How bizarre that a person in Australia would ever have to present the abandonment certificate. I've NEVER had to produce it here, even to get my kids' passports. Anyone else?
A couple has launched legal action to obtain a NSW birth certificate for the daughter they adopted in China so she will not have to use Chinese documents, including a "certificate of abandonment", as identity papers in Australia.
The NSW Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages, which issues birth certificates, has opposed the application in the District Court of NSW. The office is a division of the Attorney-General's Department.
The couple is part of a group of adoptive parents angry that children from China are treated differently from other children adopted from overseas who can obtain a NSW birth certificate.
The different treatment arises from China's insistence on the adoption process being completed in China. For other children the adoption process is finalised in the NSW Supreme Court, giving them rights to obtain a NSW birth certificate with the adoptive parents listed as the parents.
The Chinese children arrive with identification papers translated into English that usually include a birth certificate listing the child's Chinese name and stating "natural parents unknown"; a "certificate of abandonment", and an adoption certificate confirming the legality of the adoption.
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Another couple, Linda Morrison and Leo De Luca, parents of Scarlett, 3, said they also wanted a NSW birth certificate so their child would not be different from her peers. "Each time she produces her documents she will be reminded she was abandoned. I want one document saying she was born in China and that we are her parents," Ms Morrison said.
Even to prove that "she was born in China and that we are her parents," as Ms. Morrison desires to prove in one document, would only require TWO -- the Chinese birth certificate and the Chinese adoption decree. Why would the abandonment certificate come into it?
Would my attitude toward the fake birth certificates I railed against change if I had to produce my kids' abandonment certificates to enroll them in kindergarden? I don't know. No doubt it would make it harder. . . . a lot harder!
But I'm not persuaded by the argument that "one document" is a laudable goal -- mere convenience isn't enough for me, as I said before. And I'm not sure I'm persuaded by the idea that each time she produces the abandonment certificate that she'll be reminded she was abandoned -- from reading what adult adoptees have to say, it's not something that people who were abandoned ever forget.
The "be like her peers" argument is really interesting in this Australian context -- who are her peers? Adoptees? in which case she gets the same fake birth certificate as other adoptees? I have a feeling that's not really what adoptive parents are looking for! The fake birth certificate is to make an adopted child just like non-adopted children in having a state-issued birth certificate. But again, reading what some adult adoptees have to say about these fake birth certificates colors my reaction to this argument (see here, here, and here, for example).
Well, I didn't really mean to get into all of this again (I know, I know, you're saying to yourself, "I KNEW she couldn't let it go!"). I really didn't intend to revisit the issue (so soon!), but I thought those defending the practice would want to see this article supportive of their arguments (see? I do try to be fair-minded!), and then I got all wound up again. Well, as so many of you generously remind me, it's my blog, I can rant if I want to!