AdoptionLand is abuzz with the news that Rep. Connie “LaJoyce” Johnson, sponsor of Missouri records access bill, HB 1998, has pulled the plug after a woman named Carolyn Pooler got into it with her over something in it, but we don’t know what. Pooler’s objection could be this section of the proposal in which a contact veto is disguised as a “contact preference,” a restriction Bastard Nation and Bastardette vigorously oppose.
(4) If included with the copy of the original birth certificate, agree in writing to abide by the contact preference of the birth parent stated in the contact preference form attached to the adopted person’s original birth certificate in accordance with section 193.132.
(No mention of tracking enforcement, and penalties. What happens to the uppity bastard who refuses to sign the “agreement”? No birth certificate for you? What happens to the bad bastard who decides not to make contact when Mom wants it? Off to jail you go?)
I won’t, however, hold my breath on this too-simple explanation. A quick Google check indicates that Pooler is a co-director of the American Adoption Congress’ mid-South region. The AAC has supported a lot “worse” than contact vetoes. They’ve endorsed sell-outs in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey and numerous other states: disclosure vetoes, white-outs, and tiered access. Why should a little matter of an unconstitutional de facto restraining order bother them? If it’s good enough for Tennessee… Hey, maybe there weren’t enough restrictions in Johnson’s bill. Or maybe Pooler is working as a cranky free agent.
Rep. Johnson, by all accounts, is not a pissy person. It is not often that a politician pulls a bill in a huff because a civilian berates her. Whatever happened, not fessing up and letting rumors spread over the ‘net gives the impression that something really reprehensible and underhanded–that can’t be discussed amongst the adopted folks it concerns most–happened. Pooler owes an explanation to the people she claims to speak for. Especially since nobody has ever heard of her and she’s “speaking” in their name.
A similar bill, SB1132, is still on the Senate’s table.
Addie Pray has some interesting comments and more details about this dust-up on her blog today: The Missouri Compromise.
Feb. 20, 2008: CORRECTION: Carolyn Pooler is no longer an AAC representative.