Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Open Letter to Co-sponsors of HB 4623

I'm pleading with you to reconsider your sponsorship. It does nothing but keep the Adoption Registry and CI Program intact. The Registry is not effective and most likely never will be since registries have proven to not be effective in any state. The CI Program leads to heartache - please see and Believe me there are similar experiences by others but not everyone is a blogger.

For many years I was active with helping others search and learned that the majority of birth mothers do want to be found. They were not promised confidentiality - this is a lie that was made up years ago by probably social workers or adoption attorneys. The majority of adoptive parents support their adult child searching. Often there is a need for medical history and they are aware of the void felt by their adult child. Finding birth family is not going to break a strong bond formed between adoptive parents and adoptees.

Rep. Feigenholtz's bill is lengthy and I fear has not been thoroughly read by all legislators. The public was denied access to the bill until a few hours before it was voted favorable out of committee on March 13. I suspect that she is now making amendments and is going to try to sneak this bill through the House and it just must not happen.

There are other states with open records and it is past time for Illinois to follow suit. Please don't be mislead thinking that the Adoption Registry and CI Program do open records. Open records is where ALL adult adoptees have the right to request their original birth certificate. To hold that document in one's hand does not lead them to their birth mother's doorstep. It does aid in searching for her. If she happens to be one of the few who prefer to not be found, she can tell her offspring just that. I've known that to happen and the adoptee has respected their birth mother's wishes.

Thank you for all consideration shown!

Mary Lynn Fuller
Urbana, IL


Anita said...

Excellent letter, Mary.

triona said...

Fantastic letter! I'm honored by your including my 73adoptee blog as a reference. And indeed, the lie was made up years ago primarily by adoption professionals and others interested in keeping records sealed. E. Wayne Carp's book "Family Matters: Secrecy And Disclosure In The History Of Adoption" is an excellent - and disturbing - look at how sealed records came to exist.

Kathy said...

Hey Mary

Thank you for writing this letter and setting the record sraight.

As a mother who relinquished in the state of IL. in 1969, I was never promised confidentiality, nor would I have wanted it. The whole idea that bmothers were ever promised anything, let alone the right to privacy, is a bunch of lies.

It's time the entire state, the people of IL. know this, and I thank you again, for debunking the myths. I, for one, am weary of those with secrets to keep, (adoption attorneys, agencies, and the catholic church), using the backs of bmothers, mine included, in order to keep those records sealed.

Good luck with your continued quest to restote rights to adoptees; open adoption records for all.

Kathy Underhill/Best Lister