The post below might seem contradictory to other posts where I have talked about the expectant parents needing the most protection during an adoption seeing as they’ve already started off on the wrong foot so to speak, from a point of being in crisis…
At the same time, once the adoption happens, the deed has been done, and now, the focus must shift solely to the rights of the child. The belief by some that a mother (and father) by birth who severed their rights to the child, should have the right to deny the adoptee their original birth certificate is wrong. To have the right to deny someone else their full identity, means they hold more power the one adopted, the one who never had a say. That is not being equal. They made their choices (right or wrong) a long time ago, and must own their actions and decisions they made, but that does not include the right to make decisions for someone else.
Only in adoption…the realm of legal constructs…
Can a mother (and father) permanently sign away their parental rights to their child, and by signing away those rights, also, legally sever the child from their biological line. Once that happens, the parent(s) and the child become legal strangers as they share no common ancestor, hence no rights, duties, or obligations to the other. It is all clearly spelled out that this is a permanent severing of rights.
Yet, decades later after the child becomes an adult (and that adult may be the age of a senior citizen), some believe that the parents by birth should have those permanently revoked parental rights magically restored, for the sole purpose of deciding whether a person they purposely made a legal stranger to them – can access their original birth certificate…
My court surrender document shows the intent when you sever your parental rights to your child, whether or not the child is ever adopted, as there is no guarantee spelled out that states the child will indeed by adopted by someone else.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the said child, Baby Girl xxxx, be and it hereby is, made a ward of the xxxx County Juvenile Court, permanently removed from the care, custody and control of said mother, Miss xxxx xxxx, xxxx, and said mother, Miss xxxx xxxx, be and she hereby is, permanently deprived of any and all rights to said child, said child is hereby placed in the care, custody and control of Mrs. xxxx xxxx, Chief Probation Officer, xxxx County Juvenile Court, with authorization to consent to the adoption of said child by such person or person as may be approved by the Superior Court of the State of xxxx.
Nor is there any guarantee, nor mention of confidentiality in the court surrender document, no promises of any sort, that confidentiality only comes later IF the child is indeed adopted, then the adoption court records are sealed and confidential without a court order. But even that confidentiality is not as rigid as many would believe, or assume to be the case. Judges have always had the right to, and do, unseal the adoption records for good cause in the best interests of the child, rightfully so, because adoption is always supposed to be in the best interests of the child – not the adults who took part.
To those who believe the parents of birth should be able to deny the child the right to their original birth certificate with those ‘Mother May I’ amendments to adoptee rights bills. What would you say if someone amended an adoption bill, that later, after the bill becomes law, gave those same parents by birth who surrendered their parental rights to the child, a ‘Mother May I’ right to decide for the adoptive parents whether the child: could play ball, travel, move to a different state, go to a private school, their religion, what have you…what would you say then? You’d be clearly upset and probably say, the adoptive parents are the legal parents and make the decisions on how to parent the child. The parents by birth signed away all their rights to the child, the child is adopted, and you can’t decide that that the adoptive parents should have to ask permission to make parental decisions. You wouldn’t allow the bill to be passed into law if you could help it, if it did, you’d certainly work to change the law.
The earlier analogy is similar to what a ‘Mother May I’ law is doing to the adoptee, because, allowing the parents by birth the right to deny the adoptee, as an adult, the right to their original birth certificate that was their legal birth certificate before, and after, they were surrendered, up until they were adopted, is the same thing. Parental rights were surrendered before the adoption happened that sealed the court records and the original birth certificate away when the court ordered an amended birth certificate be created. Up until the adoption happened, the original birth certificate was the legal birth certificate for the child, it did not become void when the parents surrendered their rights. The only difference in the analogy is that it is being done to the child (now adult) who had no voice in whether they were adopted.
‘Mother May I’ amendments to adoptee rights bills don’t work for me..