The Chicago Tribune published this article on birth certificate access and reunions:
Open to interpretation
Despite new laws granting access to birth records, many adoptees struggle in search of their past
While people are catching on that it is descriminatory to keep adoptees’ birth certificates sealed, many are missing the point that illegitimacy may have been the cause of the sealed and falsified laws, but there is much more going on.
Because I have been lumped into the category of being illegitimate when I am not, I resent the stigma placed upon me. I resent the stigma placed on my fellow adoptees because this is an out-dated stigma. All humans have value, no matter what the circumstances at birth and childhood.
Here is my posted response to the above article:
The stigma of illegitimacy does not apply to all adoptees. There are adoptees who were adopted by their step parents, adoptees who were taken from married parents and put into foster care and fast tracked into adoption, there are adoptees who were half or full orphaned by the death of one or both parents. In all of the above cases, none of these adoptees were from illegitimate births.
To hold all adoptees in the legal prison of sealed and falsified birth certificates based solely upon the social stigma of illegitimacy is truly discrimination against the class of people known as adoptees. Clearly, it is not the condition of illegitimate birth that makes the government seal and then falsify a new birth certificate for each adoptee, it is the condition of being adopted that sets the series of events into motion that automatically seizes an infant’s or older child’s birth certificate, seals it, and replaces it with a falsified document that states that two biologically unrelated people (to the child) created said child and gave birth to said child.
To stop the discrimination, we must end the process of automatically sealing and falsifying birth certificates of adoptees. Retain the birth certificate as an operable document and then issue an adoption certificate: that is how it is done in more progressive countries, such as The Netherlands.
~ ~ ~ Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, born Doris M Sippel, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.