Jackson has two birth certificates. The first one lists his birthmother and birthfather as his parents. It has his birthmother’s last name added to his name. The second one lists Max and me as his parents. It has our last name added to his name.
Neither one is false. I know there are people who will disagree with me, but that’s another post.
I am lucky to have the first one. The lawyer just sent it to me, unasked. I didn’t know it then, but, in most states, when an adoptee’s birth certificate is amended to list his legal, adoptive parents, the first, original one, is sealed. He can no longer get a copy of it. Ever.
I think this is wrong. The adoptees who have blogs that I follow think this is wrong. Some of the adoptive parents I’ve encountered think this is wrong. But some adoptive parents and others who aren’t in the adoption community seem to think that nothing is wrong. They don’t see why the adoptee needs the original birth certificate (OBC). Some adoptive parents have said that, because they’re in open adoptions, their children don’t need their OBCs.
On a practical level, that is completely untrue. Adoptees have reported that they are having a difficult time getting passports issued because their birth certificates were issued so long after their births.
But there’s a lot more to the issue than that. Adopted people are being treated differently than non-adopted people. A birth certificate belongs to the person who was born. Unless that person was adopted. That’s a problem for me, and it should be for anyone who dislikes discrimination.
Tao wrote a concise post that explains why people should care about open records for adoptees. Read it. OK?
(For the record, Cassie will have two birth certificates. I have the first one, only because I lied to the lawyer and told him I needed it to get her health insurance. I still haven’t received her amended birth certificate.)