Words Have Consequences: A Cease and Desist Letter from Bastard Nation Attorney Michael Zola

BN logoIntroduction

In the last few days, some promoters of Texas HB 984 have jumped the shark in their defense of their bill. While the bill offers no restriction and conditions on actual OBC access, it contains a Contact Veto, misnamed a “Contact Preference Form” (along with an accompanying birthparent medical history form ). Bad enough as is ,but for adoptions starting in 2016, these preferences” would be collected by Texas adoption agencies, not directly by the State of Texas.

The engrossed bill reads:

The contact preference form shall provide the birth parent with the following options:
(1) authorize direct contact by the adopted person;
(2) authorize contact by the adopted person only through an intermediary selected and identified by the birth
parent; or
(3) not authorize contact by the adopted person.
Proponents amazingly claim that the words “prefer” and “authorize” are synonymous. The bill’s sponsor, in fact, told members of BN’s legislative team that the “authorize language” was intended to act as a Contact Veto.
When Bastard Nation objected to this disingenuous language and sent out action alerts opposing the bill, proponents decided to smear us claiming we are a “front for the adoption industry.”

This accusation is absurd, of course, unless you’re a devotee of Alex Jones (also from Texas!). Our history and actions of almost 20 years speak for for themselves.

Words have consequences

This weekend, Bastard Nation sent a a Cease and Desist Letter to various parties who have created and perpetrated this smear. We are still tracking down other participants.

I won’t have a hard copy on letterhead from our lawyer until tomorrow, but in the meantime, I am posting the text of that letter. As soon as I receive the hard copy I”ll post it here.

Please feel free to distribute our Cease and Desist Letter where you see fit.

(You can read about HB 984 in the four posts directly below this one. For information on vetoes go our quick print policy papers and The Basic Bastard.

Cease and Desist

To Whom It May Concern:

I represent the adoptee rights organization Bastard Nation. If you are represented by legal counsel, please direct this letter to your attorney immediately and have your attorney notify us of such representation.

Cease and Desist

You are hereby directed to


Bastard Nation is a respected, national adoptee rights organization with a documented history of successfully advocating for the rights of adoptees. They have spent almost two decades serving the adoptee community and building a positive reputation. Bastard Nation has learned that you have engaged in spreading false, destructive, and defamatory rumors about them, including false allegations that they are a “front for adoption agencies seeking to keep records closed to adoptees”, and insinuations that they are funded by agencies or individuals who support the continuation of sealed records.

It is unlawful to engage in defamation of another’s character and reputation. Defamation consists of

(1) a statement that tends to injure reputation;
(2) communicated to another; and
(3) that the speaker knew or should have known was false.

Your defamatory statements involve repeated posts on Facebook and other social media, Facebook messages, emails, and conversations with others.

Accordingly, demand is hereby made that you (A) immediately cease and desist your unlawful defamation of Bastard Nation and (B) provide prompt written assurance within ten (10) days that you will cease and desist from further defamation of Bastard Nation’s character and reputation.

If you refuse or fail to comply with this cease and desist demand, Bastard Nation will have an actionable right to and will seek monetary damages and equitable relief as a consequence of any such further defamation.

Be advised that Bastard Nation has authorized this communication to you and that they intend to pursue all available legal remedies, including a judgment against each individual involved in any way for monetary damages, injunctive relief, and court costs and attorney’s fees.

Before formal action is filed, however, Bastard Nation will give you one opportunity to discontinue your illegal conduct by complying with this demand immediately. You may contact me as follows:

Michael S. Zola
PO Box 2165
Kamuela, HI 96743

Or by email to:
[email protected]

I strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney regarding this matter. If you or your attorney have any questions, please contact me directly.

Michael S. Zola
Attorney at Law


Marley Greiner, Exe, Chair

Join me on Twitter @DBastardette

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