' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Do adoptees have a right to their birth certificates? VOTE NOW.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Do adoptees have a right to their birth certificates? VOTE NOW.


Bill of Rights for adoptees pushed in Albany

Lorraine at public hearing on adoptee bill
Do you believe adopted individuals should have the right to access their original birth certificates at age 18? A controversial bill in New York would allow just that.  (Several other states are trying to also do the right thing.) Vote here!

The question 160 years ago would have been: Do you believe that people brought here from Africa should be freed from slavery? A controversial bill in Washington would allow just that. Vote here!

The battle is on again in New York to allow adopted people the same rights as the rest of us who are not adopted--the right to know who we were when we were born, who our real* parents are.

And once again, we have the old opposition--judges and adoption attorneys who believe that women ought to have identity control over the children they bear--no matter the age of the "child," but that 8, 18 or 80.

A public broadcast show coming from Albany, called New York NOW is airing this week on line and you are asked to vote on the question of adoptee access to their original birth certificates. The segment has a lengthy clip of one of the New York judges against opening the law, an interview with a natural mother, Jill Auerbach, and ends with a interview from a soft-spoken sweet adoption attorney who warns of dire consequences because those bad adoptees who feel they have a right to an identity might come knocking at the door. Anne Reynolds Copps, a family lawyer in Albany, says that almost all of the adoptions she does--about a hundred a year--are open, and she implies, closed records are a thing of the past, really, now aren't they?

Though votes on questions like this are to some degree meaningless, they are popular today (partly because they increase traffic, and are "interactive), but I am asking everyone reading today to cast a vote in favor of stopping this insane, archaic discrimination against people simply because they were adopted.

We have an active and staunch supporter in our bill's main sponsor, David Weprin, (D, Queens), but we also have strong and powerful opponents in Sheldon Silver (D, Manhattan) and Helene Weinstein (D, Brooklyn). Our bill in the Senate is also in play, but it will probably follow if the Assembly acts.

If you were born and/or adopted in New York State, or relinquished your child there, please help us in this seemingly endless battle with the moribund New York legislature, and contact Unsealed Initiative at unsealedinitiative@nyc.rr.com. We need you. We really need you now.--lorraine

ANYONE FROM ANYWHERE CAN VOTE. The link to the video and PBS site is here:

Bill of Rights for adoptees pushed in Albany

You can click on two places to vote at the site: Either right at the page where it says Watch the full program above and let us know what you think would be best. (This link should work also to take you to the vote.), or the middle box on top of the video screen where it Says Share Your Thoughts

This Week's 'New York NOW' Poll Question. 
* I used the word "real" parents because that is what the mind thinks, meaning: biological, genetic, the ones you were born to. Yes, I do understand that adoptive parents are of course--real parents. 
To understand why no one should be left in the dark regarding their identity and the toll that takes, do read: Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption From a Place of Empowerment and Peace


  1. Thanks for this post, Lorraine. I've watched the video and voted. Do we get to see the results of the vote at some point?

    The adoption attorney was just so aggravating!

    This is so frustrating. The process to get this bill going anywhere is so slow! Does anyone have any idea whether it will actually get to the floor for a vote this time?

  2. It appears we can't see the results until next week.

  3. I was told by a adoptor woman that adopted my granddaughter ,foster -open ,closed adoption SLICK AND QUICK.On the phone we were talking about adoption and she said it was good that birthmothers give away their baby like a sales pitch played over stuck back in the 30's and the bay scoop era.Her last stab to my heart was when she said birthmothters usually drop off their baby by a garbage can,she refuses to want the truth be known that adoption is a big fat lie and they are not our friends as they only want our priceless baby as theirs-all mothers are dead to them.I'm sending her a music box dresser with a mirror and mice climbing the curtains playing Que SERA SERAWhat ever will be will be ,it reminds me of the new series on tv with the same music called THE STEPFORD WIVES ,when she plays it she'll never know shes playing along with the fake families for REAL tv REALITY SWEET~~~~~~~~~~~

    1. Anon 2:37, I am so so sorry to read what you wrote, and feel for you... not an hour after I'd read a comment by Adam Pertman in Mirah Riben's book The Stork Market that even Safe Haven laws (and drop boxes, I add nastily) have not eliminated infanticide by the frightened and desperate.

      I am old enough to remember the "free" towels given in every box of Duz detergent... would the grandadoptoraptet prefer that sort of giveaway. Sorry, the Snark Monster has its claws in me but good today.

  4. No cybersticker bragging YES I VOTED!, but I did.

    After, of course, barking an aggrieved YES! to the question posed in Lorraine's headline of this post.

    The aggravation is left over from a very carefully (on my part) worded chat with my best friend yesterday. S is an adoptee, and was telling me of how some friends' son, adopted at the age of three days, is now eighteen and enrolled in Outward Bound after a rocky career in learning disabled schooling, S and I both have LD sons, so I was doing some heavy nodding until she said, "He wants to find his birth mother! He doesn't want to have anything to do with [what she called] his real parents!"

    S said that she wanted to talk to him, to tell him that SHE had never had any desire to find or meet her mother. I cautiously said that eighteen is a volatile age at best--both of our eldest sons are classic type A overachievers--and that it might be best if she didn't come out blasting at feelings that evidently are boiling over in this young man. I also refrained from asking who stuck him in Outward Bound, never having heard of a teenager who signed up of his/her own volition.

    If there were a competition for the World's Best Adoptee, I fear that S would score high. She is a compulsive people-pleaser. Much as I love her--because I love her--I have to rein in her offers. Obviously we have very different opinions on adoption, so I have to offer as much dissent as I think she can accept without falling apart. S falls apart very easily: my husband's eyebrows tell the story whenever he answers the phone during one of her tizzies.

    Ah, friends. But she has no sisters, and she's one of the sisters I chose.

    1. Update: the son mentioned above is not at Outward Bound, but forcibly enrolled at one of those Rocky Mountain boot camp alleged "tough love" schools where kids can, and do, die. One of my nieces survived one.

      No wonder the kid is angry at his aparents!

  5. Mrs. TBarrel:

    S was the good adoptee, but surprise! she didn't get one so compliant. We have friends who sent their son to a horrible camp in Utah and ultimately had to spend a freezing night with him outside on the side of a mountain. The father said it was the worst night of his life.

    Then they sent him to a school for troubled kids--he said when he could see his parents--he was the only one there whose parents were NOT divorced or who was not adopted....

  6. I voted too.

    Have been under the gun on deadlines and no time to comment but was really saddened by some of the posts responsive to "Angela's" story. There are some in the adoptions community who have such a glib, almost casual, black-and-white view of adoptions that it makes it very difficult to discourage its unnecessary propagation.

    At least on what to me is a very straightforward "Yes" when it comes to making available OBCs to adoptees over 18, I hope we make headway.

  7. The kid at wilderness school is not S's son, but the adopted son of friends of hers. However, since he IS both troubled and adopted, S wants to take adoption out of the equation with her Adoptee Unicorns Fart Rainbows hoo-hah. I hope she doesn't try; boys that age are oppositional by nature, or there's REALLY something wrong. (The most "perfect," mommy-pleasing friend of any of my sons at eighteen is now in the most wretched situation. But that's another story, and one good thing about it is that adoption doesn't apply.)

    Unsurprisingly, my niece also was believed to be the only kid in her group who was neither an adoptee or had divorced parents.

  8. I don't see a link to the movie.

    You are right. Link added now. Thanks!


  11. Poll results in:

    Last Week's Results

    Should original birth certificates be automatically unsealed for adoptees at the age of 18?

    Yes: 95%
    No: 5%

  12. See new blog post:

    A whopping YES to the question: Should adoptees have their birth certificates?

    A whopping YES to the question: Should adoptees have their birth certificates?
    and email these people below if you live in NY state, or were born or adopted here, or are an adoptive parent.

    Unsolicited attachments will not be opened, so copy the whole blog and send it. Can be done in one email, just copy and past!

    Helene Weinstein ,
    "dweprin@sterneagee.com" ,

  13. Yikes, Helene W's address fell off. And she is the most imp. one.


  14. Let me suggest that if Helene Weinstein and other don't come around and support adoptee access to the original birth certificates, advocates should work to defeat them in the next election.

    It can be done. Feminist New Yorker Bella Abzug defeated a 14 year incumbent who opposed the ERA. New Yorker Carolyn McCarthy whose husband was killed and son wounded by a madman shooting passengers on a train defeated the incumbent congressman who opposed gun control.

    Knock out a few legislators over adoptee rights, and you'll see the rest become born-again supporters of adoption reform.

  15. If anyone disagrees they are the type to wish Black people still were forced into separate and lacking facilities. They like to discriminate.



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