Our Mission

Bastard Nation advocates for the civil and human rights of adult citizens who were adopted as children. Millions of North Americans are prohibited by law from accessing personal records that pertain to their historical, genetic and legal identities. Such records are held by their governments in secret and without accountability, due solely to the fact that they were adopted.
Bastard Nation campaigns for the restoration of their right to access their records. The right to know one’s identity is primarily a political issue directly affected by the practice of sealed records adoptions. Please join us in our efforts to end a hidden legacy of shame, fear and venality.

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30 Things Adoptees Wish They Knew


30 Things Adoptees Wish They Knew About Their Birth parents-But Often Are Afraid To Ask….

from Adoptive Families Magazine

1. What are my Birth parents’ first and middle names?

2. Where was I born?

3. What time was I born?

4. Were there any complications at the time of my birth?

5. Did my birth mother see me or hold me?

6. Who was present at my birth?

7. What were the circumstances surrounding my placement?

8. Did my birth mother pick my adoptive family?

9. Did my birth mother know anything about my adoptive family? Did she meet my adoptive parents?

10. What did my birth mother name me?

11. Does anyone else in my birth family know about me? Who knows what?

12. How old were my birth parents when I was born?

13. Were my Birth parents married when I was born?

14. Where did my Birth parents go to high school? College?

15. What kind of students were they?

16. What religious backgrounds did my Birth parents have?

18. Did my Birth parents marry each other or anyone else after I was born? Do I have any biological siblings?Do they know about me?

19. Did I go to a foster home after leaving the hospital?

20. What was my foster family’s name? How long was I there?

21. What do my Birth parents look like? May I have a picture of them?

22. Are my Birth parents still alive?

23. Do my Birth parents love me?

24. Do my Birth parents think about me? Did they ever regret their decision?

25. Do my birth parents have any special talents, hobbies or interests?

26. What traits did I inherit from my Birth parents? Personality? Looks? Talent?

27. Did my Birth parents write to me over the years? (Journal/letters in a file?)

28. Are there any medical concerns I should know about?

29. If I called my birth parents or wanted to meet them someday, what would they do?

30. What should I call my Birth parents?

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Why It’s Great to be a Bastard

All entries contributed by Real Bastards.

1. Membership in Bastard Nation.

2. We have more names than most people.

3. We are good at lying and being lied to.

4. Two family trees

5. We get to go on this nifty epic search for our roots

6. We develop great research skills.

7. We learn to cut right through the bullshit.

8. We can moonlight as P.I.s

9. We have the ability to use the word f*ck in very creative ways.

10. Some of our “life stories” would make great movies of the week.

11. When someone says, “Hey, you bastard!” we can just smile and say, “Yo.”

12. Cheap health insurance by leaving “family medical problems” blank.

13. There’s a type of sword named after us.

14. Whenever an a-parent does something idiotic, the knowledge that there is no genetic relationship.

15. Lust runs in our blood.

16. Some of us have 2 Birthdays.

17. We can always spend our extra money on a new search.

18. Every person we meet could be a relative.

19. If you’re real nice Jackie might adopt you.

20. We can’t get arrested for marrying our 1st cousins

21. Hell!! We can’t get arrested for marrying our sister or brother for that matter!!

22. I am a bastard. I am proud of being a bastard. I am not the product of some 3 minute routine baby-making session between two cookie-cutter suburban twits. I am the product of lust and self-gratifying passion. I like that. It makes me feel special.

23. We might be in for two inheritances.

24. IF we find our birth family we have the chance of having TWO great families!!!

25. If we find our birth family we have a chance of having TWO crappy families!!!!

26. If we find our birth family we have the chance of having ONE great family and ONE crappy family!!!

27 You get to hear *How does that make you feel?* more often than a psychotherapy patient, but you don’t have to pay $90 an hour.

28. We get to hear chirpy little twits constantly tell us, “You weren’t expected you were selected ”

29 I won’t be the first on my a-parent’s list to donate a kidney if it’s needed.

30. I save time at a new doctor’s office because I leave the “family health history” blank.

31. You can blame everything and anything on the possibility of your space alien parentage.

32. You get to say proudly–I wasn’t born…I was hatched!

33. You can claim that your mold wasn’t only cracked or broken, that YOURS was so strange and bizarre that people came and smashed it all and hit the pieces!

34. You can eat any strange food you wish, and claim it as ethnic and healthful for your people.

35. You can be glad that you did not inherit the mental illness that runs in your adoptive family.

36. You truly have every reason to ponder your navel.

37. You can be surprised every time you look in the mirror and see a stranger!

38. Your adoptive mother could be a serial killer with a perfect alibi as she has a forged document saying where she was on the day you were born. Do you REALLY know where she was that day?

39. You get to be surprised when you are pregnant as you wait to see what kind of genetic mutations you may carry!

40. You can really connect to your minister telling the congregation that you were born in sin.

41. You have the chance to honestly believe you wrecked someone else’s life.

42. You KNOW infertility isn’t a genetic problem in your family.

43. You were ahead of your time as the ultimate in recyclables.

44. You can take solace in the fact that you were instrumental in helping some attorney make his Mercedes payments.

45. You eased the social conscience of a misguided social worker looking for a sense of personal importance by being a pathetic waif she placed.

46. You get to have your amom shoot The Look at you whenever you ask about your birthfamily.

47. You have your own personal Can Of Worms to open despite all warnings!

48. You can live incognito. After all, that’s what your life is.

49. You can laugh at the pseudo bastards when they tell you how much you look like your aparents.

50. When everyone else is running away from the skeletons in their closets; you get to run towards them in your search.

51. You can answer “Probably” whenever someone asks “Do you have relatives in this area? You look so familiar!”

52. You get to meet new people through the placing of long distance phone calls to total strangers.

53. In boring meetings, you don’t have to doodle – instead, you can practice forging you birthmother’s signature.

54.You have no problem sleeping at night, knowing that you have done your part to keep AT&T’s profits high.

55. You develop a close personal friendship with the postman.

56. You can claim all sorts of “affirmative action” and minority goodies, then let THEM do the research for you to disprove your claim.

57. You can read the delightful children’s book “Are You My Mother” and cry.

58. You can read the delightful children’s book “Horton hatches an Egg” and cry.

59. You can make fast cash by betting people that slavery still exists. You can prove that it does when your a-mother swears on a stack of Bibles that you “belong” to her, and gets angry when you say that you don’t.

60.We can take bets on when our actual birth date was, and with any luck, we might actually be able to find out who wins.

61. When you can’t answer any of the family medical history questions, you get to go through all kinds of cool tests at the hospital.

62. You can laugh at people who say “You look just like your mother.”

63. You can blame your promiscuity on “genetic destiny.”

64. You can warn those around you that you are probably a “bad seed” and might, therefore, snap at any time….

65. You’re the only one who roots for Edmund at a performance of King Lear.

66. You don’t have to worry about living up to some potential; anything we achieve is perceived as up from our dark beginnings.

67. Your well practiced at pretending to be grateful!!

68. Someone in this country just might need one of your kidneys.

69. Medical history forms at the hospital are a cinch, advantageous when bleeding to death in the ER!!

70. Your children benefit!! No one can say they look like Great Aunt Edna!!

71. You can explain away any deviant personality flaws as genetic “features” rather than a poor upbringing by your aparents

72. You can try and get out of jury duty by pointing out that, even though you’re over 21, the probate court still considers you a minor child and minors can’t serve on juries.

73. The photographs of Anne Geddes take on a whole, new perspective (photos of babies nestled in peapods, babies’ faces in the middle of cabbages, etc.)

74. You can earn a Geology degree in the process of trying to find out which rock you crawled out from under.

75. When your high school teacher makes your class write essays about their family origins, you can break out crying and be sent to the library to read porn while everyone else is stuck writing books the size of Alex Haley’s!

76. You get to see all the nifty faces people make when trying to act casual after you have told them that you’re adopted.

77. You always have a reason to be depressed.

78. When you die you’ll be sent back to earth because you will always have unfinished business.

79. When caught with a dumb look on your face it can be explained away as simply pondering your roots, true identity, or other related topics.

80. If No. 72 doesn’t work, you can confidently state you could easily be related to one of the principals in the trial.

81. You can learn to sign your amother’s signature fluently for all those affidavits. You are 35 years old and she STILL insists (even though you know better) that she remembers the labor pains, and that folks keep getting you confused with ANOTHER baby they adopted and returned because it had a hole in its heart. Then *YOU* were conceived. (TRUE STORY!)

82. You can “not live up to your potential” and blame it on your afamily, but act like a smartass and blame it on your bfamily, or vice versa

83. You can read the delightful children’s book “Stellaluna” and cry.

84. ?

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A Conversation with my Dog

A Conversation With My Dog

by Dave Sipley


Ebeneezer 1990? – December 31, 1997. Rest in Bark, Buddy.

I was an adoptee, so I knew that the question would be coming someday. Ebeneezer looked up from his bowl of Gravy Train and I put down the newspaper.


“What’s up, Buddy?”

“Am I adopted?”

“What would ever make you think that?”

“Well, you’re a human, right?”

“Of course.”

“And I’m a dog.”


“Well, that seems sort of wrong…. And then there’s Cheyenne….”

“What’s wrong with Cheyenne?”

“Well, you tell me that she’s my sister, but my fur is black and dark brown with white spots, and hers is solid tan.”

“So what?”

“I’m also a lot bigger than she is.”

“You’re also four years older than she is.”

“I know, but we’re both full grown.”

“Doesn’t she act like a little sister should? She’s always biting your butt and harassing you.”

“I know, but I seem to remember having other brothers and sisters. And a mother too.”

“Zebbie, you know that I’m your only parent. It says so right here on the paper.”

“But Dave, I haven’t learned how to read yet.”

“Just trust me. Dr. Wilcox gave it to me at his office. If you’re unsure, we can go back there and maybe he’ll examine you again.”

“But I remember being a puppy and a mother who was the biggest dog in the whole world and she was always feeding me and we were all happy and I played puppy games with my brothers and sisters.”

“Zebbie, that’s impossible. This piece of paper doesn’t say anything about any other dogs. It’s all about you. You are a very special dog, Eb. You know that, don’t you?”

“Yes, Dave. You say that all the time. That I was chosen. That I have good, stinky fur and a good bark. But I seem to remember living with someone else before I came here.”

“Ebbie, I don’t have any idea where you get these silly ideas.”

“Well, you weren’t the one who had me nutured, so who did?” he asked, as he looked at his favorite licking spot.

Well, he had me with that one, so I tried a different tactic. “Ebbie, what if you were adopted? What then?”

“Well, I’d try to find my mother.”

“That might not be such a good idea.”

“Why not?”

“Well, Buddy, I didn’t want to tell you this because I felt it might hurt your feelings. You are adopted. You came from the Fayetteville Animal Hospital. I paid 35 dollars for you.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“You were taking a nap.”

“Come on. I wake up at least twice a day.”

“Well, what about my feelings? Here I feed you good food, I take you for walks, and I don’t care about you sleeping on the couch.”

“But I want to play with my brothers and sisters. Stick and ball and frisbee and stuff.”

“Well, Eb. That’s the other thing I didn’t want to tell you.”


“Your mother didn’t want you. She was a street-walking garbage-eating bitch. She never wanted you. She got jumped in an alleyway one night by a great Dane or a poodle or schnauzer or something. It was all the same to her. Anything for a little tail.”

“What was her name?”

“Leigh. Why does that matter?”

“Well, you’re right. She does sound like a bitch. But I still should be allowed to meet her if I want to.”

“Buddy, look at it from my view. You’re my best pal. What if you find out the truth? What if I told you that I’m not everything that you thought I was? That I don’t actually go out and hunt for your dog food? That I don’t actually create the water that I put in your dish? That when I come home at night, I’m not just showing up to visit you? That I am not your entire world like you think of me?”

“I’d think that you had a pretty small ego, Dave.”

“Maybe so, but I hope you can see it from my perspective. If you search for your birth mother, it’s because you don’t love me anymore.”

He gave me a big sloppy slurp on the face. “That’s not true and not fair, Dave. Why can’t I love you AND find out about my heritage?”

I’d never seen such rebelliousness in my Buddy before. He was really serious about it. The drool on my face hardened into a crust. I felt like it was somehow cheaply symbolic for the changed nature of our friendship.

I had to take control again because I’d lost the argument. I raised my voice to him. “Ebbie, thanks to really restrictive adoption laws that protect me from you knowing anything about your past and heritage and allow me to make up anything I like, you can find out non-identifying information about your mother when you are 18 years old. Don’t forget, that in dog years, that’s 126. You’re free to do as you please then. But don’t expect any more Gravy Train. We’re going to switch to Budget Bits.”

“Dave, that’s not fair. That means that as far as fundamental human rights go, as an adoptee, I’m nothing more–to both you and the system–than a ….”



He sighed and went back to his Gravy Train. The ungrateful cur.

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Ten Things that Annoy Adoptees

TOP TEN LIST of Things That Annoy Adoptees

by Lori Pringle

10. People whining about how adoptees should stop whining.

9. “You’re lucky – you were chosen.”

8. Whaddaya mean it’s none of my business who I am?

7. Filling out the medical questionnaire at the doctor’s office.

6. “I adopted a puppy once!”

5. “The Freedom of Information Act? Oh, it doesn’t apply to Adoption!”

4. “You should be grateful that someone took you in.”

3. Possibility that your birthfather is Newt Gingrich.

2. Theme dinner parties: Bring a dish from your ethnic background. You bring mystery meat!

1. Possibility that your birthmother is Ann Landers.

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Become a Bastard Nation Legislative Liaison!

Become a Bastard Nation Legislative Liaison!

Bastard Nation needs Legislative Liaisons in every state with laws that seal adoption records. We need eyes and ears in the legislatures, creating relationships and gathering information.

What does a BN Legislative Liaison do? They talk with lawmakers and their staff about adoptee rights and the laws that seal records. They distribute Bastard Nation position papers and FAQs to legislators and staff members. They record their conversations and report to the BN Legislative Committee.

They are organized, informed, friendly, helpful, and engaged.

What do you need to do to be a BN Legislative Liaison?

1. You need to live close to the capitol of your state.
2. You need to be able to appear friendly, even when talking with people who disagree with you or are just disagreeable, period.
3. You need to have a flexible schedule.
4. You need to agree with Bastard Nation’s mission: If you don’t know what that is, go to bastardnation.org, it’s right there on our welcome page.

Those are the prerequisites. If you are interested, click the picture of the capitol rotunda, and fill out the application form. We will be in touch and schedule an online orientation and training.

We look forward to working with you!

Bastard Nation Thought for the Day: September 5, 2015

Bastard Nation Thought for the Day: September 5,  2015

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 Moms Club

Bastard Nation Moms Club

Bastard Nation is gathering the names of moms who are willing to step forward and say that they were never promised confidentiality. If you are willing to participate, please comment this status. Your name (and if you choose, the relinquishment date) will be added to a list used in newspaper ads and to educate legislators.

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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.