Below is the email I just sent to Kathleen Strottman, executive director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, regarding the organization’s neglect to include adoptees and first parents in the international adoption roundtable it is co-sponsoring with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, scheduled for February 16. (see blog entry directly below this for details.) . If we get a response, I’ll post it here.
Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization is extremely disappointed to learn that the Congressional Coalition’s roundtable on international adoption scheduled for February 16 has ignored the input of adoptees and our first parents. The list of roundtable invitees is packed with representatives of adoption agencies, policy makers, and adoptive parents, all of who make their living from adoption or otherwise benefit from current adoption practice. They do not represent the political and personal interests of adoptees or first parents either domestically or internationally.
Unfortunately, the absence of adoptee and first parent voices at the roundtable is the continuation of a long pattern of neglect by the CCAI, federal, state, and local legislators, policy makers, and public and private agencies who dismiss the producers and products of adoption as stakeholders, when in fact, these commercial cohorts and their recipients would not exist with out us.
I can assure you, Ms. Strottman, that adoptee and first parent rights organizations and individual advocates would be happy to participate in CAAI functions either in person or through Skype or conference call. I hope this neglect of adoptees and first parents now and in the future is reversed, and that CAAI will take the interests of adoptees and first parents seriously and invite us to the table. Otherwise, your message to us is that we don’t count.
Marley E. Greiner
Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization
Bastard Nation is dedicated to the recognition of the full human and civil rights of adult Adoptees. Toward that end, we advocate the opening to Adoptees, upon request at age of majority, of those government documents which pertain to the Adoptee’s historical, genetic, and legal identity, including the unaltered original birth certificate and adoption decree. Bastard Nation asserts that it is the right of people everywhere to have their official original birth records unaltered and free from falsification, and that the adoptive status of any person should not prohibit him or her from choosing to exercise that right. We have reclaimed the badge of bastardy placed on us by those who would attempt to shame us; we see nothing shameful in having been born out of wedlock or in being adopted. Bastard Nation does not support mandated mutual consent registries or intermediary systems in place of unconditional open records, nor any other system that is less than access on demand to the adult Adoptee, without condition, and without qualification.
The Adoption Institute? Marley, is this the Evan Donaldson Adoption Institute?
No, this is the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Reps and Senators on Capital Hill. The people who sponsor Angelsl in Adoption–among other things. The big boys and girls!
This is a very good letter. Thank you for writing it.
I will try to find the time to write a letter of my own.
Short and to the point. They will never include either you or me, or our fellow travelers, the adopted and the mothers of origin/birth.
I’m actually surpirsed that PEAR got an invitation. Adoptive parents, while they may have a louder voice than us (ha!) aren’t exactly welcome at the big kids’s table either. Adoption, as well as other “policy” has little relation to the people to serves or affects. The public in general is simply the plaything of politicians and special interests with money and privilege. If a poll were taken of Iranians, do you think they’d all vote that it was fine with them that the US giong getting ready to invade, rape, and kill them for their