' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Time to Unseal Birth Records--New York Report

Monday, November 2, 2009

Time to Unseal Birth Records--New York Report

 Joyce Bahr, President of  Unsealed Initiative which works to open the records in New York State had the following letter in the Albany Times-Union on Sunday, November 1.

November is National Adoption Month and adoptees born in New York are much more hopeful for passage of legislation giving them the right to a noncertified copy of their original birth certificate and updated medical histories.
Bills A8410/S5269 give birth parents the option to file a contact preference. Some may not want to be contacted and others may want to be contacted directly by the adoptee or through an intermediary.
Adoptees are grateful to Republican sponsor Sen. Bill Larkin, an adoptive grandparent, and welcome a new Senate sponsor, Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, chairwoman of the Children and Families Committee. The Assembly sponsor, Assemblyman David Koon Rochester, continues the fight in that house. Birth parents who had no rights and no options presented to them signed surrender papers that terminated their parental rights, but did not provide confidentiality for them. Recent research by professor Elizabeth Samuels of the Baltimore School of Law concludes confidentiality was for the adoptive parents. 
A 2007 report by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute finds birth parents lives' are not ruined when they are discreetly contacted by adoptees.
No law prohibits adoptees from searching for their birth parents. It's time for a law unsealing birth certificates.
Senate Democrats and Republicans are in support of one, while the Assembly bill with 70 sponsors has been stalled in the Codes Committee since June 2006. Adoptees are saying out loud, "It's time for our rights."
Joyce Bahr
New York City
 If you have a adoption connection of any sort through New York,that is, you were adopted through New York, you relinquished a child in New York, you are a friend of or are related to someone who was adopted or relinquished her/his baby in New York, PLEASE do not sit on the sidelines but join us in trying to let adoptees breath free with the knowledge of their heritage. Write your state senator and assembly person, write the head of the Senate and Assembly, and contact Joyce. New York needs you. A life is waiting.


  1. Arizona has a certified confidential intermediary program for contact with mother/child. The rules are strict and it works out well...sometimes.

    However, they still have those faked up birth certificates.

    What I don't understand is that with absolutely no expectation of privacy on the mother's part, why would they do that....so I researched it.

    Do you know why they fake up those birth certificates? Because, if you have an original birth certificate the law states that you can (this is federal by the way) a current address in any state, county or community. You can obtain a copy of the SSN Card - fact! - and therefore you - meaning the MOTHER of a child - can interfere with the peaceful purchase of a child, by simply being able to watch their child grow up.

    Why would they care if we watch from afar?

    Good question....could it be because abuse, all kinds, and death are 4 times more likely to occur in an adoptive home than a natural home?

    How could these "loving" parents discipline "their" child freely with "that other mother" watching over the child with the fierce heart that is born within us?

    The "other mother" might just see them beating the child or locking them in a closet, or raping their teenager, or even pre-teen or child. That would be a disaster!

    And, after all, they paid good money to have the privilege to "raise" their child as they see fit!

    Now, before anyone get's angry, the facts are the facts. While there are great adoptive parents out there, there are even more bad ones. Neglect, even benign, in the life of an adoptee is a nightmare. For how do explain to your child's mind that first your mother doesn't want you and now this other mother does not care enough to see your pain!

    For those that don't believe the statistics, please feel free to contact me and I will send you the link to the statistics compiled by Universities, Child Protective Service Agencies and the United States Government.

  2. Here is an excellent letter by Carole Whitehead, NY birthmother, to the Albany Times Union:

    Allow access to birth certificates
    First published in print: Saturday, November 7, 2009

    So here it is again, National Adoption Month, promoting all the good that comes with adopting, being adopted and surrendering a child for adoption.

    A lot of famous people are featured in advertisements because they were adopted. These ads do not say how many of them were reunited with their birth families, or the ways used to do so.

    In New York, bills A8410/S5269 would give those born in and adopted in our state copies of their original birth certificates at age 18. New Yorkers have been trying to pass such a bill for years, but some of our elected officials oppose doing so.

    Some of them say they want to protect the confidentiality of the birth parents. But there was never a promise or law that stipulated that. I should know; I was an unwed mother when I surrendered my first child for adoption in 1963. I was told that the records were sealed and that was that.

    Others say that there would be more abortions if such a law was passed. But in states where records were never sealed and in those that have started giving out original birth certificates, the abortion rates have declined.

    Others think that our surrendered children are better off not knowing their origins and should take the adoptive family's origins as their own.

    So what this all boils down to is this. We had to give up our babies because we were unwed and, therefore, not fit to parent. We had to keep it a secret as society looked upon us as one of its defects. By not passing these bills, our surrendered children are also deemed society's defects, second generation, and must live without knowledge of their origins, heritage and medical history, and with the knowledge that by being adopted, they are not equal to others.

    Carole L. Whitehead



    Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=862889&category=LETTER&BCCode=OPINION&newsdate=11/7/2009#ixzz0WBm3pKDd



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