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Old 09-20-2012, 11:42 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,678 posts, read 23,274,401 times
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My daughter's birth certificate does not lie. It lists the names of her parents and when and where she was born.

It makes her life easier.

 
Old 09-21-2012, 02:52 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
1,105 posts, read 2,915,576 times
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Maybe this problem could be solved by having something other than a birth certificate. A birth certificate is just that, a certificate of a birth and when it shows the name of a woman who didn't give birth to the baby it is in fact a lie. One could still have a legal document that lists the parents without claiming that those people were the ones there at the hospital that day giving birth. How about having a citizen certificate that is the same for everyone - that lists the parents without claiming that they are the birth parents? A birth certificate would just be a certificate of a birth and not a legal document needed for identification purposes and therefore there would be no reason to change it.
I don't know that I agree that requiring an original BC and adoption documents for adoptees would be a good solution as that would in fact also treat adoptees differently than others. It would also be a constant reminder of the adoption for those who don't want it to be and want their families to be seen as any other regardless of how it came to be. I used to have a friend who was adopted and would get angry if her mother was referred to as her adoptive mother because, to her, her mother was as real as any mother and her birthmother just an incubator. Having to advertise to the world, and be reminded herself, that she was adopted would most likely be uncomfortable for her and I can imagine that many other adoptees feel this way.

To me, the way I understand it, the biggest problem with original birth certificates and closed adoptions is the secrecy and the denial of adoptees to know who their bio parents are and where they come from. I wonder if the amended BC would be less of a problem if the original one wasn't sealed and was readily available to any adoptee that wanted it?

In Illinois, after years of fighting by adoptees (there are more people than those on this board, Warren), they changed the law a couple of years ago to allow all adoptees born before 1945 to have access to their original birth certificates. If the birthmothers didn't want their info known they would have to contact the state and express that. I don't see why this couldn't be done for all adoptees born at any time, at least as a start. If the issue is really the BM's privacy then let her take the steps to make known that she wants it protected. Don't prevent all adoptees from knowing where they come from. This solution isn't ideal but it's a compromise that is a start.
Allowing it only for those born before 1945 is really a cop out though since many of those birth parents are long dead. I suspect that this action was just a way for the state to shut the adoptee activists up.
 
Old 09-21-2012, 04:12 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,678 posts, read 23,274,401 times
Reputation: 48876
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
Maybe this problem could be solved by having something other than a birth certificate. A birth certificate is just that, a certificate of a birth and when it shows the name of a woman who didn't give birth to the baby it is in fact a lie. One could still have a legal document that lists the parents without claiming that those people were the ones there at the hospital that day giving birth. How about having a citizen certificate that is the same for everyone - that lists the parents without claiming that they are the birth parents? A birth certificate would just be a certificate of a birth and not a legal document needed for identification purposes and therefore there would be no reason to change it.
I don't know that I agree that requiring an original BC and adoption documents for adoptees would be a good solution as that would in fact also treat adoptees differently than others. It would also be a constant reminder of the adoption for those who don't want it to be and want their families to be seen as any other regardless of how it came to be. I used to have a friend who was adopted and would get angry if her mother was referred to as her adoptive mother because, to her, her mother was as real as any mother and her birthmother just an incubator. Having to advertise to the world, and be reminded herself, that she was adopted would most likely be uncomfortable for her and I can imagine that many other adoptees feel this way.

To me, the way I understand it, the biggest problem with original birth certificates and closed adoptions is the secrecy and the denial of adoptees to know who their bio parents are and where they come from. I wonder if the amended BC would be less of a problem if the original one wasn't sealed and was readily available to any adoptee that wanted it?

In Illinois, after years of fighting by adoptees (there are more people than those on this board, Warren), they changed the law a couple of years ago to allow all adoptees born before 1945 to have access to their original birth certificates. If the birthmothers didn't want their info known they would have to contact the state and express that. I don't see why this couldn't be done for all adoptees born at any time, at least as a start. If the issue is really the BM's privacy then let her take the steps to make known that she wants it protected. Don't prevent all adoptees from knowing where they come from. This solution isn't ideal but it's a compromise that is a start.
Allowing it only for those born before 1945 is really a cop out though since many of those birth parents are long dead. I suspect that this action was just a way for the state to shut the adoptee activists up.

Not a terrible idea but both might me good. The thing is, teenagers are self conscious and having to explain things when registering for a new school for example is hard for some kids. My daughter is not into talking about personal things with strangers.

Passports, financial aid and many other things could be made more complicated.

The other thing is something no one wants to talk about. - Birth parents who do not want to be known, searched or found.

I have a birth parent friend who is like this. She lives in fear that she will be tracked down. She did not want to raise her child and went away yo have him. This was not in the twenties it was in 1988.
 
Old 09-21-2012, 05:00 AM
 
11,151 posts, read 14,154,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
The other thing is something no one wants to talk about. - Birth parents who do not want to be known, searched or found.

I have a birth parent friend who is like this. She lives in fear that she will be tracked down. She did not want to raise her child and went away yo have him. This was not in the twenties it was in 1988.
But why should this woman have more rights than the child she gave away? The child didn't ask to be born, and if he wants to someday know his own heritage, why should he be denied that knowledge?
 
Old 09-21-2012, 06:42 AM
 
203 posts, read 200,559 times
Reputation: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I have a birth parent friend who is like this. She lives in fear that she will be tracked down. She did not want to raise her child and went away yo have him. This was not in the twenties it was in 1988.
This has already been addressed. No parent who relinquishes their child to adoption is provided a legal right to privacy. Nothing an original parent signs guarantees them a right to anonymity from their own child. If a mother chooses to keep things from her past a secret or feels ashamed or anything else, this is a personal matter and not a legal matter. And the right of all adoptees to be treated equal *under law* to all non-adopted adults should not be denied because of the *personal* feelings of a single adult.

My mother is perfectly within her legal right as a fellow adult citizen to not have any contact with me. And there are ways to ensure this on her end without denying me access to my factual birth certificate. Again, it is a personal matter between two adults--my mother and me. Same goes for your friend. It makes feel sad for her that she is living in fear of her own son or daughter. Because that fear is not about her son or daughter. It is about her own personal issues and feelings. And her personal issues should not be used as an excuse to deny her son or daughter equal treatment under law. Why are her personal fears of facing her personal truth considered a valid reason for legally treating her son or daughter like a second-class citizen? Why are her personal fears of facing her personal truth more important than the legal right of all adoptees to know his or her origins (like all non-adopted citizens)? Why are the personal emotional issues of some given precedent over the legal rights of many?

Last edited by gcm7189; 09-21-2012 at 08:11 AM..
 
Old 09-21-2012, 06:52 AM
 
203 posts, read 200,559 times
Reputation: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
Maybe this problem could be solved by having something other than a birth certificate.
This has also been addressed. There are countries that follow a legal guardianship model which is more respectful of the adoptee from a legal standpoint. With this approach, the adoptive parents assume legal guardianship and the paperwork is processed as such. The child's birth certificate remains unaltered and the adoptive parents have the "proof of ownership" in the form of guardianship documents. Please note that this is not an emotional issue here. With guardianship, the adoptive parents can still be called "mom and dad" without falsifying the child's birth certificate. This is strictly about the legal approach taken. And this approach allows for the adoptee to be empowered legally--which is currently not the case in the United States. With the guardianship model, the adoptee receives the legal right to know his or her origins without the interference of others or governments. If anyone is concerned about the non-existent legal right of an original parent to remain anonymous, please reference my previous comment.

Of course, adoptive parents like mine would hate such an arrangement because they really like pretending that the fake facts on my fake birth certificate are true and that I have no other parents or family. A guardianship arrangement would mean that the adoptive parents would legally have to honor the adoptee's truth. And it is my feeling that an adult who chooses to raise a child born of other people should be willing to support and embrace the truth of the situation and not try to make adoption be anything other that it is. An adoptive family is different than an entirely biological family. And it is perfectly okay for either construct to simply be what it is without having to mimic the other.

Last edited by gcm7189; 09-21-2012 at 08:13 AM..
 
Old 09-21-2012, 10:47 AM
 
125 posts, read 131,906 times
Reputation: 110
My amended birth certificate lists the names of parents I love very much, but they are not the parents who gave birth to me. In that sense, it is a document that perpetuates a lie. Again, birth certificates are not sealed until after a child is adopted (which in my case was over a year later), and in some states like Alaska and Kansas, they were never sealed. In other states, adoptees have free access to their original birth certificates now.

My parents, if they had known, would have requested a copy of my OBC, but they were of course not told that they could access one, back in 1969-70. I am their daughter and we fit together amazingly well. And yet, I was not born to them. I want my OBC. They do not hear it as treason for me to say so. These are documents, not relationships.

It is recognized now that the sealing of birth certificates was done to protect the fiction that children belonged solely to the family they were adopted into, "as if born to." OBCs were not sealed to protect the identities of the original families, although this is one of the counterarguments that has been trotted out in legal circles to prevent open access. Evidence that gcm7189 provided above showed that in Oregon, for example, fewer than 100 parents filed to veto access to the OBC in a 10-year period.

Why should adoptees be held to a higher standard in regard to a legal document that is OURS than any other citizen, especially when we have done nothing other than be born?

If our mothers feel shame, that is sad, but parental shame is not a valid argument against adoptees getting our OBCs. Parents were never legally granted privacy from us, their offspring. If our mothers do not want relationships with us, as gcm7189 and I have said, they can choose to say so. If adoptees persist in approaching people who do not want contact, there are restraining orders.

We are not living under the Witness Protection Plan, and are not State secrets. It's time to stop treating us as such, and as hostages to our "tearful, closeted" mothers. They need to do the work of dealing with their shame. It's not our job.
 
Old 09-22-2012, 12:49 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,678 posts, read 23,274,401 times
Reputation: 48876
I do not see it as a lie. It gives the information that my daughter needs.

I don't know what to say about contact. My friend gave her baby life but released him for adoption. THe alternative would have been abortion, which the did think about.

Would this work? If every American parent who relinquishes a child for adoption filled out a form and answered questions, to the best of her knowledge; about health, ethnicity, parents education, grandparents education and places of birth and anything interesting about the family. Would this not solve this problem?

If the birth parent wants to give the name and say if she is open to contact? What if she is not interested in contact?

What I do not understand though, is that all of this assumes some great interest on the part of the adoptee to know these things. Not all adoptees share in this.

If the birth parent does not wish contact - after all perhaps that's why she gave the child up, or one reason why, shouldn't the adoptee have some respect for this?

I mean isn't it a two way street?

Somehow I think I know the answer to this.
 
Old 09-22-2012, 01:58 AM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,864,327 times
Reputation: 1462
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I do not see it as a lie. It gives the information that my daughter needs.

I don't know what to say about contact. My friend gave her baby life but released him for adoption. THe alternative would have been abortion, which the did think about.

Would this work? If every American parent who relinquishes a child for adoption filled out a form and answered questions, to the best of her knowledge; about health, ethnicity, parents education, grandparents education and places of birth and anything interesting about the family. Would this not solve this problem?

If the birth parent wants to give the name and say if she is open to contact? What if she is not interested in contact?

What I do not understand though, is that all of this assumes some great interest on the part of the adoptee to know these things. Not all adoptees share in this.

If the birth parent does not wish contact - after all perhaps that's why she gave the child up, or one reason why, shouldn't the adoptee have some respect for this?

I mean isn't it a two way street?

Somehow I think I know the answer to this.
I am assuming you are talking about contact after the age of 18?

Do you realise that in states and countries with unsealed records, there is usually protection for those that don't want to have contact? They can sign a veto. NSW actually has pretty strict rules about breaking a veto that includes a big fine and even jail.

Here are some questions about the vetoes for both adoptees and bmother:

http://cms.bensoc.org.au/uploads/doc...to_in_NSW2.pdf

http://cms.bensoc.org.au/uploads/doc...es_in_NSW1.pdf

http://cms.bensoc.org.au/uploads/doc...ts_in_NSW1.pdf

In many ways, that can be better for a bparent. If your friend lives in a closed records state, she may still get contacted out of the blue. However, if she lived in an open records state, she could put a "no contact" veto on and she wouldn't be able to be contacted.

Note that the above sheets recommend that the bmother give a reason for why she doesn't want contact and also to give medical information and vice versa if the adoptee doesn't want contact.




Btw I ALWAYS had respect for whatever my bmother's wishes might have been, that is why I thought I would leave it up to her and didn't do anything for 20 years because I didn't want to disturb any life she might have made for herself. Sadly, the first thing I discovered when googling her name was a cemetery record to show that she had died while I was in high school. Even then, it took me another 4 years before deciding whether to contact the extended family and luckily they welcomed me with open arms. However, if they had told me to "get lost", I would have respected their wishes (with one proviso - I did think it was very important for me to know why my bmom died so young for health reasons and would perhaps have at least demanded an answer to that).

Most adoptees I know personally have always been very very respectful of their bmother's wishes re contact - in fact, I think most are so scared of rejection, they tread with a great deal of care.
 
Old 09-22-2012, 05:13 AM
 
1,014 posts, read 987,631 times
Reputation: 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
Would this work? If every American parent who relinquishes a child for adoption filled out a form and answered questions, to the best of her knowledge; about health, ethnicity, parents education, grandparents education and places of birth and anything interesting about the family. Would this not solve this problem?
My aparents were given this information at the time my adoption was made. Since I found my family as an adult a lot of health issues have come up for my sister, mother, father, that they did not anticipate. So no, that does not suffice unless it is routinely updated.

Quote:
What I do not understand though, is that all of this assumes some great interest on the part of the adoptee to know these things. Not all adoptees share in this.
So because some adoptees do not have any interest in their health, name, or records, this is reason for discrimination against all of us that do?

Quote:
If the birth parent does not wish contact - after all perhaps that's why she gave the child up, or one reason why, shouldn't the adoptee have some respect for this?
A VERY small number of biological parents request no contact & yes, once adoptees have had access to the information that is their right to know they should respect that. Most do. Just because we want our OBC does not mean we are going to beat doors down or harass anyone that does not want contact. If this does occur, they can go through the same steps every other citizen has to go through to get a restraining order. Why people believe every adoptee needs to be held to the same standard as a notorious criminal I will never understand.
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