' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Coming out as a natural mother in 1975 and still fighting to unseal birth certificates of adopted people

Friday, March 1, 2019

Coming out as a natural mother in 1975 and still fighting to unseal birth certificates of adopted people

Legislators Velmanette Montgomery and David Weprin,
Lorraine Dusky at press conference on step of NYC City Hall
 a few years ago. That's Carol Schaefer between Lorraine and 
Forty-four years ago today I wrote about the sealed records of the adopted, and why it was wrong on the Oped Page of The New York Times. In doing so I came out as a natural mother who had relinquished a daughter to adoption. It was a first.

Since then I've lobbied not only in New York but by letter and phone in other states, and we are still at it in New York. This year we may have a chance of vacating the 1935 law that sealed birth certificates, as we have new leadership in the state senate and legislators are committed to doing the right thing. The links below take you to not only the New York Times piece, but also a piece running this week in my local newspaper, The Southampton/East Hampton Press, about the possibility of change in New York with quotes from my assemblyman, Fred Thiele, Cathi Swett, and myself.

The first comment left at the Southampton Press site was negative. There's always someone....

From the New York Times


And this week's Southampton/East Hampton Press

State Considers Opening Birth Records For Adoptees


  1. Thank you Lorraine for being such a trail blazer. It was a courageous act to not only publicly announce you were a natural mother at that time, but to be so publically active in the face of what must have been great scrutiny by the adoption industry and adoptive parents. Good luck on this current turn of events which I hope leads to opened records in New York.

  2. This is Michele A. Newell . I’m on the board with New York & Mr. David Weprin . I met him 3 years ago & he made a copy of my testimony I wrote .
    My birth mother came looking for me when I was 23 years old . She had breast cancer when she was 30 & she knew she had to find me to make me aware of this horrible disease . She did a test to see if she was the carrier to her 2 daughters & myself included . The test came back positive . She now has ovarian cancer stage 4 . My birth mother lived 15 minutes away from me & I never knew . I was born & raised in Upstate New York , Ballston Spa. She Pamela Lloyd Saunders lived in Schenectady.
    I was soooo happy that she found me ! It was a blessing that I have prayed for since I was a child , when I was told I was adopted .
    I have now known her over 25 years ! I’m 50 now & her Birthday is tomorrow she will be 70 years old . She is in the hospital right now . She went back on chemo because of the cancer is now in her stomach. I have to get back home sooner then we planned , since I moved there in 2017 to take care of her , all my belongings are in storage in Albany .
    Mr. Weprin , Sir ... THESE LAWS HAVE BEEN DENIED FOR DECADES & DECADES SINCE 1935 as we know Gov. Herbert Lehman adopted 2 children from the Georgia Tann children’s home , he erased New York Adoptees our 14 th Amendment rights of our Freedom to access our Original Birth Certificates. The time has come , please New York Open Up & Release what is ours , with a clean Bill of Our Original Birth Certificates & a separate clean bill for our Vital Medical history ! Thank you Sir . Thank you & this will be changing History & helping all of our New York Adoptees . Amen.

  3. Thank you for standing up for all adopted people & the legacy we leave our children..
    Hope people listen & act accordingly.

  4. Referring to older blog post about movies/TV shows - you might like Once Upon a Time on Netflix, the adoptive mother is the evil queen, and the birth mother is the hero (although both characters get complicated as the series progresses)

  5. Nice to hear it, but that first negative response should have been given a better answer, you know like "A Pro-Keeping message validating motherhood would probably be more effective than a Pro-Adoption one in reducing abortion rates." or "No mother I know has ever claimed that the current problems imposed on the adopted have been the reason not to terminate a pregnancy.", of course, that might be different in NY...



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