NOVEMBER 15TH : NOT A RED LETTER DAY FOR EVERY ILLINOIS ADOPTEE
Illinois adoptees all over the country are celebrating since November 15th. On that date, the new Illinois Adoption Act of 2010 went into effect. Most Illinois adoptees will now be able to request and receive an unaltered copy of their original birth certificates. It’s been a long time coming. Our original birth certificates have been impounded and sealed since 1946. I wholeheartedly rejoice with my fellow adoptees.
At the same time, though, I ask you not to forget some adopted citizens whose birth parents do not want them to receive any identifying information. Under the new adoption law, birth parents have been given an option to file a Denial Form which instructs the state to continue to keep the original birth certificates of their “children” under lock and key. The State will honor each and every one of these Denial Forms, and as a result, some adopted citizens will NOT get an original birth certificate any time soon. The most they can receive is an altered obc, with all identifying information redacted. A Denial Form acts just like a blackball.
As of this writing, at least 305 birth parents have filed Denial Forms. I understand that this number seems tiny compared to the multitude of adoptees who are now applying for their original birth certificates. But please don’t brush these blackballed adoptees aside as being merely a tiny statistic on a page of numbers, so miniscule that they can be easily overlooked.
All of these blackballed adoptees are real people, alive and well and living among you all: your mail carrier, a colleague at work, your son’s piano teacher, a neighbor serving in Iraq, a best friend of your sister- in-law, or maybe one of your cousins. The only “crime” these blackballed adoptees are guilty of is being the subject of their birth parent’s Denial Form.
There is another appalling section in the new adoption law; it spells out what to do with the blackballed adoptees in the future. The legislators wanted to show their “compassion” for them so they enacted a plan that permits the blackballed adoptees to come back and try again - in 5 years! That will be in the year 2017. How’s that for compassion?
And what happens in 2017 if the birth parents’ Denial Forms are still in effect? Well, the State, in its overwhelming benevolence, will give the blackballed adoptees yet another chance to come back - after another 5 year wait- which pushes them forward into the year 2022.
This outrageous treatment of blackballed adoptees is unconscionable and unjust. We can only have a truly wonderful celebration when our legislators see fit to amend the new adoption law so that ALL adopted people can get copies of their unaltered original birth certificates, with no strings attached. For now, please keep these blackballed adoptees in your thoughts.