|Press Conference at NYC Hall with David Weprin, 2013|
But take heart, adoptees born in New York--this does not have to defeat us! The data base is not only on line, but it is also available for a
nominal fee of $10 at each of the Family History Centers, which, we are informed, are available at the Mormon churches throughout the country--making this much more accessible to everyone.
Furthermore, access is available on line at various sites for nominal fees: New York City-Specific Databases:
This link also has data bases all over the country.
and New York City Birth Index Search Service
I am including both a hot link (in bold) and the specific address here. The first listed is connected to Ancestry.com and also lists several other states and cities.
The years of some data bases are only up to 1965, but this morning I did stumble across a page that had records up to 1975. The sites above charge nominal fees for their use (the first is $30 for 90 days, $70 for a year's access), but considering the cost of going to New York City, Main Branch on Fifth Avenue, that is a bargain. The other appears to be $300 and includes the search itself. Finding the matchup is tedious and that also seems like a fair price. The more places this data base is, the better. If anyone knows of other sites with the data base, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
While it may seem that physically removing the birth books from the shelves was a way to prevent adoptees from finding their original birth certificates, which then lead to locating their first mothers, let us use this as an opportunity to defeat the sealed records not only in New York, but in any state where they are still sealed!
It works like this. An amended birth certificate has a number, and that number corresponds to the one on the original birth certificate. You match them and Voila! You've got your name. According to search angel Priscilla Stone Sharp, it looks something like this: Public John Q 11 24 5 K 49445. This means John Q. Public was born 24 November 1955 in K[ings] County [i.e., Brooklyn] and that his birth certificate number ends in 49445. This number will correspond to the one on the amended document. Unfortunately, the names of the biological parents are not listed, but the last name is a big clue in the discovery process of one's identity.
Priscilla, of State College, Pennsylvania, reports that she is solving about five cases a week--and half of them through DNA alone! She has even found the families of two foundlings, both from the Sixties, through DNA. Reach her at: Priscilla Sharp or on Facebook.
|The top of my birth certificate|
Today, however, let us not be defeated by this. Those who want to search, should continue. Those who have have vague thoughts about finding their records, should step up their efforts. Before any institution so entrenched in society comes to an end, there will be confusion and chaos, just as there was when slavery ended. This may seem like a setback, but it is only a manifestation of a desperate losing side. They know they are losing. Take heart, and do the work. We Will Win in the end. The arc of justice bends to the right.--lorraine
Hole In My Heart: memoir and report from the fault lines of adoption
"I felt that I was listening in to Lorraine's experiences across the years somewhere between her heart and her skin. Dusky writes as most people think."
--Pam Hasegawa, adoptee, founder of AdoptionNS@yahoogroups.com former board member, American Adoption Congress
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