Tuesday, December 30, 2008


On Monday, December 29th we arrived in Springfield, IL early enough to have lunch before going to Vital Records to deliver the letters written to Santa. Lunch at a Bennigan's might have resulted in luck of the Irish! We pulled into the parking lot for the building where Vital Records is housed about 20 minutes prior to the scheduled time. My sister spotted a WICS TV van parked nearby so it was decided that the driver should be approached to see if he was there to cover the delivery of the letters. He was and asked if he could interview me while we were waiting until 1:00 to arrive.

I felt that the interview went well. The reporter did ask me a lot of questions. I did stress that adoptees have been robbed of a civil right to not be able to legally obtain a copy of their OBC and that there are birth parents and adoptive parents who agree. Obtaining one's OBC does not automatically lead them to their birth mother's doorstep. I told him about the old story about birth mothers not wanting to be found but the majority do want to be. I stressed that the fight for open records is not about search and reunion. It is about the civil right that should be restored to adult adoptees. It is about the dignity that has been taken from them. The reporter did ask why we don't feel that the IL adoption registry and CI Program are efficient. They are not a replacement and we need an open records law with no conditions.

When it came time to enter the building that houses the Vital Records department, I found that I had to tell a lady behind a window as to why I was there. She knew why but we had called ahead in order to have permission for the media to film the event. She asked that I step around to a locked door. A man met me at the door and took the bag of letters. I later wondered why he could not have stepped out into the outer entry area. Was he just not interested in talking to me, was he camera shy, or did he fear that if I got started talking, I might go on forever about OBC's being sealed? I do realize that in this day and age there are many locked doors because there is fear about what might happen otherwise. I sure would have loved to have shoved past this man and grabbed all the OBC's! But we all knew that I would not walk away from Vital Records with them in my hand. I was kind and gave the man a candy cane along with my personal card that does clearly state, "All adoptees should have their OBC, restore their civil rights".

Those who saw me out in the parking lot being interviewed by the TV news reporter had to have wondered what was going on. How many times four days after Christmas do you see an elf with a large gift bag in their hand being interviewed outside the Vital Records office. The wind caused the bell on my hat to just keep jingling! The look that one lady gave me made me wonder if she might have muttered all the way home! I was more of a site as I opened the door to the building because my elf hat blew off. I managed to catch it but did not try to put it back on while being filmed.

The news reporter said that WICS would cover the story and thought that FOX would too. My cable does not cover WICS and I missed seeing it on FOX since the reporter did tell me an earlier time than when it was aired. But after making some phone calls today I did learn that I can order a DVD so an order for one is going out in tomorrow's mail.

We had hoped to raise public awareness that adult adoptees can not legally obtain a copy of their OBC. I feel that we did succeed with that and the more who become aware of it, the better. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who wrote letters. Each and every one did count! There were a total of 82 letters delivered. They were from people who live in 15 different states plus Canada.

We must continue to raise public awareness
and come out in numbers until OBC's are legally obtainable everywhere!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Letters Requesting OBC's to be Delivered

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer did upgrade to a GPS device. But it did malfunction during the ice storm and frigid temps in the Midwest to prevent delivering the letters to Vital Records prior to Christmas. However we have already had enough ice to make for an entire normal winter. My feeling is that Rudolph will continue to let his nose guide he and the other reindeer. I heard that was what he did on Christmas Eve. Rudolph has guided the reindeer and Santa back to the North Pole and all of them are resting up from an exhausting trip all over the world.

Illinois governments are trying to conserve expensive road salt but higher temps (probably asked for by Santa) have melted enough ice to make a trip by car to Springfield.

We will deliver the letters to Vital Records at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, December 29th.

I will post how the event goes and we will hope for publicity to raise public awareness that IL adult adoptees are legally denied a copy of their OBC.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Thank you to everyone who wrote letters to Santa requesting your OBC or for another's OBC! If you have not written yet, please do so TODAY and email it to me - mlf@ilopen.org. Please don't say that others are writing and one more letter won't make a difference. The more letters, the better. I currently have 77 letters, a nice number but more would be better.

Unfortunately the trip to Vital Records had to be postponed due to an ice storm that moved quickly into this area. Bitter cold and high winds followed so traveling about 90 miles one way to Springfield was out of the question. We need some at least partially sunny days and warmer temps to clear the roads. Vital Records will be closed Dec. 25-28. But hopefully it will not be long after Christmas when Santa's elves take the bag of letters to Vital Records.

Thank you for your patience while the ice melts! If you have lots of sun and warmer temps than we have here in the Midwest, please send some our way!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The U.S. Census Bureau at An Adoptee's Service

Today while reading a genealogical column in our local newspaper I was happy in a way to see that The U.S. Census Bureau can be of help with passport applications (www.census.gov/genealogy/www/agesearch.html). The website does not say that adoptees are exempt. So I saw red to think that adoptees with delayed birth records can now pay $65 to prove a birth and a family relationship. It is just another way to cash in on adoptees who are still legally denied a copy of their OBC.

For years now some adoptees have had problems with obtaining a passport. When an amended certificate, the only one that many adoptees have is dated several days or maybe months after their birthdate, government officials question if it is authentic. So the issuance of a passport is denied. The date on my own amended birth record was definitely falsified since my adoptive parents did not know about my birth until I was three weeks old. But there are no questions asked by any government agency because the dates match. I'm not complaining but it goes to show that a falsfied legal document can fly while one that has not been tampered with might not.

Adoptees being denied passports have been one argument for open records. Is The U.S. Census Bureau stepping up to help legislators who oppose open records? Or has The U.S. Census Bureau stepped up to cash in like others have from records being closed in the majority of the states? There could be non-adopted U.S. citizens in need of this new service.

But I say it is far better to restore the civil right taken from adoptees. During these bad economical times why not let them obtain a copy of their OBC for the same amount as others pay for an OBC? I bet it would not cost $65 in any one of the states. I have to wonder too if a question will come up about an adoptee's age on their drivers' license or state ID matching that with what The U.S. Census Bureau finds on the census. Census errors are rather common and we must remember that not all adoptees join their adoptive families immediately after birth.

Will we learn at some point that this new service can't help all adoptees? It could become a gamble as to if it will or not while a government agency is still profiting.