NOTE: Sent via portal to ,. 500 word limit.
I am the co-founder and Executive Chair of Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization, the largest adoptee civil rights organization in the United States. We support only full unrestricted access for all adopted persons to their original birth certificates (OBC) and related documents.
We oppose LB876.
Adoptee rights/adoption reform organizations throughout the country oppose Safe Haven Baby Boxes/Newborn Safety Devices. Boxes create deceptive relinquishment practices, rooted in shame and secrecy, that lead to drastic permanent solutions to temporary problems and a population of adoptees with no birth records, identity, or history.
Currently, Nebraska does not acknowledge the right of its own adopted citizens to obtain without restrictions their OBCs. Passage of LB876 creates a whole new class of adoptees: the forever anonymous.
Baby boxes do not address the cause of newborn discard. Dropping a baby into a box anonymously does not solve the root causes of newborn discard/neonaticide:
*inability to secure affordable medical treatment/care
*denial/ignorance of pregnancy
*Draconian immigration policy/practice
*substance abuse, physical/sexual abuse shame, crime, mental illness, dysfunctional families, social isolation, and poor communication skills.
*Boxes create 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. Commodifies babies and normalizes “legal” baby abandonment as just another consumer choice, with no lifetime psychological consequences for baby and mother, including, abandonment issues, shame, guilt, substance abuse, depression, low self-esteem.
*Boxes represent state-sanctioned throwaway culture.
Boxes replace 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.
Boxes deny the non-surrendering parent the right of custody and to rear her or his own child. There is no mechanism to prove that the “surrendering” person has the legal right to surrender.
The Safe Haven Baby Box movement and SHBB Inc was started by Monica Kelsey about seven years ago. The company is a privately owned and operated not-for-profit ministry. It is the only manufacturer and leaser of the “safety devices” in the US today. The company is the model of Henry Ford’s vertical business model. It created a “need” for its product. It works with legislators to write enabling legislation, lobbies for passage, runs its own hotline, manufactures its own product at its factory where it employs family members, and advertises itself, (and its hotline and company information) on the outside of its devices installed on government property, making publicly operated buildings a billboard for its services. It utilizes the children it claims to have “saved” in company advertising and events such as box blessings, press conferences, and fundraisers. SHBBB Inc is the only brand so legislation to enable boxes is a “vendor bill.”