A couple of days ago I made chocolate chip cookies, hubs favorite cookie, providing I make it from his mom’s recipe. Never mind that the recipe is pretty much identical to every other chocolate chip cookie recipe – they taste better if I follow the handwritten recipe his mom sent him before she passed away. So I use that recipe because I understand they taste better because of that memory of being a child eating chocolate chip cookies his mom had just made.
So where am I going with this touching story you may be thinking…
Later that day as I was washing the bowl, cookie sheets, racks, etc., I felt a sting on the back of my hand when I had it under hot (hot) water, so I looked down and noticed a dark purple burned area about the size of a quarter which apparently happened baking the cookies. Days later the burn is still there and just as dark – but that first day under hot water is the only time I felt the sting. This time I didn’t really do much damage because I didn’t feel the burn happen – those are the bad ones. This is another residual of the stroke that I seldom talk about because all things considered, I got away incredibly lucky on the physical side of stroke. To me it has caused the least impact in my life, unlike my speech and writing which you all have the grace to ignore.
So really, where am I going with this because of what I read yesterday…
Court Order Only: In every state, a protocol is in place where original birth certificates or information, including medical or identifying information, can be requested if they can meet the state’s required standard of proof. Typically the standard is a high one, requiring an emergent need such as a severe illness that might be able to be better treated with knowledge of medical history, not simply a desire to know the information. (link below)
According to this article dated 2012 by the National Council For Adoption on why they oppose changes to sealed records laws – nothing about the fact that we don’t have the same rights as the non adopted – rather that there are only some acceptable methods for disclosure, one of them being you can rest assured that if you are in a closed adoption, and your child has an emergent need like a severe illness, you can simply go to court, and perhaps be granted access to your child’s adoption file. You can rest easy knowing that even as an adult, should your child be laying in the hospital, he or she, can simply get up out of bed and go to court and petition the judge to give them their original birth certificate.
It’s all good…and further they note that most adoptions are open so this issue will subside (see why that is a misconception here)…
Getting back on point about the going to court – here’s what I wrote a while ago (with a couple of edits)…
When you face a medical emergency it is too late to go to the court where the adoption was finalized. And once you get to the court (which can include travel) you must then submit a petition which then moves slowly through the process before it gets to the judge. If the judge determines the petition indeed is “good cause” andgrants the petition, then you simply have access during business hours to the adoption file. Once that is done, you must then search for the family taking into account the very real possibility that the mother may have married and changed her name, as well as moved out-of-state. All of this takes time, effort, and money you do not have when you have a medical emergency. When you finally find the family (if you are lucky) you must then approach and make contact – all before you can ask for the family health history andsometimes it is not given.
That process does not work in the case of true medical emergency which is the only time the judge will deem it “good cause” to unseal the adoption records. Something has to be done to ensure ”best interests” are looked after at the time of adoption and that medical history form you are given is useless within just a couple of years, family health history is not static, and didn’t end at the birth of your child.
If I remember correctly, I met my very first relative about 13 months after my events which triggered the petition for good cause. How does that timeline fit with having a medical emergency in which you need your family health history (or more) and need to share your history with them?
I have so much more to say about the article, and none of it good, and perhaps I will revisit it another day. If you read it – listen carefully to the history and how the laws didn’t seal the records from the adoptive parents – but they want you to believe mothers of birth were promised confidentiality? Nor do they mention that some states retroactively sealed records, sometimes going back decades…and a whole lot of just stuff that has nothing to do with what Adoptee Rights is about at all…
Adoptee Rights is about the right to our Original Birth Certificate which is a right the non-adopted have, that we don’t.
“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough”
― Walt Whitman
Oct 2014: You may speak freely, but please try to use words that everyone can hear about your individual story or view. If you don't, those who can actually benefit won't hear it, I want to see change in my lifetime. I may refuse to approve certain comments.
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