My Unicorn by Guest Blogger Justin Mitchell Bennett

Another year draws to a close, and thankfully, another Christmas has passed. I have never been one to celebrate Christmas, and perhaps the most memorable, and darkest had been the one experienced, December 24th, 2006. I’d sat atop Twin Peaks, in San Francisco, California, the cold wind that night chilling me to the bone. As I’d ridden a motorcycle there, I couldn’t just hop into a car and turn on the heater. For many, Christmas may be a time to be among family, yet that evening. I’d never felt so isolated, and alone – as though the chill of death surrounded me. I had returned from an Iraq deployment earlier in the year, and though I would depart San Francisco shortly into 2007, during my time in San Francisco, I’d made progress, on a lifelong quest, which to an adoptee, may be referred to as “The Search.” Perhaps part of what made that Christmas so dark for me, I had reunited, via telephone, with one half of my biological family, an Uncle. Sadly, I’d been informed of my birth father passing away. Mourning the death of someone you’d never known, and whose passing had occurred years prior, coupled with understanding Continue Reading →


For once we have some good news! California AB 372 is officially dead! The January 22 deadline for it to pass out of committee and on to the Senate floor went by with no action. Although nothing official has come from sponsor Sen Fiona Ma, her office told CalOpen that the bill would “will not be pursued.” Astoundingly, CARE (California Adoption Reform Effort) as of tonight, has not seen fit to announce the demise of their bill on its website. It’s last update is dated May 28, 2009. That’s what we’ve come to expect, though, from fake reformers who scrub their website of their own history and embarrassing documents, dismiss an ideology of rights. embracing instead “non-emotional” wishes and desires”, (whatever that means), and posit that adoptees need to be “navigated by professionals” rather than ourselves. Veteran grassroots bastard activists who have actually gotten clean bills passed were ordered to take a hike by the dilettantes of CARE. We’re sure CARE, like herpes, will come back. Jean Strauss and CARE are all over the March 18-21 AAC conference in Sacramento. CalOpen and Bastard Nation continue to hold the line in California. There is much work to be done there, and Continue Reading →


Bastardette has been remiss is writing the last few days. Some other stuff took and continues to take precedence. Some of it bastard related, some not. So, I’m running this off quickly. One of the things I intended to write about is CARE’s latest move on AB 372. You know. First CARE wanted to save the old and dying adopted. Now they say they’re changing their mission to save only the yet-to-be-born adopted. Talk about a big ball of confusion! I recommend you read BB Church’s CARE Admits its Lack Implementation Strategy as well as CARE’s apologia Keep Your Eye on the Ball (click on link on front page –“Comprehensive History…”) , written probably by CARE’s “executive director” and professional lobbyist, Stephanie Williams, for a background to CARE’s latest circus trick. Incompetent CARE’s “Eyeball” attempt to frame everybody but themselves for their defeat is laughable. And it took them nearly a week after their baby was thrown into the suspension file to come up with an explanation. Yeah, those of us who already have our information or records and “unnamed” organizations that actually promote and win equal access to records who CARE kicked to the curb on Day One, are Continue Reading →


When the California Adoption Reform Effort (CARE) announced itself in January 2009, it also announced a list of CARE “committee members”–its dream team recruited to help them turn California into a adoptee paradise. I was surprised at some of the people who should know better who showed up on the roster. Other people did not surprise me. The list has never appeared on the public CARE website, though it may be in their special “members only” section. Since $85 is a lot of money to pay to see who CARE glommed on, we regretfully decline the membership offer. I want to make clear that not all of the dream team have been involved in a substantial way with CARE nor are they necessarily on its board. I’ve spoken to a couple people listed and they said they signed on only to act as advisers if asked. Whether their advice is taken is up for grabs. Some members appear to be window dressing. All should consider pleading temporary insanity and take a long rest in the country. Below is a list of “committee members.” CARE has not posted the names of its 20+ board members but I’ve marked the ones on Continue Reading →


The poll is closed. The vote is in. To no one’s surprise, the majority of Bastardette’s readers who voiced their unscientific opinion on AB 372 believe that the California Adoption Reform Effort has no idea what it’s doing. The Daily Bastardette asked two questions. Below are the results: Why is Asmb. Ma offering insulting compromises to California AGVB 372?: 42 votes She believes California adoptees are dangerous and the state needs protected from them: 9 votes/21% She believes gutting the bill of all meaning is the only way it will pass: 19 votes/45% CARE told her to: 9 votes/21% She wants out from under this mess and gutting it is the only way to escape: 5 votes/11% Will CARE pull Their Own Bill: California AB 372: 34 votes Yes, they have seen the error of their ways and will act ethically: 1 vote/2% No, they only want to get their name on a bill and don’t care how much damage they cause: 9 votes/26% Yes, but only after their raise money for Asmb. Ma on April 27: 2 vote/5% Who knows, they have no idea what they’re doing: 22 votes/64% Not exactly a vote of confidence for the Cali Compromisers. Continue Reading →


Yesterday morning, Bastardette received a long comment from the ubiquitous Anonymous taking her to task over AB 372 which “with a little more fine tuning, will give access to over 99% of adoptees.” Doncha love hyperbole? It is way too long to respond to as a comment, so I’m putting it up here as a separate entry. It’s like a big circle jerk. I have no idea why I’m doing this other than to show you what we’ve been dealing with over the last few weeks with the CARESTAS. Anonymous’ comments are in bold, mine not. Anything that was quoted from the original post is noted as from me. I had some trouble with cutting and pasting and fonts, but I think it’s OK now. Enjoy! Why do you and all the negative people look at everything as “the glass is half empty”. Is that the way you live your life. It’s sad. This bill is very good and with a little more fine tuning, will give access to over 99% of adoptees. Why do you keep whining about current language when you full well know it will be tweaked ( its only on its 3rd round). Is it because Continue Reading →


…aren’t necessary. This is taken from CARE’s action alert for SB 372. (emphasis mine). AB 372 will give hundreds of thousands of adult citizens adopted in California (who currently have no hope of ever having their own original birth record) an opportunity to know their original identity. Many of these citizens will die out of the system in the coming years. To oppose this legislation is to literally oppose their ability to have this record at any time in the foreseeable future. The opposition to this legislation is coming from many people who have no skin in the game. Adoptees from other states, birthparents from other states, adoptees who already have their records, are not the ones who should be influencing this decision. Does this mean CARE is ready to boot its leaders and out-of-state advisory committee members?


BE SURE TO TAKE THE TWO AB 372 POLLS AT THE RIGHT! When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ `The question is,’ said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ `The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master — that’s all. Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass As many of us suspected, CARE continues to support AB 372. In CARE NuSpeak, gutting rights “language” now means restoring rights later.Earlier today CARE’s “volunteer” Executive Director, professional lobbyist Stephanie Williams wrote to BB Church about the current status of AB 372 and its anti-adoptee language. Williams was responding to an email from BB asking if CARE would continue to support the bill now that their sponsor, Asmb. Fiona Ma, has issued a memo with a list of amendments to gut it. (see 2 previous entries here). Since Williams sent a copy of her reply to Jean Strauss and Strauss forwarded the post to CUB president Margy McMorrow with the message to feel free to pass it along, (which Margy did on the CUB list) this email Continue Reading →


This afternoon, Asmb. Fiona Ma issued a letter listing her new and improved amendments she’ll offer to the alleged records access AB 372 pimped by the California Adoption Reform Effort aka Adjunct Ma for Assembly Fundraisers. (see previous entry). The new bill form has not been printed yet so we can’t check it for accuracy. Asmb. Ma informs us however, that the new and improved AB 372 will include the following humiliations, insults, and assaults on bastard rights and autonomy. NuAB 372 will: -Amend the Health and Safety Code section 102705 to require the courts to release the original birth certificate contingent upon the finding of a serious medical condition requiring familiar information. -Starting Jan 1, 2010 and going backward, the state shall open the original unamended birth certificate in an “Informational Only Copy” form to an adult adoptee age 25 or older if all of the following conditions are met: 1 -A certified, return receipt letter is sent to the best-match address of the biological parent notifying them of the change in law and allowing them to keep their record confidential by signing an enclosed form and returning to the Department of Health. 2 -A period of six-months from Continue Reading →


I’ve been tied up with some pretty time-consuming tasks lately and am way behind in my writing here. It is with great pleasure, however, that I take a moment to accept BB Church’s invitation to jump out of CARE’s “celebration” cake and skunk-juice our unworthy opponents. CARE, (California Adoption Reform Effort) you see, is now running a borderline pay-to-play scheme with AB 1372 sponsor Assb. Fiona Ma. BB Church, who has more street creds than aggregate CARE could get in 35 years of street walking, explains how this thinly disguised fundraiser, billed as a “celebration of the Honorable Assemblywoman Fiona Ma” operates: If you read it very carefully you’ll note that C.A.R.E. is not actually hosting this shindig, “individual members of the California Adoption Reform Effort” are. Note that C.A.R.E.’s name is highlighted. This gives the impression that this is a C.A.R.E. sponsored “celebration” although the actual text denies it… ( I used to do this sort of dodge all the time with endorsement lists, put somebody’s name and affiliation with an asterisk next to it, with a tiny note at the bottom informing people that the organization is noted for “identification purposes only”, ha!) Note that this “celebration” is Continue Reading →