Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oklahoma thinks about expanding adoptees right to OBC

Really...if OK is putting their foot out there...other states can too.  Even if it's just baby steps.

For your reading pleasure....a very short article.



12 comments:

Step-parent's Cove said...

Dannie:

I hope you don't mind when I write I have mix feelings about this action. Sorry!

I know that many, if not all, adoptive children would like to know there birth parents, but so many feelings are harnessed during that time of a parent giving up a child, and sometimes those feelings aren't good ones. I just don't know about this one. I really just don't know.

Perhaps the state should put on the books to contact these individuals before giving out information many of them have come to accept as private. It's kind of like, but not really, having a unlisted phone number. I would be very upset if someone gave out any and I do mean any information about me to anyone. Or they should at least give these individuals a time period to respond to the new law. Offering them, once again, the option to remain private.

And if I am out of turn please forgive me, for I come from the old school of adoption. I just feel that if parents give up their children, then they should really move on with life, because that child, though born of another body belongs to the person who sits up with it at night, who struggles to feed it, who struggles to teach it when when the child is of age and doesn't want to listen and so forth and so on.

I am coming to accept open adoption, but I really do have problems with it.

So, again, I'm sorry if I wrote out of turn, and please forgive me.

Della

DannieA said...

Della,

this is a blog and while some people may not like differing opinions on theirs, it is open for dissenting opinion :) (after all, it is a public blog) The only time where it would be a problem would be if the comment was nasty and/or full of cursing.

That being said, most people often do seem to jump to the "reunion, adoptee stalking birth family" bandwagon when first thinking about these bills. Original Birth Certificates are good for a variety of reasons and it would be beneficial for an adoptee to have access to them.

Thank you for stopping by.

Step-parent's Cove said...

Dannie:

Thanks for understanding.

I don't know if it's the 'reunion, adoptee stalking birth family' thing that really bothers me. As I said early, with all my grammatical mistakes, it just opens up all kind of cans of worms, and I know the information could be helpful to those who are adopted, but somethings should be put to rest for the sake of everyone. Again, there's that old school coming to the front.

If you don't mind can you explain or give me examples as to why this would be a good thing? For I really try to first seek to understand and then seek to be understood.

I think adoption is a wonderful gift to others, and have often thought about adopting after my youngest enter into college (next year). But I would rather adopt ad older child who has been taken out of his/her home for whatever reason. My reason for such a choice is because these children know and love their parent. And as I watched a friend foster-parent these children, I noticed she was making a difference in their lives by not replacing the parent, but telling them that their parents weren't able to parent them at a particular time. Once the child knew and felt she wasn't trying to replace the abusive parent, then they began to change and work towards becoming productive individuals. I thought she was awesome! Sadly, once those children loss the bad attitudes they were adopted and it left big holes in her heart. So, much so, that when she had to stop foster-parenting for health reasons, it was indeed hard for her to let go of the furniture she had brought for them. Sad. As why, if I still have a mind to care for a child (not my own) I would rather adopt, and each each have that child to write a letter and make a small scrapbook for their parent who was missing in action. I'm sorry Dannie, usually I just stop in to say a quick hi, but today I see I have the gift of gab. You take care!

Della

theadoptedones said...

Della,

Some reasons to mull on.

Adoptees OBC's were sealed originally around the middle of the last century from the public only but not the adoptee - then the AP's and agencies wanted more - not the mothers.

My case for example:

My family thought if I wanted to get to know them I would get in touch with them. They had no idea records were sealed from me. My grandfather made it known if I showed up he wanted to meet me, so did my mother and my aunt. I am saying this to show you they thought I would get my records when I became an adult. This has been the case for many. No surrender document has ever had confidentiality included in it.

Knowledge of family health history is so incredibly vital. You grow up absorbing the info even if you do not realize it. Family health history could have changed the course of my life and because of my events after the fact the courts opened my records. Imagine having to wait until you are critically ill to find out info that could have prevented it in the first place. Science has come a long way in understanding how important it is. Even if an adoptee comes with family health history each year out from that history people in their family get sick, some die, some are born and the history broadens and becomes more relevant to the adoptee. It can literally save your life if you know your family health history. Adoptees also have children and diseases skip generations...it impacts more than just one generation.

Identity and genetic mirroring loss. This is big and I don't have the energy to explain.

Living your life without knowledge of the why's or even if your adoption was clean. Mothers not knowing whether their children are happy, healthy, alive - that is terrible. And we haven't even touched on mothers who were told their babies died and thought they were signing papers for the coroner or other downright horrific practices.

Mutual consent registries don't work for several reasons including: Place of birth, birth date, and hospital can be changed and was regularly. Mothers were told they had a girl when they had a boy or the baby died. Mothers have passed away. Details were routinely falsified.

Oregon changed their OBC laws over ten years ago and gave a one year window for mothers/fathers to submit whether or not they wanted contact. They had a no, yes, yes through secondary. Below are the stats covering the first 10 years.

Records ordered: 10,189
Records issued: 9,772
Contact Preference forms submitted by Parents: 613
Number asking for contact with adoptee: 494
Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 34
Number asking for no contact: 85

There have been no reports of problems associated with any adoptee obtaining their OBC.

We are the only ones who are not allowed to get our OBC - some are having problems with getting passports etc because their amended are dated more than a year after birth which disqualifies them.

Sorry Dannie for jumping in here.

Step-parent's Cove said...

Since, this is relatively new to me, I hope all will be patient as I ask questions.

Now, what is OBC? Remember, I am just learning.

For when I write I am from the old school, I truly am; as why I keep apologizing, because this can be a sensitive subject and I do not wish to offend anyone.

theadoptedones said...

You are not offending me at all - just wanted to give you some stuff to mull over. For the record at the age of 43 I became disabled - from perfectly health to disabled so family health history is my biggest pet peeve in life.

OBC is Original Birth Certificate. We receive an amended birth certificate which based on whatever the adoption petition asked for and was approved by the judge the items are changed. For instance I know for a fact that still to this day in NJ you can include in your petition to change the place of birth as well as the standard of replace the original parents names with the adoptive parents names and the orignal name of the child to a new name. Some states still allow you to change the birthdate.

The term to do any of this in law is called "legal fiction"...

It is also important to note that not all adoptees who want their OBC actually want to search or reunite. Some/many just want their record of birth so they know who they were born to be - what their nationality is - that they have been celebrating their birthday on the right day...so many other reasons. It really boils down to not being equal simply because we were adopted.

Step-parent's Cove said...

theadoptedones,

Never mind on answering the question of what is OBC. Dannie answered it earlier.

I can see your point when it comes to health issues. Yet, I still say people are opening themselves up to unknown heartaches; especially those who will be met with hostility from the birth parents or even vice versa. Not every child adopted is pleased with their birth parent(s). Many are truly upset by the thought of their parents giving them away. And with the rise of mental instabilities for this reason or that, I just don’t think society can handle another avenue for heartaches that can be and she be prevented, unless (now notice I wrote the word unless) it is a medical issues. Even then, the parent who gave up the child should be contacted before any of his/her information is given to anyone. Remember, they like the adoptee have rights also.

Now, you and probably many of your followers and readers are among the nicer people who have been adopted, but there are people out there that could care less if they ever saw their biological parent. My sister is one of them. I feel sorry for her biological father. He has tried more times than not to make amends for his youthful choices, but she won’t, and I do mean will not, have anything to do with him or his family. She feels that when she needed him the most he was never there, and her feelings are not isolated. There are many individuals who feel the same because of the emotional attachment of feeling abandon.

Really, I do understand where you are coming from as an adoptee, but there are so many things that could go wrong with giving someone their Original Birth Certificate, and then again there are so many things that could go right, but the choice of giving the adoptee the Original Birth Certificate should only be opened at the request of the parent(s) who conceived the child.

The statistics that were given were they based upon open adoption? If so, then it makes a big difference in discussing the topic, because it is a different beast born in a different era. And like you, I too must apologize to Dannie for such a lengthy response. I would like to say, I am learning a lot about this subject.

Della

Step-parent's Cove said...

theadoptedones:

I guess we were writing at the same time. I will read your response and get back to you, but I hope as you read my responseyou can understand where I'm coming from.

Della

theadoptedones said...

My comment went into never never land. My memory sucks so it will not be the same.

The stats started in 2000 and you had to be an adult age 18 or 21? so the era they applied to at the start was at least pre 1982 adoptions - the majority would be the Baby Scoop Era.

Only adoptees who want their OBC will get them - no one is forcing them to get them. They are not being mailed out to all. Those who don't care are not impacted. Only the adoptee can get their OBC.

No one can guarantee confidentiality when the courts have the right to open your records. Ethically you can not assume confidentiality exists on that basis alone.

Nor can you assume confidentiality when the petition to adopt and the homestudy submitted to the court both include the mothers full name and address and the homestudy for the court includes the fathers details. Confidentiality is not possible when it is provided to the adopting parents. Many more reunions happen simply because of the internet and/or the AP's copies of these records than they ever will with restoring the adoptees right to their own birth certificate.

No one can force a relationship. Adults should be able to handle their own relationships without the government determining who can know each other.

Neither is it right for one class of individuals to be dependent on their parents who gave up their rights to parent, choosing if their child can receive their OBC. They are the ones who gave up those rights - you cannot give them back when it is convienent.

Step-parent's Cove said...

theadoptedones:

I’m so sorry to read that you are disabled. I am sure that was an adjustment within itself. Now I understand why you are so passionate about adoptee’s getting family medical background. For I truly do understand, because the first thing they ask when you go to the doctor’s is does your family have this or that. For me, I am not in such a position as yours. I can answer those questions without reservations, but for my ancestors, that question would be the same as yours. Yes, I am an American who has slavery bloodlines. So, I understand more than you know.

I have often thought about those who have gone before me. Until now I have never posted something that stated I was of slavery heritage, because what has passed is in the pass and history cannot be undone. For I will never know the family linage because of the cruelties of that era when children were taken from mothers, husbands from wives and so forth and so on because of the color of their skin. So, again, I do understand more than you will know.

I must stop coresponding publicly at the time. You have written something that informed me and my husband of something gone wrong. I hope you don't mind if I contact you via email with more questions, because at this point I too angry. Just way to angry. Not at what you said, but of what was done by someone else, and we though we had no other recourses. Thanks for informing me.

Love,
Della
Della

Step-parent's Cove said...

theadoptedones:

I stopped by your place a few minutes ago, but there wasn't an email address to privately contact you.

I noticed you know alot about Oregon adoption laws. My husband lost a grand-children to adoption in the state of Oregon, and he was not made aware of it. His child was a minor and all arrangements were made with other individuals concerning this unborn child's faite. I'm sorry for bugging you but you do seem to have a vast wealth of information. We can't reverse what has happened, but it just make us sad it happened out of spite.

Della

theadoptedones said...

Leave a comment in the about section and I will email you. I can't promise I can help you but I can try...