Sunday, February 8, 2015


A Texas group is pushing for unsealing birth certificates for people adopted.

The bill this Texas group is flagging about has a proviso for preference of contact, which means if the mother doesn't want contact she can state that or if contact is agreed then she can decide what type of contact is suitable for her.

One justification they’re using is that adopted people are finding their parents and family members anyway, through online mediums such as Facebook and DNA testing. This contact option, they say, will provide further assurance and privacy for the mother, as she will receive notice that her daughter or son is looking for her.

This argument is no less than appalling, not to mention hugely embarrassing.

Why do so many advocates for unsealing birth certificates feel the need to propagate the myth of privacy and contact? No human on earth needs legalized protection from me and there needn't be any safeguarding measure put in place for others to decide how I should contact them.

Here’s an astonishing revelation for those who still buy into the privacy propaganda: Birth certificates were never sealed to protect mothers, fathers or family members from those not raised by their parents or family.

Here’s an example of how the privacy notion is a sham. My mother had eight kids, two of us were adopted, two were raised together in one foster home, the others lived in various homes, and the youngest remained with our mother.

One brother and I went through the adoption process. Our birth certificates were legally sealed. My two sisters were raised together in one foster home. Their birth certificates remained in tact.

So what about the privacy of our mother - am I to believe that my brother and I had our birth certificates sealed because our mother wanted anonymity from us? The birth certificates were sealed because that's what adoption does- seals an original birth record after it's been altered. It is not and never was about privacy for the woman who gave birth.

It’s actually absurd to think that privacy or anonymity had anything to do with the sealing of any birth certificate. It’s a requirement of any person who has a change of identity. A person cannot conduct her/himself in society with two legal identities (two birth certificates). There is one certified copy and one non-certified copy. Who the person becomes or why the original birth certificate was modified is moot. Someone could change the spelling of their name, or take a new first or last name – whatever the alteration is and after it’s been legally processed, the former document is sealed. But the information listed on the original birth certificate is not meant to be hidden from its owner.

Another example: if parent’s divorce and a mother remarries and that new partner wants to adopt her children, the birth certificates of those children will be sealed. The children who are adopted by the new partner will not be able to access their original birth certificate, even if this new identity change happened at 14 years old. And they know who their mother is – they’re living with her.

The whole “Birth Mother Privacy” concept is bogus. People who have not researched legislation or bothered to actually understand the process of sealing birth certificates have been causing widespread frenetic reactions for the last century. What we have are misinformed zealots running around trying to get others on board to spread the same derisory information, with the hope of convincing legislators and the public that adoptees might cause harm, then introducing degrading and discriminatory procedures as adoptee-harm-prevention.

There are advocates who expect those adopted to simply accept that others deserve the right to privacy from them. Wrong. Stop propagating false information. If I want to test my DNA, look up my family on Facebook or contact old friends, former lovers, cousins, aunts, uncles, former classmates . . . or whomever - I can do so freely. I can even attempt to make contact with any of those people. No one has the right to a forewarning that I might be doing that.

Another misconception around the sealing of birth certificates is the idea that governments actually cared about a woman’s privacy or anonymity from her daughter or son. In the beginning era of sealing birth certificates, a woman could not divorce her husband, she could not vote nor could she attend some universities. Women were not taken seriously with spousal abuse and rape. Women did not have “rights.”

Women who became pregnant out of wedlock were viewed as shameful creatures - dishonorable, who became the supply of family, town and church scorn and ridicule.

Women were herded out to maternity buildings, where many were treated horribly; the shame perpetuated through physical, emotional and verbal abuse, and some were used as experiments in hospitals – to poke and prod. The unwed pregnant woman didn't matter, anyway, now that she’d visibly upset society’s asinine moral conduct code regarding a woman’s’ choice about when and why she would engage in sex.

Where was the government then – was it not mortified at the treatment of these women? The ones they had granted lifetime anonymity to? And why was the mother not allowed to know what happened to her child. That doesn't appear to be a very “caring” government. The government provides her a right to anonymity, but not the right to know the new name and whereabouts of her child.

Plainly, governments had absolutely no interest at all in the advancement or protection of these women. There was, however, at the same time, a different type of industry emerging - the business of providing childless couples with babies – a baby labeled “without identity” that could be the ideal (non-biological) child-substitute. One must wonder, then, who exactly would have had the most invested in mother and child privacy?

If governments were actually mindful of the care and protection of these women, it would have been evident before any child was conceived.

If privacy for mothers was never the intent of sealing birth certificates, then why is privacy considered now? Why is it even a topic for discussion? Governments can’t all of sudden claim today that sealing birth certificates was for the protection of the mother – saying, uh, sorry, that’s what we meant. Privacy is as irrelevant now as it was then and should be tossed out of every advocacy effort to unseal birth certificates.

Adopted people are not potential destroyers of lives – no one needs to be warned of their impending arrival and they certainly do not need security measures developed through law intended to safeguard other people from potential contact.

No one should support bill that requires a person agree to measures set on instilling the idea that an adopted person will or may cause harm to another person, should that adopted person be in possession of her/his own birth certificate.

When claiming to be representing the adopted population and the unsealing of birth certificates, either get into the teeth of it and fight for rights based on equality and human rights for all, or simply don’t bother.  

Saturday, October 9, 2010


It’s been about 12 years since I read Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier. What incited my interest was hearing about the book from other adopted people in the adoption community.

The Primal Wound theory doesn’t mean much to me because I’m clueless about the science of the infant brain. Although, separating a baby from its mother seems to me a pretty traumatic event for both mother and child.

I did not conclude the book’s content to be a life-sentence for feeling screwed up by adoption; rather some interesting pieces of insight that provided clarity to a continuous niggle I couldn’t seem to shake off on my own.

The Primal Wound book gave me the awareness that I have a real Mother; that the mother I was separated from for 32 years was a real person.

That would be a Mother that gave birth to me, not some biological whatchamacallit that needed to go to school so it had to give me away so it could have a better life. It hadn’t been possible to grasp that I’d been created the same way other humans were created. I was adopted. So a mother, a woman who had been pregnant--with me and from whom I received life, an identity and a tribal tie to generations of people living and those who came before me was an alien notion.

For me, growing up without the presence of genetic parents, family, or tribe meant no understanding of how it feels to ‘be like’ anyone. And even after reuniting with my mother and after her untimely death I still didn’t get that she was my mother, forget about the whole ancestry and relatives bit. That came much later, long after I’d processed having a real mother and father. Reading The Primal Wound, though, restored the acuity I’d had as a child—before the years of being fed mixed messages, myth and parental absence – the certainty that there was a real woman who was my mother.

After reading PW it was easier to learn more about adoption secrecy laws and adoption as a universal mess that has affected millions of people around the world. Betty Jean Lifton’s book, Journey of The Adopted Self came next and stayed near by for about 4 years. I was happy the day I was able to look at that book and think, Yuk. Self-help books are supposed to provide insight then retire to the second hand bookshop. Post these adoptee-centred books, though, adoption as a systemic legal issue and discriminatory institution became much clearer, therefore no need to revisit those particular perspectives.

I see people periodically accuse The Primal Wound book of being the source of some sort of interminable adoptee victimhood. I don’t get that. Anyone I know that’s read PW simply read the book took from it what they wanted and moved on. It’s never talked about now in my circles other than joking about the people who feel some bizarre compulsion to demonize it and the readers who found it useful. It’s just a book with a few antidotes to assist folks trying to figure out adoption crap. It seems opponents to PW are more victimized by it than those they allege are trapped in a PW void.

Nancy Verrier may thank those who fervently oppose her PW book, because it’s likely through that anti-Primal Wound pack she has received, inadvertently, much publicity and praise.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Looking over some of the posts from last year on Grannie's blog, I re-read her diatribe on free speech.

Grannie Annie writes a bunch of insidious and inaccurate posts about an adoptee rights protest held at the National Convention of State Legislatures. Proponents of the protest respond to it.

Suddenly, in response to being challenged, Grannie Annie says it's her democratic right to say whatever she wants. No one said that it wasn't. Someone, please correct me if I'm off base here, but free speech was not granted solely to Grannie Annie, was it?

I can't imagine what a debate with this woman would be like. Would she start screaming, “Damn you! – I have the right to free speech!”

Marley says on Grannie Annie's blog (responding to my blog posts here) and some anonymous comments there:

"As for "anonymous," there may be more than one, but go here to read what at least one of them is saying: Putting together various posts on that blog, and comments on BGA and Bastardette,"

Sorry to disappoint you, honey, but those Anon comments are not from me.

Though the surreptitious insinuation that I was one of the Anonymous commenters is typical Marley-tribe.

Marley also says about me on Grannie's blog:

"On her radio show front page Edmonds links to Illinois Open. Isn't that interesting. Edmonds says she supported full access in Illinois, yet she attacks those very organizations which carried that banner."

Yes, I do have the Illinois Open link on my home page. Yes, I do support full access in Illinois. I also have Bastard Nation on the links page.

The adoptee rights vision of these two organizations: Becoming.

The conduct of a few of these organization's members: Un-becoming.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book Review: One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects

Trace A. DeMeyer’s book One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects is a marvelous read.

Trace narrates her story of growing up in small-town Wisconsin, US, with her younger brother, Joey and a very dysfunctional adoptive family, yet the only family she knows. What’s interesting about this book is how Trace takes the reader along with her on her journey. At times I felt I was with Trace, in her house struggling with abuse, listening from the back room as her parents and parish priests drank into the wee hours. I was sitting in the bar where she and her band were performing. I was also with her when she relentlessly searched for her family of birth. I pondered with her as she tried to make sense of her home environment – disturbed, abusive adoptive father, distracted adoptive mother – and a deep desire to know her roots and connect emotionally and physically with her sorely absent parents.

One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects, provides a realistic representation of the pieces of identity that are missing year after year for those separated from their parents and tribe, as well as the laws, societal myths and pressures that require adopted children to play the role of daughter or son to those unrelated to them. There is a subtle message to readers how adopted persons, by being adopted and legally forbidden to know who they are adapt to their surroundings, while unwittingly abetting in the crime of secrecy of their own identity and past.

The reader struggles with Trace as she tries to cope with and overcome her constant questioning of all that is strange about human nature, but knowing instinctively not to blame herself for the perverse actions of others. We then share her appreciation for all the beauty in nature that is so often unnoticed. Trace shows us how to unearth the exquisiteness in birds, snakes, water and trees.

Trace is a writer, a very introspective and musical person; she has determination and a untamed spirit that keeps her moving bit by bit to find her truth, and the truth of her Indian-self and of her people who have suffered en masse through the controlling and untiring hands of the white man.

This book will help those who wonder how an adopted person is connected to an adoptive family, simply by “being there” and how complex it is to amalgamate one’s adoptive identity into a found identity, and how the mind plays tricks on you when paradoxically wishing for, yet accepting the life that is and the life that never was.

One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects is available as a download (e-book, US $3.00) or paperback (US $15.95) at: and at Request at your favorite book seller. ISBN: 978-0-557-25599-3

Monday, April 19, 2010


My birth certificate is locked up in the state of Illinois.

I wasn't even adopted there... I was born in Chicago, but adopted in Ontario. Illinois still won't give me my own record of birth. Now there's a bill to unseal BCs, but it has a discrimination clause - parents can file a disclosure veto, which removes their names from the record of birth. What's a legal record if all the legal information isn't there? It's a bogus document.

If non-adopted people in Illinois can receive their birth certificates with the names of their parents listed, so can the adopted. There is no difference between an adopted person and a non-adopted person. Adopted people are being severely discriminated against in the state of Illinois.

Visit, call, and write your senators now to have IL HB 5428 bill amended to include birth certificate access for ALL PEOPLE! For legislative contact info, go here:

Adopted people: Don't allow your government to discriminate against you! There is no reason why you should be treated differently than everyone else in the state of Illinois.