Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization is the largest adoptee civil rights organization in North America. Although we are based in the United States we have Canadian members. Canadian adoptees have served on our Executive Committee, and the adoptee organization Canada Open Records, partners with us.
Bastard Nation supports only full unrestricted access for all adopted persons to their original birth certificates (OBC) and related documents.
We are writing today to ask you to reject Bill No, 29, reportedly scheduled for a vote in the next few days. The bill will make OBCs available for those adopted after the effective date, keep the records of those born and adopted earlier sealed and available only under restricted circumstances. The bill’s provisions include:
- disclosure veto
- criminally enforceable contact veto with a threat of a $5,000 fine and 1-year jail term
- prohibits adoptees from publishing any identifying information about the person who provided the content preference.
The bill does not even release the OBC—the legal state-generated record of birth. Instead, the “prescribed information” from the requested birth record is sent to the PEI adoption boss and then the adoption boss controls the release of that “prescribed information” if there are no objections.
Bill No. 29 clearly holds PEI’s adopted citizens to a greater set of birth record access requirements than the not-adopted who can access their record for the asking, Disclosure and contact vetoes, fines and jails cells all go against best practice adoption standards. These provisions are not only insulting to PEI’s adoptees but are cruel and ugly. They pathologize adoptees and adoption as a social institution. They make adoption and adoptees shameful and suggest to the public that we are dangerous.
We are well into the 21st century. The information superhighway grows wider and longer each day, and adoptees and their birth and adoptive families are riding it, utilizing the Internet, social media, inexpensive and accessible DNA testing services, and a large network of volunteer “search angels” to locate their government-hidden information and histories. Thousands of successful adoption searches happen each year in the US and Canada—some in PEI–making adoption secrecy virtually impossible. The minuscule number of birthparents or so-called “professionals” who believe that restricted OBC or records access or no access equal adoption anonymity are greatly mistaken. The fact is, nearly all successful searches are done without the OBC and other court documents.
To point: according to the Adoption Act Review Final Report Report, restricted access is recommended because of the complaint of one birthmother claiming she had been outed on Facebook. (1) These kinds of incidents are extremely irare if the adoptee has access to identifying information and (2) laws cannot be passed because of one person’s negative experience, Society would be inoperable if that were the case.
Secret adoption is a failed social experiment. History, ethics, and transparency is on the side of adoptees everywhere, It is indeed shocking, then, that the PEI government would consider not only keeping its adoptees in the dark, but pulling them even farther back into the Dark Ages.
There is no government interest in keeping original birth certificates sealed from adult adoptees to which they pertain. Nor does the government have a right or duty to mediate and oversee the personal relationships of adults. Those who claim a statutory right to parental anonymity through sealed records promote statutory privilege and provincial favoritism.
Please reject Bill No, 29. Vote No. Listen to PEI adoptees. Come back and pass a clean bill that treats ll PEI adoptees the same as the not-adopted.
Marley E Greiner