After publishing my recent adoptee rights post, I wrote to the Adoptee Rights Coalition to confirm that it was okay for me to use the image I had copied from their site. I received a reply from Jimm Mandenberg, an ARC board member. He thanked me for my support of adoptee rights and said it was fine for me to use the image, but he also included the following statement:
"We view adoptees' access to their own birth certificates as a fundamental civil right in and of itself, not as a tool for search and reunion. While the certificate may provide some useful clues for search, we view any contact between consenting adults to be a different issue entirely and not one of civil rights denied."
It's an important clarification, and I don't disagree with his point. Though I was focused on the "useful clues" aspect of the issue in my previous post, I agree that the access to original birth certificates is fundamentally a civil rights issue. The problem currently is that one class of people are denied access to something all other Americans have access to. That's discrimination, and it's not justifiable.
The countdown to the adoptee rights demonstration in Chicago is now at two days. If you can't be there in person, please do what you can to support the cause in your own way.