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Operation "Miracle on 34th Street"
a/k/a/ Adoptees' Rights

These areYour Opinions from
Adoptees' Rights to Their Original Birth Certificates

Did you know it is illegal for adoptees to obtain their
original birth certificates in most states?

(Editor's Note: I have put ALL comments in here, even those that don't directly answer that question, because it is your opinion, and in an effort to be fair to all I will post them. But please keep in mind that just because an adoptee has their original birth certificate, it does not *guarantee* that the birth parent will be found, nor does the lack of having it *guarantee* the birth parent they won't be found. The real issue is who owns that ORIGINAL birth certificate?)

I am 20 yrs. old. I am looking for my birth father, I am not asking for info. I am here to voice my opinion on adoptees' rights. I know exactly how they feel. When I was born my mother and father were not married, so they did not put my father's name on my birth certificate. Then he abandoned my mother before I was born. I am fortunate enough to have info. about him (his name and b-day), but looking for him is the hardest thing to do... Thanks to laws made by people who don't care if a child or even adult knows how their birth parents are. Thank you for the time and space in letting me get my opinion in.

Concerning the rights of the adoptee to birth records, I believe that every adoptee should have access to their original birth records at the age of 21. I was blessed with the most wonderful adoptive family that anyone could ever ask for. However, there has always been a void in my heart. I do not long for another mother figure, I already have the best. What I want is closure, and the possibility of having a relationship with someone I truly admire; my birth mother. I so greatly appreciate your position in helping those of us who feel this void. Although, no one can understand the dilemma that an adoptee goes through.
Medically, I feel that it should be illegal for hospitals to withhold vital information about an adoptee for reasons of confidentially. It makes no sense. They would not be allowed to withhold it any other time. I was born two months pre-mature and had major surgery shortly after birth. I remained in the hospital for two solid months, and was not able to get these records through the proper channels. It makes me feel ridiculous when a physician asks about my medical history, and I have to say that I have no idea because I was adopted.  It feels like my physicians just have to feel around in the dark when treating me. I have no family medical history. Now that I have my own child, I feel that he is getting an even
shorter end of the stick. No, he's not adopted, but he doesn't have much of a family medical history from my side either. One person does not a history make. Just because I don't have a particular ailment, does not mean that it doesn't run in our biological family. The whole bundle is ludicrous. I understand the sensitivity of rape, incest and molestation. However after 21 years, hopefully emotions have been healed and people have become survivors. Unfortunately, life is not always fair. That sounds harsh, but we are talking about the innocent party: the adoptee.
Curt Obrigewitch

I am the birth-grandmother - probably don't hear much from them!! Yes, I believe all adopted children should be able to receive their birth certificate. I can't wait to have my first grandson come and look for all of us. My daughter married the birthfather several years later and they have three children who, of course, are full blood relatives of the child
given up.
My belief is strong that all adopted children should have the opportunity to contact the birth family and vice versa. Many situations change after several years, very possibly, the birthmom or birthdad have changed their mind and desire to have contact now. If they don't want contact, all they have to say is "No." We are all adults and we have all made MANY mistakes in life - WHY IS ADOPTION SUCH A HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT IN THIS FREE WORLD? It should be simple. Give each side the choice, either one can say Yes or No.
From what I understand, most adoptions arise out of teenage pregnancy.  That teenager turns into an adult, matures and goes through several years of changes. She should be honest with their spouse upfront and also should be given the opportunity to find the adopted childs records at an appropriate time (age 18?).
Our lawyer has specific instructions if the child given up needs any medical advice, anything significant before he is of age to contact us immediately.  We will definitely respond promptly for him and the adoptive parents. I think it is horrendous that the child cannot even get a response from a birthmom when it is strictly a request for medical background.
Of course all of this is just my own opinion. The pain and hurt just from giving up a grandchild is immense - I can't imagine what my daughter has gone through.

I totally agree that adoptees should have access to their original birth certificates, I was happy to hear Tennessee and Oregon recently passed laws allowing this. I was adopted in NY, knew my unmarried mothers name, she disappeared when I was six and my foster parents adopted me at age 13 only because the New York Foundling, where she placed me, could not find her.
So she did not actually release me. I cannot understand this and am presently seeking councel in Jamaica NY to see if I can have my file opened but I have called twice and keep getting told they will get back to me. I called Albany, Dept. of Health, they said to send a letter requesting my original certificate with all the facts and they would see what they could do. The Foundling believed she married and had children, but she was born in 1902
in Germany and it is unlikely she is still alive. She might never have had a SS card, or might still be alive, but the only Clara Richter in the SS Death Index born in 1902 was married to a Fred Richter (might she actually have been married all along?) per her SS application that I sent for. I have made contact with Mt. Vernon (where this woman lived in 1942, Tuckahoe (where she was living at her death in 1975) and Bronxville (where she must have died, maybe in Lawrence Hospital, since the Bronxville Administrators let slip they
have her death certificate. But I am not sure this is her, although she was also born in Saxony Germany. Any other ideas?
PS: The paper here yesterday had an article that a state senator is submitting legislation to give adoptees access to their certificates in Massachusetts and I sent her an email and told her I would be happy to help in any way. I got a quick response for my address, phone, etc. Thanks for listening, This would be
an extremely long memo if I went into more details.

I am a mother of 4 beautiful children all of which were born under different circumstances. The first child was born 9 days before I turned 18 out of wedlock, but I knew who the father was and he knows that he's the father. I thought about placing her up for adoption to my uncle and his wife. The reason being was because I knew I would have a struggle trying to raise her on my own, and I still wanted to know where she was and how she was growing up. However thanks to love and support of my family I was able to keep her and raise her myself and I thank God every day for that opportunity. When my first child was around a year I got pregnant again. ( I was unaware that I was one of the 1% that could pregnant on birth control pills and try to get a guy to wear a condom 10 yrs. ago, what a joke) Anyways I had a choice to make. 1) adoption 2) abortion. I was lucky enough to have help with the first child, but two children would have been even harder. I opted for 2) abortion. The reasons being,1) my uncle and his wife were having marital problems and I would not be able to place the child with them. 2) because of the closed adoption records policy. I would not have known where my child was and I did not want to wonder all my life whatever happened to that child and how that child was doing. I have heard of so many horror stories where children who had been placed up for adoption hoping that the child would have a good life, only to find out later the child had been beatened to death by the adoptive parents. I would not nor could not subject a child to that possibility. At least with an abortion I knew that my child was somewhere safe and being taking care of. If abortion is wrong I guess that is something I'll have to deal with, with my maker.
The second live birth child was born into a marriage that would not last and ended ugly. Again both of my first children know who their fathers are. The 3rd and 4th children were born to me and my current husband. We have a wonderful marriage and we are both greatful for all the children we are raising together. My 3rd and 4th children know who their father is, however he does not know who he is. He was adopted as an infant. Born 3/27/68 in Buffalo, WY and we are in search of his identity. It bothers him that I can recite my heritage and he can't. It bothers him that I know of my medical background and he
doesn't. It bothers him that I know who I resemble in my family and he looks in the mirror and wonders who he looks like. It bothers him to look at his children and know he can't offer them a past like I can.
We would love to meet any of his birth family, however if they wish to not be contacted we would obilge them that right. The main thing we are seeking, is answers as to who he is or was. We do not need to know the reason as to why he was placed for adoption. We totally understand that there were obvious reasons for that. If we are meant to know those reasons they will be told to us without asking. My husband loves his adoptive family and he would not do anything intentionally to hurt them. He also loves his birth family for making the sacrifice they did to ensure him a good life and does not wish to hurt them
either. He was well raised and is happy and for the most part healthy. He is a hard worker and a great learner. He is also a great teacher of good morales and values. He thanks his birth mother for giving him the opportunity to become the man he is today. He would just like to know the baby he was. He holds no grudges towards his birth family and wishes them all the best of health and luck.
So after this very long history, it is time for my opinion on an adoptee's right to know. Well I'm 100% for open records. There were comments made in the ACLU comments section that said that unsealing adoption records would increase abortions. Well as you read earlier, it was sealed records that made me choose abortion, not the other way around. I feel that if adoption records were opened more young gals would choose adoption rather than abortion. To me that decision is tougher to make. Yes you will still find girls that choose abortion as a means a birth control, But I imagine if you surveyed you would find that most choose abortion over adoption, because of the closed records. Who is really protected by keeping them closed? The politicians and their smug attitudes, that's who. It was probably a politician who dropped a seed where it shouldn't have been that pushed for them to be closed in the first place. Let's face it with all the recent current events, the likelihood of that being possible is a good one. But should their pride take presidence over the rest of us? NO!!!!!
Linda Brenneman
City of : Sheridan
County of : Sheridan
State of : Wyoming

I am an adopted child. I have been one of the lucky ones because I know All of my birth family.  No, I was not adopted by someone in that family , rather by some friends of a birth aunt. I was 7 almost 8 at the time, at one time I had a copy of my original birth certificate it was very special to me. Some how ..some where it got lost..now I can Never get another one. All of my parents are dead it would not hurt anyone for me to have this information , but I can not have it, I can not even see my adoption records. I am 50 years old now...I have 3 grown daughters. I know there is a history of Bad health in the women of my birth family, I know my Mother died young ( 45) because of her health. Can I get information about what all her problems were NO, If I was not adopted this information would be
open and available to me or at least to my doctors needing it. As it is now when I have a problem I have to ask my one living birth aunt and hope she remembers something that will give us a clue. Since she is only ten years older than me sometimes we have a hard time piecing together information, also she is my Dad's sister so is not much help about my mother.
I could really go on and on about this subject but I just get so mad to think I can find out more about my dog than I can about my birth and childhood. Yes I want the right to know. It should be a law, that every adoption must come with complete medical information, the right to find that information should be protected but should be there for your doctor to get if needed.
There are lots of reasons people put a child up for adoption. The people that do are special, just as the people that adopt that child. You can Never go back, I know that. I was lucky I had the love of two families ( and still do, for that matter). I would never advise anyone to seek out their birth parents for any reason other than medical, it is to hard to try to live in two worlds. Should I have the right to find those parents YES, Just as THEY should have the right to find me.
I am not a political person, I do not get involved in causes. I do watch how my representatives vote and will express to them how I feel about any bill coming up for vote I feel strong enough about. This is one of those things I feel strong about , I will be telling both the republican and democrat parties how I feel about it. We need this right.
Lynn Musgrave

Why in our society do we go to such great lengths to protect the guilty and harm the innocent? Every person has a right to know their heritage, parentage, genetics. The truth is most modern folks are more forgiving, compassionate and understanding than they were in the 50's, 60's and even the 70's.  99.999999% of the reunions would be welcomed! Every person on this planet has some skeleton in his/her closet. Lies hurt deeper and longer than the truth ever could. An adult takes responsibility for their actions. We need to put the child first. Open the records allow a reunion if possible.
Give it up, we're heading into the 21st century. People need to know! All people...birth mothers, adoptees, lets get it in the open! Maybe with the help of some DNA bank all people seeking a relative could register and maybe matches can be made when names, dates and places are unavailable.
We give greater rights to convicts in prison than we do to an innocent child. That's shameful!
Maria Kight

I was adopted by my stepfather at 12 years old. My biological father agreed for the purpose of medical insurance. All three parents and myself were never informed that my stepfather's name would be inserted in place of my father's on my birth certificate nor did we know they were going to seal the records. Both my biological father and I have a very rare blood type not to mention the fact that none of us were involved in the private adoption of an infant. At eighteen, I attempted to retrieve my original birth certificate with the aid of all three parents. We were informed that the records were sealed and I had no recourse. My birth certificate is a lie. My step father is a good man but he is not the man who contributed in giving me life.
What  possible reason do the courts have for denying me the right to who I am.   I'm
lucky that I'm in touch with my father in case either of us needs blood, but what about other adoptees? I am in total agreement with your position on this.  Keep at it. I would like to one day be myself again.
Robyn (Thrasher) Aikin

HI my name is Judy and I'm a bmom it makes me sick to see an adoptees out there fighting for a birth certifacte. I as a birth mom was lied to and never told my daughter could never get her orignal birth certificate . OH MR Clinton but we can fight for this country.   Some of these kids can't even get a license . OH MR. CLINTON WHAT A COUNTRY . Thank you.  Sorry for the caps but I'm very upset.

I am an adoptee who was refused my Original Birth Cert. because they said "You would need a supeona to open the case, and maybe not then because it a court topic and I don't have the right to any info. These places give a lot of excuses,and I know I'm sick of it! All of us adoptee's have the right to our medical histories,our birth certificates and anything else we deem necessary from these people. My biological brother found me,but there
are still many questions I have that I am not getting the answers to. Such as My ORIGINAL birth certificate and court records. Not the one I have now, that has all the important issues blacked out. I don't feel this is right!

I stumbled across your site today conducting genealogy searches, and I just want to express my opinion of how important it for adoptees to be able to obtain their original
birth certificate. I searched for my half-sister who had been adopted out as a toddler,
and was reunited with her after 35 years. This would not have been possible were it
not for all the hard work of volunteers at the Washington Adoptee's Rights Movement
(WARM), who petitioned the court on my behalf to open the sealed record.  It certainly
didn't answer all the questions that we all still have as to what happened and why, but
I have been reunited with my sister whome I've always felt a kinship with, even though
I had been told she had died as an infant. I never gave up. Neither should anyone else
looking for the same closure. Keep charging. My prayers are with you in
your efforts.
Theresa Harding

Yes, I feel that adopted children should have the right to their birth records, for the following reasons. 1) to check on past medical history, because many medical problems are
hereditary. Such as many cancers and heart problems. Not counting blood diseases.
2) Yes, you are right days with so many adopted children out there, who is to know if they are marrying one of their blood relatives.  3) Another, and to me a very important one, is so that the adopted child will have an answer as to where he/she came from and why they were given up. I know from experience, not personal, that this haunts many of them.
Thank you for letting me voice my opinion.
Ada Wilbanks
Winter Haven, Fl

I am still searching for my son and soon I will be petitioning the courts for a CI. After 39 years I can't wait any longer to possibly be reunited with my son. Some of the things that are going on in the courts now a days is really starting to turn my stomach. Oregon is one of them. Birthmothers wanting to stop open records and won't even step foot in the court room so nobody will see how they are. Any judge that allows that to happen is really a jerk. That case should be thrown out and these women laughed at. I'm sure you have heard about it so I am not going to go into details.
Carolyn White
ISO B-Son, B-Name, Phillip Leonard, DOB, June 5-8, 1960
Florence Crittenton, Detroit, MI
Catholic Social Services

I am an adoptee. I was taken away from my family at the age of 4. I have very fond memories of my family and never gave up looking for them. When I was first adopted at the age of six, I never even knew my name because it had been changed with each family I lived with. In 1982, I uncovered my real name by doing a manual search from information listed on my "doctored" birth certificate. It didn't have my real name, or my parents' names, but it had the name of my birthplace, hospital, and doctor that birthed me. Using
this information, I got leads from those places. However, it was not until January of 1999 that my "new" husband put our computer online. Within two days, I located my family! We have had a wonderful reunion and I have many  family members now. However, I asked my mother if she had a copy of my original birth certificate. She said she didn't have it, so I wrote a letter to the courts requesting a copy of my original certificate. They denied me
saying that I had to have permission from my birth parents, and that it would  cost a lot of money. This really ticked me off. I explained that I already knew my parents, and that I just wanted the copy, it was my right. Well, to this day, I still don't have it, but I feel that it is our right to have what is legally ours. It is our heritage, our birth name, and our right!!! A
person needs to know their heritage, medical history, and other important facts like that. I come from a very large family with a common name. I am one of twenty children, my parents come from large families, and so you can see that the relative list is large. If our family got together, it would include over 1000 people! (Not to mention that most of them live around the same area) Imagine marrying a relative and not knowing it!! I could go
on and on with more reasons, but it is a right that we have to make happen. Thank you for your time and I hope that this right is someday realized.

I think we all deserve our original birth certificates. We are people too!
My amended birth certificate has no time of birth etc. and is scrutinzed when I leave the country as a fake! It's embarrassing. I belive we have the right to our medical records and information and our roots.
I hope someday to meet "the strangers that look like me" as I look like no one in my family.
Ruth Baker

I just wanted to tell you how very much I enjoyed your web-page. I also want to thank you Linda for caring about us. Not many people care or even try to understand what it is like to be adopted and have your birthright stripped from you like that. Every citizen in this great country of ours is born into the world with a right of birth, that right is a name, a heritage,
decedents, medical background, and family history. That is every citizen except the citizen that is an adoptee. You always seem to take for granted what you have never had to do without. Believe me if you had to grow up without that knowledge it would always seem as if there e was something missing. I know because I am a 46 year old adoptee.
I remember the first time I looked into the face of my newborn child, I wept.    Not just at the joy of seeing him, but I finally had someone in my life that   I was truly related to by blood! I was looking into the face of someone that was connected to me by more then anyone had ever been connected to me before.
For the first time in my entire life someone said that I looked like someone or that the someone looked like me. It was a glorious moment in my life.  One I will treasure the rest oof my life. I went on to bare 2 more children and again that connection was felt. It was wonderful.
But the terrible birthright that I carried within my body that I didn't even know about was an awful time bomb that ticked inside of me and I would pass on to at least two of my beautiful children. Something that I was unaware of because I was adopted.
At the young age of 38 years I had to have a 6 way open heart bypass surgery.
Had I known of this hereditary condition I could have been on medication and probably would not have had to worry about if I was going to have to leave my 3 children motherless. I had felt poorly for about five years, but being a working mother I just thought it was getting older. By the time that I went into the emergency room with severe chest pain and shortness of breath, it was a life or death situation. They told my family the next shower would have probably killed me. When they did the heart cath they had to leave thecath
and the guide wire in for fear that the cardiovascular system would collapse and cause a massive coronary. So they left it in until they could get a team of surgeons together to try and save my life and they would take it out at that time. The Doctor told my family that he only gave me a 30% chance of surviving the operation. After my miracle, all 3 of my children had to be checked and 2 out of 3 have the same condition. But thank God they are on medication and the chance of them having to go through the same thing is slim to none. They said if it hadn't happened to me that my son probably would have had his first major problem in his mid twenties. I think God for allowing me the chance to warn my children. But because of the laws my mother, who carried me for nine months, delivered me, tried to get find a way to keep me, could not warn me. I know she would have, if she could have,
because see I know that my mother wanted desperately to keep me.  The reason that I know this is because of the search work I have done on my own since I had my first child. I still have not found her, but I never give up, because even if she is dead I have to find out if I have any half siblings and if they know all of what I have found out the hard way about
our medical history. Because all that I have inherited from possibly from my mother could be wrong with them and she could be dead and not be able to tell them. I owe that to her for trying so hard to keep me without anyone to help her and for giving me the good life that I had growing up, because of her unselfish act.  You see, my mother was 17 years old, unmarried. Her mom had died when she was 5 years old and her dad a couple of years later. She was alone as anyone could be. She arranged to place me with foster care because she had no where that she could have me. The reason I know as much as I do is because of
the unidentifying information that I got through the department of children services, the public agency that handled my adoption. I also found my foster parents through a real fluke. They told me a lot! She had placed me with children's services from the hospital because she had no place to take me to.  She was trying to get a man that was much, much older then her to marry her.  He was not the biological father. He figured out what she was up to when she started to press him to marry her after I was born, and he told her he
would not marry her just give her child a home. I was in foster care for 4 months before she finally signed the relinquishment forms to allow me to be adopted.  She demanded to see me twice will I was in foster care and did see me.  The young social worker got into trouble for allowing that to happen. My foster parents tried to adopt me when they had, had me for over 2 months because they had become so attached to me. They were told no they didn't even have the signed form yet because mom was trying to find a way to keep me but
that they were about to put an end to that. No more free child care at the welfare departments expense! She was going to be told that if she didn't sign the forms that they would no longer be responsible for my care and she would have no choice but to keep me herself or they would start court action to take her parental rights away from her. My foster parents said they felt so sorry for her. The reason they wouldn't let my foster parents adopt me was because she was 4' 11" and he was 5 "2" and I was 9 1/2 lbs at birth and 23 inches long. They said I would never fit into their family. I would stick out like a sore thumb. My name was Gracie Sue Starkey, at least that was the original name on my birth certificate. Her name was Gracie Mai Starkey.
When I found my foster parents and called them, I will never forget, mom Seals answered the phone and I said Hello Mrs. Seals, did you keep a little baby girl in foster care about 28 years ago? She said yes and I said well I am that little baby girl. She just screamed and said, oh my God, ya'll come quick it's our little Gracie Sue, she is on the phone. When she said that and then said oh Gracie Sue how are you, how have you been, have you had a
good life. It just blew me away! All my life the only name I knew was Pam or Pamela Sue. The name my adoptive parents gave me. As time went on I found out more, but still have not found her, or any other relatives.
Last March I had a stroke a stroke that was not brought about by high blood pressure. You guessed it! It was brought on by a hereditary condition, where you are born without the capillaries in your brain, so the arterial bloods runs straight into the veins without a slow down. After this happens so long you have a blow out or a brain hemorrhage I got lucky, the stroke brought my doctor's attention on this condition because of a slight bleed that I had in the brain during the stroke. Bad part is mine is inoperable.  It is down in the right lobe of the brain. My doctors gave me a new treatment called Radio surgery and we are hoping to shrink it with this radiation treatment before a hemorrhage happens. I figure that is
probably why she was an orphan at such an early age.
So when you ask for my opinion, I'll tell you adoptee's lives could depend
on the knowledge that these law makers withhold from us in sealed files. How would they feel if their kid died prematurely because someone refused to open a file! Our birthright is the same as theirs or anyone else's, yet they decide our lives for us without even consulting us. I feel that is nothing more then a way for lawmakers to legally infringe upon our civil right and isn't there a law against that!  People need to open up their eyes, yes birth mothers have rights, but so do adoptees, we just don't have protection of our rights under the law.
Most sincerely,
Pamela S. Anderson

I was an unwed mother at age 20. I chose to keep my son. He is now 14 years old (and FREQUENTLY reminds me he is 4 inches taller than me!!). I made a promise to him before he was born that if he wanted to meet his father some day there weren't enough people in the world to stop me from trying to keep that promise. I feel my opinion of his father is my
He has the right to know his past. Just look how popular genealogy has become today! My son has little contact with his father (his father decides to "play" daddy about every 6 years) but he knows who he is. Our situation is different because his father has requested some contact but I believe at age 18 an adult has a right to know their parents, regardless of the circumstances.
However, I do not believe in letting parents look for their children once they give them up. They made their choice and they should live by it.
I know this sounds unfair since some children are never told they are adopted so they wouldn't know to seek for a biological parent. I feel adoptive parents would feel more comfortable telling their child they were adopted if they knew a biological parent couldn't come in and "disrupt" their home. I know people make choices when they are young and regret them later in life but you cannot erase those choices. You can go forward with your life.
Cassandra Hicks

I think it's absolutely sick, that I a 19 year old adoptee can vote, go to war, and be held legally responsible for everything that I do but as a resident of the state of Indiana I'm not allowed to know the most basic and personal information about myself. The state has sealed my past only to be opened if my birth parents, who know nothing about me, agree that I can see it. And yet this can only happen when I'm 21. Why is it that I'm legally considered an adult, but treated as a child. Why did this happen? Why didn't anyone ask me? I understand the "state" is trying to protect my bparents. But when did they forget about me? In my opinion, when my bparents made the choice to have me, they also made the choice that someday they would have to be accountable for their decisions. This
attempt to protect their mistakes has taken away a part of me. It's embarrasing not to know these things. And it hurts, it hurts a lot. I think the state needs to realize who they set this program up for. It wasn't the adoptive parents and it wasn't for the birth parents. It was to give the adoptee a better life. However, we're only given a part of it.
Carrie Elaine Drake

Have you ever watched Alice in Wonderland ? Remember the part when a character in the movie asks her, "Who are you ?". Think about it. Can you answer that question ? I can't. Now, how would that make you feel...really ? My oldest son was involved in the Gulf War, and for the first time in my life, when asked, "Do you know where your children are
?" All I could say was, "I don't know." If I were asked, "Who are you ?", again, I would have to say, "I don't know." Kind creepy, huh ?
There are many, many reasons that a person needs their original birth certificate. The key
words here are - THEIR birth certificate. No matter how much self-worth a person may have, if you don't know "Who you are", you always wonder where that came from. Did YOU do it on your own or was it something that you inherited from "Who made you who your are?"
I have a right to know as do the rest of the "Alices in Wonderland." I understand the need for privacy in some situations. There are delicate situations. I really feel that if a person is looking for a birthparent or a birth sibling, discretion should be used. I don't want to do
damage to anyone's world...but what about MY world. I didn't choose to be in this situation. I had no choice. And the more I try to find out who I am, the more I realize that I am not ALLOWED to have choices.
It's just not right to "reach out to touch someone" and have no one there, but to always wonder if perhaps they were also reaching out to touch me back. I have value, and I have questions.
And who the heck has the right to keep me from the answers, especially with a document that is MINE ?
Simone Keevert

I have, supposedly, a 1/2 sister and a 1/2 brother "out there somewhere" who I will probably never have the "chance" of knowing. Both of these records are "sealed." It is possible they do not even know they are adopted...March 8, 1942 female, LaCrosse, WI; and unknown date, male, Marathon County, WI.
My husband is also adopted but because of the attitudes of his "mother" from the adoption itself...he will never "mar her memory" and be "seeking." He is 53 and his parents have passed away; there were no other children in his adoptive family and he has no idea if he has any siblings that may also have been adopted out. He has no interest due to the way
adoptions were handled "back then,"....1946, ....he "picked up" the way his mother felt about the adoption. He has no health records.
As a 1/2 sibling to two people who don't know I exist, and as the wife of an adoptee, I find the "state of available information" unreasonable.
It "does not figure at all" that a person who is 40 or 50 years old, should not be able to, at least, be "openly told at some point" that she/he has natural 1/2 or full siblings who were also adopted...."if the 40 or 50-yr-old person "wishes to find out" their birth mother (who would be 60 or 70) "before she dies" "just to know who she was" ...I cannot find anything
wrong with that, either.
If any person wishes not to "continue contact" once initial contact has been made, that should be up to the individual parties....as we do in our normal daily contacts throughout life.
That "religious organizations" often transferred children from one place to another, changed info. and make a "valid search" unsuccessful today....is a way of "closed minded thinking" carried over from the past and "unwed mothers" for the most part, that, hopefully, we might overcome today.
Children will always ask questions...how often do we hear..."I knew I was not like the other kids in the family," "Johnny" just did not act like my other siblings...it is like even a child who is not told has some "inherent intuition" that he is adopted and feels he/she does not "really belong."
Perhaps 21-year-olds may not be able to handle "the truth" (if it has been twisted and changed since they were small)....I believe that "most" people in their 40's and 50's have come to some "overview-of-life" where this age would be a logical one to open records at...say 40.....this could be easily changed by law....then, if this worked out (for most of the people searching those contacts)....perhaps it could be grand-fathered in....going down to age 30....then to 25....I "hedge" at the 21 age as so many of my kids friends are 21 and are as mature as 16-year-olds (not);
There would not "be" a question if all adoptions could be "totally open" from day#1.....should that be?
I am "astounded" by the number of people searching on the different boards..it is almost incomprehensible! How could there be so many people searching who are not finding each other? (not enough info.? not accurate info? state of adoption really not state of birth? birthdate incorrect? info. changed on birthrecords? relatives unwilling to talk about what they "do" know?....I am sure these reasons and many more).
I don't know, I am not a birthmom or an adoptee.  They are the ones who would have to answer those questions.
Thanks, Georgie ....if related to 1/2 siblings

You wanted my opinion... well, here it is.. I think that we have every right in the world to have our original birth certificates.. My husband will be 30 in August and he just recently found out that he was even adopted.. and now the woman at the probate court knows more about my husband's birth family than we do..
I think that it is a sad thing that we don't have a medical history to give our 3 children's doctor!!!! I feel like a fool when they ask us if there is this, this or this in the history.. All I can say is.. "well, I know that there is this on my side of the family.. but my husband's is a blank"..
But the "government" has taken away the right for us to find anything out.. What I wonder is how many of them are adopted.. and how they would feel not to be able to know what their "roots were... But if there were more who were adopted then the laws would change..
Well, I will get off my soapbox now..lol..
Thank you,
Sheila Adams

My name is Craig Robert Coppedge, in 1968 I was adopted into a wonderful and loving family. I was only about three weeks old, I have never known any other parents, for that matter I have no other parents. I do however have a birth mother, and as I get older several issues have become important. One is birth family medical history as I have several developing health issues. The second is ancestry, heritage, damn it I want to know from whence I came, so to speak. I was told I was adopted at a very early age and never was it a problem for me. My birth mother was not married (that's all I know) and the life I have now is a gift from my parents and God. I do have a burning desire to know where I
came from, my roots so to speak. I feel like I don't have a past and it upsets me that I can not research and discuss my heritage. I am not looking to replace my parents, never could, these are loving people, in fact the lady who placed me with my parents (she worked for the Barker Foundation) was for ever more a member of the family. She was an aunt to me and was with us for holidays and special events until the day she died. (my parents took care of her at the end and were executors of her estate, her family was and is a greedy lot and paid no attention to her until her assets became available). I'm rambling, the bottom line is as
adopted people we should be allowed access to our original records and any law prohibiting us is criminal in my opinion. Any thing I can do to help in this matter I will. Thanks for listening.

I think it is crazy that I cannot have access to my original birth record. I live in Louisiana. Now that I am grown and have a family of my own I am ready to settle the part of my life that has always been missing.
Jeff Horn, Jr.

I have mixed feelings about your comments concenring an Adoptee's right to know. I sit on both sides of the fence - I am an adopted child and I was also an unwed mother who placed her baby for adoption. I have known my whole life that I am adopted. My two older brothers were adopted also. Our mother was always very open and told us everything she knew and when we reached adulthood, she gave us our adoption papers that gave us our "original" information. I have never had any burning desire to find my birth-parents. They had their reasons for placing me for adoption and I have had a very good life. Likewise,
I knew then and I still believe that the best thing I could have done for my own child is to give him the same chance I had. Yes, it would be nice to have a more complete medical history, etc., but for me that's not enough reason to find them. I think a lot of adoptee's forget that their searching could have, devastating results. Why does their right to know outweigh the rights of the people who gave them up?
We had (and have) specific reasons and fragile feelings about what we have to live with everyday of our lives. If my son were to find me, I can't even begin to think about how it would affect my life. More than anything else, I think it would break my heart.
Bertha FINN

I believe that birth certificates should be available if requested. I am 32 years old and the mother of 4. I was adopted in 1967 at the age of 3 months. When my husband and I were thinking about starting a family, I was able to obtain medical and non-identifing social
information. I know that I have a brother that is 2 years older than I am and would really like to find him. I am in the state of Wisconsin and no information regarding sibilings is available.
A few years later, I requested updated medical information. Having children, it is nice to know if any medical conditions should be watched for. Along with the medical information search, they also did a search for identity. It didn't take more than 2 weeks when I received a letter stating my birthmother died in 1975 at the age of 29 from a ruptured annuryism ( I can't find my dictionary). No cause for the condition was given, just the cause of death.
For me, it would be nice to know it was a fluke instead of some strange disease that is hereditary. I would also like to know my brother. If I had my birth certificate, I could at least talk to an aunt or uncle and get some information.
If you have any suggestions on how to find a dead person with next to no information, I would be very grateful.
Birth certificates sould be available upon request to the adoptee.
Wendy Engel

Hi, I am a 38 year old female adoptee. I was adopted in the State of Illinois which is one of the most difficult to get any information from far less an original birth certificate. This stinks, I have 3 children and everytime I take them to a doctor or to get their eyes examined I have to fill out a form on their medical history do you know what it does to me to put N/A across the page because I don't know, and its not fair to them not to know, what if something runs in my family that jumps a generation, is that fair?????? I dont think so! I agree people have a right to privacy, and if they do not want to be reminded of the "past" "us-adoptees" fine, but do NOT deny us our right to know what we might be passing on to other generations.
I feel all records should be opened after the age of 21, at 18 you can petition the court, but at 21 all records should be made known to you. As far as the rights of the birth parents, well guess what, all you have to do is say NO thank you, not interested, and leave it be. You gave us life now let us live it, completely without fear, otherwise why the heck didn't you get an abortion if you were so ashamed of us.

Yes, I as a birth mother am strongly in aggreement that adoptees have the right to their original birth certificates and medical records. These things do belong to them and they should have access to them and if it does help them to locate their families then that is an added bonus. For the protection of the birth parents then a mediator should be used but this should not prevent them from obtaining what is theirs.
Naomi Overton
5701 SW 39th St.

I am an adopted person and I feel that it is our buisness what is on the birth certificates,I don't feel any one should alter or even keep them from us.   I feel that, if the government won't let us have them, that they should go through the pain we suffer from. Thanks

As a birth mother I think that they should be able to see their BC. I am not  embarrassed that I gave my child up. It was the only choice I had at the time.  It would make it easier for their search.

Yes, original birth certificates should be available to adoptees. I am 49 years old and have known all of my life that I was adopted. I grew up as an only child, and not until my adoptive parents became very elderly, did I really get courious about my birth family. I have 4 children of my own with medical problems that had to have come from my side of the family- I have no  way to get medical history. I know nothng. All my birth certificate shows
is the city I was born in and my birth date- no time of birth, no hospital, no name of a doctor. I would love, more than anything, just to see my original birth certificate, especially now that my adoptive parents have both passed away. I don't know where people get off thinking it is right to keep something as precious as a birth certificate from the person whose birth it is showing. I will do anything I can to help change this law. Please let me
know of what I can do. I do not even want to contact the birth parents, I  just want to know more about me! thank you.
I am Sherry Kruse
Shelby 3502  Buchanan Loop Rd.
Texarkana, Tx 75501.
Please e-mail at engteach08@aol.

I am not an adoptee nor am I a birth parent who put a child up for adoption..I do have a friend..who is now 40 yrs old, who was adopted. Her adoptive parents, the father now deceased, have refused to tell her anything but lies.
I feel that each adoptee, upon reaching 21 yrs. of age, , should be able to request and receive, without cost or court order, his or her original birth certificate and adoption papers.
Why shouldn't they?? Do adoptees not have any rights at all? Do they have to believe the lies they are told? And what happens when the adoptive parents die? If the adoptee can't get their original birth certificate then all hope is lost of ever finding their birth parents or siblings.
Thanks for listening
Rhonda Burrowes

Hoorah For You,
It is about time someone spoke up for these children! I was trying to assist a young lady when she received a letter stating that she missed the restraining order deadline to obtain her docket number.
We already had the docket number but it just isn't enough to locate and find out who the birth mother or father was.  As it turns out, my own birth daughter had been searching for me and Nashville would not help her and did not give her any of the letters I had written that were attached to the outside of her sealed adoption file -- like they said they would. I even called them the other day and asked if they would send them to me and was told "NO" that the restraining order covered all post-adoption papers as well.
Something is definitely wrong here and we need to get the laws changed because all of these children (who want to know) have the GOD GIVEN RIGHT to find out who their natural parents are!
Thank God I found my daughter before the TN State Supreme Court issued the June 3rd, 1999 restraining order pending their memorandum opinion.
Darlene Franklin

My opinion is that it may be very important for the adoptee to find his or her parents for medical reasons, but speaking from experience, I was very disappointed when I found out who mine were.
Actually, my nature mother was my baby sitter and my cousin. She was the only section of the family that I didn't like. When I was 16, my parents told me. My parents always said that they would tell me when I turned 16.  Therefore, I was not that curious. I have become friends with her and her daughters, though.
A friend of mine is looking for his parents for medical reasons. They don't know his real name, and the records are closed, so they are having a hard time.
I like the idea of open adoptions. I think that when a child becomes an adult, that child has the right to know.

First let me start by saying thank you very much for all of your support, guidance and wisdom over the past several months; and for hanging in there with me in my continued quest to obtain a copy of my original birth certificate and medical records.
Without your persistance and determination, I would have given up long ago, mainly due to my lack of knowledge on how to proceed, when all other avenues I was aware of were exhausted. No matter how many roadblocks I encountered, you insisted that I continue my efforts until my original records were finally in my possession. Unfortunately this has not happened yet, although I feel confident it will.
I'd like to share my story, in hopes that it may help others in similiar situations. I am a 40 yr. old woman, who was adopted at the age of 6 months, in the state of NH. Currently NH law prohibits adoptees access to their sealed adoption records without an actual Court Order. Over the past several yrs., numerous events in my life led me to search for my birth records. I have 3 children of my own (whom I strongly believe have the right to know
their medical history, as well as myself), I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, I met my birth mother (whom I have become very close to and have a wonderful ongoing relationship with), who informed me of medical problems of other birth family members, (i.e. cancer, diabetes, etc.), I had an adoptive brother, age 43, who was diagnosed with colon cancer (and just recently died, without ever obtaining his medical records). All of these events eventually prompted my search. I followed all the proper channels and was granted the
courts' permission to obtain these records. Unfortunately, the judge never issued a Court Order; therefore the hospital and Dept. of Vital Records are not able to legally release the documents to me. I have asked the court numerous times to issue the order, but as-to-date this has not yet occurred. I am presently waiting to hear back from the court, it's latest decision.
I believe the documents I am requesting are "mine" and should be made available to me; so does my birth mom (birth father is deceased), and other family members. There is no one opposing this request, yet I am still unable to obtain them. Every adoptee should be allowed their birth records; regardless if a birth parent opposes it or not. At the time of our births, our birth mothers had all the rights and many still believe that should be the case, even today. I think they have an obligation to the children they gave birth to; to provide them with who they are, where they came from and their medical background, at the very least. What about the adoptees rights?
Just because we were raised by someone other than the 2 people who created us, we should not have access to our family history, and that everyone else who is not adopted receives automatically, whether they want it or not?  This makes absolutely no sense to me. Afterall, it is "our" life; no one else's!
Thanks to The Seeker, and especially Linda, I will continue to pursue this goal. I've worked too hard and too long to give up on this, in which I believe so strongly. I hope my story is of some encouragement to others to also do the same. Despite the hurdles, it has all been worth the time, frustration, tears and anger (although at times I was experiencing these
emotions, I wasn't quite so sure). I continue to hope that my "battle" (and unfortunately that is what I relate it to) will soon come to an end, and I will finally have possession of my original birth records.
Thank you again for your patience, support and all of your help! I cannot begin to tell you how much it means to me, and I'll always be grateful.  Also, thank you for the opportunity to express my opinions and share my  story.
Donna McCarthy

I am so glad to have an opportunity to voice my opinion on this vital issue.  Thank you!
My name is Kristen Henderson. I am from Florham Park, Morris County, N.J. I am a 39 year old adoptee who began the difficult, frustrating, painful (and yet I hope ultimately rewarding process) of searching for my birth family.   Just to make matters more complicated in my case (and I am sure thousands of others too), I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., but adopted by my wonderful adoptive parents who live in New Jersey. Because I was not both born and adopted in New York, I am not eligible to join The New York State Adoption and Medical Information Registry. I have registered with the International
Soundex Reunion Registry and all of the online C.A.R.E. endorsed adoption registries, for which I am very thankful to have these resources available.
I  have also obtained my non-identifying information from Spence Chapin, the adoption agency through which I was adopted.
I am doing as much as I can given time and financial restraints to proceed with my search. However, there is absolutely no reason why I should not have access to my original birth certificate. As so many before me have stated, in some cases so forcefully, in other cases so poignantly, this is MY information, MY birth name, etc. I have already spent an entire Saturday at the Main Branch of the New York City Public Library going through the Birth
Index for New York City to attempt to find my full birth name. (This index is organized first by year and then alphabetically by last name of the person whose birth is listed, which of course is of no help when you do not know your birth name! One must search every birth listed to attempt to find a match to the last 5 numbers on your amended birth certificate. For the year 1960, the year I was born, there are two thick volumes to go through, with
three lengthy columns to scan per page.) As you can see, this is an incredibly daunting task just to hopefully locate one's birth name! This is just one example of the incredibly difficult nature of the process of attempting to at least obtain the basic information from one's original birth certificate.
To anyone concerned, particularly our legislators, please give consideration to our stories and be willing to help us fight for what should be ours without question.
Thank you!
Kristen Henderson

As the wife of an adult adoptee, I firmly support an adoptee's right to his or her unaltered birth certificate. I too am outraged that, while I can get my original birth certificate any time I please, my husband cannot!
Until my husband asked for my help in seeking out his birthmother, I had no idea that he could not obtain his own records. I found this out researching the laws in the local library. While searching on the internet, I discovered that Florida is notorious for changing birthdays. Imagine how I felt having to tell him that! Imagine how he felt having to hear it! Plus, he was in foster care for 7 months prior to being adopted. They could have changed
anything they wanted to, and we couldn't tell!
Contrary to the beliefs I have seen represented by those who would keep the law the way it is, my husband is not poorly adjusted. His adoptive family is wonderful. He does not have any unrealistic expectations. He just wants to know where he came from. Whose nose he got. Why his birthmother felt adoption was the right choice for her. If he has any siblings!
I feel we need to put the adult back in adult adoptee! If a person is not a minor or a criminal, what right does the government have to make his or her rights differ from everybody elses?
I have emailed the governor, the senate, and the house! I hope a lot of other
people will do the same. Too many people are unaware of this issue. Let's  wake them up!
or: caroline12900@yahoo.com

Editor's Note:  Dawn Almeida is putting together letters to send to Gov. Bush in Florida and you can write to her at JADE6873@AOL.COM and she will forward the letter on if you like, she is trying to get 150 letters to send to him.

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