' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Human rights going down again in New York; Sometimes anger is justified and this is one of those times!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Human rights going down again in New York; Sometimes anger is justified and this is one of those times!!!

Lorraine testifying in 2015
I am so f&^cking angry and upset. This is not a regular blog post but instead I want to tell you why I am so angry, Dear Reader.

Again it appears the 2018 legislative session will end in New York, and again we are getting shot down in New York--unless Joe Lentol, chair of the Codes Committee in the Assembly, is struck by thunder and enlightenment, unless the what's-in-it-for-me governor of New York, Cuomo, sees a political advantage in our bill over the next few days, our bill to end the tyranny of sealing original birth records of some people will again die.

It is a clean bill--no hide-behind-the-skirts of women in the closet bill; no, the bill, (A9959-B; and S-7631-B)) would give adopted people over 18 the right to their own birth certificates. That's all it would do. It wouldn't bomb anybody, cause panic in the streets, destroy the environment, cost an appreciable amount or anything at all,  but no, once again some people will lose out of the full freedoms that the rest of us know because we are: not adopted. 

One of my opinion pieces in Newsday
Some years I absorb this better than I am today. I have been working on bills like this since the mid-Seventies. In the process I've testified several times; written god-knows-how-many letters and emails; called people who might make a difference; written a few dozen pieces for national magazine and newspapers, as well as two memoirs; lobbied in person, been interviewed on television and radio and for countless stories, all to change the damn laws that date from the 1930s. I've written to legislators whose names have been all but forgotten in the decades since I realized I had a voice and could speak about this issue. I've been threatened to be sued until the rest of my life is destroyed by a leader of a group I refuse to name, as that gives them credence, but most of you know who I mean. I've been called at home and yelled at by adoptive parents. I've received nasty letters from adoptive parents, been called names, been told I am "obsessed," been put down by academics for not being one of them when I write about this, been told by editors the blog here is too "strident" and thus they do not want to publish my book. Mostly I can take it in stride. (But I have had my moments.)

Lorraine and daughter Jane, her first visit to NYC,
Spring, 1982
But this year I am just angry. It appears that our bill will die. Again. As before. Again. Last year Cuomo had a terribly written bill before him to sign; everyone basically lobbied against it. He did not sign it but asked that a special committee in Health look it over and come up with a better bill.  Their report came up with no conclusion--yes, the records should be open; no, there are some voices against that. So the process in the end was a wash.

In the Albany Times-Union
This year I dared to hope that it might be different, but the last word that we have out of Albany is: no dice. Bill in Codes is going to die by Wednesday. A bill that would have given the last group of people in Connecticut their original birth records also died earlier this year. Have these legislators no heart? Can they not imagine for one nano-second what it would be like to have no past, to have no right to a single piece of paper that might unlock the mysteries of origin? I think not.

There are two or three more days left in Albany this year when the legislature will convene. I will call the Governor's office on Monday and let off some steam to whomever answers the phone, and I urge anyone who cares about human rights, no matter where you live, or where you were adopted, or where you relinquished a child, to do the same. (number below). Get angry, cry, be emotional. Time for being reasonable is over. Let the person who picks up the phone understand how important this is. In Albany they will pass a bunch of bills in the last few hours. They may declare the third Wednesday in October New York Maple Syrup Day--that's the kind of stuff they are good at. But unless something big happens, they and Governor Cuomo will do nothing for human rights. Again. --lorraine
THE GOV: 518-474-8390 (9am-5pm)



  1. This is unbelievable! What's wrong with these people? Even the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys now supports opening records. Oregon records have been open for over 18 years bringing joy to many. No reported cases of first mothers going ballistic because their secret showed up at the door.

    1. The Brennan Center for Justice long ago reported that the NY legislature was one of the most ineffective in the country.

    2. Just want to say much love and respect to you both Lorraine Dusky and Jane Edwards. Its a shame NY has not passed this law as of yet. I was born and adopted in NY. A few years back I finally pieced together my maternal side prior to doing my DNA. Now hopefully I'm getting close in finding my paternal side. I somewhat feel lucky to know half of who I am but I will always long and will never give up to learn the other half. It should be my birth right. With it being Father's Day today, my heart aches to one day to be able to say... Happy Father's Day to a man I never knew, yet I know he has a kind heart <3

      Thanks Lorraine Dusky for all the work and advocating you have done over the years. You're a special lady to me. Hugssssss

  2. Sorry to read the above - and down under a Commonwealth inquiry is being held into the barriers that are keeping adoptions low - they are not listening to mothers who have first hand experience of their sons/daughters who were stolen during birthing process 50/70's and placed for adoption - and adopted persons are angry down under that such an inquiry should take place also - so human rights of mother - son/daughter - is heading down the drain down under - and the Minister who called the inquiry is a medical practitioner - entered politics late 2013 -thinking of you - don't give up - we are not giving up down under - because of what appears to be planned down under - we will have another generation whose human rights will be violated - and history will repeat itself - stay strong - in our thoughts

    1. I've been watching Australia's push to increase adoptions again. Of course they will not listen to mothers. People are desperate for infants and children. It's inexcusable that they cannot get/take/acquire what they want, when they want it /s. They do not listen to mothers because mothers are not mothers. We are not human beings. We are vessels. We are simply incubators for those that demand infants...so why listen to us?

      Folks keep wondering why some of us call adoption evil. The way and for the "reasons" it is so often done, it is evil.

      How many of these, pushing for the "right" to --take-- another mothers child, would scream and cry loudly that it was an evil thing to do...if it was they who lost their infants?

      Study after study, through the years have shown the detrimental effects of separation on both mother and child. Mothers, in the eyes of these who want more infants available, are not human. They/we have no rights. Infant is removed from mother, family, nation. Sale of the human being is completed. Ownership papers are drawn up. All previous identity is stripped. Transfer of property is made. Sure the heck sounds like slavery/dehumanization to property to me.

    2. I will no longer be checking this blog. I originally heard about your book at a library in horrible Rochester, NY (local interest) and sometimes access it. I very much disagree with open records, but have (some) sympathy for ADULTS who may need a genetic history. Your crude rants, however, have gone too far and any sympathy I might have had for you, and other women who cheat with married men, has evaporated. I will let my elected officials know records should be forever sealed. You are a perfect example of why!!!!!!!!! I

    3. Keeping birth certificates sealed is not about punishing me or my daughter's father, but ending discrimination against adopted people themselves.

      They were never asked if they wanted to be denied what the rest of the population has--presumably including yourself, Anonymous--the right to know who their biological mother is, and how they fit into the tree of life. You can dislike me, and the blog--you hardly seem like a regular reader--but why punish and discriminate against all adopted people who were born in New York?

    4. So, Anonymous, because Lorraine used some swear words and vented on her personal blog, you think people like my daughter don't deserve to know who and where they came from? So when it comes time for her third grade family tree, she should just turn in a blank poster and smile and be happy about it?

      Here's what I think: you have more room in your small heart for offense over a couple bleeped words than for thousands of people who are denied a basic human right to know their own origins. Sites like 23 and Me and Ancestry should be shut down and no one should have access to their birth records, then. Because it is nothing short of state sponsored discrimination that ONLY adoptees are denied their own record of birth to satisfy the moral bankruptcy of people like you. You should be rightfully ashamed of yourself and your petty vindictiveness of taking out your anger against completely innocent group of people. Bigotry is far uglier than a few swear words.

    5. Lorraine, I'd say it was my June 18th comment that sent anonymous tipping over the edge. I find it interesting that they capitalized the word ADULTS in their comment. It tells me this person does not ever want children (under the age of, what? 21? 25? 40?) to know their biological connections or history of any kind. And obviously, now, does not want an adoptee or their descendants to ever know. I don't see the poster as a closeted mother or even a father who doesn't ever want responsibility. I see them as someone who wants the child to have one family and one family only. Forever. Only my opinion, but the emphasis of that word to me is very telling. Sorry they chewed on you.

      Anonymous, are you also going to shut down all DNA testing sites, and Facebook, and put gag orders forever barring people that know about the child from speaking? Are you going to destroy all high school yearbooks so they can't be used to find family? Are you going to have new mothers sequestered away so they have no idea what day or even what month it is so no one knows when the child is born? Are you going to be so punitive and primitive in the practice that you keep the mother drugged so they have no knowledge of boy or girl or weight? Do you plan to slip the mother secretly to a hidden location to give birth so no hospital is known of or recorded or in memory? Speaking of memory, are you going to have the memories of all who knew of the existence of the child erased? Do you really believe that closed records are going to stop the 'freight train' of adoptees finding mothers, fathers, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins? Are you going to place all adoptees under surveillance/house arrest to where they cannot ever use any means to find their biological family? No. You won't and you can't, and trying to do such a thing by keeping original birth certificates and records sealed is a very punitive and vindictive thing to do. Adoptees nor their descendants asked for any of this. What crime did they commit that the punishment should be so cruel and harsh? Tell me, what crime did a newborn infant or young child commit? Was it simply they were born to the "wrong mother"?

    6. Lorraine, this "Anonymous" is an unhappy person, whose unhappiness is not caused by your efforts. The phrase "... and other women who cheat with married men, ..." is a real flag, and the other comments in the post don't make any sense. She "sometimes accesses" your book? What is that supposed to mean (if anything?) I doubt Anonymous has read your book.

      I suspect this was posted simply to yank your chain - and I suspect that "Anonymous" didn't let her "elected officials know records should be forever sealed." What a ridiculous drama queen! I recommend that you don't let this post, which is pure nonsense, bother you. Hopefully, as promised, "Anonymous" won't check this blog and further darken your door. Good Riddance to trolls and spam!

    7. Thanks everyone! I posted the comment because well, to let you see what kind of stuff comes my way. But it did not get me down because I recognized it as someone who is very angry and doesn't understand adoption from the inside. I checked, and did see that hole in my heart has been taken out of the Rochester library nine times.

  3. Thank you for all you do, Lorraine. I wish I could feel anger right now, but I don't. I'm numb. Still fighting. Feeling good that I got my points across on the New York Times article today - that's an accomplishment. Maybe some of what I said there will reach someone.

  4. So, anonymous , who are YOU protecting?? it takes two people to make a baby. Are you ONE of them...or are you protecting one of them?
    A growing movement of MRA's (Men's Rights Advocates) wants to promote adoption of children...old-fashioned, secret, sealed-records forever....adoption.
    Are you one of those?
    Sounds possible...

    But...it has never worked. Secrecy fails... someone always knows, or there is always a way to "expose" the truth..or people just get tired of the lies...

  5. Clearly Anonymous just doesn't get it. So all women who relinquished their children to adoption cheated with married men? They weren't young broken hearted women of love gone bad, or pregnant because of ineffective contraception, rape or incest? So all single women who have children without the benefit of clergy are sluts? What about the single celebrity moms who adopt? I'm sure she voted for Trump.

    1. I'm a first mom who, along with my many friends, voted for Trump and am quite proud of it . He's the best president this country has had in my lifetime. Ironically, although many here dislike him, he would be an excellent person to get on our side to unseal the closed records in N.Y. and possibly all remaining states. He is a strong supporter of REAL birth certificates as opposed to those fabricated by the government for adoption.

    2. Sarah, I also voted for Trump and I agree with you. I think he may the best shot we all have had in a long time. I myself have been thinking about writing him a letter (or to First Lady Melania).Another thing all of us could do is call the White House Comment line ASAP and mention we voted for him and that closed adoption records are similar to separation of families at detention camps. We should also thank him for recently changing the policy for illegals and beg him to please sign an EO to unseal the records in every state for us. What also should be mentioned is that fact that unsealing the records will not increase abortions and the state of Kansas is proof of that along with debunking the birth mother privacy lie by relating how the records were opened in Oregon.
      Lorraine-can you imagine that? Having President Trump do in one quick swoop what the eggheads in NY refuse to do at all? Even if anyone did not vote for Trump it wouldn't hurt to suck in your pride and make this call for the greater good. Here is the phone number:

    3. Trump would be a very strong ally and I suspect Lorraine could do a great job convincing him that it would be a worthwhile cause to pursue. Look how he helped Kim Kardashian get a pardon for her grandmother when Obama refused to consider it 3 times.

    4. I am not Kim Kardashian, I have never had a television show, and I think that Trump is destroying our country, our environment, our mental set as a welcoming nation--like it says under the Statue of Liberty--and encouraging bias and hatred in all different realms. I think what is happening here is the way the hatred of the Jews in Germany got started--concentration camps and gassing Jews and other outsiders did not happen all at once. It was a population that let a charismatic dictator fan the flames. That is what Trump is doing to America, and it is deplorable.

    5. Sarah, Alice Marie Johnson is NOT Kardashian's grandmother.

      There are tens of thousands incarcerated for drug related crimes on very harsh sentences, especially those convicted on marijuana related charges in the very states where it is now legal. Granting mass pardons is not the answer-- fixing the system, as Obama was working to do, is the answer. Trump is not addressing this issue at all. In fact, Trump has been an ardent and vocal admirer of Duterte, the Filipino president whose "tough on drugs" approach has led to mass slaughters and a total disregard for his own country's justice system. Trump has advocated for drug dealers to receive the death sentence.

      It should be troubling to anyone, even those who applaud the pardon of Johnson, that Trump is more willing to listen to celebrities than anyone else. This pardon went against his own statements- that drug dealers should be executed. It should be troubling that Kardashian was able to convince him when she has zero policy understanding or experience. It was purely based on her celebrity. (To be clear, I put none of this on her. I'm not a fan, but I admire what she did.)

      But this is not how a President is supposed to exercise his pardon powers. Similar to how he tweeted out to the NFL players that they should give him names to pardon. It's why he has given pardons to people he likes (Sheriff Joe and Martha Stewart). That is not how this works.

      The reason Obama didn't pardon Johnson is because he played by a very clear set of rules to avoid any appearance of favoritism or nepotism. He had an established panel who reviewed more applications than any administration in history, and they then presented their findings to Obama. He granted more pardons than any previous president (something the GOP flipped over, at the time). The process was not perfect, but it was an established method, free from his own opinions or whims. It's important to note that in a letter published by CNN, Johnson herself stated "Obama made an incredible push at helping to right the wrongs of our criminal justice system."

      Additionally, Trump's EO does nothing. He will now violate our laws by working to hold entire families instead of releasing them. His administration has also stated they have no plans for reuniting children already separated from their parents.

      To all those here, the fact that Bethany is heavily involved in "fostering" the kidnapped children should light up a million red flags. There is no way of tracking which children were removed from which parents (many of whom have already been deported back to their home countries). They will now begin the process of terminating parental rights and adopting out the children. How does that not enrage every single FMF reader??? These children are not pawns, and they should be returned to their families and not placed in foster care so that the adoption process can start ticking.

      Trump is not interested in adoptee rights because many in his admin are hand in hand with the industry, including Betsy Devos. He's also not interested in it because it doesn't play to his base and isn't something that will play with his donors. He proclaimed November 2017 as "National Adoption Month" (as it always is) and stated "My Administration recognizes the profound importance of adoption for the American family."

      I am curious why you would think given all this, he would be interested in opening records?

  6. Where has empathy and compassion gone out of the world today? There are some people who do not want records opened due to privacy laws - there are some people who want records opened - there are two people involved mother son/daughter so surely it can be worked out between parties - and not politicians - the natural mother must have copy of original birth certificate - down under adoptive parents received copy of original birth certificate - they know the name of the natural mother - things hotting up down under - the trauma the inquiry into local adoptions - history possibly going to repeat itself - three public hearings so far - and all those invited are from adoption organisations or adoption workers - they wont listen to mothers - even some babies in utero are being placed under child protection can anyone believe that? What a trauma for the expectant mother - with vultures hanging around during pregnancy - mothers are being treated by not being heard - like they are 2nd class citizens - they treat animals down under better than women in many cases - history repeating itself

  7. My earlier comment along with current headlines has really brought home what closed records and obstinate blocking of access to original birth certificates boils down to.

    Those that block passage of a clean bill to allow adoptees their original birth certificate might as well lock all adoptees in a detention center and keep them under observation. Because honest to God, what they are doing is close to the same thing. There is no FREEDOM OR JUSTICE for adoptees. They are controlled under lock and key. They may look like they are "free to move about the cabin" but the shackles on their heart, mind and soul are there. They are real. And until this nation gets it through it's thick skull or it's hard heart that what has been done to adoptees is the EXACT same thing in being separated and with adoption and closed records it amounts to the child being FOREVER barred from their family again. Oh yes, by all means, let's punish the children! The sons and daughters. (that's sarcasm for any who don't 'get it'.)

    New born infants, taken for adoption, DO cry for their mothers, just like the children on tv. Think about it dammit! And do the decent, humane, just thing for those adopted. Adoptees don't -all- want to find their biological families, that's not the issue. The just thing to do is to allow them -all- their connection to that family, THEIR ROOTS, their connection to the lineage of this earth.

    Give a great gift to adoptees. Give them what truly only belongs to them. Their history, their heritage. Settle their hearts and minds with the peace of **knowing**. Why do you opponents wish to keep them locked up, and tormented, and suffering? Would you all really want to be treated that way? Never given what pertains to you? How would you like it if all your medical records, test results, etc. were forever kept from you ----but---- others could have access to them. But you would never, and would not be told about what was in them. How in blazes would you feel?!!!!!!

  8. Anyone else notice how both christians and liberals are complaining about separating illegals from their children and calling this cruel and inhumane? Yet neither group ever says a word about forced adoption, the BSE era or closed adoption records. I heard Trump just signed an EO to reunite illegals with their children at detention centers, but when will he issue one to open adoption records in every state? The people in this country are such hypocrites!! Why doesn't anyone see how cruel and inhumane the adoption system is and closed records are? Why doesn't anyone ever listen to OUR PAIN? Why do we always lose and why are we always last? I am so digusted right now all I can say is...FUCK America!

  9. Dear Anonymous,

    Open records are not about the first mothers. It's not about helping them, it's not about punishing them. It's all about the adoptee. It's all about easily getting a passport, it's all about knowing a more complete picture of the birth. It may be about potential reunions.

    But it may not have anything to do with the first mother or father.

    I was lucky enough to be born in a state that gave me my original birth certificate. It was a breeze to get a passport because I had my birth certificate and my adoption and name change papers (yes my parents changed the name from my birth certificate, no choice, on that very important piece of paper my "birth" name is Baby Girl).

    I was able to be an exchange student. I am able to travel freely. Why should my ability to do that be impeded by the fact that I'm adopted?

    For me, and probably others, equal access to those documents is not about reunion. I have no interest, even still (maybe especially still). But it is about equal rights as a citizen and human.


    1. Actually since it is a record of the birth of THEIR child, it is kinda about First Mothers too.

  10. Mashka, I must beg to differ. The atrocity called adoption happened to unwed mothers also. Their rights were heartily abused and personally I don't even think forced adoption was really legal but most of these women were isolated and not allowed to get an attorney. I have read horror story after horror story of how some of them were strapped to beds, given Thorazine, had their egos battered down so they would relinquish. None of us should forget the mob effect inflicted on them either-groups of nuns, social workers, doctors and nurses ganging up on a woman very much alone plotting to take her baby away. The records should be opened for multiple reasons and reunion in my opinion is one of them. There is nothing wrong with an adoptee wanting to see her mother's face and be close with her or a mother wanting to see her child's face and be close with her too. That is natural and normal and only adopters and agency owners would fight that truth. Closed adoption goes against the Bill of Rights and the pursuit of happiness at the very least for both natural mothers and adoptees. What happened to unwed mothers during the BSE is in direct correlation with what happened to adoptees. Either way both had no idea where each other were and if they were alright. Both have been made helpless. So don't tell me closed records is just about the adoptee and birth certificates. It isn't.

    1. The very narrow issue of birth certificates remaining under seal is an adopted person issue. Its us it hurts. If you're not adopted, you have your birth certificate. You can get a passport or an enhanced license with no more worry than if you have to take an afternoon off from work. Many adoptees cant even plan that far because they cant even approach that far. I was born in an open record state, I have a passport. If Emperor Babyfists Fanta gets too much, I can realistically think of taking off for Canada or wherever. If an adoptee was born in NY, they may not have that option. How does it affect t you if I cant get my birth certificate? This isnt about first mothers, you have your birth certificate. You can prove yourself to the government. One of the reasons, and probably a big one, is that people make it all about reunion, which scares people (usually people it wouldn't affect anyway). The more people whine that records should be opened for the sole reason of reunion the more likely it is they will remain sealed shut. So no, open records are not about you. This is coming from an adoptee who luckily has her birth certificate and her adoption papers and her name change papers. This is coming from someone who feels for those that don't. This is coming from one that did not want to meet her mother and does not want a relationship with her (read back posts for that disastrous event). If an adoptee wants to find their biological parents, it is a separate issue from closed records. And no, I do not believe that my biological parent should have access to any of my documents any more than I should have unfettered access to yours. The more it's made about reunion, the less likely it will happen and the only ones it TRULY affects on a most basic level is the adoptees, the only ones in this that had NO choice in any of this.

    2. Mashka, You said, "If an adoptee wants to find their biological parents, it is a separate issue from closed records." I beg do differ. It is specifically because, whatever agency, or whomever, never wanted the biological mothers /families in the picture that closed the records.

      They give all kinds of so-called reasons as to why they closed them. Now-a-days they blame us. The mothers. Handy scapegoats.

      I ask you, why, they do not allow ADULT adoptees to receive their original birth certificate since their excuse --used to be-- that it was done to protect the adoptee from the stigma of illegitimacy? That is not an issue for most now-a-days, so far as I know. The adoptee knows they're adopted(most of the time). The time of 'protecting the infant /child' has long past at this point.

      It was done to attempt to separate the infant and mother forever. It was done to "protect" the adoptive family from the biological one. It was done, to hide forever, even into adulthood and every generation to come, the child/ren taken into the adoptive family.

      You yourself say, "The more it's made about reunion, the less likely it will happen..." and "...So no, open records are not about you." Open records are very much about first mothers. Not for them needing a passport identification, or for identity purposes. Or is it? Open records and access for adoptees to original birth certificates do give the mother identity.......as Mother. A lot of folks don't like that. Even when the OBC can be/is stamped 'for genealogical purposes only'.

    3. There are plenty of adoptees that have no interest in reunion. We just want our birth certificates because they are OURS. The more it's made about reunion, the more the ones afraid of that will push back. And as we've seen, they push back hard. If an adoptee CHOOSES to pursue reunion after they receive what is rightfully theirs, mazel tov. If the adoptee obtains their original birth certificate for the purposes of having what all other non-adopted people have but ot choose to pursue reunion that is also their choice and their right. The only horse first parents seem to have in this race is purely emotional, to be able to wave that piece of paper around and scream "see I AM a mother" or worse "see, I am YOUR mother." Dont tell me this issue is about YOUR identity.

  11. Mashka,
    I think, as I recall, you are still in your twenties? And you do not have children?
    Please forgive me, if I seem to be prying, but your comments and my response are based on what I recall from your previous comments.
    Life is much longer than the twenties and adopted people are not the only ones affected here. Birth records are Vital Records...they are about life..not just one person.
    Mothers are listed, and sometimes sign, the birth certificates. They are the origin of the child.
    Other relatives, according to state laws, can get copies of birth certificates. I was born in NY state, and yes, I do have my birth certificate. My parents got 2 copies of it for me in 2005 and mailed those copies to me. NY law allowed them to do that.

    I spent time and money with a NY inheritance lawyer several years ago trying to figure out how to do a proper will so that my grandchildren can inherit from me, without someone in my "legal family" trying to challenge it. I cannot prove a connection to my grandchildren. Legally, our "filiation" is gone.
    I cannot get the OBC of my adopted-away child, their parent, who is no longer alive. At least, I have my court papers, which some people say I should not have...because supposedly those papers I signed are not "mine." Well, they ARE mine.
    Vital Records and court records are gov't records but copies are generally given to the persons whose names are on them....or people who signed them.
    I was divorced many years ago and then remarried several years later. I can still get copies of my divorce decree and my previous marriage papers.
    Yet, I cannot get a copy of the birth certificate of a child I birthed???That is sick...dishonest...evil.
    Birth is fundamental.We all come from someone. Denying the mother is just as bad as denying the child.

    1. Hi Anon (6/22 12:37PM)! The sealing of birth certificates is wrong. You and I agree on that. But this has been an issue for a LONG time. Everyone needs to take a step back and pick their battles. When first parents testify, petition or call for the unsealing of the documents for the SOLE reason of finding their adopted out children, that will put a lot of people on the defensive. Most importantly a lot of important, decision-making people on the defensive. It's self-defeating. The more you demand to be recognized as a mother by possessing a piece of paper that right now no one can get, the less likely it will be that anyone can get it. Is this really the hill you want to die on?

    2. If you are talking about the OBC, there are states that do give it to adoptees and even a couple that have given it to mothers.
      Colorado has had a requirement, for almost 20 years, that mothers who are relinquishing a child must get copies of the OBC before they relinquish the child. Any mother who has relinquished a child in Colorado, as of 2016(new law) is entitled to a copy of the child's original birth certificate, provided the child was not taken through Child Protective Services.
      Several other states, in addition to CO, offer intermediary services to mothers to help them find their children. These laws have been around for a LONG time.
      I could go on, but in general state legislatures are not offended by mothers who testify, at least that has not been my experience. Lawmakers often speak favorably of their friends and relatives who have been reunited.
      Not everyone 'pushes back" or becomes "defensive."
      Yes, some do. But, overall the move has been towards more open-ness.

    3. Yes, there are plenty of adoptees who say they have no interest in reunion. Until they they change their minds. Having watched this as a participant for several decades trying to get records unsealed because it is the right thing to do, I have witnessed adopted people go through the sometimes complicated route to decide they in fact do want reunion. And it usually starts with a piece of paper, a clue of some sort.

      When one lobbies for open records, a legislator can obviously see that it is the right thing to do, but then they come down on the side of "protecting" the woman-in-the-closet. Unless birth mothers in number let it be known that they are OK with unsealing the records, legislators assume that the records should stay sealed to "protect the anonymity" of the mother. It's rubbish of course, but a lot of them only empathize with fathers in the closet and hide behind the woman's skirts. Pushing mothers out of the picture as a route to unsealing records--with their names on it--is the short-sighted route to failure.

  12. Re Wills: I took care of that by simply naming my daughter, my daughter who had been adopted, a recipient of my will, even though at the time I did not know her name. My brother was the executor of the will and I knew he would be scrupulous in taking care of this. Now I need a new will! My daughter predeceased me, but my granddaughter I am in contact with will definitely by part of my will. This is something every first natural birth mother should take care of--even if you do not know who they are. My lawyer indicated that would be fine, and now with DNA people can prove they are your child or children.

  13. Mashka, The way I wrote that could easily be misinterpreted, I'm sorry. I was saying some people, those who are against open records, might be looking at the release of the original birth certificate as giving us first mothers an identity as mother, in THEIR eyes. An, in print, on an 'official' piece of paper. Some don't ever want that to be able to be seen. They want to keep the adoptee with ONLY the amended birth certificate. I don't know if this makes any more sense of what I was trying to say. I was not saying it would give us (first mothers) an identity as mother in OUR eyes. It looks like it could easily be read that way, my mind was thinking of what I meant and I should have read it again before sending, again sorry. Trying to point out that it is not *just* hiding mothers or a reunion topic that is mucking up the works on OBC access.

    Answer me a riddle, Your having your OBC would *identify* (give identity to)your mother and father. If it's not about our identity, are you willing to have an OBC with the names blacked out? If our 'identity' isn't important, why is it important to have our identity on your OBC?

    Anonymous kind of makes the point for what I mean. We mothers (often) were not given and in most states cannot get a copy of the birth certificate of our child. Some do not want ANY evidence of any other mother/family but the adoptive mother/family. That's my point.

    I called the "social worker" a few years back asking if she remembered anything. Of course, it was, "no, sorry." Then she asked how I got her name. (I didn't tell her, but I could never forget her name even if I wanted to.) I told her I had the (surrender) papers. She seemed shocked saying, "well how did YOU get those?" I told her I had no idea. I didn't either. So yes, anonymous, they seem to be displeased if we have ANY thing associated with our child. I wonder if she remembered more than she let on and was suddenly concerned, as they had called me a minor child on the papers. I was closer to 19 than 18 at the time. 17 was a legal adult then. I was too beaten, broken and drugged up to even argue that point. Can you imagine?

    Lorraine, My lawyer said "no can do" to including my son as I did not know his name at the time. The lawyer was an advocate for adoptees as well, so I was pretty confident he knew his stuff. I guess it all depends.

    1. @Cindy,
      it wasn't easy for me to get those papers! I had to get "tough" with the worker. I just kept demanding the relinquishment docs, and anything else that I had signed. Turned out there was a law that said people were entitled to these papers.
      But, you know we are not going to get the papers unless we demand it, or get legal help, something I would also have done.

  14. @Lo,
    re:wills.First, the DNA issue. DNA does not prove that someone is your grandchild. It will prove that "someone" is related to someone else(you, for example), but without the parent alive to check the DNA connection to the parent its difficult to prove that someone is your grandchild. DNA is not specific enough without the parent.
    And not everyone wants to submit their DNA to one of those databanks. I, for one, do not trust the DNA collectors.
    I have written wills and set up trusts, etc for grandchildren. I have an executor whom I trust.

    You cannot ever know what will happen after your death.People start making statements like, "well, this is what he/she would have wanted us to do." Maybe you have heard that when relatives of yours have died. People start challenging things even when you never would have expected it. My relatives surprised me with some of their ideas..

    Every document, especially Vital Records, official legal/court records that back up whatever you want to strengthen can help your/your child or grandchild's position. I also have adoption agency records/personal communications, medical records, doctors' records, personal letters and emails.
    As adoptees have often pointed out on these forums, when inheritance is in the wind the adoptee may be "forgotten." Well, I am here to say that my grandchildren are NOT to be forgotten. But the laws are set up to "make them disappear" because our filiation is gone.
    And, I cannot prove we have a grandparent/grandchild "filial" connection.
    I don't want members of my family challenging my grandchildren's rights to inherit. I truly hope I have done enough to protect that.

  15. I attempted to write my daughter and the boys and now the great grandson into a family trust... that way they would get something. I was told in no uncertain terms that because there is NO legal connection they can't be part of a "family" trust. Because my daughter (long story, not necessary) will not give me their ssn's, etc., I can't give it to them outright.... It is like okay - whatever. It is just another way that my daughter can beat me up and stonewall me. Then when my sister and brother's children inherit, she can complain again how much I hate her.

    This subject can go on and on - seriously. I know that people turn into lunatics when there is an inheritance. Thus my stuff goes into a trust and they can fight the trustees to get it - We tweak it every so often to make sure it stays watertight, so to speak. I will not have those people who think I somehow owe them, but who can't bother to get to know me inherit anything from me.



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