Sharing a wonderful article from MPNnow.com on one adoptee’s need to know and pending NY legislation that would allow adult adoptees equal access to their Original Birth Certificates (OBC’s).
Adult adoptees seek answers
Adults adopted as children hope for legislation to make it easier to learn about their birth parents
Only first page of article is shared below. Read the rest at MPNnow.com: http://www.mpnnow.com/topstories/x1910063270/Adult-adoptees-seek-answers#ixzz2VRwOwqC1
East Bloomfield, N.Y. —
A card in Dottie O’Neill Marble’s baby book read: “I wasn’t expected, I was selected.”
Marble’s adoption shortly after she was born was never a secret, said the 42-year-old East Bloomfield resident — but details of her past were a secret.
“My adoptive mom was very supportive,” said Marble. In her teen years, Marble said she began placing ads in newspapers in hopes of finding her birth mother. “It was an overwhelming feeling of not knowing who you really are,” she said.
A possible solution to her identity crisis came one day in 1995 when she got a call from someone with information about a baby born at Genesee Hospital on Sept. 19, 1970, a girl given up for adoption. It led to an eventual meeting with a woman Marble believes is her birth mother.
“It closed a big hole for me,” said Marble, one of a growing number of adoptees and others seeking more openness in the New York state adoption law.
While Marble’s efforts led to some sense of closure — as well as connecting with a grandmother and an extended family she didn’t know before — it also called attention to New York’s adoption law that prevents adoptees from obtaining an original birth certificate to learn about their past.
Proposed legislation in Albany addressing this issue is called the Bill of Adoptee Rights. It clarifies language and procedures for obtaining birth certificates and medical histories of adoptees; permits an adopted adult to access certain records when they reach the age of 18; and creates a contact preference to be filed by birth parents, giving those parents the right to state whether or not they want contact with the child.
“Right now, any adopted adult over the age of 18 cannot get access to their own birth certificate, and this creates obvious problems for the adopted adult,” said Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua. Kolb is a sponsor of the bill.
“This is an important bill to remedy that, and I believe they have a right to know and a right to gain access so they can meet the many identification requirements they have to provide their birth certificate for in their adult life,” he said.
Marble said that while the current law protects parents who give up a baby for adoption, it leaves the adopted person “without any rights.” When she sought to find her birth mother, “I wasn’t out to disrupt anyone’s life,” she said. What she did want was the truth about where she came from and to be able to provide that information to her own children, she said.
Blessings for equal access,