So, I planned originally to write a short Goodbye NAAM blog, until Jean Strauss's Absurd Dilemmas Caused by Secrets in Closed Adoptions showed up in Huffington Post this afternoon. (Please someone, tell me how does one become a HuffPo blogger!) Here's my rush job.
Benedict Bastard Strauss, who rode into California on her white horse and skeeved out on her ass,( here and California Adoption Reform sidebar) frames her HuffPo essay around the fallacious claim that original birth certificate access is about getting medical histories for adoptees. She rattles on about "birthmother" privacy, too. Neither of which has anything to do with the civil and human right of every person to receive their government produced birth certificate without state or third person restriction. Strauss conflates sealed records with closed adoption. Taking a cue from Sara Feigenholtz, she cooks the books claiming that 10 states, not 6, acknowledge the right of its bastards to their own original birth certificates. The first paragraph alone should disqualify Strauss from the debate
How angry would you be if the government had personal information about you -- but wouldn't let you see it? Many adult adoptees can relate to this experience -- forty states still withhold their original birth certificates from them. The secrets inherent in closed adoptions can create a lifetime of frustration and feelings of being second-class citizens -- and can also create absurd dilemmas.
Oregon, New Hampshire and Maine (she left out Alabama; Kansas and Alaska have no such provisions) allow birthparents to file 'no consent' forms where they can stipulate their desires regarding contact. The number of birthparents who file such documents is infinitesimal. For example, in New Hampshire, where adoptees have had access since 2005, with over 24,000 sealed records on file only 12 birthparents have requested 'no contact'.
A contact veto provision in a records access law allows birth parents to file an affidavit with the government stating that they do not want to have any contact with their relinquished adult biological children. Violation of a contact veto may subject an adopted adult to criminal penalties.
*authorizes the State Registrar to replace the original birth certificate of those subjected to the contact veto/disclosure veto with a mutilated copy of the obc with all identifying information, including the address of the parent(s) at the time of birth (if they appear on the cert) deleted.
*requires "birthparents" who file a contact veto/disclosure veto to submit an intrusive and probably illegal medical and family history form to activate the veto.
*requires "birthparents" who file a contact veto/disclosure veto to fill out the same intrusive and probably illegal medical and family history form.
There certainly are birthparents who want and need privacy -- and the New Jersey bill allows them to have their names removed from the birth certificate.