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Adoptee Rights Issues, History and Law

Most adult adoptees in the U.S. and Canada are denied legal access to their own original birth records and adoption decree. This is not the case in many places around the world. In the U.S. and Canada Influential adoption industry lobbyists perpetuate bizarre notions of a beneficial “permanent anonymity” imposed on all in the adoption experience so as to protect their ability to continue acting as a completely unaccountable industry – something unique to the adoption industry.

Start learning about your rights, the history of the movement, and the law, and about the variety of complex issues involved in adult adoptee access to personal government documents.

Start here: The Basic Bastard — This collection of short articles address the main issues and questions regarding Bastard Nation and adoptee rights.

Local Laws, Activism and Contacts – covering the U.S., Canada and internationally.

State Adoption Disclosure Laws at a Glance

Bastard Nation Position Papers

These papers cover related issues more in depth and can be printed out for use in local public education or legislative campaigns.

History of Adoptee Rights and efforts to open records

Who We Are: the History of Bastard Nation

Sealed Records and Adoption Reform: An Historical Perspective

The Uniform Adoption Act of 1994:

– individuals and organizations opposing open adoption records

Adoptive parents groups and adoptee rights groups agree that the adoption industry lobby benefits from permanently sealed records and the nonaccountability it provides.

Birthmothers Support Open Records for Adult Adoptees:

Opposition Organizations (under construction)

  • ACLU


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Read a day-by-day account of what real live adoptees have to say about secret adoption and sealed records....A service of Bastard Nation and Emma Pea! Fighting adoptacrats since 1996.

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Bastard Nation’s Sample Resolution Against Vetoes and Other Restrictions

Bastard Nation’s Sample Resolution Against Vetoes and Other Restrictions

Any political organization seeking to enact true open records legislation should be very clear with both their constituents and the legislators they work with about what the essential provisions of the proposed bill are. Any modification or deletion of the essential provisions of a bill should be immediate cause to have the bill killed.

Any political organization seeking the assistance of Bastard Nation to pass open records legislation must hold unconditional access by adult adoptees to the original record of their birth as an essential provision that cannot be modified or deleted. Read our Mission Statement.

Bastard Nation will not assist any political organization to pass open records legislation unless their governing board or other leadership

... passes a written resolution such as the following that commits the board to a strategy of no compromise on key provisions
... informs its constituents of this commitment and this strategy
... informs the sponsoring legislators of this commitment and this strategy.

WHEREAS we recognize that disclosure and contact vetoes, redactions, mandatory intermediaries and registry provisions are an affront to the dignity of adopted persons everywhere and a violation of their right to due process and equal treatment under the law,

WHEREAS there has been a demonstrable negative effect on the ability to pass unconditional open records in states that have passed veto legislation and/or any provisions that are less than unconditional access on demand by the adult adoptee,

WHEREAS our primary goal is to restore the right of adult adoptees everywhere to be treated as full citizens under the law,

WE HEREBY DECLARE that under no circumstances will we accept the addition of veto, redaction, intermediary, or registry provisions, or any conditional provisions to our legislation that would be less than unconditional access for adult adoptees to the original record of their birth. All legislative sponsors and members of this organization will be informed of our policy on this matter to ensure that the bill is pulled promptly in the event of such revisions.