Friday, December 26, 2008

One week to go

I’m still recovering from the chaos of Christmas at my house. I am alone in the house now, so, as soon as I have a cup of coffee (decaf!) or twelve, I will tackle the cleaning up. I don’t fuss about mess on Christmas – I just enjoy my family and let the boxes and dishes fall where they may. My dishwasher decided to give up the ghost on Christmas Eve, so I’m back to washing by hand, which I hate more than anything. I may try to call a repairman today – maybe if I explain that it’s an emergency??

I’ll try to post a holiday picture or two, as soon as I get Hallie to explain how to get pictures off my phone again.

In the meantime, a couple of questions have been asked in my comment section, and I think other people are wondering, too, so, I’m going to take a moment to answer.

The law that has changed the access to my birth certificate works this way: Currently, in my state, if you were adopted after August 9, 1953, generally you do not have the legal right to your original birth certificate (OBC). There are some adoptees who have always had access to their OBC (those adopted through the foster care system, international adoptees, and others). Also, if you were adopted in a county where the Judge of Probate was amenable, you may have been able to get your adoption records opened, which would include your original birth certificate. I didn’t fall into this category. The new law essentially gives EVERY adult the right to a copy of his/her original birth certificate, whether adopted or not.

As part of this law, birth parents have the opportunity to submit a Contact Preference Form, indicating whether or not they would like to be contacted by the child, now an adult, that they surrendered for adoption. If they submit a ‘do not contact me’ form, they are asked to complete an extensive medical history form, so that the adoptee may have this vital information.

This law will only give me a copy of my original birth certificate with the name of my birth mother, and if I’m lucky, my birth father (fathers were not required to be listed back in those days). It will not tell me where she is, or if she’s alive. It will not help me track her down. It won’t tell me if I have siblings. It will, however, reveal my original surname.

The concept of privacy for the birth parents is a very complicated one, and I won’t pretend I have it all figured out. Read my post about me insisting that I’m not a stalker, and you’ll learn a bit more about what I’m expecting to do with the information. In the end, there are a few things that I have come to believe:

  1. I have a right to know my original last name, for a bunch of good reasons, including preventing marriage to related persons (hey – this is a small state!)
  2. Parents do not inherently have the right to protection from their children, including those given up for adoption.
  3. I have a right to as much medical history as I can possibly get, and this information could possibly save my life, or the lives of my children.
  4. My birth certificate belongs to me. Not to my parents. ME.
  5. I’m an adult, and can be trusted with this information. Nobody knows better than I do how adoption affects people. The emotions I have had to deal with make me especially sensitive to how it might affect my birth parents.
  6. Nothing dire has come to pass in the states that have already passed this law; or in the states that never sealed the records in the first place.

I’m going to have to work the rest of it out as I go along. All I know is that ONE WEEK FROM TODAY, I’ll have the piece of paper in my hand. What happens after that is anybody’s guess. Hope you'll be around to help me figure it out!

13 comments:

AirmanMom said...

ME... we do the same...enjoy the family and worry about clean up the 26th!
My prayers are with you, during this tremendous journey!

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

Blogging Under the Influence said...

I am so excited for you!

Laura ~Peach~ said...

yep I so agree... which reminds me I bought a net search program many years ago and have used ti to help locate several missing peices of the adoption triad... usually a name with Birthdate is all it takes to find them... so when you have information in had let me know and I will run it through and see what comes up.
Excitement abounds!! Hugs LAura

Abby Reed said...

Hip hip hooooray, it will be here before you know it! I'm all antsy! I can't wait to see what you find out! :)

Glad you had a Merry Christmas! Big hugs from New Mexico :)

claudia said...

I am so excited for you!
As a birth mother, I wanted to give the son I gave up for adoption (and his adoptive family) privacy and the freedom to seek me out, if they wanted. As it turned out, the father I chose to adopt him was a private investigator and found me and discreetly left me a note saying this is all of our information, contact us, if you would like to. For us it worked out really well.
I wish you all the luck in the world on that journey, and if there is ANYTHING you think I could do to help you, please ask!!!

Mrs4444 said...

Very exciting!! Thanks for the answers. I hope you find everything you are looking for :)

katy said...

I do not clean on Christmas day and since I am sitting in the middle of a mess, obviously nothing on the 26th. I did work today so I am using that as an excuse.
I am trying to imagine the feeling you will have when you get that important piece of paper. To know where you came from is important and I know there have to be so many different feelings associated with getting that information. I'll be here every day to check up.

~*amber*~ said...

You know I will stick around through your journey. I am so excited for you!

Less than a week to go...

Barb said...

My house is still trashed. There are boxes and toys and the dreaded Christmas clothes (Jane cried because she got so much clothing as presents --can you say spoiled?) and there's no way to walk across a room with the lights off without hurting yourself.

I'm a compulsive cleaner but after Christmas, I think I get a little afraid that all the magic will be gone with the debris...

But the real reason I'm commenting, ME, was to thank you for your lovely comment on my blog about being the parents every child dreams of, which is especially poignant knowing of your search. I look forward to following your search for your birth parents. You're a wonderful writer.

gin said...

What a great day it will be for you when you get your birth certificate in your hands. My prayers are with you on this journey.

Vegas Princess said...

All those reasons you stated are valid and should be considered for everyone who wishes to have their OBC. Until you listed it I never considered that a birth certificate is the property of the person it is about, not the parents. Which makes perfect sense and makes the silly laws preventing people from obtaining them ridiculous. I am holding my breath for you and waiting for next week.

Kitty said...

my hands are sweating just reading this. How are you sleeping???

Midwest Mommy said...

I have chills for you. I cannot even imagine how you must be feeling.