Welcome Back, Triona! Some Wise Words from 73 Adoptee

Yay! 73adoptee73 is back.  She’s come out of retirement–at least a little bit–to write on the Feigenholtz-Mitchell scam in Illinois.  She also gives us her analysis of AdoptionLand and why she has reassessed her role as a activist. I wholeheartedly agree with her on both counts.  . Honestly ,why do any of us continue with this–well–shit in our lives. It’s great to have Triona back, but she’s got a sobering message with 73adoptee Returns! But Nobody is Coming Back for Left Behind Illinois Adoptees. Two different topics covered, yet tightly related. First, on the glad-handing in Illinois where the seller-outs refuse to admit they sold out: Illinois is not open. Illinois is sort-of open to adoptees who unwittingly end up playing roulette with their own rights. Some will win. Some will inevitably lose. I’m on the losing team, so I know how it feels. Everybody’s celebrating and they’ve forgotten you. Or, if they remember, it’s to slap you on the back and say, “better luck next time” before they go off to congratulate the winners. But adoption isn’t football. There’s only one game, the Adoption Game, and if you make a mistake you don’t get a do-over. I remain disgruntled Continue Reading →

Sara’s Bastards: Feigenholtz Continues to Lie about her "law"

When Neal Young released his 1979 LP Rust Never Sleeps we doubt if he had Sara Feigenholtz in mind. Yet, that’s the phrase that came to mind when I read Feigenholtz’s latest interview with the press in Saturday’s Springfield State Journal Register and other Gatehouse publications. Corrosion. Corruption. Decay. Listen to Sara: I think that non-adopted people take the right to know the first chapter of their life for granted … To know where you came from is a basic human right. Feigenholtz’s HB 5428, which she claims restores the right of original birth certificate access to Illinois adoptees, guarantees no such right–unless she considers playing wack-a-mole and Mother May I with state functionaries and birthparents and filling out War and Peace-length government forms how the non-adopted exercise their actual right to access their own birth certificates, Listen to Sara: We have to stop stigmatizing adoption. Adoption is a beautiful thing. We have nothing to be ashamed of. This legislation turns the corner on the stigmatizing of adoption. From an email sent by Feigenholtz or a member of her staff, to Washington State bastard activist Lori Jeske, after Jeske objected to HB 5429’s failure to recognize obc access as a Continue Reading →


Recently adoptee rights activist Lori Jeskie emailed a short note to Sara Feigenholtz at her listed Illinois House address stating her disappointment with the representative’s sponsorship of HB 5428, which under the guise of”records access” has eviscerated adoptee civil rights in the state. We do not know if the reply Jeske received was actually written by Feigenholtz or a staffer or her “assistant” Melisha Mitchell. We have heard stories, however, about Feigenholtz’s personalization of political criticism and attacks on those who disagree with her whom she thinks should be her friends. Until now, we have not had a written document. No matter what the source (in the past Feigenholtz has blamed staffers for SNAFUs that she clearly owns), the email was sent from Feigenholtz’s address. This response, says much about her professional demeanor and respect for the adopted people and our interests she claims to represent. Below is Feigenholtz’s response to Jeske’s email, followed by Jeske’s original email, reposted with Jeske’s permission. —- Original Message —– From: Sara To: Lori Jeske Sent: Monday, April 26, 2010 10:00 PM Subject: Re: HB 5428 Lori: Thank you so much for your kind remarks about HB 5428. We will pay for your travel Continue Reading →

Deja Vu All Over Again–Sneaky Sara Feigenholtz Part 2: Illinois HB 5428 and The Odor of Mendacity

There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity… You can smell it. It smells like death.……Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ****** This is Part 2 of what has now, due to length, become three parts originally only one blog: Deja Vu All Over Again-Sneaky Sara Feigenholtz, Part 1: HB 5428 State Secret. Please read that entry first to put Part 2 in context. For further context go to my 2008 Illinois Warning! Trainwreck ahead for records rights and Illinois and That train keeps a rollin’–more pile-a-crap legislation. (I wrote more about Illinois in 2008, which you can find in a search, but those are the major pieces). Much of what I wrote then is relevant to the current situation in Illinois. Not much has changed except the bill number. ****** Illinois HB 5428 is a “new and improved” version of HB 4623 and older similar registry/confidential intermediary bills that Rep. Sara Feigenholtz has been flogging for 15 years. All have met with universal opposition from adoptee rights and adoption reform organizations in Illinois and throughout the country either from the onset or due to rights stripping amendments added later. Though she is a “reunited” adoptee Continue Reading →


If you don’t believe Illinois HB 5428 is rigged, check out the bill calendar. Note that the Senate Judiciary hearing, held on April 13 (Tuesday) was never announced. We knew about it because we have learned to call and check regularly since the Feigenholtz-Mitchell machine is too cowardly to let the public know what they’re up to–even to the extent of keeping the hearing off bill’s leg page. Not that it did much good. On Tuesday, the chair of Judiciary “permitted” only two people on each side to testify. On the Feigenholtz support side were a man from Alaska (!) and a representative from The Cradle. The chair then thought it would be a good idea to let one person who says the bill went “too far” to speak, and finally OUR side who says the bill “doesn’t go far enough” (these are the words of the chair, not us) and claim it a fraud. Written testimony was ignored and the committee voted DO PASS immediately after the oral testimony, 6-3. So adoptees got screwed again. Sara Feigenholtz and Melisha Mitchell, of course, were elated. Despite Feigenholtz‘ claim Tuesday that the bill wouldn’t receive a floor vote until next month, Continue Reading →


Due to the length this entry was becoming, the time involved in researching and writing it, and the need to get information out immediately on the abomination known as Illinois HB 5428, I am publishing this blog in parts. Depending on the finished product it will be in either two or three parts. Here, in Part 1, is an overview of the bill and its murky passage through the Illinois House. I also comment on machinations that appear to have gotten it passed under everybody’s radar when similiar bills for more than a decade have been met with loud howls from us. Illinois Open and Bastard Nation will release an Action Alert shortly. This entry and the part(s) to follow should be read in conjunction with the action alert. NOTE: In 2008 I wrote extensively on HB 5428’s predecessor look-alike, HB 4623. Two of my blogs llinois Warning! Trainwreck ahead for records rights and Illinois: That train keeps a rollin’ – more piece-a-crap legislation context the current mess. I will also reference others as we move along. ****** And I feel like I’ve been here before/Feel like I’ve been here before/And you know it does make me wonder/What’s going on Continue Reading →


Adoption Reform Illinois has just released its analysis and projected effect of HB 4623. Entitled Separating Fact from Hype, [pdf] the two-page report contains little nuggets the Mitchell-Feigenholtz spin machine doesn’t want you to know about its 77-page “simple” and “adoptee friendly” bill. For example: HB 4623 allows birth parents wishing no contact to exercise an access veto. In these situations adoptees will receive a birth certificate with the names of the parents and the birth name of the adoptee removed. Yes, under this bill your own name can be removed from an original government document that is about you and belongs to you. As someone pointed out earlier, isn’t that records tampering? Sure it is! But, I guess if it’s about adoption it’s OK for apparatchiks to fold, spindle, and mutilate you. Just be grateful you were born. Be happy that friendly politicians and paternalistic adoption industrialists are here to feel your pain. Take what your unworthy infantile ass can get. Shut up! Go here to access the Green Ribbons sponsored Adoption Reform Illinois resource page. All documents are in pdf form so be sure you have Adobe to read them. Besides Separating Fact from Hype you’ll find a Continue Reading →


On March 31, Melisha Mitchell, putative author of Sara Feigenholtz’s notorious 77-page monster HB 4623 sent a mass mailing to AdoptionLand constituents asking for support. In this letter, Ms. Mitchell plays games with numbers, flogs the Illinois Registry, and claims that the only “real” opposition to the bill comes from “right-to-life” groups and “obscure internet entities.” The “obscure internet entities” she forgets to mention include Illinois Open, Bastard Nation, the Green Ribbons, Ethica, A Day for Adoptee Rights, BJ Lifton, Carol Schaefer, Sandra White Hawk, Maine Senator Paula Benoit, and New Hampshire Representative Janet Allen. “Obscure” indeed! Scroll down to my entry “Illinois Adoption Reform Coalition Urges: Reject HB 4623” for the Illinois Adoption Reform letter these and other prominent adoption reformers and activists signed and sent to the Illinois Legislature and the media last week. The Mitchell-Feigenholtz spin machine thought the rest of us would roll over. We have not and will not. Mitchell’s letter raises all sorts of questions: How “simple” can a 77-page procedure be? Why are some adoptees more deserving than others? Why are birthparents and other relatives (!) given 5 disclosure “choices”? How, ethically, can a birthparent for the cost of $40 wipe out their Continue Reading →


Recently, an Illinois adoptee sent me an email from Melisha Mitchell regarding HB 4623’s provision on deceased birth parents. In it Ms. Mitchell makes the astounding claim that 80-90% of Illinois adoptees already know the names of their birthparents, particularly the names of their first mothers! I am publishing this letter in full, with permission of the recepient, but am withholding the name upon request. I have highlighted the most egregious statements in yellow. Dear XXX: Thanks for all your (really good) questions regarding the pending Illinois legislation. I was in Springfield last week, and came home to dozens of emails on the bill…including yours…and shall do my utmost to answer your questions… In a message dated xxx, XXX writes: >Will birth parent “requests for anonymity” eventually expire under HB 4623? Yes, under the proposed law, all birth parent requests for anonymity throughthe Registry will expire upon the birth parent’s death. >How will the State of Illinois know when/if the birth parent has died? I can see if a death >certificate is issued in Illinois – what about anywhere else in the world? As you point out, if the birth parent died in Illinois (or was born in Illinois, which Continue Reading →


Maine State Senator Paula Benoit believes that simplicity of language is the key to passage of records access bills. She is correct. Compare the simplicity of language of Oregon Ballot Measure 58, Alabama HB 690, HB New Hampshire SB 335 and Maine LB 1084 to the convoluted 77-page Illinois HB 4623 with its plethora of forms, preferences and vetoes which would confound a busload of Chicago lawyers. Would adopta-doyens Rep. Feigenholtz and Melisha Mitchell care to explain why it takes them 77 pages to write a bill that was covered in two sentences in Oregon, and only a couple pages in Alabama, New Hampshire and Maine? Where’s the pork? OREGONBallot Measure 58:Upon receipt of a written application to the state registrar, any adopted person 21 years of age and older born in the state of Oregon shall be issued a certified copy of his/her unaltered, original and unamended certificate of birth in the custody of the state registrar, with procedures, filing fees, and waiting periods identical to those imposed upon non-adopted citizens of the State of Oregon pursuant to ORS 432.120 and 432.146. Contains no exceptions. ALABAMAHB 690Rep(s). By Representatives Dolbare and Fuller HB690EngrossedUnder existing law, an adopted person born Continue Reading →