Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Have you checked to see if you as an adoptee are able to get a birth certificate? I haven't but I am pretty sure that I can't get one. Why? My amended birth certificate is different than other non adopted individuals. My amended birth certificate is not complete either. It doesn't have the complete date of file on it.

This story was in my email alerts today. A dear friend of mine told me that with my military background and working for the post office, I should be able to get my passport. I wonder what he would say to this veteran. He thinks that I don't need all that pesky little OBC. I beg to differ seriously.

Knowing folks like I do, all of us living adoption are having issues now because of the so called sealed records system. I spoke with one mother from Lousiana recently. The only way she got a copy of her son's original birth certificate was through him. She has no proof of ever giving birth to a son so many years ago. No paperwork that she signed. No copy of the OBC of her son until she was found by him.

In this story, a man presents his birth certificate, military records and two notarized letters from family. He can't get his passports. Imagine adding adoption to this picture. Imagine adding an amended birth certificate. Imagine adding the amended birth certificate from another state that the local post office doesn't recognize. This is the situation that adoptees and their families are currently in. This no longer applies to passports. This now applies to joining the military now. Lets now include the proof of citizenship laws like in Indiana and Arizona. Those pesky little amended birth certificates will be considered false. Do you realize how many adoptees will then have to prove their birth here in the United States? We will be denied our right to vote, can't get a passport or join the military. Its not a matter of if any longer. Its is a matter of when.

I don't know about other adoptees, but I value my right to vote highly. I have fought for my country. I have earned that right fair and square. I am not about to let some other individual or organizations trample that right.

Currently the sealed recorded system is discriminating against adoptees and their families. Its just discrimination no matter how wrong. In time, it will become a civil rights violation. No ifs ands or buts about it.

Its time to stand up. We can start with the Adoptee Rights Demonstration in New Orleans on July 22, 2008. We will march from Lafayette Park at 9:30 a.m. to Ernest Morial Convention Center. We will let the state legislators know how important this issue is to us. The National Conference of State Legislators will be meeting there that week. Its time to let these folks know that its our lives at stake here.

Here is the link. Here is the story.

Veteran struggles to prove existence to passport officials

| Tuesday, Jun 17 2008 10:36 AM

Last Updated: Tuesday, Jun 17 2008 11:02 AM

Billie “Dusty” O’Donnell is a 79-year-old World War II veteran, a father of three with five grandchildren, a California resident of six decades.

But to passport agencies, he doesn’t exist.

O’Donnell hopes to be on a week-long cruise for his 80th birthday with a friend to Alaska and Canada next month, but he hit a roadblock in April when he tried to apply for a passport.

“I was probably born in a cotton patch in the Depression days and the Dust Bowl days,” he said. “People back then didn’t have time to keep records. They were just trying to get by — trying to survive.”

O’Donnell said he presented a birth certificate issued by a judge in Red River County, Texas, his original military discharge notice and two affidavits signed by family members to the post office to prove his American citizenship.

“It’s never enough,” he said, looking at a pile of letters and other documents scattered all over his dining room table.

O’Donnell even asked the U.S. Census Bureau to research Dale, Okla., his hometown, for records about his birth. But nothing turned up.

Steve Royster, U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs spokesman, said the circumstances of O’Donnell’s dilemma are uncommon but not unsolvable. He said some post office clerks may not be familiar with certain passport problems, so contacting a passport agent directly would be O’Donnell’s best bet.

To prove American citizenship, one must present a previous U.S. passport or a certified birth certificate.

If neither of these documents is available, the applicant must have a letter of no record issued by the state with his or her name, date of birth, which years were searched for a birth record and confirmation that no birth certificate is on file.

In addition to the letter, the applicant must present a baptismal certificate, hospital birth certificate, census record, early school record, family bible record or doctor’s record of post-natal care.

On top of the $6,000 O’Donnell invested in the cruise, he has spent about $300 on application fees and other expenses related to obtaining a passport.

O’Donnell reached out to Congressman Kevin McCarthy for help in April.

“I got a letter back that said I would have to try something else,” O’Donnell said. “But I don’t know what that ‘something else’ is. I’ve done everything.”

Nick Bouknight, McCarthy’s press secretary, said the congressman called the passport agency to find out what he could do for O’Donnell and gathered information to contact the U.S. Census Bureau.

“The Census Bureau is generally good at getting back to you, but again, if he has any other problems, we can help him along in that process,” Bouknight said.

Bouknight said McCarthy has received similar inquiries about passport assistance and has helped more than 500 people obtain passports since he took office.

“It’s something that we’re good at, and it’s something we can help do,” Bouknight said.

Royster said the current waiting period for a passport is four weeks or less. He said production time varies with demand. O’Donnell has been waiting for a passport for more than two months, and waiting is all he can do until he receives further instruction.

“Unfortunately, we’re losing interest in it now,” O’Donnell said. “We were both excited — buying cameras and clothes to wear — and now we’ve just stopped. We’re not as excited as we were, and it’s frustrati

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