ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES
FOR IL ADOPTEES
ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES FOR IL ADOPTEES is a monthly eNewsletter bringing you all the news that's fit to print from the Land of Lincoln. We are a voice for the Illinois Open Organization, www.ILOpen.org
ILLINOIS OPEN MISSION STATEMENT
It is the civil and human right of ALL ADOPTED ADULTS to have access to their original birth records unconditionally and free from falsification.
Our goal is to challenge Illinois legislators to restore this civil and human right to all adopted men and women. We will not support legislation that places any restrictions on the rights of all adopted adults' access to their obc's.
It is not our primary goal to be a search organization.
We are independent of any other group.
How Do Illinois Adopted Adults Get Their OBCS Today?
At the current time, Illinois is a completely closed state. Adoptees can only get their obcs by petitioning the court. The court very rarely grants an adoptee's petition.
A 69 year old Viet Nam veteran, who only discovered that he was adopted two years ago, was turned down by the judge with a typical boilerplate letter. And then out of the blue and without any explanation, the state sent him his adoption decree with all the names whited out.
Another adoptee, born in 1936, was told by the powers that be that he must hire an attorney if he wants to petition. So he hired his lawyer, the lawyer filed his petition, and the judge turned him down anyway.
If the court is continually turning down adoptees' petitions, how does an Illinois adoptee ever get his or her obc? Good question. The only place we can look is to the legislature. But so far, our lawmakers have only set into motion legislation containing restrictions on which adopted adults will be able to get their obcs. Some adoptees will always get left behind.
Attempts have been made to get a good bill passed in Illinois but none have been successful so far. The sponsor of these bills over the years has been Representative Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chgo), an adoptee herself. She reasons that it is impossible to get a good bill passed because of legislators like Rep. Black and others who want to keep the status quo. She's from the school that believes, "Something is better than nothing."
"Last year's proposed bill," Rep. Feigenholtz told us proudly, "would have given about 95 - 97% of Illinois adoptees their obcs." Rep. Feigenholtz felt that was a pretty good trade-off. She has told us on many occasions that's it's all politics.
This is a very scary situation, because if we aren't always vigilant, one day one of Representative Feigenholtz' conditional bills will pass and then Illinois will be stuck with a law that discriminates against different groups of adoptees.
Representative Feigenholtz, I wonder what you would say to an adoptee who fell into that 3% or 4% or 5% hole you create with a bill that provides for less than 100% access of obcs.
Will you tell the left-out adoptees that leaving them out in the cold was the politically expedient thing to do?
Would you pin a badge onto the left-out adoptees and tell them they are martyrs to the cause?
Would you tell the left-out adoptees that you'll come back in 3 or 5 or 10 years to revisit the law and then you will support changing it to include all adopted adults in the state?
And by the way, what will you say to the left-out adoptee whose birth mother passed away two years after your bill was passed?
Will you tell the left-behinds that with all political issues there have to be some scapegoats?
Would you tell them what "good sports" they are?
Will you ever tell them you're sorry?
Adopted adults must stand together and demand that any original birth certificate bill will unconditionally cover 100% of the adoptees born and adopted in Illinois!
IL House of Representative William B. Black
Rep. Black (R) 104th District has announced that he will not seek re-election. But while he is still in office it would do no harm to attempt to educate him regarding adopted adults having access to their original birth certificate. He does have many followers so to educate him could in turn educate others. One of our readers has provided his email address: wbblack@...
. Other ways to contact him are:
State Representative William B. Black
314 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
State Representative William B. Black
7 E. Fairchild
Danville, IL 61832
Having a Birth Name and Requesting Your Original Birth Certificate
Some adopted adults knowing their birth name and that of their birth mother have requested their original birth certificate. Some have been more fortunate than others with receiving it. Even if you have been denied, if it has been a while since you have requested one, you might want to try again. Do keep in mind that it could be a waste of money but there is a chance you could receive it. There is probably a better chance of receiving one from the county in which you were born in than Vital Statistics in Springfield. Whether someone failed to seal some original birth certificates or if requests have reached a sympathetic court clerk, we don't know. It is unfortunate that not every adopted adult knows their birth name and that of their birth mother. But those who do might not want to leave this stone unturned. Just keep in mind that you could be told that the birth certificate can't be found or a clerk might just tell you that adoptees do not
have access according t!
o the Illinois adoption laws.
Anita Walker Field, Skokie, IL
Mary Lynn Fuller, Urbana, IL
We are volunteers and do not ask for nor receive donations. There is no membership fee. Illinois Open should NOT be confused with Adoption Reform Illinois or Green Ribbon Campaign.
Please forward as far and as wide as possible!
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