Adult Adoptee Speaks Out about Opening Records

"I grow; I prosper: Now,gods, stand up for bastards!"
--Edmund, King Lear

It goes like this: I was born. I was relinquished. I was adopted. Nothing untoward, really, except that... well... I was born. And relinquished. And adopted.

When I turned 18 (18 is the magic number, you see, the age when an adoptee is "allowed" to start searching), I began a search for my birth mother. Along the way, I discovered that I have a sister, also relinquished, who is only 11 months older than me. I never knew what to do with the information I had about her, so I just held onto it. Meanwhile, I spent about ten years, off and on, searching for my birth mother.

But something was nagging at me. Why was my state government telling me I couldn't have information about myself? What possible reason could there be to keep me, a tax-paying, non-criminal citizen, from my own last name? My original birth certificate was sealed away from me, forever, and replaced with an amended document when my adoption was finalized. Why was it necessary for me to find my birth mother, or get a court order from some judge, in order to find out some basic information about the beginning of my life? I have since met many like-minded adoptees and other members of the triad who see no reason for adult adoptees to be treated like second class citizens. We are not perpetual children, unable to handle our own personal affairs and our own documents.

After joining Bastard Nation and beginning to work towards adult adoptee rights, I continued my search. I've never really put too much effort into it. Write a letter here; search a registry there; keep the ISRR appraised of my current address and so on. I found my sister in 1997, and that was a great experience. I continue to occasionally take a step or two in my search for our birth mother. I would like to find her and know if she is doing well. I'd like to see what we have in common and let her know I have never felt any animosity towards her for relinquishing me. I'd let her know that not all adoptees are bitter, angry, wounded or psycho, despite how the media and anti-adoptee groups often like to portray us. I'd like to meet any other siblings I might have, and find out something about my birth father. I'd like to fill in some of the gaps in my medical history. If she would like a relationship, I am open to that, and if she wants no contact, I would respect her wishes.

So, it goes like this: I was born. I was relinquished. I was adopted. It happens to thousands of people, and it's no reason to deny them their equality under the law.

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