Saturday, March 07, 2009


The 2009 Legislative Session is upon us. I’m unhappy to report that there have been 5 new bills introduced already which contain conditional provisions. Imagine! Right off the bat, five (5) brand new bills contain sections that will prohibit some adoptees from having any access to their original birth certificate.

There is a new brand of deformers afoot, folks. I call them the Velcro deformers. Their official motto is: STICK IT TO ME!

The Velcro deformers have decided to start right out by adding conditions up front which they think the legislators will accept.

Velcro Deformers don’t care about helping 100% of the adoptees in their states. They never did and they never will. They’re just off and running to see if they can pass a bill. And in order to do this, they have decided to “fool” the legislators. They build restrictions right into their original bill. Then they carefully wrap up their entire bill in a shiny silver Velcro-covered package. They stick their fancy conditions and restrictions right onto the top of the Velcro bill, so the legislators will be sure to see how accommodating they are.

What these deformers don’t see is that by handing over a Velcro package to the legislators, they are issuing an open invitation to the lawmakers to stick even more amendments and restrictions onto the bill. The legislator’s motto is “Right Back Atcha.” It will become an open season for amendments.

It will be much easier for our opponents to throw on more conditions and restrictions to a Velcro-wrapped bill instead of a pure bill. After all, the sponsors of the Velcro bill have already given in once at the very beginning. Right? It will be like playing darts blindfolded down at the local pub. No matter your aim; wherever the restriction dart lands, it is going to stick and it will become yet one more obstacle to equal rights for all adopted adults.

“Throw on the disclosure vetoes! Stick on the contact vetoes. Try for some white-outs too.” This is the message that Velcro deformers send to the legislators when they file a conditional bill. “We started you off with a bad bill. See what else you can do to make it worse.”

Velcro Deformers, I think that you must be incredibly naïve or very power hungry or some of each. What are you thinking of when you write your bill, knowing ahead of time that you will be selling some of your fellow brother and sister adoptees down the river? Grannie Annie believes that Velcro deformers are found at the very bottom of this river and she hopes some great big fish will gobble them all up.

Granny Annie thinks that Velcro Deformers are calculating, controlling, power hungry, and most of all - extremely selfish. What they are doing is worse than introducing a bill, supporting it for awhile, and then changing their minds, like the regular deformers do. Velcro Deformers are throwing away some adopted men and women before the opening bell sounds. “Go straight to jail. Do no pass Go. Do not collect $200.”


How will you explain to the left-out adoptees that you never tried to get a bill passed for ALL adoptees?

Will you tell the left-out adoptees that leaving them out in the cold from the get go was the politically expedient thing to do?

Will you pin a badge onto the left-out adoptees and thank them for being martyrs to the cause?

Will you tell the left-out adoptees that you'll come back in five years to revisit the law and then you will support changing it to include all adopted adults in the state at that time?

And what will you say to the left-out adoptee whose birth mother passed away two years after your bill was passed?

Will you tell the left-behinds that with all political issues there have to be some scapegoats?

Are you considering an insanity defense?

Will you tell them you’re sorry?

Currently, the five states with Velcro bills are Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Texas.

California, South Dakota, Rhode Island, and Missouri have filed clean bills. In the clean bills, the needs of 100% of the adoptees in their states have been respected.


Mary Lynn Fuller said...

This is a great blog, Anita! I think that the velcro deformers probably have brains attached to them with velcro. There are those left behind who do vote and why would in the world would they vote for a legislator who does not give a damn about them.

I'll never understand any legislator who has been adopted to think that it is right to sponsor a bill with conditions. But then some are spineless and avoid arguing on a house floor.

But then we do have some adoptees who look out for themselves. If a new law allowed them access to their OBC, they would grab it and not think about those left behind.

It's got to be go for a clean bill with no backing down, nothing less is acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Indiana never had a chance period for any kind of reform even the kind of the deformers.

A group called the Indiana Adoption Agencies United Coalition killed our bill. They will also probably get SB 280 killed as well because of an ages old battle between them and the adoption attorney that is trying to get it passed. The bills are dead in the water.

Senator Miller chose to go rogue. She did everything she could to not include us in the legislation being presented. Indiana Open and the AAC have chosen to step back and let these folks duke it out.

legitimatebastard said...

As a New York adoptee, I, too, am opposed to New York's conditional bill. Stop sugarcoating! Adoptees rights, unconditionally, retroactively, and proactively, to our true birth certificates! Period. No conditional anything for "birth" parents. Oh, yes: mandatory counseling for those few who think they can override our rights, counseling to understand what happened -- a good place to start might be readings from natural parents' books and articles - CUB, etc. This will keep hollier-than-thou nutbags out of yours and my birthrights. NO ONE can tell me I don't have a right to my birth certificate!

I'd prefer all birth certificates released to adoptees to be Certified by the State, but then, again, I'm a radical thinker who believes the government actually should officially document my birth. How about some legislation to "cut them off at the pass"? By that I meant: stop issuing falsified birth certificates to all adoptees when they are adopted. Make it mandatory that all adoptions are recognized and officially documented at Vital Statistics' Offices as Adoptions, not births!

But who am I to say? I'm just an adoptee, an unimportant person.

Anonymous said...

Anita and Joan - I've read S1698 (NY) and maybe I've missed it - but what about the bill is bad? There are other NY bills that I find offensive - but I thought S1698 was clean. Please let me know your objections before I send off dozens of letters urging support.


Anonymous said...

and what about the CA bill is good?

Grannie Annie said...


As of 2/24, NY A05519 is summarized as follows (from the legislature website). "Makes information contained in adoption and foster care records available to adoptees aged 18 and over under certain circumstances; provides that such information shall include the adoptee's biological parents, siblings and extended family and may be given only if the biological parents authorized such release of information; provides procedures for consent or prohibition by biological parents and permits withdrawal of consent at any time; permits disclosure of the non-identifying history of parents to adult adoptees without the consent of a parent." On Feb. 13th, the bill was referred to Children and Families.

Grannie Annie said...

To Gaye Again,

Sorry, I forgot to give you the url.


Gaye Tannenbaum said...

That is correct Anita - A5519 is a very bad bill and so is A1108 (CI Bill). S1842 is limited to situations where both the first parents AND the adoptee request the original birth certificate so it's useful for some people but otherwise irrelevant.

S1698 is CLEAN - it has a contact PREFERENCE which may require any first parent filing for "no contact" to fill out a family medical history form (it depends on how you read the wording).

AND California's AB372 is wierd and confusing because (a) access is through the courts, not vital records and (b) "The name and address of the natural parents shall be given to the petitioner or requester only if he or she can demonstrate that the name and address, or either of them, are necessary to assist him or her in establishing a legal right. In all other cases, that information shall be redacted from all records and information provided, including a copy of an original record of birth."

That's about as bad as it gets.

Grannie Annie said...

Joy and Gaye,

Nothing is good about CA's bill. I made a terrible mistake and I do apologize. I will try and write a blog about it soon.

Thanks for calling it to my attention.


Marley Greiner said...

Anita--I'd say Cal AB 372 doesn't even fall under the Velcro Rule. It has it's own classification, but I'll let you name it!

Toff said...

NY's S1698 is messy in some respects. A number of years ago I wrote some commentary on an earlier version of the bill, and while it seems to be substantially the same, I'll have to check to see if it really is or not.

Briefly, it's a surprisingly and unnecessarily long bill. It does some unnecessary and arguably undesirable things like creating a commission to review and assess the releasing of OBCs, which implies there could be problems and the state could reverse itself. It also allows adoptees to append their current address to the OBC and the address to be released to the birthparents. That's odd. That kind of thing can already be handled through the state's Adoption Information Registry. Adding an address to a BC is something non-adoptees can't do, so this is treating adoptees and non-adoptees differently (not good) and conflating equal rights to access records with reunion (not good).

Anyway, here's what I'd written: