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Thursday, March 2, 2023

Adoptees OBC Updates


Two Good, Two Bad, Two More

One Good. We mentioned South Dakota’s equal rights bill last week. We have some additional fantastic news. HB1231 yesterday passed the Senate, and it will be transmitted to Governor Kristi Noem soon, who is widely expected to sign it into law.  Once enacted, it goes into effect on July 1, 2023, restoring the right of all South Dakota-born adult adopted people to apply for and obtain their own original birth certificates. That is, apply, pay a few bucks, get it.

Two Good. Georgia’s SB64 got over its first legislative hurdle yesterday, receiving a unanimous DO Pass recommendation from the Senate Children and Families Committee. It heads to a vote now by the full Senate, which has to occur no later than March 6. Sign up with the Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights if you want to stay informed or get involved.

Two Bad. The bad news comes from two bills pending in West Virginia and Mississippi, though the bills are still far from being enacted. As we produce this newsletter the West Virginia bill has been passed by the Senate and is headed for the House. It has a whole host of problems, including educational requirements, redactions, and your mom’s permission to get your OBC.

Mississippi’s bill is a bit more complicated because, while at one point it was a bad bill, it is now a completely different and unrelated bill, thanks to a maneuver called a “strike all.” It may be dead because of the strike all, but then again the Mississippi legislature has not yet uttered the magic words to truly signify the end of a bill: dead, dead, dead.

Two More. A pair of Texas bills are seeking to prohibit citizens of certain countries from purchasing property in the state. While dumb and unconstitutional, they are scheduled for hearings tomorrow in the State Affairs Committee. The kicker? The bills would ultimately prohibit green card holders—including intercountry adoptees who do not currently have US citizenship—from purchasing property in Texas, specifically if they were born in Russia, China, or Iran. It’s yet another painful reminder of how intercountry adoptees continue to be marginalized by United States policy, a marginalization that is getting worse in anti-immigrant states like Texas.

Mapping the Life Course of Adoption Project Launch and Survey. Adoption professionals all agree that adoption is life long -- and no one knows this better than adoptees. And yet, our collective knowledge about the life course of adoption does not exist. This is what the MAP project is seeking to change.

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As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.


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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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