Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kickin' It In Texas

I’m out of here!

First thing Friday morning my husband, daughter and I hit the road for San Antonio, Texas and the Adoptee Rights Demonstration . . .





Unfortunately, our oldest son won’t be able to join us as we had hoped. With all the time he has missed from work these past few months in his battle against cancer, he isn’t able to take any more time off.

We will miss him but we will fight for him and for the equal rights he is denied.

Did you know, he is actually an unbelievable individual? He really, truly is. How could he not be (I mean besides my own completely biased view) when he has, if you count his birth certificates, been born three times.

Yep, out of all four of my children, my oldest son is the only one who has three birth certificates . Three DIFFERENT birth certificates. Not three copies of the same.

He has his original birth certificate which, here in Colorado (as an adult), he had to fill out a form that he had to sign, I had to sign, had to be notarized and then sent into the state with a hefty fee, only to wait almost five weeks for it to be delivered.

He also has his FIRST amended birth certificate, that we made sure he got before it too was sealed away from him, and his SECOND amended birth certificate (which sealed his First amended birth certificate) that was created when we adopted him back.

Can you follow that? My son has been issued three different birth certificates, two of which he is not allowed to have access to unless he is willing to jump through the hoops required of him.

And one of the craziest parts of that is, his second amended birth certificate, the one he is “allowed” to get, has the exact same information on it as his original birth certificate except for the fact that his father was finally allowed to be included as well. So his time of birth, his place of birth and my name, as the mother who actually truly did give birth to him, are exactly the same as what his original birth certificate states. And yet, he still cannot just walk into our local health and human services office and obtain his original birth certificate.

He STILL is treated like a child, slapped on the hand and told, “No. You don’t get to have that.”

And his first amended birth certificate – you know, the one so many believe is all he really needs in his life – well, he doesn’t have the right to that one either.

Yeah. Makes all kinds of sense doesn’t it? Especially if you try to use the logic those against adoptee rights like to throw out there - - that he is being denied his equal rights to protect his “birthmother.”

Ha! As of right now, in his life, according to all the legal mumbo jumbo that has passed through the courts, my son actually has two “birthmothers.” (I told you he was an unbelievable individual. Not only has he been born three times, he’s also been born to two different women!)

When we filled out the paperwork to adopt him back, the name of his adoptive mom actually went into the space for birthmother . . . only in adoption can it be that my son’s adoptive mom is now legally considered his birthmother and I am considered his adoptive mother.

And yet, twisted as it is, under the logic so many try, desperately, to use to deny an adoptee their equal rights, my son is denied his original birth certificate AND his first amended birth certificate to protect both myself and his adoptive mother – the only two moms he has in life – from having any contact from him (cause you know he is this crazy, unsettled sort of creature that surely would put us at harm. I mean, really, I should just be so thankful I have survived this long with him back in my life. Who knows when he might break and become the madman he is sure to be.)

So technically, he is not worthy, good enough, or sane enough, to know the mother who adopted him any more than he is to know the one who gave birth to him and then, also, adopted him.

The poor guy is screwed!

And for what? For what reason? What SANE, LOGICAL reason?

Three birth certificates issued to one individual person. Two moms, the only ones he has in life, supposedly protected from whatever crazy, insane notions my son has in his perceived messed-up mind, and a long line of lawmakers deciding for him what he can and cannot know about his own PERSONAL information.

I mean . . . really? How much more crazy can it get?

With my son’s cancer, and how much different it could have been if he had not known his family history, I could already have a good, hard fight for why adoptees deserve their equal rights. But the fact is, all the “side” arguments as to why are just that - - the side arguments.

Because the fact remains that my son’s story, Linda’s story, Amanda’s story, Allison’s story, Joy’s story . . . etc . . . etc . . . etc . . . all boil down to one clear and true reality –

Give adoptees their equal rights. Give them what the rest of us take for granted. Allow them to be adults. And everything else, the multiple births by two different women, the medical history, the right to know their roots . . . ALL OF IT, will be an argument of the past, one no longer needed to be rehashed by the act of one simple action . . .

Give back to adoptees what has been denied from them for far too long. Give back to them what the rest of us take for granted.

And that is, plain and simple, all it is. That is why I, my wonderful husband, and my daughter, will be in San Antonio. That is why so many other wonderful adoptees, First Moms and Adoptive Moms will be there as well.

Because, even with all our differences, we have one thing in common . . . the belief that we, and those we love, deserve the same rights, the same respect and the same freedoms to have and be what we are, by our birth just as much as our upbringing.

16 comments:

  1. I will be with all of you in spirit. My wish is that some day soon my 60+ year old mother with NO living parents will finally get to hold her original birth certificate in her hands and know the truth about herself.

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  2. I will be there in spirit too! Go, let your voices be heard!! I'll do my best to make my voice be heard up here in Dallas.

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  3. That paper trail of Birth Certificates is seriously over the top! Not meaning to sound sardonic or anything, but has anyone mentioned the Paperwork Reduction Act?

    It is absolutely ridiculous.

    Have a great trip! They are changing things for the better in Rhode Island-- not perfect, but definite moves in the right direction.

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  4. Thank you Cassi. I'm hoping your gentle and articulate voice of reason is one which sticks with lawmakers for a long time.

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  5. Well said, Cassi. Stay hydrated and give 'em heck down there in Texas!

    Melynda

    P.S. I tweeted the URL for this post. I hope it gets passed along to many people!

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  6. Thanks for this post demonstrating the ridiculousness of how it is,go well in San Antonio, I'll be there in spirit supporting you all.

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  7. "only in adoption can it be that my son’s adoptive mom is now legally considered his birthmother and I am considered his adoptive mother."

    Jaw drop moment.

    Although not sure WHY I am at all surprised given the fact adoption is involved.

    It is just LUDICROUS in the absolute extreme that his adoptress who is essentially a stranger to him and is sub-human given her treatment of him is considered in the law as his "birth" mother. Sigh. All this does is lend more support to the utter stupidity that is adoption legislation.

    All the best in San Antonio; will be keeping you all in my thoughts and holding your hand in spirit. As the others have said, stick to them, they need to hear the truth xxx

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  8. Thanks for this post!! I cannot WAIT to meet you!! And thanks to everyone who supports us in the fight for our OBC's!!

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  9. I live in Austin and had hoped to make it down to San Antonio for Adoptee Rights but (ironically?) on that day I will be standing before a judge with my daughter and husband to finalize adopting back my daughter. She'd wanted to anul her adoption; looking for a way to just return to her original and natural legal state as my daughter with her original birth certificate. But no, that is not allowed. Of course not. So, we took the next best route and decided to adopt her back. I've been thinking a lot about what you just wrote here...3 birth certificates...the first two locked away from a grown woman. Baffling!
    Best of luck everyone! I'll be with you in spirit & cheering you on from the adoption chambers...eerie.

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  10. If this doesn't highlight the absurdity of altering and sealing birth certificates, I don't know what will.

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  11. OMG, this so made me cry!

    I love you, Cassi!

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  12. So, what happened in Texas? Is there an update? All blogs seem silent after the fact.

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  13. I have stumbled across your blog in researching adoption. My husband and I have battled painful infertility for 9 years and after multiple IVF cycles and miscarriages, have begun looking into adoption. I am in tears reading about how so many of you have been coerced into placing your children for adoption. What advice do you have for couples like us? Are all agencies the same??? Is there any way to do this honorably without forcibly ripping a child from a First Mom's arms???

    I apologize for being all over the place, I am a mess right now. Infertility and miscarriage have been devastating us for years, but adoption is always touted as an eventual answer and has lingered in the back of our minds. And now we're at the end of the road as far as treatment options. But now, after reading about what so many First Moms like yourself have been through, even that doesn't seem like an option.

    I am devastated, depressed, and sad all the time. I've lost babies to miscarriage and the emotions that First Moms deal with sound eerily similar. I'd NEVER wish this on my worst enemy, much less a First Mom. Our dream is slipping away. Foster parenting is not an option for us, as my husband's career moves us every 1-3 years. I so desperately want a child, more than anything in the world, but not at the expense of a hurting First Mom, and certainly not at the expense of a child. My life feels meaningless without a child.

    I pray that someone reads this and has some insight for us. I know that many of you First Moms and adoptees are hurting, but please be gentle with me. I am hurting, too.

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  14. You should try fatalism... play the game of life with the cards you got, fair and square.

    Altough, this may sound cruel to you, what about short term foster care? You might even look into the adoption of a really older child. You know, one of the "left-overs", one you can talk with beforehand about what you can offer and what not... it seems that you can offer a "forever replacement family", but not a "forever home", as such your situation seems far from ideal to me for a traumatized child needing stability. On the other hand, it might be the best available to a child caught in an underdevelopped foster system, suffering from overreliance on adoption, which is overloaded(as even the best are).

    People, like you, are, from a social point of view, a common resource, which is a credit to humanity. The problem is that the resource "replacement family" has to be matched to the children in need of one, but that is pretty hard.

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  15. "My life feels meaningless without a child."

    Super late to this, but just wanted to say - is it not possible to find fulfillment without a child?

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