If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half-measure full?….Sojourner Truth, Women’s Rights Convention, April 29,. 1850, Akron Ohio,
Probably a week doesn’t go by when I don’t think of Sojourner Truth. That short speech of hers made 165 years ago resonates with me as an adoptee rights activist and organizer. Though delivered in the context of women’s rights, it holds truth for marginalized people everywhere today. Power. unless it sees some advantage otherwise, never gives up its privilege, or retracts its fist, or its questions its belief that “it” is right, without a battle. Power does not concede power.
I have never understood what is so frightening to special interests in and outside of the adoption industry about us reclaiming our right our original birth certificates, court documents, family histories, and original identities. In fact, it looks downright mean and petty, but then much of power is mean and petty.
What is really ironic is that Bastard Nation is considered “radical,” for demanding restoration of adoptee civil rights, and making Class Bastard the co-equal of the majority Not Adopted Class. But who is the real radical?
- What is more radical than the goverwnment confiscating and sealing the public birth records of 6 million Americans because they are adopted?.
- What is more radical than the government changing people’s names and altering identities–in affect changing our histories?
- What is more radical than the government hiding children/adult children and their parents from each other?
- What is more radical that the government abrogating the civil rights of an entire class of people and then claiming its done for our own good. .
- What is more radical than the government micromanaging and moderating the relationships of its citizens?
Adoption is neither a soap opera or the witness protection program. The government is not a family chaperon.
In my files I have a letter written by National Council for Adoption founding president Bill Pierce to anti-adoptee activists in New Jersey during one of that state’s protracted OBC campaigns in the 1990s. I’ll have to paraphrase since I don’t have it handy, but he portrayed the fight for access to OBCs as an anti-adoption David and Goliath battle with beleaguered and badgered adoption agencies and lawyers playing David in need of a sling full of money and muscle to slay the well-bank-rolled adoptee rights movement’s Goliath.. Bill always did have a way with hyperbole.
Not much has changed in the last 25 years. Sure, since 1999 five states have restored adoptee rights, but for each state that wins another five fail–or are sold out by deformers eager to pass “anything we can get” on their watch; thus, making it impossible for their own sates toever be truly free states. NCFA and numerous adoption agencies–including Gladney who didn’t even bother to object to Texas HG984 even when it was clean with a technicality, have quietly hoisted their white flag. Adoption industry dirty work has been taken up by anti-aborts, civil libertarians, evangelicals, corpos, and white saviors, who have little to do with adoption, and everything to do with their own separate and often contradictory political and social agendas. Adoptees are objectified to meet adoption-at-any-cost mythologies, and feared when they fail to live up to voices in the heads of DoGood, Inc.
What is it about our “little half-measure that scares them?