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.

FAQ’s

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

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:

Victory in New York: Cuomo vetos dirty bill; Deformers complain

Happy New Year!

We did it!

You did it!

Last Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, after months of silence, vetoed A05036b/S0484561, the so-called “adoptee rights” bill that if signed would have made the already cumbersome and convoluted process for adopted adults to access their own original birth certificates even more difficult.

The bill, sponsored by Rep David Weprin, was marketed as an adoptee rights/open records bill. But instead of addressing adoptee inequality, due process, and discrimination, the bill continued New York’s 80-year history of abrogating the right of adopted adults to their own state-held birth records.

The bill, which contained no mechanism for funding its proposed giant bureaucracy,  included:

  • Access to the OBC predicated on the permission of birthparents AKA “legal strangers”–a “right” that no parent or other third party possesses. The comfort zone of birthparents whose parental rights were terminated decades earlier trumped the civil rights of adult adoptees
  • The government sanctioned-mutilation of official government records that blacked out certain information at the request of birthparent(s)
  • Broad judicial scrutiny forcing adoptees to undergo judicial determination of “worthiness” that the not-adopted do not have to “prove” to receive their birth certificates.
  • Confidential Intermediary option with no language about fiscal responsibility– who pays for services.

The bill was unwanted– forced on AdoptionLand by Rep Weprin, who vowed, after years of legislative wrangling and stonewalling in Albany, to pass “something” this session—even if nobody wanted it. Some lawmakers held their noses and voted for A05036b and its Senate companion, claiming “something is better than nothing.” (Hint: it’s not where rights are concerned.) One House co-sponsor, after talking to adopted constituents and allies, pulled his support.

A05036b/S0484561 received virtually no support from the adoptee equality/rights and adoption reform community.

Last June over 45 state, national, and international adoptee equality/rights, adoption reform, and foster care advocacy organizations signed a joint letter of opposition.  Several hundred individuals also signed.  Since then, opponents sent hundreds if not thousands of emails, faxes, postcards, letters, and tweets to Governor Cuomo, and made calls to his office asking him to veto. We do not have statistics, but Cuomo staffers say they were flooded with calls to kill the bill. They say without our veto campaign Cuomo would have signed the bill.

In his veto memo, dated December 29, 2017  the Gov. Cuomo wrote, in part:

Having to navigate the cumbersome process set forth in this bill may only add to an adoptee’s hardship, including delays resulting from the lack of any identified funding source necessary for the Department to search for and identify birth parents.

Importantly, Gov. Cuomo actually listened to us. He indicated in his veto memo that he not only “disapproved” the bill, but he wants future action taken. He directed the New York State Department of Health to establish a work group of “diverse stakeholders” to study the issue and make recommendations for future action. Work groups tend to go nowhere. It’s where “controversial” or unpleasant issues are sent to die, but we are not going to sit by idly and let  the restoration of our rights be shuffled off to Buffalo–or a dimly-lit smoked-filled room in Albany. We take this mandate seriously. More on that later.

*****

Naysayers and Benedict Bastards Respond

The ink wasn’t yet dry on Gov. Cuomo’s veto memo when our resident naysayers piped up. You know, the Benedict Bastards of the adoptee rights movement who will gobble up any scrap if their name is on it.  The loudest neighing came from Colorado’s Rich Uhrlaub, currently pushing H357 in Florida, a state which, as far as we know, he has no ties to.  If passed, that bill would require some adoptees to be in their 40s before they are  “allowed” to have their own birth certificates.

… Continue Reading

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Florida HB357/SB576: Two more organizations sign on to opposition letter

We are happy to announce that Saving Our Sisters and Open Adoption Records Quebec has joined the official opposition to Florida’s ominous and restrictive HB357/SB576.  A few days ago  both signed on to the Joint Statement of Opposition addressed to the bills’ sponsors and appropriate committee members.

This makes 27 national, state, and international organizations opposed and 0 (zero) organizations that support the bill unless you count the murky anonymously-operated Occupy Florida and FLAIR FB  “groups” that claim legislators don’t want to hear “rights” connected to adoptees. They, instead, spout  nonsense that the sealing of OBCs and other adoption records  are just a matter of “policy and procedure” not “rights.”  In a November 17, 2017 FB post Occupy Florida got even sillier:

 But trying to kill a bill because it has a provision or two some wish was different is another silly, knee jerk reaction that reflects a lack of understanding of the political process and the multiple factors involved. *

… Continue Reading

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Bastard Nation commentary: The Truth about Florida

Greg Luce, director of the Adoptee Rights Law Center hit another one out of the ballpark today with The Truth about Florida. 

The truth about Florida is this: no OBC access bill will get through the Florida legislature this session without legislators adding crippling and discriminatory restrictions. No chance. I’m confident saying this publicly, and everyone I have spoken to privately has said the same. It is clear that disclosure vetoes or redactions—the restrictions and black boxes that hide or obliterate identity on an adoptee’s own birth record—will be added to any version of an OBC access bill that makes its way out of a Florida legislative hearing this session…But the truth is that the Florida legislature today is not ready to restore the right to unrestricted access to original birth records. It ain’t going to happen, and that means discriminatory compromise and restrictions are last-ditch options—but only if you allow them to be. That’s the complication of truth, and it is why we oppose HB357. We know where it is headed. It is also why I am guarded about the recent filing of a clean bill, particularly within the context of Florida. It will go the same way as HB357, if not actually used to support HB357 to get there instead.

Bastard Nation endorses Luce’s statement completely.
… Continue Reading

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The Truth about Florida by Greg Luce

Please read Greg Luce’s newest blog, The Truth about Florida, where he discusses what is really going on and what we can do about it.

Reject and Resist!

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Bastard Nation is a proud member of the New York Adoptee Rights COalition

Bastard Nation is a proud member of the New York Adoptee Rights COalition

NYAC: Bastard Nation, The American Adoption Congress, Adoptee Rights Law Center, Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York. Strategic Partners: Reclaim the Records

THE BASTARD BOUTIQUE IS NOW OPEN! STOCK UP ON BASTARD SWAG FOR YOURSELF, YOUR FRIENDS. GIVE THE GIFT OF BASTARDY TO ANYONE, ANY TIME, ANY WHERE.

THE BASTARD BOUTIQUE IS NOW OPEN!  STOCK UP ON BASTARD SWAG FOR YOURSELF, YOUR FRIENDS. GIVE THE GIFT OF BASTARDY TO ANYONE, ANY TIME, ANY WHERE.

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Be a well–read bastard.

Be a well–read bastard.

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. Print edition available at Amazon and the Bastard Boutique/.Also available on Kindle.

FACEBOOK OFFICIAL BN PAGE

FACEBOOK OFFICIAL BN PAGE

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)

FACEBOOK SOCIAL BN PAGE

FACEBOOK SOCIAL BN PAGE

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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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..

GET INVOLVED with Bastard Nation’s national and state-level advocacy efforts. Sign up or update your contact information here. We’ll be in touch.

GET INVOLVED  with Bastard Nation’s national and state-level advocacy efforts. Sign up or update your contact information here. We’ll be in touch.

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!

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

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.

Bastardly Books by Bastards and Friends

Bastardly  Books by Bastards and Friends

A reading list for all Good Bastards

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