Tuesday, February 26, 2008

1st Class Citizens

I'm 60 years old and have yet to see adult adoptees treated like 1st class citizens in the State of Illinois. I was born in Illinois where I was placed for adoption and also raised there. In 1976 when I mainly began searching for my birth mother, it was mainly for medical reasons. But yet the placing agency treated me like I was a little kid who had no right to even ask for more non-identifying information than they had decided to give me. Strong determination/being persistent led to getting more and more information. In 1997 I became one of the more fortunate adoptees for my search to be completed. My birth parents were deceased but I've had a great reunion with siblings, great-aunts, cousins, nephews, and nieces.

Now I would love to see all other adoptees who are still searching to have a similar experience as me. But to make it happen for more and more to be reunited it would help for adoptees to be treated like 1st class citizens. Those not personally touched by adoption can request their birth certificate and just get it for a fee. Those who have been adopted can request their amended birth certificate and get it for a fee but they are denied their original birth certificate. Many not personally touched by adoption are not even aware that adoptees do have two birth certificates. The original is sealed when an adoption is finalized because adoptees MUST NOT KNOW the name of their birth mother or where she was born. Sometimes information about the birth father is on the original birth certificate and that is forbidden as well. Are legislators aware of this? Some might be but I do think many need to be educated. That is hard to do though when they close their ears and eyes to something they don't want to be aware of. They do listen and read when organizations or individuals contribute money to keep adoption records closed. It is past time for adoption records to be open in Illinois - barbaric days should be over with.

ALL U.S. citizens should be treated as 1st class citizens!