Birth Certificate Webinar: What the Adoption Industry Thinks of NJ’s Compromise Bill

I was going to write about something else tonight, but then this came along on Facebook (thank you Claud!). I couldn’t resist:

Adoption – The Open Birth Certificate Webinar sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association. Don’t expect to catch a break. The NJ Bar opposes your right to your own birth certificate

The webinar will be held Thursday (November 18) from noon to 1:00 PM. The Convenor is Daniel M Serviss, a family law attorney in New Jersey with Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith and Davis. He is not a member of Quad A (The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys) which also hates bastards except when members can make a bag of money facilitating their transfer from inappropriate birther wombs to appropriate adopter cradles.

Bastard Nation leaves no one behind, and it’s no secret that BN and Bastardette oppose the current NJ piece-a-crap AB1399/1406/S799. But we also oppose the NJ Bar’s bright bulb (see below): the Confidential Intermediary System. You know, when the state hires low-paid functionaries and contractors to hunt down parents in hiding so you don’t have to. Even compliant compromisers hate this. Here is Bastard Nation’s policy paper on CI’s, The Intermediary System is not the Solution, which includes:

But there is one thing no person can compromise without serious consequences to his own self-esteem, and that is his right to direct his own life and make his own personal decisions free of the interference of the State. The price of the intermediary compromise is too high in terms of pride, dignity and self-respect. The adoptee position rests on two principles that must remain inflexible. The first is that each person has a right to his own history and identity. The second is that adult adoptees have the same competence and right of non-adoptees to manage their own affairs without supervision of the State through its agencies. The underlying principle of the adoption movement is the determination to be free of those limitations that have not been imposed on non-adopted citizens. The issue is whether adoptees are to be allowed to emancipate from chattel-child status into autonomous adults, or are they to continue to be infantilized by the ongoing control of the State and agency, birthparents and adoptive parents? Lincoln once said “for although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it by being a slave himself.” Would legislators either seek or accept social work supervision of their own personal affairs? On what evidence do they decide that they are capable of managing without supervision, but adult adoptees are not?

Here’s the write-up on the webinar. Note that the NJ Bar is greatly concerned about how records access for adults will affect adoptive parents. This really means, paps-in-hand with a jones for somebody else’s Bumble.
Webinar: Adoption- The Open Birth Certificate Issue

Join us for a Webinar on November 18
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST

To register for this webinar, click here.

Daniel M. Serviss, Esq.

In March of this year, the NJ Senate approved legislation to allow adult adoptees to get copies of their original birth certificates and medical histories. The bill still needs Assembly approval. In the interim, many parties are adding their voices to this discussion, one of which is the NJ State Bar Association (NJSBA). Dan Serviss, a partner in our Family Law Group and a member of the NJSBA committee that is submitting draft legislation, will discuss the important issues in this debate, for example:

* Should there be an intermediary between adult adoptees and birth parents?
* Is a one year opt out period for birth parents to register to remain anoymous?
* What are the concerns of adoptive parents and how might they be affected if any form of legislation is approved on this issue?
* What has been the history of both sides of this discussion?

Who should attend:
* Adoptees
* Adoptive parents
* Biological parents
* Social Workers
* Human Resource professionals
* Lawyers
* Anyone with an interest in the issue

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

The NJ Bar and Quad A oppose records access for all bastards. I can’t find a statement on the current piece-a-crap bill pushed by accommodaters but I did find the Bar’s objections (I had problems opening it, but this is the correct link) to a similar earlier bill, S 611. Along with the usual blahblahblah we find a couple curious problems wedged in:
(C) DISREGARDS THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ADOPTION: note special defense of Catholic Charities who has promises to keep and dirt to hide.

One of the fundamental benefits of adoption is that a birth mother can make a painful sacrifice for her biological child’s best interest and then move on with her life. Requiring a woman to continually submit information in the family history form will not allow her to enjoy a feeling of closure after her traumatic experience. It forces her to relive it continuously throughout the rest of her life.

Furthermore, many children adopted in the past were adopted with an understanding between birth parents and adoptive parents that unless both the child (after age 18) and the birth parent agreed, there would be no revealing of the birth parent’s identity. For example, a child adopted through Catholic Charities is placed with the adoptive parents with specific reliance by the birth parents that the birth parents’ identity will not be disclosed without the express consent and desire of the birth parent. Often, it is the security of this knowledge that would be the reason a birth parent and/or an adoptive parent chooses an agency. To disregard that sacred reasoning is a breach that reflects a total disregard of the complexity of adoption.
and the really oddball:
Women who place their babies up for adoption look forward to moving on with their lives and
putting the experience behind them. Many come to peace with the decision they made and want to begin a new life. They struggle with the process of severing the bond that has been created with the child during pregnancy. Telling a women who is considering adoption that she will never be able to completely detach herself from that child and live the rest of her life anonymously unless she constantly submits to an invasive and tedious process may lead to her foregoing adoption altogether.
Now let’s get this straight. A woman who wants to maintain her “anonymity” through a sealed birth certificate and detach from her kid will keep and attach to the kid if she can’t be promised that anonymity in adoption. HoHoHo OK!
That’s Adoption Bizzaro World, folks. Us do opposite of all Earthly things Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!
I enjoy walking into the lion’s den and I’m in for tomorrow.

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6 Replies to “Birth Certificate Webinar: What the Adoption Industry Thinks of NJ’s Compromise Bill”

  1. Bizarre alright, love that quote from Lincoln.
    I don’t actualy see why it is anything to do with adopters, we’re talking adult adoptees here after all.They don’t get a look in in our legislation nor should they.


    Wow. So there’s a change. It used to be that bills would encourage women to have abortions.

    I guess since that myth was dispelled, they have moved on to a new tactic.

  3. Marley,

    Sixteen years ago, at age 50, I hired a “confidential” intermediary because the juvenile officer at the family court told me (as an adoptee) it was the only way to possibly get identifying information about my birth family because my adoption was a secret.

    Years later, thanks to access to public records online, i find myself refusing to use “confidential” intermediary.

    Instead, I use “court” intermediary since there’s no way no how any of us can remain anonymous.

    Wish the adoption business ppl and legislators understood this. Tho probably some do. Many just want to protect their own. Why they are so scared of open records in this day and age ceases to amaze.

    Keep telling it like it really is!

  4. Absolutely disgusting. As a first mother who was never promised nor wanted anonymity from my child, it is appalling that mothers are continually blamed for keeping records closed. All in the name of us moving on and getting on with our lives. As if that is possible!If anything, what keeps us going is the possibility of reuniting with our children.

    Because of the *ahem* circumstances of my daughter’s adoption, her APs had all of my contact information. My daughter contacted me earlier this year and I didn’t crumble. It has been the most wonderful time of my life as well as the most difficult. But I’m an adult and so is my daughter, and we are perfectly capable of handling our own relationship.

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