Saturday, January 03, 2009


I thought about this. I really did. Something that blows my mind is that the legislators actually listen to this privacy issue. How can someone get new rights? How can parents control a document that belongs to their child especially when that child become an adult? How are adoptees held accountable for a contract signed by other parties which the adoptee had no choice in? I just don't get it. We are also held responsible for the sexual reproductive choice of every woman after the fact of our birth.

You can read the interesting details here

Here is the link and the story:

Adoptees lobby for access to birth records
Posted Jan 02, 2009 @ 11:58 PM

Adoptees in Illinois are lobbying to change state law that prohibits access to their birth certificates.

Mary Lynn Fuller of Urbana recently delivered more than 80 letters to the Illinois Office of Vital Records, 605 W. Jefferson St., from adoptees and their families asking the state to grant full access to their birth records.

“Our main goal,” says Fuller, “was to raise public awareness. I knew I wouldn’t be walking away with the original birth certificates. But lots of people have no idea those records are sealed.”

The state’s concern has been that providing full access to the birth certificates to adoptees will invade the privacy of parents who put their children up for adoption.

Current law limits birth-certificate access to Illinois adoptees who already have the consent of their birth relatives. Otherwise, the adoptee must go to court to try and obtain access. Providing access to the birth certificates any other way is a misdemeanor.

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, chairwoman of the House Human Services Appropriations Committee, has sponsored bills to widen access to birth certificates for certain adoptees. Feigenholtz was adopted as a child.

But Fuller said adoption-advocacy groups she is affiliated with opposed the most recent bill, introduced last year, because it did not treat all adoptees equally. Adoptees had to be 21 or older to gain unfettered access. Fuller believes there should be no conditions put on access to the birth certificates for any adoptee.

The state has an adoption registry and confidential intermediary program to help adoptees searching for their birth parents. The registry provides identifying information to mutually consenting members of birth and adoptive families.

In the intermediary program, a court-appointed delegate is granted access to confidential adoption information. The intermediary then contacts the birth parent to determine whether they are open to hearing from their child.

“But if they catch the mother off-guard,” said Fuller, “they may say they don’t want contact. That closes the door. If the adoptee does it, and they say they don’t want contact, they can leave their phone number. Once the mother adjusts, sometimes they hear from them later.”

For more than 30 years, Fuller has been working for greater access to records for adoptees. She was adopted as a child and eventually embarked on a search for her birth parents that took some 20 years to finish.

In 1997, she learned that both of her birth parents had died. However, she said, her search was not in vain because she has reunited with her siblings and other birth relatives.

Dave Bakke can be reached at 788-1541.

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