WHY BASTARD NATION DOES NOT USE MEDICAL HISTORY AS AN ARGUMENT FOR ACCESS TO ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES
Is anyone under any obligation to give out their medical histories to family members? Of course not. If you ask your grandmother if she ever had a life threatening disease and she tells you to go sit on ice, will you be filing a non-disclosure of medical history suit against her? Of course not!
What does medical history have to do with obtaining your original birth certificate? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If, you decide to search for your birth family and become reunited due to the information found on your original birth certificate then it is possible that you might find out some medical history information. That discovery comes from searching and reunited, not from OBC access.
I am under no obligation to tell my biological daughters any medical history information about myself. Nor should adoptees expect that it is their “right” to have their birth families provide you with medical history information. Some will and some won’t When a Contract Preference Form (CPF), is included in legislation, there is a trade off that is inherent in the form. If a natural mother prefers not to be contacted in order to get her wishes included in the adoptees file, she must fill out a medical history form. The only reason that it is an acceptable practice is because the natural mother wants something in return– (her wish for no contact to be passed on to the adult adoptee.*
Anyone who uses medical history as an argument for OBC access is just opening the door to trouble. Legislators will be quick to look at the adoptee and suggest that if he or she wants medical history, then why not create an anonymous medical history registry. That would satisfy the adoptee’s request while at the same time let the legislators off the hook regarding the emotional subject of OBC access. We all know that registries don’t work. We all know that they are not well maintained, financed, or updated. We also all know that dead folks can’t register whether it’s anonymous or not!
It’s beyond time that all adoptee band together and simply ask for what we want. We are adults now and we don’t have to be ashamed or embarrassed to ask for what is rightfully ours. We need no argument further than the first that these are OUR birth certificates and we should have them; just like all other adults. Don’t muddy the waters with search, reunion, and medical issues. Focus on the simple fact that OBCs should belong to us . Period.
Janet Allen is a former member of the Bastard Nation Executive Committee and served as a three term members of the New Hampshire l House of Representatives. She was the first person to receive her original birth certificate on January 34, 2005 under New Hampshire’s open records law.
*Bastard Nation supports no legislation that conflates the CPF with a Disclosure Veto and mandates that women submit a medical history to the state in order to guarantee the sealing of the OBC.