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IDENTITY INFORMATION IS A MORAL RIGHT

When a child is legally adopted in much of the United States, the child’s original birth certificate is sealed, and a new amended birth certificate is issued. The amended birth certificate names the adopting parents as the biological parents of the child. The sealed original birth certificate becomes permanently inaccessible, even to the adoptee upon reaching adulthood.

The U.S. states that currently prevent adult adoptees from obtaining the original records of their births are among the last locations in the developed world that do not recognize the fundamental human right to one’s own identity information. The case for opening birth and adoption records to adult adoptees is very clear:

The state has a vested interest in protecting adoption as an institution. However, the evidence that opening records to adult adoptees does not harm adoption is very clear. Therefore, continuing an outdated system based on past ideas of shame and secrecy is morally wrong and violates the human rights of adult adoptees.

  • All adults should have the same access to the government-held records of their births, whether adopted or not. Preventing adult adoptees from obtaining this information is discriminatory.
  • The state should not be in the business of concealing basic, personal identity information from its own law-abiding citizens.
  • The fundamental right of adoptees to have access to their own government-held identity information is a separate issue from whether or not adoptees and birth parents should contact each other.
  • Adult adoptees and birth parents contact each other all the time, even in sealed records states. As competent adults, they are capable of negotiating their own relationships, if they choose to form them.
  • The state should not block adults from their own birth documents in an attempt to prevent contact between two adult parties. In what other capacity does the state regulate contact between law-abiding citizens?
  • There is no evidence that granting adult adoptees access to their own identity information is detrimental to the process of adoption.
  • There is no evidence that granting adult adoptees access to their own identity information causes any increase in the rate of abortions.
©2012. Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization
www.bastards.org
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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.

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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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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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