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Bastard Nation Urges Congress to Proceed with Hague Convention Ratification

March 20, 2000

After four months of extensive negotiations involving both Houses of Congress, the House International Relations Committee has released an “Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 2909,” dated 16 March, 2000. We believe that this draft represents an acceptable (although not optimal) basis for U.S. ratification of the Convention. This draft was produced after consultation with a broad range of advocacy groups, including Bastard Nation. A summary of the key points in the Amendment are provided below:

  • Provides a measure of protection for the right of foreign born U.S. adoptees to access personal information about themselves held by the Federal government, pursuant to the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (Title 8 of the U.S. Code);
  • Removes restrictions regarding the release of non-identifying information; – Removes provisions that would have established Federal access restrictions (and, in fact, Federal jurisdiction) over adoption records not previously subject to Federal jurisdiction; and
  • Removes prospective criminal and civil penalties for adoptees and their families seeking access to their information, subject to compliance with existing Federal laws. The full text of the Amendment may be found at http://bastards.org/activism/hr2909.pdf. You may need to download a free copy of Acrobat Reader at the Adobe website. to read the document.

The Hague Convention itself provides for language affirming the human rights of inter-country adoptees, including the concept of identity rights. We urge Congress to ratify the Convention and the Executive Branch to implement it on an expedited basis, in a manner consistent with its intent. As the Amendment is not open records legislation, Bastard Nation will not officially ask its members to write legislators in support of it; however, you may wish to write your Federal legislators as well as the members of the House International Relations Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as an individual to express your support of Hague Convention ratification, stating clearly that such ratification should be completed using the language contained in the Amendment draft. Note that the actual date of the Amendment draft may be as late as 20 March, 2000.

A contact list for Federal legislators may be found at: http://www.capweb.net/classic/. Phone calls and letters are preferable to e-mail.

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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.

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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!

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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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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..

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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.