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What is Bastard Nation?

Bastard Nation was born in early 1996 on the Internet Usenet newsgroup alt.adoption (a.a.). Our founder, Marley Greiner, coined the term “Bastard Nation” and started signing her posts with it, with others soon following suit. In June Damsel Plum came up with the idea to create a Bastard Nation website. She collected material from people on a.a and on June 19, 1996, we announced the Bastard Nation website to the Internet community. We created a variety of alternative story pages: “True Tales of Revolting Reunions,” “Adoptive Parents Speak out in Favor of Open Records,” “True Tales of Atrocious Adoptions,” “Bastard Moments,” as well as links to the standard search and reconnection resources available on the Internet. As we grew we included accounts of our adoptee rights activism, coverage of negative portrayal of adoptees in the media and popular culture, information on adoption law and position papers on a variety of adoptee-related issues. We have clocked up to 50,000 hits a day to our website, attesting to the popularity of a resource which caters to an invisible and underrepresented minority — adult adoptees.

Bastard Nation was incorporated as a 501c(4) non-profit organization in December 1996 by co-founders Marley Greiner, Shea Grimm, Damsel Plum and Lainie Petersen. Since then we’ve been labeled anti-adoption, anti-birth mother, anti-reunion, stalkers, whiners, professional victims — you name it. Not one of these portrayals is accurate. The only unifying concepts of BN are those of being for equal access to our own original government-held birth and adoption records, combating negative stereotypes of adoptees and providing a forum for the wide spectrum of adult adoptee experience. Otherwise, the opinions on adoption issues of our individual members vary greatly. In this way we are unlike any other adoption organization; we are truly a “big tent” without a whole truckload of associated positions on adoption and adoption reform.

Adoptee birth records are sealed because of an attitude of shame towards adoption. The language in the original laws which sealed adoptee records specifically stated that it was to protect adoptees from the shame and embarrassment of their illegitimate (i.e. Bastard) status. The later justifications we hear for adult adoptees’ birth records being sealed are: 1) to protect the birth parent (unspoken assumption — from the shame of the unwanted birth coming back to haunt her); 2) to protect the adoptee (unspoken assumption — from the shame of being reminded that one was born of an unwanted pregnancy); and 3) to protect the adoptive parents (unspoken assumption — from the shame of their infertility). In reality there shouldn’t be anything shameful about adoption. Sealed records preclude that possibility.

Bastard Nation explodes the myth of shame by reclaiming the word “bastard” and all of society’s myths and fears regarding adoption. We make fun of the unspoken shame, joke about illegitimacy and tell the untold tales of our sisters and brothers which the media have not been willing to tackle. We give adult adoptees a place to come and express themselves, share their experiences, read about others like and unlike themselves, find search and reconnection resources and learn how to fight for their rights as adult adoptees.

In the years since our founding Bastard Nation has redefined the adoptee rights struggle in terms of civil rights, empowerment and tactical activism. The following are just a few of the many examples of this activism, the most profound, of course, being Bastard Nation’s role in inspiring and supporting Oregon’s Measure 58: the Adoptee Rights Initiative in 1998.

  • “Secrets and Lies” — a series of national “positive pickets” of the Oscar-nominated pro-open records film 11/96 — 3/97
  • American Greetings pulls card after intense Internet-spawned campaign
  • American Bar Association Protest against the Uniform Adoption Act (UAA) 8/97
  • Bastards at the Bell Rally — “Our Records, Our Rights!” — Philadelphia, PA 11/97
  • First National Adoptee Rights Day 12/98
  • NCFA Protest — Washington, D.C. 5/99
  • Opposition to legalized anonymous infant abandonment
  • Restoration of adoptee rights in Alabama 8/00
  • Protection of rights of internationally-adopted persons

See more and get involved

Read our position papers on these and other issues

State by state adoption disclosure laws

‹ The Basic BastardI. Open Records: Why It’s an Issue 

Follow Bastard Nation

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

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.

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!

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.

TWITTER

TWITTER

Join us on Twitter. All the Bastardly news fit to tweet!

PINTEREST

PINTEREST

Join us on Pinterest. Bastard icons, images, members, actions, politics, and fun. And Christopher Walken!

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.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Meet Sharley!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:  Meet Sharley!

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)

Bastardly Books by Bastards and Friends

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Recent Comments

bastard-chronicles

bastard-chronicles

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

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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