Friday, September 18, 2009


In Illinois the original birth certificate is sealed when the final order of adoption is issued. An amended birth certificate is then issued for the adoptee.

The original birth certificate is issued within a short time of the birth. It can include names of both parents. But often when it is known that a child will be placed for adoption, only the name of the mother is included. The line for the father might state, "legally omitted". Often the child will have the same surname as the mother but there are cases where the surname of the father is used. This will usually be when the father's name is included but that is not always the case. Ages for named parents are included and their place of birth.

An amended birth certificate is issued at the time the adoption is finalized. But the date of issuance is often falsified. In fact on mine, the date used was before my parents even knew that I had been born. But this goes along with all the altering that happens. The child's name becomes the one the adoptive parents choose. Sometimes when a child is named at birth, their given name will be kept or used for the middle name. But the surname will become the same as the adoptive parents'. The certificate will show that the adoptive mother gave birth to the child. The address of the adoptive parents will be used and often their occupations are stated. If one did not know better, it would be thought that the child was born to the couple.

It seems to be rather common among those not personally touched by adoption to not know that the adoptee does indeed have an original birth certificate that Illinois adoption laws prohibit them from accessing. Public awareness in this matter is vital so when we speak out for our original birth certificate (OBC) it is understood what we want. Adults not adopted can request and receive their OBC. It is something taken for granted just like we all take different things for granted when there is no problem in obtaining it. Please do not hesitate to explain the difference to those who are not aware that adoptees do have two different birth certificates

1 comment:

dusty said...

Mary Lynne,

Hi! I am a grad student at UI working on a project about openness. I am an adult adoptee, reunited with both birthparents, and I am also the adoptive mom of a 9-year-old, enjoying a very open relationship with his birthfamily. I am not sure how this works, but I don't see an email addy for you. You can email me at I would love to talk to you for my project, if that's cool with you.