New York State Passed Adoptee Rights Bill into Law

We Did It!

 

The New York legislature secured history on an extra day of the legislative session by reversing more than eight decades of discrimination against New York adopted people. With the bill moving through three committees on the final two days of an extended session, the Assembly Members voted 126-2 to pass S3419/A5494 and forward it to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signature and final enactment. If you have not been following this, the soon-to-be enacted law will:

  • restore the right of all adult adoptees to request and obtain a certified copy of the “original long form line by line, vault copy birth certificate,” otherwise known as the OBC, with no restrictions other than the adoptee is at least 18 years of age at the time of the request;
  • if the adoptee is deceased, allow direct line descendants or a lawful representative of the adoptee to request and obtain the OBC;
  • address issues related to people born outside of New York but whose adoptions were finalized by a New York state court. If a copy of the OBC from the other jurisdiction is not available from a New York registrar, then information that would have appeared on the OBC must be provided by the adoption agency;
  • address original birth certificates on file with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, an extremely important provision because New York City currently possesses many pre-adoption birth certificates;
  • address certain OBCs that may also be held by registrars in Albany, Buffalo, and Yonkers;
  • be effective January 15, 2020.

 

Now head on over to the full length post!

New York Adoptee Rights Bill S3419 passed today in the Senate

New York Adoptee Rights Bill S3419 passed today in the Senate!

Posted by New York Adoptee Rights Coalition:

 

Senate Votes Overwhelmingly to Pass S3419
June 3, 2019 By New York Adoptee Rights Coalition

The following is the text of a NYARC press release distributed after the New York State Senate voted 53-6 to pass Senate Bill S3419 on Monday, June 3, 2019.

The New York State Senate today overwhelmingly approved a bill that would end 83 years of iron-clad secrecy over the birth certificates of adult adopted persons. The bill, sponsored by Senator Velmanette Montgomery in the Senate, would restore a right that New York adoptees once had: the right as adults to request and receive their own pre-adoption birth records.

It is a right that advocates have been working across the country to restore for decades, going back at least to the beginning of the adoptee rights movement in New York in the early 1970s.

 

 

head over to the original post to read the rest!

Letter to Speaker Carl E. Heastie: I strongly support NYS A5494, an adoptee rights bill

May 30, 2019

Phone: (518) 455-3791
Emailspeaker@nyassembly.gov

 

Dear Speaker Carl E. Heastie:

Once again, the opposition to A5494, the adoptee rights bill, claims that mothers were promised confidentiality; therefore, birth certificates of all adoptees must remain sealed. That argument presumes that all adoptees were born bastards – the products of illicit sex – and all hell would break lose should the bastard adoptee get a hold of the birth certificate that identifies the fallen mother.

The current law was passed in 1936. It is antiquated and focuses on situations that do not address the majority of adoptions today.

My Circumstances

My circumstances tell of how the current New York State closed records law of 1936 is unjust not only to adoptees who were born as bastards, but to others who were not born bastards.

I am 63 years old; all 4 of my parents are dead and cannot write to you.

My natural father relinquished me in April 1956, one month after my mother’s death by cancer. I was 4 months old at relinquishment and 3 months old when my mother died.

My parents were married for 10 years and had 4 older children. My father did not want to give me away, but no other options or help was offered to him. The judge told him that he must stay away from me and my adopters. My father was not promised confidentiality, or privacy, or protection from the state, not verbally and not in writing, not ever.

Quite the opposite was true.

My father and the judge were not informed that my deceased natural mother was distantly related to my adopting father. This was a very large extended family who wanted nothing to do with my natural father. Once he was out of the way due to the nature of closed adoption, all of my natural mother’s relatives and all of my adoptive father’s relatives were one big family and had no intention of staying away from each other. They did not inform my father or the judge of this connection. Photos and stories of me were passed back and forth during my childhood. The two families – including my adoptive parents – knew they were going behind the judge’s back by breaking the “no contact” restriction of closed adoption. The court issued my Final Order of Adoption – and my falsified new birth certificate – under the belief that MY privacy would be protected and that I would grow up in a safe and secure home.

The reality was that all of my natural mother’s relatives and my adoptive father’s relatives deemed themselves authorities to invade MY privacy by gossiping about me while I grew up. Then these hypocrites held onto society’s belief that “adoptees must never be told the truth” and that there was some terrible secret that must remain hidden.

My siblings made contact with me in 1974 when I was 18 years old. My adoptive parents, extended adoptive family, and my natural mother’s family were horrified. Why? Because the secret that I was never supposed to know was now out in the open. Their little game was over. I was their pawn.

My father was not aware that communication had been going on for 18 years because he was told to stay away. Had he been kept in the loop, he would have received updates and photos of me – as in today’s open adoption (when it works). Meanwhile, I knew nothing of any of this activity. I was the victim of hundreds of adults, and many of my same age cousins, who took control of my life.

What My Father Would Tell You If He Were Alive Today

If my father were alive today, he would tell you, as he told me: he did not sign any paper that told him he would be promised confidentiality, privacy, and protection from the state. There was no contract of confidentiality. Instead, he was ordered to not interfere in my life and that is a very different message.

The Opposition and Rebuttals

Opposition to the adoptee rights bill A5494 is made under the presumption that mothers are in hiding and are in fear of their secret being exposed.

Opposition to our adoptees rights bill firmly believe that mothers can claim now, decades after signing papers given up their parental rights, that they now must be given the power to redact their names from the birth certificate, or that they must be given the power to say no to contact or to say no for the release of the birth certificate to the adoptee.

 Rebuttal:

When a mother and father sign relinquishment papers, they surrender ALL parental rights to that child. That means the adoption agency, adoption attorneys, the court, the adoptive parents — none of these people or agencies are under any obligation to inform the natural parents that their surrendered infant or child has been moved into foster care, has been adopted, or never has been adopted, is sick and dying, or has died.

When papers are signed giving up parental rights, all rights are terminated. The natural parents have no legal parental rights whatsoever.

No parent under any circumstances has the right to redact their name from their child’s birth certificate. Facts of birth are just that: facts.

Raped Mothers

 Opposition to our adoptees rights bill firmly believe that raped mothers must be protected from ever having their rape known to the adoptee.

Rebuttal:

Parents who sign relinquishment papers, or whose parental rights were terminated, give up ALL of their parental rights.

When a child becomes an adult, that person is an autonomous being who is not subjected to any parental authority; this includes natural parents who signed away their parental rights upon relinquishment.

A child’s birth certificate remains their birth certificate even after relinquishment. If a child remains in foster care or guardianship, the child’s rights to that birth certificate are never violated.

It is only upon adoption that the child’s birth certificate is revoked, annulled, canceled, and then sealed, and then replaced by a false-fact birth certificate created upon adoption.

If a child is relinquished but never adopted, they maintain their birth certificate – and the names of their parents – for life. The identity of the parents will always be known to the relinquished child, now an adult.

Opposition: Hiding the Identity of Criminal Natural Parents

There is an argument for not releasing a revoked and sealed birth certificate to an adoptee in search if the father or mother is a criminal who murdered or who are guilty of some other extreme crime.

Rebuttal:

While this seems logical to want to protect adoptees from a violent criminal father or mother, it must be stated that many non-adopted people also have parents who are criminals who are incarcerated. There are many non-adopted people whose parents are mentally incompetent and are institutionalized. These non-adopted people know the conditions that keep their parents in prison or in institutions, but they are not prevented from owning their birth certificates due to the crime committed by their parents or the mental state of their parents.

The Opposition

 In the end, the opposition wants us to believe that their concern is keeping the bastards away from their fallen mothers who must be protected and kept anonymous.

Rebuttal:

It isn’t about being born a bastard. It isn’t about protecting the identities of the “unwed” mothers.

The 1936 New York State law and social attitudes of those times may have implied that fallen women and their bastard babies must be hidden, but since that law was enacted, over the past eight decades ALL adopted people were, and currently are, included in the sealed records law:

  • children of divorce are sometimes adopted by step parents
  • grandparents adopt their grandchildren
  • aunts and uncles adopt their nieces and nephews
  • older siblings adopt the youngest sibling
  • half and full orphans born of married parents are relinquished and adopted

In ALL of these cases, the adopted person’s actual birth certificate is revoked, sealed, and replaced by a false-fact birth certificate naming the new legal parents as if they sired, gestated, and gave birth to the re-named child. This is fraud!

The Opposition

The opposition would like us all to believe that their fear of being found out should be used to prevent all adoptees access to our revoked and sealed birth certificates.

Rebuttal:

Their irrational fears have been interfering with the civil and human rights of all adopted people for far too long.

The answer to the oppositions’ cries of confidentiality, privacy, and the perceived need of protection is therapy, not punishing laws.

If the antiquated stigma continues to be used as an excuse to prevent all adoptees access to our revoked and sealed birth certificates, the law will continue to obstruct justice from adoptees, like me, who were born within a marriage and then adopted out. Or adopted by a stepparent. Or adopted by grandparents or other relatives.

I am a Half Orphan Not A Bastard

My mother DIED when I was 3 months old. She died knowing she was my mother. Adoption took official motherhood away from her, and took away my right to the truth of my birth. I am a half orphan, not a bastard! Give me back my authentic birth certificate! Stop playing games with the facts of life!

I Support A5494

I strongly support A5494, an adoptee rights bill that will finally restore equality to adult adoptees in New York. I ask you to bring this bill to the Codes Committee agenda as soon as possible. The bill has overwhelming bipartisan support in the Assembly and is awaiting a floor vote in the Senate where it is expected to pass. This bill is a direct result of the Governor’s veto of regressive legislation in December of 2017 and his subsequent mandated work group.

Please do not give the opposition any more stalling time. Adoptee activists and mothers-of-adoption-loss who are fighting with us have been working hard for many decades for adoptee justice to access our revoked and sealed birth certificates.

The time is now. Please move this bill forward to the enactment of A5494.

Please let me know your position on this issue.

Yours Sincerely,

 

Doris Michol Sippel

(formerly known as Joan Mary Wheeler)

 

My Comments Marked as Spam and Deleted from this Discussion on Adoptees’ Rights to Sealed Birth Certificates

This post is about the comment section following this article:

Most American Adoptees Can’t Access Their Birth Certificates. That Could Soon Change.

A slew of new state laws are being debated right now.

As promised on Facebook, I saved not only my comments, but screen-shotted the ones  that were flagged as spam and deleted in the comment section of the above article.

I am re-printing them here should anyone question what went down when two rather mouthy individuals spouted off at me and then didn’t like my responses.

This was my first independent comment (not in a thread):

Doris Michol Sippel • 2 days ago

It is important for readers to know that there are many more situations in which a child is given up for adoption than the typical not-married-mother giving up a bastard baby. Some children are adopted by their grandparents or aunts and uncles. Some children are adopted by their step parent. Some children lose one or both to death making them either half of full orphans who are given by the remaining parent or another relative or an orphanage. Still other children are removed from abusive parents and sent into foster care where they may or may not be adopted out. All of the comments here target the “unwed mother and bastard baby” stereotype. In every single adoption, the adoptee’s birth certificate is revoked, sealed, and then replaced by a false-fact birth certificate that states two people who were not there for the conception and birth are named as if they were responsible for creating this new life. They weren’t. Adoptees are forced to live a lie. Access bills to allow adoptees to have a copy of their sealed birth certificate are a solution to only part of the bigger problem. The bigger problem is that adoptees should never have falsified birth certificates to begin with. Facts are facts. Adoptees are the only group of people who are targeted by laws that steal our identities.

To which, clemans responded:

clemans  Doris Michol Sippel • 2 days ago

With the popularity of DNA tests, none of that matters. At some point a family member will do a test and the matching begins. And it all comes out.

Here is a screenshot of my first comment and clemans’ response:

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Here is a screenshot that my response was marked as spam 3 times (It has been marked as spam for the 4th time and now only one “This comment was marked as spam” line remains):

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Now I am responding directly to “clemans”:

March 15, 2019 11 AM

To clemans —

none of that matters” — oh really?

I find it fascinating that when I, an adoptee, post the truth about birth certificates; my posts were flagged as spam and removed 4 times! That is censorship! I am screen-shoting everything!

For the 5th time:

This bill addressed in this article is about ADOPTEES CIVIL RIGHTS to access our revoked and sealed birth certificates. This bill has nothing to do with the misperceived view that mothers need protection or have rights to anonymity. Mothers have no rights because they signed relinquishment papers giving up ALL PARENTAL RIGHTS.

The truth of the facts of birth are recorded by the attending physician on a medical record of live birth. Every newborn gets one of these – it’s your birth certificate. The attending physician verifies the birth by her or his signature on the birth certificate that is then signed by the registrar of vital statistics.

The only people who are segregated from the rest of society – who are discriminated against – are adopted people who are forced, by law, to be victims of identity theft via adoption.

In each adoption – illegitimate or not – the medical record of live birth – the birth certificate – is revoked and then sealed forever. Then, a false-fact birth certificate, not signed by an attending physician, is then issued to legitimize the illegitimately born bastard adoptee.

In the examples I gave earlier, but were deleted as spam: step-parents adopting their step child, grandparents adopting their grandchild, children born within a marriage who are removed due to abuse or neglect, children who are full or half orphans (one or both parents have died) – many adoptees are legitimately born and do not “need” to be legitimized through adoption. Yet, the nearly-century-old laws funnel all adoptees into this narrow definition of who should be re-born via adoption. Long ago, bastards were targeted. Now, every child who is adopted is a victim of identity theft perpetrated by the government.

If 4 full blood siblings are removed from their married parents, and 3 are adopted into 3 separate adoptive families, these 3 siblings will then be issued new birth certificates stating that each one was born to the new adoptive parents. There will be no evidence on record that these 3 siblings actually are full blood siblings with the same legally married parents.  Meanwhile, the 4th full blood sibling ages out of foster care with her birth certificate intact. Even though her parents were involuntarily stripped of their parental rights, this child, now an adult, has her birth certificate from birth. Meanwhile, one of her other 3 siblings is re-homed and adopted a 2nd time, and is issued a 3rd birth certificate. None of the adopted-out siblings has any legal rights to the truth of their births. Only the not-adopted siblings retains that right.

This is not a matter of DNA to uncover family secrets. This is a matter of discriminatory laws targeting a specific group of American citizens who are stripped of our civil and human rights.

Yes, secrets people keep will be found out by DNA. That is not the point I was making. My concern is the law that revokes, seals, and falsifies birth certificates of adopted people.

My second concern is the law that prevents adoptees access to our revoked and sealed birth certificates.

This is about ADOPTEES CIVIL RIGHTS, and not about DNA, and not about the misperceived rights of mothers to anonymity.

Like it or not, relinquishment does not guarantee adoption. That means: when a mother who loves her newborn is faced with no option but to give up her baby, all of her parental rights are removed upon the signing of surrender papers. When a mixed-up, confused, terrified, angry, bitter, disgusted mother wants nothing to do with her newborn or older child, and she gives up that child, she signs relinquishment papers. There is no statement of confidentiality in any relinquishment agreement. She loses all parental rights over her child forever. Arguments holding up the assumption that mothers have rights to anonymity are incorrect.

Signing relinquishment means that the parent signs away all parental rights to the child. There is no guarantee that the child will be adopted. If that child ages out of foster care and the mother does not know, that person has their own birth certificate with the mother’s name on it. Once an adult, the relinquished person can either contact the mother or not. No parent has any legal standing to tell an adult daughter or son what to do.

Here are screenshots of my comment just in case it is marked as spam and is removed again:

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And now Fractal and I are talking to each other. “Fractal” also flagged my comment as spam so it was removed:

March 14, 2019 8:30 pm

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Here are my comments, and Fractal’s comments, as they appear in text on the comment section with links:

Doris Michol Sippel  fractal • 2 days ago

Stop calling adoptees “children”. Activists are adults, not children. With all your questions, the way you talk is full of stereotypes from the Victorian Era. No, no mother was ever promised confidentiality. No surrender documents contain those words. Women were coerced into giving up their babies. They still are pressured to keep the supply to meet the demand. There are so many points wrong in what you post…

To which Fractal replied:

fractal  Doris Michol Sippel • 19 hours ago

Stop telling me what to do.
In the birth mother’s mind, the adopted person will always be their “child”.
And so I will continue to call them such.

In the past when women were considering giving a child up for adoption, the GREAT CONCERN was that birth mother would try to insert herself into life of her adopted child.

She would be told that the records were CLOSED FOR LIFE and that she should never attempt to see the child.

And in fact, she would be told that doing so would be incredibly painful for the adoptive family.

With that meme comes the implication that the birth mother doesn’t need to worry about the child coming to find her, because the records were sealed. It would never occur to most birth mothers in the past to think that the child would be able to open records and, because of this internet age, be so easy to find.

You must be adopted to assume the story that all women who give children up are “coerced”.
I can assure you many are HAPPY to be relieved of the burden, and many would have aborted if something hadn’t prevented them from doing so—money, timing etc…
I know this because I used to work in reproductive health, and saw how many women who came for an abortion had to turn to adoption when abortion wasn’t an option any longer.
Of course, these women will someday have to LIE to their adoptive child and pretend they didn’t want to abort them, or cause them more grief and loss of self-esteem.

Seems to me you have zero respect for the wishes of the birth mother and have a lot of emotional energy invested in big, happy reunions!!!!!!
Doesn’t work that way a lot of the time.
In fact, an biological child of theirs who shows up and corners them might well not get the reunion they are hoping for.
And that could cause a tragedy.

Now stop being so bitchy.
BTW, why is your comment history private?
I bet you are just another Fundy Troll on MJ.

March 15, 2019

The following comment to Fractal was also flagged and removed as Spam.

This is in response to “Fractal” who had some rather harsh words for me.

To Fractal –

You don’t need to give me lectures as I know all about the various aspects as to why the records were sealed. Did you not read that I have been an activist for 45 years? That means I have been to numerous conferences and have talked to hundreds, if not thousands, of adoptees and natural mothers. I know every aspect of what you say. You are not telling me anything new.

Fractal said – “You must be adopted to assume the story that all women who give children up are “coerced”.”

My answer: Me being adopted has nothing to do with mothers being coerced into giving up their babies. I know many mothers of adoption loss who are activist for open records. They all say that they were coerced into giving up their babies. There were no choices. The only option was adoption.
Fractal said – “I can assure you many are HAPPY to be relieved of the burden, and many would have aborted if something hadn’t prevented them from doing so—money, timing etc…”

My answer: YES, exactly! I know this too! That’s why I said earlier “disgusted mothers” because I know that many mothers do not want the burden of being a parent so the get rid of their baby. And then hide behind sealed records as a cop-out – not taking responsibility for their actions.

Fractal said – “Seems to me you have zero respect for the wishes of the birth mother”

My answer: NOPE. I have utmost respect for the mothers of adoption loss who are for open records. I have zero respect for anyone – mothers, fathers, priests, politicians, etc – who continue to insist on revoking, sealing and falsifying adoptees’ birth certificates, and then want to deprive adoptees of their civil and human rights to access these birth certificates when they are adults.

Fractal said – that I “have a lot of emotional energy invested in big, happy reunions!!!!!!”

My answer: NOPE! I am not invested in happy reunions at all! I am invested in changing the law to restore adoptees’ human and civil rights to their truths of their births. What an adoptee does with their birth certificate is up to them. Searching and Reunion are NOT the issues. The issue is the law that currently prevents adoptees from accessing our revoked and sealed birth certificates.
Fractal said: “Doesn’t work that way a lot of the time.
In fact, an biological child of theirs who shows up and corners them might well not get the reunion they are hoping for.
And that could cause a tragedy.”

My answer: Wow. Paint adoptees as stalkers and creeps. Way to go.

Again: Conflating the need to change the law to advance adoptees’ rights to our own birth certificates with does not equate to searching and reunions. We do not need reunion registries. We do not need confidential intermediaries. We need to restore adoptees’ civil rights to own our original birth certificates.

Fractal said: Now stop being so bitchy.
BTW, why is your comment history private?
I bet you are just another Fundy Troll on MJ.

My answer: Ok, I’m bitchy. If you say so…

I have no idea why my comment history is Private and I don’t care. I don’t comment on Discuss frequently. I assure you I am who I say I am – Doris Michol Sippel. That is my real name. I see that you, Fractal, are hiding behind a fake name. I am not a Fundy Troll. I am an adoptee, a liberal, a democrat, and an activist. Look up the articles I posted links to.

12:30PM March 15, 2019

Came back from lunch to see that my comment had been removed a 3rd time!

OK then, I’ve  removed Fractal’s name and posted my comment again! Don’t forget, I am screen-shotting this!

Doris Michol Sippel • an hour ago

To Nameless Opposition of my adoptee comments:

I am screenshotting all of this to post on my website!

You don’t need to give me lectures as I know all about the various aspects as to why the records were sealed. Did you not read that I have been an activist for 45 years? That means I have been to numerous conferences and have talked to hundreds, if not thousands, of adoptees and natural mothers. I know every aspect of what you say. You are not telling me anything new.

You said – “You must be adopted to assume the story that all women who give children up are “coerced”.”
My answer: Me being adopted has nothing to do with mothers being coerced into giving up their babies. I know many mothers of adoption loss who are activist for open records. They all say that they were coerced into giving up their babies. There were no choices. The only option was adoption.

You said – “I can assure you many are HAPPY to be relieved of the burden, and many would have aborted if something hadn’t prevented them from doing so—money, timing etc…”
My answer: YES, exactly! I know this too! That’s why I said earlier “disgusted mothers” because I know that many mothers do not want the burden of being a parent so the get rid of their baby. And then hide behind sealed records as a cop-out – not taking responsibility for their actions.

You said – “Seems to me you have zero respect for the wishes of the birth mother”
My answer: NOPE. I have utmost respect for the mothers of adoption loss who are for open records. I have zero respect for anyone – mothers, fathers, priests, politicians, etc – who continue to insist on revoking, sealing and falsifying adoptees’ birth certificates, and then want to deprive adoptees of their civil and human rights to access these birth certificates when they are adults.

You said – that I “have a lot of emotional energy invested in big, happy reunions!!!!!!”
My answer: NOPE! I am not invested in happy reunions at all! I am invested in changing the law to restore adoptees’ human and civil rights to their truths of their births. What an adoptee does with their birth certificate is up to them. Searching and Reunion are NOT the issues. The issue is the law that currently prevents adoptees from accessing our revoked and sealed birth certificates.

You said: “Doesn’t work that way a lot of the time.
In fact, an biological child of theirs who shows up and corners them might well not get the reunion they are hoping for.
And that could cause a tragedy.”

My answer: Wow. Paint adoptees as stalkers and creeps. Way to go.
Again: Conflating the need to change the law to advance adoptees’ rights to our own birth certificates with does not equate to searching and reunions. We do not need reunion registries. We do not need confidential intermediaries. We need to restore adoptees’ civil rights to own our original birth certificates.

You said: Now stop being so bitchy.
BTW, why is your comment history private?
I bet you are just another Fundy Troll on MJ.

My answer: Ok, I’m bitchy. If you say so…
I have no idea why my comment history is Private and I don’t care. I don’t comment on Discuss frequently. I assure you I am who I say I am – Doris Michol Sippel. That is my real name. I see that you are hiding behind a fake name. I am not a Fundy Troll. I am an adoptee, a liberal, a democrat, and an activist. Look up the articles I posted links to.

Screenshots of the above:

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It is now 1:40 PM on March 15, 2019. My above comment to Clemans has been marked as spam and removed for the 5th time!

The Opposition really does not want the truth to be told!

Ha! Screenshotted and posted it all right here!

It’s been 45 years of censorship from people who oppose adoptees’ rights to our birth certificates.

I will fight to my dying breath for the right to own my revoked and sealed birth certificate – I will fight for all other adopted people as well.

Sure enough! Censored and deleted again! March 15 at 1:59PM

Doris Michol Sippel • a few seconds ago

Here is a blog post I wrote with screenshots of all of the times my comments have been Marked As Spam and Deleted. The Opposition to Adoptees’ Access to our Sealed Birth Certificates really does not want to hear the truth! Cognitive Dissonance, eh? You can still mark thhis comment as spam and delete it, but the truth is you don’t wan to face the truth!

https://forbiddenfamily.com…

My Comments Marked as Spam and Deleted from this Discussion on Adoptees’ Rights to Sealed Birth Certificates

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The Editors of The Buffalo News Approved of, and Published, My Article “Being Adopted Allowed The State To Steal My Identity”

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20181116 AnotherVoice-BeingAdoptedAllowedTheStateToSealMyIdenti

 

NOTE: While some people may see this as controversial, the Editors of The Buffalo News approved of my article. That is why they published it.

Here is the link to the original article posted on The Buffalo News website on Thursday November 15. The print version was published on Friday November 16, 2018.

Another Voice: Being adopted allowed state to steal my identity

New York State stole my birth certificate, revoked it, sealed the facts of my birth on Jan. 7, 1956, and replaced reality with an amended birth certificate in the name of Joan Mary Wheeler, swapping out the names of my parents with the names of my adoptive parents. This new document states that I, as Joan, was born to two people who neither sired nor birthed me. These legally appointed guardians renamed me when my adoption became final on Jan. 14, 1957.

I legally reclaimed my name of birth in 2016. My adopters remain my legal parents. Joan’s birth certificate remains my legal birth certificate. Doris’ accurate birth certificate remains revoked and sealed under the 1936 state law designed to conceal verifiable facts.
I’ve owned my secret birth certificate since 1974. My adoptive mother gave my documents to me days after my natural family initiated a reunion.

Knowing that I do not have the legal right to use it, I did so anyway to reclaim my name, to update my name and parents’ names with Social Security and to obtain a driver’s license and a passport. My legal birth certificate does not match my other identity documents.

The final step for a legal name change is to send the court order of name change to Vital Statistics to update my name with the “parents of record.” If I do that, a new amended birth certificate will be issued stating that I, Doris Michol Sippel, was born to Doloris and Edward Wheeler. That amended birth certificate would be far worse than the one issued upon my adoption. At least in 1957 my adoptive identity was completely separate from my identity of birth. Complying with this last step would mean that both identities would be mixed together, and my parents’ names — Genevieve and Leonard Sippel — would not be on my birth certificate.

Does your brain hurt? Mine does.

I refuse to take this last step. I broke the law. I do not care. New York State is at fault for revoking my birth certificate, sealing it, and replacing it in 1957.

Three remedies are possible.

I petition New York State Supreme Court to update my parents’ names on a new amended birth certificate to align all of my identity documents with one another. Obviously, creating yet another amended birth certificate is illogical.

I petition the state to restore my revoked birth certificate. According to current law, this would undo my adoption and dissolve inheritance laws with my adoptive family.

The third and most realistic resolution also violates current sealed records law: Restore Doris Michol Sippel’s certificate of medical live birth, annul Joan Mary Wheeler’s amended birth certificate, and issue an adoption certificate. By doing so, the state would validate the facts of my life while not vacating my adoption. Then my brain, and my heart, would not hurt.

Doris Michol Sippel is the author of “Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity.”

 

An Open-Adoption Adoptive Mother Tries to Explain the Anti-Adoption Movement – Here is What I Said to Her

In April of 2018, an adopter named Amey wrote a blog post – The Anti-Adoption Movement – What Does It Look Like?

I will open this post with a hats-off to adoptee Marilynn Huff who made an extraordinary comment to Amey’s post in that blog post’s comment section on adoptees’ birth certificates. Marilynn’s comment is one of the best I’ve ever read, including my own writings.

I will break down Amey’s blog post one phrase at a time.

Under the heading “Adoptees” Amey said:

Adoptees often resent the idea that they were “given up” for adoption. I hate that phrase. We say “placed’ or “made a plan.”

It doesn’t matter what YOU say – that you hate the phrase “given up” – that “We” (meaning infertile people, or adopters) say “placed” or “made a plan” – what matters is how adoptees experience the permanent separation that adoption actually is. The adoptee, as a newborn or an infant too young to have verbal and mental cognition, experiences the sudden loss of Mother as a terrifying break. This Primal Wound is internalized as the infant cries out for Mother. (Read The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier). The Primal Wound creates brain damage in certain areas of the brains of infants who are taken at birth from their Mothers. On this basis alone, adoption should be seen as extreme child abuse. With new studies being done, hopefully, it will be, and we will see a stranger movement to end adoption as we know it on a global scale.

Be sure to read this blog post and be sure to read the comments for links to scientific studies.

Amey said,

Maybe the birth parents had a problem with substance abuse or were young and not ready to parent. It doesn’t matter. The adoptee still feels unwanted and alone.

Again, it does not matter what the parental circumstances are at the time of birth, the newborn is traumatized by sudden removal of the nurturing mother within whom the infant lived for nine months. The pre-born infant hears mother’s voice and knows her emotions, and is influenced by her emotions. The pre-born infant is happy when mother is happy and feels anxiety and distress when she is nervous or angry. These are proven facts.

The pre-born infant feeds by mother’s food intake – both mother and baby share a symbiotic relationship. The unborn infant needs mother for sustenance, nutrients (in addition to feeling her love), and even receives her bacterial microbiome as she passes through the birth canal during birth. There is now evidence that the infant and mother exchange body and brain cells. The mother’s cells live on inside her offspring’s body and brain, and conversely, the infant’s cells also live on inside the mother. Scientists believe that these cells aid in immune functions.

Such phrases as

the birth parents had a problem with substance abuse or were young and not ready to parent

are a form of distancing the natural parents from their child. This is dissociating, detaching, and distracting from the primary relationship. These words are weapons meant to evoke emotions in observers who then internalize the message that adopters are then “better than” the child’s natural parents. This psychological twisting is then passed down to the adoptee who grows up feeling indebted for being saved from a life of hell with unfit parents. This distorted message permeates society’s belief that adoption saves infants and children.

I hope you, Amey, can now see that your last two sentences in that first paragraph:

It doesn’t matter. The adoptee still feels unwanted and alone

are quite true of the facts of life as experienced by a newborn or an older baby.

The first sentence in Amey’s next paragraph states:

Adoptees sometimes feel that everyone who makes this decision is selfish, while everyone says that they are selfless.

This reflects upon adoption as it happens in today’s society. Adoption has been warping and changing over the last 9 decades. When I first joined the Adoptees Rights Movement in 1975, nearly a year into my reunion with my natural family, I met mothers from the Baby Scoop Era. Here is a blog post I wrote about honoring their contributions.

I might add that you, Amey, should try to avoid words such as “everyone.” There are many adoptees out there who do not see relinquishment, or surrendering, a newborn or older child as selfish. Many adoptees understand that many mothers and fathers of adoption loss are not given proper counseling of all options available, and this includes ways to sustain keeping their child.

As a social worker, I worked in homeless shelters where our clients where homeless mothers with children or were entire families. We had a checklist of goals that we helped our clients obtain one by one – including parenting classes, finding apartments, finding employment and child care – so that the young mother and/or father could raise their own infant and older children.

Still, I have seen just the opposite – where certain social workers are hell-bent on removing children from their parents just to fill their monthly quota of “placing” children for foster care and adoption.

By using your words of “selfish” and “selfless,” I can only guess you are part of the Brave Love Movement. This Christian movement is deleterious and demoralizing to the expectant mother and the mother who has just given birth. It goes against natural to feel obligated to strangers to “make an adoption plan”- specifically because a pregnant woman or teen is already a mother. Her first and foremost obligation is to the infant she is carrying. Pre-birth adoption plans are immoral and ought to be illegal.

It is sad that modern adoption practices, even those that promote and practice open adoption, make it a point and a goal to instill unnatural feelings and beliefs in the minds of pregnant teens and young women. The idea that it is “unselfish” to give your infant to strangers is brainwashing. Many of the women who now boast that they, too, are proud mothers whom selfishly made an adoption plan for their baby, will one day wake up to the horror of what they’ve done. When they do wake up to realize that they were tricked and coerced into giving their babies to strangers, we will see them in the Anti Adoption Movement.

I’ve seen the jewelry line for Brave Love. I’ve seen T-shirts for pre-adoptive-parent- wanna-bees that state “Paper Pregnant” or “My baby is in Nepal” (for those who are waiting for a baby who will be born to a poor woman in a baby farm who will get paid to gestate a baby for strangers so she can use that money to sustain herself and her family).

Such baby farms exist so that wealthy gay men, lesbian women, heterosexual couples, or even single men and women can make a baby through buying sperm and eggs via contract and then rent the womb of a poor woman for their selfish motives of making a baby at extreme means for the pleasure of experiencing parenting.

Buying and wearing a t-shirt that state the words “paper pregnant” with the drawing of a pregnant belly is an advertisement of the absurd ego-mania that exists in today’s wanna-be-adoptive-parents. Only narcissistic, selfish women with too much money to spend would demean themselves to the point of walking around wearing such a t-shirt, let alone actually using a vulnerable young pregnant woman for the sole purpose of taking her baby upon birth.

Amey, your next sentence:

The Expectant or Birth Parents don’t want to parent; the adoptive parents only want a baby.

seems to accept the myths that are out there today. Most unexpectedly pregnant girls and women actually do want to keep their babies and to parent their child. True, there are some mothers who are, indeed, drug addictions, or are involved in crime, or are completely detached to their pre-born infant. I saw a few of these mothers in the homeless shelters I once worked at. There are mental illnesses that won’t allow a mother to be a mother. There are addictions and criminal behaviors that warrant the removal of newborns or older children from such parents.

Children born to these mothers and raised in foster care in safety carry with them their own birth certificate. They may be raised together with their own siblings. One or two of those siblings may eventually be adopted. However, the one who ages out of foster care maintains the birth certificate created upon her birth, even when her parents are dead beats, drug addicts, in prison, or do not want to have anything to do with their children. Meanwhile, the siblings who were then adopted are given new names, new birth certificates, and new parents. The siblings are still full-blood siblings but are not legally siblings.

Amey, I must challenge you to re-examine your words:

The Expectant or Birth Parents don’t want to parent

How do you know that? According to the natural mothers I communicate daily with on Facebook  and on their websites say that they wanted to parent their baby, but many were coerced and many were de-babied during birth by harsh birthing methods of the attending physician and by nurses who took the baby immediately upon birth.

Amey, your next words:

 the adoptive parents only want a baby.

say it all. Wanting a baby and then using a pregnant girl or young woman to meet your desires is the worst form of anti-woman, anti-feminist beliefs and behavior. Rich and powerful women should not abuse and use disadvantaged pregnant women to satisfy cravings to be a parent. Coveting another woman’s baby and actually going through with the plan to obtain her baby for your benefit is a very selfish act.

And your next words, Amey:

In an infant or young child adoption, they are the only people in the triad who don’t get a choice. Other people make it for them, decide what is best because they’re too young to understand. They resent that, too.

Of course adoptees resent the actions of adults who made life-altering choices and made legally-binding contracts over them when they were too young to say no. The world is now facing a great uprising. Adoptees are gathering together to not only voice opposition to what was done to them, but to end adoption altogether.

Then your next paragraph, Amey, is about adoptees:

And it doesn’t matter if they had a wonderful home life with an adoptive family. Often, they’ll say that they love their adoptive parents, but that they resent them for taking them away from their birth family. They recognize that they were given opportunities that they might never have had, yet they feel incomplete, never whole.

Yes, many adoptees do feel this way. It is a burden to walk through life knowing that you may have had “a wonderful life” and that you do love your adoptive parents, and at the same time feel that loss, feel that resentment. While many adoptees have been raised in economically superior adoptive homes, adoptees are split in half feeling guilty for wanting to know their natural parents and to know why they were not kept. Yes, many adoptees know that they were bought at a high price – thousands of dollars – $25,000 or $50,000 or $75,000. When the realization sets in as to the truth of baby-selling, baby-trafficking, and that adoption agencies make their living this way, many adoptees are disgusted as to the means they became adopted.

And yes:

For them, the loss is more powerful than the gain.

Amey, your next section is about Expectant Parents. I will only say this – that pressuring expectant mothers and fathers into a pre-birth matching contract with adoptive-parent-wanna-bees is just that – unwanted and unhealthy pressure for both the pregnant mother and her unborn child.

Your next section, Amey, is about Birth Parents is actually correct in your assessments of the situation for many natural parents.

You are correct in assessing that many Adoptive Parents are:

Adoptive parents are affected by the anti-adoption movement, but I find that they are more often Anti-Open Adoption. I think it’s pretty obvious that this isn’t me, but I understand the sentiment.

This “Anti-Open-Adoption sentiment exists because many adopters feel that they are the adoptees ONLY parents. Many adoptive parents do not want to know that there is another set of parents who has more than genetic ties to the adoptees in their care. They believe that the adoptee owes them loyalty and elegance. Often times, these types of adoptive parents are very possessive over their adoptees. Some actually believe the false-facts stated on the amended birth certificate – they are living in a delusional fantasy, believing that they gave birth to someone else’s child.

Amey, now I will tell you what happened to me.

My mother was dying of cancer while pregnant with me. During her 7th month of pregnancy, my father took his wife to the hospital. She was very sick. It was two days after Christmas 1955. The doctors x-rayed my mother’s abdomen. There they saw me and a cancerous tumor the same size as I was. Two weeks later, in early January 1956, I was born at 8 weeks gestation – two months premature. My mother died on March 28, 1956, at age 30.

My 31 year old father was left with a deceased wife and five children. His parents were old and sick. He was an only child, so he had no family to lean on. His wife’s siblings were married with several young children, and a few had newborns of their own.

At my mother’s funeral, two things happened very close to one another. The parish priest came up to my father and said, “The baby needs two parents.” A few minutes later, a woman approached my father and said, “I know someone who will take your baby.” My father was given no options. No one offered help to keep his family together. My father was a deeply religious man so he followed the priest’s suggestion. He contacted that woman and arranged for her brother and his wife to come and get me. When he gave me to my future adoptive parents, he also gave them my birth certificate, baptismal certificate, and my clothes. I was 4 months old.

My father married his second wife very soon after. His second wife helped take care of my four older siblings. Meanwhile, my adopting parents lived just one block over and three blocks up away. About nine months later, they moved six miles to the north.

By the closed adoption practices of the time, my father was told to never contact my adoptive parents. He was to stay away from me. My adoption became final when I was one year and one week old. My name was changed. My birth certificate was revoked,  sealed, and replaced by one that states my new name, and my new parents – as if I was born to them in that hospital. The Catholic Church even changed my baptismal certificate.

It is these lies and cover-ups that I resent.

I also resent my adoptive parents’ possessiveness.

In 1974, at my age of 18, I was found by siblings I did not know I had. My adoptive parents knew I had siblings, but they did not tell me. They knew where my mother was buried but never told me. Why? Because I belonged to them. I was theirs.

There is much more to my adoption/reunion story; too much for this blog post. That is why I wrote a memoir: Forbidden Family: An Adoptee’s Struggle for Identity.

There are many reasons why I am anti-adoption. I did not need a new home. I already had a home. I had parents. I should have been allowed to grow up knowing my Mom died and visiting her grave. I should have had my siblings and my father with me. Adoption took all of that away from me.

What did I gain from adoption? I was raised an only and lonely child. I had my independence. I had material middle-class things that my siblings did not have. This created resentment in them when we were reunited. While I loved my adoptive parents, I mistrusted them ever since 1974 when I learned that they lied to me for the first 18 years of my life. I spent the next few decades as the adoptee who belonged to two families, who had the burden of integrating two identities, and the burden of taken the brunt of everyone else’s opinions as to what I should feel and what I should do. It was bad for me to be an anti-adoption activist.

All four of my parents are dead now. I have no contact with any abusive relatives – that means my siblings as well as extended family by blood or by adoption. I do have close relatives on both sides…

My life was ruined because of adoption. I am very resentful, and I will fight to my dying breath to end the revocation, sealing and replacement of adoptees’ birth certificates. I join thousands of adoptees around the world who say that adoption should end.

I will close with this thought:

Amey, your last token of a misguided message is this meme:

death-is-not-the-greatest-loss-in-life.png

I don’t know who this person “Tupac Shakur” is, or was, but that meme is extremely hurtful. My mother died when I was three months old. That loss was the single most devastating event in my life. My mother’s death led to my adoption. I am not grateful for this.

On the other hand, maybe the meme is right. I lost my name, my family, and my birth certificate all because of adoption. I am supposed to be grateful and happy. I am not.

Adoption has left me fighting for my civil rights to my factual birth certificate. I fight not only for myself, but for millions of adoptees worldwide. I fight for the humanity of all pregnant girls and women, and for all mothers, and fathers, of adoption loss.

As for adoptive parents – you reap the benefits of adoption. I don’t see any of you running to legislators to turn in those amended birth certificates to demand adoption certificates instead, nor do I see any adoptive parents demanding that the revoked and sealed birth certificate of the child in your care is reinstated. I don’t see any adoptive parents willing to, and actually returning the child back to the natural parents after they rebuild their lives.

Why? The answer is because you now have what you want: ownership of someone else’s child.

That just about sums up the need for the anti-adoption movement.

 

 

 

My Take on “Runs in the Family”

It is a tragedy that a mother felt helpless when she was pregnant and 16 years old. It is a tragedy that she made the decision not to tell the father of her child that he was the child’s father. It is a tragedy that their son grew up without either one of his natural parents.

It is important to know that there should never be a need to separate a baby from his parents. A mother and her baby should never be separated. Not even when the mother is 16 years old. And the father should always be told he is a father.

When adoption separation does happen, the mother, father, and son live life without one another; until one of them begins a search and discovers the others.

What follows is a well-balanced reunion story. This adoption, and this reunion, was handled in the best possible way.

But keep in mind, the point is: the goal is to never be separated in the first place.

But since adoption separation happened, everyone involved here had the sincerity, the maturity, and the humanity to handle this reunion with grace and love.

In July, a huge family reunion in Youngstown brought McCullough, Briggs, Smith and Comer together for the first time. All of McCullough’s parents in one place, reflecting on nurture versus nature, what is inherited versus what is taught and the many different forms of parenthood. It was both the culmination of a journey and the start of something new for the families that the journey had introduced. A man found his parents, a mother found her child, and a father discovered a son he never knew he was missing. There is no jealousy, no resentment and no regret. There is just gratitude for the winding paths that brought them all together.

You can read the whole story at this link.

 

 

 

Re-Posting: Progress and Goals for “CLEAN” NY Adoption Reform. Preparing For 2019 – 2020

While I remain disappointed and discouraged that our Adoptees’ Rights Bill did not pass this legislative session (which ended June 20), progress has been made.

I don’t know the specifics as to why there was another hold up; I have my concerns as to why. I think it has to do with the opinions of others who scream “mothers’ rights to be left alone” and abortion, and making this out to be search and reunion orientated.

None of that applies. This bill is about ADOPTEES’ RIGHTS TO OUR REVOKED AND SEALED BIRTH CERTIFICATES AND NOTHING ELSE.

Here is an update that continues at the links provided:

Progress and Goals for “CLEAN” NY Adoption Reform. Preparing For 2019 – 2020.

Tim Monti-Wohlpart
Brooklyn, NY
Jun 24, 2018 — Friends of “CLEAN” adoption reform,

Our cause— “CLEAN” NY adoption reform—gained immense ground, with your help, during the 2017 – 2018 legislative session! Albany hears you and we are not being ignored. While the legislature adjourned this week without passage of our bill, dialogue is slated to continue soon. So, we are already preparing for the 2019 – 2020 session (starting in January 2019). Giving up is not part of the equation. We remain humbled and grateful for your support and polite outreach to all key officials.

DIALOGUE WITH GOVERNOR CUOMO STAFF:
It’s tough knowing that A9959-B / S7631-B is not headed to Governor Cuomo, so he can enshrine long overdue adoptee equality—this time. But vital dialogue has progressed and is slated to continue, even this summer, and well in advance of the start of the 2019 – 2020 legislative session.

On Tuesday two of our partners, Annette and Barbara, from the New York Adoptee Rights Coalition (NYARC) reported, as requested, to Governor Cuomo’s office for discussion. With thanks to April, on Wednesday, Tim contributed to a call with a senior staffer who has assumed direct involvement on adoption reform. Her work, linked to the Department of Health following our March workgroup meeting, will be key in further consideration our appeal! Because of you, “clean” adoption reform has gained gradually rising consideration at the highest levels of New York government.

THIS CONTINUES HERE.

NYS Assembly: Please PASS A9959B The Adoptees’ Rights Bill. Please DO NOT PASS 6959 The Surrogacy Contract Bill

June 15, 2018

Dear Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie and Brenda, and members of the Assembly:

Please advance A9959B, the Adoptee Rights Bill, to the full Assembly for a vote.

Please VOTE TO PASS A9959B as it will restore to all New York adoptees the unrestricted right to obtain their own original birth certificates upon request. I support access, without modification and without the necessity of a court order, to the original medical record of live birth as recorded within five days of every adopted person’s actual birth.

I have been an activist for the birth rights of adoptees since I was found in 1974 by full blood siblings I never knew I had. I also support the conception and birth rights of donor-conceived people. For over 30 years, I have written articles against sperm donation, egg donation, surrogacy, and embryo transfers because of the obvious violations against the human and civil rights of the children produced via anonymous Assisted Reproductive Technologies. I addressed the President’s Council on Bioethics in 2004 in Washington D.C. when I presented a short, three-minute paper defending the rights of all people to the truth of their conceptions and births.

It has come to my attention that the Assembly Health Committee recently held a hearing on Surrogacy. Assembly Bill 6959 on Surrogacy Contracts would abolish Governor Cuomo’s ban on commercial surrogacy in New York and put intended parents on birth records based not on genetic and biological facts, but based on intentions and contracts.

While the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (renamed Adoption and ART) supports adoptee access to our revoked and sealed original birth certificates, they are now proposing a future where intended (contractual) parents will be named on the birth certificate instead of the actual genetic and birthing parents. This means that birth certificates for people born of Assisted Reproductive Technologies, or born to surrogate mothers who signed pre-birth contracts, will not have an original birth record to access because the State’s only record of their birth will be based on agreements the person whose birth is recorded was not party to.

Adoptees, including myself, along with donor-conceived and surrogate-born people, stand for truth and honesty in recording the conception and birth of every human being. Every person has the fundamental human right – and should have the civil right – to have an accurate medical record of live birth that can be verified by medical records and DNA to prove parentage. I urge you to VOTE NO on Assembly Bill 6959.

Sometime in the near future, over and above the reach of the current Adoptee Rights Bill – A9959B, the 1936 law that revokes and seals adoptees’ medical record of live birth, and then issues replacement birth certificates upon adoption, must be abolished. Amended birth certificates serve no purpose. These false-fact birth certificates exist only to prove that the adopters have been assigned as legal parents. Legal parents are not parents by birth; therefore, their names should not be listed on a new birth certificate created after adoption. The law’s intended purpose was to legitimize illegitimate bastards via adoption, but hiding illegitimacy is no longer needed in today’s society. Birth and adoption are two very distinct events: a birth is a medical event in which a new human being enters the world, and an adoption is a legal transaction.

Is there any socially assigned shame applied to today’s myriad of ways a child can be created via Assisted Reproductive Technologies? All people created via donated sperm, donated eggs, and incubated in a surrogate mother’s rented uterus are conceived and birthed outside of marriage, yet the stigma and shame of an illegitimate birth is not assigned to people conceived and born this way. Why is that? Is it the sex act itself – the sexual union of not-married parents – that defines the product of such a union as an illegitimate bastard? When one examines the sexuality of producing a vial of sperm anonymously, or harvesting eggs from an anonymous donor, or implanting a frozen embryo created in a petri dish into the uterus of a surrogate mother, no one assigns shame to any of these acts. Yet, people conceived and birth via contracted arrangements are, indeed, conceived and birthed outside of marriage. Why is there a different standard applied to children born to a woman who is not married and to children born via Assisted Reproductive Technologies?

New York State holds adoptees to the strict definition of illegitimacy – despite the fact that many adoptees were born to married parents: children adopted by step parents, children who were orphaned by the death of one or both parents, children who were adopted by their grandparents or other relatives, and children removed from abusive or neglectful parents. In every case, each adoptee, whether born a bastard or not, is held to the existing law that removes the certification of the adoptee’s medical record of live birth and replaces it with a false-fact birth certificate. THIS law should be abolished!

All people deserve one, and only one, true and accurate birth certificate. Revoking, sealing, and replacing birth certificates of adopted people, and issuing false-fact birth certificates stating the names of the contractual intended parents and not the egg donor mother, the sperm donor father, and the surrogate mother, is inhumane, immoral, and unethical.

My mother died of cancer when I was three months old. She was a married mother of five children. I was not born a bastard, yet the law that existed in the year of my birth (1956) is the same law that continues to revoke, cancel, annul, rescind, seal, and replace all adoptees’ birth certificates since 1936. Since the law was written to hide the stigma of an illegitimate birth, this law should not apply to me.

But it did, and it does.

The 1936 law targeting adopted people still holds my accurate medical record of live birth as hostage from me, a person born the fifth child to married parents.

Why? Why is my birth any different from yours?

I urge you to VOTE TO PASS Bill A9959B that will give access to all New York adoptees’ revoked and sealed birth certificates.

Creating false-fact birth certificates upon the legal contract of adoption is almost the same as creating false-fact birth certificates based upon a signed contract of intended parents of reproductive technologies. I urge you to re-consider what facts belong on a birth certificate and what false-facts do not belong on a birth certificate.

Please PASS A9959B – the Adoptees’ Rights Bill.                            Please DO NOT PASS AB06959 – the Surrogacy Contract Bill.

Thank you,

Doris Michol Sippel

www.forbiddenfamily.com

author of

Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity

Amazon, available in Kindle and Print

Helpful articles:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-all-us-states-should-_b_8858162

Why All U.S. States Should Allow Adoptees Access to Their Authentic Birth Certificates, 2/22/2015 09:21 am ET, Updated Dec 06, 2017, by Mirah Riben

https://forbiddenfamily.com/2018/02/02/my-revoked-and-sealed-birth-certificate-and-its-replacement-issued-after-adoption-proof-that-new-york-state-vital-statistics-department-uses-false-facts-on-official-birth-records/

My Revoked and Sealed Birth Certificate and its Replacement Issued After Adoption – Proof that New York State Vital Statistics Department Uses False Facts on Official Birth Records, February 3, 2018, by Doris Sippel (legally re-claimed birth name)

https://forbiddenfamily.com/2018/02/02/arguments-against-punitive-and-compromising-adoptee-rights-legislation-using-cited-resources-and-my-sealed-and-falsified-birth-certificates-as-examples-to-legislators-to-write-equitable-legislation/

Arguments Against Punitive and Compromising Adoptee Rights Legislation Using Cited Resources and My Sealed and Falsified Birth Certificates as Examples to Legislators to Write Equitable Legislation, February 2, 2018; originally published March 24, 2017, by Doris Sippel (legally re-claimed birth name)

http://buffalonews.com/2017/07/14/another-voice-cuomo-must-veto-flawed-adoptee-bill/

Another Voice: Cuomo must veto flawed adoptee bill, July 14, 2017, by Doris Sippel (legally re-claimed birth name)

http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/12/global-call-to-stop-the-propagation-of-adoptions-altered-birth-certificates/

Global Call to Stop the Propagation of Adoption’s Altered Birth Certificates, December 18th, 2016, by Doris Sippel (legally re-claimed birth name)

http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/10/no-one-should-place-false-facts-on-birth-certificates/

No One Should Place False Facts on Birth Certificates, October 20th, 2015, by Joan Wheeler (former adoptive name)

http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/08/end-identity-theft-caused-by-adoption/

End Identity Theft Caused by Adoption, August 22nd, 2015, by Joan Wheeler (former adoptive name)

My Email to Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie and to the New York Assembly

June 13, 2018

Dear Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie and New York Assembly Members:

Please assure that A9959B, the Adoptee Rights Bill currently in the Codes Committee, advances to the full Assembly for a vote.

A9959B will restore to all New York adoptees the unrestricted right to obtain their own original birth certificates upon request. This is personal for me and I ask for your leadership on this important issue.

I would like to present to you my story, which is very different from the usual illegitimate bastard adoptee wanting a copy of their sealed original birth certificate to know the names of their mother and father, date and time of birth, and location of birth. You probably have already heard that mothers were never promised confidentiality, that opening records will not increase abortion rates, and that adoptees deserve to be equal to non-adoptees in access to our sealed birth certificates.

I was not born a bastard, yet the law that existed in the year of my birth (1956) is the same law that revokes, cancels, annuls, rescinds, and seals all adoptees’ birth certificates since 1936. The birth certificates of all New York State adopted persons are replaced with a false-fact birth certificate issued after adoption. Since the law was written to hide the stigma of an illegitimate birth by creating a new identity for the adoptee who is then considered to be legally reborn – legitimized – through adoption to a married woman and her husband, this law should not apply to me.

I was born the 5th child to married parents in 1956. Our mother had cancer while pregnant with me and died when I was three months old. My father received no supports to keep his family together. He followed his parish priest’s suggestion that “the baby needs two parents.” I hold no anger toward my father for giving me away.

What I am opposed to is the fact that I was born legitimately – I had a name, I had a home, I had a family – and my government took all of that away from me. We know now that family preservation, kinship care, or custodial guardianship are better alternatives to adoption. I was not a blank slate on which a new identity could be legally stamped. All 5 children conceived and born to the same mother and father have birth certificates that link us as family, including me. I am the only one who was relinquished and adopted out. After my adoption, my birth certificate was revoked and sealed and replaced by a false-fact birth certificate. My four older, full blood siblings have the legal right to obtain their birth certificates, I do not, yet we were conceived and born to the same parents.

This has nothing to do with the love and affection my adopters had for me or me to them. This has everything to do with moral and ethical right action. New York State wronged me.

In 1974, when I was 18 years old and still in high school, 4 older siblings I did not know I had found me. They initiated our reunion. I was shocked that my adopters knew but chose not to tell me. The reunion had its difficulties (no need to discuss that here – a dysfunctional reunion points to my broken natural family as well as to the dishonesty of my adoptive family). I have no contact with my older siblings. One died. The other 3 are still abusive to me. I do not want them in my life, yet they harass me through social media, even though I blocked them.

A few days into the beginning of my reunion (1974), my adoptive mother angrily threw all of my personal papers at me: amended birth certificate, original birth certificate, baptismal certificate, falsified baptismal certificate, hospital birth certificate, and final order of adoption. This was the first time I had seen any of these papers. This left me devastated. Not only was my adoptive mother fearful that I’d leave her, but I realized that my government stole my identity.

All 4 of my parents are now deceased.

I have owned my certified original birth certificate since 1974.

In 2016, I legally changed my name back to my full name of birth. Together with the name change court order and my certified original birth certificate, I changed my name and parents’ names with social security, the DMV, and all other government entities that require updating my name with the same social security number.

BUT I DO NOT HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO USE MY STILL SEALED ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE.

I used it anyway.

My operable birth certificate in Albany is in my adoptive name of Joan Mary Wheeler with my adoptive parents falsely named as my parents of birth. Not only is that document a legal lie, it does not match all of my other current and corrected forms of ID, including my passport.

Do you understand NOW what adoption does to adoptees?

Not all adoptees were born illegitimate bastards. Many children of divorced and remarried parents are adopted by their step-parent. Children who are orphaned by the death of one or both parents are adopted. Some children are adopted by their grandparents, or an aunt, or an uncle, or an older sibling. These non-bastards are targeted by the outdated birth certificate law that binds all adoptees into one category. Even those adoptees who are the products of unmarried parents or of rape do not deserve separate treatment concerning the verifiable facts of conception and birth.

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with the misperceived natural parents’ rights to confidentiality. All parents who sign relinquishment papers give up all parental rights. To then turn around decades later to give legal authority to parents who gave up their parental rights the right to redact their names or to prevent all adoptees access to their sealed birth certificates is an absurd notion. That is why Governor Cuomo vetoed that “Mother-May-I” bill in December of 2017.

Adoptees’ civil and human rights to access the truth of our births are rights that the Adoptees’ Rights Bill A9959B will allow. I am asking you to take the stance that you will vote to pass this bill for the advancement of adoptees’ rights to know the truth of our births.

I realize that the passage of Bill A9959B will not revoke adoptees’ amended birth certificates. That is exactly what I demand of my amended birth certificate. I am legally now Doris Michol Sippel (and should have been since birth), yet my legal birth certificate is in my adoptive name of Joan Mary Wheeler.

I will go back to the judge who signed my court order of name change to ask him to unseal and reinstate my original birth certificate to its intended purpose – because the passage of the Adoptees’ Rights Bill A9959B will provide adoptees certified copies of their original birth certificates but it will not allow adoptees to use it as identification.

That will be the next step that New York State will take. There will come a day when all adoptees are respected for who we are at birth and no amended birth certificate will be issued upon adoption. Instead, a truthful adoption certificate will replace the issuance of a falsified birth certificate because no one deserves the stigma of illegitimacy – especially people like me who were born legitimately but labeled as bastards because we were adopted.

Please PASS A9959B.

Thank you,

Doris Michol Sippel

www.forbiddenfamily.com

author of                                                                                                     Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity

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