BYLINE: Bastard Nation

News From Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization
  September 2005              Vol. 1  No. 16
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Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization advocates for the civil and human rights of adult citizens who were adopted as children. Millions of North Americans are prohibited by law from accessing personal records that pertain to their historical, genetic and legal identities. Bastard Nation campaigns for the restoration of their right to unconditionally access their birth records.

We here at Bastard Nation extend our thoughts and prayers to all the people who
have been affected by the disastrous hurricane.

If you do not receive this newsletter in HTML format, you will find it easier and more fun to read at



The latest edition of Contemporary Issues Companion: Adoption is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2005. We are proud to report that Bastard Nation will be well represented. The publication will co ntain separate articles by members, originally printed in the BQ or on our website, as well as a reproduction of parts of The Basic Bastard. This project is published by Gale, a provider of high quality educational and reference materials to libraries.

Sir Winston Churchill said, "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last."
The Colorado folks who helped pass House Bill 05-1287 this June better lay in lots of crocodile treats because this bill is sure to come back to bite them.
Read "Colorado's Declaration of Dependence"
at Bastard Nation's Blog Spot:


The wonderful Summer Edition of the BQ, The Bastard Quarterly, is on its way. Many thanks to our new editor, Marla Paul, and our graphic designer, Charles Filius, for all the hard work and energy they put into bringing back the BQ.


If you placed a child for adoption so that he or she could have a "better life," and if you believe that a better life means that adoptees, at age of majority, will be treated as equal citizens and have all of the same rights as non-adopted citizens, then this is the project for you.

Stand up and be counted.
Please visit the website at


Bastard National Mary Urso wrote a powerful letter to the editor of the July 7th News-Sentinel Newspaper, Fort Wayne, Indiana. She was replying to an editorial in favor of Safe Havens. In addition to pointing out how Safe Haven laws deprive people of so many rights, Mary also made the important point that safe haven laws actually promote and advocate dangerous and irresponsible behavior. She says letting young women drop off babies anonymously, with no questions asked about the mother’s medical care is risky and totally irresponsible behavior.


"Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality. No one in
America is," Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald told a judge, in reference to the release to the press of CIA classified information.


Apologies to M.A.R.T.A, Massachusetts Access Rights To All. We published an incorrect link in last month’s Byline. You can find out a ll about by M.A.R.T.A. by going to:

     Bastard Nation Moment


by Damzel Plum

Many of you have read Betty Jean Lifton’s book, “Journey of the Adopted Self” in which she defines the Bastard Moment. The Bastard Moment is an episode in an adoptee’s life which emphasizes some of the more negative aspects of being adopted:
  • lack of entitlement
  • alienation
  • shame
Experiences which might trigger a bastard moment include a family tree project in school, a doctor requesting your medical history, unwelcome remarks from strangers, such as “Why did your real mother give you up?” and,“You must be glad you weren’t aborted.”

The media often portrays adoptees as more suspect than your average citizens and editorials on open records for adult adoptees nonetheless refer to us as adopted children. The belittling remarks of a local government or hospital clerk when you request your personal records, an adoptive relative’s deliberate exclusion of you from her will, a birth parent’s rejection -- all create the dreaded bastard moment.

Bastard moments make us aware of injustice and they challenge our dignity as human beings. Being adopted should not be shameful, yet these experiences make us feel ashamed.

I would like to propose a new term: the BASTARD NATION MOMENT. The Bastard Nation moment is an episode in an adoptee’s life which makes you proud to be a Bastard. It’s when you realize that you are not alone, that there are millions of people in this nation and around the world who do not consider being adopted shameful and who do agree that adult adoptees should have the same civil rights s the rest of the non-criminal adult population.

Whereas the bastard moment makes us feel helpless, the Bastard Nation Moment empowers us to stand up for what is right and against what is wrong. Being adopted is not shameful. Adult adoptee civil rights are being violated in [46] of the 50 U.S. states through archaic sealed records laws. Unscrupulous special interests are trying to pass laws such as Articles 6 and 7 of the Uniform Adoption Act, which would seal adoptee birth records for 99 years and criminalize searching.

Bastard Nation moments give us the strength to stand up to the lies, misinformation, secrecy and shame which some would like to see persist in
adoption. We have the power to educate the public and legislators about adoptee rights issues and it is our duty to all adoptees that we do this.

And so I leave you all with the following wish: May many Bastard Nation Moments come your way today and every day until adoptees are afforded the same rights and dignity as every other citizen of this nation and the great plant Earth.


Damzel Plum is one of the Founding Foundlings of Bastard Nation. This article was originally printed in the Winter, 1998 issue of the Bastard Quarterly.




A little bit of schmoozing with lawmakers may pay dividends when the winter Legislative Session opens. Right now can be a great time for Bastards to do some educating and some informal lobbying.

Many state house offices are still dark, everybody’s gone fishing or they’re out on the golf course. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t working. Most representatives keep an office open year round in their hometowns and here is where you can reach them during the autumn recess. Why not plan to contact your representative. You’re a constituent after all.

Telephone for an appointment. When you meet your representative, find out what her position is on adoptee rights. She tells you her views and then you tell her yours. Be sure to look for some common ground. It helps to win friends if you
can first find some part of the issue on which you can both agree.

Leave behind some written materials. A good source for succinct information is Bastard Nation’s Media Room at You’ll find printer friendly one-page position papers on all the issues.

If calling on your representative doesn’t work for you, maybe you can try a telephone conversation. Ask for a few minutes when he’s got time to chat with his constituent. Then mail him the printed stuff.

If a personal visit isn't best for you, then go ahead and send your representative a letter and some informational material. Try to keep it short and sweet. On e or two pages are fine. Not too many folks want to wade through some lengthy legislative packet.

And while you’re at it, why not write to lots of legislators in your state.

"It will not always be summer: build barns." – Hesiod   


Stay tuned for updates and action alerts.

Massachusetts: M.A.R.T.A.

OORAH – Oklahoma Open Records

Nevada Open Website

Arizona Open

Missouri Open

Florida Records Equality Effort

Virginians for Adoption Reform and Education

Granny Annie says...


We’ll never see women get the vote - not in our lifetime. So let’s campaign for an amendment that will give married women the right to vote. In this amendment there will be a clause allowing husbands to file an affidavit of non-approval, which will negate the wife’s voting privilege. If an unmarried woman desires to vote, she must have written permission from her father and grandfather.

A gay rights bill will never pass any legislature in our lifetime. It’s unconstitutional and besides, it’s against God’s will. Therefore, let us write a bill that gives gay people the right to register with the State Department of Health Homosexual Registry.

In order to be registered, the homosexual person must produce a notarized letter from a psychiatrist stating that he or she is under treatment for anti-social behavior. He or she must also present an affidavit from his or her minister, attesting that the homosexual person has memorized the 10 Commandments and the Book of Leviticus.

We will never see a lowering of the legal limit of the blood- alcohol level of
drivers in our lifetime. Therefore, we shall pass a law that the legal limit of
alcohol in a driver’s blood shall not exceed his or her I.Q. We shall allocate $500, 000 per year to educate pedestrians to look both ways before they cross the street.

We shall never see legislation that will afford equal rights to all disabled
citizens in our lifetime, but we can pass an Americans with Some Disabilities Act. Under this act, we can probably get a bill passed that will require city buses to be equipped with wheel chair lifts. The suburban bus companies are never going to spend the money, so let’s just equip the city buses and tell people wi th disabilities they have to move back into the city.

In our lifetimes, there will never be a law allowing adult adoptees the
unconditional right to access their original birth documents. Instead we should pass laws allowing those adopted adults who know the names of their birth parents to access their original birth certificates. Expedited treatment will be arranged for those adoptees who can also produce notarized affidavits of permission from both adoptive and birth parents. Those adoptees who have shadow birth mothers must go to the end of the line.

Adoptees may only receive their original birth certificates in years when a US Census is conducted and in months where there is a Blue Moon. Alternate time for requesting and receiving birth certificates is on those nights when pigs fly.


Want to make a difference in how adopted people are treated and viewed in society? Want to support the efforts of the only adoptee-led national organization dedicated to promoting the equal treatment and dignity of adopted citizens? Want to enjoy all the benefits of membership? Join Bastard Nation!

Fill Out an Application now at

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Editors: Anita Walker Field and David C. Ansardi
c. 2005 Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization

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