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Our Bastard Moments: Adoption “awareness” beyond November

November 15, 2013 News No Comments

1talk to bastards

We’re having a discussion today on the  Bastard Nation Facebook pageon The Bastard Moment. Those times when as an adoptee you are insulted, embarrassed,  patronized, degraded, demeaned, dishonored, silenced  due strictly  to  your adoptive status. It’s part of the legislative process, but it’s also part of the personal process in the construction of Class Bastard.

Bastard Moments often occur out of no where when bumblers make rude, gratuitous. yet genuinely clueless and innocent  remarks about your adoption, usually built around the theme of gratitude.  My favorite is, “aren’t  you glad  you weren’t brought up in a trailer park?” Actually, I know adoptees  in rural southern Ohio who were! I call them Bastards on Blocks)

Other remarks and actions are purposefully aimed at forcing the adoptee into silence and obedience. I have a  friend who was told repeatedly by his Forever Parents, “We’ll send you back to the gutter you came from,” if he failed to conform to their expectations.

 

The most common bastard bait — “would you prefer to have been aborted?:–comes from reactionary politicians and “pro-lifers,” with a political agenda to protect, and from people with a hard-on for adoptees or adoption reform posting under fake names on the internet  Yesterday. during an online discussion about evangelicals and sealed records. I was asked the abortion question for the 987th time   My interrogator. not satisfied with just asking  this illogical silly question. called me a worm and suggested that I crawl back into my hole in Stupidville. I suppose the less hearty would fade at that order, but after decades of illiterate abuse I just sneer. When you play in the mud you expect to be dirty.

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As far as I know, Bastard Nation coined the term Bastard Moment probably from discussions on the original alt.adoption–the meanest news group on the ‘net.

Around  1998 (I don’t’ have an exact date) LDA  Bastard Natiional BG Blackburn  wrote about this phenomenon in her essay Bastard Moments I Have Known.   BG nicely defines the set-up.

I think of a bastard moment as a kind of Calgon Moment scripted by Hitchcock. You are in your warm, steamy, cozy bathroom, a tub full of warm water and scented suds awaits you. You dip in a toe, a foot, step in, pull in your other foot. Only then do you realize that what you thought was a bubble is actually a large, hairy spider swimming toward your leg, its closest shoreline. You jump out, slip on the tiles, and bang your head. You want to scrub yourself furiously, but the tub is already occupied by a horror.

Partying at the Latin Quarter

Here’s Bastardette’s story:

My Bastard Moment came late in the scheme of things, in 1989 after my amom died. Keep in mind that I’d gotten my OBC in 1981.

Less than a week after my mom’s death my mom’s lawyer, my boyfriend, and I were at the bank to open the safe deposit box. A bank official was also present. We’re going through the papers, and at the very bottom was my original birth certificate. All the information had been razored out. I made a grab for it, but the lawyer beat me to it and slipped it in his pocket saying something along the lines of “Mom asked me to cut out all the information. She didn’t’ want you to be hurt.” It happened so fast and I was so stunned I couldn’t think of anything to say other than, “I already have all that information.” I think that pissed him off a little.. He was also an adoptive father, I assume, with issues.

My boyfriend, who shall I say, was a former Golden Gloves boxer and had quite a public record of being non-complaint to authority, said he should have broken the lawyer’s hand. Not a bad idea, but I had to deal with the guy while the will was probated.

I have no doubt my mom asked  the to lawyer to razor up the OBC, because she was always fretting over me being hurt about something.  Still, it shocked me. And if it were such a big deal why didn’t she do it herself?   Why didn’t  she just toss it? She was quite self-sufficient and capable of doing it.  What’s up with that? Maybe she thought it was illegal for her to mutilate my OBC, but  not for an officer of the court.  Mayb e she felt it had some importance, but if so, why cut it up?  I have no idea. The weird part is that I never felt that either of my adoptive parents had entitlement issues, and my adoption was hardly a secret.

In her last years my mom asked  me if I wanted information. and I very cowardly said no, because I  feared a scene. In retrospect I believe there would have been no scene.  Because I had my OBC and other first family information,  though, I didn’t raise a fuss with the lawyer.  I should have. I would certainly now

I’m sure the lawyer’s confiscation of my mutilated OBC was illegal. What if it had been a stock certificate or a bond?

This is a pretty creepy Bastard Moment, Actually, I have another one, but I think I posted it a long time. I”m sure that others have creepier an uglier moments than mine..

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robocop_unicorn_11

In Honor of National Adoption Awareness Month:

Ride the Unicorn!

It’s time we start to collect and publish our  Bastard Moments.They are crucial to our identify  and political formation, how and why we view adoption as we do, as well as how we are viewed by the state and those outside of the adoption experience.. The Bastard Moment is how we are see how others see us.  Bastard Moments are powerful political statements.

I thought we had a collection of Bastard Moments on the BN page, but I can’t find them.  They may have appeared in the Bastard Quarterly which is not available online right now

Members of the BN FB page are posting their own Bastard Moments, and I’ve asked permission to post them on the BN page as a permanent record.

I’I invite you to post yours, too. either on BN-FB, The Daily Bastardette oras a comment here.

Our Bastard Moments are  real adoption awareness that we live every day, not just every November.

Thanks to Jodi Mai for the suggestion

Join me on Twitter: @DBastardette

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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

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Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Indiana Open Access

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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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