Saturday, April 11, 2009

DMC and Zara Phillips Making Sweet Music

Darryl McDaniels is a hero of mine. He is using his talents to make a point in the New Jersey legislature. Darryl was one of the musical pioneers in Rap music. He is putting those raps to good use in helping adoptees attain equal rights in adoption. As many know, adoptees in 44 states do not have equal access to their original birth certificates. It is time for the legislators to consider adoptees more than just forever children and chattel of our adoptive parents.

He and Zara Philips have made a song together. These two have made the New York Times. The adoption agencies that fight this bill claim that they made a promise to these mothers of forever anonymity. What the state legislatures do not understand is that these agencies were not agents of the state governments. These agencies were not authorized to make promises to these mothers. You can not deny one person his rights and due process based on the fears of another. If that were the case our government would never have any laws.

If adoption carries the presumption of harm, why is the government in the practice of it? That is a question that has never been answered for me or any other adoptee across this country. The Privacy Act of the federal government states that all individuals have access to the documents that the government has on those individuals. It is a clear violation of the adoptee's right to privacy. Yes these mothers have the right to be left alone but these mothers do not have the right to deny an adoptee access to their own birth documents. This is point that the state legislators fail to realize. There is a massive difference between these two definitions of right to privacy. The governing entities need to step up and grant adoptees their rights and full citizenship.

Adult adoptees pay taxes, serve their country in wars, work for the government, raise their children, are married and many other mature responsibilites. It is time to restore our rights as humans. It is time to restore our human dignity. It is time to make adoptees equal citizens in the United States. As long as these laws exist, they will continue to diminish adoptees as property and chattel.

Adoptive parents need to realize that adoptee access is not about losing their child to the natural parents. It is about equal treatment under the law. The Civil Rights Movement of the Sixties gives us a Supreme Court Case that will back it up. Brown vs. Board of Education. We are tired of being treated separate under the law. Separate is not equal. We want equality. Adoptee access also protects the adoptive parents. It provides greater transparency for the adoptive parent. In this day and age, adoptive parents need that. Confidentiality protects none of the members living adoption. It protects the adoption industry at their own discretion. It is used arbitrarily.

It is time for everyone of us living adoption to stand up. We have to make these legislators aware that this "birthparent" privacy is just a myth.

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