Saturday, January 3, 2009

ADULT Adoptees Have a Right to Their OBC

Our Santa letter writing campaign has received more media coverage. That is good because our goal was to raise public awareness and we are doing just that. However it sounds like I told a reporter with the State Journal-Register that we don't believe in adoptees having to be 21 to receive access to their OBC. I have left a comment on their website and will contact the reporter since this does need to be clarified. Misunderstandings do happen but the important thing is to clear them up.

Among the comments to this article at the State Journal-Register website is support for intermediaries. Some people are not aware of how bad the IL CI Program is but check out BastardGrannyAnnie and These are not isolated cases but not everyone blogs.

Over the years I have conversed with many birth mothers who were never promised confidentiality. My personal feeling is that social workers started this old lie and perhaps adoption attorneys joined in. The majority of the birth mothers that I have been in contact with do want to be found. They would love for their offspring to have a copy of their OBC. It would not automatically lead them to their doorstep. It would restore a civil right to their offspring and if they so wished to search for them, it could make it easier to find them. From a young age I knew my birth mother's name because it was on the adoption decree that my mother let me look at. Later when I became older, she gave it to me. BUT it was a VERY common name and I was born in a very large city. A current address for a mother is not stated on an OBC. Some marry and some more than once. Some pass away.

It will soon be 13 years since my search was completed, my birth and adoptive parents are deceased but yet I am denied a copy of my OBC and all adoption records, other than the decree that my mother gave me. I've been reunited with siblings and other birth relatives. I would love for a legislator to justify as to why I am denied my OBC.

But the bottom line is that the necessity for having a clean bill sponsored by a legislator is that if it would become law, a civil right would be restored to ADULT adoptees. The bill might not pass the House or Senate the first time but a legislator can continue to sponsor a clean bill until it does become law.


Grannie Annie said...

Amen, Mary.

You say it all when you explain that obtaining an OBC is not for searches or reunions. It's a human and civil right. And what is good for non-adopted citizens should be equally as good for adoptees.


Krit said...

Hi Mary,

If you haven't seen or signed it already, here's the link to my online petition demanding the release of original birth certificates for all adoptees in the United States:

You might also enjoy my recent letter to the editor and the response letter for an adoptive parent: