Why original birth certificates matter

The babble article titled I Don’t Want My Name On My Daughter’s Birth Certificate by Rebecca of Fosterhood summed it up: I should not be listed as the birth mother on my daughter’s official birth certificate. It is a record of her birth. Her birth. She was born to her other mom, the person who gave her 50% of her genes and 100% of her start in life. There is no reason that she should be erased from this important document and replaced by me. My role as her mother is not diminished because I did not contribute to her existence in this way. Like Rebecca points out, there should be a place to add on to a birth certificate for adoptive parents. If the biological/birth parent does not want to be on the birth certificate after adoption has taken place, a new birth certificate should be issued which whites out their names but leaves the adoptive parents’ names intact under ‘adoptive parent’.

Placing my name in the spot allocated to birth mother is a denial of my daughter’s history and identity, as well as a denial of Cindy as being her mother in that very important way. It implies secrecy, and shame; the opposite of what I want my daughter’s origins to be about.

This will be a problem until adoptees in every single state have the right to access their own original birth certificates. Currently only 8 states allow full and unrestricted access to adult adoptees who want a copy of their own original birth certificate. The fact that my daughter is being denied a right that non-adopted children will have at the age of 18 really pisses me off.

Author: Mother of All Things

Mother by fostering, adoption, and marriage... wife to my best friend... Bay area critical care nurse... travel in my blood, reading in my bones, clean food on my mind!

6 thoughts on “Why original birth certificates matter”

  1. I agree that adoptees need access to the originals and that their birth parents are important in this. My concern would be with the privacy of the birth parents. Birth certificates aren’t presented for things a lot but it could still share there names and with the internet today that could be an issue. I like the idea for extra spots for adoptive parents.

  2. This is tough. It was a sticky subject when my husband (who was adopted) wanted to find his birth family. He didn’t want to hurt his adoptive family, but he was also very keen on finding his roots. I didn’t know most states still retained those. Interesting post!

  3. Gosh. This is so thought provoking! The role of birth parents should most definitely be respected, honored and cherished. But there are so many situations where privacy may be desired. My son doesn’t like others knowing he’s adopted unless he feels comfortable and chooses to reveal that part of his personal history. So why should every school know if he doesn’t want to tell them (birth certificate required to register for school). And some birth parents want privacy; it’s not the case for us, but I know a birth mom who wanted to be left unnamed.

    We still have the original birth certificate and the revised birth certificate. So the birth parents are honored and known in our case.

  4. So I actually like my name on the birth certificate it doesn’t say birth mom it just says mom and I am his mom. I am not sure how he is going to feel about being adopted or his birth mom so I would not want both our names on the same certificate. . But I did request my laywer get a copy of his orginal birth certificate. Just in case one day he wants it. I was only expecting a photocopy and I actually got a real certificate that has the state seal and everything.

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