I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Books, blogs, articles, websites. That’s what I do, I’m an information-gatherer. But now as I move past basic research I am toe-dipping into the world of activists for adoptee rights and legislation and I find it all rather terrifying. I am not sure how I feel about birth parent right to privacy, but when I learned in Illinois that they could redact their information from the OBC I felt that in and of itself would be an important piece of information. Surely in my case, at least, if someone went to the bother of redacting their information nearly 50 years after the fact (since the right to request an OBC and/or redact information from it only became law in 2011), that would be a pretty clear indication that they did not want to be contacted. I am not sure how I will feel if mine comes in that way.
Having read through the materials on the website for the Confidential Intermediary, I was feeling content that that was a good way to go about my search and contact. Now I am not so sure. I have come across a number of blogs that describe truly horrible experiences. However I have not been able to find anything recent. I think the latest one was from 2013, and in Illinois the CI program only became free in January 2015. Some of the discontent with the program was the cost and the restrictiveness of it, but the main point of the commentary reads to me like the authors resenting needing to have an intermediary at all, feeling that adults should have the right to manage their own affairs. I am pretty sure that there were ‘search angels’ and other resources available to these people, and that entering into the CI program was voluntary, so I’m not sure why they felt so encumbered by it. There were assertions that, contrary to the website’s statements, the CI did not have free access to anything and everything, and even if they did, they were bound by confidentiality rules not to share them with you… which begs the question, why bother with them at all? At least one of these people also had an attorney and there were additional complications, including the fact that they were born in Illinois but adopted in Ohio. I think the takeaway here is that there are probably as many different permutations of this situation as there are people, and it’s so hard to know which might be applicable to me. I suppose I’ll have to just do what feels right as information unfolds (or doesn’t) and hope for the best.
Not feeling so steady today.