Monday, November 3, 2014

Woof! I Want Open Records!

I've written about ten blog posts and deleted them over the last few months.  Something that used to come effortlessly to me has now become a lot harder.  I mean, I used to blog every single day without fail.  And now, it's been months and I can't seem to get anything out there.  So I'm just going to go for it today because something has to give.

I got a dog.  She's amazing.  I love her to pieces.  And she seriously dug up some adoption crap for me in surprising ways.  I'm shocked that sometimes, we treat our animals better than we treat people.  Disagree with that statement?  Read on.

My puppy is a purebred.  I know lots of people like to debate shelter vs breeder and so forth, but my husband and I did a lot of research and decided to go for the purebred dog.  I love shelter dogs.  I hope to adopt from a shelter in the future.  Our first dog just needed to be as predictable as we could get (as much as an animal can be predictable I guess).  I met with the breeder, got to meet the stud, and feel in love with my puppy.  Bringing her home was amazing and terrifying.  She slept most of the first night, but it took a full week for her to get used to us and our home.  My heart ached for her because the adoptee in me knows what it's like to lose a mother.  And to do it in a way that you don't get what's going on (because you certainly can't explain to to a pet or a baby).  I was seriously conflicted because the triggers were all there.  I felt flat out horrible for a full week, even knowing that this happens to almost every single dog (unlike adoptees who are in the minority).  I cried for me, for her, for everything.  And then I snuggled with my puppy who made me feel a little bit better.  I've slowly come to terms with everything.  But darn those stupid triggers!  For once I'd just like to be "normal", you know like "normal" people who get dogs and don't feel that huge hole in their hearts when they think about taking their puppies away from their mothers to the point where it makes it hard to function.

Hello adoption crap, I haven't seen you in a while.  I wish you wouldn't come in a take a seat.  Oh wait, you plan on staying for a while?  Lucky me.

And then it came time to register her.  That's something you get to do with purebred dogs.  And when her certificate came in the mail with all her information, including her parents, it hit me hard.  I have more accurate paperwork for my DOG than I do for myself.  The American Kennel Club will give me six generations worth of genealogy for my puppy, but I can't get an accurate birth certificate for myself, even though I already know what information should be on it.  I can't be the only one who sees the problems with this...  And then I got to thinking about how darn unfair the whole thing is.  I have two natural parents.  I know their names.  I know where they live, when their birthdays are, and lots of other fun facts.  I know my natural father's favorite color, how my natural mother spent her 21st birthday, and lots of other fun stuff about them, but legally I'm not allowed to have a piece of paper with their names on it because it might interfere with their privacy.  The law (and I'm sure a lot of the adoptive parents who have been frequenting our comment section lately) see me as a child.  Never mind that I'm 27 years old, have their home phone (and address) but have respected their wishes that I do nothing with that information.  You know, like a reasonable adult might do.  But why not just deny me?  Sure, let's go that route.  It's the most *fair* and *reasonable* for adoptees.  This just makes so much sense.  Really.

But I can get my dog's information online for nothing.  I didn't have to spend a dime to do my research.  I know more about my dog's family health history than I do about my own.  I wish I was kidding.  Health information for dogs is no joke. People ask lots of questions.  Are their hips good?  How's the longevity in the line?  What about cataracts?  Any cancer?  I can't answer those questions for myself, even after reunion, but I can answer them for my dog.  Good to know.

Life isn't fair.  Blah blah blah.  I get that.  I get that it's not fair, it's not supposed to be fair, and we just have to learn to deal with it.  Yup.  Check.  Got that memo.  But this is something that we have in our power to change.  And according to AAC, in eight states life is more fair for adoptees.  So now the question is, how do we get the other 42 states to realize that adoptees deserve to have open, unrestricted access to their records?  That we need to treat people with the same respect that we treat our purebred dogs?  Because I'm getting tired of waiting.  I'm getting tired of this adoption crap hanging around my living room, taunting me with my puppy's records.  And I'm really getting tired of realizing why we need adoptee centric spaces to begin with.  Really really tired people.

It's time to give people the same respect when it comes to records as we do our dogs.  I'd really love to have the same access that my puppy has.  How much longer will I have to wait?