On so called “Secrecy”
Marley/Bastardette has done a post on what can only be termed a nauseating diary and comment thread over on Daily Kos-
Bastardette, my partner Mike Doughney, and I have a number of comments on the thread, though some of the posts on the thread have been blinking in and out of “hidden” status, due to rampant abuse of the dKos troll rating system.
In any case, much as there are a number of important points brought out by the few voices of saneity on the thread, I felt this comment I scrawled off was important enough to merit being moved over to BLC, as so called “Secrecy” is a term that needs to be addressed head on. I am writing in response to another commenter (beijingbetty, whose words appear in the quote boxes.)
It is only cultural habit that says secrecy is a necessary component to adoption.
Would that it were so.
Statements like that hide the entire multi-million dollar industry sitting in the middle of that.
Actually sealed records, particularly of the pre-Roe/Doe era are tangled up in an unseemly web of money, sex and power (who has it, and more often than not, who does not.) Which is not to say, such are a thing of the past, just that certain details have shifted over time.
All kinds of “indiscretions”, scandals, “bastards,” financial irregularities, backroom deals, agency misdeeds, and not a few Priestly not so celibacies can all easily be hidden within microfiche that the sun doesn’t reach, buried.
It’s not merely some matter of ’secrecy,’ it’s also a matter of protecting and maintaining systemic corruption and vested personal interests. (More recently many of those same tactics were moved offshore into the international child market.)
It is neither a relic nor habit that maintains the systems of lies, it’s often ass covering, plain and simple.
The “there will be fewer adoptions if secrecy is not guaranteed” is crap. Not only do Open records states numbers not bear that out, but no so called ‘promise of secrecy’ has ever been produced in court, no documents, no power of law to make such verbal assurances.
Agencies made (and make) all kinds of pie in the sky promises to gain their children, from ‘it’ll be a forever secret’ to ‘ the minute they turn 18 they’ll come find you and you’ll be reunited.’
Neither of which had a legal grounding in law (although in the recent past, as a reaction to successful Openness work, the ass covering “balancing rights” paradigm is being shopped around, allegedly giving original mothers a veto power over our access to our own records. All smokescreen aside, more often than not, it is not genuine ’say’ for original family members so much as it becomes a means by which the state maintains sealed as a default setting and then gives ‘lip service’ to the notion of original mothers having power/being granted, for the first time, a new ‘right’ of veto.)
But if we did a better job of supporting all families in this country — including same sex parents, single parents, better access to child care, better schools, etc., — would we feel the same way about the need for secrecy?
More importantly, would that less than 1% of American women who ever willingly relinquish feel the need to do so were they able to receive genuine support, economic, medical, educationally, child care, etc etc etc?
Or does the industry rely on some women’s desperation and economic plight to fuel the domestic supply?
From the supply end, does adoption thrive in conditions of stability and wealth, or human misery and suffering? Then look to the demand end, who do you suppose does adoptions at price tags often easily exceeding $30,000?