Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization
Testimony in Support of HB 1599
Missouri House Committee on Children and Families
February 2, 2016
Submitted by Marley E. Greiner, Executive Chair
Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization is the largest adoptee civil rights organization in the United States. We support only full unrestricted access for all adopted persons, to their original birth certificates (OBC). We do not support any restrictions such as the Affidavit of Non-Disclosure/Disclosure Vetoes (DV), Contact Vetoes (CV), white-outs, or any other form of redaction or restricted access to a true copy of the original birth certificate.
We are happy to support passage of HB 1599 , an inclusive bill, that when passed will restore OBC access to all Missouri-born adoptees upon request without restriction or condition. We urge you to support this bill and pass it out of the Committee on Children and Families.
Our testimony is divided in three parts (1) general comments regarding sealed OBCs, and privacy v anonymity, (2) the consequences of continued OBC sealing and (3) a short conclusion.
Privacy v anonymity in OBC Access
Unrestricted OBC access is not a “privacy” issue. There is no evidence in any state that OBCs were sealed to “protect” the reputation or “privacy” of biological parents who relinquished children for adoption. On the contrary, records were sealed to protect the reputations of “bastard children” and to protect adoptive families from birthparent interference.
”Privacy” and” anonymity” are not synonymous either legally or linguistically. Moreover, courts have ruled that adoption anonymity does not exist. (Doe v Sundquist, and Does v Oregon Summary Judgment). Laws change constantly, and the state, lawyers, social workers, and others were never in a position to promise anonymity in adoption. In fact, in the over 40 years of the adoptee rights battle, not one document has been submitted anywhere that promises or guarantees sealed records and an anonymity “right” to birthparents.