At least that's what an official document I received in the mail last week said. That's right! For those of you who have been hanging by a thread with me impatiently awaiting the arrival of my original birth certificate (OBC), it arrived! Finally!
Hubby was in the car on his way to run errands when I went out to check the mail. As soon as I saw the letters DCF on the envelope, I started jumping up and down with excitement! This is only the second time I've had this reaction in dealing with DCF, the first time being when I received my non-identifying information.
I tore it open and showed it to Hubby. He looked at it and said, "Now you have a certified document that says you have no name!" I swatted him and waved good-bye anxious to call my bio mom. She was so excited and we wound up talking for two hours!
It felt so good to hold my OBC in my hands. This was the second to last piece of a seemingly never-ending puzzle. The only thing left is to go to court and attempt to have the records opened. I'm really hoping we are able to, especially since all parties involved are in full support.
What's the difference in an OBC and an Amended Birth Certificate (ABC)? A lot! My first and middle name on my OBC are blank (thus the "no name"). It only has the last name of my bio mom. My ABC has the middle and first name my adoptive parents chose for me and their last name. My OBC lists the name of the hospital where I was born and the doctor who delivered me. On my ABC, the name and city the hospital was in were left blank (which is dumb because my parents were told the name of the hospital), there is no space for a doctor's name. On the OBC, my bio dad's information was left blank (bio grandfather filled it out, didn't much care for bio dad), thus the "no dad." The OBC has bio mom's full name, age at the time of my birth (14) and her address. The ABC has my adopted parents names and places of birth as well as their address. My OCB has a lovely little space to check "yes" or "no" as to whether the child was legitimate or not. Mine, obviously, says no, thus the "illegitimate." In the "confidential information" which is only on my OBC, it has the my bio mom's race (dad's was left blank), that the eye goop was put in my eyes (10 minutes after my birth), as well as the drug used in delivery (silver nitrate 1%-spinal block), and that bio mom was tested for syphilis with the date of the test. Both certificates have the date and time of my birth. One thing I thought was odd, my birth weight was on the OBC but not ABC even though my parents knew how much I weighed (they must have had a good lawyer!). Both certificates were processed on the same day and signed by the same registrar. I was surprised to see that the OBC listed me as a girl as my bio grandparents were told I was a boy and bio mom's friend saw a couple leaving the hospital with a baby in a blue blanket (she thought it was me with my parents). Needless to say, they were all surprised to discover I was a girl!
So, what's so exciting about getting my OBC? If you're not adopted, you already have yours. It was given to you with no hassle at all. Adoptees are not as lucky. Ours are filled out, usually only partially, then sealed tighter than Fort Knox. Why? Because it has our birth mother's name on it. We're not allowed to have that information. Lawmakers, most of which have never had any dealings with adoption what-so-ever have decided they are protecting the birth mothers, mostly. The problem with this is that most birth mothers don't want to be protected. It's like having a two-way mirror with the government standing in the middle. Adoptees are on one side searching for their BM's with the government telling them they (the gov't) is protecting the BM's. Birth mothers who want to find their babies are on the other side and being told the government is protecting the babies and their adoptive families. I admit there are certain situations where either the adoptee or BM doesn't want to be found. This irks the hell out of me but some adoptees were never told by their adopted parents that they were adopted (most find out eventually and it rarely ever turns out positively). Unfortunately, some BM's become pregnant after being raped and don't want those emotions to resurface. So when an adoptee receives his/her OBC, it's yet another step to closure, especially if they are lucky receive it before they've found their BM. This could be the invaluable piece of information they need to locate her.
What are the best states to have been adopted in?
Alabama- 18+ can receive OBC and records
Delaware- 21+ can receive OBC
Kansas- only full access state that has never sealed any adoption records (Go Kansas!)
Maine- allows OBC
Massachusetts- 18+ can receive OBC if they were born before July 17, 1974 (records were sealed after that date)
New Hampshire- 18+ can receive OBC
Oregon- can receive OBC
According to Bastard Nations, Alaska, Oregon, Kansas, Alabama, New Hampshire, and Maine are the only US states where adult adoptees have unrestricted access to their own original birth records. http://www.bastards.org/
With help from the Internet, searching is becoming easier for some adoptees and BM's to reunite. Resources that weren't available at the beginning of my search are helping to bring families together with more ease. I signed up with every free search website I could find. The most important one is ISRR (International Search Reunion Registry). I signed up by mail shortly after I turned 18 and updated it with new addresses every few years. This is the biggest registry available and has been successful in many reunions. It only works if both adoptee and birth mother or family members sign up. Many times biological siblings sign up usually after the mother passes away.
I owe my reunion to the Yahoo Group Soaring Angels. Someone, somewhere in the depths of DCF hell had a heart and felt sorry for me after learning I'd lost my son to Trisomy 18. The problem was, my information got lost in their massive shuffle of paperwork. Well, either that or some uncompassionate asshole decided I shouldn't have my biological parents’ names and tossed it in File 13. I believe it worked out for the best, though, in receiving my information last year. My 1/2 siblings were all older and better able to handle the news of a long lost sister. Though one brother thought it was a great April Fool's Joke. Sorry, bro, I’m real!
Here are, in my opinion, the best reunion registries:
http://reunion.adoption.com/ (this is the best site for all things adoption)
http://www.adoptflorida.com/Reunion-Registry.htm (for Florida adoptions)
http://www.cyndislist.com/adoption.htm (has a list of more great sites)
http://www.bastards.org/ (this is an adoption rights organization and they have some very strong views)
My bio mom recently filled out the ISRR form and mailed it in. We're waiting to see if we're a match! I thought it would be interesting to test their success. I'll let you know if we're a match!