' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Is it a 'Birth' Certificate or Certificate of Title?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Is it a 'Birth' Certificate or Certificate of Title?

Jane
Birth certificates have become legal instruments, reflecting ownership of children rather than parentage. In surrogacy-friendly California, birth certificates of children created in vitro with “donated” eggs and sperm, born to surrogates identify those who paid for the creation as the parents. In the Brave New World of “assisted reproduction” these children depend on the kindness of their legal parents and surrogacy clinic policies to learn whose DNA they carry.


Meanwhile, a Sydney court has suggested that a sperm donor’s name be included as a third parent on a birth certificate--at the same time disallowing it.  The donor’s name (Neil Richards, 58, of Sydney), was placed on the certificate when the child, now 10, was born to Jesse Star, 49. He has contributed to her support and he and his family have a “close and loving relationship” with her. However, a law enacted in 2009 granted parental rights to those who were partners of mothers at the time of a child’s birth. The mother’s former partner, Sofia Marita, sued to have her name replace the sperm donor’s name on the birth certificate. Star and Marita separated in 2006. Judge Stephen Walmsey reluctantly ruled recently in the former partner’s favor (Marita), but proposed a Solomonic “split the baby” solution. “No doubt a provision for registration of a third parent for a situation such as this one might be a neat answer to the problem this case presents.”

REWRITING BIOLOGY
Closer to home, a gay male couple, Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith, are suing to have their names placed on the birth certificate of a boy born in Louisiana, whom they adopted in New York where they live. Although Louisiana law provides for issuing amended birth certificates when children are adopted, the registrar and director of vital records, Darlene Smith, refused to issue an amended birth certificate because Louisiana law prohibits unmarried couples from adopting. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the registrar’s decision; Adar and Smith are asking the U. S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

As these recent cases attest, adoptive and parents of test-tube babies,and parents of children born to surrogates have come to think of birth certificates as certificates of title, signifying ownership of children, rather than providing information regarding the child's true parentage. William Pierce, former president of the National Council for Adoption which opposes legislation allowing adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates, wrote in a 1999 affidavit filed in a lawsuit over an Oregon adoptee rights' law: “One of the policy reasons for the decision to amend birth certificates and seal adoption records is to send a clear message to all concerned that the child now belongs in the adoptive family for all intents and purposes (italics added).

States enacted laws mandating the recording of births at the urging of the federal Children’s Bureau in the early 20th century “both for reasons of statistical accuracy and as part of an effort to reduce infant mortality. Having a public record of a child’s birth would alert public health authorities and private charitable agencies to families in need of medical care."  Because adopted children were stigmatized as likely illegitimate, state vital statistics registrars were given authority to create new birth certificates showing adoptive parents as the parents and to seal the original certificates from the prying eyes of the public; later, after adoptees began to search for their parents, states passed laws barring everyone including adoptees from access to their original birth certificates. (E. Wayne Carp, Family Matters, 1998) Currently, only a handful of states allow adoptees  the right to access their original birth certificates .

ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE FALSE FROM THE BIRTH
Although, to my knowledge, no one has suggested it, it seems plausible that states which allow mothers to consent to adoption before the birth of their children (currently Washington, Hawaii, and Alabama) may enact laws allowing adoptive parent’s names on original birth certificates, eliminating what some undoubtedly consider a bureaucratic step. Like donor-conceived children, adopted children would have to depend on the goodwill of others to learn their true parentage.

Since it’s unlikely that states will change course and require birth certificates to contain the names of biological parents, states should enact laws creating registries with the names of biological parents to be made available to children when they turn 18. Children, after all, are not automobiles or pieces of real estate, but human beings with a fundamental desire to know their origins. If these recent decisions are an indication of the future, it may become even harder for whole groups of people to discover who they were born to, and whose genes they carry. Indeed, it is a Brave New World.
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See also: Sperm donors in the news again
Family Matters: Secrecy and Disclosure in the History of Adoption

Family Matters is an excellent history on how adoption records became sealed, and the movement to unseal them.


40 comments :

  1. I just do not understand why they have not enacted a Certificate of Legal Parentage across the board that works for everything a parent of a minor child needs in place of the birth certificate. That would leave the birth certificate to be an accurate historical document of birth.

    Adoptees and DC are not the only people who may have parent(s) who are the legal custodial parent(s) in this world, not by a long shot. Having that would alleviate the issues of always having to carry custodial agreements to cross borders, enroll in schools, doctors, etc. when they are still minors.

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  2. I totally agree with you up to this point: "Since it’s unlikely that states will change course and require birth certificates to contain the names of biological parents, states should enact laws creating registries with the names of biological parents to be made available to children when they turn 18."

    This would just continue to treat adoptees differently than the rest of the non-adopted majority.

    You are right. We are not automobiles. I actually found a note from my a-parents attorney (my a-uncle) that said they (my ap's) would get the "pink slip" on Mara very soon.

    I want my birth certificate. Nothing less. That's what the U.S. Constitution guarantees me and that's what the states need to adhere to. I'm so tired of the excuses our legislators have for not fixing this, too. What a bunch of spineless morons.

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  3. Anon, thanks for writing.

    We at FMF agree with you. Both of us, but especially Lorraine, have worked to pass laws giving adult adoptees the right to obtain their original birth certificates.

    Because original birth certificates may not always contain the names of genetic parents, we suggested a registry as well.

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  4. Anon, explain the US Constitution guarantee, please. I'm not arguing that OBCs shouldn't be made available, but where is the constitutional guarantee?

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  5. One horrible practice that IS happening, and that states are allowing, is adoption agencies strongly urging first mother's in "open adoptions" to write the name of the adoptive parents (who are many times in the birthing room also) on the original birth certificate. The first mothers are in a vulnerable situation and believe what they are told from the agency officials is "what is best" for their child. Laws should be enacted which require factual parentage to be listed on the obc, as this is a way that the adoption industry is "going around" laws which restore access to the obc for adult adoptees. These adoptees will not even have a factual obc to access in adulthood, and is a continued violation of human rights.

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  6. Agreeing with theadoptedones, a certificate of legal parentage would be a good idea, eliminate the ABC, and leave adoptees with access to their original true birth certificate which they should have by rights. And it would also help those with other sorts of custody arrangements.

    The problems of all sorts of donor, surrogate, embryo adoption and other high tech conceptions are much more complex and I do not see that being solved by birth certificate notations. Science has outstripped law in this instance.

    There could be many "parents" of one child, egg donor, sperm donor, unrelated surrogate who carried the child. Then if the child were adopted by someone not in the previous categories, there would be the adoptive or legal parents. What a mess!

    Birth certificates are in fact a legal paper of ownership in a sense, not a sure key to genetic relationships. I do not know if this is still true, but until fairly recently if a married woman gave birth, the husband was listed as the father whether he actually was or not, even if he had been out of the country at the time the child was conceived. If the child was surrendered, the husband, not the natural father, was the one who had to sign a surrender. This dates back to women and children as property of husbands. Then of course there is human frailty and deception, as there have always been those who were not the child of the husband but of a lover and the mother lied. This makes genealogy inaccurate to say the least. There has always been a lot of fooling around!

    It would seem that the legal answer to helping the children of assisted reproduction as much as possible would be to outlaw anonymous donors and keep a good record of donors, surrogates, etc. that was open to those created this way.

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  7. Re the Constitution:

    Family Matters, the book by E. Wayne Carp, has a good analysis of the basis for ALMA's suit on constitutional grounds found in the 1st, 13th, and 14th amendments. Of course, it is all in the interpretation. Oddly enough, a conservative court not influenced by the power of the adopting class should have no trouble finding for everyone's equal access to their original birth certificate.

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  8. Peach:
    What you described is so disgusting I can't stand it.

    Can you be more specific about where you heard this is being done, or anyone you know who participated in such a fraud (writing in the adopters' names rather than the biological parents on the OBC)? I would love to be in touch with them. You can respond here and I won't post their names, or you can send me an email through my ID page.
    Thanks.

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  9. The ALMA lawsuit failed, I don't think it got beyond the NY State Supreme Court. I was an ALMA member at the time.

    Not too sure who the "adopter class" are. In any event, adoption extends well into the middle class and has for many years. It is not just the super wealthy who would have any influence on the Supreme Court who adopt. Also, I hope the Supreme Court, conservative or liberal, does not work that way.

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  10. The Southern district of New York dismissed the suit. ALMA appealed; the Supreme Court chose not to hear the case.

    The decision of the judge was in favor of "the family unit already in existence," and stated that adoptees had no "fundamental" right to learn their identities. Rot in hell, Judge James L. Oakes.

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  11. For Anon#2 from Anon#1 aka Mara:

    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

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  12. The phrase that came to mind was "Wishing does not make it so."

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  13. Wow Peach, where is that even legal? I know it would not be legal in NY. Aside from being illegal, it is despicable. I understand one can name the baby the name of the PAPs choosing, even the last name, but not list them as the parents. And if the PAPs were listed as the parent on the OBC, a legl adoption wouldn't be necessary. I would imagine it would be treated like a gestational carrier situation (which is illegal here in NY). The agency we used told us up front that parents (original) are encouraged to name their babies. APs are encourged to keep all or part of that name.

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  14. I agree with ALMA's argument in ALMA Soc'y v. Melon when they said that sealed OBCs are a violation of our 1st, 13th, and 14th ammendment rights. I have actually heard people make a case (not in court, just conversation/writing) that there are as many as five violations of the U.S. Constitution.

    It is a violation but isn't often seen that way. Reasons given as to why it isn't seen as one is because adoption falls under state-by-state family law and even contract law. Adoption conflicts with the constitution. For it not to conflict, money would have to be removed from adoption and records could not be sealed any longer. Anything that even remotely appears to be buying and selling of human beings as well as erasing their pasts and identities (something done to demoralize slaves often leaving their descendants will bills of sale to trace their ancestry) is a part of adoption that is a direct violation of the 13th ammendment.

    One of ALMA's big issues in this case, as I have read, was the comparison to the 13th ammendment. Because people weren't willing to hear ALMA out as to why they were making the comparison, and adoption is held on this ridiculous pedal stool where no one is willing to acknowledge that it has incredibly flawed laws, a good opportunity for the law to be made more ethical was lost.

    People get upset when you bring up adoption and the 13th ammendment. I wish instead of getting upset at the people who point out that adoption violates the 13th ammendment, they would just work to fix the problem! Federal regulation of adoption, no money involved whatsoever, and no sealed records.

    Re: surrogacy and donor conception. Donor conception does not prove that a birth certificate doesn't intend to show birth and biology. It only shows the law is violating the civil and basic human rights of these individuals too. A birth certificate is not an ownership document but a document describing a historical event. Whoever gave birth goes on the birth certificate. And since birth and biology are synonymous for most people on a birth certificate, those details are exactly what should appear on the birth certificates of adoptees. If need be, additional parents should be added on the BCs of the donor conceieved and those carried by surrogates if birth and biology are separated into more than just two people. A certificate of legal parentage, as theadoptedones suggested, should be held by the legal parents raising the child.

    People often say "giving birth doesn't make you a mother!" my response is: then why do people fight so hard and defend being put on their adopted child's birth certificate when they didn't give birth in order to be acknowledged as a "real parent?" If giving birth doesn't make you a parent and is no big deal, then fight for the alteration of records and the lies to end. End of story.

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  15. FWIW, I am very saddened that my child's birth certificate has me and my husband listed. I find it very unnatural and a bold lie. We have an adoption decree that is a historical and legal document that explains our legal parentge. Her first mother has her OBC, I hope she will give it to our daughter, she is the true owner of it IMO.

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  16. Peach, tell us more, the last I heard it was illegal to put the adoptive parents name on the OBC as if they gave birth. I've heard it done in totally illegal black market adoptions in the past, but not in any sort of legal adoption, open or closed, even where the adoption arrangers were questionable. Where is this happening?

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  17. "One horrible practice that IS happening, and that states are allowing, is adoption agencies strongly urging first mother's in "open adoptions" to write the name of the adoptive parents (who are many times in the birthing room also) on the original birth certificate."

    You have got to be kidding me? This is so disgusting I don't even have any words. Nothing surprises me anymore.

    Is it a birth certificate or a certificate of title? I think the latter, for a great many adopters. The ownership and possessiveness of another woman's child is quite disturbing.


    I'd like to have a copy of the birth certificate that of the child that I GAVE BIRTH TO, as well, instead of the state, government, baby brokers and adopters acting as if the real and actual event never happened. It did, no matter who tries to denounce it.

    Too bad it is sealed away, like I am some sort of pariah who has no right to it. I do, just as my child does.

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  18. As a quick note, for gay couples there are reasons for listing both people as parents, and I don't think it's fair to call it "ownership." If a couple raises a child but only one is listed as the legal parent, it can create legal and emotional havoc if the couple breaks up, especially if they live in a state where they can't marry legally. There are many creative solutions proposed here that would make much more sense than the current practices, but right now having both members of the couple listed on a birth cert is the only option.

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  19. As an adoptive parent I would be 100% satisfied with a Certificate of Legal Parentage. I am not looking to rewrite my child's history. I just want to sign her up for kindergarten and soccer without a problem.


    The legal system needs to catch up with the real world and stop trying to fit square pegs in round holes. Let the birth certificate do it's job and give me something to do mine.

    Seriously are there adoptive parents still trying to pretend they are the natural parents?

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  20. I live in OK and wrote a blog post about a meeting I was in at the state capitol. After the meeting one of the women from an adoption agency told me "they said we could put whatever we want on the bc". I've heard of several adoptive parents who were "given the choice" to put their names on the obc because they were targeted as potential adoptive parents in an open adoption. I think it is happening a lot more than we think and we should advocate for laws which will prevent this.
    http://peachneitherherenorthere.blogspot.com/2010/08/its-not-fine.html

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  21. "Seriously are there adoptive parents still trying to pretend they are the natural parents?"

    Yes. Absolutely. Things really haven't changed that much.

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  22. Amanda said "People often say "giving birth doesn't make you a mother!" my response is: then why do people fight so hard and defend being put on their adopted child's birth certificate when they didn't give birth in order to be acknowledged as a "real parent?" "


    Just wanted to say, Bravo!!!!

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  23. Not too sure who the "adopter class" are.


    The adopter class=people who have adopted children. "Class" doesn't always refer to the economic strata of society.

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  24. RE: the adopter class - one notable member is John Roberts, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. He and his wife adopted two Irish children via an unknown/unnamed South American country. The 1991 Irish Adoption Act only allows adoption of children born in Ireland by people who are residents there. People have been known to send their pregnant daughters out of the country in order to have their babies adopted by US citizens. Given the legacy of Irish Catholic abuse of women, especially in convents and Magdalene laundries, I'm not suprised that this is going on.

    The Robert's adoption was the subject of scrutiny by the New York Times during his confirmation hearings. The NCFA had a hissy fit over the Time's reporting and the details over why two Irish babies happened to be available for adoption in a South American country was never revealed.

    Wonder what the odds are that Justice Roberts would ever rule in favor of open records?

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  25. My children were born in Europe. The doctor's report that was used to register the birth's had my name on it...and that is the only mother that could have been written onto my children's birth certificates. The father? Well, they just took our word for it. Also, after the mother/father information, there is a completely different section of the birth certificate that allows the marriage information to be recorded. What I find amazing about my children's birth certificates is the left one-third of the form has blank lines where notes can be ADDED without altering the factual information on the right two-thirds of the form. That "marginalia" is where adoptions would be recorded. And the child would therefore always have access to ALL accurate information: record of birth and certificate of title.

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  26. Many prominent legislators have adopted in United States.
    McCain, Grassley, and of course Bachman who has fostered how many 25 children. Fostering is usually temporary although many fostered children are moved from one family to another especially if they don't "fit" with a family. Fostering also brings money and extra money for kids that are considered at risk by the mere fact of being black or any other race but white.
    If legislators are adopting and they do and are they will never be for opening records.
    That is the adopter class those who make the laws and seal records.

    Ps another adopter was the older woman from Texas grandma age who acquired two newborns for herself.

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  27. Peach thanks! That is awful. Seriously bad practice if those agency people were telling the truth about what they do.

    The registering of births must work differently in OK. Here the adoption agency has nothing to do with what goes on the OBC. The mother fills out a form in the hospital, just as if she were keeping the child, and this goes to the state Bureau of Vital Statistics who register the birth officially. The agency gets a copy for their files, I believe, but have nothing to say about what goes on it, as Birth certificates are issued by the Bureau of Vital Statistics, not the adoption agency.

    When an adoption is finalized in court, as it must be, the original birth certificate is sealed at the Bureau of Vital Stats, and the amended one is issued by them. Again, the agency has no say in that. I thought this was true for most states, but maybe not.

    If the adoptive parents are listed as parents on the OBC, then it seems there would be no need for a legal adoption. That was the whole point in black market cases.

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  28. Anon asked about laws requiring mothers' husbands to be listed as fathers on birth certificates even though the fathers were in another country at the time of conception. Oregon had such a law although it allowed husbands to file legal actions contesting paternity.

    Oregon also had laws which "conclusively presumed" that if a woman was living with her husband at the time of conception, he was the father even if he had had a vasectomy and the child looked nothing like him. With the availability of DNA testing, the laws changed and husbands can contest paternity. These cases usually come up when the parties divorce and the husband wants to avoid child support.

    Some woman's organizations opposed laws allowing husbands to contest paternity, arguing the identity of biological fathers is irrelevant and children deserve support from husbands since they have been more or lass in the paternal role. Needless to say, many men disagree. Being cuckold is bad enough but making a man support the child of the guy who seduced his wife is adding insult to injury.

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  29. Regarding putting adoptive parents names on original birth certificates: I recall a natural mother telling me that when her daughter was born, she entered the hospital using her sister's name. She gave her sister's name as the mother and her sister's husband's name as the father to the vital stats registrar. This was all engineered by the mother of natural mother and the sister "to avoid family shame but keep the baby in the family."

    Years later when the sister and brother-in-law were divorcing, the brother-in-law hauled the natural mother into court to testify she was the mother of the child and he was not the father in an attempt to avoid paying support. The judge made him pay support anyway.

    The natural mother went along with the subterfuge until the child's 21st birthday when the natural mother told her the truth.

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  30. In case somebody cares, Jane's 3:33post describes my sort of history...

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  31. Re: Falsifying OBCs in this day and age. I suppose it could be done..maybe in small hospitals in small towns? Maybe? I know today when entering good sized hospitals, even in mid-size towns or large hospitals in large cities..one has to show identification...DL, state ID, insurance card, medicaid card and a social security number. I don't know of anyone that I know (including myself) recently, who was able to be admitted into a hospital without identification...certainly one is asked for a social security number today. So am curious how an adoptive parent could get their name on an OBC today. Most of that information on the OBC being gathered from the info that's gathered at time of admission. I may be wrong, but am going to assume that.

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  32. The problem is that that way things stand now the distinction between legal parentage and biological parentage is conflated.
    I think that future birth certificates should include a space for ART related information (such as names of donors or surrogates) because anything that is a part of a person's conception is a part of their history, and as such deserves to be recorded on their original BC.
    But I agree there also needs to be a separate certificate of legal parentage to be used for practical purposes until the child attains majority.

    Two links:
    "What the Kids Really Want" http://www.bionews.org.uk/page_103648.asp
    Olivia Pratten's site http://www.canadiandonoroffspring.ca/
    cdo_DCA_olivia.html

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  33. Thanks for the links, Anon. It's a shame that the US doesn't follow the rest the UK and Canada and outlaw anonymous donors. The article suggests that it doesn't because fewer people would be willing to donate if it were possible that their offspring would show up.

    I think another reason is that legal parents of these children fear the donors might show up. I saw a PBS documentary where legal parents discuss this fear. And, unbelievably, a young woman created via a sperm donor expressed fear that her sperm donor might show up and claim her.

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  34. One of the problems with adoptee birth certificates is that, because of the government's actions, they have assumed a sort of mystical proportion. A birth certificate is the property of the state (actually the county) in which one is born. When a birth occurs, it The BC is supposed to be a factual, legal representation of the events of the birth. They are called Vital Public Records, because that is exactly what they are. They are records, owned by the state, of the activities of their citizenry, for planning purposes.

    The birth certificates were not created as a way to prove identity. They were created as a way for the government to track its citizenry, particularly the males as potential warriors. With these statistics, they could then plan all sorts of things. One curious outcome of the birth certificates was playgrounds because the military noted that country boys were bigger and healthier than city boys. Bigger and healthier boys make better soldiers. A city solution to the problem of outdoor exercise was playgrounds.

    The issuance of birth certificates is a legal process. The person who assists in the delivery, whether nurse/physician/midwife has the responsibility of insuring that the birth is registered with the county clerk's office who issues the birth certificate. The CC's office sends a record of the birth to the state office of vital statistics, where they are then sent to the federal government. But, the Original birth certificate, the certified copy of which we can all go into our courthouse and obtain, NEVER LEAVES THE COUNTY.

    In any circumstances except adoption if there is a correction to be made, the proof of error is sent to the state. The state weighs the evidence, approves the correction, and sends a notice to the county that a change is approved. There is a notation added to the original birth certificate that there is a change on file, and when the birth certificate with the amendment is copied, it is printed on legal sized paper so that the amendment can be attached to the bottom of the unaltered original birth certificate. There is NEVER a change made on the original, and the original is NEVER destroyed.
    In the case of adoption, the original is placed in the sealed court files that are kept in the Circuit Clerk's office, where all court records are maintained, and a totally new document is created to replace the one that is sealed.

    It always amazes me that people think that their birth certificate is something that belongs to them. It simply doesn't. In fact, it wasn't until they began using them as proof of AGE requirement that they became an issue at all. I know one woman, my peer and a natural mother whose only child was surrendered, who until a few years ago HAD NEVER EVEN GOTTEN A COPY OF HER OWN BIRTH CERTIFICATE. She did as we talked about it, because she recognized that it could be problematic if she didn't now due to Homeland Security, but had never needed one for any reason until then.

    My suggestion would be to treat the birth certificate amendment in adoption the exact same way that they are treated in any other amendment situation...with the true facts of the parentage on it, and an amendment attached, showing that there was an adoption. It doesn't need to show any reason, nor moral judgments...it just is an amendment.

    Operating from the premise that your birth certificate belongs to you, that it is your property and the government is withholding it from you is simply erroneous. It never did belong to you. It has always belonged to the government. To me it would make more sense to attack the lies and fraud that is currently mandated would be more appropriate. Sealing lies doesn't make the lies right. The truth is not shameful...the lies are.

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  35. http://answers.yahoo.com/activity;_ylt=AgP7fGUIhEig9vk5DU_Z3Zbsy6IX;_ylv=3?show=gaB5Z8jSaa&link=question#yan-questions-answers

    Sorry for the break, there seems to be a girl on Yahoo Answers insisting on putting her baby in the claws of some Colorado adopters... Please, if you can help her, or her child will get an ABC too.

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  36. Sandy, I think that the handling of birth certificates may differ from state to state. I hope other people from other states will check in on this.

    In NJ, they are kept in at least two places, the county and the state capitol in Trenton. When babies were commonly born at home, there was a record in the town. I looked up my youngest Aunt, born here, and a stillborn that my grandmother had, in town records.

    The place where I was born, and all my kids except Mike, is the County Seat, so all our records are there, as well as in Trenton.
    Death certificates are always in the town where the death occurred which makes them hard to look for when you do not know where a person died.

    If you need a birth certificate, you can request one from either county or state, showing ID. And they give you a stamped official copy. Here in Morris County you can also request your child's BC at any age, and just have to show ID. and know what is on the BC. I got one for my son in CA by filling out a form and paying a small fee, and sent it to him to get a passport, no problems at all. This is of course a raised child, no adoption involved.

    I needed my birth certificate to get my driver's license in the 60s.I needed my kids' BCs to register them for school, for Little League, and they needed them to get their driver's license. This was all prior to 9/11. Back in my parents' day, some people could use baptismal certificates as ID if the birth did not get registered or the BC could not be located. That would not work any more.

    All NJ births are registered in Trenton as well as the county, and then when there is an adoption, the original is attached or cross-referenced to the amended by number. The person who found my son many years ago did so by getting into Trenton vital stats under the guise of doing genealogy (which would never work today) and she knew what to look for, so with the info about the original which I had she was able to access the amended certificate and my son's new name and parents' name and address.

    Whatever the original intent of birth certificates was, which would date back to the 19th century in most places, today it is crucial as ID. My father, born in 1907, had a BC issued by the town and needed it all his life for various ID purposes including eligibility for Social Security.
    My mother-in-law, born in Europe and lied about her age as women often did then, had trouble proving her age for social security because of no BC and immigration records were not correct.

    I think it stretch to say that birth certificates do not belong to the person named on them, but solely to the state, when in fact without a birth certificate today the person does not legally exist. Of course the state holds the original, but the right to obtain a copy is crucial to individual citizenship. And as we have seen again and again, for some adoptees the ABC is not sufficient to get a passport and for some security clearances.

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  37. After reading this, suddenly I'm glad I waited 11 months before having my son be adopted into a new family. That way I have in my possession the original birth certificate if they were to decide they wanted it changed - and I'm sure they did. They do want an open adoption but having that piece of paper (two copies actually) makes me feel a little better that some day he may be able to have those documents that anywhere else he may never be able to see again. Unfortunately, due to age restrictions (we had him very young in life) my son's fathers name is not on the birth certificate but if he wants to know his name or where he is I'm sure I can help point him in the right direction.

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  38. READ this blog from Peach about the ridiculous policy of creating fradulenet birth certificates. Original, my eye!

    It's Not Fine

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  39. August 31, 2011

    Even though I've been saying a long time I think it's necessary to reiterate the issue which I do so respectfully. Factually the issue is that of asserting that EVERYBODY must understand this crucial point.

    Those who transact adoptions usually for a living--who includes lawyers and judges who preside over adoption's legal proceedings, social workers, and a few others--do NOT want adoption records to be opened for this reason. They write and so record false information usually about the first/natural mother, which means that they essentially lie, in her natural-born child's adoption record which is the REAL reason they (the lawyers and others) want these records to remain concealed/sealed. The lawyers and others don't want themselves and their lies to be exposed, in other words, because they could not only be sued civilly but maybe prosecuted criminally by the first mothers of adoptees.

    As a natural mother I feel horrible that my adopted-out son as well as other adoptees is/are denied his/their birth-right, to basic information, because of my irresponsibility. Every day I kick myself in the teeth because I didn't have the courage to stand up to those who were bullying me to surrender him--Colleen Burnham and David McConkie of CAS of Utah--and fight for my child.

    What I'm saying is that whether it's one, two, or more birth certificates that an adoptee wants from his or her adoption records then this is what he or she should get with no questions asked. They should not have to jump through hoops to satisfy some perverse lawyer and corrupt judge to gain access to their birth-right of information.

    Despite everything the lawyers and judges among others have no scruples about making adoptees beg for their basic information any more than they have qualms about making us first mothers crawl for a morsel of information about our adoption-lost child. It's injustice across-the-board.

    Kathy Caudle
    Natural Mom

    ReplyDelete

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