IL HB 4623 as written MUST not become law. Records must be opened for ALL, not just a selected group. For many years now some of us have been strong advocates for open records. But the more who join in the fight, I feel the better chance we will have of seeing Illinois becoming an open records state. All triad members need to speak out. I know that many genealogists are for open records and sometimes I hear others say it is only right for everyone to know their origins. But it is unfortunate that sometimes people will sit back thinking that others are taking care of the fight. No matter how many are fighting, the more the better. Newspaper readers and TV news watchers often see demonstrations by people fighting for a particular civil right. These demonstrations do get attention and make the news. A demonstration to show support for open records in IL would do no harm in my opinion. Let's do it! No, we don't all live in the same city but there can be multiple demonstrations. Another way to get attention is to flood legislators with phone calls and letters. There are times when it can help to lobby at the statehouse. Please contact me!
I am one of the more fortunate adoptees to have completed my search 11 1/2 years ago. I will always be greatful to my dear friend Anita Field who was invaluable help to me during the final days of my search.
My search took over 20 years and during that time my birth parents passed away. But I've been reunited with siblings and other relatives. Recently some of us got together. There were special moments to share and reminders of how much I am like some of my siblings. Striking family resemblance is being passed on down from one generation to another. Although 11 years have passed I still feel overwhelmed while I'm around birth relatives. I always hate to leave them. But I always come home feeling so blessed that I've been reunited. It does not seem right that so many others are still searching. Some have been rejected so missed out on the opportunity to be reunited with birth relatives. Others have given up searching because it seems impossible to complete their search.
I will always be a strong advocate for open records because I do want all adoptees to experience similar special moments with birth relatives like I have been blessed with. Open records would not change a birth relative choosing to reject someone. I can't help but think though that some birth mothers have filed with a state saying that they don't want contact when that might not have happened if they had been contacted by their son/daughter and heard their voice. Although I'm not as active as I once was with helping to reunite people I recall too well when some birth mothers did not think that they wanted contact and then changed their mind. But to open records is not just for search and reunion.
Open records would provide all adult adoptees the opportunity to request and receive their original birth certificate. That might not always lead to searching and being reunited. But for those not reunited they would know their identity and most of all they would be treated like first class citizens. They would have the same civil right as non-adoptees!
For over 30 years now I've been an advocate for open records. I had a good adoptive home. My father was killed in a freak accident when I was two years old. But my mother remarried and my step-father treated me as if I were his biological daughter. In 1997 the search for my birth family was completed. My birth parents died during my 20 plus year search. I've had a great reunion with siblings and other birth relatives. I want other searching adoptees to complete their searches. Open records laws in all states would make the task easier. Over the years I've conversed with many triad members and the majority have wanted laws so that all adoptees can request and receive their original birth certificate.
During a 20+ year search for my birth mother, I provided the AdopTriad BBS. I was the founder of Insight to The Adoption Triad, a search and support group in OH (Columbus and Delaware areas). For many years I helped numerous adoptees and birth parents throughout the U.S. with their searches and provided support during and afterwards. Although I'm not as active today I am the list owner for FamAdopt (Yahoo eGroups)and continue to offer advice and provide support. I'm currently writing a book about my own search and reunion since I do feel that it will be inspiring to many. This blog was started because I do feel the violation of the rights of adoptees needs to be more widely known in the hope that it will lead legislators to opening records in the majority of the states that still have closed records. ALL adoptees deserve their original birth certificate, just as those not personally touched by adoption obtain their OBC with no questions asked and are not denied this link to their heritage.