Our Mission

Bastard Nation advocates for the civil and human rights of adult citizens who were adopted as children. Millions of North Americans are prohibited by law from accessing personal records that pertain to their historical, genetic and legal identities. Such records are held by their governments in secret and without accountability, due solely to the fact that they were adopted.
Bastard Nation campaigns for the restoration of their right to access their records. The right to know one’s identity is primarily a political issue directly affected by the practice of sealed records adoptions. Please join us in our efforts to end a hidden legacy of shame, fear and venality.


Frequently Asked Questions Who runs Bastard Nation? Executive Commitee and Legislative Commitee page Bastard Nation Founding Foundings   What’s with the name? The more than half-century old practice of impounding and sealing an adopted person’s original birth records in perpetuity has had the disastrous effect of breeding deep and long …

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Position Papers

Bastard Nation Position Papers These papers cover related issues more in depth and can be printed out for use in local public education or legislative campaigns. Bastard Nation’s Mission Statement From The Basic Bastard: Part I: Open Records: Why It’s an Issue Part V: Conditional Access Legislation Part VIII: Legalized Anonymous Infant Abandonment / …

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Take Action

 ACT Ideas for Getting involved You’re a Tax-paying citizen – NOT a Second-class citizen! Educate yourself, your community, and your legislators. The Basic Bastard The basics of Adoptee Rights Activism. Read it to know the issues and the arguments. Influencing Legislation A primer on getting the word out. Read it, …

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Local Laws, Activism and Contacts Learn more about Adoption Rights History and Law Bastard Nation’s Mission Statement The Basic Bastard – a collection of short articles address the main issues and questions regarding Bastard Nation and adoptee rights. Bastard Nation’s Position Papers Bastard Bytes: Printable papers for activists, legislators, and the media …

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Featured News:

Indiana SB 552: The Non-Access Bill by Guest Blogger Lisa Zatonsky

humpty dumptyWhile I was forced to the sidelines, a lot of so-called “access” bills made their way into various state legislatures. The worse is the terribly written Indiana SB 352. Promoted by babystep deformers Hoosiers for Equal Access to Records (HEAR) , “adoptee rights bill,” SB 352 extended the state’s disclosure veto, added a contact veto (sorta), limited access of information between siblings, dismantled the state’s reunion registry, neglected to define” identifying information” and most critically, did not mention much less unseal and release–restricted or unrestricted– the original birth certificate.

Did supporters even read the bill?

After much hoopla on the coming restoration of adoptee rights in Indiana the bill was tabled and will soon die the death it deserves.

Incredibly, this death is heralded by much of AdoptionLand as a tragedy.

Sorry folks. That this farce, which doesn’t even come up to deform standards, received play by so-called “activists” is the real tragedy.

Bastard Nation with its partners Indiana Open Acess and CalOpen were instrumental in exposing this farce and helping it to the graveyard. (Special thanks to Shea Grimm, Jean Ulrich and Lisa Zatonsky.) BN’s emergency action alert with details about the bill is here.

Below is guest commentary on SB 352 by Indiana Open Access’ Lisa Zatonsky:

Advertised as an access bill that included a Contact Preference Form, SB 352 was everything but… It was an attempt to equal the tiers on information available from the State Registry for those born prior to January 1, 1994 and those born after. On the surface, the bill used the State Registry as an intermediary while allowing the biological parent(s) to add an additional disclosure veto on all information found in the Registry and on pre-adoptive sibling contact information. The disclosure vetoes would remain effective even after the biological parents were deceased. As if the mutual consent aspect of the Registry requiring both the biological parent(s) and the adoptee to be registered before information may be released isn’t a big enough access hurdle? Repeatedly, SB 352 names the disclosure vetoes as a “non-release of contact information form”. A Contact Preference Form, along with its exact wording, is not in the bill. Yet, the terms and their names were interchanged by those presenting the bill to individuals, media, and legislators.
… Continue Reading

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Bastard Nation Alert: PA HB 162–Secure and Save Adoptee Rights in PA. Send letter of support now!

BN logoBastard Nation Action Alert: 

Pennsylvania HB 162

Distribute Freely!

 Pennsylvania adoptees need your help NOW!

HB 162 is being heard Tuesday September 16 in the Senate Committee on Aging and Youth. This is a clean bill that will restore the right of access without restriction to all Pennsylvania-born adoptees to their original birth certificates.  The bill has already passed the House and is now being challenged by Catholic Charities, the ACLU and anti-abortion groups in the Senate. It is imperative that Pennsylvania legislators know  that OBC access is a civil right that must be restored to all adopted adults.

Please send your letter of support  for HB 162 as written without restriction to committee members now.  Your message need not be long. Let them know that the age of sealed  birth certificates is  over.

You can read HB 162 here.

The personal letter to the committee from Marley Greiner, Executive Chair of Bastard Nation is here. (It was originally sent as submitted testimony in March 2014 and an addenda has been added for this hearing regarding false abortion claims).

Below is the contact list for the Senate Committee on Aging and Youth.

… Continue Reading

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PA HB 162: BN Exe Chair Marley Greiner’s personal testimony in support

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This testimony was submitted originally on March 18, 2014.  It is now re-submitted with an addenda regarding abortion which Catholic Charities has injected into the debate.
HB 162
Adoptee access to their own original birth certificates
Pennsylvania Senate Committee on Aging and Youth
March 18, 2014
Submitted Testimony in Support
Leave No One Behind!
Thank you for the opportunity to submit written testimony in support of HB 162, a bill already passed unanimously by the House, that would restore the right of all Pennsylvania adoptees to access, upon request, a copy of their original birth certificate (OBC) without conditions or restrictions.
I was adopted in Ohio. My birth and adoptive families have deep roots in Pennsylvania, both coming to the state in the early 18th century, many in Quaker settlements in and around Exeter Twn, Berks County; others in Allegheny County; and still others in Philadelphia. My original birth certificate (OBC was never sealed, and I have had it since 1980. I have been an adoptee rights activist for decades, presented testimony in various states, and submitted testimony in others. My advocacy has been covered by local, state, and international media, and I have spoken at adoption and law conferences.
For 60 years, the original birth certificates of Pennsylvania adoptees were available to them upon request. Up until 1985 all Pennsylvania adoptees were relinquished into an adoption system that guaranteed them the right to their own OBC. Unfortunately, the legislature that year decided to void that right retroactively, creating a legal class of citizens once permitted, then barred from owning an intimate public document about themselves that the state’s not-adopted can get for the asking. Some of those disenfranchised in 1985 may be at this hearing today.
… Continue Reading
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Action Alert: New York clean bills amended to redact birthparent names. Let the bills die. Contact NY Leg today!

BN logoBastard Nation Action Alert

Emergency Action Needed Today.

A909a/S2490B are NOT adoptee right bills

Don’t let New York become another Ohio or New Jersey

Let them die!

 New York State’s A909 and S2490, until a few days ago, were clean companion bills that would have restored the right of original birth certificate access, without restriction or condition, to all New York State adoptees.  Anti-adoptee legislators have held up the bills in the Assembly Codes Committee and the Senate Health Committee respectively.

 Late last week, in a attempt to break the deadlock , amendments were added to the bills, now known as A909a and S2409b These amended bills, following the model of newly enacted restricted bills in Ohio and New Jersey, would create a special privilege for NYS birthparents: to have their names, upon request, redacted from the original birth certificate. That is, adoptees  could receive a state-mutilated copy of their OBC that would white-out parental identification information.

 A909a and S2490 have had no public hearings and can go for a floor vote without them!

 A909a and S2409b are NOT adotpee rights bills. They do not improve, much less restore– the legal status of adopted adults from the State of New York regarding the right to their birth certificates. The bills continue to separate OBC rights and practice for the adopted and the not adopted. A909a A2409b legislate special privilege fo ra few birthparents over the civil rights of all the state’s adoptees.

Bastard Nation has drawn the line in the sand: We leave no one behind

Drawn your line with us!

The New York legislature is down to the wire. The session closes on Thursday June 20, 2014 and a decision will be made on these bills to bring to a floor vote or to let them die without a vote.

 Contact the following and ask them to

  • Let A909a and S2490 die
  • Restore the previous clean bills next legislative  session
  • Reject any  current or future bill that discriminates against adoptee rights to their OBCs

 Sponsor of A909a: David Weprin at 518- 455-5806; Fax: 518.455.5977 

Sponsor of of S2490b: Andrew J Lanza,  518 455-3215; Fax: 518- 426-6852

Chair, Assembly Codes Committee: Joseph R. Lentol. Phone 518-455-4477

 Individual Assembly Members: http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?sh=search


Bastard Nation | P. O. Box 9959 | Spokane, WA 99209 | Phone / Fax: 415-704-3166

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new! Bastard Nation Analysis and Endorsement of the Adoptee Citizenship Act 2015

new!  Bastard Nation Analysis and Endorsement of the Adoptee Citizenship Act 2015

Stop deporting our brothers and sisters!

Bastard Nation Executive Committee and LegCom page

Bastard Nation Executive Committee and LegCom page

Read about Bastard Nation leadership



Your one-stop shopping for everything Bastard is now live. You can get our latest Bastard Nation swag at the Bastard Boutique. Quantities are limited! -- CLICK THE PIC!



Join us on the Official Bastard Nation Facebook page. The only "adoption" page on Facebook dedicated to discussion and promotion of adoptee autonomy, civil rights, bastard theory, political organizing, and activism. You can also sign up there for our BN mail list which includes all of our Action Alerts. This is not a search and support page. No Woundies need apply! (Page live on July 1, 2015)



Join the Bastard Nation Public Page, a public service for Bastard Nationals, friends and supporters. General discussion on adoptee rights and related issues.



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Become a Bastard Nation Legislative Liaison!

Become a Bastard Nation Legislative Liaison!

Bastard Nation needs Legislative Liaisons in every state with laws that seal adoption records. We need eyes and ears in the legislatures, creating relationships and gathering information.

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.

They are organized, informed, friendly, helpful, and engaged.

What do you need to do to be a BN Legislative Liaison?

1. You need to live close to the capitol of your state.
2. You need to be able to appear friendly, even when talking with people who disagree with you or are just disagreeable, period.
3. You need to have a flexible schedule.
4. You need to agree with Bastard Nation’s mission: If you don’t know what that is, go to bastardnation.org, it’s right there on our welcome page.

Those are the prerequisites. If you are interested, click the picture of the capitol rotunda, and fill out the application form. We will be in touch and schedule an online orientation and training.

We look forward to working with you!

Read what real live adoptees have to say about secret adoption and sealed records....A service of Bastard Nation and Emma Pea! Fighting adoptacrats since 1996.

Hit the pic for archives.



Bastard Nation Moms Club

Bastard Nation Moms Club

Bastard Nation is gathering the names of moms who are willing to step forward and say that they were never promised confidentiality. If you are willing to participate, please comment this status. Your name (and if you choose, the relinquishment date) will be added to a list used in newspaper ads and to educate legislators.

Bastard Nation Action Alerts (from old BN page)

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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.

Bastards! Our Bastard Nation Logo T-shirts are now in the boutique! Show the world that we have no shame. Wear it proudly and represent!

Bastards! Our Bastard Nation Logo T-shirts are now in the boutique! Show the world that we have no shame. Wear it proudly and represent!

We also found a stash of our vintage BN logo keychains. There are only 10 left, so order yours! When they're gone, they're gone! Click he pic!

Join Bastard Nation!

Join Bastard Nation!

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..

My, my it’s American Bastard Pie! (design by Lisa Zatonsky)

My, my it’s American  Bastard Pie! (design by Lisa Zatonsky)

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



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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