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Adoptees Must Have Access To Their Original Birth Certificates

1687 words - 7 pages

Have you ever been to a new doctor and filled out the required paperwork on family medical history? After moving recently, I went to a new doctor. I had to have all those papers filled out. It was easy because I know all of the information or can get it. Most people know who their biological family is and therefore also know about medical history. However, in the 1940s many birth certificates of adoptees were sealed. This continued to occur for four decades. Now depending upon the state the adopted person lives in and how the laws have evolved, they may not be able to easily access their original birth certificate just like everyone else. Adoptees should have total access to their birth certificate and family medical history because this information will help them to understand where they came from, as well as know of the likelihood of contracting various genetic diseases.

Children need to know where they came from so they can avoid embarrassing and awkward situations later in life like Luke and Leia Skywalker from Star Wars. It will also give them a sense of belonging in the world. Full access to an original birth certificate is something many people take for granted. For those people who have been adopted a changed birth certificate is given with the adoptive parents names instead. As an adopted child grows older, most will become curious. For Jeffrey Hannasch his curiosity started when his daughter was born (Ensslin). He started out on a journey to find his parents. After finding some papers in his adoptive father’s possessions, he was able to find out his mother’s name. Some internet searching and letter writing later he was able to find out that she did not actually know who his father was. She also was shocked that he was able to find her. Jeffrey eventually got a lawyer and worked hard to change the laws in Colorado so he could obtain his birth certificate. The law now is that birth parents, adult adoptee, and adoptee parent are able to access the birth certificate (Child). Others can also access the birth certificate with the permission of the adoptee. He was able to find out that his father had died years before, but just knowing that was enough to make him feel much more certain about his past.

Another case similar to Hannasch happened in Illinois. A woman named Jenny Spinner was able to find her birth mother before the law changed (O’Connor). She still wanted to have her original birth certificate. Ms. Spinner felt it would bring her an emotional connection because it was the only place where her birthdate and mother’s signature were together. Still other people have these records simply because they were born in another country (Hamilton). James Hamilton from Minnesota adopted his son from abroad. The country that this child was born in has open records for adoption and is able to access his original birth certificate. As a foreign born adoptee, this son is able to eventually travel to the place where he was born and find out...

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