Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization
PO Box 4607
New Windsor, New York 1255+3-7845
bastards.org firstname.lastname@example.org @BastardsUnite
April 24, 2023
Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization (BN) is the largest adoptee civil rights organization in the United States. We support only full unrestricted rights for all adopted persons to their original birth certificates (OBC) and related documents.
We oppose HF 525–the Safe Haven Baby Box (aka “newborn safety device) bill and ask you to vote DO NOT PASS.
Bastard Nation and adoptee rights activists believe the implementation of Safe Haven Baby Boxes:
- Creates a parallel child welfare system that rejects informed consent and a full record of identifying information and social and medical histories of the newborn. Their use eliminates adoptees’ right to identity by denying their right to full and original birth and heritage records.
- Replaces professional best practice standards with unprofessional and unethical “relinquishment” by letting parents abandon solely for convenience or out of ignorance with no counseling, paper-signing, or discussion on alternatives such as government and private financial and material assistance for family preservation, temporary foster care, and legitimate adoption planning.
- Denies the non-surrendering parent the right of custody and to rear her or his own child. There is no mechanism in place to prove that the “surrendering” person has the legal right to do so. Abusive, embarrassed, or frightened partners, spouses or family members and even sex traffickers can use drop boxes without consent or knowledge of the (other) parent with no repercussions. Disenfranchises natural parents –particularly the non-surrendering parent (usually the father)–their right to due process by eliminating their ability to locate the child; thus denying them knowledge of (among other things) the dependency proceeding to which they are a party. The Putative Father Registry touted as a safeguard, is useless since records are filed by the name of the mother.
- Creates at-risk adoptions due to possible litigation from the non-surrendering parent or biological family members seeking custody.
- Contravenes the family reunification guidelines of the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act and parts of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and tribal rights which can cause federal litigation.
- Encourages women to keep problematic pregnancies a secret by discouraging them from seeking family and professional communication, to seek assistance for sexual and physical abuse, mental illness, substance abuse, and social isolation—factors that cause nearly every newborn discard. Studies indicate that once a pregnancy is acknowledged and discussed the chance of discard is almost always abolished.
- Discourages women from seeking pre-and post-natal care and to give unsafe unattended birth.
- Hides crime such as rape, incest, spousal and partner abuse, and creates new streams of child traffiacking.
- Preys on undocumented and refugee parents who can’t or won’t seek medical and social services for fear of arrest, deportation, and loss of other children. It forces them to give birth dangerously and secretly and to secretly abandon them if they can’t care for them.
- Does not decrease infant mortality rates. as suggested by promoters. According to NIH, the main causes of infant death are (1) birth defects. (2) preterm birth and low birth weight, (3) Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, (4) pregnancy complications and (5) accidents. Safe Haven Baby Boxes do not address solutions to any of those problems. In fact, the nobody-has-to-know-you-had-this baby ideology of Baby Box promoters exacerbates 1, 2, and 4.
Please vote DO NOT PASS on HF425 Baby Boxes do not serve adoptees, adoption, family preservation for the families of Iowa
Marley Greiner, Executive Chair