Archive for January 12th, 2008

The discussion on open records and demanding that birth certificates are not only available, but also unaltered and containing the truest information available has be ratcheted up a notch with this story out of the UK about twins who’d been separated at birth meeting as adults, falling in love and marrying.

When Mark and I met, one of the strongest emotions I experienced was a feeling of recognition, an instant awareness that this person was important to my life, that a part of me I hadn’t even realized was missing had finally been found … I felt whole.

Having experienced the intensity of that love-at-first-sight connection, I can imagine how amazing the attraction would be if the soul mate had actually been a womb mate back when the soul was first forming. Coming to that relationship with none of the filters society and biology preps us with … and even non-humans react to the “incest taboo”, a fact I’ve seen for myself in populations of captive non-human primates and one that Darwin observed and wrote on … including not even the basic knowledge of the bio connect is a recipe for … well, for stuff that isn’t supposed to happen.

Some of those commenting on the Telegraph’s version of the story are suggesting DNA testing for all marriage applicants, but it seems a much easier, less costly and less intrusive addressing of the issue could be done by providing everyone with the information of exactly who they are.

DNA tests should not be trotted out as the modern form of identification unless we really want a world where people get into the practice of picking future spouses only after checking out that their genes prove them to be free of anything that could complicate matters someday in the future.

Frankly, folks, I find the thought of marching down the aisle into the arms of the love of my life with a report letting me know that he has a genetic propensity toward bowel cancer and baldness in hand just a bit less romantic a notion that I would like to embrace on my wedding day.

I would, however, be very happy to know if the man giving me away is biologically connected to me and assured that the one he is giving me to most certainly isn’t, and that seems a right as basic as any.

A couple of notes to readers:

I had almost three-quarters of a long post written when my computer did something fishy and ate everything on my desktop. The post was in response to Joy’s response to a comment on a blog from last week. I was in the process of thanking her for an amazingly heart-felt lesson on how adoption impacts her life with vivid descriptions of the physical manifestations she has suffered.

I am sorry not to give this the space it should have, but I spent all my energy on the first draft and I’m too wrung to reconstruct. I’ll hit the salient points, however …

Her writing went a long way toward bridge building, and I am very grateful for the time and energy she spent educating and informing those of us who have come to adoption from other angles. I am also hopeful that through such conversations as this … and it most certainly is a conversation people are listening to … progress will be made toward the day when everyone approaching adoption will be armed with ALL the information.

I do not see any readers here taking issue with Joy’s demand that no child should ever come to be adopted unnecessarily.

I hesitate to ask Joy if she thinks her adoption was unnecessary, since that would be voyeurism in the extreme, but do not doubt that many adoptees suspect that to be their case or know this as fact after reunion.

By sharing her story, she has taken great steps to help build a world where it becomes more likely that potential adoptive parents, understanding better her own personal pain, will demand that any child coming to them have absolutely no other option, and where birth mothers have a deeper understanding of more consequences of relinquishment. The more we all know and understand, the more power we have, and the less manipulation is possible. Education is the key.

Thank you, Joy.

The other note:

For those ready and willing to increase involvement in the run-up to the Adoptee Rights Protest, Gershom will be providing some direction for us as soon as she’s cleared the decks, and her desk, and can devote a bit of time giving us some guidance.

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