Monday, July 19, 2010

EBD REPORT: ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK

EVAN B. DONALDSON ADOPTION INSTITUTE:
FOR THE RECORDS II: An examination of the History and Impact of Adult Access to Original Birth Certificates. (July 16, 2010)

ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK

WOW! After separating the wheat from the chaff from the EBD's latest report, I found two major contradictions right on page one of their report that astound me. They can't help but cast a dark shadow over the rest of the material in this report.

ONE STEP FORWARD

"EVERY STATE SHOULD RESTORE UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES FOR ALL ADULT ADOPTEES, RETROACTIVELY AND PROSPECTIVELY."

TWO STEPS BACK

"CONFIDENTIAL INTERMEDIARY SERVICES SHOULD BE AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT ALL STATES, EVEN AFTER ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES ACCESS IS RESTORED."

"A NATIONAL ADOPTION REGISTRY SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED TO ENABLE ALL ADOPTED PERSONS AND THEIR BIRTHPARENTS, NO MATTER WHERE THEY RESIDE, TO PARTICIPATE."

How in the world can EBD recommend a National Adoption Registry and a CI system in their Top Five Recommendations and a few pages later, in the body of the text, tell us what we already know - how woefully inadequate these alternatives have always been. We all know about Registries and CI Programs which were started over 30 years ago to try and keep adoptees "in line." These search and reunion systems were supposed to appease adoptees who dared to speak out about the civil and human rights of all adopted adults.  EBD, how can you possibly recommend them today? 

Later in the text, you yourselves write about the inadequacies of these alternatives:

"Proponents of unsealing OBCs to adult adoptees hold that other alternatives - such as mutual consent registries and confidential intermediary services - are costly and generally do not work. The evidence indicates the least effective are mutual consent registries, which have a very low rate of matches...
Confidential intermediary services are costly and do not give adopted adults either the power to control the process or to continue searching if the parties being sought are not readily found."

So why do you recommend them?

You all at EBD  know that we already have an International Adoption Registry, the ISRR, which serves anyone around the world and is free besides. We don't need no stinkin' National Adoption Registry!

By advocating for a National Adoption Registry, the EBD gives opponents of open records an excuse to drag their feet on passing open records bills. EBD is advocating for that very alternative it said doesn't work. HUH?

Ditto for CI Systems, another excuse to drag feet. Your report recommends, right up there in the Top Five Recommendations, that Confidential Intermediary Systems should continue, even after OBCs are issued. Yet everyone at EBD knows perfectly well that CI Systems, every last one of them, are an anathema to transparency and openness. Why on earth would  you condone a system that is fueled by confidentiality and secrecy? Why do you support a system whose one and only goal has always been to help adoptees search for birth records while at the same time "protecting" the needs of the birth mother's confidentiality and anonymity?

It just doesn't compute. You've shot yourselves in your collective "foot."
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This blog is my personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of any organizations to which I belong.

4 comments:

Mary Lynn Fuller said...

Thanks, Anita! Their talking out of both sides of their mouths does need to be made public. Who does this remind me of? Rep. Sara Feigenholtz. People like this are our worse enemies because they get publicity and convince too many that they are right on target and adoption reform is moving forward when it is actually becoming a mess. Illinois is a good example.

BD said...

Thank you so much for writing this, Anita. I've been trying to write for several days and it comes out too formal or too snarky, even for Bastardette The report has nothing new in it, and could have been written decades ago. It co-opts bastard language and deforms bastard theory. It's an adoption industry document that perpetuates the current system. It tells us to shut up. It has potential for much harm. There is little difference between the Donaldson and NCFA now.

Now I gotta go back and work on my stuff.

ElaineP said...

Did you OBC come yet? I hope that you'll blog about it when it arrives :)

Grannie Annie said...

Elaine,

I sent in my application on May 24, three days after the law was operable. Just yesterday my husband noticed that they had finally cashed my check. So I'm hoping that means it'll now be coming soon.

And yes, I surely will blog about it when it comes!!

Thanks for writing,
Grannie