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Posts Tagged ‘Bastard Nation’

The conversation with Gershom continues, and a plan may be forming to attempt unification among those with adoption in their lives by working together even though we come to this from different directions. Although she generously offered to liaise through email, I’m thinking a public discussion could prompt wider participation and some great ideas.

In her comment on yesterday’s blog Gershom mentioned that her focus for the next few months is on the Adoptee Rights Protest scheduled to take place in New Orleans in July. Since the adoptive parent block seems a likely group to be fully in support of rights for adoptees … adoptees being our kids that we’re willing to fight tooth and nail and walk through fire for on every issue … it occurs to me that this could possibly provide an opportunity to find out if olive branches can be construction material in bridge building.

I’m guessing that a casual observer, someone stopping by this blog looking for tips on tropical holidays or such, would assume an easy relationship between adoptive parents and adult adoptees … some for all the reasons many find infuriating, certainly … but Gershom and I won’t make that mistake. We both understand how shaky the ground is, especially after the sort of seismic activity that has been taking place recently and that treading cautiously is important to any walking together toward a common goal that is to be done.

In the early stages of thought on this … and I’ve not yet heard Gershom’s response, so may be completely off base by even beginning to consider a strategy … I’m thinking my contribution will begin with encouraging all adoptive families to make it a priority to investigate the issues surrounding open records, original birth certificates, access by adoptees to information on their identities and such, and to form an opinion; if that opinion agrees with those who fight for adoptee rights, join in the efforts to help them gain them.

If I could be so bold as to suggest a beginning step for Gershom, it would be to ask her to inspire adoptees to think about how they feel about accepting offered efforts from adoptive parents … if they want us in this fight in the first place. It won’t help a bit if our exertions are to be taken as attempts to step on toes, and since this is an adoptee-driven project they get to say who can climb aboard.

(I do know there are many, many adoptive families very involved on all levels of the open records fight, but I’m speaking here about those who may have been intimidated by, turned away from or turned off to adoptee issues by some of the more strident and aggressive, and those who have not yet begun to consider how the prevailing climate will eventually impact their children. Bastard Nation may just be missing a family or two with the message, after all.)

If there seems to be a consensus that joining forces for this event, this specific issue, is acceptable, then we all have to drop the rancor and get out of the habit of bitchy backbiting and “…but what about me?” ing. By beginning with this narrow focus, might we not filter out a lot of the miasma of misery that so often muddies the waters between us with “my pain is bigger or harder or more painful than your pain” contests, and simply accept the fact that all of us come to this table with a hunger for something gnawing at our guts?

(For those so compelled, the rancor and backbiting can still continue unabated as long as it’s kept away from this one issue. Does that sound fair?)

I can’t help but have niggling at the back of my brain the thought that someone reading this is ready to jump down my throat out of an assumption that I’m trivializing something somewhere, an idea that illustrates just how tentative steps may need to be, but we’ll get nowhere if we don’t start somewhere.

We don’t need to agree now on whether adoption is all or partly good or bad, if it should be banned or honored, if it helps more than it hurts or hurts more than it helps. We’re nowhere near ready to sit down at one table to discuss legislative improvements to the process or definitions of reform. BUT we can decide if we will or will not work together toward a goal that focuses on adoptees gaining the rights to their identity and a date in New Orleans in July that will highlight that goal.

If it turns out that we can, the chances of making progress on the other issues improves dramatically.

I am open to all suggestions … as long as they don’t involve impossible contortions for self-gratification. Ach! What the heck? I’ll take those, too, at this stage …

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I have so much I need to write about today, but so little time. We’ve had power cut … AGAIN … and this one lasted all bloody day. The impact of this sort of inconvenience is the blog equivalent of a twelve-hour snow storm when the only plow driver is plowed; by the time he sobers up, stuff is piled high as the rafters and it’s going to take days to dig out.

In an attempt at fairness to Marley of Bastard Nation, I need to spend some time on the site to check out her assertion that the group is not anti-adoption, but rather simply proponents of open records. I’m suspecting I’ll find that to be the case, and I may have to admit that jumping on that bandwagon in yesterday’s post could have been a move inspired by her general grumpiness toward children altogether witnessed often on AltAdopt and other places she gleefully casts little ones as the immature life form they can be.

I’ll get back to y’all on this over the next couple of days.

There are so many more topics for the day, but I’ll leave you with just this one out of the UK about a couple that just won a case in The European Court of Human Rights.

The British Home Office was taken to court to claim damages when a murder serving time and his wife, met and married while he’s been in jail, were not allowed to do the AI dance … a pas de deux possible from different counties.

They turned to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming a violation of their “right to respect for private and family life” and “right to marry and found a family”, both guaranteed by the Human Rights Convention.

Anyone else thinking this “rights” business can go a bit far?

That’s it for today. Fingers are crossed for tomorrow to be a day of electricity … and I ain’t talking thrills, just a dim bulb or two and enough juice to get fruit bat in charge back to cranking the Internet connection.

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A couple of interesting articles in today’s news take a bit of a different slant on familiar themes, and I’m thinking both will be getting a good look here.

First, this opinion piece out of Des Moines has inspired an unsurprising backlash of comments, all immediately recognizable in intent and history.

Open records for adoptees is the opening volley in the piece, but it’s anti-adoption pure and simple that is the target.

Fair-minded and informative, the piece has the temerity … and that is the first impression when such thoughts are actually written down and published … to take Concerned United Birthparents, Bastard Nation and the American Adoption Congress to task and suggest that much of their raison d’etre has less to do with registries, being opposed to the very thought of mutual consent, but rather nothing less than working to force an end to adoption completely.

Media sensationalism has led many to conclude that all parties in adoption are searching. Yet statistics in states with registries tell the opposite story. A study out of the Annenberg School of Communications found that the media exaggerated by 18 times the number of actual “searchers.”

The anti-adoption forces have enjoyed far greater success on the social/media front due to the unwillingness of reporters to dig beneath the surface and explore the agenda of these search advocacy groups. The one notable exception is Lucinda Franks in her New Yorker article around the time of the “Baby Jessica” case, when she exposed the role of these groups in the case. In addition, stories emphasizing grief, loss and pathology due to so-called identity confusion make far more interesting copy than those of content, secure adoptive families.

Bastard Nation is singled out as an organization the promotes, “the portrayal of adoption as a deceptive, hurtful and even pathological institution,” and the point is made that the “emphasis on adoption as setting in motion a lifetime of grief and loss has had a profound effect on adoptive placement in the United States.”

Call it as you see it, certainly, but a take like this, written together by an adoptee and an adoptive parent, feels like a breath of fresh air. The mainstream media running anything that hasn’t been ground to a miserable pulp by those invested in misery may be taken as a sign that the public eye has not yet been totally blinded or blackened.

From Canada, this story on an upcoming TV documentary takes a look at views on gay parenting in that country, and follows the efforts of a lesbian couple to adopt.

One hurdle in their process led the couple to file a human rights complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission that is still pending, but the government did change its policy on adopting from the US in 2006.

And a couple of important bits from blogland …

Here is some serious information on kids with Fetal Anti-Convulsant Syndrome (FACS), or Fetal Valproate Syndrome (FVS), so called, “Depakote babies”, from a mom who has spent years trying to figure out what her child was suffering from. She has a follow-up here.

And if you’re interested in open records laws, here’s an update from North Carolina on what’s happening there.

And, for what it’s worth, I am not against open records. In fact I’m all for everyone being open about everything and doing away with secrets altogether. With this POV, I wish there was a heck of a lot more honesty involved when it comes to specific issues.

Marley of Bastard Nation makes no secret of the fact that she’s not big on adoption … or children in general, for that matter … and although she’s not someone I’d want to spend a weekend with (and I’m quite sure the feeling would be mutual if she ever gave it any thought), I respect her non-namby-pamby-ness. It’s those who dress their negative stance on adoption as “reform” or “family preservation”, and yes, “open records” wooly rhetoric that shouldn’t be trusted.

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