Tuesday, August 3, 2010

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 things Snyder said.

Snyder said that this argument of Adoptee Rights is new to adoption practice and hasn't been contemplated much.  What he was basically implying is that since they never anticipated the rights and adulthood of the adoptee in the agreements made in adoption practice, it's too late to do right by these adoptees now.

I don't think it is ever too late to treat a citizen of this country equally.  Not only has New Jersey been seeking to reform their access laws for the past 25 years, the Adoptee Rights Movement has been sweeping the nation (and the world) since at least 1950.  The Child Welfare League of America, which has 800 member agencies, has supported our cause for decades.  Not for the past 60+ years has there ever been an excuse for a lawyer or agency not to anticipate the rights and adulthood of any child whose adoption they facilitate.

Snyder also stated that original mothers assumed there would be confidentiality because of the practice of amending and sealing.  We all know this simply isn't true.  It was disproved recently at a hearing, which Snyder's organization attended.

Snyder, along with the NJ-UCLA and other organizations, aligns himself with the NCFA.  A 1983 theoretical study that was presented at an NCFA convention expressly stated that confidential adoptions are beneficial to the adoptee and adoptive parents.  Confidential adoptions were thought to be superior to adoptions where parties would have access to one another because it was believed that an original mother who could access her child would interfere with her child's stages of development and the adoptive parent's ability to form a bond with the child.  No where is confidentiality ever mentioned as protecting a surrendering mother from her surrendered son or daughter.

To listen to the great points Diane made and to hear the entire broadcast, please visit the hyperlink I made above.  Please comment and let NPR know this is an important issue to you and make sure to thank them for asking an adult adoptee to speak on the show.

2 comments:

Lorraine Dusky said...

Great deconstruction of the er, debate.

I did not think Mr. Snyder sounded as if he believed in what he was saying...and Diane came back at his off the wall comments at every point.

Lorraine from Birth Mother, First Mother Forum

Sandy said...

Diane did an excellent job. I am glad they are listening but I have to wonder at the time of day they chose for the segment...somewhat...you asked, we heard you but we really don't think anyone wants to hear you.

But looking forward and onwards perhaps because Diane did such a good job they will start to include the actual people impacted by the closed records.