Tag Archives: Adoptee rights

Let’s Give Adoptees Their Original Birth Certificates

If you are not adopted, you take your birth certificate for granted. It’s a piece of paper you’ve had forever, with facts about your parents and your birth that you’ve known about all your life.

But if you’re adopted, the original birth certificate is like a piece of gold. I just got mine two years ago and feel lucky to have it. Without it, I would be completely in the dark about my birth mother Lillian’s identity, which is part of my identity, too.

me and the BC best
That’s my original birth certificate

Many adopted adults can’t get their original birth certificates because of old-fashioned state laws that keep those records sealed. That’s not fair. I think other adoptees should be able to learn about their origins without having to jump through a million hoops or spend gobs of money.

I signed Sandy Musser’s petition, which would restore original birth certificates to adult adoptees. Sandy, an adoption reform activist, wants to take her petition straight to the White House. She hopes to convince President Obama to enact an executive order, which would restore the OBCs to every adult adoptee in America “in one fell swoop because it is a civil and constitutional right.” I’m with you, Sandy.

If you’re reading this, take a moment to add your name to Sandy’s petition. The more signatures, the more likely this drive will make a difference.

Here’s to Adoptee Rights

A birth mother’s right to privacy should not trump an adoptee’s right to know where she came from, writes Natalie Turko-Norton in a letter published in the Montreal Gazette.

Turko-Norton eloquently argues that adoptees should not have to settle for incomplete information (or no information) about their origins.

full disclosure

“Their right should not be trumped by the birth mother’s right to anonymity,” writes Turko-Norton. “Her background is not a mystery. It is the child, now an adult, given up for adoption, whose life is a mystery. What gives society the right to condemn such a person to a life of ‘not-knowing’ because the birth mother wants to preserve her intact life and new family? This is not a level playing field by any means.”