Anyway, back at FMF I found myself agreeing with someone who said that people should have "a universal right to find out family history if one wants to." Seems reasonable to me. It's a "right" then, not a "need."
A "right" is something that is agreed upon by society a large, or the majority, or elected officials in a democracy representing that majority. A "need" is a personal want that might become a "right" but is not necessarily a "right," unless it is so agreed upon by the aforementioned majority.
I noticed in the discussions at FMF that "equality" was of course important, and certainly I would like to be considered equal under the law and don't feel so as I do not have access to my original birth certificate (OBC), as non-adopted individuals do. In some states in this fine country, some adoptees can access their OBCs if they are of a certain age, or if they are born between certain dates, etc. Adoption is a matter of states' rights, not federal jurisdiction, so there is great difference between states in how things are handled. Not that I think we'd have a great chance of getting our OBCs released to us if we could be heard in front of the current Supreme Court, but then again, I am a Poor Innocent
Separate is NOT equal. Did we not learn that? We CANNOT separate the emotional content from the rational part of of the argument, however much we dream we can, because we are human. The
I have been thinking a great deal also about what Daniel Ibn Zayd has said about the impossibility of true discourse in adoption related to inequality of power. When adoptees are told to "play nice," and treat first parents or APs or PAPs respectfully so that we can all "get along," we are immediately hamstrung. There is no free give and take. When we make comments and are immediately labeled as "angry" or "angsty" or "poor innocent dismissed" or some other tasteless, demeaning pet name du jour, it's hardly the sign of well meaning, let's-get-on-with-it, reform-minded camaraderie. Because it's not about working together. It's a fucking war zone with Bigfoot and alien sightings and grenade launchings and petty dictatorships at every corner.
People cannot see past their noses; they rarely look at the big picture; they revel in offending others for sport; PAPs and APs speak of natural families and adoptees as if they're paper towels. Some natural mothers are downright rude to adoptees. It's disgusting. Why be polite? These people aren't polite. They're aggressive, self-centered people of the worst sort.
On the one hand, it reminds me of that great quote of Gandhi's, who when asked what he thought about Western civilization, replied, "I think it would be a good idea." On the other hand, it drives me to read Frantz Fanon and feel less like Gandhi. I am sick of being treated like an object, spoken for, infantilized; I am sick of watching children being taken from countries abroad and stripped of their cultures and worse. I don't want to be told to be grateful anymore. Why do people think they know what I feel? Why do they think it's their prerogative to *say* what they think I should feel?
Oh yes, the power thing.
And the cycle starts over, because there is no constellation or mosaic or triad or whatever silly thing it is called on Tuesdays. We're not even in it. Because it's not about us, the commodity.
And because we're nonentities, forever children, if we even can be considered children, we cannot have our OBCs. Our mother's rights come first, because she must be protected at all cost, even to that poor last woman in the closet.
Except that we *are* people, and we should have our OBCs, and my favorite people are organizing a protest to convince state legislators that we are people with both needs *and* rights. Please support the Adoptee Rights Coalition (donate!) and contact your state representatives. If you know and love an adoptee, please, please do this! We deserve our OBCs! Just like the real people we are.
Love to you all.