I can’t even imagine … if I had been DENIED a copy of my only birth certificate, the one that should have been sealed in the courts. All the players in my so-called adoption were hoping to keep the truth hidden forever.
Back in 1973, when I needed my birth certificate to get my driver’s license, my adoptive mother mentioned as if it was no big deal, that my birth certificate was “lost.” With no explanation why, mom just said she had tried to contact the doctor who delivered me to get a copy, but he was deceased. Supposedly, an easy fix to having no birth certificate, per my adoptive mother, was to carry in my wallet a small piece of paper (court affidavit) stating that I am who I say I am. As always with her that was the end of discussion. I knew it was pointless to ask questions and expect any answers.
Years later, I would learn that the doctor, who delivered me, a well-respected prominent doctor, had been alive all along and was still practicing medicine in the city where I was born.
Why would any teenager think their mother would be lying about such important matters, and for what reasons?
To eventually discover on my own that my birth certificate was never missing felt like I had been thrown into a deep, dark, hellish hole with nowhere to turn for answers. As it turned out, my original birth certificate had always been on file still listing me as my birth mother’s child. At first, one might think that it was just a simple error—perhaps my original birth certificate had never been replaced with the amended one with my adoptive parent’s names. After petitioning a judge to unseal my birth records, the courts handed me sparse paperwork for a sketchy, disturbing adoption for me as a newborn.
I have experienced from my adoption journey that the ability to seal court documents gives more temptations for dishonest individuals to cover their tracks, especially for professionals in high-powered positions. One would think we would have learned by now with other white-collared crimes that with adoption being such a lucrative business, we need continuing safeguards put in place to protect innocent children and vulnerable birth mothers from others profiting off their losses.
I am sure I’m not the first adoptee, or will be the last one, to find their adoption was illegal or incomplete at birth. Why should I have to pay dearly for a lawyer to try and help me straighten out the legal issues with my only birth certificate? Throughout my childhood, I went by two different names, but never by the last name on my original birth certificate, my late birth mother’s name. As an adoptee, frustratingly, there are no laws protecting me when the players in the deception refuse to tell the truth.
Like many of my adult adopted friends across the United States who have been DENIED their sealed original birth certificates and adoption birth records, I feel like I am this small person who has no recourse and there is no accountability in the courts simply because of the word “adoption.”