Today I plan to be on the phone, finding out exactly what I’m going to have to do to get my birth certificate. It’s so frustrating to be told that things are not going to work as promised, but, as several of you have pointed out, it’s a lot better finding out now rather than later. What a horrible feeling it would have been on January 2nd, walking into the town office, expecting to be handed my birth certificate, and being turned away.
Evidently, any adult adoptee that wants his or her original birth certificate must apply for it by filling out some forms, which have not yet been released. Once they turn in the forms to the state, someone at the Bureau of Vital Statistics locates the records and, one assumes, sends them to the person.
Gee, that sounds simple, doesn’t it? Of course, they admit they’re not sure where the records are, and they don’t have the forms ready yet, and they have no idea how long this process will take. I did find out that if we notify someone at BVS that we are going to be applying to get the records, they might start looking for them now, so that it will be quicker to match them to the request after January 2nd. So, that’s another thing I plan to do today.
One of the other things that the state is working on is a form for birth parents to fill out. If they choose, they may file a form saying that they do not wish to be contacted. The good news is that, if they file this form, they are also required to provide a complete medical history form. Get lost, but here’s your medical background.
If I stop and think about this very long, I go nuts. Imagine how it would feel to finally get the names you’ve waited for all your life, and they are accompanied by a note that says, PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM US. Talk about abandonment issues. Geez.
When we were fighting to get this law passed, the opposition often talked about how this would RUIN THE LIVES of so many birth mothers. They painted a picture of a peaceful woman with her peaceful family in their peaceful home SHATTERED by the appearance of the child she gave up for adoption. Maybe she never told them about me. Maybe the shame of it all will kill her. Maybe their oldest child finds out he’s not really the oldest child and ends up hating her. Maybe their happy family will never be the same and it will be all my fault.
Well, this is what I have to say about that: I’m not a stalker. I have absolutely no desire to shatter anyone’s happiness. What I want is some information – information that I think I deserve to have. I want to know where I came from. I want to know what scary diseases might be waiting to get me. I want my children to have all the medical history they can have. I want to know if I have siblings.
Would I like to talk to them? Sure. If my birth parents are still alive, I’d love to get to know them a little bit, but I don’t need parenting. I think one good set of parents is all anybody really needs – and I had a set already, thanks - but I’m not against having some kind of relationship with them. I’d love to get some answers to questions I’ve pondered since I was a child.
But, I don’t want to cause any trouble. I hate to think that my very existence causes anyone pain, and I don’t appreciate the implication that I would go storming off to ruin my birth mother’s life. I would never do that.
What I would tell her, if I got the chance, is simple:
You did the right thing. Thank you.
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