First, last week the governor of Rhode Island signed a law that restores the right of adopted adults to access their original birth certificates. Such great news! When it takes effect next year there will be seven states with unsealed records (Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island). A huge congratulations to Access Rhode Island and everyone else who worked to make this happen.
I have a personal connection to Rhode Island so I tried to do my teeny-tiny part by writing to legislators to let them know I was an adoptive parent who supported unconditional access. I can't think of any reason every adoptive parent shouldn't be supporting open access efforts. Even if your family's adoption is open or you adopted internationally, the ripple effects of such discrimination and the stigmas it reinforces affect your kids, too.
Second, the Motherlode blog at the New York Times ran essays by two adopted teens who were featured in a recent piece on first parents and adoptees reuniting on Facebook. I wanted to recommend the essays and also the comments section, especially when one of the adoptive mothers pushes back against commenters who are hung up on her daughter using "real mom" to describe her first mom in one line of her essay. Here's a little bit of what she wrote:
This essay is one isolated piece of writing in the string of a lifetime of exchanges, heart to heart conversations, tears, joy, challenges, and success. The words "real mom" if that is what you were referring to can sting outside of the truth of the relationship that she and I feel and live with. ...
If as moms or dads adoptive or biological we get stuck on any particular word or issue with our child sometimes we become just that--stuck. It can immoblize the relationship from moving forward. And so, if the word "real" mom used in the context of a college freshman english essay becomes the defining moment of our relationship and overtakes the love, intimacy, and deep communication that we have (and again--here are days that we are teen daughter and mother arguing over staying out late, rules, curfews, habits, messy room, choice of clothing friends, etc.. etc..) Don't put a wedge in your relationship with your chlid [sic]-- help them process and know that you'll all come out the other end better and stronger in your love for it.I totally want to be friends with this woman!