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Friday, October 21, 2011

The SCARY Culture of Adoption (and the Real ID ACT)
 In March 2007, I gave two workshops on the Culture of Adoption here in western Massachusetts. I used the subtitle, “We can’t fix adoption until we fix poverty..." My earlier post is here. 
Those working in my county were oblivious to effects of adoption on the adoptee. The social services employees who attended my workshops were open to the information but seemed clearly shocked.
Is this what adoption propaganda does to people? Sure it does! It's scary!
Their oblivion makes it all the more difficult to convince lawmakers and policy makers to change adoption laws that continue to prevent adoptees from accessing their adoption file and obtain a copy of their original birth certificate (OBC). 
If these same social workers who handle children and families are not aware of adoption effects, then we remain stuck - addressing the same issues over and over and over!
I don't want to call this ignorance but it does appear to be apathy.
Non-adopted people ask me all the time- "What's the big deal!? Why would adoptees need to know their real identity?"
If adoptees do not have access to our OBC and soon, we face scary and alarming new issues with the REAL ID ACT of 2005. Adoptees could be prevented from voting without a national identification card, which requires everyone produce an original birth certificate. Our old drivers licenses won't suffice anymore. Those of us without this new card could be prevented from voting, getting hired, driving or even flying on an airplane. These new national identification cards will replace driver's licenses.
Believe me, this is an urgent human rights issue for adoptees, one that the writers of the 2005 REAL ID ACT failed to recognize or address.
(Add this to my list of why adoptees need their adoption files and original birth certificate NOW!)
The reason our amended birth certificates will look suspicious are the dates. For example, I was born in 1956 but my adoption was not finalized until 1958. With that much time difference, it makes my amended birth certificate appear suspicious! I had no control that I was adopted then handed fake documents to prove my identity. Can you see how farcical this is?

I am asking you to please write your local lawmakers and ask them to repeal the REAL ID ACT. [This is the actual bill:]
Use this EPIC weblink for information to write your letters or call your state legislators! 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) originally estimated that REAL ID will cost $23.1 billion over 10 years. DHS is planning to extend the deadline for implementation across America to January 15, 2013.
Tell your governor to boycott it!  If you are an adoptee, explain why you cannot access your original birth certificate (if you live in a state with sealed adoption records.) Tell them what you stand to lose!
When an adoption is finalized, a new birth certificate for the child is customarily issued to the adoptive parents. The adoptive parents names are listed on our amended birth certificate.  The original birth certificate is then sealed and kept confidential by the State registrar of vital records. In the past, nearly all States required a court order for adoptees to gain access to their original birth certificates. In approximately 26 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico, a court order is still required.
Read more about your state's adoption laws here (2009 report):

Lawmakers ignorance about adoptees is not only dangerous, it's another SCARY chapter of adoption culture!

These states passed legislation Rejecting the REAL ID Act (19 total)

•Alaska, SB 202  (adopted April 11, 2008)

•South Dakota, SCR 7 (passed February 25, 2008)

•Tennessee, SJR 0248

•South Carolina, S 449 ( (enrolled June 5, 2007)

•Nebraska, (adopted May 30, 2007)

•New Hampshire, HB 685  (adopted May 24, 2007)

•Oklahoma, SB 464  (approved May 23, 2007)

•Illinois, HJR 0027  (adopted May 22, 2007)

•Missouri, HCR 20  (adopted May 17, 2007)

•Nevada, AJR 6  (enrolled May 14, 2007)

•Colorado, HJR 1047 ( (signed May 14, 2007)

•Georgia, SB 5 (signed May 11, 2007)

•Hawaii, SCJ 31  (adopted April 25, 2007)

•North Dakota, SCR 4040 (signed April 20, 2007)

•Washington  (signed April 18, 2007)

•Montana, HB 287  (signed April 17, 2007)

•Arkansas, SCR 22 (signed March 28, 2007)

•Idaho, HJM 3  (signed March 12, 2007);
Idaho, HB 606  (signed April 9, 2008)

•Maine, SP 113  (adopted January 25, 2007)

•Utah, HB 449 (unanimously passed by committee on February 19, 2008; lost on House floor)

•Louisana, HB 715 (passed May 14, 2008; signed July 16, 2008)

•Virginia, HJR 42 (SB 492); SB 1431 (enacted March 31, 2009)

•Minnesota, HF 3807 (passed House and Senate May 13, 2008; vetoed May 16, 2008); HF 1351  (passed House April 14, 2008; passed Senate April 21, 2008; vetoed April 25, 2008)

•Arizona, HB 2677 (passed House March 19, 2008; passed Senate May 6, 2008; signed June 17, 2008)


  1. hi. great points. i was working on a story on the Real ID Act and was hoping I could talk to the author of this article.

    I'm trying to find more instances in which US citizens are suffering, and yours comes through loud and clear. Thank you.

    Pls call or email if you have time. 719.332.3415. or

    I'm in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  2. Hi, great points. On adoptees. I was working on a Real ID Act story from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and was hoping maybe to talk to you or email. I'm at 719.332.3415. Or, Thank you.


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Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

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