Is Loss of Family Continuity "Intersectional?"

It's official. In April, Merriam-Webster proclaimed that the word intersectionality, first coined in the 1980s, is probably here to stay.

Hillary Clinton used it in her presidential campaign, while some conservatives describe the term's roots in oppression as bunk. Another scholar says it's a political football, but it doesn't have to be. Accusations of co-opting, colonizing and (wait for it) bastardizing the term, first used in the context of Black feminism and Critical Race Theory, abound. To the extent that someone else can own a word, let me start with an apology and a mea culpa.

But the notion that there are points at which certain issues affecting different groups intersect

is hardly new. Social and political movements have identified common issues and interests for centuries and formed coalitions to address those common interests. And, with a nod to Shakespeare for the way in which many adoptees, donor-conceived, and foster care alumni came to our current places in life, "misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows."

Much of the effort, sound and fury from the adoption reform movement has focused on the issue of equal access to original birth certificates and adoption records for adult adoptees, and rightly so. But after Governor John Hickenlooper signed multiple landmark bills into law in 2014 - 2015, making Colorado, along with Hawaii and Oregon, one of the states with the nation's most comprehensive records access laws, adoptee Jeff Hannasch (the appellant/hero in the landmark Colorado Court of Appeals ruling that granted unrestricted access to records for 1951-1967 adoptees and set the stage for subsequent legislation) said to me, "You need a new bone to gnaw on. What's next?" My answer: "Rest."