This morning Gaye Sherman posted a comment on my previous entry about conservative reaction to Illinois HB 4623. I started to write a response to that post, but decided to expand my reply and post it here as a new entry.

Gayle wrote:

Sounds like we’re still children in need of a spanking. They actually ADMIT that names on the OBC might be fraudulent?! So, in my mind, that’s an argument for opening the adoption records too – or at least being able to get the REAL names off the court or agency records. A lot of this seems like social worker speak – that ordinary citizens (adopted or not) can’t function without counseling.

I 100% agree with Gayle that the Illinois Catholic Conference put its foot in its mouth by admitting that some obcs may contain fraudulent information. Amended birth certificates aside, placing false information on a birth certificate is illegal. We can only wonder at whose suggestion false information was placed on the obc document. Could this be one of the causes of adoption industry fear of unrestricted records access? Adoption professionals advised their clients to falsify government documents, and the chickens might be headed back to the barn? Oh boy! This opens a whole avenue of questioning that never occurred seriously to me before.

That said, I want to take up Gayle’s last sentence:

A lot of this seems like social worker speak – that ordinary citizens (adopted or not) can’t function without counseling.

Exactly. It’s the therapeutocracy– the same therapeutocracy that in the mid-1980s hijacked adoptee rights turning a class movement into an individual dysfunction. (What would Rosa Parks do?) This control freak cabal turned the genuine political, cultural, and systemic rot of adoption and sealed records into a “personal” problem for adoptees to “deal with” under the “guidance” of friendly feel-your-pain-we-know-better-than-you therapeutic “experts.” Obviously some adoptees do have personal issues, and they should seek help or not, however they see fit. But for an entire industry to pretend that secret adoption and sealed records are not politically rooted and motivated is mental and political manipulation. To claim that those who suffer under the sealed records system suffer from some personal dysfunction is a lie.

Personal problems are private. Political rights are public. Politicizing adoption and adoptee rights rather than flushing money down the therapeutic sewer is the only legitimate response to the political disenfranchisement of secret adoption, secret files, and identity theft. Any psychological issues arising from that abuse of power can be dealt with privately.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get this across to the adoptee population, saturated in US therapy culture, who generally come from a white middle class environment where class struggle is anathema. Sort of like joining a labor union. The most common complaint since the therapeutracy took over goes something like this: “I want my records but I don’t want to dirty my hands in politics.” The disconnect is deafening. I can only mark it up to denial of class status and a people-pleasing fear of knocking over the white picket fence. GAS: Grateful Adoptee Syndrome.

The state infantalizes adopted persons. I do not expect every adoptee to hit the streets full force. What I’m disturbed about, though, is the number of adopted folks who acknowledge their status, but do little or nothing about it, apparently expecting the state, on its own, to give up its power over us. How many times do we hear apologetic adoptees refer to themselves as “adopted children” or preface their remarks on records confiscation and identity theft with “I’m grateful I was adopted,” or “my adoptive parents are my real parents” both of which have nothing to do with adoptees’ Grade B political status. That we have been able to grow the movement and succeeded on a shoestring budget as much as we have in the last 10 years is a tribute to those who stood up, demanded equal treatment, and convinced politicians (or in the case of Oregon, the voters) to restore our rights. As the movement continues to grow and we have success in other states and provinces, I hope we will will also grow a sense of entitlement in others and serve as an example for the less confident. The spirit IS willing. We just need to make the flesh strong. Besides, politics is fun!

The nicer kinder rhetoric of the professional adoption class is still about control. The therapeutracy still thinks we (everybody, not just those in AdoptionLand) are stupid and incapable of handling our own lives and affairs without the benevolent supervision of it and its Big Government cronies.

Two good books on the subject of how the US (especially) has become therapeutized and medicalized are Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People by Dr. Tana Dineen and Therapy Culture: Cultivating Vulnerability in an Uncertain Age by Frank Furedi, (which I am reading now.) Though not about adoption, both can be read clearly through the lens of adoptee experience.

ADDENDA: Baby Love Child has a great blog on the same subject: Prospect of Open Records Makes Illinois Catholic Conference Fearful of Potential Lawsuits.


  1. Brilliant piece, Bastardette!

    Note the specifics- not just any ole adopta-therapeutracy, Catholic adopta-therapeutracy, horrified at the notion of individuals conducting their interpersonal affairs within the involvement of any “assisting entity”, obviously Catholic Charities being their preference.

    You know- Catholic Charities, the motherfuckers who in some states nickel and dime (to the tune of big bucks!) Bastards for every scrap of information about themselves they dain pass along(while in other states or municipalities they just hand it over, never ones to let a little thing like consistency get in their way.)

    My personal fave bit still being the admission inherent in this part of their arguement-

    “under the proposed changes in HB 4623, this confidentiality is then broken, raising potential for lawsuits against agencies.”

    Their ‘self interest’ in the legislation is that they know damn well if records were ever opened they could be facing down massive lawsuits.

    So then, does that mean what’s in those records may well be evidence of wrongdoing?

    Seems obvious enough to me.

    There are reasons they want the records sealed, or at minimum to have Catholic Charities in the midst of ANY process whereby information from those records becomes available.

    Simply put, they’re afraid they would be sued to the waterline so they want control and a means by which to ‘contextualize’ thereby defang potential litigants.

    Fascinating how a bill this terrible finally forces their hand to the point where they outright admit their raw terror at even the prospect of lawsuits.

    Can there be a more compelling argument for opening records than to for the first time finally reveal the crimes that may well be documented therein?

    Surely for such to be prosecuted, the evidence must come to light while the wronged still live and the criminals are still around to prosecute.

    Is it any wonder so many up to their elbows in such filth would rather just ‘wait us out’ until all involved parties are long dead?

    Is it any wonder they defend sealed records as if their lives depend on it? When facing down potential lawsuits and perhaps even criminal prosecution/jail time, of course they’d rather State enforced secrecy hide all past evidence.


  2. This is awesome. I have often wondered why Indiana adoptees won’t step up and fight for their rights. Most of the records are owned by Catholic Charities in Indiana, Indiana adoptees whine about wanting their records and wanting to find. We have to step up and fight back. I guess I have been in Texas just too damn long.

  3. From helping multiple birth mothers over the years I heard first hand many times how they were told it would be better to not use their real names at the homes or on the OBC’s. Some chose to anyway while some felt that they should not. The latter would search for their daughter/son because they feared that they would never be found. It was not just Catholic Charities that told birth mothers to lie.

    I was adopted through Catholic Charities and it turned out everything that was on my OBC was correct. There was a lie on my adoption decree saying that my birth father was deceased. When I told a social worker what I thought about it, I was told that I did not understand legal terminology.

    More adoptees do need to stand up and fight instead of just complaining. We need for adoptees who have the best interests of adoptees at heart to run for congress.

  4. “Infantasising” the adult adoptee is parallel to the demonizing and degrading of the natural mother. Both processes serve only two entities…the facilitators (the industry) and their clients (those who adopt). Welcome to our world.

    As a side note, I filled out, while still in bed recovering from childbirth, both birth certificates for my two oldest children who were taken for adoption, using my real name and their fathers’ real names. For that period before I was forced to sign the surrender papers, I was their legal parent and, as such, had a right to copies of those OBC’s and I have a right to them, now as do my adult children.

    What really bothers me is that my daughter, who fought for a glimpse of her OBC, read, in the space for the father’s name “unknown.” He obviously ceased to exist since I wasn’t bearing his last name as my own. And the animal who raped me which resulted in my second pregnancy…well, I wonder if he is also “unknown.” I know that I and my mother were told I would be laughed out of the courtroom if we tried to bring charges.

    So the system tries to keep the adult adoptee an eternal child and the natural mother an eternal slut who “didn’t want to or was incapable (unfit)to parent” (highly untrue in the vast majority of cases) and the only winners in this situation are the ones who adopted and the ones who facilitated the adoptions.

    Adopta-therapy is non-therapy, especially when conducted by those who facilitate adoption, ie., the adopta-therapeutracy (good term). I know the “couseling” that mothers receive is ridiculous to inane and is totally ineffective when coming from the facilitators. “Get over it and move on” is hardly what will help us deal with the fact that we lost our children to a specious and cruel myth.

  5. Good morning! Welcome to the AdoptionLand diner, Catholic Charities. Smell the coffee?
    No, not the dry rot, that’s your perfume.

    The COFFEE. It’s fresh roasted…

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