@beo: Unfortunately, it is clear to adoptees very early on that we are second class citizens as we are the ONLY citizens of this country who are not allowed to obtain or have access to our ORIGINAL birth certificates or medical information. Could you imagine not being able to fill out a medical form or [...]
As an adoptee, I have always felt that the root causes of adoption should be addressed first, as many U.S. adoptions after the early 20th century and pre Roe v. Wade, were intrinsically tied to society’s attitudes towards women, as exemplified in another film, “A Girl Like Her.” The countries we adopt from do not have a better track record in their view of women. I recently watched “Half the Sky” and wondered, what will happen if one of those girls gets pregnant, despite their education?
I never thought my mother abandoned me, despite the wide use of this term. We adoptees are well aware that something went terribly wrong, but it doesn’t mean it was due to a lack of love from our original mothers. The first thing my birth mother wrote to me after I had located her was to tell me I had always been loved, even though I was removed from her at birth. We must ask ourselves what society takes a child away from a mother at birth and doesn’t allow her to hold it? (Catholic Charities was the agency)
I hope this film encourages all adoptees to find their heritage and results in more states allowing open access to birth records for all. Yes, non-adoptees can identify with our universal struggle of identity, but most non-adoptees I talk to are unaware that adoptees are the only citizens denied access to our own heritage by the state. Our birth certificates are sealed from us by law in most states. Many would love to find their families, but cannot, even though the information is sitting in a department of records. This goes beyond the struggle of identity and tells us that our identities are secret, shameful. These laws state our identities need to be locked away from us. It is preposterous, yet to overturn them requires a fight and, thus, makes us feel as though we are second-class citizens.
jancuisine commented on the blog post Todd Akin Is the Embodiment of the Modern GOP Platform
Thank you, Peterr, for posting what the GOP platform states regarding the “sanctity of human life” because if the GOP believes that an unborn “child” has a fundamental individual right to “life” than I am sure they will support our fundamental right to have access to our birth certificates AT BIRTH with ALL of our parents listed on them, be they surrogates, donors or birth families. Of course, we would also, as “people” with “rights,” be able to contact these families throughout our lives without interference. I look forward to the entire GOP’s support of adoptee rights and access to our own DNA from the moment of birth. [For any one not familiar with the adoptee situation, we are banned by most states from obtaining our original birth certificates that contain our original family's names. The records are sealed and we are, in effect, banned from knowledge of our very own DNA for life.]
Of course, since we are “people” with “rights” from birth, we would also want to stay with our birth mothers for as long as possible before we are adopted. Even puppies get to stay with their mothers until they are 8 to 12 weeks old, so I am sure the GOP will promote this at their faux crisis pregnancy centers.
jancuisine commented on the blog post Late Night: On Legitimacy, Or Why Akin’s Comments Weren’t (Just) About Rape
You are right, solerso. Marital rape didn’t gain recognition in U.S. courts until the late 1800s. Previous to this, Lord Hale’s notion prevailed that a women gave herself to her husband in contract when she married and could not withdraw “consent” until they divorced. Therefore, a husband could not possibly be guilty of marital rape. Even after courts began to recognize it, in 1905, an appellate court in Texas still overturned a conviction under this old world theory (Frazier v. State). After all, the first rape emergency rape crisis line didn’t open until 1972 and Nebraska didn’t make marital rape a crime until as recently as 1976.
jancuisine commented on the blog post Akin’s Comments About Rape and Pregnancy Common Among Anti-Choice Movement
I agree with where you are going in spirit, bittersweet, as you are right. They do not do this because they would, logically, have to follow it through and that means confronting the child of the rape. Adoption records are not as inviolable as you might think and, as an adoptee rights advocate for open access to our own birth records, a law banning knowledge of our own DNA is not one we would advocate. You would be amazed at the human need to know the truth of one’s own story, no matter how horrible it is. I know adoptees who were born to drug-addicted, incarcerated parents, yet they still have the need to know them even though they know what will come with this knowledge. It is very hard for people to understand – the need to know where you come from and to see a face that resembles yours.
This is what the anti-choice movement doesn’t want to talk about – the horror, trauma and pain that a child born of rape must bear, even if it is relinquished. It is a primal wound they will wrestle with for their lives. To hear them speak as they attempt to come to terms with their story and their self worth is heartbreaking. To listen to the birth mothers who surrender these children and wrestle with not only the rape, but the loss of a child and then the loss of their “motherhood” is absolutely wrenching. It’s an exclusive club to which no one would want to belong and for the anti-choice movement to advocate it as a “solution” time and time again is loathsome.
jancuisine commented on the blog post Penn State University & the Folly of ‘Moving Forward, Not Looking Back’
“I for instance feel sorry for people who lost their jobs at Enron. Do you think that some random janitor at Enron was guilty like Ken Lay and therefore they got what was coming to them? Pick just about any company and I will feel sorry for the rank-and-file who lost their jobs due to the bad actions of the leaders, which the rank-and-file weren’t responsible for.”
1) A janitor did witness a sexual assault and didn’t report it. He kept his job and because of it, he gets a pension and his family benefits greatly so your analogy may not work in this situation. I’m sure he wasn’t the only janitor to witness this over the years. Just the only one to tell a fellow janitor what he saw.
2)See my comment above re: how others not in leadership benefited from the cover up
3)I think you are advocating (in your other comments) more than just “feeling sorry” for “rank and file.” Of course, you wouldn’t suggest because we feel for the rank and file janitors of Enron, that we would keep that company in existence because the decisions were made by the “leadership” and not by them, would you? We all recognize the company needed to cease and that it would benefit the rank and file to find a company to work for that was built on better business and ethical principles, right?
jancuisine commented on the blog post House Oversight Democrats Told Birth Control Access Hearing “Not About Reproductive Rights”
This comes on the same day that the Congressional Coalition’s roundtable on international adoption snubbed the inclusion of adoptees and birth parents from its discussion of adoption. (They were only including those that benefit from the industry.) It really seems as if women are really being boxed into a corner here. Have the baby and if you can’t deal, just give it up.
jancuisine commented on the blog post What to Expect at Bradley Manning’s Pre-Trial Hearing
Thanks you for your hard work. Greatly looking forward to your coverage.
The irony that the Treasurer of the Blues Museum signed on to violently evict occupiers who are collectively voicing our current blues is too much.
jancuisine commented on the blog post BART Shutdown of Cell Phone Services Part of Wider Crackdown on Protest
We know that there has been a crackdown of protests ever since the Battle of Seattle, but I’m not sure if this qualifies as BART riders know that there are valid safety concerns when there are protestors on TOP of the BART cars in the tunnel (as happened in the original protest) and lawsuits would abound should any one become injured – protester or commuter. Plus, any one who lives in SF is well aware that disrupting the commute is bound to ignite tempers on all sides of the debate and create division in lieu of unification. After all, the commuters are not the ones who have the power to change BART policy and certainly did not order the cell phone service to be shutoff. You state that “Commuters upset over the closing of stations by protests should complain to BART.” Well, using that same logic, the protesters should have held their protest at BART offices as well and not with the public that simply uses the service. For e.g., a commenter at SFGate was a disabled person who stated that not only was their commute completely disrupted, but their life as well since the extra commute time takes away from the time they use in the evening to recover from the toll that working takes each day on their body.
You say “BART took an action that collectively punished all who would be in those four stations during those few hours,” yet the protestors seemed to have done the same thing to commuters by collectively punishing them for the actions of BART officials.
Your post also seems to minimize any statements made by commuters who did have the experience of being negatively affected by the protest by labeling them “crotchety older men” and “soccer mom” yet, I’m sure you would take offense to the use of such stereotypical labels if someone were reporting about you.
You also only speak of the Anonymous’ physical protest at the station and fail to mention that the virtual protest in which Anonymous published the private information of 2,000 ordinary citizens. This also caused great disruption to the lives of ordinary individuals. This happened to someone I know who is not a crotchety old man or a soccer mom. In fact, she is a very progressive artist and posts:
“Thanks a-holes at Anonymous, for choosing to share my name, phone #, password and address as your protest against BART. Gee – I guess I deserve the calls I have already started to get from creepy phishing schemers as just dessert, since it was MY fault -and all the other private citizens – whose information you also gave away today – that BART shut off cell phone service last Thursday. I was in agreement with your p…”
Again, the “protest” was supposedly about free speech, but managed to violate the privacy of individuals.
I am not posting this to be a troll, but because there were real repercussions to ordinary people who did not have the authority which the protesters opposed and because I passionately support our free speech rights and don’t want to see misguided protests. These people deserved a truer representation than they received in the post – they were not simply “irritated” or “duped.”
That said, it’s good to see a discussion of preemptive police tactics regarding protests.