My email box and various blog feeds have been abuzz with the fact that as of November 15, 2011 an estimated 250,000 Illinois adoptees who were born on or after January 1, 1946, can begin requesting non-certified copies of their original birth certificates.
Sound the alarms! Pull out the noisemakers! Do a happy dance.
Uh, no. Sorry. I am not as thrilled as some of my Illinois adoption effected friends. There are a few things, okay, many things I don’t like about this new change. Perhaps I am a purist, too black and white, perhaps I simply want ALL ADOPTEES AND MOTHERS to have access to the OBC with zero restrictions. Is that really too much to ask? I suppose so. For as it is, things like this are in effect: (excerpted from this website):
A new Illinois law allows adult adopted persons born in Illinois to request non-certified copies of their original birth certificates through the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Birth parents of adopted persons born after January 1, 1946, may request that their names be deleted from this non-certified copy. (Seriously? Deleted?)
All birth parents may indicate their preferences regarding contact with their adult birth child. (Why do we need the law to do this for us? Trust me, my daughter told me to go away, not contact her, and I have. She did not have to file a document with the States of CT, NY, NJ or IL. Adult birth child? Huh? My daughter is my daughter. Not an adult birth child. And hey, can adoptive parents indicate contact preferences on behalf of their non adult adopted child? What if an adoptive family wants to open contact now. Will this new law facilitate it?)
The options available under this new law are different for adopted persons, birth parents and their family members. The options available also change depending on the date of birth of the adult adopted person. (Exactly my point and problem. Why all the different flavors?)
I don’t want to be a Debby Downer, really. What I do want is to see all mothers and children treated similarly. I want it to be EASY for an adoptee to request and receive their OBC with no barriers or questions asked. It is a certificate of birth — something the rest of the non adopted effected population can obtain with ease.
So, no, not happy. Not seeing this as an outright win for Sara Feigenholtz or her camp. Progress in the right direction? Maybe. Win? No.
Not until all can obtain with no restrictions, no deletions, no blocks.
For more info, visit the newillinoisadoptionlaw.com website.