November 13th prompt…You & Adoptee Rights
Do you have access to your OBC?
Yes, I am one of the very few adoptees in my state with access to both my original birth certificate, and all the records in my sealed adoption file. My access was granted as “good cause” because I was very sick and diagnosed with a rare disease.
If you do, have you gotten yours yet?
Of course! I went and bought a beautiful frame and it hangs proudly on my wall next to pictures of my family.
What did that mean to you?
Peace is the best one word answer I can come up with.
Holding my original birth certificate that provided an accurate, unaltered version of my birth, gave me peace of mind. Prior to that there were so many unanswered questions, that even when not at the front of my mind, they were always waiting just beneath the surface – ready to resurface and hold me in a dark place until I could push them down again.
While I was trying to come up with words to end this post I was caught once again the strange contradiction of rights made by those who oppose the adult adoptee the right to their original birth certificate. The contradiction both amuses me and angers me at the same time. It goes something like this…
If a mother chooses open adoption, and once the adoption is finalized the adoptive parents close the adoption, the mother has no recourse. The adoption agency and the law will tell her she has no rights, that she surrendered all rights to her child. That even in the states where the open adoption was part of the adoption process and approved by the courts, the claim of best interests of the child beats the claim of the mother.
Yet when an adoptee rights legislation is pending suddenly the rights that the mother surrendered (permanently) – are resurrected by adoption agencies, adoption lawyers, adoption advocacy groups, as inviolate. They even include a new right not spoken of in the surrender document that is called confidentiality or right to privacy, and trumps the right of the adult child to their original birth certificate.
Only in adoption does it seem you can have something both ways…she has no rights to her child because she permanently signed away those rights – yet she has the right to deny her child access to their own birth certificate decades later…
I’ll leave you with the wording used in my surrender document to describe the full extent that the mother has no rights to any decision about me at all. This is the last paragraph of my surrender judgement: (from this post last year on the subject)
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the said child, Baby Girl xxxx, be and it hereby is, made a ward of the xxxx County Juvenile Court, permanently removed from the care, custody and control of said mother, Miss xxxx xxxx, xxxx South x, xxxx, xxxx, and said mother, Miss xxxx xxxx, be and she hereby is, permanently deprived of any and all rights to said child, said child is hereby placed in the care, custody and control of Mrs. xxxx xxxx, Chief Probation Officer, xxxx County Juvenile Court, with authorization to consent to the adoption of said child by such person or person as may be approved by the Superior Court of the State of xxxx.