Still not decided on Illinois HB 4623? (and other entries here). Still think something is better than nothing? If so, blogger 73adoptee has a lot to tell you about the Illinois Confidential Intermediary system. You know, the one that Rep. Sara Feigenholtz and Melisha Mitchell want to beef up just for you. The one that let’s the state monitor your identity. The one that says you’re too stupid, too clumsy, too insensitive, too dangerous, too crazy to own your very own birth certificate. The one that strips you of autonomy and free association.
In her excellent blog Caveat Emptor On Confidential Intermediary Programs, 73adoptee aka Triona Guidry, discusses the Illinois CI system and her own experience as a client of the state CI scam. Here’s a sample:
CI programs are little more than a panacea to placate open records advocates while paying lip service to helping adoptees. There are things about the process that aren’t in the brochure. First of all, you may not be eligible to apply. Once within the program, you may have little knowledge or control over what is done on your behalf. And if concerns arise, you may have little recourse.
Just about everything is “confidential,” but what exactly constitutes “confidential” is equally unclear. Officially, it’s what’s in the Illinois Adoption Act, 750 ILCS 50, Section 18. But in reality it’s whatever the program decides it is.
For example, details were redacted from my birth mother’s letters, such as my maternal grandfather’s age of death, which are listed nowhere in the Illinois Adoption Act as being “identifying.” Similarly, I received mixed signals as to whether or not I was permitted to receive copies of the correspondence sent to my birth mother (redacted for identifying information). When contact was first made, I asked for and received the first letter sent to her. But later, when I asked for copies of additional correspondence (again, redacted for identifying info), it suddenly became “confidential.” Perhaps it’s only “confidential” when you begin to question the process.
For additional information on the political and moral bankrupcy of the CI system see Bastard Nation’s paper The Confidential Intermediary System is not the Solution:
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.
And be sure to tell Rep. Feigenholtz and Melisha Mitchell that you don’t need Big Sister’s help.
My daughter found me without any help from any agency, state or otherwise. No one was there to “protect” either of us from the other or to censor our communication or tell us how to conduct our reunion. It is totally appalling that this industry of adoption and its legislative toadies feel they have to act as intermediaries between two adults. First of all, you are right…this is “Big Sister” all the way. In the second place, what takes place between a mother and her adult child and vice versa is NO ONE ELSE’S BUSINESS.
C’mon…just open the records and let the affected ADULTS handle it from there. Jeeeez!