|Illinois adoptees can gain access to birth certificates|
|Written by Katlyn Rumbold, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Thursday, 03 November 2011 16:06|
A new law allowing Illinois adoptees to gain access to a copy of their original birth certificate will take effect on Nov. 15, according to WJBC.
State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) has sponsored this new law and plans on taking advantage of it as she herself is adopted, according to WJBC.
The new law, which affects 250,000 people, states that adoptees born in 1946 or after will have the option to apply for their original birth certificates, which contain their biological parents’ names.
Lara Raper, adoption coordinator at the Baby Fold, a multi-service agency specializing in the care of orphaned infants and toddlers, said adoptees in Illinois are the only people who do not get their original birth certificate.
“It is their right. We all get our birth certificate and [adoptees] should as well. Birth parents were told they could remain anonymous, which was the practice a while ago, and now anonymity can be broken unless [the birth parents] request it,” Raper said.
She added that several years ago, people were ashamed of having children outside of wedlock, so their children were sent away because of the “parent’s lack of responsibility.”
She explained birth parents have mixed emotions over this new law.
“Some are excited and happy that they may be reunited with their children while other birth parents don’t want to be found by their children. They didn’t get the support they needed when giving their child up and are not open to the idea yet,” Raper said.
She added if adoptees were seeking a reunion with their birth parents, enhancements in social networking have made those opportunities possible.
Melaney Arnold, communications manager for the Illinois Department of Public Health, added adoptees can submit a request to find their birth parents.
“Their original birth certificate can include the birth parents' names and last known address. Birth parents may file a ‘Birth Parent Preference Form,’ indicating what information they would like or not like to be released and if they [would] welcome contact with their child,” Arnold said.
Adoptees can find forms to obtain a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate at idph.state.il.us/vitalrecords/vital/non_certified.htm.
The completed form, along with a legible form of identification, should be sent to IARMIE with a money order of $15 to be paid to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Raper added that if adoptees would like to pursue their original birth parents, it can be “emotionally draining and may not go according to plan.”
“I would like to add some caution that if adoptees think this will help them find their birth parents, adoption services can help. Adoption services help them in a healthy way by providing counseling, or mediation between the adoptees and the birth parents, so the process will go smoothly,” Raper said.
More information regarding adoption can be found at thebabyfold.org/adoption_landing.html.