Access to Adoptees’ Birth Certificates is Not Enough to Break the Cycle

There’s an incredible discussion about Cully Ray’s and Mara Rigge’s Idea for Change in America at the website:

Go there to vote in favor of true Open Records for Adoptees. Read the comments and add your own!


My last comment there was this:

If you doubt just how deeply Christian thought is entrenched in adoption, a close look at the Missionaries from Idaho in Haiti, is in order. Just a few adoptees’ blogs will indicate the destruction done by Christian adoptors of orphans:

Keep this in mind: the law behind the present system of documenting births and adoptions for adoptees in America was begun in 1930 under the guise of “protecting” illegitimate children from learning embarrassing facts about how they came to be, therefore, the justification for making “new” birth certificates for adoptees was the idea of lifting them up from the status of a less-valued birth to that of being adopted “anew”. 

I must be the only ORPHAN to speak out because I have yet to hear any other HALF OR FULL ORPHAN born of married parents to oppose being held in this category. Please understand, I do not say this as a weapon against my fellow adoptees who are of unmarried parents. 

This is a degrading system of recording births and adoption based purely upon the moral judgment of the Registrars who wrote this law in 1930. I do not like being categorized into something I am not. My fellow adoptees shouldn’t be in this socially-constructed trap, either. We have been humiliated by these horrendous society judgments far too long. Lift us up and into a free society. Give us back our dignity and civil rights to our real birth certificates.

And for god’s sake, stop religious fanatics from adopting children. To missionaries like Laura Silsby, children are adoptable only because they (the missionaries and other religious fanatic adoptors) think that they are doing “god’s work”. The end result (not going into all the other issues in adoption here) is that all orphans (half and full, and even the ones who are not orphans at all) will suffer the same fate as their illegitimate counterparts in adoption: their birth certificates will be sealed and a new falsified one will be issued.

Asking for Access to our sealed Original Birth Certificates, alone, is not enough to break the cycle and change public view of adoptees. We must break this cycle and promote an end to the humiliating process of incorrectly documenting adoptees’ births and adoptions by sealed and falsified birth certificates. Demand an Adoption Certificate to replace Falsified Birth Certificates.


Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.