Reminds adoptees they can access their original birth certificates
CHICAGO – In honoring National Adoption Day, State Senator Sara Feigenholtz is also celebrating the 11th anniversary of the Original Birth Certificate Access Law.
Before its passage, birth certificates for adoptees remained sealed under state law. The historic legislation made Illinois the most populous state in the nation at the time to grant access and paved the way for a string of other populous states like New Jersey, New York, and Ohio to follow suit.
“As an adoptee, I know how important it was to have information about the first chapter of my life,” said Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “During November, as the adoption community celebrates the diversity of families formed through adoption, I want to remind adoptees and their eligible birth relatives they can access copies of their original birth certificate.”
Nearly 20,000 adoptees have requested and obtained a copy of their original birth certificates. They are putting the puzzle pieces of their beginnings together as they learn more about the circumstances of their birth.
“This day marks a milestone in how far we have come in recognizing that no matter how families are formed, everyone should have the right to know their ‘story’ and have access to the same documents anyone else does,” Feigenholtz said. “I will continue fighting for the rights of all parties involved in the adoption process here in Illinois and across the country – because when Illinois leads, others follow.”
Senator Feigenholtz has championed groundbreaking legislation that reflects the diverse needs of the adoption community and is a tireless advocate for adoption laws in Illinois that promote integrity and transparency in the practice of adoption.
National Adoption Day, observed on Nov. 19, is a collective effort to raise awareness of the more than 113,000 children waiting for placement in loving homes around the country.
To find forms to obtain a non-certified copy of an original birth certificate, people can visit the Adoption Records Request Forms page on Senator Feigenholtz’s website.
Click here to view the documentary “A Simple Piece of Paper” produced by Feigenholtz and filmmaker Jean Strauss. The film shares stories of Illinois-born adoptees and their life-changing journey of discovering their truth once that Simple Piece of Paper was theirs.