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.

Protesters get moment in spotlight

Protesters get moment in spotlight

Los Angeles Daily News, March 25, 1997

 

What would be Oscars be without a protest or two? 

Airborne political comments entertained the crows on the ground. Two small airplanes flew over the crowd in the arrivals area of the Shrine Auditorium. One carried the banner: “Columbia Studios suck – L. Flynt,” an apparent reference to the studio’s reported decision not to get an Oscar ticket for the Hustler magazine publisher, whose life was “People Vs. Larry Flynt.” (Flynt, however, showed up with best-actor nominee Woody Harrelson – and took a seat.) 

Another sign read: “Disney uses sweatshops – 30 cents an hour in Haiti.” 

Grounded protesters, wielding banners and T-shirts, moved through the gawking masses outside the auditorium, mad as hell. An adoptee-rights group called Bastard Nation rallied for the opening of birth certificate information, the subject of best picture nominated “Secrets & Lies.” 


Copyright 1997, L.A. Daily News

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No More Secrets & Lies

From MSNBC Cinemania: March 17, 1997

 

Riding the coattails of Mike Leigh’s film Secrets & Lies, Bastard Nation—a relatively young and militant-minded adoptee-rights organization—will be holding a “black tie rally” outside the 69th annual Academy Awards ceremony on March 24. 

Supporters from all across the country plan to gather outside LA’s Shrine Auditorium on Oscar night, dressed in formal attire and waving signs from the crowded bleachers, or marching with picket signs next to the grandstand area. 

The purpose of the rally is to call attention to what Bastard Nation’s Michelle Hilbe describes as “a civil-rights issue.” 

“We want the public to know that our records are sealed and that we don’t have access to our original birth certificates,” Hilbe said. “The system needs to change.” 

In its short seven months of existence, Bastard Nation has gained steady popularity and membership in the adoptee community. Its “by any means necessary” approach has effectively aided adoptees in their search for their birth families, as well as affected change in open-records legislation. But why rally at the Oscars? “Through online discussions it was agreed that there were only two opportunities to reach a worldwide media audience — the Super Bowl and the Oscars,” said Hilbe. “This was a perfect opportunity to reach the public with our message.” 

A perfect opportunity, also, because of the success of Secrets & Lies, a British film that deals with the subject of open records and the consequences that arise when an adoptee makes “first contact” with his or her birth family. Secrets & Lies is currently nominated for five Academy Awards, including for best picture. 

Secrets & Lies deals with the very heart of why Bastard Nation exists. But Hilbe is quick to point out that what happens in the film is currently not possible in the US. “Secrets & Lies, Flirting With Disaster, even an episode of Melrose Place can give the general public the impression that an adult adoptee who decides to access his or her records and goes on a search can easily do that. And that’s simply not true. Secrets & Lies has given us the opportunity to say, ‘Look, this is a wonderful story—but you can’t do this in the US.'” 

Bastard Nation has held “positive pickets” outside of theaters playing Secrets & Lies for months, spreading the gospel of open records to anyone who will listen. When the film was nominated by the Academy in mid-February, they felt it was time to follow the film all the way to top. 

And the support has not been one-sided. Mike Leigh and Brenda Blethyn, the Oscar- nominated actress who plays Cynthia, the dowdy 40-ish Londoner who gets a surprise call from her long-forgotten birth daughter, both appeared at an open-records rally outside the Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills on March 10, offering support for Bastard Nation’s cause as well as talking with adoptees about their search and reunion stories. 

Leigh’s film, which is currently an underdog behind The English Patient and Jerry Maguire in the best picture race, stands to gain ground with Academy voters because of the buzz generated by Bastard Nation’s support, and the association was not by accident. “The publicity certainly couldn’t hurt Secrets & Lies,” says Hilbe. “I can’t speak for Mike Leigh’s personal motives, but he has been very gracious with adoptee-rights groups in this country. I think it’s a good partnership all around.” 

As many as 70 people are expected to attend the Oscar rally, some arriving as early as Saturday morning to reserve enough seats on the usually crowded bleachers. 

By Kris Kaiyala

 

© Copyright 1997 by BPI Entertainment News Wire. All rights reserved.

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Agency Plays Role in Reunions

AGENCY PLAYS ROLE IN REUNIONS
SERVICE HELPS ILL ADOPTEES FIND FAMILY, GET MEDICAL INFORMATION

Published: Sunday, March 9, 1997
Section: Local
Page: 1B

BY LESLIE KATZ, Special to the Mercury News

When adoptee Phoenix Aguila was diagnosed as HIV-positive three years ago, he urgently needed to know who his parents were. Added to his lingering questions — where did his looks come from? his outspokenness? — were pressing medical questions.

”I wanted to know what I’m prone to,” said Aguila, 36, of San Francisco.

Last month, with the help of a new service that helps terminally ill adoptees locate their birth parents, he met his father, East Bay resident Robert Flottmann, for the first time since being put up for adoption as a toddler.

”Overwhelmed would be closest to how it felt,” Aguila says of an emotional eight-hour reunion. ”I still haven’t been able to process my feelings.”

Aguila found his birth father through Terminal Illness Emergency Searches, a free service of the national adoptee-advocacy group Bastard Nation that aims to help ill adoptees access potentially crucial medical information and answer long-held questions of identity. … Continue Reading

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Adoptees Make Progress in struggle to be heard

Adoptees make progress in struggle to be heard

The Columbus Dispatch/Opinion: Friday, March 7,1997

 

A recent Associated Press article in The Dispatch tells only part of the story of the successful adoption-triad’s protest against American Greetings, “Sis, even if you were adopted, I’d still love you” card. This protest is the latest example of the power of grass- roots activism nurtured on the Internet, where immediate communication can create a forum not only for discourse but social action. 

Members of the country’s fastest growing adoptee-rights group, Bastard Nation;; the Adoptees Internet Mailing List and readers of the ‘Net news group alt.adoption and other cyber groups were alerted to this card. Within minutes of the posting of the American Greetings’ 1-800 number and email address, phone calls were made and emails sent to the company in Cleveland. Within a week or so, American Greetings agreed to discontinue the card, a decision that cost the company $10,000 but also demonstrated that it listens to the public. 

Those not involved with adoption issues may see the card as harmless, but it graphically portrays the pernicious, stereotypical view that adoptees are damaged goods. The message that adoption is something shameful that must be hidden is perpetuated in the archaic practice of states sealing the original birth certificates of adoptees, thus making us the only class of people born in this country who are denied legal access to our own birth certificates and histories. 

We feel that this protest and its conclusion equal one small step in the battle of adoptees to take back our heritage and claim our civil rights. 

Marley Elizabeth Greiner
Executive Chairman
Bastard Nation
Columbus 

© Copyright 1997 by The Columbus Dispatch

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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

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!

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

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Recent Comments

bastard-chronicles

bastard-chronicles

Help us celebrate 20 years of bastardy! Bastard Nation is proud to announce the publication of "The Bastard Chronicles: 20 Years of Adoptee Equality Activism in the U.S.and the Birth of a Bastard Nation", Compiled and edited by Marla Paul, "The Bastard Chronicles" is primer for adoptee equality. It features a diverse collection of Bastard theory, and practice, Bastard and Bastard Nation history, legislative and political action, personal stories, art, and literature. It is the public face of Class Bastard written by Bastard Nationals and those we have influenced. Get yours in time for the holidays. Available at Amazon in print and Kindle today. (After the first of the year the print edition will also be available through the Bastard Boutique.

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: Equal Access Oklahoma

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Equal Access Oklahoma

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Open Adoption Records in Quebec

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Open Adoption Records in Quebec

SAMPLE STATE ORGANIZATION RESOLUTION AGAINST VETOES AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS

SAMPLE STATE ORGANIZATION 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.