The original clean bill which, if passed. would have restored the right of all South Carolina adoptees to access their own original birth certificates. It was replaced with amendments that gut the right of ALL South Carolina adoptees– current and future–from full access without restrictions or conditions.
The amended bill:
- Makes access prospective only. That is, only those adopted after the effective date of the bill would be eligible to receive their OBCs at the age of 21– sometime in 2040.
- But, those adoptees cannot receive their OBC without explicit written biological parent(s) consent
In other words, those adopted before the effective date remain in their black hole. Those adopted after that date can be shoved into that black hole with them if a birthparent refuses to grant permission to the adoptee to access their own OBC.
The original bill is here
The amended H3775 is here.
Now, you would think that even the most die-hard deformer would find these amendments unacceptable if not reprehensible–especially being added to a perfectly clean bill with no restrictions. You know, the kind of bill they claim to want. (Even those deformers who give in eventually, at least hold on for a while and don’t wave the white hanky at the first sign of trouble). H3775 doesn’t even meet Get-What You-Can-Get Now baby steps standards.
But wait!…Meet Rich Urlaub…If you haven’t yet, you’ll find a brief introduction to him in my Victory in New York: Cuomo vetos dirty bill; Deformers complain. Urlaub, who bills himself as an adoptee activist, argues there that we already have “rights,” but that they are just misinterpreted or need to be tweaked… or something, H3775, as you will see in a few minutes, is fine with him.
I first heard this no-such-thing- as-adoptee-rights hog swill two years ago at the Denver AAC, when Uhrlaub theorized that the Colorado bill that he worked on that opened records and files in that state, was accomplished without a single mention of “rights.” Legislators, you see, are scared away with terms like “rights” especially when prefixed with “adoptee” so they need to hear softer less “divisive” language.Perhaps beggary will do. Perhaps scabbery.
Two years later, Urlaub has turned his theory into practice with a topsy-turvy dog and pony act demeaning the adoptee rights movement which, he has dubbed All or Nothing Now. (AONN). Apparently, for him, there is such a thing as ” half-measure “rights.” (Sojourner Truth take note!) where it is OK for some adoptees to enjoy their rights in full, and for others not to. According to him, an agenda of unrestricted, unconditional adoptee rights while preferable is also neffective. alienating, and dangerous. He’s even stooped to the old “Adoptees are dyin'” routine to try to convince inexperienced or burnt out individuals and groups to reject a political rights, agenda in favor of a personalized wish list that depoliticizes Class Bastard and adoption and seeks individual solutions for collective justice. Sorry, Rich! An injury to one is an injury to all. Equality under law is not an insult.
A few months ago Urlaub outed himself in Florida where he supported two restrictive bills. At around the same time, he lamented New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s veto of the dirty A5036N/S4845B and the establishment of a group to study access issues and make recommendations for action. Oddly, Uhrlaub initially supported the veto by endorsing the joint letter sent by a group of over 40 adoptee rights/reform, birth and adoptive parent organizations and hundreds of individuals,
Uhrlaub, writing about New York on his personal Facebook page (but not on any of the “activist pages” he runs) called himself an “observer.” He admitted that he did not participate in the New York oppositional campaign except to sign the joint letter in the name of his organization, Adoptees in Search: Colorado’s Adoption Connection. Yet, he felt compelled, after the fact, to criticize our campaign and specifically certain high-profile members of it, implying that promoting the “right” of adoptees to unrestricted record and file access endangers the adoptee rights movement and generations of future adoptees.
Recently, Urlaub criticized the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (Quad A), a longtime opponent of adoptee rights, for stepping back and endorsing our right to records. Not only did Quad A endorse OBC access, but also the release of court and adoption agency records to the adoptees to whom they pertain. Urlaub, losing any shred of creds he possibly had left, complained on his blog that Quad A may have gone “a bridge too far. ” He implied that the movement could be endangered by Quad A’s tectonic change, in the same manner of course, that those of us who promote adoptee rights, endanger adoptee rights.
In a discussion on Quad A posted on Greg Luce’s Adoptee Rights Law Center FB page, Urlaub, who has shown a disturbing hostility to women in the movement attacked Texas activist Shawna Hodgston founder of Adoption Support Advocates in Houston, Texas.(My computer still refuses to make screenshots-only cut-and paste.