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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.)

“Secrecy”: Far more than mere cultural habit

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?

3 Responses to “On so called “Secrecy””

  1. Sandy Young Says:

    Great blog! I am sick and tired of mothers being to blame for the maintaining of sealed records. We had nothing to do with it. It was not our asses they were interested in keeping covered; they only cared that we shut up and went away.

    I have often wondered how many of the callow youth that fathered our children went on to make a name for themselves in the legislatures, the media, the clergy, etc.

    How many illegal practices used to obtain the surrenders will those records also uncover? I have some of mine, and just what they thought okay to release to me, not to remain hidden, show many things that are borderline.

    So many secrets, so many lies, so much money to protect them. My grandmother used to repeat the old saying, “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” Nowhere more so than adoption is that old saying proven true!

  2. Lindsay Says:

    Thanks for posting on this post….and for sending a link to my blog (although since then I have only had ONE PERSON come from dkos…..not surprising however, considering the other posters). I tried, but I was so angry I knew I could not put together something coherent enough that contained more words than swearing. I may try to post about it later on cryokid, but I’m emotionally not in the place to put myself in that battlefield – i’d be an Iraqi suicide bomber if I did that!!

    P.S…..I tried to up you and Marley’s ratings, but since I’m not a dkos blogger I couldn’t. Figured I’d lose my hold there anyways, considering I’m the arch enemy of pfl (plf?) — I’m his worst nightmare come true!!! HAHA

    But yeah, thanks for sticking it out in there.

  3. Baby Love Child Says:

    Just time for a very quick little comment in response to Lindsay-

    Your blog is dead on, and a damn useful example, precisely the kind of example the people on that thread have not only never seen or read, but as your traffic bears out, are unlikely to.

    It has a very great deal to do with lack of curiosity- simply put, they don’t want to know. There are things across on the link that shatter some of their ideas about what they think this is.

    No worries about not chiming in, it was a clearly a matter of writing reality and the real consequences into a space wherein the primary audience of such only found those realities and consequences disturbing and uncomfortable.

    The sheer number of adopters, IVFers, etc there tends to sway comment threads towards sounding like that, those who happen to disagree tend to be either troll rated out of the conversion or treated precisely the way we were, ‘you have baggage- and you’re just projecting.’

    Writing in that environment is never ‘fun.’ Doesn’t mean those who self select to try to do so shouldn’t, it just means they have to be willing to ‘take the hit’ and be treated the way we were. I don’t blame ANYONE for being unwilling to walk into that. Especially those with some of the most direct personal experience, it’s just too damn heartbreaking and crazymaking for many.

    That said, your support (wanting to ‘up ratings’ and your kind post here) means a great deal. I always try to make it clear, while I do not have the first hand experience and I cannot speak for those who do, I live many of these issues, and this is my perspective on them.

    I was not the least bit surprised to not see a single ‘directly affected’ ‘expert’ on the topic (from the one time kid’s perspective) come forward on the thread, it was what some might term ‘hostile territory’ in there.

    That said, many of the things we were saying desperately needed to be said, and certainly no one else was gonna. It may be hostile, but some of them really do need to hear the version that’s not all pink fairy princesses and magical-wawa land.

    Hearing that we did ok by at least one of the directly affected is important, and deeply appreciated.

    Meanwhile, keep doing what you’re doing, it’s important.

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