Legalized Lies – CO OBC

It is rumored at some point in the future the State of Illinois will allow mothers who surrendered their children to adoption to obtain a copy of the original birth certificate. I am anxiously waiting the day, as I will surely be one of the first to file.   When Illinois changed their laws to allow adoptees to get it, I did write her and ask if she would consider getting it and giving me a copy. I even offered to pay fees, etc. There was no reply. As such, I am thrilled the law will soon deem me worthy of having proof that my daughter exists and I gave birth to her.

Yet even as I say that, I wonder what it will say. I know what I expect it to say.

  1. My name
  2. Her original name
  3. Her DOB, time, doctor, etc.
  4. My signature
  5. The address of the maternity home (I remember being terrified to put my parents)
  6. No one listed for father.

The lack of the father name is due to Illinois law that required him to be there to sign that he was indeed the father. This was rather difficult to do considering I gave birth 1000 miles from home. He did however sign surrender papers – pre-birth. The agency made sure to take care of that and paid to fly him to Illinois and sign away his rights to his unborn child. While his name is on the surrender papers we all know those documents will never see the light of day.

I am very confident in my expectations. I was sitting in my hospital bed, in a Johnny coat (why didn’t I have pajamas?). The hospital official stood to the right side of my bed, towards the foot and was writing on a clipboard. I remember signing the papers largely because I was horrified when the official told me the father would be listed as “unknown” or blank or something equally awful. This shocked and saddened me so much it seared the memory onto my brain much like a branding iron on cattle. Not only did I know the father, I loved him deeply at the time and for many years following that.

I am very curious if Illinois will be legit in releasing the OBC’s copies to natural mothers. I am inclined to think they will be. It was 1986 not 1967. For my daughter’s birth year, I expect honesty. However, I may be fooling myself.

I question because a friend of mine, a Colorado resident, recently got her child’s OBC following a change in the Colorado law. Her child was born in 1967 (Baby Scoop era for those who like the term). She was excited to finally get proof of her child’s birth and applied as soon as the law was official.

It arrived this week.

Imagine her surprise when she gets it and finds a name that is not hers listed as the mother. The name has her fake name from the maternity home, a middle name and a last name that is not at all familiar to her. I cannot imagine how she felt when she opened that envelope. I realize most readers will not be surprised by this. I cannot say I am surprised as much as I am angry and sad for her. How dare they!

To be so elated to be granted a document all other mothers are entitled to only to find her own name is not even listed! The agency or someone forged this legal record. Yes, yes, I know it was done but this is the first time I have had a friend experience it.

She seems to be handling it relatively well. I am not so sure I would be if I were in her shoes

Have any other Colorado mothers received your child’s OBC? Was it doctored or correct? My friend and I would like to know.

1 Thought.

  1. Pingback: Effing brilliant writers, changing names, Becoming | lara

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