Our Mission

Bastard Nation advocates for the civil and human rights of adult citizens who were adopted as children. Millions of North Americans are prohibited by law from accessing personal records that pertain to their historical, genetic and legal identities. Such records are held by their governments in secret and without accountability, due solely to the fact that they were adopted.
Bastard Nation campaigns for the restoration of their right to access their records. The right to know one’s identity is primarily a political issue directly affected by the practice of sealed records adoptions. Please join us in our efforts to end a hidden legacy of shame, fear and venality.

FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions Who runs Bastard Nation? Executive Commitee and Legislative Commitee page Bastard Nation Founding Foundings   What’s with the name? The more than half-century old practice of impounding and sealing an adopted person’s original birth records in perpetuity has had the disastrous effect of breeding deep and long …

Follow Bastard Nation
FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterestRedditGoogle GmailShare This!

Position Papers

Bastard Nation Position Papers These papers cover related issues more in depth and can be printed out for use in local public education or legislative campaigns. Bastard Nation’s Mission Statement From The Basic Bastard: Part I: Open Records: Why It’s an Issue Part V: Conditional Access Legislation Part VIII: Legalized Anonymous Infant Abandonment / …

Follow Bastard Nation

Take Action

 ACT Ideas for Getting involved You’re a Tax-paying citizen – NOT a Second-class citizen! Educate yourself, your community, and your legislators. The Basic Bastard The basics of Adoptee Rights Activism. Read it to know the issues and the arguments. Influencing Legislation A primer on getting the word out. Read it, …

Follow Bastard Nation

Local

Local Laws, Activism and Contacts Learn more about Adoption Rights History and Law Bastard Nation’s Mission Statement The Basic Bastard – a collection of short articles address the main issues and questions regarding Bastard Nation and adoptee rights. Bastard Nation’s Position Papers Bastard Bytes: Printable papers for activists, legislators, and the media …

Follow Bastard Nation

Featured News:

The United States According to Bastard Nation

BN Map HawaiiThe BASTARDIZED states of Alabama, Alaska, Hawai’i, Kansas, Oregon, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island are the only U.S. states where adult adoptees have unrestricted access to their own original birth records! Join the fight to stamp out the seal of supreme Bastardy on the rest of the nation!

Bastard Nation is dedicated to the recognition of the full human and civil rights of adult Adoptees. Toward that end, we advocate the opening to Adoptees, upon request at age of majority, of those government documents which pertain to the Adoptee’s historical, genetic, and legal identity, including the unaltered original birth certificate and adoption decree. Bastard Nation asserts that it is the right of people everywhere to have their official original birth records unaltered and free from falsification, and that the adoptive status of any person should not prohibit him or her from choosing to exercise that right. We have reclaimed the badge of bastardy placed on us by those who would attempt to shame us; we see nothing shameful in having been born out of wedlock or in being adopted. Bastard Nation does not support mandated mutual consent registries or intermediary systems in place of unconditional open records, nor any other system that is less than access on demand to the adult Adoptee, without condition, and without qualification.

Follow Bastard Nation

Bastard Nation Analysis and Endorsement of The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015

BN logo

Bastard Nation Analysis and Endorsement of

The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015

This report will be updated when appropriate.

A shorter bullet point version of this report is here

Until 2000 children adopted internationally by a US citizen were required to undergo a naturalization process prescribed by US law. Depending on the type of visa the child traveled under to enter the US, some were granted automatic citizenship while others gained citizenship only after their adoptive parents “re-adopted” them in the US following procedures outlined by federal and individual state law.

Unfortunately, many adoptive parents did not check citizenship status at the time of adoption or follow through on the citizenship process. Some say they were unaware of naturalization requirements and believed citizenship was automatic upon adoption finalization. Some claim to have been misled by their adoption agencies, courts, lawyers, or federal immigration authorities. Some believed that it was up to the adoptee, at the age of majority, to choose their citizenship status. In some cases adoptive parents disrupted the adoption, and either “rehomed” the children they brought to the US or turned them over to the state foster care system where they lingered with no legal closure.

Decades later these misunderstandings and failures led to legal problems—including deportation proceedings– for international adoptees years after their adoptions were were assumed “finalized” and citizenship granted. Most of these adoptees had no idea that they were not US citizens until they attempted something as simple as registering to vote or were convicted of minor crimes—even misdemeanors—and fell under the gaze of government authorities.

The passage of the federal Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (text) attempted to remedy this situation by granting automatic citizenship to those 21 and younger adopted internationally on or after February 27, 2000, the effective date of the legislation.

Those adopted before that date were left behind, subject to federal investigation and possible deportation under the old system. The situation became worse after 9/11 when legal identity and proof of citizenship came under critical scrutiny by federal, state, and local governments. Since then, the number of international adoptees deported or in the deportation pipeline has grown dramatically Most have been convicted of minor non-violent offenses particularly controlled substance possession; others reportedly investigated and threatened with deportation for simply applying for a Pell Grant or Social Security benefits. One absurd case involved German adoptee, Mary Anne Gehris, an administrative assistant and mother of two in Covington, Georgia, who in 1998 applied for citizenship so she could vote and accept scholarship money. She admitted on her application that ten years earlier she had been convicted of misdemeanor battery for pulling a woman’s hair during a “spat” over a boyfriend, had done a year’s probation, and community service time. She avoided deportation when the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole granted her a pardon to keep her in the US. She became a US citizen in 2001.

The federal government keeps no statistics on the number of deported adoptees or how many adoptees are in the US without US citizenship. We are therefore forced to rely on media reports on individual deportation cases. The most complete documentation is located on the website of the adoption watchdog Pound Pup Legacy. Researchers however, say that the number of “illegal adoptees” can go as high as 15,000. Many may not be aware of their “illegal” status and some may not even know they are adopted. To make matters worse, those who learn they aren’t citizens are fearful of coming forward to apply for citizenship because under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1996 they can be charged as undocumented by INS/Ice and subject to deportation, The law gives judges little discretion to stay deportations.

Currently, America’s “illegal adoptees” cannot gain permanent resident status. They cannot legally hold jobs or driver licenses or register vehicles, open bank accounts, join the military, receive security clearances, apply for US passports, or receive any number of government entitlements—including Social Security which they or their or their spouses have paid in to.

Rudi Richards/Udo Ackerman. Adoptee deported to Germany; Army vet

What we do know is that the majority of adoptee deportees are Asian and Latino, most adopted as infants or toddlers by white parents, some military. Some deportees, such as Rudi Richards/Udo Ackerman (Germany) and Monte Haimes/Ho-Kyu-Han (Korea) in fact, are veterans whose status wasn’t flagged when they enlisted in the military. A number of deportees, such as Adam Crapser (Korea) and Jennifer Haynes(India) were victims of child physical and sexual abuse, disrupted adoptions, and abusive foster care.

Adoptee deportees have little or no memory of their countries of origin. They have no native-language skills, and no family, friends, or support system in their first countries. Most have no means of employment in their original countries due not only to those limitations, but because those governments severed citizenship when the child was adopted to the US. News reports indicate that deported adoptees often end up in homeless shelters and the streets—or worse– when returned to their countries of origin.

… Continue Reading

Follow Bastard Nation

Another one bites the dust! Hawai’i HB 2082 signed by governor. Unredacted court file opened to all adoptees without restriction.

BN Map Hawaii

We are happy to announce that Hawai’i Governor David Ige has signed  HB 2082.

This law gives adult adoptees (age 18) AND birth parents of adult adoptees unrestricted access to the entire, unredacted court file of the adoption, including a copy of the original birth certificate contained therein, upon request. It is the only state to do so. In fact, we don’t think there is any state or even other jurisdiction (country, province, etc) that gives birthparents this kind of access. The bill goes into effect immediately. (Go to the link above to read the bill, it’s history, and mandates).

Please note:

We are somewhat concerned about implementation of this law so it is imperative that we get reports back from Hawaii adoptees and birth parents as to their experiences, particularly if they encounter any difficulties.  If you experience difficulties, please give us name and contact info (PM and phone number and email on request) so that we can get reports and move to address any problems.

… Continue Reading

Follow Bastard Nation

Bastard Nation-Michigan Open Access Partnership Announcement

BN logoMichigan OA

Bastard Nation is happy to announce that it has entered into a partnership with  Michigan Open Access , the only authentic no-compromise adoptee-led  organization dedicated to adoptee equality in the State of Michigan. It joins  BN partners CalOpen, Indiana Open AccessMissouri Open, and Open Adoption Records Quebec.

Michigan Open Access advocates for the restoration of human and civil rights of Michigan adult citizens denied by law from having access to personal records pertaining to their historical, genetic and legal identities, because they were adopted as children.  It  seeks to restore the dignity of adult adoptees by eliminating the government’s imposed management of adult adoptees relationships resulting from sealed records.

A webpage is forthcoming. Please “like” MOA’s Facebook page. You can read the BN-MOA partnership resolution here.

Michigan Open Records  is led by Marcy Portney and Mona Divitto Brant.

We asked them to tell us, in their own words, a little bit about themselves and their goals for Michigan Open Access.

… Continue Reading

Follow Bastard Nation

Bastard Nation-Michigan Open Access Partnership Resolution

Bastard Nation-Michigan Open Access Partnership Resolution

BN logo

PO. Box 9959 | Spokane, WA 99209 | Phone 614-641-0294

www.bastards.org

 

To:  Michigan Open Access

  • Marcy Portney
  • Mona DiVitto Brant

From:  Marley Greiner, Executive Chair

Date:  June 13, 2016

RE:  Partnership agreement between Bastard Nation and Michigan Open Access

Partnership Agreement

Any political organization seeking to enact true open records legislation should be very clear with both their constituents and the legislators they work with about what the essential provisions of the proposed bill are. Any modification or deletion of the essential provisions of a bill should be immediate cause to have the bill killed.

Any political organization seeking the assistance of Bastard Nation to pass open records legislation must hold unconditional access by adult adoptees to the original record of their birth as an essential provision that cannot be modified or deleted. Read our Mission Statement.

Bastard Nation will not assist any political organization to pass open records legislation unless their governing board or other leadership

  • passes a written resolution such as the following that commits the board to a strategy of no compromise on key provisions
  • informs its constituents of this commitment and this strategy
  • informs the sponsoring legislators of this commitment and this strategy.

WHEREAS we recognize that disclosure and contact vetoes, redactions,  mandatory intermediaries and registry provisions are an affront to the dignity of adopted persons everywhere and a violation of their right to due process and equal treatment under the law,

WHEREAS there has been a demonstrable negative effect on the ability to pass unconditional open records in states that have passed veto legislation and/or any provisions that are less than unconditional access on demand by the adult adoptee,

WHEREAS our primary goal is to restore the right of adult adoptees everywhere to be treated as full citizens under the law,

WE HEREBY DECLARE that under no circumstances will we accept the addition of veto, redaction,  intermediary, or registry provisions, or any conditional provisions to our legislation that would be less than unconditional access for adult adoptees to the original record of their birth. All legislative sponsors and members of this organization will be informed of our policy on this matter to ensure that the bill is pulled promptly in the event of such revisions.

By agreeing to this resolution we understand that Bastard Nation will support our efforts, politically and financially, to lobby for clean bills  and to kill dirty bills.

We understand that failure of Michigan Open Access to follow any of these provisions will constitute a breach of our agreement and the withdrawal of all Bastard Nation political and financial support of Michigan Open Access.

Please indicate that you agree to these terms.

Marcy Portney

Mona DiVitto Brant

Marley Greiner, Bastard Nation, the Adoptee Rights Organizatino

Follow Bastard Nation

new! Bastard Nation Analysis and Endorsement of the Adoptee Citizenship Act 2015

new!  Bastard Nation Analysis and Endorsement of the Adoptee Citizenship Act 2015

Stop deporting our brothers and sisters!

Bastard Nation Executive Committee and LegCom page

Bastard Nation Executive Committee and LegCom page

Read about Bastard Nation leadership

FACEBOOK OFFICIAL BN PAGE

FACEBOOK OFFICIAL BN PAGE

Join us on the Official Bastard Nation Facebook page. The only "adoption" page on Facebook dedicated to discussion and promotion of adoptee autonomy, civil rights, bastard theory, political organizing, and activism. You can also sign up there for our BN mail list which includes all of our Action Alerts. This is not a search and support page. No Woundies need apply! (Page live on July 1, 2015)

FACEBOOK SOCIAL BN PAGE

FACEBOOK SOCIAL BN PAGE

Join the Bastard Nation Public Page, a public service for Bastard Nationals, friends and supporters. General discussion on adoptee rights and related issues.

TWITTER

TWITTER

Join us on Twitter. All the Bastardly news fit to tweet!

PINTEREST

PINTEREST

Join us on Pinterest. Bastard icons, images, members, actions, politics, and fun. And Christopher Walken!

Become a Bastard Nation Legislative Liaison!

Become a Bastard Nation Legislative Liaison!

Bastard Nation needs Legislative Liaisons in every state with laws that seal adoption records. We need eyes and ears in the legislatures, creating relationships and gathering information.

What does a BN Legislative Liaison do? They talk with lawmakers and their staff about adoptee rights and the laws that seal records. They distribute Bastard Nation position papers and FAQs to legislators and staff members. They record their conversations and report to the BN Legislative Committee.

They are organized, informed, friendly, helpful, and engaged.

What do you need to do to be a BN Legislative Liaison?

1. You need to live close to the capitol of your state.
2. You need to be able to appear friendly, even when talking with people who disagree with you or are just disagreeable, period.
3. You need to have a flexible schedule.
4. You need to agree with Bastard Nation’s mission: If you don’t know what that is, go to bastardnation.org, it’s right there on our welcome page.

Those are the prerequisites. If you are interested, click the picture of the capitol rotunda, and fill out the application form. We will be in touch and schedule an online orientation and training.

We look forward to working with you!

Read what real live adoptees have to say about secret adoption and sealed records....A service of Bastard Nation and Emma Pea! Fighting adoptacrats since 1996.

Hit the pic for archives.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Meet Sharley!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:  Meet Sharley!

Bastard Nation Moms Club

Bastard Nation Moms Club

Bastard Nation is gathering the names of moms who are willing to step forward and say that they were never promised confidentiality. If you are willing to participate, please comment this status. Your name (and if you choose, the relinquishment date) will be added to a list used in newspaper ads and to educate legislators.

Bastard Nation Action Alerts (from old BN page)

Bastardly Books by Bastards and Friends

-

  Photobucket

Click Here To Enter

-

 

Recent Comments

  • maddogmarley: Thanks so much for this information. this is very helpful. ...
  • Janet: Hi, my guy put in a request back in March to Hawaiian famil...
  • Anne H Johnson: Currently the NY legislature is recessed. But the Ass...

Join Bastard Nation!

Join Bastard Nation!

This summer we are updating our membership/donation page and payment process. If you would like to join or donate, please hit the spemrie. It will take you to our Bastard Boutique page. Follow instructions from there. Be sure to include a quick note with your contact information and anything else you'd like us us know..

My, my it’s American Bastard Pie! (design by Lisa Zatonsky)

My, my it’s American  Bastard Pie! (design by Lisa Zatonsky)

See our state partners:

See our state partners:

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: CalOpen

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: CalOpen

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Indiana Open Access

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Indiana Open Access

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Michigan Open Access

Proud Bastard Nation Partner:  Michigan Open Access

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Missouri Open

Proud Bastard Nation Partner:  Missouri Open

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Open Adoption Records in Quebec

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Open Adoption Records in Quebec

THE BASTARD BOUTIQUE IS NOW OPEN! STOCK UP ON BASTARD SWAG FOR YOURSELF, YOUR FRIENDS. GIVE THE GIFT OF BASTARDY TO ANYONE, ANY TIME, ANY WHERE.

THE BASTARD BOUTIQUE IS NOW OPEN!  STOCK UP ON BASTARD SWAG FOR YOURSELF, YOUR FRIENDS. GIVE THE GIFT OF BASTARDY TO ANYONE, ANY TIME, ANY WHERE.

Your one-stop shopping for everything Bastard is now live. You can get our latest Bastard Nation swag at the Bastard Boutique. Quantities are limited! -- CLICK THE PIC!

SAMPLE RESOLUTION AGAINST VETOES AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS

SAMPLE RESOLUTION AGAINST VETOES AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS

Any political organization seeking to enact true open records legislation should be very clear with both their constituents and the legislators they work with about what the essential provisions of the proposed bill are. Any modification or deletion of the essential provisions of a bill should be immediate cause to have the bill killed.

Any political organization seeking the assistance of Bastard Nation to pass open records legislation must hold unconditional access by adult adoptees to the original record of their birth as an essential provision that cannot be modified or deleted. Read our Mission Statement.

Bastard Nation will not assist any political organization to pass open records legislation unless their governing board or other leadership

passes a written resolution such as the following that commits the board to a strategy of no compromise on key provisions
informs its constituents of this commitment and this strategy
informs the sponsoring legislators of this commitment and this strategy.

WHEREAS we recognize that disclosure and contact vetoes, redactions, mandatory intermediaries and registry provisions are an affront to the dignity of adopted persons everywhere and a violation of their right to due process and equal treatment under the law,

WHEREAS there has been a demonstrable negative effect on the ability to pass unconditional open records in states that have passed veto legislation and/or any provisions that are less than unconditional access on demand by the adult adoptee,

WHEREAS our primary goal is to restore the right of adult adoptees everywhere to be treated as full citizens under the law,

WE HEREBY DECLARE that under no circumstances will we accept the addition of veto, redaction, intermediary, or registry provisions, or any conditional provisions to our legislation that would be less than unconditional access for adult adoptees to the original record of their birth. All legislative sponsors and members of this organization will be informed of our policy on this matter to ensure that the bill is pulled promptly in the event of such revisions.