Bastardette received a post this morning from her favorite adoptee activist and shit kicker, Ron Morgan, director of the Adoptee Rights Organzing Project in San Francisco and organizer of the “notorious” Honk if You’re My Daddy event at Studio City in LA last January.
Referring to Bastardette’s The Great White North Snows Adoptees, (see below) Ron brings up excellent points regarding the ethical implications of Mr. Anonymous Adopter’s secrets and shame letter and Member Klees’s reading of it into the record.
Since when should personal pathology be elevated to public policy?
With Ron’s permission I am posting the entire letter below.
—– Original Message —–
From: “Ron Morgan”
Sent: Thursday, May 05, :32 PM
Subject: ] Appalling testimony in Ontario Legislative Assembly
> Hello everyone,
> I’m writing tonight to bring your attention to testimony read into
> the record during a debate in the Legislative Assembly of
> Ontario, Canada, over a bill that would change regulations
> regarding access to adoption records.
> Personally, I don’t support the bill in question, neither does
> Assembly Member Klees, who introduced the letter into the
> record. However, I find the letter deeply troubling. Here is the
> URL for the portion of the debate that contains the letter:
> It was written by an adoptive family who have purposefully not
> told their child they are adopted, and who feel threatened by
> efforts to make adoption records available to adult adoptees and
> birthparents, presumably because then their secrets (and lies)
> may be revealed.
> What I find most disturbing is that Assembly Member Klees, a
> government representative, feels that these fears are not only
> valid, but by his own description, exemplary, of thousands of
> adoptive families. Mr. Klees implies that this sort of extreme
> secretiveness is a norm, a status quo that needs defending.
> Now, shortly after I discovered I was adopted at the age of 36, I
> did a literature search on disclosing adoption. I went through
> professional publications as well as popular how-to books on
> adoption and periodical articles. There are virtually no sources
> more current than forty or fifty years old that recommend not
> disclosing to a child that they are adopted. Although there are
> varying opinions regarding at what age a child is told, there is
> universal agreement that they should be told.
> The author or authors of the letter explain that they wish to spare
> their child the stigma of being adopted. Although they don’t
> explicitly state it, they imply that adoption is a shameful condition
> that is better not spoken of. I wonder if this family told the social
> worker conducting their home study that they intended to keep
> the adoption a secret.
> If this were simply one family explaining their opposition to a bill
> because their own dysfunction, I would say too bad for them and
> their child. There are plenty of dysfunctional families out there,
> bio and adopted. But by reading this letter into the record,
> Assembly Member Klees raises the issue of non-disclosure to
> children of their adopted status the gravitas of his office. He
> represents the government, which in turn creates families
> through adoption. Mr. Klees is himself an adoptive father, who
> remarks in passing that he has told his kids of their adoption.
> I would hope that the adoption professionals on this list would
> take a moment to write Mr. Klees and let him know that not telling
> a child they are adopted is ethically and psychologically wrong,
> and ought not be promoted nor protected. Regardless of how
> you feel about the bill in question, the attitudes expressed in the
> letter are, in my opinion, damaging to adoptees and adoption as
> an institution.
> Mr. Klees can be reached at [email protected]
> Thank you,
> Ron Morgan
> Adoptee Rights Organizing Project@hotmail.com>