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Missouri HB 1599. MARM: Your silence will not protect you

April 18, 2016 News 19 Comments


My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you, Audre Lourde

Missouri Adoptee Rights Movement (MARM), continues to stonewall its members, friends, and adoptee rights activists in general on the status of HB  1599,  you, know, the “beautiful thing” bill that if passed would strip Missouri  adoptees, in the name of “adoptee rights,” of even more rights.  As I asked in the lead-up to this debacle, what would Orwell do?

After Bastard Nation partner Missouri Open (MO) published its preliminary report on the Wednesday April 13, 2016 Seniors, Families and Children committee decision to gut more of the already gutted-but-once-clean bill with adoption agency sponsored amendments, MARM remained silent. Although MO posted its statement on the amendments on April 14, 2015 at 12:08 AM  MARM did not post theirs until nearly 12 hours later (11:24 AM), and then with a big back pat and a horn toot:

From MARM:

Per Representative Phillips “My HB 1599, aka; the Mo Adoptee Rights Act passed unanimously out of the Senate Committee on Seniors, Families and Children today by a vote of 7-0! Next step is making it onto the Senate floor for debate / vote. We are getting closer and closer! Thank you Sen David Sater and members of the Committee!”

The statement was met with applause by people clearly unaware of the new amendments or who didn’t care.

When a few inquiring minds  asked about the amendments or remarked about the deform,  MARMers responded  by blaming critics of deform–aka Bastard Nation and Missouri Open–for deform:


Konni Lane from Missouri Open asked:  What about the more restrictive Senate Committee Substitute? The one that makes the disclosure veto permanent, even after death of birth parents and gives agencies 16 months to contact birth parents to allow them to opt in rather than 9 months for birth parents to opt out?


Missouri Adoptee Rights MovementKonni Hall if people will stop attacking certain Senators then maybe those senators won’t be so insistent on adding more restrictions to the bill. Please remember, the bill still has not gone through perfection….

Missouri Adoptee Rights Movement You are ready to throw it all away if it’s not exactly what you want? Karen Lynch how much work have you put into this legislation? Do you realize how many years it took for everyone to get to this point

followed by the whiney:

Marge Wiederholt If it wasn’t for us birthmothers you wouldn’t be alive! And we are fighting hard for Missouri adoptees sorry you guys hate us so much


followed by the pathological:


Michele A Newell  YOU GOT THAT RIGHT !
I am not sure where this screenshot was posted originally,  but it was was written by Deb Guinn Donatti, the adoptive mother MARM leader, calling Bastard Nation “assholes” and diagnosing us as parent haters with RAD for refusing to support the continued abrogation of adoptee civil rights by her gang of adoptee savior colonizers.  We are apparently so wound up with our own “traumas” to realize that adoptee rights is really about them. Shut up and be grateful!

Donnati screen shot

 Your silence will not protect you

Not-adopted MARM boss Heather Dodd  seemed either unaware of or tightfisted about the amendments.   The Missouri Legislative website  is indeed slow, but  whatever was going on Dodd wasn’t and isn’t talking. At  5:04 PM  CalOpen director Jean Ulrich  obtained a preliminary copy of most of the amendments, known as LR # 4581S.04C,  and posted a link from her own website to the MARM FB page.  (Reportedly at least one more agency amendment  will follow.)  At 5:54 PM, Bastard Nation LegCom adviser Shea Grimm reposted the link on the MARM page. Neither received a cogent response from MARM  leadership. We can only wonder how Ms  Ulrich was able to obtain a copy of the amendments and speak knowledgeably of them all the way from California when MARM back home in Missouri couldn’t.

We know from previous  MARM statements that it  does not consider  OBC  redactions a genuine breach of our rights–as long as “most people” get their OBC.  As of this writing, MARM has still made no substantive statement on neither  the amendments which seriously ramp up the number of potential redactees or the status of HB 1599  other than claim a victory, which doesn’t even meet the standards of Pyrrhic.

On April  16 at 3:34 PM, Jean Ulrich posted the following request on MARM’s Facebook page. Nearly 43 hours later, as of this writing, there has been no response:

Will anyone in MARM speak to the bill and the latest Senate Committee Substitute, LR 4581S.04C?? For those that attended the April 5th hearing, can you please identify what the adoption agencies wanted, but were not provided in the substitute? I ask, because I am pretty certain that is the amendment that will show up on the floor during Perfection. I want to talk about the bill please, on the sponsoring organizations facebook page.

Ironically, rank and file MARMers as well as adoptee rights organizations in the US unaffiliated with BN  or MO have contacted  both organizations asking what is going on. We don’t have all the answers, but we seem to have more than MARM is willing or able spill, and we willingly share what we do know–with documentation.

I don’t think it is too much to expect MARM to explain to its members,  friends and activists throughout the country what is happening with their own bill.  Does MARM, in fact, even know or are leaders, as usual, too afraid to talk to their own legislators for fear of “confusing” them?


Missouri -c lown


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Currently there are "19 comments" on this Article:

  1. Stacy Forristal says:

    Simply marvelous

  2. Deb says:

    So you ARE being assholes, and I am NOT a leader in that group. Maybe if people were less busy infighting, and more focused on getting a clean bill through, there would be OBCs for all adoptees by now.

    • maddogmarley says:

      If you are not a MARM leader why are you listed as a contact for MARM and been interviewed by the media as a MARM representative?

      The reason 1599 and the sub bill have gutted access attempts in Missouri has nothing to do with “in-fighting.” We supported the bill and MARM as long as it was clean and worked to stop its deformation via Catholic Charities and other adoption agencies who wield power in the legislature. MARM lost control of its own bill, and instead of pulling your support (if not the bill itself), you chose to prevaricate and stonewall your supporters, and then blame Bastard Nation for your poor decisions. In fact, our position is well known,so why the surprise? Once a bill is as deformed as badly as yours, there is no turning back. It cannot be re-formed into its pristine original. There is no shame in pulling support from a bill that goes bad. We’ve done it. There is much shame, however, in refusing to own up to your constituents, keeping a dead bill on life support, and praying for the Second Coming.

    • maddogmarley says:

      If you aren’t a MARM leader, then what are you? Is MARM incorporated? What is your tax status? Who is on your board? Were they elected?

      • Deb says:

        I am just someone supporting my family, that incudes many adoptees, and a few birthparents. Attacking me wont do you any good with MARM, so it’s pointless.

        • maddogmarley says:

          MARM is dead. According to MARM defectors who are talking to us the organization has never been full of adoptees. It’s a third party group

      • Deb says:

        Marley, So where have I ever been listed as a “contact” for MARM? Is my phone, address, email made available anywhere, for people to contact ME as MARM? NO, it isn’t, and it never was. Just stop with lies. You have no idea what I ever did with that group, in what capacity, or what kind of current communications I may or may not have with them, so stop speculating with my name and move on. Mention me personally again, and I will have my attorney contact you directly.

  3. Emm Paul says:

    The rats can’t get off this Titanic fast enough! Abandon ship! Abandon ship!

  4. Shea Grimm says:

    Deb, we aren’t “infighting”. You are not “in”. You are not an adoptee. You are not even an ally of adoptee equality. The infighting that’s happening is over at MARM, or as you now call it, “that group”, where adoptees on your own Board are rebelling.

    As far as being “assholes”, you have spent the last few months lobbying and promoting a bill that would strip adoptees of their right to the due process and equal protection of law and would create a special right for birthparents to vetoes and redactions of another person’s birth certificate. On top of that, you’ve done so under the banner of adoptee rights, while publicly levying diagnoses of made-up psychological disorders on all adoptees who disagree with you. So that makes you the asshole, sweetheart.

    • Deb says:

      Shea, You don’t know me or anything about me, so go be an asshole with someone else.

      • Shea Grimm says:

        Well, you’re here, on our organization’s page, so your childish directive to “go be an asshole to someone else” seems a bit misplaced.

        With regard to “you don’t know me or anything about me”, that’s actually not true because you have made yourself a media and social media presence. Therefore, everything I have said about you in my reply is supported by your posts in social media and your comments to the media.

        Do you not understand how all of this works? The Interner is forever.

  5. Liz D says:

    MARM randomly throws people’s names into its leadership to make it seem like it’s more minds behind the organization. In fact it is just Heather Dodd +1. No board votes have ever happened. Example- at an adoption triad (I hate that term but the meetings are ok) meeting her friend (the plus one I mentioned) passed out name tags for the triad group. $10 a piece. Clever way to get people excited-?? Many had never heard of the group. Yet were being handed silver badges saying ‘Missouri Adoptee Rights Movement’ and their printed name. I guess that means we can all go talk to 1599’s sponsor on behalf of MARM then, huh?! Lol.
    Anyway I wanted to throw that out there. I was added to their B.O.D. Private FB group page without a heads up… And wondering the whole time how I got ‘voted’ in? What purpose did I serve? Basically anyone who lives in MO and has ever met an adopted person is pretty much MARM material- and they don’t even know it.

    • maddogmarley says:

      Thanks for this information, Liz. I’ve never seen such a bizarre campaign in over 40 years of legislative activity. So basically MARM was dragging people off the street.

      NOW and the Christian Coalition were famous for that. Both organizations claimed huge membership by adding each and every person who contacted them about anything as a member

  6. Wondering says:

    As a mother who lost her child to forced adoption and knew of other forced /deceitful (told baby born dead but heard it cry) adoptions, this nasty fouling of a perfectly clean bill does not at all surprise me.

    I’m thoroughly puzzled why so many who claim to be for OBC access thought silence and keeping information quiet on these bills and hearings was a good idea. Why was it a good idea to keep mothers and adoptees in the dark and off balance? Adoption agencies and facilitators weren’t kept in the dark. Who promotes that kind of thing?

    So sorry adoptees, if I had my way I would give everyone of you, in every state, your original (un-redacted) birth certificate starting tomorrow.

    • maddogmarley says:

      It is indeed puzzling and no deformer seems willing to respond in an honest, meaningful manner. Rather, they choose to name-call and attack actual adoptee equality activists and organizations who refuse to sacrifice our rights for government favors for the selected few. The closest they get to it is to proclaim that “this is as good as we can get,” which is patently absurd since full rights have been restored in states across the country by people and organizations who refused to throw anyone under the bus.

      Moreover, they take a caviler attitude toward those left behind suggesting anything from “grief counseling” to suck it up and be happy for everyone who gets theirs as a remedy. Buck up! Of course, none of these bucker-uppers can be bothered with coming back to pick up their left-behinds–but expect Bastard Nation and other rights organizations to clean up the toxic waste they left behind–in compete denial that they have created a vested third party (bparent) right to keep records sealed where none existed before. Well,denial is probably thew wrong word. They know it and don’t care. Way to go MARM!

      There is also the problem of non-adoptee “leadership.” In the case of Missouri, nearly all of the leadership, and certaino the ones who’s faces were always in the news, were bparents or otherwise not adopted. The lobbyist was a bmom. Adoptees were shuffled to the back of the bus (where they stood in line to be shoved off and under). We know what is best for you. Shut up!

      We certainly support allies–and have wonderful bio and adoptive parent allies– but allies are just that. They don’t lead. We have suggested several times that since MARMers (and others) know what is better for groups to which they do not belong, they should trot over to Black Lives Matter or The American Indian Movement or Land of Gazillion Adoptees and try to hijack them. Get out the popcorn!

      The bottom line is that bills like the Missouri bill get passed because deformers want their name on something. They do not have the stamina nor patience pr forsight for a mattress war. Something is better than nothing. They are cowards. And politically naive. As a side note, I think it’s important that those of us who started BN were involved previously in other “movements.” For example, I come out of womens liberation and prison reform mainly (with an undergrad degree in political science) which served as a foundation for Class Bastard. That doesn’t mean that those who have never been involved in earlier political activity can’t be good activists by a long shot, only that if you’re going in to this you can’t have any notions that holding your hat in hand with a pretty smile on your face will get you anywhere.

      Thanks so much for your support and taking the time to post here.

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