptive mother may have killed this bill, but there was big money behind her.

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  11. I have walked the walk by assisting an adopted lady to find her birth parents she had been seeking for 35 years. The event captured on video tells the story with a happy ending.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFhUFNkqpPU

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  12. The facts should be reported correctly.... although there are numerous places on the internet which report that she is an adoptive mother of four, she herself has stated and it is correctly reported in some places, that only the ONE youngest daughter is an adoptee. The older three daughters were born to her husband and his first wife, who is now deceased. There is no indication that Senator Doctor Donna Campbell adopted the three older daughters. In fact, if you go to the 2013 video of the senate hearing, the same one when she said "i dont' understand, for one, the need, is this for financial reasons, that they should be allowed something." You will hear Senator Campbell state that she is the adoptive mother of ONE.

    There are countless adoptive parents who do support their children's rights to have their information. Those people support adoptee rights and have been huge champions for the cause. This particular person is not supportive and has pushed back against the entire house membership who voted to pass HB984, the 8 senators who voted the bill out of committee and the 25 senators who stated that they would pass the bill.

    It is shameful that one senator can kill a bill when the entire house and senate wanted it passed.

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    1. Thank you--I made the correction in the post. And see below. Also, because I did not spend enough time yesterday--in a rush, dealing with a personal issue--the incident in TX happened in MAY! Also made that correction. But my feelings of course about sealed OBCs remain fully intact--OUTRAGED!

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  13. Addendum added to the post:

    However, let me note that in New Hampshire, the individual who led the fight for a clean bill--no veto--in that state's legislature was Lou D'Alessandro, an adoptive father. He is an influential Democratic state senator, and worked hard on getting this bill passed. As it happens, I worked with him and received notes from people in the legislature after it passed.

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  14. I am an adoptee, I spent many long hours and years searching for my siblings, More like 36 plus years and who has the right to tell me I am not allowed to know them? It is a right to know your siblings and I found my oldest brother on my own, he is my key to find out about our Birthmother, although I head stories so far, NY need to get rid of Helen and she needs to stop messing with adoptees rights, we are human beings, not animals we have the right to know our history and family

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    1. "we are human beings, not animals we have the right to know our history and family."

      Amen to that. Although I would also point out that in many cases more is known about an animal's lineage, pedigree dogs and such, than about a human adoptee. Rather sick when you think about it.

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  15. This is even worse if she has three of her own children. Why, is alright for those three to know but because she is adopted she doesn't have those same rights. Oh, I forgot, she is adopted and that makes her have no rights. "Her" mother doesn't have a problem why should she?
    There lies the problem protecting a person that adopts while denying another's right to know. Criminal!
    I do feel if adoptive parents really wanted open records there would be open records.

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  16. It doesn't matter if this bill happened in May, November, or January--the word still needs to be circulated so that more realize the horror of this continued human rights violation saga. It also doesn't really matter if Donna Campbell is an adoptive mother to one child or nine. She is still an adoptive mother whose demand for another's woman's child is fueling and funding the systematic removal of children from their first mothers to entitled, narcissistic, and needy strangers. (For what it's worth, I read somewhere that her adopted daughter is 8 or 9 years old.) Also, Mrs. Campbell is known in Texas as one of the worst senators and is a joke parading around in her high-and-mighty narcissistic role.

    I hope every time Mrs. Campbell has ever looked into the face of her adopted daughter, that she sees and will continue to see the face of her daughter's first mother. I hope Mrs. Campbell sees her daughter's first mother's physical features, personality, temperament, and attributes and is reminded that her adopted daughter was wonderfully made for the first mother in the womb (a scripture Mrs. Campbell has quoted in reference to pro-life issues.) I hope Mrs. Campbell is reminded that someday her beloved adopted daughter may one day also want to search for and find the woman in whose womb she was wonderfully made. Maybe some day Mrs. Campbell will realize that God gave her adopted daughter a first mother. Maybe some day Mrs. Campbell will stop playing God and realize natural mothers and their babies shouldn't be separated, and when they are unnaturally separated, they want to reunite...

    Mrs. Campbell seems to be a selfish, stone-hearted, evil, entitled woman. I don't believe my God would approve of the taking of another woman's baby or the secrecy, lies, deception, and manipulation that is spearheaded by strangers who adopt children or their powerful lobbyists or legislators.

    Wonder how Mrs. Campbell will feel when "her" precious daughter wants to search for her first mother or about her falsified birth certificate or the secrecy, lies, and denial of her truth and the truth of thousands of others like her.

    Will the adoptive parent bullshit ever stop?! It's time for first mothers and adoptees to step up and speak out against the only ones who have ever profited from this evil business--adoptive parents and of course the industry that is funded by adoptive parent demand for children who aren't theirs. Hopefully, more adoptees will stop being the sacrifice for their adoptive parents' happiness. How do adoptive parents ever sleep at night, being involved in this evil evil heinous process ?!

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    1. Donna Campbell needs to be booted out of office. She's a very conservative, Evangelical Republican but her district includes parts of Austin and San Antonio which include some liberal areas. http://www.campbell.senate.state.tx.us/.

      Campbell may be up for re-election this year. I encourage readers who live in her district or near her district to contact the Democratic party and find out if someone is going to run against her. If no D is running, find out if she has an opponent in the primary.

      If so, volunteer on their campaign. I'm sure there are first mothers and adoptees in Campbell's district as well as enlightened adoptive parents. With some work, these folks could be energized to work against her re-election. Open records advocates throughout the country could raise money for Campbell's opponent.

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  17. After almost twenty years of searching in vain, we finally located my "First Father" via Y-DNA analysis....he passed away from Parkinson's just 13 months ago, and I never met him. Two petitions to the local district court were denied, now they tell me they "cannot locate" my adoption file and therefore cannot unseal what cannot be located. It was suggested that I contact the Bureau of Vital Statistics in Austin - but they "cannot locate" the file, either. Access to my OBC would reveal the name of my birth mother, but I cannot access the record unless I have the names of both birth parents. For this adult adoptee, it is maddening beyond words. What other genetic diseases are lurking in the shadows ? I may never know unless the law is changed. At the tender age of sixty, time is not on my side. I call it "State Sponsored Identity Theft".

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    1. John, nose around. Play PI yourself. See if you can find anyone who was a friend of your Dad's who might of known who his gf was within the year you were born. There are books out there on how to find people, look on Amazon and try to find one. I bet you will get somewhere, but most importantly don't give up.

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    2. John--and do read, Finding Family by Richard Hill. He did an amazing amount of detective work locating his mother. It's on Amazon and highly recommended.

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  18. Thank you for keeping the issue of 'sealed original birth certificates' at the forefront of basic human rights. As Adoptees and First Mothers who are continuing to come out of the closet and speaking out, they will progressively become a large 'Voter' base.

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  19. Campbell looks like an evil, mean bitch because she is one. No "birthmother" has a right to deny contact to her child, that is abuse and should not even be an option. I don't give a shit if she was raped either, her child didn't rape her and women in that situation need to stop being immature prima donnas (oh I am such a victim)and grow the hell up. It AIN'T all about them as her child is innocent and has a right to know everything about their own life.

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    1. Personally, I think the "rape" scenario and subsequent denial of contact is largely in the mind of the legislators, who can't imagine, etc. The women behind the unsealing of records in Maine is Bobby Beavers--who was raped and that is how she became pregnant. I'm not saying this is true for all, but the hidden woman (whether or not she was raped) image is legislators using a woman's skirts to hide behind. They--men and women--haven't thought through the fallacy in the bad law behind sealed records, now they have to admit that the state has been operating under bad law--so why not pin it on the women? In their attempt to be "kind" they are destroying lives.

      And yes, all mothers who relinquished need to stand up and accept their children. Any other action is cowardice.

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    2. A rape victim IS a victim. I am not impressed by some of these comments about mothers who were raped. Not all cultures or families are as forgiving, perhaps as yours.

      This post was originally about an open-records bill that was shot down by an adoptive mother. Now, there are rude(to say the least) comments directed at raped women.
      Open your minds. You don't know what some women have to live with, even in the USA in the 21st century.

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    3. Legislators should not let themselves be swayed by a ghost constituency of anonymous people. It's not right and it's not democratic.
      However, I agree with Anon 4:36 PM. Unless we know their history and circumstances, it is not fair to judge women who've been made pregnant by rape so harshly.

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    4. Sorry, what did I miss? Rude comments, and "forgiving as yours"? Who are you talking to? Women who were raped 15, 20, 30 years ago whose families have not forgiven them? What?

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    5. Yeah I know. A rape victim is a rape victim. I've been raped. I conceived my daughter through that rape. And guess what? I kept her. Well, actually she lived with my brother for a couple of years and then I took her back. I have never grown so much, or been so strong in my life for doing that. Her father date raped me and he went to jail and she doesn't want to see him which is her choice (and mine also). We've talked about it in length (she's 16 now)and it brought us even closer together. Doing the right thing, as in not walking out on your child and not blaming your child for what isn't her fault makes one develop character and maturity. It amazes me in self absorbed America how much that isn't honored but that is the people's loss. I love my daughter very much and I don't think about how she came to be. I think about what a remarkable person she is and that she is her own person. Not him( her father). Lorraine I agree that the government probably uses rape as an excuse but so do many adoptive parents to pacify their selfishness for wanting birth mothers to stay out of their lives.

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    6. It was actually good to hear that your daughter could be kept in the family while you got your life on track. So often we hear about in family adoptions that do not work out so well--aunts and uncles who close off contact and do not want the mother to come around again--ever. It sounds like you and your daughter have a good relationship--and both of you are to take credit for that.

      Yes, the rape excuse is used by legislators, who listen to NCFA and the rest, and they all like to bring up the rape issue as a reason to keep records sealed. It is a bogus reason, and punishes the child for something they did not do.

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    7. "It is a bogus reason, and punishes the child for something they did not do."
      I agree. So blame the legislators and not the women.

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    8. No one is blaming the women. The legislators use the mythical woman (who was raped) to keep the records sealed. No matter, the child becomes an adult and should have the right to self-autonomy, which surely includes the right to know who you were at birth, and thus, who you are, fully and totally.

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    9. BTW, I was raped by someone I knew. I did not get pregnant.

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  20. I cannot speak for rape victims, being fortunate in never having had that terrible experience. It must be traumatic for both the adoptee and mother when that is the case, and I would hope those people would have lots of help and support in dealing with their special and painful issues. I do know some birthmothers who were raped with pregnancy resulting who are active in adoption reform, Bobbie Beavers and filmmaker Sheila Ganz who has done some remarkable work to promote open records with her documentaries. I am glad I never had to make the choice because I fear that rape is the one situation where I would have considered abortion.

    Lorraine is right, the legislators are just hiding behind invisible women when they say they are keeping records sealed to protect birthmothers, because today there is no such protection whether adoptees have access to their OBC or not. There are DNA searches, internet searches, Facebook searches, search angel and private detective searches, none of which require the OBC to find the mother or father. Determined adoptees have been finding their birthparents for over 40 years now despite sealed records, and it gets easier every day. Whether the pregnancy was the result of rape or love, nobody can give a guarantee to any mother that she cannot be found. Legislator are lying when they assure closet moms of protection, because really there is no such thing.

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  21. It sounds to me as if Sen. Campbell is trying to make her adopted daughter's experience in the family as if it is exactly the same as the bio/step kids' experience. She probably doesn't want the adopted daughter to have 2 other families (maternal and paternal) in the picture; people she looks like, probably acts like, etc. I doubt this is an uncommon reaction from adoptive parents when there are both bio and adopted children in the family. But because being raised in one's bio family is a very different experience than being an adoptee, what Sen. Campbell is doing is, imho, a form of emotional abuse.

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    1. To every adoptee in Texas too. But like I said in my comment before the last one, she looks like a mean, evil bitch. Even my 16 year old said so! You know what else she said to me once? Thank you Mom for not giving me away..

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    2. To quote Donna Campbell, "A decision that was made at the time [of adoption] needs to be respected, and the government does not need to get involved in that decision" Clearly, she cares nothing about her adopted daughter, who took no part in that "decision." And often, the only truly affirmative party to that "decision?" - the adoptive parents.

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  22. This may have already been covered previously, but I have a question. As I am trying to become familiar with laws in Kentucky in regard to Original Birth Certificates, it states that the Birth Certificate is not sealed at the point of 'termination of rights', but only after the child is Adopted and the Adoption is final, is the Birth Certificate 'Sealed'. So my question is, if the child was conceived by way of 'rape' and then goes to foster care, but does not become adopted, that child retains his/her original birth certificate. Does the First Mother have the power even to have the Birth Certificate sealed, and a new one established, for anonymity sake? How is she planning to remain anonymous if their isn't a new Birth Certificate issued? What am I missing here? Thanks!

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  23. Sandy--You've asked a legal question, but in general birth certificates are not sealed, nor is a new one issued, until the adoption is finalized. I don't know of a case where a mother (or a father) has the power to have an original birth certificate sealed--because then the individual, not adopted, would have no birth cert. at all. Children in foster care who are not adopted retain their original birth certificates.

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  24. As far as I know, only the state can seal the OBC, as Lorraine has said. It is not up to the biological parents at all no matter how the child was conceived, and those who remain in foster care retain their original birth certificate forever unless adopted, only then is the original sealed and a new one issued. This is another argument about how sealing the OBC is NOT to protect the original parents, because in cases where there is a surrender or termination and the child remains in foster care, the original with all identifying info remains as the child's legal identity.

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  25. Thank you. I guess I wondered how the legislators can make an argument about anonymity for a mother who is raped, when she isn't guaranteed anonymity if that child is not adopted. It seems like a poor argument on their part to use 'keeping the mother's anonymity' secure. Thanks again, I'm learning something new everyday with these sealed OBC's.

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  26. Sandy, it truly is a state law, not something the first mother chooses. I wanted to add that the APs can't choose either. I looked into not amending my daughter's BC or sealing her OBC. My argument was that we are in a very open adoption, and all parties had a copy of her OBC, and there was no name change. Why did the BC need to be altered in any way? After talking with several lawyers, it was clear that it was not legally possible to adopt her but not amend her BC to add our names, and the state law is to seal away the OBC. It's really not a choice of anyone besides the legislatures and the very vocal APs and some first moms (there are some) who fight against it.

    I am hopeful that as open adoption becomes the norm, it will provide further proof (not that any is needed, IMO, besides that adoptees are people and deserve their history) that closed records does not serve anyone besides the selfish few.

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  27. Tiffany, this was even the case where someone I knew adopted an adult daughter for inheritance reasons as well as emotional reasons. She had been living with the family since leaving her original adoptive home as an abused gay teen. Many years later they made it official by legal adoption, and asked that the BC not be sealed, but this was not allowed. So this woman has three birth certificates, two of them sealed, whether she or her last adoptive parents want it or not! Her original adoptive parents were long dead at the time. This is just nuts.

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  28. You are right Tiffany, with more openness dispelling all of this 'secrecy', hopefully it will begin to make sense to people that a person's right to their OBC (medical history, at the very least) trumps a person's right to their secrets. It is just so ridiculous!

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  29. Apparently Senator Campbell likes her role as the benefactor of legalized human trafficking, the 3 prongs of which are: 1) Receipt of a human being their consent; 2)Abuse of the child's vulnerability (withholding their right to know their origins); 3) For exploitative purposes (to provide for Senator Campbell's emotional needs vs. promoting the equal rights of her child). Let's hear it for Adoption in America!

    ReplyDelete

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