This. is. So. Wrong.

Dear Ms. Feverfew:

UT_adoptee_coltonThis.

UT_adoptee_melissaIs.

UT_adoptee_jamieSo.

UT_adoptee_BrendanWrong.

UT_adoptee_siblingsSo very, very, very wrong.

It is wrong these people do not have access to the truth in the form of their original unaltered birth certificates.

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It is wrong they have been denied factual information of their heritage. It is wrong they have to post their personal information on social networking sites, begging others to share their photos in the hopes they find their natural family.

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As radical as it might seem to some, I believe adoptees should have complete and total access, with no veto ability by natural parents, to their unaltered original birth certificates at all times, even before the age of majority. If that were to happen, these adoptees would not have to post personal and private statistical information all over social networking sites.

searchingWhile I am infinitely grateful adoptees are having success connecting with their roots this way, e.v.e.r.y. single one of these photos convicts those of us who occupy a more privileged space than the adoptee.

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Every single one of these pictures stands as a testament of the blatant discrimination existing in an adoptees life from the moment their adoption is finalized.

The non-adopted have unfettered access to their original birth certificates. Adoptees don’t. For no reason other than the adults in their life decided they shouldn’t. That is wrong. Adoptees did NOTHING to deserve the discrimination heaped on them by our closed records system.   They deserve and are entitled to their original birth records, whether they choose to pursue reunion or not.

There are those in Utah who are working on fixing the Utah Mutual Consent Adoption Registry to make it a bit more equitable for adoptees, but their efforts keep getting struck down by one member of the Eagle Forum. The laws weren’t fixed this legislative session, but I am going to do all that I can to see that they do get changed there in Utah.

OhioOpenUnlessClosed If miracles like the one above can happen in Ohio (open access, contact veto given the the ADOPTEE, not the natural parent!!!!), then they can happen in Utah as well.

Much love,

M.

Reclaiming the Slivers of My Soul

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

I finally did it.

Today I put the form, a check for $25, and a copy of my birth certificate in the mail and sent them off to the Utah Mutual Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry.

Yesterday, I took the form to a notary public to have it notarized.  Naturally, he had to scrutinize the details, details that I haven’t shared with people who have known me for years much less a complete stranger at the Pack & Ship. As I stood there clutching Penelope while Luke played with things on the desk, I could feel myself start to disconnect from the reality of the moment. For a few moments, it was as if I was watching myself go through the motions, very much like I did when I signed the termination of parental rights form.

The pen the notary was using hesitated over the section in which I marked “Birth Parent.” He quizzically looked up at Penelope, then his pen traced the line underneath the the date of your birth. The pen went back to the section, “Person Registering is {Please check one}”, paused and hovered over “Birth Parent” again. Puzzlement crossed his face as he looked up at me, then at Luke.

I watched him write my name, address, and phone number into his register book. When it came to “type of document”, he wrote, “Utah Vital Records/Adoption Registry.”

I exhaled, unsettled by the rattling of dormant memories of signing adoption paperwork. He pushed the form and the registry towards me and directed me to sign here, here, and put my address here. I had to shift little Penelope to the other side, since I am left-handed and she was trying to grab the registry. My hand shook as I signed. My heart quaked at the fresh reminder of my loss.

But it is done. In some small way, perhaps this is partial restitution of what adoption stripped from you – your original identity. Perhaps it is too little too late, but it is one of the only things I can do for you.

Much love,

M.