Showing posts from August, 2010

The Vanishing Leaf: Adoptees & the Family Tree

Image advertises how exciting it is to see the little leaf pop up next to an ancestor's name on the trees you can make on their website.  The leaf leads you to all sorts of possible clues, documents, and other member's trees about your ancestor.  Oh, and they're right, it is exciting.  The little leaf things popped up all over the place when I made a family tree for my [Adoptive] Father and I traced him all the way back to the mid 1600's.  But what if a leaf never popped up for you; or worse yet, what if your name just disappeared?  Thanks to my dear friend Priscilla Sharp helping me trace my genealogy (I am reunited, but my original family didn't know all of the things she found about our family), I know I am eligible for membership in two different historical associations.  I have begun the daunting task of collecting documents spanning over 15 generations to prove my ancestry.  I was not thinking about my family or myself when I started this today t

Adoption as a Pattern in Family Systems

"Think of what you can do for this baby [by giving her up for adoption]," Dr. Cuddy says to the expectant mother in her care.  Dr. Cuddy, a character in the hit TV show House, some episodes back; she wanted to adopt an infant.  She had been matched with this young woman who ended up having serious complications and was admitted to the hospital of which Dr. Cuddy is the director.  After a dramatic and complicated medical ordeal (of course, it's House after all), the young woman decides to keep her baby.  Heartbroken, Dr. Cuddy reminds the woman why she wanted to choose adoption in the first place, to break the cycle of how her grandmother was a horrible mom to her mother and how her mom was a horrible mom to her, and give her own daughter to Dr. Cuddy to adopt.  I remember watching this when it first aired, before my reunion, and before I began to identify with the silent adoptee I had hidden inside of me.  I was on Dr. Cuddy's side; she was wealthy and could pro

Can Legislators Help Adoptees Access Their Records?

Does your legislator's newsletter or website say they can help you access records like birth certificates?  Take him/her up on his/her offer! When I got my House of Representative's newsletter in the mail, something at the bottom caught my eye. His office can help me apply for birth and death certificates!  I was born in a state different than the one I live/vote in, and I already have my OBC so my Representative cannot help me....but are they willing to help their other adopted voters? Is help with applications for various things (e.g. birth records, death records etc.) something your legislator has claimed on their website, newsletter or other public statement that their office can help you with?  Call your Representative's and Senator's offices tell them that you need to make an appointment for someone to help you apply for your birth certificate. If they don't know the difference between an original and an amended, tell them. If they don't know th

Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights Needs Your Help Urgently!

From the folks at Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights : Dear Advocates, As you may have known, there were two bills in the Health and Human Services Committee that seek to change the portion of adoption law that governs an Adult Adoptee's access to identifying information. HB 1968 is the BAD bill. HB 1978 is the GOOD, equal rights, bill. Unfortunately, despite all of our outpouring of support for HB 1978, it is still sitting in the HHS Committee. HB 1968, on the other hand, has made its way out of committee and is now before the PA House of Representatives for consideration. It is of utmost importance that HB 1968 be defeated. HB 1968 not only does not change the current law much at all; it actually makes it worse. Worse even yet, should HB 1968 pass, we worry that legislators (1) will believe that the law is improved when it isn't and (2) won't want to re-address this issue and portion of law, and will leave HB 1978 to die in committee. We cannot let the law get worse

An Honest Look at Open Adoption in the Documentary "My Flesh and Blood"

"Why do they deserve to be in his life?"  A fellow learner pondered aloud.  I was in a discussion group one day where we were evaluating the documentary " My Flesh and Blood ."  The documentary chronicles a brief period in the life of adoptive mother, Susan Tom.  Susan Tom is the single mother of two biological children, two daughters adopted from Korea who do not have any severe disabilities, and 9 adopted children with a wide range of disabilities and serious medical conditions.  At least two of the children are from Russia and at least two others are involved in domestic open adoptions.  While there are many points within the documentary that could be discussed, it is the open adoptions that I want to draw attention to.  I wanted to share with you a very raw and honest look at open adoption coming from the eyes of average people who are not directly impacted by adoption. There are two boys, Joe and Anthony, who are involved in open adoptions.  They were bri

Someone Finally Handed an Adoptee the Microphone: NPR Gives Adoptees a Place at the Table

I have to give credit where credit is due.  A while back I was expressing how miffed I was that adult adoptees are rarely asked to present their own perspectives and feelings on Adoptee Rights.  NPR apparently saw the importance. I can personally confirm for you that the producers of NPR diligently and specifically sought out an Adult Adoptee to appear on their recent short segment about Adoptee Rights.  Kudos to NPR.  The adult adoptee they to speak was none other than one of the ARC's founding members Diane Crossfield.  Kudos to NPR for that too. NPR set up Diane to debate Tom Snyder, a representative of the NJ Bar Association who opposes an adopted person's right to access their own birth documentation.  Diane did an excellent job.  I won't lie; Snyder made my skin crawl because so much of what he said was not, in the very least bit, true. You can listen to the archived show for yourself here .  But I can't close this blog entry without commenting on a few t