Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Priscilla's Open Letter to the Catholic Church

Would Jesus Discriminate?

An open letter to the Catholic Church on the issue of restored birth certificates for adoptees, by Priscilla Sharp (Mother of Loss ‘64/Search Angel/Adoptee Rights Advocate).

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that made me think of your curious stance in legislatures around the country in opposition to restoring access to original birth certificates (OBCs) to adopted persons. I should say, frankly, your unfathomable opposition — in particular, your reliance on the ungrounded argument that abortions will somehow increase if mothers are not promised forever anonymity and ‘privacy’ from the shame of bearing an out-of-wedlock child. Come on! Get real! In the 21st century you insist there are pregnant girls so frightened of being ‘outed’ they will run and get abortions before relinquishing their babies for adoption??? This is so ridiculous and ludicrous that it makes the mind boggle.

And you keep bringing this up year after year, in every legislative hearing, even after we have produced piles of studies from states that have restored OBCs that a) the abortion rate has actually gone down and b) the only reason domestic adoptions have slowed is because more girls are opting to raise their babies with more family and society support to keep families together.

You also insist that mothers were somehow promised confidentiality, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. We’ll say it again and keep shouting it until you hear it: There were no promises given to any mother except the threat of criminal prosecution if she ever tried to interfere in the life of her baby and its new family. For every woman who comes forward and asks for anonymity, we can also bring you hundreds more, if not thousands, who begged for some assurance from the social workers and nuns, and were ‘promised’, that their children would be told about them and could find them some day. None of these so-called promises are in writing and, in fact, they were all lies. The adopters and their minions, the social workers, told the mothers whatever they wanted to hear to pry their babies away and get them to sign the relinquishment.

Today, adopted persons in most of the civilized world and in six states of the U.S. are able to get their original documents and learn their names and heritage and genealogy. Many of your fellow churches are in full support of righting the unequal treatment remaining in the U.S. states which still bar adoptees from accessing their OBCs —a blatant discrimination in that OBCs are and always have been available to every other citizen who was not adopted.
So, would Jesus discriminate? Of course not! Why do you?

 © Priscilla Stone Sharp, 2010, All Rights Reserved

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