Legal documentation

From The Adopted Ones blog, some answers to questions:

1.  When you are denied the right to your factual original birth certificate, how does it make you feel?

It sucks. I am sure there are more articulate ways to say that, but eh. My birth certificate, the “official” one, is a legal fiction. Obviously, I have issues with that. The reverberations of that truth, that my first identity document is a lie, are still playing out. In a country where genealogy is big business (I read somewhere that it’s the second biggest money-maker online, second to porn? This is in the US), my real roots don’t matter? I love my adoptive parents. But they did not give birth to me. THEY never lied to me about this. Why did the government? Why do I still have to live with this lie, years after reuniting with the woman who did give birth to me?

2.  For those who’ve finally gained the right to the original birth certificate, tell me how it felt when you held your original birth certificate in your hands. 

My birth state partially opened a few years ago. The legislation passed while I was searching for my first mother, but did not go into effect until about 6 months after I met my first mother for the second time.

I am in the included open records (lucky me — not so lucky for others), so of course I ordered my original birth certificate. It was overwhelming to see my genetic mother’s name right there. My father is unlisted, and I am listed as “Baby Girl,” so it almost doesn’t feel like me, but it is. The birth certificate I use was issued in February. The original is from July.

I don’t look at it often. I don’t look at my “official” birth certificate often, either. The amended certificate was so important to my parents that I had to order an original (rather than the notarized copy they had) to get my driver’s permit when I was 15, and that actually cheers me.  When I brought up the weirdness of the amended certificate to my adoptive mother, she admitted she’d never thought about it, but yes, it was absolutely weird that it listed her as giving birth to me. Both certificates are in a file drawer, exact location unknown at this moment.

It feels good to have it, but honestly, what feels better is knowing that the state cannot deny me a copy of it anymore.


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