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My OBC…and Adoptee Rights Demonstration

10 Jul
I never paid much attention to my birth certificate – it wasn’t something special or that I thought about much, and if I remember correctly the first time I saw it was on my 16th birthday when I went to get my driver’s license.
The next time I saw it I used it was to get my passport so I could immigrate to Canada and to get my marriage license.
I cannot remember doing more than giving it a cursory glance either time mom gave it to me, I really only looked to make sure she gave me mine and not one of my siblings. 
It just wasn’t special and held no fascination or appeal – just a document that stated the details I already knew and could access any old-time, but that I needed it to get what I wanted.  I’m sure I still have that birth certificate mom gave me so many years ago but which box or where it is, I haven’t a clue.  When I took out my citizenship I just ordered a new one knowing that would be quicker and easier that looking for the old one, in one of those old dusty boxes that have followed me wherever I have moved. 
But yet more than four decades after I was born – the day I got my original birth certificate in the mail is a day I will never forget.  I came in from the mail box, sat down on the couch and carefully opened the manilla envelope.  I gently pulled out the single piece of paper and instantly had a flash of anger that someone had dared to fold this precious document in half that had been denied me my entire life.
I checked my name:  (Baby Girl) XXXXXXX and was crushed – I was not named, at least officially.
I checked my date of birth: Relief flooded over me – my date was right.
My mothers name and address listed clear as day  – it was so very surreal to see it listed on my birth certificate and all the details matched the court papers I had recently received. 
I was a single birth: Kind of mixed feelings about that, on one hand relief that I did not have a twin out their somewhere, but on the other had I had always secretly wished I did.
It did not list my time of birth and each time I talk to my aunt I forget to ask until I have hung up the phone, and even if she only remembers I was born during the day or night that would suffice.   
I now know how much I weighed at birth, and how many weeks my mother carried me.

I stared in wonder at my original birth certificate, bemused.

That birth certificate now hangs framed on my wall and I look at it each day – proof of who I was born to be, who bore me, who birthed me, when and where.  Knowledge withheld from me for over four decades simply because the adoption industry, religious adoption agencies, adoption attorneys and sometimes even the ACLU lobby and testify against adoptees knowing who they were born to be. 
Words cannot describe the feeling of having this true record of my birth that is denied to most adoptees.

And for those who say we have an open adoption so there are no secrets – your childs original birth certificate is still sealed away and your child is deemed “less than” and “not equal” just like the rest of us denied that right.

It is wrong for one class of people (adopted) to be denied what non-adopted people take for granted and don’t even give it a second thought.  To the non-adopted it is just a document and what is the fuss really about, they don’t get it, they know who they were born to be, and all the details of their birth.  I think they need to realize that they suffer from non-adopted privilege and cannot and will never understand what it is like to be adopted and accept that we know better and they should stand up and support our right to know too…….and that goes double for AP’s…are you going to the next adoptee rights demonstration to throw your support behind the adoptees – so your adoptees too can have equal rights?

Good luck at the Adoptee Rights Demonstration in Texas - I will be their with you in spirit only and wish I could be there in person.

Going green and keeping cool, DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS!

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9 Comments

Posted by on July 10, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents, Ethics

 

Tags: , , , ,

9 responses to “My OBC…and Adoptee Rights Demonstration

  1. Von

    July 10, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Folding that precious certificate says so much about the disregard, such a cheap thing to do!! I so understand.
    All adopters should be there shoulder to shoulder is San Antonio wit adoptees.

     
  2. cb

    July 11, 2011 at 1:26 am

    I see the demonstration was supposed to be on the 8th. Has anyone blogged about it yet? I can’t see anything about how it went (unless it is on FB which I can’t access at work)

    Even though I got my OBC and info 23 years ago and didn’t think too much about it over the next 20 or so years, I do know that I never forgot a single thing that was on either bit of paper so I must have cared more about it that I thought.

    As for first name on OBC, I do understand how you feel. I do have a first name on there but my non-ID says they don’t know who gave it to me and I really do wish I knew. I do think if she had named me it would have been the sort of name I would expect her to have chosen. It sounds like whoever named me would have liked me to be a studious, well read person :)
    Btw this website is quite cute – it gives comments on what people think of certain names as well as meanings:

     
    • The adopted ones

      July 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      CB – My stupid brain – it has no concept of time nowdays…at least I hit the weekend it happened – too funny. Have no idea why you next post had to be approved – WP has been doing this lately.

       
  3. cb

    July 11, 2011 at 1:29 am

    I cut myself off:

    It is interesting to see what people think of your first name:

    http://www.behindthename.com/name/helen/comments

    http://www.behindthename.com/name/catherine/comments

     
  4. Gretchen

    July 11, 2011 at 1:34 am

    I wish I could go to San Antonio for the demonstration, but just could not make it happen. I will also be there is Spirit and when my children are older I hope to take them to adoptee rights events as we are able.

    I am an adoptive parent and my son was born in San Antonio, Texas in September 2008. It is an open adoption and we have asked his birth mother to request the OBC (something she is able to do, but we are not). Thus far, she has not done it. Perhaps one day she will.

    Our daughter (same birth mother) was born 13 months later in Kansas, a state that never sealed the adoption birth records. When she is 18 she will be able to request it. Hopefully the law will change in Texas so my son will one day be able to request his.

    Even though it is an open adoption and we have all the information that went on the birth certificate, I still think it is important that my son be able to get his. I fully admit to being very naive when we started down the adoption path. So much so that I was shocked when we eventually received our son’s birth certificate post-adoption and it listed my husband and I as the biological parents. It had never even occurred to me that it wouldn’t say “adopted” somewhere on the document.

     
    • The adopted ones

      July 11, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      Welcome Gretchen, AP’s standing behind adoptees in my opinion makes a huge difference. Everyone is naive to the complex world of adoption at one point – it is what you do when you see the realities that matter.

       
  5. cb

    July 11, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    “CB – My stupid brain – it has no concept of time nowdays…at least I hit the weekend it happened – too funny. Have no idea why you next post had to be approved – WP has been doing this lately

    No – I’m an idiot – I just realised it was AUGUST 8th. I don’t know why I thought July 8th. I did wonder why no-one had mentioned it.

     
  6. 曉安

    July 11, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I also wish I could make it, but at this time it’s not possible.

    I am happy that we have our son’s birth certificate, but it doesn’t have all the info that we’d like. For example, everything pertaining to the father is blank on the form – there’s just a line drawn across the whole area.

     
  7. shadowtheadoptee the adoptee

    July 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    FYI adoptees, and parents of adoptees, born in Texas, here is a link that may be of interest, as some Texas adoptees can gain access to their original birth certificates. This is how I was able to get mine.

    http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/reqproc/adoption_general.shtm

     

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