Watch This Important Video on Birth Certificate Debate in New Jersey: Great Job Pam Hasegawa!

This was submitted for New Jersey Adoption Reformers to watch, but it needs a wider audiance.

First, view the video, which is a repeat program:

NJN show on Adoption Records starts today:

Airs Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm • Tuesdays at 11:30 pm.

 ***NOTE: To watch this on your computer any time this coming week from this morning’s airing on, go to and then

Select “Adoption Records” from the box on the right, then “Watch this week’s show” in the left menu bar 🙂 – Note from Pam Hasegawa.

 ***After watching the show, please send your feedback 🙂 to:


Due Process is NJN’s award-winning weekly series on law and justice issues. Launched in 1996, Due Process is its 14th season with the same cutting edge coverage that has marked its more than decade-long tenure.

Criminal law, civil law, consumer law, civil liberties law. In thirteen years on NJN, Due Process has done them all.

Recently we’ve covered issues like the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Pew Study on Prisons, the nature of corruption in New Jersey, and the strides made towards diversity in the legal profession.

The bottom line for every Due Process episode is: Have we aired all sides of an issue? Have we achieved both balance and diversity?

Here is the Feedback I sent in:

Congratulations to adoptee and activist Pam Hasegawa for her excellent and articulate interview!

Language of others is a problem. Terms such as “Adopted child” and “Promises made to children” are demeaning. The correct term is “adoptees” and “adopted adults”. Even “adults adopted as children” puts a slant toward immaturity to a topic that requires mature thought and attitude. It is demeaning for legislators or the general public to unconsciously refer to adoptees as children. Those of us who are in this civil rights reform are not children. We are adults. Our civil rights were stolen from us when we were infants or young children. We fight for our rights as adults — as adoptees who are not children.

Right to Life has no business in the say over the birth records of individuals. This is a Civil rights cause, not a religious cause.

What also needs to be addressed is the fact that not only are adoptees’ birth certificates sealed upon the finalization of adoption, but we are given falsified birth certificates to replace our true birth certificates. These falsified birth certificates are also stealing our civil rights because they claim we were born to mothers who factually did not give birth to us as they adopted us factually.

Also, not all adoptees are illegitimate and come from mothers who are perceived as lower-class. Many of us, myself included, are full or half orphans, adopted by step parents or were born to married parents and were in foster care. Sealed records and falsified birth certificates were created to protect the illegitimate from knowing their “unfortunate” origins. My origin was not unfortunate nor was my birth embarrassing. My mother died when I was 3 months of age.

All adoptees need to be freed from oppressive legislation that has no importance in today’s suposed enlightened society.

—     Joan M Wheeler, born as Doris M Sippel, adoptee, activist, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing.