Happy New Year! Welcome to Bastard Nation Legislation 2022 Hell!
The Bastard Nation Legislation 2022 page is now up. The political outlook hasn’t changed much from 2021. Granted, Connecticut did free up its OBCs and Massachusetts continued to move forward on its lumbering road to victory, but other than that, 2021 was a disappointing, frustrating, dreary year. Arizona went weird, Maryland zilched, and deformers continued to stumble their baby booties through their own muck. Safe Haven Baby Box bills and Baby Boxes continued to flare up like herpes under the banner of “women demand anonymity,” the feel-good alternative for politicians who cringe over “adoptees demand rights.” Even more dismal, legislatures, blaming Covid, made discovering how to submit written testimony or to present remote or in-person an often unsuccessful endurance test.
Bastard Nation, of course, continues our battle. Many state legislatures have yet to open. So far, though, we have several carry-over bills from last year.
Most important of those is Massachusetts.HB2394. The bill passed the House last year and now is ensconced in the Senate, where it allegedly has no detractors, We’ll see. The bill is only two sentences long, so lawmakers can’t complain that they don’t understand it or it’s too long to read.
Florida has already introduced matching bills (SB1390/HB1369) in both Houses. Similar to other bills in the past, they are set up to fail since politicians in the state aren’t ready for us. One wonders: why bother?
South Carolina wants to require birthparents consent among other restrictions, to release that “simple piece of paper”
And then there’s West Virginia re-enacting former years’ discriminatory demands that adoptees graduate from high school, hold a GED, or “legally” withdraw from high school to get their OBC.
Personal note from Marley: My birthfather was from Parkersburg, West Virginia. He never went beyond the 8th grade, but could hold learned conversations on America’s Robber Barons, New Deal politics, and economics, and speak at least one Chinese dialect. At one point in his young life he lived in Nanjing, China where he had High Tea with Madame Chang-Kari-Chek and hung out with Chairman Mao (before he was Chairman) all courtesy of the US Army. Oh, and for years he was a local Teamster official. If he were adopted and alive today he’d no doubt be denied his OBC on educational grounds.
Safe Haven laws continue to be amended to expand the age that “newborns” can be legally dumped by their parents (or parental designees.) South Carolina HB 4319 wants to legalize drive-by parenting by letting children up to one year of age be dropped on the ER counter anonymously with no questions asked. This is NOT what traditional Safe Haven advocates had in mind 20 years ago. We told them. but…
And don’t’ get us started on Safe Haven Baby Boxes, which even trad SH folks oppose. Baby Box bills will come back with a vengeance this year, especially with Amy Coney Barrett’s ridiculous query coming straight from the keyboard of Alan Parker, president and founder of the Justice Foundation, who has claimed for nearly 20 years (including as an amicus in the current Jackson v Dobbs) that abortion is no longer needed since now women can ”legally relinquish” their unwanted babies to the state–and for free! Who knew!? Does this mean that all of our adoptions until the advent of Safe Haven laws were made under illegal pretense? Imagine trying to cram a screaming 1-year old in a box-in-a-wall. Here is a video of Parker spouting his odd view on how he thinks adoption works.
Finally, there are several federal bills of interest this year, including the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021, which is still stuck since adoptees, especially of the international variety, really aren’t that important. Another bill of big concern, which we will talk about later, intends to turn the US State Department into the client of the US adoption industry. We understand that State is not impressed.
The BN Legislative Page is updated regularly. So keep checking. We also post notices on adoptee social media when any kind of substantial change occurs.
Yours in bastardy and love,
Executive Chair, Bastard Nation
Cross-posted from Bastard Nation.