Sunday, August 8, 2010

Can Legislators Help Adoptees Access Their Records?

Does your legislator's newsletter or website say they can help you access records like birth certificates?  Take him/her up on his/her offer!

When I got my House of Representative's newsletter in the mail, something at the bottom caught my eye. His office can help me apply for birth and death certificates!  I was born in a state different than the one I live/vote in, and I already have my OBC so my Representative cannot help me....but are they willing to help their other adopted voters?

Is help with applications for various things (e.g. birth records, death records etc.) something your legislator has claimed on their website, newsletter or other public statement that their office can help you with?  Call your Representative's and Senator's offices tell them that you need to make an appointment for someone to help you apply for your birth certificate.

If they don't know the difference between an original and an amended, tell them. If they don't know the process, tell them everything you have to go through. If you were denied, tell them about that too.
If you have to petition the court, ask them to help you with the process.  If you get denied, tell them.  If it takes forever, tell them.  If you have to go before a judge or to a counselor, ask your legislator if they'd be willing to do that.  If you are subject to a Disclosure Veto or have to sign a Contact Veto ask your legislator how they'd feel if they had to do that.  Get a big bill from it all?  Show them the receipts.  Show them the bill.  Would they like to pay it?

Why the Original is Important
  • Identity is identity whether you are adopted or not.
  • You were not materialized out of thin air in a judge's chambers. Your life began at birth and you deserve to know about yourself from birth forward
  • Original Birth Certificates are made available to the non-adopted; the adopted should be no exception.
  • You may need the original to get a passport. If you move into another state, you may need it to get a driver's license depending on their laws.
  • You deserve to see the original, factual document off of which your amended certificate is based to make sure the amended is accurate.
Is your legislator adopted? How would they feel if their positions were questioned because they could not produce an Original Birth Certificate to prove their citizenship or that they were born in the United States? How would they feel if they were not permitted to run for office if they cannot show an Original Birth Certificate? Such legislation aimed at public officials in the United States has been discussed!

How would they feel if they, their son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, friend, neighbor or anyone else they cared about was discriminated against like this?

And if you don't get your birth certificate out of it, your Rep will have to do the right thing and draft legislation to support your right to unhindered access to your birth certificate.

Live and Vote Outside of Your Birth State?
Go to your Rep/Senator (if in their newsletters, website, or other public statements they've offered to help you with applications) and show them just how bound to your birth state you are for your identity. How strong is their claim that they're willing to help you?  You do not vote in the state that holds your OBC hostage, tell them how that feels.  Ask them to look in to how their state treats adult adoptees.

If they are offering to help in their newsletter or website, they really should mean it--and they should mean it for all of their voters, not just the non-adopted ones.