• A Must Read List for Adoption Truths

    • In many states across the USA including New York, Adoptee Rights bills are introduced to state legislators year after year. Due to lack of public support and misinformation based outdated beliefs about the adoption process, year after year, this bills fail to become laws.

    • I am a product of this experiment. I was born on December 24th, 1988 and I was soon transferred from one mother to another because my first mother, known throughout my life as my birth mother, wasn’t married to my birth father. She was 16 years old and still in high school.

    • I was 14 when I learned I was pregnant and my life changed forever. Once I’d gotten that fateful news, I tried to imagine what it would be like to have a baby; I wondered if I’d be able to finish school, would I be able to give my baby the life she deserved?

    • So How Do We Fix Adoption in the USA? Domestic Voluntary Infant Adoption is what we are discussing here. Women facing and unplanned pregnancy and “choose” adoption rather than parenting. If you aren’t aware of adoption facts, then you might not be aware of the need for reform.

    • There are some facts about adoption that, really, you cannot dispute unless you are just trying to purposely to stay ignorant regarding the facts of infant adoption in this country. Adoption is, in its perfect form, suppose to be about finding homes for children that need them, not about finding children for parents that want them.

    • What Happens to the Numbers of Adoptable Infants in the USA if We Compare to Australia? IF the USA had similar adoption practices to Australia and supported mothers, in the US we would have only 539 Voluntary Domestic Infant relinquishments annually give or take.

    • The relinquishment and subsequent adoption of my son was actually picture perfect. I am a perfect example of exactly what adoption is when it works just as it is suppose to.The adoption of my son was perfect, I did everything the “right” way and still; the adoption of my son caused unnecessary pain and was wrong. This is way I speak out against adoption today.

    • Adoption was almost more like a crack that happened in my soul. A crack that that I thought and was encouraged to believe that would be temporary or always below the surface. Over time, the rest of life worked it’s way in, like water in cement and caused the very foundation of myself to crumble.

    • When I relinquished Max, it was suppose to be something that affected ME. Like so many things in adoption, the professionals were wrong. The “gift of adoption” just keep on giving and giving.. the pain has a huge ripple effect that touches every aspect of a woman’s lives including ALL our children.

    • Secondary adoptee rejection is a very real reality in adoption reunions. We all have a different skill set and experiences to handle a reunion.There are many mothers who were simply told to “never speak of this again” and that has proven to be a real unhealthy bit of advice.

    • The simple fact is that it is less than 1% of all relinquishing mothers desire to never set eyes on their children again. So because these 1% mothers another 6 to 8 million people and their children and their children’s children get denied medical histories, get denied their identity, get denied their truth..

    • Most adoption agencies will offer free “birthmother” counseling as part of their adoption services. A true counselor is supposed to advocate for their client, not the organization for which they work. Often adoption counseling is “in agency” and therefore, not really nonpartisan. There is no guarantee that the “counselor” is neutral and actually has the expectant mothers’ best interests at heart.

    • I figured that I would write a post that makes it easier for women to become birthmothers. Hence, here’s a handy guide on how to become more appealing to adoption agencies and ways to ensure that you will place your baby.

Ohio’s Adoptee Rights Legislation: Almost a Law

Senate Bill 23 HAS PASSED and Is Awaiting the Governor’s Signature!

Ohio Adoptee rights billsAn amended  version of Ohio’s Adoptee Rights Legislation,  Senate Bill 23, has passed both in the Ohio House of Representatives (91-2 on Wednesday December 2nd) and the Ohio Senate (unanimously on Wednesday December 11th)! 

The bill is on its way to the Governor for his signature for it to become law.

About Substitute Ohio Senate adoptee Rights Bill 23

Ohio Senate Bill 23, were introduced February of 2013. This legislation allows:

  1. Ohio adoptees adopted 1964 to 1996* access to their Original Birth Certificate upon request at age 18, starting one year from bill enactment date**.
  2. Ohio birthparents to file a Contact Preference Form specifying if and how they would like contact.
  3. Ohio birthparents to complete and put on file an updated medical history for the adoptee.

*Adult adoptees from before 1964 in Ohio already have this right, as do the vast majority of adoptees after 1996.
** Enactment is 90 days after the bill is signed, so records will be available one year after that – “Opening Day” is therefore expected in the spring of 2015.

One More Call to Help Ohio Become an Open Records State!

ohio obc legislation adoptee rights

ACTION ALERT: PLEASE DO THIS NOW! 

  1.  Contact Governor Kasich encouraging him to sign the bill! Here’s how:
    • Online: Click on the following link and fill out the required information. In the message section, be sure to include that you are contacting the office in support of Substitute Senate Bill 23.   http://www.governor.ohio.gov/Contact/ContacttheGovernor.aspx
    • Phone: Call (614) 466-3555. When the office answers – indicate that you are calling in support of recently passed legislation. You will be transferred to an aide. Be sure to let the aide know you are calling in support of Substitute Senate Bill 23. You may be asked your name and contact information, however you do have the option of remaining anonymous.

Understanding Legislative Compromises

Ohio’s original clean bill has been slightly compromised. This is always a huge bone of contention within the Adoptee Rights community, but sadly is the battle that we face again and again. There always seems to be a legislator that just insists on believing the ancient mythology that “we need to protect the privacy of the poor birthmother” and it comes down to adding provisions and getting a bill passed that is not perfect or not getting anything passed at all. Some will say that an Adoptee Rights bill that does not treat every single adoptee equally is just not good enough and some are happy to accept progress. I am not a fan of stupid provisions that “protect” birthmothers, but I do like seeing 99% of the adoptee population in their state finally able to access what is rightfully theirs.What I try to remember is that it is documented that less than 1% of mothers actually every use such features. Yes, I understand this does NOT help the folks that fall into that 1%, but if nothing else at least, if they are denied , they KNOW something about their birth mothers even if it is just that she is terribly damaged in some way.

In addition this bill, the particulars below from Adoption Equity Ohio, only gives a one year window in which a name, only a name, can be whited out.  I also know that if this bill did not happen this time around, it probably never will due to the bill calendar and other working agreements that have allowed it get as far as it has.

The amended Substitute version of the bill includes the original contact preference and medical history provisions and adds a 1-year period in which a birthparent can request to have only their name redacted (whited out) from the birth certificate. After the 1 year period has expired, no birthparent may redact and adoptees from ’64-’96 can begin to request their adoption files. This is NOT A DISCLOSURE VETO – all adoptees will receive the contents of their adoption files. Other new provisions include: mandating that birthparents who redact submit a social and medical history form; permitting birthparents to un-redact at any time; adding a mechanism for adoptees to request updates on medical history from birthparents who redacted; and allowing adoptees born in Ohio but adopted out-of-state and adoptees born out-of-state but adopted in Ohio to request their adoption files. While the redaction portion is not what we had hoped for, we are encouraged that, in practice, the sub bill will function in a way that retains the integrity of the bill. We thank Senators Beagle and Burke for fighting a good fight in the Senate.

What I Wonder

Maybe because I am not an adoptee myself, I am too easy on these issues? Or maybe because I have gone head to head with many legislators and I know how cemented they are in their opinions?   I do give in and personally see the movement of each and every state as victories. No, it’s still far from perfect, but I know when I talk to said legislators and I get to say the them that there are ten states that have recognized  Adoptee Rights, then it gets every more impressive and puts even MORE pressure on them to do something.  I personally add disclaimers about the states that are NOT exactly what we hope as words of warning to them and do always push the “clean” states that get it right, but yeah, I go for the glass is half full.

Now of course, an Adoptee Rights bill is supposed to restore the civil rights of an adopted person to access their OBC like a non adopted person, but aside from that, we know that many folks do want  their OBC’s as it is a first ( and super helpful)  step in acquiring information for an adoption search. In my best lobby voice, I say that’s not the issue and one has nothing to do with the other as a person should have the right to do what they wish with their legal documentation, however, no matter how much we try to keep the issues separated, the legislators, the opposition and the public confuse it anyway .

So, I give a personal hats off for Ohio,  Adoption Equity Ohio and all the folks who worked so hard on getting it this far. If you agree with me; please take a moment and contact Governor Kasich encouraging him to sign the bill!

 

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Claudia Corrigan DArcy

About Claudia Corrigan DArcy

Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine, Adopt-a-tude.com, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.
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6 Responses to Ohio’s Adoptee Rights Legislation: Almost a Law

  1. Leslie White says:

    Sorry, I just don’t understand the part about birth-parents being able to remove there names from the OBC, I am an adult-adoptee that doesn’t know who my birth-parents are and I think that gives birth-parents all the control, once again.

    • adminadmin says:

      Yup it does. And it completely sucks. It’s not equal rights, it’s called the best that can be done right now.

      The ONLY good thing is that MOST will NOT. That’s a simple fact. And while I have known MANY adoptees who are rejected by the birthparents, I have yet to meet one who was denied on a post legislative effort “preference/ veto/ contact” disclosure thing.

      • Leslie White says:

        Thanks for that, and hopefully the law covers health-bio issues. Sorry, again if the comment sounded insensitive. (I realise this is a blog/website for birthmother.)

        • adminadmin says:

          Oh no worries there!! It’s not just for moms.. highly Adoptee-centric here!! It’s more like a no kool aide zone than anything else.. so all truth speakers welcome! :) I’m pretty usre that the medical records are non negotiable! The one year “out” will ONLY allow for a birthmother to have her NAME removed.. the adoptee still gets the file, medical records, etc. Personally, I think the adoptee should get the OBC and if SHE is that freaked out that her child wants her name then SHE can go though the trouble of legally changing her name!

          • kym says:

            Hey Leslie,
            I’m adopted too and I enjoy Claud’s blog, because she supports adoptee rights among other things. We’re all in this together. It’s other people who want to keep us separated, silent, and secretive, while saying adoption is “best”.

  2. Leslie White says:

    Oh, I know; I like Claud’s blog, She has a powerful voice for our rights! I am an adoptee, too. Even tho I am kind of old (LOL) I’m new to the whole commenting (chat) and even the internet; which I think is a powerful tool. And also it is nice to hear from an adoptee..

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