I am one of the ‘lucky’ ones…

31 May
I got sick enough that it was deemed good cause and my sealed adoption file was opened.  I have my original birth certificate hanging proudly on the wall with a big X in the box beside Illegitimate.  All it took was being deathly sick and a disease with a genetic component…and a getting a judge who was either fair-minded or got up on the right side of the bed that day or simply agreed because my mom petitioned for me…who knows…
I wonder how many petitions are made in the USA each year to open sealed adoption records and how many are granted.  Too bad they don’t keep stats on this it would be interesting even though I know most are denied.
But getting to the point of this post as I was reading through the documents the following leaped out.
I was made a ward of the juvenile court and placed in the custody of the chief probation officer…seems so strange – infant and probation officer…I was placed in a foster home until a family could be found for me.  I always wondered if I stayed at the hospital, a foster home, or an orphanage – know at least I know it was a foster home.
My mother signed the papers when I was 4 days old and the language of relinquishment is terrible: That said child, XXXX, is a dependent child in that said child has no parent or guardian willing to excercise proper parental control in that said child was born of an unwed mother and said petitioner prays to relinquish said chid for adoption.  Apparently they never stopped hammering it in to the mother’s head that she needed to be redeemed for her immoral acts…I mean honestly prays to relinquish”?  Could they not even give her some dignity and say something like the mother knows society will never accept her raising her own child and will scorn and humiliate both of them repeatedly so she is sparing her child that indignitity…or her parents forced her to do it…or she could not support herself and her child and her parents would not help and there were no options for support mandated by the state or voluntarily from the father so she has no other choice?  Really did they have to use the language prays to relinquish?”  Seriously? 
The Petition for Adoption states that the name of the father of said child is unknown and that said child is illegitimate.
The Adoptive Study submitted to the courts at the same time as the Petition for Adoption clearly identifies the said childs father and lists his first and last name, year of birth, level of education, religion, occupation, physical health, mental health, city and state of residence.  Also included on the study only my mother relinquished.  Fathers did not have to relinquish their rights to illegitimate children. 
Drawing on the conclusion that all papers submitted for adoption should be reviewed fully by the judge would no one consider it strange that on one set the father is unknown and on the other the father is clearly identified?  I think anyone would be able to see the obvious error.  But the judge did approve the adoption ‘in the best interests of the child”…case closed…
Edited to add…on the petition for access to adoption file…of course it refers solely to the ‘adopted child’…

Posted by on May 31, 2010 in Ethics, Uncategorized


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3 responses to “I am one of the ‘lucky’ ones…

  1. shadowtheadoptee

    June 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Prays? Of all the words they could have used…prays? Interesting. The lack of concern in recording correct information in our files still astounds me. Makes me feel like we were nothing more than objects psent from here to there…a bit dehumanizing…isn’t it?


    • Maureen

      June 9, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      Legal language in most states is still antiquated. Look through the online General Laws and this will become apparent. Such language hails from a time when society and religion were even more entwined than they are today…


      • The adopted ones

        June 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm

        Maureen – thanks for commenting. You are correct in that legal language is antiquated and my adoption was along time ago so perhaps the language has changed. It just hurts to think that my mother had to sign a document that stated that – just seems so incredibly cruel even if she wanted to place me for adoption – prays? I just makes me cringe.



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