Sealed Birth Records Perpetuate the Stigma of Illegitimacy Even When One is Born Legitimately

There is the assumption that all adoptees come from “shameful” births that “need” to be hidden by sealed birth records. This is just not so. There are many adoptees who were relinquished by widowed parents, divorced parents, and parents who remain married after surrender. None of these adoptions warrant the stigma of illegitimacy and the dictates of a handful of mothers who want their perceived right to privacy. They don’t have a right to privacy because all their rights were tossed out of the window when they signed the relinquishment papers. I am a half orphan and I see no reason why these mothers’ feel that their perceived rights should supersede my right to my own birth certificate: I am not illegitimate so their logic does not apply to me, or other half or full orphans, or step-parent adoptees or foster care adoptees.

Adoption legitimizes the illegitimate. Since I was born legitimately to married parents, I did not need to be legitimized by adoption. My legitimate and true birth certificate was sealed upon finalization of my adoption and a falsified birth certificate was issued to replace it. I want my legitimate birth certificate returned to me. My argument is not a slap in the face to my fellow adoptees, it is simple fact. I am an adoptee and I stand with my fellow adoptees (illegitimate and orphaned) for the right to our true birth certificates. Whatever we do with our birth certificates is up to us. Our birth identities are on these documents, therefore, they belong to us and no one else.

We are adults and do not need parental permission to do anything in life. Our adoptive parents lost their parental rights over us when we reached adulthood. Our natural parents lost all their parental rights to us when they signed relinquishment papers. It is that simple.