Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A WikiLeaks project I would support

According to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the purpose of the organization was to expose corruption within the government and among government officials and to provide a means for transparency in our government.  Now, I'm not going to get into what's going on in the news currently, you all have access to CNN's coverage and heck, maybe you've even sought after the supposed classified reports that are being leaked.  That's neither here nor there, though I believe that Assanage's current stunts are drifting from his purported mission.

However, the whole concept of the need for transparency in our government makes me think of one thing.

The fact that vital government documents about who I am are fraudulent and that our government not only supports these fraudulent documents, but sides with the industries that destroy any meaningful records that do exist.  My birth certificate is a fake.  It's a legally-instituted falsified identification form.

My original birth certificate stated that I only had a mother, no father whatsoever.  Now I have an "amended" birth certificate similar to adoptees which identifies my step/adopted dad as my biological father.  Both of these documents were created intentionally false.  Why wasn't my mother charged with a felony for falsifying vital information?!  Because apparently it's all fine to falsify birth records if the biological father commissioned his children to be sold.  Adoptees also have falsified birth records that claim that are the children of said adopted parents, and our wonderful government hides their true birth certificates under lock and key for eternity.

However, as donor-conceived adults, we do not even have the luxury of knowing that somewhere deep in a filing cabinet is a document that identifies our biological parent.  Olivia Pratten is currently suing the gov't of British Columbia for such damages...she claims that the doctors are destroying records that contain vital information about the biological parents of those created from third-party gametes, and that it is wrongful to destroy such records.  She is also claiming discrimination, because in BC adoptees are able to have access to their birth certificates at age 18, and she says that by denying donor-conceived adults the same rights is unjust.

Some doctors do keep decent records of what/whose sperm is used, but often that information is not privy to the donor-conceived adult.

Those conceived from sperm banks have even less hope as these banks do not keep records of what individuals order/use what sperm.  Some banks do keep records of all of their donors, but without the information identifying which donor it's up a creek without a paddle.

The bottom line is that there is no standard procedure, and there are no regulations about what information needs to be kept, for how long, and what information donor-conceived adults are legally able to have.  Some doctors/banks will give offspring a donor number, others will flip out and say that the said offspring should never even have been told of their conception to begin with and that they won't ever know anything.  Some play games with donor-conceived adults, sending them on wild goose chases, telling them that the donor was a medical student or resident, so the offspring is now paging through yearbooks hoping for one man to jump out.

There is also no regulation about what parents need to disclose.  Obviously for children created in same-sex relationships or to SMCs, they're going to be upfront with their kids about their conception.  However, in same-sex couples, the non-biological parent can adopt the child and be listed on the amended birth certificate.  In states that have legalized same-sex marriage, the non-biological parent can be listed on the original birth certificate!!  Talk about ridiculous!!  For children conceived to SMCs, we are truly fatherless.  Where it gets sticky is with heterosexual couples.  You see, they don't even have to tell anyone.  No government official ever knows that they are lying on government documents.  Some of these parents not only lie to their children but everyone else!  Heck, I've even heard of a woman who used a donor and didn't even tell her husband!!!

There is no notation on the birth certificate that signifies that the child was conceived from a third party.  Nothing.  So the lies continue....

With the new "embryo donations", or adoption as they should be rightfully called, these poor children are not related to either of their parents and yet unlike adoptees they do not have an original birth certificate (either sealed or not) that identifies their true origins.  This is a real tragedy, as these kids have no connection to ANY of their biological kin and have no government document that they know will provide them with those answers.

It is unethical that our government, that society as a whole, is supporting a system that denies its citizens the right to truthful identification and perpetuating the lies and secrecy that the infertility industry thrives on.


The Declassified Adoptee said...

You speak of so many things people generally have nooo clue about :-( I wish more people would listen.

Lindsay said...

Amanda, that's why I blog. Because you're right, most people DON'T think about these things. Heck, many donor-conceived people do not even think or want to comprehend these things. Either it's too painful or simply something that just has never crossed their mind.

I wish more people would listen too, but I think the the attitudes are beginning to change. A decade ago my blog would not have been able to happen. Nevermind that blogging was in its infancy. The general public and the donor conception community were not ready to hear what I have to say.

In 2003, I would voice the same things I talk about on Cryokid to the DC message boards. The response: I got daily death threats to my email inbox from outraged DI-moms. The message boards are still vicious today which is why I avoid them, but more and more parents and those TTC are seeking out the offspring POV. To me, that's improvement. And hopefully in another decade donor conception will find itself more along the lines of adoption and I hope that in my lifetime anonymity will be banned in the USA.

Anonymous said...

Just a Christmas messsage for those who feel family absence.
More and more I feel free - nobody judges me and never will.
So for anybody in this emotional position, give it time.

I do not say that our path is easy; we are often victims of the expectations of people who do not always care enough to see our point/s of view, yet reckon we are loved, and think that's that.

Merry Christmas.

Liberty said...

Thanks for your post! I've been looking for more perspectives from donor conceived children, as their stories must surely intersect with adopted kids' stories in interesting ways, as you've pointed out. Do you mind if I link to your post from my blog?

Lindsay said...

Anonymous, that is a beautiful Christmas message....thank you.

Liberty, please do! I agree, there are so many comparisons to be made between adoptees and donor-conceived individuals and the more the adoption community hears about our stories the more fuel to add to our fire.