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Letter from Helen Hill, Chief Petitioner for Oregon Measure 58 to ACLU- WA in support of SB 6496 and HB 2810

 

To: Mr. Doug Klunder

Washington Chapter ACLU
705 Second Avenue #300
Seattle, Washington 98104-1799

CC: Jerry Sheehan, Washington Chapter
and the ACLU National Offices
125 Broad Street 10004-2400

Mr. Klunder,

I recently learned of your opposition to the civil rights legislation for adopted adults now being considered in the Washington State Legislature. I am always amazed at the arrogance of a citizen in full possession of his own rights who passes critical judgement on a group of people fighting for these same rights, but in your case, sir, as you represent of one of the oldest civil rights litigation organizations in this country, I am shocked, deeply disappointed and sickened by your stance in particular.

I have a very hard time believing that I need to remind someone representing the ACLU that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States contains a sacred promise to all of us (yes, even Bastards!) that no law shall be passed which excludes a group of citizens from the same rights all others possess.

Do you really think, sir, that it is the “moral high road” to deny the civil rights of all adopted adult citizens of the state of Washington on the grounds that there might be a woman, now in her forties or fifties, who may be reluctant to tell her husband or family her “secret”?

Sir, with all due respects, your stance on the issue is obscene. Please review the following policy statement made by one of your ACLU affiliates in Florida from l987, and get over yourself.

Sincerely, Helen Hill

 

THE RIGHTS OF ADULT ADOPTED PERSONS

POLICY STATEMENT ADOPTED APRIL 21, 1987

This chapter agrees with the policy statement accepted by the Oakland County Chapter (Michigan affiliate) and hereby accepts their policy which has been adapted to conform to Florida.

In recent years, the issue of adoption has increased in complexity and has involved the interest and efforts of the courts, social agencies, and media. A person adopted in infancy unfortunately continues to be referred to as an “adopted child” even after reaching adulthood. If this person chooses (or in some cases needs) to discover his or her birthparents or birth records, they find such records are sealed by the courts and are inaccessible.

Historically this was considered to be for the protection of privacy and maintenance of secrecy was ostensibly for the good of all involved. Hoever, careful scrutiny of adoption statutes and practices has indicated that legal changes are necessary, and that civil liberties of adopted adults are being violated. In the absence of any state or national policy on this matter, and with the belief that adopted persons should be treated no differently than other citizens, the Southwest Florida Chapter Board has voted to endorse the following policy;

“Numerous states have laws or procedures which impede the ability of adopted adults, their birthparents, and other relatives to ascertain each others’ identities. The ACLU believes that so long as state and/or local governments choose to maintain birth records, such records must be maintained and accessible without discrimination by virtue of adopted or non-adopted status.

Toward this end, the ACLU believes that laws suppressing information about adoptees and/or their birthparents, and laws allowing access to such information only upon consent or registration, or laws allowing access to such information only upon court order, deny adopted persons, their birthaprents, and their relatives the equal protection of the laws and constitutes unwarranted interference by the government with the right of people to choose whether to associate.”

The political debate on the adoption issue has tended to be framed in terms of psychological issues; emotional issues; medical issues and sociological issues. The above policy confines itself to a civil liberties analysis.

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Stone Farley

Chapter Chair SW Florida Chapter, ACLU

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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.

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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..

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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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