October 9, 2014

For Baby Scoop Era Adoptees: Everything is Still NOT Okay!
Tag-Team Post With Laura Dennis, Part I

Why do I team up with Laura Dennis so much in writing blog posts? Because she's just that amazing. Read part one of our post here on my blog and then finish reading over at Laura's.  Here we go...

Laura: I like to consider myself “in the know,” perhaps even trendy … as much as is possible living in Serbia, where Southern European popular culture and style are vastly different compared with Western Europe and the United States.

When it comes to AdoptoLand, however, I’m able to stay up-to-date via the Internet. But I’ve realized that my identity as a U.S. domestic adoptee from the latter part of the Baby Scoop Era (BSE) is … how do I put this? … no longer trendy. I’m passé, as in: decidedly NOT hip.

People, both inside and out of the adoption community think that because the BSE Era is over that we are no longer relevant.

Deanna: You are exactly right. And, so many people believe what we BSE adoptees desperately NEED is obsolete because of the trend of open adoption. This was perfectly described in Karen Caffrey’s post, Who’s Waiting for Adoptees to Die?  Her post shares about the statement from the National Council for Adoption that says:

“Given that a great and increasing majority of domestic adoptions today are open to some degree, and that best practice now requires birthparents to share, at minimum, medical and social background information with the adoptive family and adopted individual, the debate over birth records and information sharing has and will continue to subside.” 

Of this Caffrey says: “In other words, adoptees like me will eventually age and die out.  Our pesky little demands for access to our true, original birth certificates, to our birth heritage, to equal treatment under the law, will subside because we will die out!!  (And pity the poor 5% who will continue on, shackled by the bonds of secrecy.  Presumably they will lack sufficient political clout to disturb any of these “agreements” to which they were supposedly party.)” 

I am grieved that so many believe it is okay to leave us BSE adoptees behind when it comes to equal rights. Everything is NOT okay! And as long as birth certificates are still be amended and sealed, things are really not okay for those coming behind us either. Even in open adoption. Because there are no guarantees.

We need full disclosure of our personal history. It’s our birthright. It’s that simple. The fact that there is a trend towards open adoption has nothing to do with the fact that I still have a birth certificate filled with lies and am completely in the dark about 50% of my personal history. These facts belong to me. If it’s not important, why does the doctor ask for it every time I have an appointment? And if it’s not important, why is the government holding onto it so tightly? 

Laura: I agree. It’s worth repeating, because I see adoptive parents who consider open adoption the new panacea, letting them off the hook.

In open adoptions, an adoptee’s records can still be sealed.
In open adoptions, there are NO guarantees of openness or contact.
In open adoptions, there is no recourse for any party should an adoption close—especially not for the adoptee and his or her wishes.

Instead of “adoptees,” try thinking of it this way...