On March 16, six CARE board members sent around an email to lists announcing their involvement with CARE and AB 372. The following day, Maryanne Cohen, a member with me, on one of those lists, asked these board members some questions about AB 372. To date, there has been complete silence, although at least three of the signatories to that email are members of “our” list.

Last night commenting on the entry that precedes this entry, Maryanne posted these same questions With Maryanne’s permission I’m posting her entire comment below. The only changes Ive made is the addition of ***


In any state where I have followed legislation and written letters of support, up until now I have always been able to understand the messages put out by the sponsoring group. Whether I agreed or not, I knew what they were proposing. I also find CalOpen and Marley, Ron, 73Adoptee quite clear about their views. Not so with CARE.

I truly do not understand what CARE wants to do or what kind of legislation they want to introduce.I tried asking some questions on a list where members of CARE offered to answer questions. I am still waiting for any answer. Here are my questions:

From March 17, I wrote:

OK. Here are some questions, please answer here so that all may be enlightened.

***What records exactly are you talking about? In any state I know the OBC is at the Bureau of Vital Statistics with all the other birth certificates, except it is sealed. In states that have opened records recently, like New Hampshire and Maine, adoptees need only go to the Bureau of Vital stats to get their OBC like anyone else. In NJ Birth certificates are in two places, local town Bureau of Vital Stats and a central state office in the Capitol. Either is legal ID.

So is CARE also seeking court records, agency records, hospital records, other?

I have heard that legislators in CA “don’t like to hear about rights, but would rather respond to needs and desires”. So people supporting this bill are not to use rights-oriented language. Please explain. If it is not about adoptee rights, it is nothing. And I don’t think legislators will be fooled by calling it something else.

***Would CARE accept a compromise that cuts out adoptees born after 1984? It seems from their web page that they are warning potential supporters that they might have to do this to get something/anything passed.

***Would CARE accept adoptees having to go to court to get their records, with the possibility a judge could deny access?

***Is there really a “secret strategy” different from all other states, that we have to trust CARE to implement, no matter what they are saying now? What happens if the secret strategy fails and things end up worse than they are now?

Thanks in advance for your honest answers to these questions, and for offering to explain. This is all very confusing.



  1. All valid questions and not surprising that they have not answered yet. It would appear that there IS a secret strategy and that we must trust CARE without question. Sad!

  2. It is very strange. I don’t live in CA so it does not personally affect me, and if I do not like their answers or strategy, so what? Just make it clear what their real agenda is, so people can support it or not in good conscience, and not be in for nasty surprises.

    This is upsetting to me because several people I like and respect are supporting CARE, and I do not want to fight with them or disrespect their choice, but I do want to know what is really going on.

    From what I have heard, it a matter of having faith in CARE leadership, without knowing exactly what they are doing or why, like having faith in a religion. As the nuns used to say when a kid had a hard question they could not answer, “It’s a mystery! You must have faith and not question.”

    I was told they speak with “one voice” so individuals could not answer me lest they misspeak. So far, the “One Voice” has continued to remain silent.

  3. They are hiding the truth because most of us, adoptees, would be angry if they told us what was really coming down the pipe.

    So, if they hide the truth from us long enough, they’ll get their bill passed with easy and with very little noise. (They’re greasing the pipes right now.)

    (“It’s a great bill and I’m it’s great author” Fiona Ma will mutter to herself.)

  4. I don’t know so much about Sen. Ma, but the CARE folks have said that California is their “experiment.” If they think their “experiment” will be quiet, though, they are mistaken.

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