20. December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adoption · Tags: , ,

Adoption Reform

The idea of adoption reform is interesting to me, but I am not familiar with many of the issues. Could someone explain to me the goals of adoption reform, and the reasons that reform is necessary? Are there any groups which are currently working for this reform?

Answer by LaurieDB
I will address one of the areas of adoption reform. It is in regard to states sealing adopted persons’ birth records from them. Many organizations work for the re-establishment of equal treatment under the law for adopted citizens in all states. The largest is Bastard Nation (http://www.bastards.org.) Currently, adopted citizens are the only citizens in 44 states who cannot access their own factual records of birth without meeting various conditions. Two states, Alaska and Kansas, have never discriminated against adopted persons in this manner. Four other states, Oregon, Alabama, Maine and New Hampshire, have returned to the practice of giving adopted persons equality under the law.

Interestingly, people who are relinquished by their natural parents or whose parents’ parental rights were terminated do not have their birth records sealed from them. The records are only sealed if and when an adoption finalizes. People who are relinquished but never adopted or whose adoptions fail do not have their birth records sealed from them. So, it’s not related in any way to the current concept of “birthparent anonymity” that is floating around. If it were, the records would seal upon relinquishment. The fact that they don’t shows that there is no intent or ability to give birthparents any kind of anonymity by sealing these records from adopted persons.

Edit:
Alisa, who said all adopted persons hate to be called bastards? The term bastard is still part of law in 18 states. Not long ago in Nevada, one could find a sign at the Department of Vital Statistics showing a cost of $ 15.00 to have a birth certificate “bastardized.” I have no problem with the term bastard when used properly.

Answer by Gershom
unconditional open records for adult adoptees – Bastard Nation (bastards.org) is the nations largest adoptee rights organization fighting for this. AAC ( americanadoptioncongress.org) is the next largest.

A number of other organizations support open records for adult adoptees but aren’t actively working towards achieving it in legislation.

http://www.AdopteeRights.net is where a demonstration is being organized at the annual state legislatures convention for open records.

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Those are the goals of reform I currently have and am working on daily.

There are more in the future, but thats where I’m at now so… there ya go!

Answer by jessica300
One of the reforms that I would like to see US adoption law follow is the model set out by the Australian government. I do not know if this is state-by-state law or if it pertains to the whole country, but it has been very successful in reducing the need for infant adoption.

That is, I would like the government of the US to support women for 6 months post birth; to give them time with their child, to allow them to further bond after carrying their child for 9 months and going through the very real physical pain AND wonder of giving birth. Furthermore, a woman should not be involved in any way what-so-ever with prospective adoptive parents prior to giving birth. I have read that pre-birth agreements are illegal in Australia. I know for a fact that in Australia and in MANY countries “private” adoptions are ILLEGAL!

I think it is a crime against women and their children to

1) allow ANY type of pre-birth matching/planning for adoption. Women should be encouraged to parent; they often have NO life experience with which to draw from when considering the consequences of adoption, which are life-long – generations can be lost to adoption.

2) have the current laws in place that allow women to terminate their parental rights before they have given birth, or to tpr within a couple of hours or a couple of days after having given birth. This is simply a barbaric practice that has no place in any society, much less a democratic one.

3) to allow a woman to go through the adoption process without ALL of the facts – this includes BIASED counseling from women who have lost children to adoption. A social worker, adoption facilitator, or adoption lawyer who has never lost a child to adoption cannot adequately counsel a woman on the loss she may experience.

Why is adoption reform necessary, because as adoption is practiced in the US today, it is based on profit – not human rights, not on family preservation, but on profit. Infant adoption relies on a certain portion of our AMERICAN citizens to provide a marketable product (our sons and daughters) in order to fulfill the demands of the adoption industry – fueled by folks who want to “build a forever family”.

Just as a reminder, the forever family is built on loss and quite often on greed and self-entitlement.

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