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.

Why I Still Lobby by Carolyn Evaine Counterman

Bastards side doorTexas HB 984 is probably going to pass within the next 24 hours. Some people will be celebrating “open records” while some of us will heave a big sigh and then put our heads back down to keep pushing through. I think that, as a community, those of us touched by adoption somehow feel like we are such a minority that we cannot afford to disagree about anything. I probably felt like that myself at one point. However, I think that it is time for us to possibly deal openly with the fact that we don’t always want the same things. And we need to deal with the fact that we are all in different spaces as it relates to what we are willing to do to get what we want and what we are not willing to do.

So using HB 984 as a starting place, I will go ahead and tell you where I stand. Feel free to say your own piece, even if it is directly opposed to where I stand. I can take it.

Getting a non-certified copy of my Original Birth Certificate will not give me anything I don’t have already. There is some law here in Texas that allows me to get the non-certified OBC already. I think I just had to know the names that were on it or something. So that law is no good for searchers, but it gave me a piece of paper that I didn’t already have. And at that point, technically, I did not have to do anything any other Texan does not. If I want to get my birth certificate as Carolyn Evaine Shaw (adopted name), I can fill out the application with only my info and get what I want. It helps the people at Vital Stats if I give them the mother/father info, but it is not required. If I want to get my birth certificate as Patricia Ann Fryer (birth name), I fill out the application with that info and get what I want.

When I got my non-certified OBC and finally held it in my hands, I realized that I felt very little joy or accomplishment. Why? Because I was asked to wait next to a separate door for a lady to come hand me the OBC. I cannot remember what exactly she said, but it was along the lines of asking me if I knew what she was giving me. Like she was handing me a grenade and asking me if I knew that she had already pulled the pin. When I said “yes” and did not break down crying or pull out a gun, she seemed surprised. I wondered if they had to draw straws in the back to decide who would handle such a delicate matter. Everyone else who was requesting birth certificates that day just stood at the counter where regular business was being conducted.

… Continue Reading

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Bastard Nation Cease and Desist Letter – Hard Copy

MICHAEL S. ZOLA
ATTORNEY AT LAW
PO BOX 2165
KAMUELA, HAWAII 96743
TELEPHONE: (808) 329-1333
EMAIL: MICHAELZOLALAW@GMAIL.COM

May 17, 2015

CEASE AND DESIST DEMAND

To Whom It May Concern:

I represent the adoptee rights organization Bastard Nation. If you are represented by legal counsel, please direct this letter to your attorney immediately and have your attorney notify us of such representation.

You are hereby directed to CEASE AND DESIST ALL DEFAMATION OF BASTARD NATION’S CHARACTER AND REPUTATION. Bastard Nation is a respected, national adoptee rights organization with a documented history of successfully advocating for the rights of adoptees. They have spent almost two decades serving the adoptee community and building a positive reputation.

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Words Have Consequences: A Cease and Desist Letter from Bastard Nation Attorney Michael Zola

 

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Introduction

In the last few days, some promoters of Texas HB 984 have jumped the shark in their defense of their bill.  While the bill offers no restriction and conditions on actual OBC access, it contains a Contact Veto, misnamed a  “Contact Preference Form” (along with an accompanying birthparent medical history form ). Bad enough as is ,but for adoptions starting in 2016, these preferences” would be collected by Texas adoption agencies, not directly by the State of Texas.

The engrossed bill reads:

The contact preference form shall provide the birth parent with the following options:
(1)  authorize direct contact by the adopted person;
(2)  authorize contact by the adopted person only through an intermediary selected and identified by the birth
parent; or
(3)  not authorize contact by the adopted person.
Proponents amazingly claim that the words “prefer” and  “authorize”  are synonymous.  The bill’s sponsor, in fact, told members of BN’s legislative team that the “authorize language”  was intended to act as a Contact Veto.
When Bastard Nation objected to this disingenuous  language and sent out action alerts opposing  the bill, proponents decided to smear us claiming we are a “front for the adoption  industry.”

This accusation is absurd, of course, unless you’re a devotee of Alex Jones (also from Texas!).  Our history and actions of  almost 20 years  speak for for themselves.
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Letter to the Texas Senate – HB 984: Vote No! from Marley Greiner, Executive Chair, Bastard Nation

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Dear Senator:

Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization is the largest adoptee civil rights organization in the United States. We support full, unrestricted and unconditional access for all adopted persons to their original birth certificates. (OBC). We believe that every adopted person should enjoy due process and equal treatment under law the same as the not adopted.

We would like nothing more than to support HB 984 . Unfortunately, we cannot due to what amounts to a Contact Veto in Sections 2 and 3 of the bill. Those sections take the traditional language of a Contact Preference Form, (CPF) which lets a natural parent, if they so desire, to state if they prefer contact with the adoptee, and twists it into a Contact Veto which prohibits, upon request of a natural parent, an adoptee from contacting that natural parent.

This is not a language nit-pick. Language matters, and there is a world of difference legally between the words “prefer” and “authorize.” These sections take the traditional language of the CPF and turns it on its head exchanging the word “prefer” for “authorize;” thus, creating a “Contact Veto” (without that specific term in the bill) that can act as a restraining order against an adopted adult with no opportunity for that adult to appear in court and stand against the accuser. No reason needs given, and no court adjudicates the request. We believe that a Contact Veto by that or any other name is unconstitutional and actionable.

Moreover, the word “contact’ itself is problematic and not defined in the bill. Does “contact” mean contact with a natural parent or contact with extended family members as well? Does “contact” mean direct contact between an adoptee and a natural parent (or other family members) by a letter or email, a phone call, or personal visit to the home? Is it a one-time event or a series or pattern of events? What happens when an adoptee who identifies and locates a parent through means other than an OBC? What happens when an adoptee finds a cousin on ancestry.com or through a DNA test from various online companies? What happens when that cousin, not the adoptee, initiates contact? Would these adoptees be subject to the Contact Veto prohibition, even though their actions were not connected to OBC access and/or if they had no idea the CV had been filed?

The easy way out of this quandary would have been to amend the language of Sections B and C from “authorize” to “prefer.” This would have guaranteed the meaning of equal protection and equal treatment under law and maintain the integrity of adoptee civil rights.

Unfortunately, no such amendment was accepted. Instead, an amendment was added to the bill that places a limitation on the time frame (July 1, 2016) that a natural parent may change her or his mind mind or file a Contact Preference Form and a Medical History Form. After that date, it is in the discretion of the Registrar. Of further concern, for adoptions after July 1, 2016, it is an adoption agency, not the Registrar, that issues and collects the forms. No language in the bill provides the  date for compliance and there is no oversight or penalty to an agency that fails to adhere to the law. I can think of no other state that has a CPF on the books that puts that kind of power into the hands of either the registrar or adoption agencies.

… Continue Reading

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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.

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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

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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.

Bastards! Our Bastard Nation Logo T-shirts are now in the boutique! Show the world that we have no shame. Wear it proudly and represent!

Bastards! Our Bastard Nation Logo T-shirts are now in the boutique! Show the world that we have no shame. Wear it proudly and represent!

We also found a stash of our vintage BN logo keychains. There are only 10 left, so order yours! When they're gone, they're gone! Click he pic!

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.

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