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Happy for New York Adoptees

19 Jan

Adoptees from New York now have the right to their original birth certificates; in the first 48 hours 3600 online applications were made. There’s an estimated 650,000 adoptees from New York per this article: New York Adoptees Rush to Request Birth Certificates, After Years of Blocked Access. Adoptee Rights Law has details on how the new law works: Updated Info on New York’s New Law

Congratulations to everyone who has fought to change the law in the last 40 odd years and to all adoptees from New York. Now the challenge is to get the changes made to the NY Law known by adoptees from NY, seems easy but there are still adoptees from states who have changed the law regarding their original birth certificate, who have no idea they can order theirs.

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Not everyone is pleased about the change and that makes me incredibly sad. People with no stake in adoption always seem to feel the need to weigh in with dire warnings and predictions every time a state does the right thing for adoptees.

New York Daily posted an article on the changes made to the law in New York re adoptee rights on their FB page; the comments in quotes below are from the responses. Interesting how little has changed in the last 20 years, lots of “experts” on why an adoptee should never be allowed to know the names of their parent(s) by birth. As you read the comments below understand that many adoptees have heard them at least once in their life, regardless if their state has changed the law. (note each quote below is from a different person in this FB post.)

“I don’t know about this. Might open up to many cans of worms that people can not handle.”

As a fan of old sayings I can say this is not one I’m a fan of; probably because people have been saying this to adoptees since adoption became a thing.

“be careful what you wish for sometimes ignorance can be bliss.”

Another tried and true old saying to adoptees, said by someone who will never understand what it is like to live 45 years (my story) before they met any member their family of birth.

“So less people will put kids up for adoption now.”

So adoptees just need to suck it up, get over it and be grateful they were lucky they weren’t aborted…Gotcha

“If a person gives a child up for adoption and doesn’t make an attempt to stay in their life, there’s probably a reason… Meaning they probably don’t want to speak to you 18 years down the line even if you’re looking for something important like your medical history.”

Noted by someone who has no knowledge of adoption history, or adoption at all, but just needed to school adoptees for wanting to have the same rights they have – access to their factual certificate of birth.

“It sounds like a good idea, but there have to be measure to protect people. Suppose you wanna find out who your biologicals are to mess up their life?”

Ah, yes, the angry adoptee who wants to do something bad, I mean, we obviously didn’t come from good people because they’d have kept us, so you never know what our intention would be…(and yes, I’m being snarky here)

“In today’s technological world there should be a data base that has current medical records available for the adopted without revealing the parents identity. Especially in the case of a parent who doesn’t want to be found for a variety of justifiable reasons.”

No, it’s about having the right to your factual birth certificate. The parents are can say: “I don’t want a relationship”. And when that happens it does suck, it happened to me, my father wouldn’t even provide the one request I had, a family health history.

“So what exactly are you giving them, copy of their birth certificate and copies of their birth parents medical history. Last time I check the birth certificate doesn’t have that info and there is no guarantee real paents or family will be welcoming. Sounds like a stretch and a deterrent from people adopting. Just my opinion.”

The above comment is the flip side of the prior comment: “So less people will put kids up for adoption now.”. And honestly, if people aren’t open to an adopted person knowing their biological kin, it’s probably for the best they don’t adopt. Knowing your biological kin takes nothing away from the relationship you have with your family; if it was honest and good, it will remain honest and good unless you choose to mess it up.

“except that a lot of people that give their children up for adoption do not want to be found or have any communication with the child. Its a painful process especially for those that don’t want to give them up but had no choice due to hardship and there are some adopters that prefer no communication with those parents for themselves and the child.”

Again, there’s a remedy for that: “I don’t want a relationship”, although one would hope they’d have grace to at least answer some questions. The last part about the AP’s? The adoptees are adults and have the right to have a relationship with whoever they want in their lives. Good adoptive parents with fears will stretch and if that isn’t enough, they seek advice and do their best to understand and adjust, just like we’ve adjusted to what other’s need our entire life.

“what about the biological mother who did everything to not abort that baby but lived through 9 months of sacrifices. According to Hollywood, that mother gave up her future for that child don’t you think she should have some rights too?”

This one made me laugh out loud because Hollywood is the authority on adoption? The rest isn’t worth commenting on.

“not everyone has their DNA on record to know family medical history or find family members. And I am not sure what you mean by your own records. In the modern world you will have a birth certificate and your own medical history. There are dozens of reasons why someone might want to stay anonymous and that is their right. Keep in mind they could have had an abortion. And does anyone really want to know they are the product of rape, incest, a priest and a nun or many other horrible circumstances? I agree people should have access to family medical history. But if someone didn’t have an abortion because of anonymity of adoption you might not want to cross that line.”

The previous commenter had noted correctly that with DNA testing there is no such thing as privacy, and yet, the commenter has no clue about how DNA links a family together. Also note the horror stories the adoptee could face; again, nothing new there, adoptees have had a lifetime being told those dire events may be our story.

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Adoptive parents and agencies: you hold the power to shape how the public views adoption and being adopted. It’s up to you to educate others that adoptees have two sets of parents and have the right to all their truths, good or bad.

 

 
21 Comments

Posted by on January 19, 2020 in Adoption

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

21 responses to “Happy for New York Adoptees

  1. Diane

    January 19, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    Please don’t think this is a stupid question, I really want to know. … If the adoption was illegal, the one in question was in 1954, and all efforts were made to cover any trail by the person who arranged the adoption and the lawyer who did the back end so as to keep information from the BM. The mother was in a “mother’s home” and shortly afterwards told the home burnt down with all paper work. ( I hear that is a common lie) any way, could have an original birth certificate been falsified? Names changed, county, state, date of birth etc.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      January 19, 2020 at 7:55 pm

      I guess it is possible back then. It wasn’t until 58 (?) that federal standards and rules were created for all birth certificates. There were congressional sub-committee hearings on Black Market Adoptions in 1955 and they went round the country holding those hearings.

      If you have the original and suspect differently, maybe do a dna test to sort things out?

      Liked by 1 person

       
    • BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

      January 20, 2020 at 6:45 am

      Diane, when I contacted Catholic Charities, they said “the records are water-logged.” That was a delay tactic told to a number of searchers in the past. Sometimes, “there was a fire,” and sometimes “there was a flood.” Adoption, as we have known it in the past, is built on lies. Even today, I believe, many adopters would prefer that the natural mother “disappear.”

      DNA does not lie, and some adoption searchers have made discoveries. This information might be even more important if there was a cover-up in an illegal adoption. It is hoped that the truth will come out.

      Liked by 3 people

       
  2. Dannie

    January 19, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Whether or not an adoptee has a Hollywood beautiful reunion or a sucky ending of a reunion is a different cat than having original bc and medical history. Idk I just never connected these two scenarios 🤷🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      January 19, 2020 at 8:15 pm

      Because you have a logical brain and ability to separate one from another? Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

       
  3. gazelledz

    January 19, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    The figure of 3600 applicants is for those born and adopted (KEY words!) in New York Sate , not those born and adopted in New York City (which at last count was +/- 900).

    Depending on whose figures we read, it has been between 83 and 86 years that NY adoptees were denied access to their records-not forty. Have no clue where the figure ’40’ was unearthed.

    Adoptees NOT born in the state or the city will most likely not have an OBC on file with either the Dept of Health or the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. This latter category of adoptees is very small and most of these have no clue that they are not born in the state of their adoption nor that their mother relinquished her custody of them. (I suggest you find a copy of the FAQ on the application for the Pre-adoption Birth certificate -reading all four pages carefully -item #17 in particular)

    There is indeed privacy attached to DNA results-both by the companies who market and analyze and by the individuals who CHOOSE whether or not to share the data (which is not a good idea for many reasons). All ethical organizations advise NEVER to send data on your dna outside of the lab it has originated in-not even to keep on your PC/smartphone. Left in the original lab the data and DNA samples are secure -but once removed, they are open to anyone who discovers them out in cyberspace. Even Police and Federal Agents must produce a warrant to examine your dna data and even what may be on your family trees.

    Be very careful not to suggest that you know what, why, when, where , that or if another knows or does not know anything or even nothing. And before passing on terms, be certain that you in fact know what the meanings and purpose of those terms are. Definitions MATTER.

    Please remember that although MOST adoptees are adopted in consequence of their mother’s relinquishment of their custody which is given to the state., others of us do not fit into that category. some of us abandoned at sentient ages, others of us left in so-called safe havens (church, mosque, synagogue, fire station, police station or someone’s porch) , and yet others of us abandoned in unprotected spaces away from well-trodden paths. It is these groups who were most likely brought to the state of abandonment from the state of the child’s birth-no information left with the child(ren) or any identifying information-and certainly NOT an OBC.

    In the lives of an adoptee, that individual knows only about thier own life-and too often don’t even know much about that. Only I can narrate my history (and part of my siblings’) , but even in that I am no expert, nor is anyone else. However, I know far more than anyone about me and my life of 75 years-but there is more of my life that I don’t know than what I do know. . Never presume or assume that you know abut another individual-even if they have a blog, a book, play the eternal victim in all public spaces they can muzzle their way into, and never ever simply believe their adoptee status gives them credibility. Eye witnesses are the most incredible sources.

    I leave you with this thought-remember the First Amendment to the US Constitution and its rights to freedom of expression which includes the right to be angry/not nice or thier opposites, just as we have the right to dissent or oppose another’s thought. As Davy Crocket advised :Be sure you are right, and (Only) then, go ahead.

    Or, as the friends Voltaire advised, ‘ I disagree with everything you say, but will defend with my life your right to say it.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      January 19, 2020 at 9:07 pm

      Okay then…

      “Congratulations to everyone who has fought to change the law in the last 40 odd years” context is important. Not bothering with the rest of what you have to say.

      Like

       
  4. beth62

    January 20, 2020 at 1:29 am

    Cans of worms are one of my favorite things in earth.

    Liked by 3 people

     
  5. maryleesdream

    January 20, 2020 at 2:07 am

    I’m a NYC adoptee. I mailed my notarized form on Wednesday. I paid a searcher 9 years ago, before DNA was popular and found my family. My mother told me they mailed my OBC to her, and she mailed it back, because she knew she wasn’t supposed to have it.

    She’s gone now, so she’ll never know I will finally be able to see the document she sent back. I didn’t tell my A-mom the news. She’s 90 now, and never really got on board with me knowing who I am. She prefers the old, closed system. No point in upsetting her at this point.

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • TAO

      January 20, 2020 at 4:02 am

      Awe Marylee – it’s all so hard at times, sad other times. I’m sorry your A-mom couldn’t open herself up to all of who you were.

      Liked by 1 person

       
    • beth62

      January 20, 2020 at 4:09 am

      “I’m a NYC adoptee. I mailed my notarized form on Wednesday”
      How wonderful it is to read that.
      I hope you don’t have to wait long

      Liked by 1 person

       
  6. Lara/Trace

    January 21, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    I shared this Tao at American Indian Adoptees blog. I am so happy – I know quite a few adoptees from NY state.

    Liked by 2 people

     
  7. beth62

    January 22, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    “be careful what you wish for sometimes ignorance can be bliss.”

    I heard this too many times to count. It silenced me, but it didn’t stop me.

    After I had found and met my mother she eventually sent me a long sought after large photo album of my relatives and ancestors. The first picture, an 8×10 of me at 2 days old. It was quite a shock, I’d never seen it. The intro page proceeding it said just that…

    “Be careful what you wish for, sometimes ignorance can be bliss!!! Love You, ____. ”

    The reaction to that comment changed for me when I finally got to open that beautiful and icky can of worms. I stand stronger, because of it.

    It is my belief, that what I think I can handle, is absolutely a choice of mine.
    I will always choose to survive, to live. I hope for and suggest the same for all.
    Fear is my enemy, and so is anyone who attempts to instill fear in me. Or mine.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  8. beth62

    January 22, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    “So what exactly are you giving them, copy of their birth certificate and copies of their birth parents medical history. Last time I check the birth certificate doesn’t have that info and there is no guarantee real parents or family will be welcoming. Sounds like a stretch and a deterrent from people adopting. Just my opinion.”

    Flip side, yes. Also ignorance. Without access to the information on my original record of birth, I have no access to my mother’s name. Which means no access to any other information I may want, or need to know about myself or any relative.

    Liked by 3 people

     
    • beth62

      January 22, 2020 at 5:14 pm

      To add…
      Including that information – whether my requests will be welcomed, or not.
      Why wonder, when you can simply ask?

      Liked by 2 people

       
  9. beth62

    January 24, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    “It sounds like a good idea, but there have to be measure to protect people. Suppose you wanna find out who your biologicals are to mess up their life?”

    Secrets and lies mess up people’s lives.
    It’s already illegal to be a serial killer, arsonist, thief, extortionist, slanderer… it’s a long list of things I can’t do, well, shouldn’t do. Unless it seems worth the price I’ll pay to be able to do it if course.

    (too hard not to be snarky with this one 😉)
    I don’t mind the fearful serial killer comments so much, it gives up some power and control to the bastards of the world. Not sure if any of the other typical comments do…

    Liked by 2 people

     
  10. Laura

    January 24, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    These comments are infuriating – I honestly wonder how adoptees don’t lose it every single day.
    I used the pieces I knew about my child’s mom to find her. I thought things were going slow but okay then she reached out to the agency & I got semi-spanked for locating her. I don’t care what they think, though, I’m doing what’s best for the kiddo. At least now the line of communication is open if mom’s ever ready.

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • TAO

      January 25, 2020 at 3:07 pm

      If we do Laura then we are told we are an ‘angry adoptee’ and anything we have to say is dismissed. I’m old, I worked in the restaurant and bar industry for years, so I learned how to deal with the ignorant and can speak softly but that takes practice.

      Liked by 2 people

       
  11. Kumar

    February 12, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    So powerful “again, nothing new there, adoptees have had a lifetime being told those dire events may be our story.” Love yourself perspectives and always appreciate when you share them with us.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      February 12, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      Thank you Kumar – happy to hear from you, I listen to what you are up to on twitter and have hope for the future of the planet hearing your voices and others.

      Liked by 2 people

       

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