The Real Birther Issue

President Obama recently released a copy of his Long Form Original Birth Certificate to prove that he was born in the United States. However, if he had been born and adopted in the United States, he would not be able to produce his Original Birth Certificate for the public or even for his own viewing.  By law, he would only be able to produce an Amended Birth Certificate. 

An Amended Birth Certificate is issued at the finalization of a person’s adoption.  This “birth certificate” replaces a person’s birth name with a new name and his/her natural parents’ names/information with his adoptive parents’ names/information.  Once an Amended Birth Certificate is issued, a person is prevented by law from viewing/possessing their truthful documentation of birth.  His/her Original Birth Certificate is sealed forever.

It is discriminatory to seal an adopted person’s birth certificate and replace it with a falsified one.

“We’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts.” – President Barack Obama, 3/27/2011.

I have two birth certificates. I was born with one name, issued a birth certificate, and one year and one week later, my adoption was finalized. The Surrogate Court judge who presided over my adoption set in motion the legal process for my true birth certificate to be sealed and an amended birth record to be issued. The Registrar of Vital Records carried out the task of switching my birth facts onto a document which is similar, but not equal to, the form used to create non-adoptees’ original birth certificates. The law is different for all adoptees.

Before I use my own documents as examples, I must explain that while I am not legally allowed to obtain my own Long Form Original Birth Certificate because I am an adoptee in a closed record state (New York), I do have both my short and long form Original Birth Certificate, as well as my short and long form Amended Birth Certificate. Why? How?

Because at the time I was placed in my pre-adoptive parents’ care, my father who relinquished me gave my birth certificates and baptismal certificate to my pre-adoptive parents. My adoptive parents gave all of my documents, including the Final Order of Adoption, to me when I turned eighteen just after my reunion with my natural family.

As previously stated, I am still legally prevented from obtaining my Original Birth Certificate. That is a legal battle I have been fighting with other adoptees since the mid-1970s.

What do my two long form birth certificates state? The forms are similar, but different. Both have a raised seal and are signed by the Registrar.

My Original Birth Certificate states: name, date, time, city, weight, length of pregnancy, hospital, parents, single birth and not a twin or triplet, and attending physician signature. This question was asked: “How many other children are now living?” Answer: four.

My Amended Birth Certificate states my new name, and replaces my parents by birth with the names of my new parents, and includes most facts of my birth. Though the document states this mother gave birth in this hospital, no hospital records would be found for this mother. Deleted are: length of pregnancy, how many other children were living, and the attending physician’s signature.

Records are sealed and amended even in open adoptions. It is time to allow adoptees access to their true birth certificates. It is also time to replace fraudulently falsified Amended Birth Certificates with honest Adoption Certificates. Change the law.

For more information: (NYS adoptees),