Saturday, December 23, 2006


By Grannie Annie
Twas the night before Christmas
And all through his house,
St. Nick at the North Pole
Was as busy as a mouse.

Rudolph was ready,
Pawing the ground,
Waiting for St. Nicholas
To tell him their rounds.

St. Nick was still working,
Tuning up his GPS.
Feeding in the coordinates,
Don’t want any mess.

The place where we’re going
Is very hard to find.
Bastard Nation is our destination.
It lives within Bastard’s minds.

So our job tonight,
Said Santa to his reindeer,
Is to find all the Bastards
Who live in this sphere.

I’m bringing them a message
Of Christmas cheer.
Sealed records and baby dumps
Must disappear!

The bastards are nestled
All snug in their beds,
With visions of open records
Dancing in their heads.

Bastards’ stockings are hung
By their chimneys with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas
Soon will be there.

Through the night sky
The coursers they flew.
With a sleigh full of court orders
And legislative bills too.

He was a right jolly old man,
All in red he was dressed,
With a Bastard Nation T-shirt
Proudly covering his chest.

First stop. Ohio.
Bastard Mother Marley lives here.
No more baby dumps,
Oh founding foundling dear.

All deformers and dimwits
Get nothing but coal.
Bastards get equality -
They already have soul.

Santa spoke not a word,
As he opened his sack.
Filled all the stockings
With shiny keys from his pack.

All decorated with bows
Were these sparkly golden keys.
They open all the right doors
To set every adoptee free.

Freedom Keys, I call them,
Said dear old St. Nick.
And I’m counting on the Bastards
To use them all - quick!

It was a long journey
For St. Nick and his team.
Now he’s on his way home
He’s fulfilled Bastards’ dreams.

But I heard him explain, ere he flew out of sight,
Happy Christmas to Bastards . Keep up the good fight.

Grannie Annie wishes everyone peace and joy
during the holiday season and in the new year.


Sunday, December 10, 2006



When you pass out privileges, you pick and choose.
When you pass out civil rights, it’s all or nothing.

The Bastardette at wrote an eloquent blog about New Jersey Bill S1087 and the New Jersey Dimwits associated with it, some of whom support the bill as amended and others who think the bill is giving away the farm.

I’d like to say a few words about the Deformers in New Jersey who continue to support this bill with the conditional amendments added in a Senate Committee. The Deformers are as much the enemy of equal rights for all adoptees as are the Dimwits.

Deformers, unlike Dimwits, are for the most part adopted men and women who have worked very hard for many years to see an equal access bill pass in New Jersey. They are not governmental officials. They are adoptees just like you and me. They want original birth certificates be issued to adopted adults. Their hearts are in the right place. But heads are needed too, in order to pass legislation that will benefit ALL ADOPTED ADULTS.

The Deformers in New Jersey have fashioned a “Mother, May I?” amendment allowing birthmothers 12 months following passage of the bill in which to file an affidavit of nondisclosure. This means that if a birth mother signs a statement saying she doesn’t want her identity known to her child of adoption, then that adoptee doesn’t get his or her birth certificate- possibly forever.

New Jersey is actually handing over its constitutional responsibility of issuing birth certificates to birth mothers who claim they want their privacy. These are the same birth mothers, I might add, who legally and irrevocably gave up all legal rights to their children at the time of the relinquishment.

Giving birthmothers this veto power is a crucial point in adoptee rights negotiations. And it is at this point where the Bastards part ways with the Deformers.

Bastards believe ALL adopted men and women are entitled to unconditional access to their original birth certificates. Bastards believe that “Mother, May I?” clauses are demeaning to all adopted adults. Bastards believe that endowing birth mothers with veto powers turns the issuance of original birth certificates into a privilege rather than a right. Bastards believe that equal access for ALL citizens to the documents of their birth is a human and civil right.

When you pass out privileges, you pick and choose.

When you pass out civil rights, it’s all or nothing.

I’m not a deformer and I can’t speak for them. But I don’t understand why they chose to fold at this crucial moment. I don’t understand why Deformers are willing to sell out for less than unconditional records for all adoptees. And I don’t understand how Deformers can rationalize leaving some adoptees out in the cold. How can it be okay for the state to give original birth certificates to some, but not all adoptees?

Passing a bill is a long and arduous task. Going back to the legislature for changes the following year isn’t realistic. History has proven that once conditional legislation has passed, it is not revisited any time. Deformers, remember the old saying, “Be very careful what you wish for. It might come true.”

Besides dividing adoptees into two classes, I wonder if Deformers seriously consider the reality of setting precedents. When one state passes a controversial law, its effects are felt in other states. New Jersey is a very large state. Other states will look towards the bigger ones when it’s their turn to craft an adoptee rights bill. If it’s okay with all those millions of folks in New Jersey, then it must be okay for us. Deformers - that’s what it means to set a precedent. It’s dangerous.


S 1087 is a search and reunion bill. Both the Dimwits and the Deformers will agree on this. They both blabber about how much or how little the state should be in the business of managing the private affairs of adopted adults and birth mothers. Some want more state interference, others will settle for less. Bastards want no part of a search and reunion bill. Bastards want no government interference in the private issues of adopted men and women.

The state sealed the records long ago and the time has come for the state to unseal them. Reunions, good or bad, have absolutely nothing to do with adoptees having equal access to their original birth documents.

Bastard Nation leaves no adoptee behind. Bastard Nation will never support conditional legislation where some adoptees will be left to the whims of the birth parents who legally relinquished all claims to them many years ago. We have always opposed those equal access bills that contain conditional sections and we always will.

Bastard Nation is working to bring ALL adopted adults the same equal access to their original birth documents that non-adopted people take for granted. We’ve done it in Oregon. We’ve done it in Alabama. We’ve done it in New Hampshire. And we are working for similar laws until the government treats ALL adopted adults in America equally.

As New Hampshire State Senator Lou D’allesandro said on the eve of his state passing its equal access bill, “It’s the right thing to do.”

Monday, December 04, 2006

New Jersey S1087 - Vote No

Honorable Senator:

I am a 65 year old adopted woman. I urge you to vote "NO" to S1087. This bill contains a disclosure veto which will allow birth mothers a year in which to file a veto prohibiting their names from being disclosed to adoptees’ on their original birth certificates.

A disclosure veto presumes that receiving one’s original birth certificate from the state is a privilege rather than a civil and human right of all citizens of the state.

It was the state who sealed ALL the original birth documents and it must be the state that reinstates the issuance of original birth certificates to ALL adopted adults.

How can the state possibly rationalize turning over to birth mothers its constitutional responsibility of issuing original birth certificates? These are the same birth mothers, by the way, who irrevocably terminated all legal rights to their children when their children were adopted.

I urge you to reject Senate Bill 1087 and return to the drawing table. Craft a bill that enables adopted adults to join the ranks of all other citizens of New Jersey. Restore to ALL adult adoptees their right to UNCONDITIONALLY access the records of their birth.

Thank you for your consideration.


Anita Walker Field

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A letter to "Ask Amy"


Dear Amy,

I write in reply to “the adoptive family” whose letter was published on Saturday, November 18, in the Chicago Tribune. This family wrote to express its gratitude to an invisible birth mother for their adopted son and his seven grandchildren. And your answer was as expected: everyone is grateful to the ghost birth mother who made all this happiness possible.

Beyond the expected "gratitude," where are the feelings for these birth mothers? Don’t you think that almost every birth mother would want to meet the wonderful family she created? Why must these “tough choices” be forever? Why can’t adults decide for themselves with whom they want to associate.

I am a 65 year old adopted woman. I have two wonderful children and three marvelous grandchildren. Not one day goes by when I don’t wish that my birth mother, “Margaret Walker,” and her family could know my wonderful family. She made it all possible and I would love for her to share in the joy.

Sealed records laws in 45 states in our country, Illinois included, make this feat daunting if not impossible for most of us adoptees. Our birth records are impounded at and sealed in perpetuity at the time our adoptions are finalized. The state governments have made it just as difficult as possible for us ever to be able to meet our first families.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

November - National Adoption Month


President George W. Bush has once again declared November as National Adoption Month. He calls upon all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities to honor adoptive families and to participate in efforts to find permanent homes for waiting children.

I think that finding homes for children who need them is the very essence of adoption. It’s a process that goes on all year long. It doesn’t need a special month.

I’m sick and tired of National Adoption Month because every year since it’s been in existence it’s focuses on little homeless baby adoptees going to wonderful forever famines, which is good. What is not good is that not once has anyone expressed an interest in following these children of adoptees into adulthood. Not once has anyone bothered to inquire about the rights of adopted adults. I’m naive and each year I would wrote lots of letters and articles trying to use National Adoption Month as a segue to the rights of adopted adults. It didn’t happen.

Next year the president should set aside a month to focus on the needs and rights of adopted adults. Then I’ll celebrate.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Madonna Adopts a Child


All sorts of do-gooders are rallying the media into a frenzy about Madonna’s adopting a little boy from an orphanage in Africa. They are outraged because poor unfortunate David is being torn from his own culture. His ethnicity and ancestry are being stolen from him.

That’s true all right. Little David will grow up in a family that is totally different from that of his biological parents. So what else is new? This is exactly the same thing that happens to every child of adoption right here in the good old USA. I was adopted in Chicago many years ago. Once the judge signed my adoption decree, I became a new person, just like David. As soon as the ink was dry, all of my adoption records and my original birth certificate were impounded by the state of Illinois and sealed in perpetuity.

But little David’s ancestry will not be sealed away from him forever. Madonna has announced that she intends to take David back to his country on a regular basis so that he can learn about his ancestry. Even if Madonna never keeps this promise, when David reaches the age of maturity, his biological heritage will be there for him for the taking. That’s because in the UK, where Madonna currently resides, adult adoptees have been able to access their original birth records since the mid 1970’s. The Brits understand that adults who were once children of adoption should have the same rights as all other citizens to access the records of their birth.

And Madonna? She’s adopting a child who needs a home. Isn’t that what adoption is all about?!

Thursday, October 19, 2006



Anita, the crone
in Bastard Nation. She howls
while the snow flakes fly.

Friday, October 13, 2006


About a month ago, I wrote about my granddaughter’s nanny who was born and adopted in Oregon. She was not aware that she could now get her original birth certificate.

On Sept. 11th, I downloaded the application for her. She sent in the application the next day with her $20 and on September 23rd, just TWO WEEKS later, she received her original birth certificate.

I was dancing on Cloud Nine all evening. Here was an adopted adult. someone I know, who was treated like a NORMAL PERSON by the state of her birth.

Oh, it could be just as easy for every other state to be the same way! What’s going on?!

Friday, September 22, 2006



Two different reunion stories were carried by the two major Chicago newspapers during September, only 6 days apart. The first appeared on September 11th in the Chicago Sun Times and the second was in the Chicago Tribune on September 17th.

Both of these articles were about heartwarming and really rather extraordinary reunions between young female adoptees and their biological fathers.

The first story came from Minnesota. “Adopted Daughter learns biological dad was 9/11 hero.” Within the text of the article it said that this young woman was able to find out who her father was because she got her birth certificate from the state. Oh yeah?! The article failed to report that Minnesota does not give out any original birth certificates unless birth mothers first consent.

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Chicago Sun Times correcting the facts that were omitted in the article. My letter wasn’t printed.

The second story, from West Virginia, was entitled, "Role emerges for actress as real princess.” This article told about a young adoptee who decided to hire a private investigator to find her biological father. The investigator found her father in less than three hours and to her amazement - this adoptee learned that her father is a chieftain of a tribe in Sierra Leone, Africa.

I wrote to the Chicago Tribune but they didn’t print my letter either. Well, thank goodness for Blogs. Here’s my letter to the Trib:

Dear Editor:

I truly enjoyed the story, "Role emerges for actress as real princess" in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune (Sept. 17th) I’m an old adoptee who as a youngster regularly dreamed of being found by her real parents, who just happened to be the king and queen of some far off country. The king and queen would then carry this little orphan Annie off to their castle where we would all live happily ever after. End of fairy tale!

As an old Grannie Annie, I can only ask (for at least the billionth time): Why must adopted adults hire investigators, as described in Sarah Culberson’s story, to find out who they are? Why must adopted men and women jump through impossible hoops set up just for them by the 45 states in our country, Illinois included, in order to find out who they are?

Every week, you can count on reading another "good" reunion story, though admittedly Sarah Culberson’s ending is unique. I figure that the media wouldn’t be printing these reunion stories so often if their readers didn’t love to read about them. Everyone seems to love a regular diet of stories with a good cry and a happy ending. Sometimes it’s a puppy who finds its way home and other times it’s an adoptee. Both make great press!

Yet whenever a group emerges to change the laws to allow all adopted adults to be treated the same as all "non-adopted" citizens, these readers are no-where to be seen. They have been struck dumb. And worse! The very same newspapers that print the reunion stories either clam-up entirely or run editorials with impossible reasons why the state should not treat adopted adults on a par with all other citizens of the state.

You love to read about us, but you don’t really want to help us.

Sunday, September 10, 2006



Today, I have experienced one of the top two or three moments in all my years as an activist for adoptee rights! Here’s how it came about.

My granddaughters’ nanny, Miss Deb, had recently mentioned to my daughter in law
that she was adopted. "Deb wrote to the state of Oregon nearly 20 years ago to
get her birth certificate," said my daughter in law. Deb thought, as so
many of us did, that we adoptees could NEVER get that information from the state
- any state - in our country.

"Have I got someone for you!" said my daughter in law. And of course, she was
referring to me.

I met Miss Deb a few days ago. She greeted me with, "Hey, we’ve got something in
common." We hugged each other because we do have something very much in common -
we were both adopted - and we felt a special bond forming that day. When I heard
that Deb was born in Oregon, I jumped so high I touched the sky.

Deb told me that although she was born in Oregon she had no idea that she could
now get her original birth certificate. I told her about Measure 58. But it was
hard for her to take it all in at once.

"But I don’t know my birthmother’s name." Deb said, thinking that this fact
would still preclude her from getting any records. I explained the beauty of
Measure 58.

"You mean I’ll get a copy of my original birth certificate with my birthmother’s
NAME on it?!!"

"Yep," said I, feeling like Ed McMahon handing out the million-dollar
sweepstakes check. "Her last name too?" asked Deb. "Yep," I said, handing over
another million.

"Next time I come," I assured her, "I’ll bring you all the details."

And so, in anticipation of our visit tomorrow, I just came from the Oregon
website where I downloaded copies of the procedure, the application form, and
even a little of the history for Deb. I feel extraordinarily happy today! All
those years of battering brick walls, hoping to crack open one of them, has not
been in vain.


Part of why I’m feeling so elated is because I was on the spot, literally, when
Measure 58 was born. It happened at the first Bastard Nation Conference, "Birth
of a Bastard Nation," in July 1997 in Chicago. The keynote speaker at the
conference was Randy Shaw, an activist whose books include "The Activist’s
Handbook" and "Reclaiming America: Nike, Clean Air, and the New National

After Mr. Shaw’s stirring address, he was milling with the crowd. And there I
was, right there in that same crowd as Randy when he casually turned to a
stranger who was standing next to me. He asked her politely where she was from.
"Oregon," she told him. "Oregon! That’s a great state for ballot initiatives. "
replied Randy, "We need to talk." Helen Hill was that woman!

Later that day, we all took to the streets of downtown Chicago in a torrential
downpour to march in front of the James Thompson Illinois Center. There were
tornado warnings that day - but it didn’t stop us. In the pouring rain we
marched around the plaza at lunchtime in the heart of downtown Chicago, chanting
and handing out flyers. We heard all sorts of comments from passers by - and
many of those comments weren’t very nice! But we were too heady with enthusiasm
to let that bother us. We were so excited we didn’t even know to come in out of
the rain. And as we marched with our hand made posters, I remember thinking,
"There’s that pleasant woman again, still in a huddle with Randy Shaw."

Not three weeks later, Helen was back home in Oregon already researching ballot
measures. Flurries of email posts were flying furiously back and forth between
Helen, Shea Grimm, and many other Bastard Nationals on our email list. Helen had
already started the research. She was bound and determined to make it work in
Oregon and she was ready to finance the venture herself if necessary. It turned
out that she personally funded Measure 58 to a tune of $120,000, money left to
her by her adoptive father.

And the rest is history. On November 3, 1998 there was an overwhelming victory
at the polls. The people said YES. The opponents didn’t want to listen to the
people and so a two-year court battle ensued at both the state and federal level.
Finally, on June 12, 2000, the battle was won! Oregon adoptees were now able to
begin requesting and receiving, unconditionally, their original birth
certificates! To date, over 8,000 adoptees have taken advantage of Measure 58.

Helen Hill, Shea Grimm, Marley Greiner, Damzel Plum, Ron Morgan, Cyn Holub and
too many other wonderful Bastards to name here exhibited the most incredible
energy, perseverance, and dedication I have ever witnessed. The seed planted by
Randy Shaw back in July 1997 become a hard fought reality. I was there when it
all started and here I am today to experience the feeling of Oregon open records
in full bloom.

What a momentous and exhilarating time that was. Victory was so sweet. And
today, it’s become a lot sweeter because I met Deb.

"Don’t ever let anyone tell you that one person cannot make a difference."

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Girls Who Went Away


Ann Fessler, an adoptee, has put together a wonderful new book, "The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades before Roe v Wade.

This book should be on everyone’s “must read” list. Ms. Fessler talks with the girls who went away. They were from all walks of life, from all strata of society. They had just one thing in common: they got into trouble. One of the most interesting lines in the book, to me, was another young girl talking, a girl who didn’t go away. She said that she was doing the exact same things her girlfriends were doing, only she was one of the girls who didn’t get in trouble, and so she remained a “good girl.” What irony.

The book is loaded with insights into a desperate period in our history. After World War II, bumper crops of young unwed mothers were springing up all over. What to do with them? Send them away, hide them, keep them out of sight, make up new names, and keep secrets. If the unwed young women did as they were told, kept silent and gave up their babies to adoption as soon as they were born, the girls were sent back home and told that they should just forget all about what happened and begin a new life.

That’s a fairy tale ending. It never happened. The girls who went away didn’t forget! Ever!

Since I’ve never found my birthmother, I know nothing of the events surrounding my birth. Any one of these young women could have been my mother and I despaired to think of her being treated by society in such a shameless fashion. The only other time I felt this way was after watching the movie, "The Magdalene Sisters." I remained in the theater after everyone left, just sobbing my heart out, again thinking one of those young girls could have been my mother.

PEOPLE Magazine, Sept. 18th, interviews 3 birthmothers who are featured in Ann Fessler’s book. It’s worth the price of the magazine just to read this article.

Question: How do we as a society treat the “girls who get in trouble” nowadays?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

BJ Lifton Booted from Adoption Conference: "Offensive Language Cited."

I am an adoptee who stayed in the back of a closet for the first half of my life, hiding, keeping secrets, and telling half-truths. My vocabulary was littered with euphemisms. I know about suffering - I’ve been there and done that.

A wonderful psychologist helped me to examine the truth about myself and a wonderful organization empowered me to speak the truth. Bastard Nation - unique, up front, transparent, and truthful. I am a different person today because of Bastard Nation - a better person. I’m no longer ashamed of being adopted. I am now one very proud Bastard!

What incredible irony we have here! We in the adoption arena are fighting for truth and transparency and along comes someone like Joe Soll who wants the esteemed Mrs. B.J. Lifton to expunge the term birthmother from her speech at his conference because there are people in the audience who find it offensive. B.J. Lifton’s books, all of them, use the word birthmother as do almost all other respected writing on adoption. Maybe Joe Soll needs to catch up on his reading.

The term birthmother is used ALL THE TIME, by attorneys, adoption agencies, the states, the courts, adoption reform groups across the board, lobbyists, social workers, psychologists, Google, AAC, CUB, NCFA, BN, and the media. I support B.J. Lifton 100% for pulling out of a conference where she isn’t afforded freedom of speech. And I applaud Bastardette for reporting it.

Bastard Nation fights for truth in adoption practices and for truth for all adopted adults. With Marley Greiner at the helm, Bastard Nation has fought in Oregon and Alabama and New Hampshire to bring truth to ALL adopted adults. We’re not locked up in hotel rooms talking about our issues. We’re out in the streets fighting for our issues. That’s the kind of organization we are.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Coincidence or Microcosm


A True Story

Conversations heard around the dining room table among several strangers paying their condolences at a Shiva ( a Jewish wake.)

For once in my life I kept my mouth shut. This was a house of mourning, after all, and it wasn’t the time to stir up any hornet’s nests. Instead, I listened quietly as the good and grateful adoptee… which seemed to make everyone feel very comfortable to tell their stories.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"We have two adopted daughters. We always wanted to help them find their biological mothers. They wanted to know "who they were" and I believe in that. In fact, I hired a searcher- friend to help find one of their birth mothers. Unfortunately, neither daughter had a good reunion experience …. [ followed by a description of "a slut birthmother who drinks, takes drugs, has lots of boyfriends yadda yadda yadda ] Our daughter cut off all communication with "that woman." It was too much for her."

ME: My mother would turn in her grave if I ever even mentioned searching.

"Oh no, Anita, not today she wouldn’t object. Things are different today."

ME: (To myself) OH YEAH?

"One of our daughters is of Swedish origins (father pulls out picture of young woman with blonde curly hair and pale skin). When she was in school, she came to us and asked us "What am I?." I told her she was Polish and Russian, just like us, her parents. And that was settled and she was happy. [ husband and wife, both short, pudgy Eastern European Jews, nodding their heads and smiling] "

ME: (To myself) ) OH YEAH?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"My daughter in law has found both her biological parents and is ecstatic! The whole family is so excited. We’re all going down to Florida next week to meet her mother and her grandmother and aunts and uncles. It’s just the most wonderful thing that ever happened."

Me: Your daughter in law’s parents; how are they taking all this? Are they going too?

"Oh no, they’re very quiet about it all. They never say anything. They’re very intelligent people but they don’t ever talk about any of this."

"You know, I always used to wish I were adopted. I just love the idea of being chosen."

Me: (To myself: OH YEAH?)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"We have two granddaughters, ages 16 and 18, both adopted from Korea. (proudly shows photos. Our 18 year old is spending 7 weeks traveling and studying in Israel this summer."

ME: Have your granddaughters ever expressed a desire to learn more about their Korean culture?

"Oh No Why should they? They’re American!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"I have an adopted daughter. She once thought of searching but then she said to me, ‘Ma, you and Dad have done everything for me. You are the only parents for me’."

Smiles, nods, "oh yes’s, " going all round the table.

"Twenty three months after we adopted our daughter, I gave birth to our son. My doctor told me this would happen and he was right. I had one of my own."


Saturday, August 12, 2006


THE HOMETOWN BUGLE, Happy Valley, USA. August, 2006, by
Your Inquiring Reporter


"I didn’t want her then. What made her think I would want her now?" distraught birthmother Mrs. Scarlet Letter confided to this reporter.

"That monster just wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. She attempted to push her way right into our house. She was howling, ‘Your dirty little secret has come back to haunt you,’" continued Mrs. Letter.

Every birthmother’s greatest fear came true yesterday in Happy Valley. Mrs. Scarlet Letter, her husband and two children were in the dining room of their happy home, holding hands and peacefully saying "Grace" before partaking of their delicious home cooked meal. All of a sudden they heard a dreadful commotion at the front door.

"The doorbell was ringing incessantly, interspersed with the sounds of pounding and kicking. I was scared out of my wits," sobbed Scarlet.

"Whoever can it be?" wailed Mr. Letter.

"What will the neighbors think?" moaned Daughter Letter.

"We’re being disgraced," sobbed Son Letter.

Mrs. Letter opened the door a crack and peeked out. Yes, her worst fear had indeed come true. Her long-ago mistake had returned. "Go away, you bad adoptee, you," whispered Scarlet.

But the bad adoptee didn’t go away. "Open the door and let me come in," she shouted.

"No, No. I’ll never let you come in," hissed Mrs. Letter. "Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin."

"Mommy, mommy, you let me come in or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in," screamed the big bad adoptee.

"I don’t have to let you come in," cried the indignant Scarlet, stamping her foot. "My social worker promised me on her Girl Scout Honor that you would never come back. She PROMISED, do you hear me?"

Meanwhile, bewildered Mr. Letter telephoned for help. His happy home was being torn apart. There was a monster in their midst. Police cars rushed to the scene, sirens wailing. The town’s entire police force, armed and ready for action, surrounded the Letter’s happy home.

Sheriff I.M. Wright spoke to this nasty intruder. "Come down off that porch this minute with your hands covering your face and you won’t be harmed."

"But what about my civil rights?" asked the big bad adoptee.

"You have no civil rights," sneered Sheriff Wright. "You got all your civil rights when this state found you a good home when Scarlet here didn’t want you."

"But I’m not here to harm anyone," sniffed the big bad adoptee.

"Ain’t she never heard of a bad seed?" mumbled one of the police officers.

With this, the police officers began to advance to the porch. As they approached the steps, the big bad adoptee began her retreat. Hands hiding her face, she slunk down the steps.

"Don’t shoot," she said. "I’m going. I’ll be on the next bus out of town."

In a hushed silence, the police officers moved aside as the big bad adoptee slunk slowly down the street and disappeared into the sunset.

"I hope that little bastard learned her lesson," muttered Husband Letter.

Scarlet, prostrate in her porch swing, wiped the tears from her rosy cheeks and heaved a huge sigh of relief. Peace had returned to Happy Valley.

MORAL OF THE STORY (Take your pick)

1. Serves you right, you dirty bastard.
2. Your government always knows best.
3. Your birthmother is a mean tramp. Once a mean tramp, always a mean tramp.
4. You’re a bad bad adoptee. Once an ingrate, always an ingrate.
5. We told you so!

Saturday, July 22, 2006



You’re never too old to be scammed if you’re an adoptee.

Me, I’m the old granny who’s been searching for a bazillion years and have yet to find even one single biological relative, living or dead, who resembles the woman named as my birth mother on my original birth certificate. Not one single piece of paper has yet surfaced to prove that MARGARET M. WALKER, my birth mother, ever drew a breath on this planet.

I wasn’t a foundling, but I could have been. Every piece of my original identity was eradicated or falsified.I was a black market baby - a private adoption where all traces of my original identity have been obliterated with fiction.

Okay, now you know my background so I can tell you the story of The Birthday Bandit.

During my years of extensive searching, I had signed on to every message board and registry list you can find on the Internet. Every now and then I receive an email from someone who says they can help me find my birth mother.These are searchers looking for business. I’ve got nothing against them - I’ve hired many searchers and private investigators in my time.

Recently, however, I was approached by a woman, let’s call her Joan, who said she had seen my message on an Indiana message board. She said she, too was searching. Her mother had been adopted and she was helping her mother to find her adopted sibling. This woman thought I might be that sibling.

So Joan and I exchanged a few introductory emails in which she asked me if I had any pictures of myself. You bet, I replied. I immediately emailed several jpegs of myself and my family members - lickety split. She didn’t have the capability to send me any photos.

Joan replied to my jpegs with enthusiasm beyond belief. Wow! My picture looks just like her mother. Why even her grandchildren said, “That lady looks just like Grandma.” We then talked on the telephone where Joan continued to enthusiastically rave about the amazing likeness of her mother and me. Joan told me that her fondest dream was to find her mother’s sibling in time for her mother’s birthday. What a wonderful daughter, thought I.

Now Joan suggested it was time to “take it to the next level.” Let’s exchange documents, she said. By this time, I was ready to exchange a kidney just to see her family photos. The very next day, I packed up copies of every single document I have and sent it off. Then I sat down to wait for Joan’s. She said she would send me family photos plus copies of old letters salvaged from a relative’s attic - letters which talked about the adopted sibling. Joan was going to send them all to me so we could compare and decide how to proceed. And I’m just getting dumber and dumber, all with stars in my eyes.

I was extremely excited. Miracles do happen, right? Lots of people do find each other on the Internet, right?

So I waited and waited and waited some more. Nothing came from Joan. Time went on and still nothing came from Joan - not even an acknowledgment of receipt of the packet of the documents I had sent to her.

Finally, reason ( and a skeptical friend) took over where my desperate wishful thinking had previously ruled. I finally began to worry about the advisability of sending all of my birth documents to a perfect stranger. Really stupid, right?! So I emailed Joan, expressing concern. Did she receive my letter? Were where the letters and photos she was going to send to me?

I received a reply that can only be described as very bizarre. Joan wished me a happy birthday ( what birthday? My birthday was months away) and told me how sorry she was about my family problems (what problems?) and said she’d get on it right away and send me her mother’s papers.

Now I thought that Joan was either a complete nutter or a liar who cannot keep her lies straight. But still I waited. And still - nothing arrived by snail or Internet.

By now I’m awake nights knowing how incredibly stupid I was for sending all those personal documents to a complete stranger. The real possibility of Identity theft was uppermost in my mind and causing me no end of nightmares.

Once more I wrote to Joan. I said her that her silence told me that there was no connection between her mother and me. I assured her that was okay - it happened a lot and I understood. “So please,” I asked, “just return my packet of documents.”

Another apologetic email arrived - so sorry. She must have mixed me up with someone else. And she hoped my husband was recovering from his accident. (what accident?!) But not to worry. She would “forward” the info to me.

I replied, saying I wanted nothing forwarded. I wanted my own packet of information returned to me, asap. I sent an itemized list and even suggested she keep all the papers together in the original envelope I sent. All she had to do, I said, was put a label over her address and write in my name.

Since then, I have received one more email from Joan. Oh my, she wrote, you sound so angry. I guess you don’t want to take our investigation any further. I really thought you did. Well, so be it, she concluded. She was so sorry because she did think there was some similarity between photos. ( Some similarity? On the telephone she told me the resemblance was so strong that if she placed my photo over one of her mother’s, they looked the same.) But....since I’m angry and don’t want to go forward, she would send me back the information I requested. Not to worry.

Well, boo hoo. I grew up in a family that ran peoples’ entire lives with guilt. This I can spot a mile away!

Nevertheless, I’m still waiting and I am still worrying!

I can only pray that Joan isn’t into identity theft. I have concluded that Joan is a liar whose M.O is to prey on adoptees like myself who are willing to throw all caution to the wind when someone offers even a teeny glimpse of hope. People like me who would fall down just to nibble up a few crumbs.

I’m thinking (actually hoping) that Joan is a searcher/liar who poses as a possible relative. Once she gets the documents, she runs them through her databases and then goes to town charging you for any information she has located. I’m not in any databases (I could have told her that right off and saved her a lot of trouble) so she just brushed me away and went on to other victims, telling lies in order to ingratiate herself into adoptees’ lives - all to make a buck.

I hate liars! But I am angry at myself too. I’ve been in the adoption “business” long enough to know about all the people there are who prey on vulnerable adoptees. But a chance to spark that light at the end of my tunnel seemed worth anything to me - even the abandonment of all reason.

As of this date, I’m still waiting. Stay tuned.



Tuesday, July 11, 2006

On Being Grateful

In my world, there were only two choices for an adopted "child." You were either grateful or you were a bad seed.

In my own household, gratitude and adoption went together. If you didn’t show enough gratitude, then guilt set in. And I mean major, long-term guilt!

"How could you do this to us after we took you in." Or, "You should be thankful to us for giving you a good home." "You don’t come to see us often enough. That’s the thanks we get for taking you in." Guilt, guilt, guilt. And the guilt made you try harder to do whatever it is your parents wanted in order to prove your gratitude to them.

The bad seeds, on the other hand, are the testers. They act out as much as possible in an attempt to discover, "Do my adoptive parents REALLY love me enough to help me out of this jam or will they give me away too?" They want to see if their adoptive parents will stick by them, "even if they are very bad seeds."

Adopted people were all given away once. No matter what the situations surrounding our births, one thing was for certain. Our mothers gave us away.

Did we want to be given away again? Not a chance. So we tried and we try and we try some more. We grateful ones want to do whatever our adoptive parents tell us to do because we don’t want to get thrown out again. Grateful adoptees take the safe route through life. They buy safety, paying for it with guilt. They buy safety by saying, "Look how good I am. Don’t ever throw me out."

The Bad seeds go down another road, possible more risky physically but emotionally just as harrowing. They buy safety by saying, "Look how bad I am. Show me you really love me with all my badness. Show me that won’t throw me out."

Grateful adoptees are always trying to prove something about themselves. Bad seed adoptees are trying to prove something about their adoptive parents.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Adopted men and women are the only group of American citizens that need to get permission from their parents or from a judge before they can get their original birth certificates.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006



In last week’s Chicago Tribune, commentator Charles M. Madigon wrote a fine satire called “And now, FEMA fixes marriage.” Mr. Madigon’s words inspired me to tell everyone about another government organization that fixes adoptees - SEMA (State Eternal Management of Adoptees.)

SEMA offers lifetime management for all adopted adults in Illinois. It insures that no adopted man or woman will ever receive his or her original birth certificate. It is a multi-faceted program with many different agencies, all working under one banner: "Shhh! Don’t Tell! "

SEMA is comprised of:

1) ADOPTEE PROTECTION PROGRAM: Patterned after the federal witness protection program, this program guarantees that adopted citizens will be unknown entities forever. All adoptees are entered into the program at birth. As soon as the judges sign those adoption decrees, the original birth certificates are whisked off to an anonymous site whispered to be in a store front in a strip mall in a rundown neighborhood of Springfield, Illinois. This maximum secure state facility is beautifully camouflaged; it blends in well with the other nameless and faceless stores in the mall. The state guarantees that no adoptees will ever enter the vault or receive any identifying information about themselves.

2) REVISIONIST HISTORY DEPARTMENT: This is a select group of professionals working within the Department of Vital Statistics. All clerks and social workers in this department are instructed to answer all inquiries from adopted men and women in one of two ways: " There is no record of your birth on file" or "The person you are inquiring about is dead."

3) STATE OF ILLINOIS NICE NANNY SQUAD (SINNS): Nice Nannies (sometimes called Confidential Intermediaries) are in place to assist the adoptee in locating his or her birth family. The SINNS program is necessary because it has been proven that adopted adults cannot be trusted to handle personal issues without lifetime assistance from the state

Any adopted adult can petition the court for a Nice Nanny (sometimes referred to as a social worker). After the court appointment, the Nice Nanny gets to retrieve the adoptee’s complete adoption file which she will use to try and locate the adoptee’s birth parents. However, the nice Nanny is not too nice, because she cannot release any identifying information to the adoptee unless the birthparents agree. (See Adoptee Protection Plan)

4) NICE NANNY SHERIFF: The sheriff’s main duty is to make absolutely certain that no Nice Nanny ever "goes soft" and leaks any identifying information to the adoptee. It is the Sheriff’s job to ferret out turncoat Nannies who may be sneaking information to the adoptee under the guise of playing "Twenty Questions" or "Wheel of Fortune." Any Nice Nanny gone soft will be charged with a misdemeanor and slapped with a $50,000 fine.

5) HERE COMES THE JUDGE: This positively brilliant scheme is under the direction of SEMA. It allows adoptees to feel empowered when in reality the state still maintains absolute control over them. Illinois law mandates that adult adoptees can petition an Illinois judge to release to them copies of their original birth certificates. The adoptee pays all the fees, must often hire an attorney, waits at least six months, and almost always is refused. Instead, the judge’s office refers adopted citizens back to the SINNS program.

6) The "MOTHER MAY I REGISTRY:" Illinois has set up a unique adoption registry which is an all-purpose, equal opportunity registry designed to serve Illinois adoptees, birth parents, biological siblings, and adoptive parents. For a fee, the state will enter the adoptee’s name in its MOTHER, MAY I REGISTRY, aka the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange.

If the adoptee’s birthmother should also register with the MOTHER MAY I REGISTRY, a clerk must holler "Bingo" and then turn over the two names to a Nice Nanny. On behalf of the adoptee, Nice Nanny will ask the birthmother the crucial question: "Mother, May I have my birth certificate?" If mother answers "Yes" and agrees to participate in an exchange of identities, then Nice Nanny will inform the Court, who will facilitate a meeting between the two parties. If mother answers "No," you’re out of luck. No match and no birth certificate for you!

To sum it all up, adopted adults can expect to receive their original birth documents only in years when a United States Census is being conducted and in those months when there is a blue moon. Alternate times for requesting and receiving birth certificates are on those nights when pigs fly.

Sunday, June 04, 2006





Six sex offenders are suing the city of Indianapolis to block an ordinance that would keep them from venturing within 1,000 feet of parks, pools, playgrounds, and schools where children are present.

Now here's the really good part: "The six plaintiffs, who include child molesters and rapists, are being represented by the AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION of Indiana."

The ACLU represents Nazis and child molesters and rapists and yet it has gone on record opposing the issuance of birth certificates for adopted adults in Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, Connecticut, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire.

Adoptees, listen to Grannie Annie and do what I did. Tear up your ACLU membership cards and cancel your memberships.

Monday, May 29, 2006



I’m sitting here on pins and needles, waiting for the phone to ring. Our son and daughter in law are expecting a baby boy and if he doesn’t show himself today, then they will induce labor early tomorrow morning. So he’s on his way!

Interspersed with my elated state are the feelings I am having while reading a new book called “The Girls Who Went Away” by Ann Fessler. It’s a really good book so far and when I finish it, I’ll write a proper review.

In the meantime, I can’t help but compare the happiness of having a baby now with how our mothers felt back then. What should have been a joyous occasion was turned into a shameful, disgraceful and gut wrenching experience for both mother and child.

One paragraph from Rickie Solinger’s book, WAKE UP LITTLE SUZIE, c1992, p.151, is imprinted on my brain forever. It’s so close to home for me. It was taken from a report by the Child Welfare League, 1939.

“The Doctor is sometimes less worried about the survival of the unmarried patient’s baby. Contrast the feeling of relief throughout the hospital when an illegitimate child is stillborn with the sorrow manifested when a much desired baby is lost. As [the social worker] points out, ‘Our culture is actually hostile to the illegitimate child whom it sees ... as a burden and as a menace to the monogamous family.’”

This kind of says it all when talking about not being wanted - BY SOCIETY!

Now I move on to a most joyful event that is also burned in my memory forever - the birth of our first grandchild in 2000. We got to the hospital about 6 hours after she was born.There was our precious granddaughter Ella, lying on her mommy’s chest, nearly burrowing herself back into her mommy’s womb. Seeing that moment was an epiphany for me. Infants, NEW BORN ones, already know their mothers. It cannot be otherwise.

Yes, I understand the past. I know that in most of the last century, unwed mothers didn’t have any support from family, friends, or strangers. They didn’t have a chance! No one was on their side and so they did what they were told to do. Give away their baby. They were forced into the prevailing theory that only by giving away their baby could they have salvation. Giving away their infant was a ticket back into society.

With our adoption history that is riddled with cruelty and sadness, you would think that people today might want to make up for a past society’s wrongs. You would think that issuing birth certificates to adopted adults would be looked upon as a kindly thing to do - sort of a way to “pay back something” for the actions of another generation. Maybe a way for society to say, "Hey, we're sorry about what happened to the mothers and their children. We'd like to give them a chance to at least get to know each other now." As New Hampshire State Senator Lou D’Allesandro, himself an adoptive parent said, “It’s the right thing to do.”

But society today still believes they are right about unwed mothers. They *know* without a doubt that God’s law was broken, and they also *know* that mothers and infants must suffer for their sins. And they still believe it in the year 2006.

Isn’t this a tragedy?

Sunday, May 21, 2006



Pull up a chair, fill your coffee cup or grab a beer, and sit awhile. Grannie Annie will tell you the story of how birth mothers have metamorphosed. (yep, it’s a real word – I looked it up in my dictionary.)

For at least 30 years now birthmothers could be found at the very bottom of the adoption food chain. No one gave two hoots for birth mothers. Why, that word wasn’t even in our vocabularies yet. Just sign on the dotted line and hand over the baby.


Revisionist history made it possible for birth mothers, unbeknownst to themselves, to be swept up to the very top. According to the revisionists today, birth mothers of yore have rights of confidentiality that the state must uphold forever. Birth mothers, according to the people who would re-write the past, were promised eternal privacy from the children they relinquished and put up for adoption.

I don’t recall any recent birth mother marches, or birth mother petitions, or birth mother articles or birth mother gatherings or birth mother conferences where birth mothers have demanded a right to privacy from their own children. They’ve always been a pretty quiet bunch of women, I thought. When they do speak out, it’s to tell us that what they want most is to be able to find out if their children are okay and many of them hope to be able to meet their children some day.

Changing birth mothers from caterpillars to butterflies was a magnificent choice. A fragile butterfly is vulnerable, fragile -it needs protection. And it became the perfect LIE to hide behind.


Adoption is BIG BUSINESS. I just meandered over to the website of one of the oldest not for profit adoption agencies in the United States, The Cradle of Evanston, IL. The fee for a domestic adoption is $25,500. For an international adoption, the fee ranges from $14,500 to $37,500. And The Cradle says it is a not for profit organization. I can only imagine what private attorneys charge.

Imagine this scene if you can. Adoptive parents are getting someone else’s baby, a practice that is almost unheard of in many other cultures around the world. An unwed mother is GIVING you her most precious possession in this universe - her baby - for keeps! Money will be changing hands but it won’t go through hers. You get to raise that baby as if he or she were your very own biological child. And it gets even better. The birth mother disappears. WOW.

How much easier it is for an adoption agency or an adoption attorney to broker an adoption if they can assure the prospective adoptive parents that this baby is all theirs, to have and to hold - FOREVER. So long as the states will keep adoption records sealed, the adoptive parents will feel comfortable and the adoption agencies will feel rich.

Sealed records = lots of adoptions = lots of money = emotional security for adoptive parents


Since World War II, original birth records were sealed all over the United States. Well meaning professionals believed that adopted children would benefit by being shielded from the shame of being born on the wrong side of the blanket. It didn’t always work that way. Lots of adopted kids were still looked at as being tainted with sin.

When I was in 7th grade, a teacher called me a guttersnipe. "You’re all alike" she hollered to me in front of the whole class.

But I digress.

Once you shield an industry from public scrutiny, you unfortunately invite all sorts of "irregularities" to occur. You don’t have to look any farther than Guantanamo Bay to see how it works.

Agencies and adoption facilitators, in their zeal to move all the illegitimate babies into financially sound adoptive homes as fast as they could, began doing business in the shade. You know, those gray areas of adoption practice. These baby sellers began to do whatever they needed to do and to charge as much as they possibly could to move babies. They were greedy. So what if they lied! Everyone involved knew that the adoption documents were never going to see the light of day!

With a wink, wink here and a wink wink there, judges were signing and sealing adoption decrees like crazy during the 30+ years following World War II. Laws were bent, laws were broken, and laws were ignored. No questions asked.

Then, in the 1970’s, along came the first adoptee rights movement headed by courageous people such as Jean Paton and Florence Fisher. These people actually dared to break the silence and the secrecy of the adoption industry. These people had the AUDACITY to ask for their original birth certificates.

"Oh no no no. This will never do", said the agencies. "We can’t afford to have our adoption practices scrutinized in any way. Give one adoptee his birth certificate and pretty soon they’ll all want them." So the adoption agencies and the attorneys and the facilitators got together and formed official sounding associations such as the National Council for Adoption (NCFA). who in turn hired lawyers and lobbyists to maintain the status quo – at any cost. .

And that’s how the birthmother privacy protection plan got started. The NCFA and their lobbyists told a lie. Tell the lie often enough and to the right persons and before you know it, that lie becomes the truth. Everyone knows that If you give original birth certificates to adopted men and women, they will ruthlessly track down their birth mothers and make those womens’ lives miserable. Birth mothers were promised privacy. Now they are going to suffer extreme pain and suffering, Their entire lives will go up in flames - even the suicide rate will rise.

Sealed adoption records = lots of adoptions = lots of money = emotional security for adoptive parents = cover ups

Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization knows better. They do know the facts and they will tell. They will shout the facts to the rooftops until the antiquated sealed records laws are repealed. Please join us.

Thursday, May 11, 2006



I wish to pay tribute to 3 WONDERFUL mothers:

My birthmother, Margaret M. Walker, who bore me and whom I have never found.
My adoptive mother, Tillie Abramson, who passed away in 1962.
My mother in law, Toby Finkelman, who died in 1989.

I miss then all very much! Each one is special to me.

I also want to pay tribute to my WONDERFUL family. Through their lives I get a glimpse of the future and this is truly a blessing.

My husband, Bob
My daughter, Andrea
My son, Ted
My daughter in law, Ann
My two darling granddaughters, Ella and Olivia
My grandson, due to meet the world on June 5th.

They fill my heart with joy. Each and every day I thank the Gods and Goddesses for their love.

Monday, May 08, 2006



Augusta, Maine: LD 1805, an adoptee rights bill that would have recognized the right of all adopted adults in Maine to unconditionally access their original birth certificates passed away last week. LD 1805 is survived by its sponsor, Representative Gerald M. Davis and its near and dear cousin, New Hampshire Senate Bill 335.

LD 1805 was feeling well until it was sent to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary where it’s health began to falter. Representative Pelletier-Simpson and Senator Faircloth started carving up the bill, finally causing septicemia to set in. The bill became a skeleton of itself. Alas! It was an adoptee rights bill no more.

LD 1805 is survived by its many devoted friends in Bastard Nation who steadfastly stood by the original LD 1805 until it was rendered brain dead by the Judiciary Committee. Bastard Nation members know that bad bills cannot be allowed to be passed into law. They wrote letters and made telephone calls to the bill’s sponsor, to Access 2006, and to the members of the Committee, asking them to kill this bill. Access 2006, unable to let go of an old friend, would not agree. They could not see that LD 1805 had been poisoned beyond recognition. They did not understand that the contaminated LD 1805 would spread to bills in other states. They were not aware of the dire consequences to all Maine adoptees if this bill had been allowed to live.

Mercifully, LD 1805's sponsor finally pulled the plug.

Friends may call at

Friday, May 05, 2006



Once upon a time in Massachusetts Senator Fargo introduced an adoptee rights bill. It was a bill that would allow ALL adoptees to unconditionally access their original birth certificates upon reaching the age of maturity. It contained a contact preference form, which addressed birth parents’ feelings in a private way but would not affect the issuing of original birth certificates. SB 959 was an excellent bill and folks supported it all over the state and indeed, all over the country.

SB 959 had a hearing way back in October 2005. The room overflowed with supporters of the bill. People from near and far traveled to the capital to tell The Committee on Children and Families how excited they were about this bill; it’s time has come. The sweet smell of success filled the air.

Then, from October through May, the bill sat in the hands of the Committee and no one heard so much as a "boo" from them. Rumors were flying that the committee was changing the intent of the bill, but until today, it was hard to imagine that the rumors were true. But they were, and then some!

The Committee on Children and Families has turned into the "Committee on Children & Families Who Live On Animal Farm." The new Committee’s motto, of course, is "All adoptees are equal, but some are more equal then others."

Here’s how this committee of elected representatives and senators massacred a bill that started out treating ALL adopted adults equally.

Adopted ADULTS in Massachusetts will be sub-divided into three separate categories based upon arbitrary years of birth. The Animal Farm Committee has set forth different rules to govern each sub- group, who are "really all equal." Wink, wink.

1) Adoptees born before 1974: They may request and receive their original birth certificates.

2) Adoptees born between 1974 and 2008. These adoptees will continue to have their original birth certificates sealed. The existing law will still govern these adoptees. They may petition the court but if any birthmother says NO - then "no" it is.

3) Adoptees who will be born after 2008, These unborn babes will be able to request and receive their original birth certificates when they reach eighteen years of age.

I think The Animal Farm Committee figured that adoptees born before 1974 will die off soon or grow too old and decrepit and will stop bothering the Commonwealth for their original birth certificates.

Adoptees in the middle group, born between 1974 and 2008, continue to be screwed by the state because they’re too young, they’re still all around, and they’re the "trouble-makers." Gotta shut them up.

And the unborn babes? Well, the members of the Animal Farm Committee will most likely not be around in 2026, at least not in the legislature, so adoptees will become some other lawmakers’ "problems."

Adoptees, friends and relatives of adoptees, and every citizen of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts - speak now or forever hold your peace. If you all sit silently now and let this group of adoptee-hating legislators treat you as second, third and forth class citizens, then you will deserve what you get:

A state that discriminates against adopted men and women, all of whom are United States Citizens.

A state that systematically withholds identity documents from adopted adults.

A state that blatantly says adopted men and women are not capable of managing their own personal issues like all the other citizens.

A state that looks with shame on adoptees.

A state that penalizes adoptees whose only crime was to be adopted.

A state that announces loud and clear - through this new bill - that adopted adults just don’t matter to the state in the same way as all other citizens.


Call or write your senator today. Tell him or her that you believe ALL ADOPTED ADULTS must be treated equally under the law. Tell him or her that ALL ADOPTED ADULTS must be able to get their original birth certificates, now, -with no strings attached!

This website will tell you the name and contact information for your Massachusetts senator. It’s as easy as two clicks on your computer.


Monday, May 01, 2006



I often wonder why “the powers that be” will do almost anything they can think of just so they don’t have to give original birth certificates to adopted adults.

As new bills are filed in state legislatures asking for equal treatment for all adoptees, you can bet the farm that these good bills will not go through the legislative process without the addition of a variety of restrictions.

Legislators just don’t want to let go of our original birth certificates. They prefer to keep them impounded and sealed in perpetuity. 45 states have sealed records laws.* Some states will issue original birth certificates to adopted adults but only after any number of restrictions or alternatives have been added.

Restrictions go like this. They are mix and match, to suit your state.

STATE REGISTRIES: For a fee, you can have your original birth certificate IF your birth mother happens to have signed up on the same registry and IF she says it’s okay for you to make contact with her.

CONFIDENTIAL INTERMDIARIES: For a fee, an adoptee may petition the court to appoint a confidential intermediary - a court approved social worker - who will then get your complete adoption file from the state.. He/she will use that file to search for any biological kin. You are not permitted, at any time, to see your own adoption file. IF the confidential intermediary finds your birth mother, then she must agree to contact. If she does not agree, the case is closed, all records are returned to the vault, and the adoptee who paid for the expensive search in the first place - gets NOTHING.

BLACK OUTS - WHITE OUTS: An adoptee will be issued his or her original birth documents but all identifying information on original documents will be blacked out with a Sharpie pen or obliterated with “white out.” Variation: If one birth parent agrees to issuing a birth certificate but the other parent does not, then all information pertaining to the objecting parent is whited or blacked out.

DISCLOSURE VETO: These come in a variety of forms but essentially they go like this. You can have your original birth certificate if your birth mother says it’s okay.

Variations on this theme:

**You can have your original birth information but the state must first locate your birth mother and get her written permission to issue the documents.

**You can have your original birth certificate if you can produce the name of your birth mother.

** Prior to passing an open records law, birth parents will be given a certain length of time to sign a binding document that prevents the state from giving you your original birth certificate.

** You can have your original birth certificate if you can produce an affidavit from your birth mother saying she gives her permission.

**You can have your original birth certificate so long as there is no disclosure veto on file that was made by either birth parent.

**You can have your original birth certificate if you have affidavits from your birth parents and sometimes your adoptive parents giving their permission.

CONTACT VETO: These vetoes come in different sizes and shapes too. Basically, a contact veto is a form, signed by your birth mother, that says she does not want to have any contact with you. If you’re a “does not,” then the state can enforce penalties on the adoptee who breaks the veto. A hefty fine, in the 5 figure amount, may be levied against the adoptee. Sometimes the adoptee may be indicted of a misdemeanor and in some states, a felony, for making any contact when a birth mother has said no.

PROSPECTIVE-ONLY CLAUSES: Gaining popularity is a prospective-only clause that gives adoptees born AFTER an arbitrary date unrestricted access to their own birth documents. For example, Connecticut has just gotten a bill through both houses stating that only adoptees who are born after October 1, 2006, may have their original birth certificates when they reach the age of twenty-one. That will be in 2027. The Governor of Connecticut has not yet signed this bill into law.

MULTI-TIERED STATUS: Some states have created an elaborate labyrinth of tiers, or categories, of adoptees, based on arbitrary dates. For example, Massachusetts is about to become a multi -tiered state. Their bill says that 1) adoptees before 1974 may have unrestricted access to their original birth certificates. 2) adoptees born between 1974 and 2006 may not have access to their original birth certificates. These documents are to remain sealed. 3) Adoptees born after October 1, 2006 may have their original birth certificates when they reach the age of majority. This group of adoptees, not yet born, will have access some time between the years 2024 and 2027. Ohio is another state where adoptees get lost just trying to figure out into which category they fit. To confound the problem, many states liberally sprinkle in disclosure and contact vetoes within these tiers.

STATE COURTS: Nearly every state has a provision in its adoption law for adoptees to make an appeal for their original birth certificate to a judge in the county where they were adopted. In over half of our states, the burden of proving “good cause” falls on the adoptee. Three years ago Georgia actually voted down an open records bill, using this provision as their reason. They said you can always ask the court - no need for any new law.

Going to court is a long and expensive process. You must pay big filing fees to the county court in which you were born, and that could be 3,000 miles away from where you are currently residing. Many states require that you hire an attorney to represent you, especially if you aren’t currently living in the same county and that’s another hefty fee.

You almost never win! You can count on the fingers of one hand how many adopted adults petition a court for their own records and are successful. Westlaw is overflowing with cases from around the country of adoptees being turned down by judges. Reason? The states really don’t want adopted adults to ever have their original birth certificates.

FEDERAL COURTS: It’s extremely difficult to get a judgment for open records from the federal courts simply because adoption laws falls within the powers of the states. In the past, adoption reform groups have brought cases to federal courts, citing constitutional reasons for releasing adoptees’ original birth documents. These court cases have been ajudicated in favor of the state and not the adoptee.

Recently, a federal case did rule in the adoptee’s favor - Doe v. Sundquist. However, this ruling is not a mandate for any state to issue records to adoptees. It does open the door for state judges who are so inclined to view the privacy of a birth mother in a different light. Thus far, the rulings in Doe v. Sundquist have not been used enough to bring about any real changes in the way the individual states are doing business.


THE AVERAGE CITIZENS: They’re not afraid of giving adopted adults their original birth certificates just like everyone else. This was proved by a ballot initiative in Oregon, begun in 1998. The people voted overwhelmingly in favor of adoptees. The case was appealed all the way up the state and federal ladders, but was turned down every time. When the electorate speaks up, the “powers that be” do listen and also hesitate to overturn a measure that the voters have approved.

Ballot initiatives are only legal in 24 states. Each step of a ballot iniative is governed by specific and often difficult regulations. They all begin with a petition. Each state rules who writes the petition, what it states, how many signatures will be needed on it, what geographic areas must be represented and in what percentages, and who is eligible to collect the signatures, There will be a time limit in which to gather and file all petitions. And to top it all off, some of the states have sections stating that the state, at its whim, can overturn the results of any ballot initiative. Illinois states up front that no ballot iniative is binding.

Ballot initiatives are an extremely costly venture. It is estimated that Oregon cost $125,000 just for the initiative portion. More funds were needed to fight the inevitable court battles that followed.

*ALABAMA, ALASKA, KANSAS, OREGON, NEW HAMPSHIRE recognize the equality of adopted adults and issue to them, upon request, their original birth documents, without any conditions.

How does your state treat adoptees? Find out at:

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I’m reading (okay, rereading) a beautiful book, “The Mists of Avalon.” If you haven’t read it for awhile- do give it another read. It’s worth it. Anyway, in the story, one of the ancient Druid people admonishes another thus: “You have broken a taboo. You must be punished for it.”

Hmmmm. I’ve always looked at adoption as being a taboo. Along with incest, cannibalism, suicide, there is also SEX. Having a child out of wedlock is also a taboo.

The adoption taboo is something we don’t talk about, something to be ashamed of, something to keep secret, something to prohibit; it’s profane and inviolate.

Our mother’s broke a taboo and they were punished. They had to give us away. We adoptees are being punished by that same taboo.

I believe that in the subconscious minds of large segments of society today, adoptees’ very existence reminds people of SEX/SIN. Subconsciously, to be sure, but the mind set is there. We adoptees are walking, talking, breathing, won’t-go-away reminders of sex w/out marriage. We are an “all grown up example” of what they don’t want their daughters to do.

Adoptees are punished by the state’s control over us. They will not give us the one thing that is ours by right - our original birth certificates. They will not give us back our identities. We’re part of the taboo.

Saturday, April 22, 2006



Welcome to Granny Annie's blogspot. Turn down the I Pods, pull up a rocker, and read my stories. I do not represent any organization nor do I speak for anyone but myself.


I was born in Chicago on August 9, 1937. Two weeks later my adoptive parents took me into their home and their hearts.

According to the state of Illinois, my life began on that day long ago when my father carried me home from the hospital. But as my adoptive life began, my first life disappeared. On August 23rd, my biological heritage was severed forever.

At just two weeks old, I became a new person!

I was no longer the daughter of 17 year old Margaret M. Walker. Now I was the child of Tillie and Charles Abramson.

My name was changed from Baby Girl Walker to Anita Mae.

My religion was changed from Catholic to Jewish.

My ethnicity was changed from Irish to Eastern European.

I lost my brothers and sisters.

I lost my grandparents.

I wasn’t a foundling but I may as well have been. My history was erased as thoroughly as if I were left on someone’s doorstep. My genetic history was wiped out by one stroke of the judge’s pen. I became a different person, created not
by my biological parents, but by the state of Illinois.

In my heart, I have always questioned my identity. But those questions remained locked inside me for fifty years. I was afraid to ask questions. I was ashamed to ask questions. In fact, for a very long time I didn’t even know you could ask questions.

As I approach the autumn of my life, I am still haunted by my lost past.

I understand that adoption is sometimes necessary to find a home for a child who needs one. But I also know that adoption is not natural. It is an artificial situation created by the state.

I believe that no government has the right to eradicate an adoptee’s biological origins forever.

Lesson One.


Only Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Oregon, and New Hampshire give adopted adults their original birth certificates with no conditions and with no falsifications.


WHO AM I ? ( NOW )

I talk to people in supermarkets.
I am afraid of getting lost.
I never met anyone I didn’t know.
I tell great stories to my two granddaughters.
I love to make lists.
I have a missing piece.
I can never find my glasses.
I am a citizen of cyberspace.
I sang old camp songs to my son and daughter.
I wish I knew Susan B. Anthony and Queen Elizabeth I.
I bid and made a grand slam - once!
I am a lifetime member of Bastard Nation.
I looked at the smiling faces of children for 28 years.
I love my husband Bob.
I am a reader and a writer.
I feed stray cats.