June 1, 2008

To: Members, Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization

Re: Withdrawal of Bastard Nation from A Day for Adoptee Rights


The Executive Committee of Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization announces with regret the withdrawal of our organizational co-sponsorship and official participation in A Day for Adoptee Rights, (DAR) scheduled for July 20-25 during the National Conference of State Legislature’s annual meeting in New Orleans. We had planned to hold a “Bastard Boot Camp Teach-In” on July 20, participate in the protest on July 22, and help staff the DAR space inside the Mariol Convention Center July 23-25.

We sincerely regret any inconvenience or discouragement this decision may cause.

As of this writing the event itself has not been canceled, only Bastard Nation’s co-sponsorship and participation. Please check the DAR website for updates on the status of the event.

Bastard Nation has been concerned for some time about the cost effectiveness of the project. While many people exhibited an interest in attending all or part of the event, the number of people who actually registered or made a serious commitment to attend was minimal. There were also hidden costs at the convention center, of which DAR and BN were not aware of until recently, which put our participation extremely over budget.

Bastard Nation believes that the Day for Adoptee Rights project is a sound idea. There is no dispute between BN and DAR. We have concluded that this is not the time or place for Bastard Nation to take part in a Day for Adoptee Rights. The cost of the event this year spiraled and did not balance with the number of participants coming forward to show our strength to the politicians who hold the keys to the records cabinets. Bastard Nation is an all volunteer organization that works on the foundational financial principle of bringing you the best bang for your buck. Spending several thousand dollars in member dues and donations on a project that at this point was sputtering is fiscally irresponsible, movement careless, and takes time and funds away from legislative and educational activities that can make a direct difference now.

Moreover, we are concerned with the participation of Abrazo Adoption Agency in San Antonio, Texas. Unknown to DAR and BN until just a few days ago, Abrazo has been raising funds for the event in DAR’s name.

These funds went and continue to go directly to the agency, raising huge ethical issues for Bastard Nation and the equal access movement. Records and identity access is about our rights and has no connection with the marketing schemes of adoption agencies. BN has a long-standing, hard-line policy of accepting no support from the adoption industry. Bastard Nation specifically, and the adoptee rights movement in general, cannot and should not be co-opted or used by the adoption industry to promote its own agenda. We disavow all industry involvement in our work. Any entanglement with the adoption industry endangers the integrity and credibility of the adoptee rights movement.

Although BN solicited funds for our specific DAR activities, the only official fundraising site for DAR is on the DAR site. Do not send funds to any other solicitor.

Bastard Nation is in the process of working with the Country Inn and Suites by Carlson to release the rooms in our reserved block. We will personally contact everyone who registered under our agreement with the hotel about the procedure for you to cancel room reservations should you desire to do so.

We greatly appreciate the work that volunteers from Bastard Nation and A Day for Adoptee Rights have put into this event. Without them and you there is no movement. We applaud your enthusiasm, commitment and we look forward to future activities to restore our rights.

Please write to our Executive Chair, Marley Greiner ([email protected]) if you have any questions.

Yours in Bastardy,

The Bastard Nation Executive Committee

Anita Walker Field

Patricia Marler

Marley Greiner, Executive Chair


  1. Marley, that is one of the most unethical things I have ever heard. That agency needs to lose its license and be fined. That sounds like it was a lot of hard work down the drain and I am sorry that it happened. If anyone in is doubt that the bottom line for the adoption industry is $$$$$, then they just need to read the article.

  2. Marley, I am floored. I met you at the AAC conference. I was at Ethica. I have discussed with you personally our fervent support of adoptee rights and open records. We openly promote Bastard Nation on our agency’s website ( We publicly promoted the Protest on the cover of our agency newsletter (

    If you (or anyone else at Bastard Nation) had such grave concerns about Abrazo’s efforts to urge our open adoption supporters to sign up for the Protest (which our staff is attending) or to provide financial support (as per the volunteer appeals in the mailing list emails we’ve gotten from the Protest since registering), why didn’t you call me? Why on EARTH did no one contact us to complain, before May 30? We expressed our interest in raising funds for the March months ago, but unfortunately, no one with the Protest bothered to get back to us to let us know the “Coalition” had decided they weren’t interested (as Ron Morgan informed me just this past Friday.)

    Our modest $1k donation is/was not worth the cost of Bastard Nation pulling out of the Protest! What a shame! What are you saying, by sending a public message that adoptees do not want first parents, adoption professionals, adoptive parents or anyone else who supports open adoption supporting open records and adoptee rights?

    Any funds being raised via our Facebook cause will be alternatively donated instead to AAC or ALMA, if the Adoptee Rights Protest does not wish to receive them. Our community has always supported open records and we had no idea that our support would be unwelcome?!

    We do understand adoptees’ distrust of the”industry” but to say that agencies should take no interest in the rights of adoptees and open records is, in itself, unethical and plays right into the agenda of those who strive to deprive adoptees of access to their own truths.

  3. This is not unusual it is standard. Baby brokers have used open records for their own agenda for years now. They have lumped in open records with their quest to promote adoption, and to find babies for the industry. Supporting open records has been nothing but a guise. Never should the industry and baby brokers be included with this. What this does is make it appear that open records activists support adoption agencies and the non-stop tactics to promote adoption. As in they are using people, and it is quite disgraceful.

  4. Elizabeth,I have to LMAO @ you. Money=control, control=adoption, adoption=oppression, oppression=abuse. Screw you for your little innocent act. Think Blake Carrington. Get it now?….

  5. Marley,

    Bastard Nation’s true and absolute refusal to participate in any activity sanctioned by a member of the US Adoption Industry is admirable. I wholeheartedly endorse BN and DAR’s refusal to accept donations from Abrazo or any other adoption facilitator. However, I believe that BN’s withdrawal from the protest will not further the cause we are fighting for.

    Any group may endorse or condemn any activity. The fact that Abrazo saw what we were up to, and chose to publicize our activity under the guise of promoting “open adoption”, is not unexpected. Other nefarious groups may yet jump on the bandwagon. Protests against open records may also develop before July 22. NCFA will be lurking about. Our mission is to get OUR point across in spite of all these people. We need to be a cohesive group – adoptees who want their OBC’s – and this is entirely possible even with the hanger-on groups and the anti open-record folks who will most certainly appear.

    I am surprised and a little dismayed that BN folded here just because Abrazo endorsed the event. I will be there wearing my Bastard Nation t-shirt with pride because the true spirit of Bastard Nation – equality for ALL – will be represented anyway.

  6. I’ll be posting a personal statement on the Day for Adoptee Rights later this week, but for now I want to address a couple of points in Ms. Jurenovich’s comment.

    “Why on EARTH did no one contact us to complain, before May 30?”

    The organizers for a Day for Adoptee Rights had absolutely no idea that you were collecting monies for the event from your FaceBook page until Thursday, May 29th. As soon as we were made aware of this, I offered to call you for clarification. We spoke briefly and made an arrangement to speak on the 30th.

    “We expressed our interest in raising funds for the March months ago, but unfortunately, no one with the Protest bothered to get back to us to let us know the “Coalition” had decided they weren’t interested (as Ron Morgan informed me just this past Friday.)”

    You offered to discuss fiscal sponsorship under the aegis of your 501(c)3 status, I tried to reach you at your agency to explore your thinking, left a couple of messages and moved on. Kali and I made the decision that it would have been a bad idea on principle. The issue of you collecting money for us never came up and I am frankly astounded that you went ahead and did it without informing us. I have worked with non-profits and in politics for over twenty-five years and I have never seen anything so lacking in transparency. You could have easily channeled donations from your supporters to our donations page, but when I questioned you on this on Friday you offered the lame excuse that you couldn’t get the link to work. At that point it could have dawned on you to contact us, for all you know there might have been a technical problem that required our attention. Instead, you went your own way.

    “What are you saying, by sending a public message that adoptees do not want first parents, adoption professionals, adoptive parents or anyone else who supports open adoption supporting open records and adoptee rights?”

    That is patently absurd. I’ve worked in coalition with PACT, Ellen Roseman, The Black Adoption Placement and Research Center and many others when I was on the board of the Post Adoption Center for Education and Research. It’s clear from both my words and my actions that I have no problems working with first families, adoptive families, anybody who supports adopteee rights.

    But I won’t work with people that sandbag me. And that’s what you did.

    Ron Morgan

  7. Is that Jimm, my San Francisco treat? Hope so, I was in Windsor last week but in San Francisco a couple times. I recognized some of the places you took me, and I think we were pretty close to that great Thai restaurant.

    The whole ordeal of what went down with DAR is very very complicated, much more than the announcement might seem. There were serious organizational problems with the event. I think more will be written later about this. This has certainly not been pleasant for us.

  8. To Jimm and any other BNers:

    Yes, we who are working on Adoptee Rights Protest are very sad that we will miss our adoptee-in-arms comrades of BN, but we know also that we are still going in the same direction, to the restoration of our civil rights and that is what matters!

    We are so fortunate to have had many step up and quickly fill the vacancies left by BN’s withdrawal. We have recovered 100% and are even still keeping the booth.

    It is going to be really wonderful, and of course BN members are still welcome, and moms are welcome and adoptive family is welcome and friends and dogs and cats and parakeets are welcome.

    Naturally, this won’t be the million man march, our demographic is too small, but this will be historical, groundbreaking, and put on by way media savvy and capable individuals.

    Hope to see you there! 🙂

  9. And the irony of all this is that after careful consideration, the money raised by Abrazo was ultimately rejected by the Adoptees Rights Protest because of the means by which they were raised.
    The Adoptees Right Protest did not take one penny from Abrazo.

    I’m not even sure what the issue is here. There was an issue and it was handled. And it is truly a shame that Bastard Nation is no longer involved.

    The protest will go on and it is going to be amazing!
    Hope to see you all there.

  10. When an event planner books a block of hotel rooms, and about a month and a half before the event (that’s been talked about for most of a year) a miniscule number of people have made the most minimal effort to pick up the phone and make a fully cancelable hotel reservation – thus signing their name to their intended participation in a way that matters – it is time to decide whether or not the event is viable.

    Bastard Nation’s leadership, as far as I can tell, has evaluated the situation and made what I think is the only sane decision.

    The actions of Abrazo, while critically important and disturbing in their own way, are distinct from the fact that, at the time the decision was made, nearly nobody was attending, and that’s what the decision had to be based on.

    A mailing list of people who may be casually interested in the event, and even a verbal statement that someone hopes to come (which included some organizers of the event but not me/us), is not sufficient to gauge interest. Since there’s no formal registration involving paying a fee as there would be with a conventional conference, this is a reasonable alternative to measure how many people are seriously considering coming, even if some were planning to stay with relatives or friends.

    I think it’s obvious that if you’re coming to a conference or other event like this, you first register for the event, and then you book your hotel room. This shows the organizers your intent to do something, because if you don’t you’re going to have to make another call and cancel that hotel room.

    I do this all the time. It’s not rocket science.

  11. There were two issues: (1) fiscal responsibility/committed attendance. (2) Abrazo piggybacked on it–I think that would be the way to say it. The lead organizer of the event called for a suspension of DAR this year so it could be done right next year. We concurred. A few people disagreed, and went their own way. Some of them are genuinely dedicated to DAR coming off. Others, who had nothing to do with the planning or decision making prefer to spread rumors and gossip and blame Bastard Nation for God knows what, for doing what any responsible organization does–protect its members interests and investments.

    BN was hardly out of line for pulling out. The 2008 event was, imo, dead in the water. DAR was billed as a mass protest. Mass it wasn’t.

    Every seasoned organizer who has heard about what happened “gets it.” These problems happen all the time.

    The rumor mongers and gossipers,small in number, but big of mouth are hitting the blogs now. They are a bluster with any manner of odd accusations: we are liars, jealous, unused to working with the “caliber of people” they claim they are, and any other strange idea that comes into their heads.

    While we were not happy with the circumstances that led us to withdraw co-sponsorship with DAR, we believe it was the right decision. There are many complex issues that these gossipers know nothing about, nor from the way they are acting, would understand if given to them on a golden platter. Or maybe they don’t care.

  12. I will be writing you privately, Elizabeth, but I want to reply to come comments publicly, too

    I/We/Nobody called you about your fund raising scheme, because nobody knew about it. I learned on May 29 with everybody else. Ron says he contacted your office 2-3 times, out of curiosity, after you contacted DAR several months ago, and never heard back from anyone. Naturally, he assumed whatever interest you had in the event was gone. I personally, had no idea that you had contacted DAR organizers at all–any time.

    Like Ron, I have never heard of an instance where one group undertakes to raise funds for another group in their name without that group’s knowledge and consent. It is one thing to send potential donors to a direct link where funds are directly donated to the organization or event; it is quite another when money goes into your coffers for later redistribution. Sort of word of faith donating. As of a few hours ago, your fund raising page is still up on Facebook–something I find incredibly astounding under the circumstances.

    And just as astounding, your offer to send the funds you’ve collected to the AAC or ALMA if DAR turns you down–which I have been told, they have.

    First you solicit funds in DAR’s name without their knowledge and consent. Then you continue to do so knowing the problems this has caused DAR, BN, and the adoptee rights movement in general. You continue to raise funds against DAR’s wishes. Finally, you offer to send the collected funds to the AAC or ALMA, which have nothing to do with the DAR event and whom your donors would probably never send a dime to on their own. I hope you have a lawyer handy.

    There are much better and ethical ways to support adoptee rights. The first thing would be to return all funds you collected to their rightful donors.

    To say that DAR or BN doesn’t want to work with natural parents, adoptive aparents, etc. is simply not true. We have plenty of both in our membership. But, we are not interested in helping adoption agencies position themselves and market their products and services in OUR movement. And that, is what your fundraising looks like to a helluva lot of people right now. Do you think for one minute that most activists would be interested in supporting an event which the adoption industry has funded? You wonder why adoptees don’t like the adoption industry This is a perfect example.A Day for Adoptee Rights, whether BN participates in it or not, is about adopted persons, not the industry.

    Now excuse me while I go collect my boggling head.

  13. Marley is right there is no divsion here.

    The money, however intentioned has not been accepted.

    Being as public as the Adoptee Rights Protest is, we cannot possibly control what others say about us or do on “our” behalf. This is the World Wide Web.

    Those of us remaining as organizers have tremendous respect for all that Bastard Nation has done for adoptees.

    There is no discord here, the discord is between our rights and what we have been regulated to.

    Bastard Nation, the AFC, the Adoptee Rights Day Org. have one singular common goal, the release of our records, that is it.

    This is about principal, not personality to steal a quote. We will absolutely refuse to let anything get in the way of our primary purpose, the restoration of our rights.

    This is not about going backwards, this is about doing the next right thing, the next right thing at this point is the protest, BN is thinking of its members and resources, that is not to be maligned. That is BN’s first responsibility.

    I have every faith that this was in the forefront of their minds when they made their decsion.

    That being said, the protest is a go, absolutely, the resources have been replenished, and not by any adoption agency and we are able now to include natural parents as part of our agenda. Which we are so happy to do!

    You can google my blog, Joy’s Division Adoptee, or the link Marley left for more info.

    The important message that I want to leave with though is we are all for open records, we are all for open records, we are all for open records, we are all for open records.

    That is the bottom line.

    Because why?

    Because closed records kill, it is that simple.

  14. Joy it most certainly does relate to open records when people currently with Demo do and say one set of things in private spaces, and then put on a completely different act in public spaces.

    You come here trying to sound all lovey lovey towards BNers, but the bottom line is, that’s not how you personally behaved on the Adult Adoptees forum.

    As for those of us who have worked for years for open records, it’s past time we started calling you on your personal behaviour.

    BNers deserve the truth about the way you and other people currently with the ARD talk about us in spaces not publicly available.

  15. I understand that you are hurt BLC, but the protest and what it stands for is not about personality. If we spent all our time battling egos, then we wouldn’t accomplish anything.

    I know politics makes tempers flare, but getting things done often means setting aside personal differences.

    It is okay if you don’t like me, that isn’t my concern or focus, open records is my concern and focus, I am sure the majority of your membership feels the same way about open records and deserves to have that concern and focus addressed.

  16. Joy,

    Do not try to make this some kind of ‘wounded adoptee’ handkerchief thing.

    This is not woundee woundee ‘oh, sad, therapy’ adoptee hurt.

    This is- the person on the organizer list alongside me, Amyadoptee, is directing donors into the agency fundraising (fundraising off our event without ARD/DAR knowledge or consent) kind of ‘hurt’.

    I.E. Someone working from within the ARD/DAR organizer list pointing people into the agency fundraising facebook page, not the ARD/DAR direct fundraising portal.

    It’s the difference between ‘I’m so sad it didn’t come together’ and someone here didn’t disclose their own conflict of interest with their past entanglement with the Abrazo Adoption Associates and used her blog to point donors to give money into the very agency ARD/DAR was having an ‘issue’ with at the time.

    One is personal, the other is most certainly political.

    Let’s be real damn clear on that.

    As for ‘personality’ looking at who is off ARD/DAR and who is still on, I know which side of that fence I’d rather be on.

    Doubly so when people such as yourself say one thing in private and anther in public.

    It’s not a question of egos, it’s a question of honesty.

    You say open records are your focus, so let me ask you publicly; do you personally believe state by state legislative work (BN’s strategy and what DAR originally advocated, particularly since it’s outside the annual meeting of State Legislatures) is the best strategy to work for open records going forward? If not, why are you working with the Adoptee Rights Demonstration whose original intent was exactly that?

    Finally, you once again conflate me with Bastard Nation. You say “your membership”.

    As I told Gershom before all this hit, my actions with ARD/DAR were as a “GDI- God Damn Independent”. I have no position with BN other than as a lifetime member.

    When I said “BNers deserve the truth about the way you and other people currently with the ARD talk about us in spaces not publicly available.”

    I was not speaking on behalf of Bastard Nation. I have no authority to do so.

    I was using “us” as BN members. About how you have spoken about “us” as BN members.

    You know from my response in private that I have no position in BN.

    I’ve already explained that to you.

  17. I understand that you are upset, but from my experience running organizations, there will always be upsets along the way, surprises and PR issues that need to be handled.

    Whether or not an organization has the resources, personally, financially, organizationally or not to deal with the difficulties that can and will arise anytime in an undertaking of this scale is a question for each organization.

    As I have said before the leadership is responsible to their members, luckily there were others who could take BN’s place so while a big shock, a seemless transition.

    There was no monies taken that were unethically raised. That is important to remember. I don’t know the hearts of all the people involved in this protest or where they stand or the pro-anti adoption spectrum, my feelings about adoption are personal, this protest is about civil rights, not personalities.

    This protest is about opening records for all the people listed on that record of vital statistics, just like we are real people.

  18. Keep spinning Joy.

    I’ll note you did not answer my question about the very premise of the event itself as originally stated.

    Funny about that.

    Folks might want to do some follow up on that, since Joy hasn’t answered me yet.

    It’s an important question, essentially do those working on it now fully support the premise of the event?

    Lets be clear, many of those of us who were part of ARD/DAR are gone now.

    ARD/DAR is very different now from the way it was before prior to the changes. It is now being filled out with a different set of organizers.

    I would advise people think long and hard before joining up with the likes of such.

    I personally, am with holding my own full take on what has gone forward until at bare minimum the ARD-DAR webepage is updated to reflect those changes and some form of statement is put up the current organizers.

    You will note that while BN has put out a statement, and some of us who were organizers have written, there remains no official word from the ARD/DAR itself that anything has even happened publicly.

    Once the page changes, I will make my own decisions and do my own writing on my own blog about what I make of the current state of ARD/DAR.

  19. *Yawn*
    This has been going on for days. Can we move on to something more interesting now?

    Talk about beating a dead horse.

    And a certain someone has quite an ego to think that the protest should put out an announcement just because she left. Good grief.

    This is making everyone look foolish.

    Everybody, just let it go.

  20. Anon said-

    “And a certain someone has quite an ego to think that the protest should put out an announcement just because she left. Good grief.”

    I never said this was about me.

    I suppose the official page COULD just sit there with an April 26th date as their latest until after July 22nd.

    That said, considering how many of those of us who were involved before the change have left, I just thought they might want to let people still planning on coming that BN was out, and that other organizers, not just me have also left and new people are going to be taking it from here.

    It seems the bare minimum they owe their donors at this point.

    While it would certainly be nice of them to post something related to how they plan to go forward from here, (and deal with the issues raised by the Abrazo/Amy involvement,) to date, Gershom has only posted any notice of what she intends to do on the aforementioned private board.

    Of course, if all that’s left, are only people who are already on Adult Adoptees, then the external public official webpage could be treated as a public relic, left as is, and all organizing could take place in their little sandbox. That would be stupid, but considering the “caliber” of some of the people working on it now… .

    Fortunately, what to do with their outdated webpage is ultimately not my problem.

    While I’m sure the current crop of organizers would just love it if everyone just went on ahead as if nothing had happened, the rest of us feel they have at minimum, an obligation to let people who provided their information to ARD/DAR under one set of circumstances know that those circumstances have now changed dramatically.

    Thus giving people the information they need to make up their own minds about whether or not they wish to attend.

  21. Sabina, you don’t know about the adoptee rights demonstration from “before” and “after” you were on the list of organizers for about 2 days. 2 days sabina. thats it.

    You act like you had SO much to do with the organization and you didn’t. You suggested a lot, you and others hinted to BN’s withdrawl long before ron posted any request of insight into suspension.

    Too much isn’t being said here and you know, i don’t have time for it for the finger pointing. Why? because i have a protest to work on. Nothing has changed, i was organizing it from August and I’m still organizing it. I have done EVERYTHING. Not you, not bastard nation, not ron, ME.

    What did BN contribute except for $100 and their public support? what? Someone tell me please? ANYTHING?? BN withdrawling from the protest didn’t change MUCH AT ALL.

    I was working on it day and night PRE BN withdrawl and I’m working on it day and not POST BN withdrawl.

    Not to be rude, but 2 days of you here and gone doesn’t change much about the “fate” of the protest that you talk so much about in your posts.

    I have held out and held out of this. When the announcement about the hotel rooms and the 4 people booked came about, NOBODY (from BN) helped me call the 85 registered protesters to confirm their attendance. It was Michelle and Amy. Amy who you’ve been dissing right and left and haven’t even gotten the “real” story from. Personally, I hope she never tells you I hope you’re left assuming for the rest of your life on this issue .

    The truth is, you have no idea who we have contacted, you have no idea if we’ve sent anyone a personal message or how many people we’ve talked to about the changes while making our phone calls in the last week, and you have no idea about the annoucement thats being posted TOMORROW MORNING TO THE BLOG.

    You sit here dissing the protest and I am sick of it. You did very spanking little for the protest to be talking about it as if you were “there for the whole thing before BN pulled out.”


    I have held my peace on this, i haven’t said anything that isn’t true, i have respected Bn, i waited to talk about it out of respect for marley because SHE wanted to annouce it. I have let everyone say their peace, haven’t dissed anyone in the process. Waited to see how the “protest” would be treated and the HARD WORK thats been put in it. Now i see your true colors loud and clear.

    10 years of activism in the open records movement didn’t teach you about respect for the people busting their ass for “the” cause huh? Too bad for you.

    cancel that call marley, i’m not talking with people who turn their backs on me when I’m fighting the same fight.

  22. I have no desire to get into this with anybody at this point.

    There’s a lot that could be said, but much of it comes from the original DAR Action List, which is supposed to be “private.” Unfortunately, conversations from that list were discussed with third parties–a breach of netiquette, if not ethics to say the least. Amy even admits in her blog that she let Abrazo know that the agency was being discussed on the list–supposedly a secure list. What else was let out for selected public consumption? I have no idea. Maybe you don’t either. I’d watch my back.

    I greatly respect your work Kali and know that you’ve put in huge amounts of time on this project. You have not, however, addressed the issue of Ron’s call for suspension which set the final phase in motion. DAR was supposed to be a mass action, not a small “protest.” We wanted it done right. Your work was excellent and commendable, but there just wasn’t enough time to pull it together for several reasons of which you are well aware. I understand very well why you and some others don’t want to give it up. But suspension was not cancellation.

    You have not addressed the verbal abuse that BLC, myself and BN has taken on AAAFC list. In my 35 years of activism (women’s liberation, prison reform, anti-war work, and adoption stuff) I have never experienced such a trashing and thrashing by supposed comrades as as taken place on AAAFC in the last few days. You were not a part of that, and have taken the high ground, which I think we all appreciate. Yet a tiny group of people, without a clue as to what was going on took it upon themselves to spew hate at people who only a day or so early had been friends. That’s ugly. The time spent in this hatefest could have been used to mend the situation–which in and of itself, was not nearly as serious as they (the know-nothings) made it out to be. Since I was unavailable Friday-Sunday due to travel, nothing could be done until Monday when I was home. I simply posted our withdrawal notice late Sunday evening, and went to bed since I had to go to the ACW hearing early the next morning. By Monday afternoon, all hell had broken loose with the know-nothings on AAACF–most of whom don’t even post under their own names, but have cute nicknames and icons. Hardly an example of serious political commitment. As you know, the BN EC and you have been playing phone tag with you since Monday evening to settle up.

    Outside of this coetrie of know-nothings, the withdrawal of BN is totally understood. It’s too bad a few big mouths (not you, Kali) are ruining an equitable conclusion.

  23. Yes marley, but sabina, has been posting stuff off of the “secure list” onto her “blog” that you’ve been pointing everyone to for the last week.

    Why WOULD i address the slaughter BN, you and Sabina took? Its not concerned with the protest. Attention please: “BN pulled out of the protest and Marley and their lifetime member Sabina took a beating on AAAFC” Now I’d definately get “heat” for that! I would think that “that” would be outright RUDE to say.

    Regardless, its all distraction from the REAL REASONS that nobody wants to “discuss,” which also is fine by me.

    What I really wish everyone was discussing was how cool it is that “some of us” ( even if its only 4 at a time ) get to have one on one time with thousands of leggies and worker bees.

    What would you say to your state rep if you only had 5 minutes? Why not get the whole community involved in something like that. Make it fun, keep the spirit of the movement alive. Create a desire to unite for change. Step down with inspiration to continue on? Not publicly attacking one of your own that is on BN’s legislative committee and then complaining about your ‘own’ attacking you?

    Better yet, we have a writing campaign starting this Friday ( day after tomorrow ) that the entire open records supporting community can take part in.

    When things don’t go the way they’re planned you don’t abandon ship, (that would be “adoptee issues”) you stick it out, take a good look at what you have and make it the best you can. Then you make the next year better. That is exactly what we are going to do.

    I’m okay with BN stepping down. I have no ill feelings over that. I also have a great deal of respect for the work BN and you have put into opening records like Oregon and Measure 58.

    Marley Check your email please.

  24. Gershom

    Let’s be clear, Ron asked me to “be our volunteer trainer and head monitor at the protest” on March 9th ’08.

    After several e-mails back and forth I accepted on March 14th ’08.

    So I’ve been working on this formally since March.

    Which I suppose just shows you don’t even know how ARD’s own organizing and volunteer coordination was going.

    Simply put you have no idea how much work I did or didn’t put into this event, but even what you did see was certainly more than 2 days, and you know it.

    The list came into existence VERY late in the game. Which in and of itself was insane. The list existed for less than a week before the withdrawals and resignations began.

    How the hell anyone was supposed to be organizing any kind of event without the most basic of communications vehicles between the parties? It was just unfathomable.

    People were exchanging personal e-mails, waiting for permission to forward things to third parties. To clean up that mess, I advocated on May 23rd, in personal e-mail to you, that a list desperately needed to be created:

    “If nothing else, it wastes time to have to reiterate multiple times over some of the basic conversations.”

    May 20th I wrote you in personal e-mail:

    One of the ideas we had, (though for all I know such may already exist), was to create sort of a ‘working list’ e-mail-wise, to get all of us and anyone else who will sort of be doing organizing in the lead up to the event communicating directly and up to speed on what’s going on. I’m not talking about the main e-mail list for the event, but a much smaller invite only list for dealing with the details of pulling this off. We could set up a googlegroup in no time if that’s the kind of thing you might want. Just let me know.

    You finally created a list on the 23rd, after admitting that the lack of communication was really messing things up. But prior to that, organizers, volunteers, etc had no communications vehicle other than direct e-mail and phone.

    Ron’s suspension piece was a hell of a lot more than just a “request of insight into suspension.”

    Ron was the person who had brought up the idea of going to the National Conference of State Legislators annual meeting in the first place. Ron is the one who contacted some of us about working with DAR.

    When he posted his proposed suspension piece on the 29th, this was after you had come back to us the night before with the grand total of 4 hotel rooms booked in the Best Western.

    The BN hotel had more, but ultimately let’s face it the numbers just weren’t there for any kind of ‘Mass action’ as the event had originally been proposed to be.

    So Ron called for suspension, and later that night the first of the withdrawals began.

    I stayed on until Friday evening.

    You say you’ve been organizing since August, fine.

    Let’s talk about where things stood. Me resigning as the person working the volunteers for the march was ultimately not particularly relevant because:

    1. There was no permit for the March nor for the picket outside the convention center. Unless something has changed there still isn’t.

    2. I asked from the moment I came o board how volunteer recruitment was going. It took a long time to get an answer. When I finally did the number was first 3 people (to run a march of at the time an unspecified number of marchers- it could have been 5 or could have been 500.)

    Once I was actually able to see the data, I found myself with ONE volunteer to help run the march.

    So resigning at that point was practically superfluous to what Ron had asked me to do, there was no permitted march and there was only ONE volunteer.

    Since you folks were clearly, shall we say, falling down in the volunteer recruitment arena, I stepped up, within 24 hours of the realization that I had one volunteer, I put out a release calling for volunteers. I specifically requested other organizers help me spread it far and wide.

    Yet you never posted it to the ARD website and as far as I can tell, (since no one communicated any action to me) no one did anything with it other than me.

    At the time people began to withdraw the booth had been paid for, but the additional costs for drape etc hadn’t, Layfayette square had been paid for. There was a block of rooms at the Best Western with 4 booked. The Country Inn and suites had other reservations. That was the state of things.

    There was no ‘march’ other than the possibility of people walking single file to the convention center- until the point at which enough money had come together to get the permits.

    I asked you on the phone about the permits, seeing as they were shall we say pretty damn fundamental to what I had signed on to do with DAR. You said you needed something from BN. So I called BN, they said they were still waiting for documentation from you. So I brought that back to you, you said it was your fault.

    Hell yes there’s a lot not being said here, Gershom, I certainly agree with you on that.

    Care to talk about how site traffic to use your word went “un-freakin-real” (as in wonderful) after you reorganized some aspects on the website per my suggestions?

    Care to talk about how the many forms of support I gave you, personally?

    Nah,that would cloud that black and white, good-guy bad guy thing certain people insist is in all this.

    The truth is a hell of a lot more clouded and we ALL know it.

    But from the moment I contacted you via e-mail offering to help (which you promptly forwarded to Ron without my consent) I’ve done everything I could to pull this ongoing disaster outta the crapper.

    When I came on board you had gotten a redundant second hotel and signed the contract on if for as far as I can tell, no reason. That was the level of lack of miscommunication that was happening. ‘Oh but the Adult Adoptees wanted a hotel… .’

    BASIC pieces of organizing were completely absent.

    I do understand you’re new to this, if you remember, I gave you a hell of a lot of support about that.

    Due to circumstances, some beyond everyone’s control. A lot got left to you.

    Yet when we spoke on the 23rd, you admitted you had been “slacking”. So don’t sit here and tell me I have done EVERYTHING. Not you, not bastard nation, not ron, ME. that’s bullshit and you know better.

    Over and over again, I kept discovering there was less there than even you thought.

    I asked you how many people we had actually coming and what dates they were going to be in town for. You had no idea. That was where your idea of making the calls came from.

    Fine, you can bitch about us not helping, but I was doing things like sitting in medical waiting rooms,while Marley was traveling. Both of which, you knew.

    As I said even four days ago on my blog

    Personally, my beef is not with Gershom.


    This is not an attack on Gershom

    My opinion of you in the last four days however, has changed greatly.

  25. About list ‘confidentiality’-

    After I found out Amy had been sharing information off the list, which I had assumed would be a confidential tactical organizing list, I contacted Gershom and said how did you present this to the other people on it?

    She said she had put it forward as a list for organizers. (Period.)

    She never said anything about confidentiality.

    So apparently there was never any genuine expectation of privacy on the list.

    Common sense says Duh! But amy at least certainly had no problem with passing stuff along to the agency which was fundraising off our event without our consent at the time.

    What little I have put out, is either my own writing, or bit by bit as it has become public.

    Geshom, actually was the person who tonight broke the news that Ron was the person who had called for suspension.

    Up until then, Marley had simply said

    The lead organizer of the event called for a suspension of DAR this year so it could be done right next year.

    Which then what I used on my blog.

    I have used times- 11am for the proposed suspension and 11:13 for Amy volunteering that Abrazo was raising money in our name.

  26. Out of curiosity, I went over and read the thread. I don’t see any verbal abuse. I see people questioning your statements.
    To disagree is not to attack. To question is not to attack.
    If that’s what you call attacking then it’s time to toughen up.
    The truth is your reputation is on the line here more than anyone’s.
    And as far as taking the “highroad”, what road were you on over there?
    This does not look good.
    My advice as an outsider is stop discussing this. You are drawing more attention to yourself.

  27. As a 15-year vet of alt.adoption I’m quite use to abuse.

    Apparently, you didn’t read all the
    threads. This went way beyond disagreement. The highroad was explaining what happened,and the ethics and economic reasons behind our withdrawal, which no one was interested in hearing. The average AAAFCer is logical. Unfortunately, a small number of Heathers control the discourse and try to beat anyone into submission who disagrees with them. There are plenty of bodies along the road over there.

    If you enjoy being called a liar, then I guess you don’t recognize verbal abuse. ACCFC Heathers, ran on gossip and speculation. Then when it got too hot, locked down. It’s so much more exciting than the truth.

    The whole thing has been blown way out of proportion by a handful of people with no traction in the AdoptionLand. Nobody in AdoptionLand much cares about this dust-up. Just another Jeep Driving Genius incident.

  28. roflol Sabina, i will continue this conversation on July 26th 2008. I’m sure you’ll still be talking about it. I hope you have your facts straight then.

  29. As of 12:52 today I’m calling a personal moratorium on this discussion For the time being, I will not be discussing the issue here unless absolutely necessary. We are still waiting for statements from Ron and/or other members of the original DAR committee.

    This has escalated into an ugly situation that needs toned down right now in order for those of us involved in organizational aspects of this mess to iron out differences and come to an equitable agreement.

    I won’t remain silent, but we need some breathing room.

  30. blah fucking blah.

    who cares?

    Like anyone who knows me doesn’t know I am fierce and quick?

    Does anyone think I am sweet and pliant?

    I am fierce of the highest order.

    That is why I follow through, that is why I don’t care about if you like me or if you are coming to my birthday.

    I care about one thing, one thing, open records.

    hate me hate me hate me, I care about one thing, open records, open records, open records,

    If you want to know my personal records, read my blog.

    one thing, one thing, one thing, open records

  31. “”From Kevan,

    Too many Che Guevara’s and not enough berets…””

    Ain’t that the truth.. The same problem is occurring on the Mother side.

  32. It has troubled me for a year that so many in the adoptee rights movement cannot see outside the movement to realize others support them as well. One needn’t be adopted to see the importance of civil rights for adoptees and ethics for first mothers. I may not know how it feels to be adopted, but I can read and I can empathize and I can recognize injustice and work toward justice. But the attitudes I see in some blogs from Bastard Nation members is that my support, my work, my efforts are unwanted. How sad.

    Not all agencies are evil…though I tend to think nearly all are. Elizabeth at Abrazo is one such person who cares about the children of adoption and about their rights. I, for one, am grateful to know there is at least one agency out there that gives a shit and wants to help. There are way too many Gladneys and Shorsteins and LDS’s out there. Why can’t one good group of people in the adoption industry be respected (and yes, I know, a total oxymoron)?

    The rancor and pettiness and personal attacks make me want to pack my crayons and go home. This is not MY fight, but I fight it…I fight it for all of you. And anymosity like this makes me think I don’t want to fight for you anymore…not that you care. But, believe it or not, I have the ear of a few who could make a difference…perhaps I should use that ear for people who want change, not people who want to be the ones making the change.

    Seriously, what’s the difference, Marley? If adoptee’s get rights, what the difference who did it?

    As for the event coordination of the issue, if that were all that was involved, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Not enough participation, then not enough. But this has been more than about registration all along, and even I can see that from the outside.

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