While I was working my way into my second food-induced coma in two days, I was also neglecting my email. I didn't even log on when I got home, even though it wasn't that late. Instead I just stumbled to the couch and collapsed. It was really all I could do.
So, first thing this morning I went to retrieve my email. There were several emails letting me know I had comments waiting (thank you!) and a couple of SHOP NOW emails from L.L Bean and WalMart. Then there was a sneaky little email from someone I hadn't heard from in a long time.
Several years ago, I joined a group of people who believed that all adults, including adopted adults, had the right to their original birth certificates. This group, which called itself Access (and then OBC for ME - Original Birth Certificates for Maine) believed that, at the very least, everyone should be able to know their original surname. In this group there were a lot of people who wanted this. Like me, a lot of members wanted access to more medical history. Some people wanted to track down birth family for other reasons, and just about all of us admitted to being unbearably curious.
Since the law in this state has sealed the records since 1953, it wasn't that easy to get them opened. It took years, and at least 2 failed bills before the state Legislature finally passed LD 1084, but it happened. It was signed into state law in June of 2007, and will take effect January 1, 2009. I was told that it was going to take such a long time between passage and implementation because the State was going to have to develop a system, and forms to fill out, and LOCATE THE RECORDS. Evidently, depending on the situation, an adoptee's original birth certificate might be in any of a number of places. Hearing that sure didn't make me feel all warm and secure. What if they can't find it?????
Anyway, this morning I got an email from someone I met through Access who says that we're not just going to be able to show up at our town office (or the state house) on January 2 and pay our $10 and pick up our birth certificates. She said that we have to APPLY to someone at the state - it wasn't clear who exactly - and let them know we are going to want our records. Then, they have to locate them. So, if this is true, it looks like January 2 is not the day.
Why can't everything just work like it's supposed to? I mean, the folks at the state have known this was going to happen since May of 2007. What the heck have they been doing the last 18 months?
I am going to check into all of this, and will be sure to let you know what I find out. I'm a bit cranky about it, but what can I do? I've waited a long time, and if I have to jump through some more hoops, I'll do it.
I'd do anything.
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