Some States make birth certificates available to adoptees.

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Adoption is not, in reality, the beautiful picture that government agencies and the adoption industry want everyone to see. Adoption is trauma and many adoptees feel like adoption stole their identity. Moses Farrow felt like adoption stole his identity. So much so that he became an adoption trauma coach and educator. Even more tragic, just recently BBC’s Eleanor Bradford “returned” a child that she adopted eight years ago! Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, and other social media sites host thousands of platforms for individuals and groups related to foster children, fostering children, adoption, and the families that are left behind. Many of which feel like their family was destroyed so that someone else could have one. Grief abounds because of the adoption industry and it is difficult if not impossible to heal from. Scars from a family that has been ripped apart last an entire lifetime and even affect future generations. Children that lose their entire families, their identity, their heritage, and their culture struggle in ways that most of us can not even imagine. Even if adopted children are lucky enough to end up in a good home with people that care about them, they have still lost everything and everyone.

Imagine for a minute that your name is changed and you are moved into a stranger’s house in a strange city where you are then told that the new people in your life are “Mom and Dad”, and then you meet the rest of your “new family”. It would be a nightmare for anyone. The nightmare continues though because most adoptive parents do not want any contact or interaction from biological families. Children are usually told that they “were not wanted” or that “their parents were not good for them”. Imagine your parents not being “good enough” or what if you were “not wanted”? And to top that off most adoptive parents are not even capable of discussing these feelings and issues. Many adoptive parents blow off the adopted child’s feelings just by explaining that they “saved” them. What if some stranger “saved” you and wouldn’t talk about your family?

It’s a horrible way for a child to grow up. Many adopted children look for their families after they are grown. Every child wants to be wanted and loved by their family, and children still care about their less-than-perfect biological parents sometimes even when the biological parents really were abusive. A child’s love is especially magnificent and forgiving.

To address the ever-growing calls of adopted people that have lost all ties to their families, some states are now offering original birth certificates to adoptees so that they can find their past and where they belong. Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island offer U.S.-born adoptees and their birth parents unfettered access to original birth certificates. Some states (Arizona to North Carolina to Wyoming) require a court order to allow adoptees access to their own original birth certificates. Other states such as Delaware, Iowa, and Pennsylvania allow adoptees to purchase original birth certificates, but only with the birth parents’ names redacted. In Indiana, Vermont, and Washington, birth parents have the power to veto an adoptee’s request for access. To find out more about specific states check out Gregory Luce’s Adoptee Rights Law Center on his OBC website.

Renee Gelin and Lisa Woolsey have gathered over 877 volunteers that cover all 50 states at Saving Our Sisters where they work to preserve family while also offering adoption services as a last resort. If you or someone you know is pregnant and in need of help reach out. SOS provides education and information that adoption agencies and other legal professionals may not explain. SOS volunteers provide detailed facts, explaining possible risks so that pregnant mothers can make a truly informed choice. (

Bellis is a volunteer-driven, multi-service nonprofit with no political or religious affiliation or agenda based in Minnesota that provides volunteers (who include birth parents, adopted persons, adoptive parents, and adoption social workers) that provide peer-based support services for anyone with an adoption experience.

There are many other lawyers, social workers, mental health professionals, adoptees, and family members of those that have been taken by the adoption industry that passionately work to change the way that the system works for children. Please comment with any other resources that adoptees and their families will find useful. If you want to be added to the resource list on the website let us know, and if you offer support services that you want listed on the social website let us know that too. Thanks.

Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state. The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page

9 thoughts on “Some States make birth certificates available to adoptees.

    1. They do. They just go at it with the family preservation approach to reduce grief so that there are no regrets later. Sometimes they find services to help mothers financially so that they can keep their babies, and I know of some open adoptions where the adoptive families accept relationships with the biological families so the children do not wander the world not knowing who they are.


  1. I gave a daughter up for adoption when young. I was struggling and having come from a large family and .#2 of 11, I knew well what caring for a child was like. Her best shot at life was to be adopted by a family who could meee her needs in every way I could think of and wrote about in my letter of wants for her. My wishes were honored beautifully and she was adopted into the perfect family at 6 Mo. of age. Her parents already had 2 adopted sons and finally found their daughter. We reunited with a letter from her after she was ably to obtain her birth certificate inNY early in Covid shutdown. She wrote me a letter of introduction and the rest is history! IWe spoke back and forth for 3 years and I am going to meet her and her family in August in a joyous reunion. This was a closed adoption so my efforts at finding her failed and hurt deeply. Now it’s 45 years later, I’m living my best life and hers is great also! She has a son and twin daughters, my grandkids.I was able to speak with her parents and we were all very grateful for each other!Not all adoption stories are awful. Some like ours are beautiful!

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