Monday, December 8, 2014

Backlash and the Illusion of Vital Records and Birth Certificates

I can't seem to connect with people, always at the short end of an emotional discussion. Ideas that seem universal and almost benign, turn to bite me in the read end.

I mentioned in a social media discussion that the real illusion that comes with family, is sperm/egg donation & sealed birth certificates. We need to ban 'donations'. You can't donate away your parental obligations and rights. Just because you didn't have sex, doesn't mean you're off the hook. Yes sperm and egg are not persons, but a person is a person. On our birth certificates should be the persons that the egg and sperm came from.

Once a person is conceived/born that person has rights to identity and whenever possible to be raised by kin, absent neglect & abuse.  

Initially there was a consensus that birth certificates were vital records, and as a state interest should be maintained correctly. Then a mother of an adoptive child stepped in and and got defensive. I wasn't going to rebuttal my argument. Why?  Our culture puts adoption as the greatness of a win/wins, by erasing that there's a birth family. The adoptive mother made it very clear that they were the ONLY parents. Everyone pretty much jumped in to defend her. But also my argument didn't need a rebuttal. It stands firm.

This means as a Catholic I'm critical of the Church's past practices on adoption. It means I have to be critical of pro-lifers who consistently make the argument that adoption is preferable to abortion. Isn't almost everything preferable to being dead? Just because the person isn't dead, doesn't mean it's OK to deny that person a relationship with their own parents & family. Just because a pregnancy wasn't terminated, doesn't allow an infertile couple to take advantage of a pregnant woman with few to no social supports of her own.

There are two recent blog posts on the subject.

One from an adoptive mother, who went by means of foster care and actually adopted a child in need. It surprised me that she didn't see the difference that cases in which a child can not be raised by family, that adoption is and can be justified. She seemed like an unlikely person to claim that there was a "War on National Adoption Month".  That mother has since updated her blog post for clarification. And a response, "The Flip the Script Backlash" from an adult adoptee.

I will highlight one comment from the first link,

"Adult I am an adoptee. I am treated as a 46 year old child. I am not against adoption because there will always be at least some children who must be removed from their first families if they are to survive and thrive. But it is also not always a last resort. When my son and his girlfriend found out that she was pregnant at 17, the first thing mentioned to them was adoption and how wonderful adoption is. Secretly, I prayed that they would not choose adoption although I told them I would support them in whatever decision they chose. Single women are encouraged to place their child for adoption regardless of whether or not they are equipped to raise a child. Adoptees speak out because we want people to realize that all adoptions involve pain at some point in that child’s life. No amount of love will make it just go away, and it is not a reflection on your love for them or theirs for you. We want to educate people on what we have learned and on how much we still need to learn. No one ever told my parents “Your daughter will always wonder about ‘the other’. I don’t want you to feel guilty about adopting. I want you to help us educate, to try and understand the basic challenges we face that children in biological families do not, and to help us fight – for basic rights to our own information and against legislation that would allow us to be discriminated against."
This response was specific to the mother who adopted through foster care, not a private agency seeking out pregnant women.


  1. I'm going to do my best to make this clear...

    When I hear you say things like, "Just because a pregnancy wasn't terminated, doesn't allow an infertile couple to take advantage of a pregnant woman with few to no social supports of her own."

    I hear you saying that no matter how good I think my life was being raised by adoptive parents from shortly after my birth, you think it isn't good enough because it doesn't meet up to what you imagine my life would have been if my birth parents had somehow been involved.

    I also hear you insulting the people who raised me - people who I call parents.

    You seek to de-legitimize my use of that word for those people for your own ideological reasons.

    And then you claim that you can't understand why people would react emotionally towards you when you do that.

  2. I don't know what life would be like, since you didn't share or know that information.

    My issues do not stem from me, but rather listening to other adult adoptees. Im not speaking for anyone, I'm just listening.

    1. How much listening do you do to adult adoptees who are quite happy with how they were raised, love the parents who raised them, and strongly disagree with people like yourself who seem to consider our life experience something to be pitied?

    2. I presented both sides in this post.