Talking about Adoptee Rights

15 May

I had an exchange with a friend the other day. A friend who is an ally of adoptees and believes in the adoptee’s right to the original birth certificate. But sometimes we forget to explain why a non-discriminatory bill should be the only end goal. I’m not an expert in this area. Nor have I done the hard work that is required to achieve that goal state by state. I haven’t been actively involved in the process, nor would I know when to fold your cards and try again another year. My only role is to encourage others to support clean adoptee rights bills, amplify their message, talk to people and urge them to contact their legislator in support of its passage.

What I Mean When I Mean Clean

The post linked above is written by an expert in adoptee rights, one who does the work on achieving the goal of every adoptee having the same right to their original birth certificate in the state the legislation is for.

Every adoptee, not some, or even most, but all adoptees.

The state I was born in did change the law for adoptees, but those working to change the law didn’t achieve the goal of all adoptees having the right to the original birth certificates, and more importantly, they didn’t make the decision to fold their cards and try again another year. That creates a lack of equality and isn’t right. And as I write this; I am also looking at my original birth certificate hanging proudly on the wall, a certified, fancy paper, certificate of birth, with a small notation that it is not the current legal birth certificate on file next to the seal. The one I got through an order of good cause before my state adopted the law that didn’t give all adoptees the same rights. I look at that birth certificate every single day, next to it is a picture of my mother and father who created me and brought me into this world and another picture of my aunts and I. On the opposite wall I have pictures of mom and dad, friends and family members. Those two walls hold the tale of why I am who I am. Those pictures combined offer a complete picture of me. A picture every adoptee should have, but doesn’t.

For any who are on the fence over an adoptee having the right to know who they were born to be, who brought them into this world and want to discuss why a mother should have the right to deny their child that right, we can talk about that in the comments. But first, I want you to read to the end, including the linked document at the end and think about it for awhile. The first to read is the snippet from my court files, it’s pretty stark wording, unambiguous, my mother voluntarily surrendered all her parental rights to me in court four days after I was born (domestic infant adoption).

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, 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.”

Once a parent surrenders their parental rights, it’s done unless there is a revocation timeframe, but after that time, the state, through it’s agent is in charge, the parent if you will. There is also no guarantee in any surrender document I have seen, that the child will be adopted, which is the action that triggers an amended birth certificate for most adoptions and seals the original birth certificate from the one adopted. Until an adoption happens, the original birth certificate is the only birth certificate that person will have. Below is a link to a court case about a child whose mother gave up her rights to an adoption agency, the child was never adopted and what happened after the child passed away intestate. It’s informative on rights; when someone has parental rights, when they don’t.



Posted by on May 15, 2021 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child


Tags: , , ,

7 responses to “Talking about Adoptee Rights

  1. maryleesdream

    May 16, 2021 at 12:00 am

    That court case was something. This man died with no family, because his mother gave him away? It’s amazing how far society is willing to go with the adoption narrative. It’s as if you surrender your natural born child, somehow your connection is severed.
    So, the State became his parents.
    Why is it so important that our natural connections are completely severed? Who is that supposed to be for? Not us.
    Maybe its for the natural parents who want really don’t want us. I think it’s for the adoptive parents, who don’t want to know we’re not really their children.
    That’s such a sad case.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TAO

      May 16, 2021 at 2:33 am

      That case has stuck in my head for years, I did a post on it when I read it the first time, just didn’t feel like linking to it.

      Legally that is what happens, once surrender is signed, we are legal strangers and share no common ancestor.

      Which also means that mothers have no right to have any say on whether we should have access to our records.

      I think it is still society who dictates that adoption is the only right answer. Different words and methods, same result.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. L4R

    May 18, 2021 at 5:08 am

    Additionally, states should give adoptees certified copies of their OBCs. It’s ridiculous that I have to go to court to get a certified copy, which will depend on the judge’s mood that day. I have already seen a non-certified copy. There should be no issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      May 18, 2021 at 12:01 pm

      Completely agree L4R, every adoptee should get a certified BC just like mine is.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lara/Trace

    May 20, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    I don’t have my OBC. I fought for it awhile back but Minnesota is not giving it up.


    • TAO

      May 20, 2021 at 10:10 pm

      I think MN is one of the worst states for this, even just figuring out the maze of requirements can turn your hair grey.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. maryleesdream

    May 20, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    We got our OBCs in New York, and marijuana is legal! 2 things I never thought I’d live to see.

    Liked by 1 person


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