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Rhode Island’s legislative abomination: access for a lucky few purchased at the price of the human rights of others

For some time now I’ve been following the ongoing disaster in Rhode Island.

This time around, they’ve come up to the edge of passing yet another “access for me, but not for thee” bill, by camouflaging it, falsely labeling it an adoptee rights bill, and co-opting Bastard voice by glossing over how their bill is once again, another deform bill that will leave some untold number of Bastards behind.

Marley has been writing about it on her Daily Bastardette blog, see for example, this from her first piece:


The bill includes a disclosure veto. But just not any disclosure veto. This is a very special veto:

Any birth parent, or parents or adult sibling of a deceased or incompetent birth parent, may file a no release form with the division and the division will thereafter not release a copy of the adoptee’s birth certificate. The division shall post the no release form and filing instructions on the division’s website . the birth parent, or parent or adult sibling of a deceased or permanently disabled birth parents may revoke his or her no release form at an time.

That is, not only can your parent(s) file a disclosure veto and hold your birth certificate hostage, but so can relatives you’ve probably never even heard of. Even the very people who might have forced you into the adoption mill. And…these mystery relatives can speak for the dead, too! What’s to stop strangers, in fact, from filing a veto without even telling Mom or Dad about you or the veto. How will this veto be administered? Is it a passive veto? Or does the state track down mom, dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles to chit-chat about your worthiness quotient?

Do these deformers not realize how dangerous this is?

For years real bastard advocates have been fighting the deformer-created “special rights” disclosure veto doctrine they love more than their own rights–or rather YOUR rights. Now a new generation of deformers–some of whom have actually worked on and helped win clean bills in New Hampshire and Maine and know the sweet smell of success– for some inexplicable reason want to expand that “special right” to collateral relatives. Once that happens, Rhode Island will never reach back into that black hole and pick up is left behinds.

Thursday, she posted a latest update which included this:

RHODE ISLAND H7877: Hen Meet Fox

The Rhode Island House yesterday passed unanimously (and here) H 7877, a bill that curbs the right of adoptees to receive their own original birth certificates.

The bill, framed in deformer NewSpeak as a records access and adoptee rights measure, creates a “do not release” option (a nice name for disclosure veto) for families of origin–in this case not only a parent, but a parent or sibling of a deceased parent– to keep their Family Bastard de-identied and at bay. The Senate’s close companion SB2759 extends the veto to the parent or sibling of a “permanently disabled ” parent (no mention of proof or definition of “permanenty disabled”) . That is, to people who may have pressured the parent to surrender their shameful secret into the secret adoption mill to start with. Hen meet Fox.

Would a Rhode Island legislator tolerate for one moment a law that would predicate release of his or her own own birth certificate on the desire, comfort zone, and permission of his or her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles? Of course not! And certainly the not-adopted wouldn’t. Why should any self-respecting bastard be expected to roll over for this absurd bill?

The key word is self-respecting.

Deformers scurry all over AdoptionLand like cockroaches swarming after daily pottage. They sell their own birthright and then steal the birthright of everyone else in the name of privilege for some. Benedict Bastards. Class traitors. Cowards. Your “grand strategy” harms us all. Your despicable bills create a permanent underclass of adoptees. No lawmaker will return to fix your fuck up.

I’ve been writing about how such deform bills, cloaked in the language of “adoptee rights” permanently screw the left behinds for a long time now.

Having been on the wrong end of Ohio’s Faustian bargain, I unilaterally reject such bills. There’s no such thing as a “little bit of human rights” purchased at the direct cost of the human rights of other members of the broader class Bastard.

As but one of many examples,  see my comment and 73adoptee’s original post on the New Jersey mess from earlier this year, we are both left behinds:

My comment on 73 adoptee’s “Compromising On Adoptee Access? The Foot You Shoot May Be Your Own”

All of which serves as a brief introduction to the comment I scrawled late this morning and left on Bastardette’s latest Rhode Island entry.

At least one of those who support this damaging legislation came over to tsk tsk and point a finger at Marley for not being supportive of their little charade.

The commenter expected Marley to sit down, shut up, and fall back in line, attempting to “shame” Marley for refusing to pipe down, and instead insisting upon maintaining her support of those left behind.

Thus my (rapidly fired off) reply, in first person voice, speaking AS one of those equality was ’sacrificed for the good of others’ the last time around:

Kristen, I am one of those whose rights were “sacrificed” in the Ohio deform effort.

My civil/human/identity rights were left behind, painted over with promises that ‘the fight will not end with this, we’ll come back for you later.’

The bottom line is, no legislature who has ever passed one of these abominations of legislation have ever come back to INCREASE access for adopted people.

I’ve written a great deal about bills similar to Rhode Island’s do incredible amounts of damage, damage that echo down through the decades and generations.

Legislators feel they ‘just dealt with that’ and have no interest in revisiting the issue for years, if not decades to come.

When organizations claim to speak for adopted people, yet are willing to trade away a percentage of the Bastards standing next to them in some vain effort to ‘gain some’ at the direct cost to the rights of others, they loose the moral authority to speak for adoptees.

Marley, Bastard Nation, and a number of others of us stand for the rights of all and refuse to use the rights of any portion of the broader “class Bastard” as a political bargaining chip.

We understand, often from firsthand experiences, what horrible legislation like the bill in Rhode Island will do, and we refuse to settle for anything less than the full human and civil rights for ALL adopted people.

You want to talk about what’s “shameful”? The behaviour of those who feel it is their place to speak for others, that they are somehow empowered to trade away the rights of some other subset of “expendable” adoptees. It’s a co-optation of our voices.

They act if it doesn’t matter so long as it’s ‘only a few’ who end up vetoed, or black holed by arbitrary dates systems, or otherwise barred.

Further, if you think those who just got theirs will continue to labor on, working to ensure full access to everyone, think again. Most adopted people have no comprehension of the broader class Bastard, they get theirs and go home, leaving those left behind to slog on by themselves, fucked over by both state and Benedict bastards.

There are really two primary models of legislation being built upon at the moment: full restoration of rights, such as OR, AL, NH, ME, and fucked up partial access for a lucky few at the direct expense of others bills like TN, OH, MA, etc.

Those in RI had a choice, they could fight for full human rights restoration, or they could settle for a half-assed broken bill that will segregate a portion of Bastards away and bar them access, all accompanied with the usual excuses of ‘we’ll get to your rights later… .’

Tragically, many in RI have chosen the latter path, creating a bill that not merely settles for the broken veto system, but actually EXPANDS it, setting a new precedent, and giving new veto powers out to extended family members.

This will have the effect of further screwing Bastards with larger biological families as the larger the extended biological family, the greater the likelihood that there will be at least one member of the family who wants to use their new veto powers.

RI’s bill, is far from some notion of a neutral bill, it actually builds a whole new tool to bar access to the subclass of Bastards you’re so willing to write off.

So, are some of us disgusted and infuriated that certain people are so willing to support this atrocity? Of course we are!

We’re the ones left behind by the very people claiming to speak on our behalf.

Apparently you don’t understand why ‘ a little bit of human rights for a lucky few at the direct cost to others’ is a problem to those of us on the wrong side of those arbitrarily created lines you support.

Do I oppose the bill?

Yes, with every fiber of my being.

Am I willing to speak out on such and say that when organizations begin to view some adoptees’ rights as expendable they no longer speak for adopteees?

You better believe it.

Deform bills do lasting damage.

Shame on you, for in essence supporting a bill that says not all Bastards’ rights matter. (At least not right now, but don’t worry, we’ll get there, really we will…)

There’s no self respect in that.

There’s no fundamental understanding that all Bastard rights matter.

This bill reduces whatever access some will have (at the direct expense of others) to a mere state granted privilege, one it can extend to adopted people, or withdraw at whim.

The bill’s a sham, and it deserves nothing other than contempt.

Let’s just say that somewhere between their support for this corruption of genuine Bastard rights and their woundee fixation, (something I’ve previously addressed politically in my post, On so called ‘the primal wound’: “personal problems” vs. political solutions) there’s ample reason why The Rhode Island Adoption Coalition for Equality or T.R.A.C.E., is NOT listed in my “Work for adoptee rights- State by State” links and blogroll on the right-hand side of this blog.

When I write about Benedict bastards, this year, T.R.A.C.E. most certainly makes my list.

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