Friday, April 04, 2008




HB 4623 is a flawed bill. I oppose it in the hope of being able to see it changed into a bill which we can all be proud of; a bill that will serve all adopted men and women equally.

  • HB 4623 allows birth parents to have the final “say” in whether or not an adopted adult can have his or her original birth certificate. These are the very same birth parents who relinquished all legal rights to their biological offspring at least 21 years ago.
  • Adopted adults whose birth mothers file a “Denial of Information Request” will not be able to receive a copy of their original birth certificate.
  • In prospective adoptions, birth parents will have 21 years after they legally relinquish their offspring to decide whether or not to file a denial of information.

  • This bill gives birth parents the option of being “legally anonymous,” a very dangerous precedent to set.

  • HB 4623 will divide adoptees into three different groups: 1) those born before 1946; 2) those born between 1946 and 2009; and 3) all prospective adoptions after 2009. Each tier of adoptees will be treated differently under HB 4623.

  • The bill continues to treat adopted adults as “children belonging to the state.” It requires all adoptees to use the Illinois Adoption Registry to manage their private and personal affairs. Adopted adults do not need any assistance from an Adoption Registry if they are truly on a par with non-adopted citizens.

  • The bill proposes redacting (or whiting-out) of an official document.

I do not wish to be a naysayer or a spoiler who wants to prevent any adopted adults from receiving their original birth certificate. Believe me, I’m an adoptee and I know what it feels like to be kept in the dark by the state for decades. It breeds shame

My goal is for every single adoptee in Illinois to be able to request and receive, unconditionally, their original birth certificates. I want every single adoptee in Illinois to be completely severed from any state control when they become adults. I don’t want to leave even one adoptee behind in the clutches of the state.

The only way to accomplish this really modest goal is for the legislators to vote down HB 4623 as quickly as possible. Then we can go right back to the table and work together to write a new bill that will restore the civil and human right of all Illinois adopted adults to access their original birth certificates without bureaucratic restraint or third party interference.


All adopted adults, upon reaching the age of majority and upon written request, shall be able to request and receive a copy of their original birth certificate without any restrictions or falsifications on the certificate, in a manner identical to that of all other non-adopted citizens of the state.

  • A new and improved bill would be one in which no anonymity forms would be allowed. There could be a respectful non-binding contact form for birth parents to use if they wish.
  • A new and improved bill would set all adopted adults forever free from government interference with their private lives.
  • In a new bill, birth parents would not be able to “rule” their biological offspring for the rest of their lives.
  • A new and improved bill would prevent the state from establishing a new category in the law – one in which the state would give birth parents an assurance of anonymity from their biological offspring.
  • A new and improved bill would not need any assistance from the Illinois Adoption Registry or the Confidential Intermediary System. A new bill would issue original birth certificates to adopted adults in the very same way all other citizens get their certificates – from the Departments of Public Health of the Departments of Vital Statistics – NOT via an adoption registry. Adopted adults do not need any assistance from an Adoption Registry if they are truly on a par with non-adopted citizens.
  • A new and improved bill would cut all ties between every single adoptee and the state when the adoptee reaches the age of majority.
  • A new bill would never try to balance adoptee rights with birth parent rights.

Writing a bill to help some adoptees isn’t just, it isn’t fair and it isn’t the right thing to do. It takes the same amount of work and energy to help ALL adoptees as it does to help only some of them.

So let’s do it.

Please take just a few minutes to help all adopted adults. You can write to your representative in the Illinois House of Representatives and let him or her know that you believe HB 4623 is a damaged bill and that it must not be allowed to pass in the House. Instead, a new bill must be crafted to take its place, one that will treat all adopted adults equally.

You can find out who your representative is, please go to


Mary Lynn Fuller said...

This is great - instead of just pointing out what is wrong with HB 4623, you have pointed out how a good bill should be written. If Feigenholtz does not want to do it, then we need a representative who will.

Marley Greiner said...

Brava! A wonderful statement. And I agree with Mary that you've put forward what the bill should be. Gosh! A thinking Bastard!

Breaking up is hard to do. Sara Feigenholtz is in love with the Registry, and she'll never let it go. She wants more people entangled in the trap. Adoptees, their families and friends in Illinois will have to take matters into their own hands and let her go. When Sara runs for reelection, support her opponent. Or run your own!

I'll post this on MySpace in a little while.

Grannie Annie said...

I agree with both of you. All adopted adults have to thank Rep. Feigenholtz for are an adoption registry and a confidential intermediary law. Both of these programs are ALTERNATIVES to a law that would unseal records for all adopted adults.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog, Annie and my heart goes out to you. I will pass your message on where ever I can although it may not be much help here in Australia.
I know how important it is to understand where one fits in this world and it is absolutely heartless that others do not understand the damage they are doing in trying to hide things.

I found out my mother was adopted 3 days after I had buried her.
The most shattering part for me was that her birthmother (who believed I knew) had to read her daughter's death announcement in the paper.
There is a lot more to this story that I won't go into here other than to say I had a wonderful few years with my birth grandmother who had the joy of holding 4 great grandchildren before she herself died and who passed on a lot of oral history to me about what actually happened.
Following her death, it became important to me to hold my mother's birth certificate which would show the names of her birth parents. Our laws gave me full access to everything pertaining to my mothers situation which I was very grateful for however instead of bringing closure it has created a new problem.
Very little of the information that my grandmother had given me was actually reflected in the documents as names were changed or omitted, addresses were wrong, even the birthmother's name was wrong (I imagine for her protection).
Thankfully, I believe I have the correct oral history but as these are legal documents whatever has been recorded in them will be acknowledged as the truth. I now feel strongly that it is up to me to unravel the lies for my children and future generations to know what can happen if one little lie is allowed to take root.

I don't know if you would be interested but there is a book written about the cover up of British children sent to the colonies in the 50's to 70's that reflects some of the bureaucratic callousness you are experiencing which I am starting to think is limitless. It is called "Empty Cradles" written by the British social worker who uncovered the truth. (Sorry I can't recal her name)
I wish you well in your search and will follow your progress in hope.