The Faces of Missouri Adoptee Rights…

04 Feb

Please watch at least the first video clip from the news, these are the faces of the adoptee rights movement in Missouri.  There is a clean bill working its way through the legislature.  The sponsor/author is also an adoptee.

Missouri adoptees take their battle for equal rights to Jefferson City

Upfront, the right to your original birth certificate is what adoptee rights are. What the adoptee chooses to do after, to search (or not search), is irrelevant to adoptee rights.  One of the women in the above clip knew her parents names, reunited, but speaks to the point of adoptee rights, her right to original birth certificate she doesn’t have.

The arguments against adoptee rights should have nothing to do with reunion, but, of course, its front and center from those against an adoptee having the right to their OBC.

The first video includes a lobbyist from Catholic Charities who ‘estimates’ that 40% of mothers by birth do not want to be known.  He does not qualify that estimate, we are just supposed to accept it as fact.  When Washington state was considering changing the laws, if memory serves me right, they looked to states that have restored access to adoptees, specifically Oregon, and the minute number of requests not to be contacted, real data.  To date, in Oregon, the number of parents by birth requesting no contact is 86.  I do not know how many adoptees they estimated were born in Oregon, but I do know that per the last update (2015) they’ve sent out 11,476 OBC’s, and, to my knowledge, Oregon wasn’t one of the major states mothers were sent away to back in the BSE.  States like Missouri were, they estimate 500,000 adoptees born there.

If you also watch the next video after the commercial, you will see Long, formerly from Catholic Charities (now a court approved searcher), testify that it is between 40% and 50% of mothers by birth who don’t want contact.  I’d suggest, perhaps, it may be how Long presents it to the mothers by birth that is creating such a high percentage of refusals.  I say that because her statistics aren’t the norm, even if you only look at stats from Catholic Charities in another state.  The quote below finds a far different result in this 1999 report by CT Law Commission Review.  I’m only showing results below from CC, but there are other adoption agencies quoted inside the report, some offer 95% agreement to release info by of mothers by birth.  And, if that is what they were getting in 1999, consider how much has changed since then to reducing the stigma.

“For example, Catholic Family Services in Hartford receives about 250 requests per year for both identifying and nonidentifying information. The agency conducts about 100 searches per year. Nearly all of the searches are on behalf of adults who were placed for adoption as infants by birth parents consenting to termination of their parental rights. The agency reports that 90% of the birth parents contacted agree to release of identifying information. Because of the demand for search, the agency has a nine-month waiting list before search can be undertaken.”

The high percentage of mothers not wanting to be known quoted by Long in the 2nd video and CC Lobbyist in the 1st video is not the norm in any state I know up.  It certainly hasn’t been shown in any of the states that have restored the rights to adoptees, ones with real data and no ‘horror’ stories.

It’s far past time for adoptee rights to be the norm in states, not the anomaly…if you want to have your voice heard, go talk to the Missouri Adoptee Rights Movement on FB to find out how you can help.


Posted by on February 4, 2016 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , ,

17 responses to “The Faces of Missouri Adoptee Rights…

  1. Heather

    February 5, 2016 at 12:07 am

    I welcome my son contacting me at any time. It was not my choice to close his adoption.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pj

    February 5, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Thanks for sharing, Tao !. So frustrating and shows how the media works it..the selective editing including Long’s testimony (viewers only know she’s “helping adoptees search” ) , the congressman referring to (potential) adoptee lawsuit (causing the tax payers $$…because who cares about our right to know who we are if it’s costing $$ !), the adoptee with the loving parents… This is how it works, and trust me, I’ve tried with the local media. This is a powerful force and we just have to keep at it. Keep talking, writing, find a journalist, congressman/woman, advocate who is an adoptee or has an adoptee relation. Keep fighting the good fight !
    Ok-off my soap box now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kathleen Aghajanian

    February 6, 2016 at 4:21 am

    Good luck passing a CLEAN bill. I’m a birthmother of a 50 yr old son surrendered in’65, the
    adoptive mother of a 38 yr old son adopted in ’77. All I. Reunion for many years. I went to
    Catholic Charities as an unwed mother & several years later went there to work. Never did I
    see any paperwork giving birth mothers anonymity or secrecy from their children. Never did I hear
    anyone request it. What I did hear was social workers or priests, telling young women to go on & forget about it & don’t tell anyone, especially a boyfriend or he wouldn’t want to marry you.
    Statistics saying otherwise, I feel, are inflated or, young women again are being coerced into
    Signing no contact forms by horror tales from agencies.


    • TAO

      February 6, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      I hope the Missouri Adoptee Rights do get it passed. From what I know Missouri had the worst, needing permission from the AP’s etc., no matter if the adoptee was 18 or 78 and if they had passed you were out of luck.


    • Heather

      February 6, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experience Kathleen. I suspected it was as you wrote but never read a first hand account before.


  4. marilynn

    February 10, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Try not being adopted to get what you want. Try not being donor conceived. You are still part of the greater whole of society – a man or a woman who has those same kinds of parents everyone else has who you are the offspring of, don’t you? The primary definition of the word parent in the dictionary is a person with offspring and the primary definition of son is male offspring, daughter is female offspring. Your the same as everyone else only your birth certificate is incorrect. Don’t call it your amended birth certificate anymore and don’t ask for your original anymore and for Pete sake don’t tell anyone your adopted or that you are the child of a gamete donor when you go try and have it corrected or go to to get a copy of the hospital record, because then all of a sudden you are one of those people who has fewer rights. There is no law that says you have to describe yourself as being a member of a group that has fewer rights is there? Be one of the people that has full rights to information instead. You have to give up the politically correct people pleasing language about having “two moms” or about “not everyone has a dad some have a donor” and start thinking and talking and writing like the people you want to be treated like who do have access to information about their parents and who can obtain their relatives vital records and get errors on their birth records corrected. So when you approach a legal entity for information or to make a correction don’t say things like “birth mother” or “donor” or any prefix at all if you are talking about a person that you are the offspring of. Nobody considers a person a liar if they refer to their father as their father if he did not have custody of them growing up. It is technically a lie to refer to anyone else as a parent without a qualifier because people will think your the offspring of your father automatically – no prefix is required and it’s a lie to leave the prefix off if you mean some other type of relationship. Unfortunately you do need a little bit of information to go after corrected records or records identifying your parents in order to be successful at it but it is working. I reunite separated families and got really sick of the legal rejection that adopted people and donor offspring were getting when they were asking for access to their OBC for instance. Well I realized that is not the same as asking for what everyone else has – so all rights are equal, not adoptee rights but equal rights for all. Nobody else has two freaking birth certificates and nobody else refers to their birth certificate as their OBC. So stop that. Your certificate is either accurate or it’s not. You don’t need a birth certificate with your adopted parents names on it – you have an adoption decree or could get a copy from your adopted parents to prove you are their adopted kid. What you need is your birth certificate corrected. So if you have a blank spot on your certificate and are in reunion with a father that is a donor he can sign an admission of paternity and go with you to have his name added to your certificate (I have a friend doing this now – not mentioning he was a donor at a sperm bank 24 years ago). If you know your real name but not your parents names go get a name change so your driver license matches the name on the certificate you are requesting (I know someone who has done this) Start at the hospital where you were born and with that copy then go to the county recorder and just ask to pay for a copy of your certificate. In california the certificates are still there not stamped ADOPTED HIDE ME, you just cant get a copy of them if you are not the person named on it or a relative. Now they have their birth certificate and their name matches what’s on it They’ll next just stop using their old incorrect birth certificate. I know someone else who is removing the name of her step father from her birth certificate as a normal person because he’s not her father, she’s gonna leave it blank until she finds her dad, it’s incorrect. So what if her father was a donor. It is irrelevant.

    Start trying to get what you want the way other people would if they had mistakes on their records and then go public with what you obtained as my friends are planning to (cross fingers) so that others in your situation can cite you as an example. It’s a start and it proves you are no different than the rest of the population.

    It’s just a suggestion and it is not as good as having accurate complete information recorded for anyone with offspring (including gamete donors) on birth certificates and having birth certificates never altered under any circumstance except to correct error – not for adoption, not to hide the identity of a rapist father, or a gamete donating mother, not because of sex changes not for any reason.


    • Heather

      February 11, 2016 at 12:22 am

      Is it really that easy?

      PS … paragraphs would make your words easier to read.


      • Marilynn

        February 17, 2016 at 5:01 pm

        I’m sorry Heather for writing so much. I’m so passionate about the injustice of the birth certificate issue that I go on too long. No it’s not easy at all it’s hard. This whole situation is cumbersome, tedious and unnecessarily complicated deliberately to prevent people from ever stepping out of their assigned rolles and returning to their own families and reclaiming their own identities once they become adults and no longer need to work for an adult who supports them. Theyre born and given a job to do and their identifying papers are withheld from them to prevent them from trying to stop doing their job. Go read the thirteenth ammendment on the different types of slavery and involuntary servitude involve withholding access to peoples identifying documents so they cant leave the custody of their employer or owner. It’s demeaning and complicated to actively maintain an underclass with fewer rights.

        What I suggest is sneaky and has a high probability of failure. But you might have a better shot of breaking out in a guards uniform than an orange jump suit.


    • anenomekym

      February 17, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      I see your point and agree with much of what you write. The labels we use also stigmatize ourselves. Our culture, while proclaiming to support the underdog, in actuality, has very much a “blame the victim”, “abuse the underdog” system pervasive in our media, news, social circles. Many don’t want to BE the underdog or the victim, they want to be ABOVE or better than the underdog or the victim.

      When I advocate for adoptee rights (access to BC’s), I advocate for unrestricted, unconditional access to our unaltered birth certificates, just like never-adopted adults can easily get. This excludes the 1) “Mother, may I?” type of bills, 2) the disclosure vetos, 3) redactions on our birth certificates, and 4) amended birth certificates. Only unrestricted, unconditional access to our unaltered birth certificates.


  5. Marilynn

    February 17, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Anenomkym. Yes “mother may I” changes are degrading. Everyone born should have the same legal rights and obligations as a citizen and be identified using the same criteria. Everyone has parents they are the offspring of write it down leave it alone and don’t withhold it or alter it to restrict the freedom of a person. Every state should remove the word adopted from laws related to birth certificates..

    I agree with what you said about permission laws. Why do you need permission? No body else needs permission


  6. Marilynn

    February 26, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Also it’s importAnt to remember that people loose no rights when their parents rights are terminated. The state does not remove a parents name from a birth certificate when they terminate parental rights or when a child becomes a ward of the state in foster care. The state does not terminate a minors right to support, inheritance or death benefits just because the parents rights are terminated. Kids in foster care don’t have birth certificates with the name of the state replacing their mother and father. States have a financial interest in reducing the number of minors on public support or who are likely to need public support. The states know that people will be less likely to pay all that money for an adoption and do all the work of raising the kid if they don’t at least get to claim that kid as their own child as if born to them. If people knew the kid could go back to being themselves using their original birth certificates with full legal kinship in their own families at 18 like a kid that ages out of foster care, fewer people would adopt (they think) and more kids would be supported to adulthood by tax dollars. So the state reduces the legal rights of citizens that can’t speak up for themselves in exchange for getting wealthy people to foot the bill for raising them to adulthood. Minors are paying to be raised fed clothed by having their identities permanently altered. We need to call states out on their financial motivation for altering your birth certificates and reducing your rights in order to make sure your upbringings are privately funded, there is a reason why logic falls on deaf ears when you appeal for your rights. they know what they did and it’s not because they care about privacy it’s money. Money is always the reason something makes no sence.


  7. jrce79

    March 16, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I am an adoptee from Missouri. I have children of my own. And I have met my birth parents. I support the new bill HB1599. I desire to have my original birth certificate, It is my right. I understand why people don’t want me to have it, but I ask what do you think it will change in the relationship with my parents? To have a relationship that’s not based on a lie? It causes mistrust and confidence issues in the adoptee and the parents.


    • TAO

      March 16, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      JRC – I think it boils down to fear and old stereotypes that need to just go away…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Cindy

    December 5, 2017 at 4:48 am

    The information that they put out flies in the face of experience. I as a mother who is forbidden non-identifying information in the state of Missouri, attempted to request it anyway several years back. I wrote a letter to both the Missouri Division of Family Services and the court division which handled the adoption. I received absolutely no reply whatsoever from either. Nada. Nothing. I’ve had a professional searcher tell me that Missouri is “one of the worst” for mothers trying to search.

    They say that the 18 month “delay” in releasing OBC’s for post 1941 adoptee’s is so they can “notify (birth) mothers of the change. Funny, it’s almost 18 months later and I still have heard nothing. So much for letting this mother know how to “protect” my “privacy”. If I had not been looking and involved in adoption reform, I would not have been aware of the change in the law. The news coverage is few and far between. Blink or miss the news one day and wait another 10 to 12 months and a few might run another short blurb on it.

    The October 12, 2017 articles I have found say the Bureau of Vital Statistics says, “It may take six weeks or longer to locate requested records.” Can somebody please tell me why that is?

    1).They have had 18 months and longer to locate and organize ALL original birth certificates of adoptees in the state.

    2).I thought that ALL birth(s)/ certificates were required to be recorded AT the Vital Statistics office.

    Do they have to go to the forever hidden cave in the dark mountain and make their way past the fire breathing dragons, then walk through the endless darkness of the labyrinth, over the hot coals of hell and through the gates of never-never land, into the bowels of the mountain, behind the 3 foot thick solid titanium door to FIND THE DAMN THINGS? I can just hear them muttering now, “Damn, I forgot the key!”

    “Protecting mother’s privacy” I call BS on that. Actions speak louder than words.

    I had also called the “social worker” who had a large part in the loss of my son around the same time I wrote the letters. She said, “We don’t do things that way anymore.” Saying that AFTER she told me she “remembered nothing”, and “how did you get my name?”. Like I could ever forget the name of one of the main players in the loss of my son. So “funny”! How could she “remember nothing” and yet remember “how things were done”? The lies and obfuscations get bigger and bolder the closer the truth gets to coming out.



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