STATE ETERNAL MANAGEMENT OF ADOPTEES
In last week’s Chicago Tribune, commentator Charles M. Madigon wrote a fine satire called “And now, FEMA fixes marriage.” Mr. Madigon’s words inspired me to tell everyone about another government organization that fixes adoptees - SEMA (State Eternal Management of Adoptees.)
SEMA offers lifetime management for all adopted adults in Illinois. It insures that no adopted man or woman will ever receive his or her original birth certificate. It is a multi-faceted program with many different agencies, all working under one banner: "Shhh! Don’t Tell! "
SEMA is comprised of:
1) ADOPTEE PROTECTION PROGRAM: Patterned after the federal witness protection program, this program guarantees that adopted citizens will be unknown entities forever. All adoptees are entered into the program at birth. As soon as the judges sign those adoption decrees, the original birth certificates are whisked off to an anonymous site whispered to be in a store front in a strip mall in a rundown neighborhood of Springfield, Illinois. This maximum secure state facility is beautifully camouflaged; it blends in well with the other nameless and faceless stores in the mall. The state guarantees that no adoptees will ever enter the vault or receive any identifying information about themselves.
2) REVISIONIST HISTORY DEPARTMENT: This is a select group of professionals working within the Department of Vital Statistics. All clerks and social workers in this department are instructed to answer all inquiries from adopted men and women in one of two ways: " There is no record of your birth on file" or "The person you are inquiring about is dead."
3) STATE OF ILLINOIS NICE NANNY SQUAD (SINNS): Nice Nannies (sometimes called Confidential Intermediaries) are in place to assist the adoptee in locating his or her birth family. The SINNS program is necessary because it has been proven that adopted adults cannot be trusted to handle personal issues without lifetime assistance from the state
Any adopted adult can petition the court for a Nice Nanny (sometimes referred to as a social worker). After the court appointment, the Nice Nanny gets to retrieve the adoptee’s complete adoption file which she will use to try and locate the adoptee’s birth parents. However, the nice Nanny is not too nice, because she cannot release any identifying information to the adoptee unless the birthparents agree. (See Adoptee Protection Plan)
4) NICE NANNY SHERIFF: The sheriff’s main duty is to make absolutely certain that no Nice Nanny ever "goes soft" and leaks any identifying information to the adoptee. It is the Sheriff’s job to ferret out turncoat Nannies who may be sneaking information to the adoptee under the guise of playing "Twenty Questions" or "Wheel of Fortune." Any Nice Nanny gone soft will be charged with a misdemeanor and slapped with a $50,000 fine.
5) HERE COMES THE JUDGE: This positively brilliant scheme is under the direction of SEMA. It allows adoptees to feel empowered when in reality the state still maintains absolute control over them. Illinois law mandates that adult adoptees can petition an Illinois judge to release to them copies of their original birth certificates. The adoptee pays all the fees, must often hire an attorney, waits at least six months, and almost always is refused. Instead, the judge’s office refers adopted citizens back to the SINNS program.
6) The "MOTHER MAY I REGISTRY:" Illinois has set up a unique adoption registry which is an all-purpose, equal opportunity registry designed to serve Illinois adoptees, birth parents, biological siblings, and adoptive parents. For a fee, the state will enter the adoptee’s name in its MOTHER, MAY I REGISTRY, aka the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange.
If the adoptee’s birthmother should also register with the MOTHER MAY I REGISTRY, a clerk must holler "Bingo" and then turn over the two names to a Nice Nanny. On behalf of the adoptee, Nice Nanny will ask the birthmother the crucial question: "Mother, May I have my birth certificate?" If mother answers "Yes" and agrees to participate in an exchange of identities, then Nice Nanny will inform the Court, who will facilitate a meeting between the two parties. If mother answers "No," you’re out of luck. No match and no birth certificate for you!
To sum it all up, adopted adults can expect to receive their original birth documents only in years when a United States Census is being conducted and in those months when there is a blue moon. Alternate times for requesting and receiving birth certificates are on those nights when pigs fly.