Legal lies  

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I am feeling rather snarky today. I can't explain why, but today is a day that things are just pissing me off. Top of the list? MY AMENDED BIRTH CERTIFICATE. Why today? Hell if i know, but it's nagging me.

A very short time ago I had to travel to Lansing to get my birth certificate. Several years ago our house was broken into and my entire safe was stolen, with my birth cert inside. (along with a copy of ALL my adoption papers and a copy of my original birth cert that Lori signed)I haven't had any call for it in all this time, but now that I am looking into college, I needed it.
I travel there, wait in line and get my form. Right on the form it asks the standard stuff, name, address, etc....but the next section asks for 'name at birth' that is immediately followed by 'is this person adopted?'
That took me by surprise. So I walk back up to the counter and ask questions-as I am so prone to do.

Me-"excuse me, it says here name at birth. do they actually mean like when I was in the hospital?"
Me-"what if I don't know that? or if I didn't have a name?"
Guy-'are you adopted?'
Me-"yes, I didn't have a name. I wasn't given a name at birth."
Guy-'well, then just put in the last name of your parents'
Me-"my adoptive parents? or my bio parents?"
Guy-'your bio parents. we need that'
Me-"BUT...what if I don't KNOW their names?"
Guy-'oh, then we may not be able to help you. we need that information.'

So can anyone tell me how this is possible? THEY are the ones that changed my birth certificate, THEY sealed it away and then made me a new one. THEY won't allow me to have any of that info not matter how many times I ask. Now THEY are telling me I need to know all of that, but they won't give it to me, and they may not be able to get me what I need because THEY are not at liberty to release it, because THEY sealed it away, but yet I'm supposed to magically know some how.

Ok-so yes I knew I didn't have a name and I knew what was written in place of a name. Yes I have Lori's name and she verified the info on what I once had was true, but that is so not the point. The point is-WHAT IF I DIDN'T KNOW? What if the state got what they wanted and I never got to see those papers and I never found Lori and Jim?
I know what would have happened...I would have been screwed. College would be gone and so would anything else I ever may need my birth certificate for.

My anger stems from several aspects, like they just expect me to know this stuff, even after they have taken it from me and told me (and I quote) "you are not entitled to have that info"
That if I were to alter legal paperwork I would be checking out the inside of a comfy cage, but they can erase, alter and add whatever they like-then seal it up. And on top of that they can deny me things that non adopted people get with ease. Like a passport or college funding or any number of inalianable rights.

I have it easy, I found both bio parents. I know my info on my birth certificate it accurate and I was adopted early enough that getting a passport might not be impossible. But how many of us are there that are just turned away and punished for the adoption they didn't choose? not fair.

Some people don't have the correct date, time, state, etc on their papers. HOW CAN THAT HAPPEN? In what world is it ok for officials to come in, write whatever they want on that form, even if it changes someone birthdate, then seal it up and punish you for their actions? Is there any other place in the world that this is acceptable practice? I think not. But we are adopted, so shut up and be grateful. PFFFFTTTTT.....not gonna happen. I hanven't shut up for 36 years, why should I start now??

The other thing that angered me about all this is that when I did finally get my amended birth certificate, it wasn't like everyone elses. NOPE. There was no weight, length, birth order, time, hospital/city/county of birth, nothing. It had my adopted name, aparents names, birthdate and thats it. The look I got from the woman processing my college paperwork was classic. She asked me where I got that from. She has never seen one like mine. I had to chuckle and give a brief explaination, which by the way-appalled her. GOOD, it should. It's a sick practice and I'm tired of it. No one else has to endure this, why us? If a non adopted person found out their birth certificate was altered, they would flip out, lawsuits would follow, news and press at the door. But me? Nope, it's all legally justified somehow and acceptable.


This has been fought and fought over the years to no avail. I just can't understand how this is justified and ignored. How it is an illegal act for someone not adopted, but perfectly ok for me and the rest of us.

SIGH....end rant now....

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By Joe, She's Almost Got It.  

Monday, June 1, 2009

Okay, because of my age and the exposure to old movies I can't help but feel a little like the original Dr. Doolittle in the the movie My Fair Lady. He takes a street urchin (Audrey Hepburn) with badly broken English and turns her into a socialite. Months of hard work on his part and hers, turned an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. To which he exclaims, "By Joe I think she's got it" (might have been George instead of Joe but you get my drift)

Another weekend down state staying with my mother so my son can get to his training. SHE brings up a Dr. Phil segment that she taped so I could watch. Oh yippee, just what I want to do. She says it's about two kids who aged out of Foster Care. I about slid off my chair.


You taped something, anything, about kids in foster care? ( not out loud)

Really, I questioned, calmly. She starts talking about the injustice to these kids.

Aliens ate my mother and stole her appearance, moved into her house and are posing as someones next door neighbor. Gotta be, because this is not my mother.

We started watching the tape and talking about these kids stories, how the one girl was thrown out on the street at age 18, never being adopted because she was deemed a danger to other children because she watched her methed out mother kill her baby sister. Not only that, she froze her little body for a week, laid her out in the closet as a sort of make shift funeral viewing and then her and her husband hacked her into bits and burned her in the homes fire place, spreading her ashes later in the river. Mom was convinced that the kids were demons and vampires and she put drops of bleach in their ears and eyes, and made them drink bleach to exercise the demons.

My mother was outraged. I made her stop the tape. I pointed out to her that there are millions of people who honestly believe that "I" am on some form of level playing field with this woman, because I surrendered my daughter. And that when they threw this girl out on the street, not only did her support stop, so did her medication, if she was on any. We talked about kids being unnecessarily drugged to near catatonic states with psychotropic drugs so they won't be a bother.

Resume tape.

A young man tossed to the curb when reaching the age of 18 by the foster care system, can't get a job because he has no birth certificate. He has been moved so many times no one even has record of him any more. He's literally not in the system, (or so they say). When the case worker would come new clothes were purchased and hung in the closet, only to be returned for the cash after the visit was over. Again no where to go, couch surfing, and spent most of his nights sleeping on a wooden bench.


MOM DO YOU REALIZE someone has been collecting money off this kid for years who is now mysteriously NON EXISTANT? ARE YOU AWARE that since 911, tons of adoptees can not get a passport, because the only legal document they have access to is a falsified birth certificate which is no longer accepted by the very same people who FALSIFIED IT? Which is illegal.

Although Dr. Phil and a few other distinguished guests, managed to get each of these kids something. The girl got a crib full of stuff for her 8 month old baby so she didn't have to sleep in a play pen any more, a $20,000 scholarship to obtain a career to support her child, and a $1,000.00 gift card for clothes from JC Penney's. The guy got the same gift card and someone to help him look into documentation so he can obtain a job, and i can't remember if they offered him a place to stay or not, I was getting irritated by this point.

My mother asked me if I was disgusted yet? Taking the focus off of the fact that Dr. Phil just helped 2 out of 500,000 people and returning it back to the fact that my mother seemed to understand what the program was about, I started to tell her about some of the stories of the people I talk to on line. The Canadian foster care system, children stolen and sold, how much an adoption costs these days as opposed to how much it cost in my daughters day. How some women were told their children were dead, only to find out years later that it was a lie. How one adoptive mother staged the death of her adoptee and had a funeral so the first mother wouldn't search. How lots and lots of men in our prison systems are in fact adoptee's who were kicked to the curb just like these two she just watched, labeled as habitual criminals, because they have no life skills and they get cold and hungry. While the whole time someone was collecting money off their existence as an income. The least they could have done was taught them something that would help them when their time was up in the system.

It was a riveting, and stimulating conversation, she actually knew something about something that mattered to me. My mother, the never have an opinion, never make waves, NEVER speak out against your government, was finally starting to pay attention to something that mattered to me and we actually had a discussion about it.

I felt a little teary eyed with pride, when I told her to imagine she was an adoptee, who like my daughter had already found her entire family, at her own age, 76, was told by some snot nosed, and i paused, "LITTLE BITCH" she says, (holy shit who are you) (who ever you are I like you sooo much better than the woman I have known all my life,) that you CAN'T HAVE your original birth certificate, that it is in fact NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. My pollyanna, 5ft. nothing, petite, gray haired mother said "GOD, that makes me want to reach across the counter and rip her throat out."..... YES! OH MY GOD YES!!! who ever you are I don't care what you did with my mother, don't bring her back. You stay. Pleeeeeease.

It has been T H E most riveting conversation I have ever had with her. We talked about my grand son who needed his WHOLE medical back ground, not just half. We talked about generations lost and what some people had to wait through for all the tests to be run to find out what they would have already known had they SOME FORM of medical history. My mother has passed kidney stones before, she remembers what that felt like.

When talking about International adoption, and some domestic, I asked her how she figured there were so many orphans in the world, with no one to care for them. She looked at me and with a puzzle in her voice she replied, "I don't know".

I started on the grateful bit, and alas my mother had returned. SHIT, I lost her again. She sees no reason why an adoptee shouldn't be eternally grateful.

Al in all, it will probably be the only conversation with her I have ever felt had any substance. We made great strides, and I shouldn't expect perfection. I should not be disappointed, but I do want to know if the alien who took up residence for such a brief time will be returning in two weeks when I have to go down state again. I deliberately hung around for a few hours patiently awaiting their return. Nope, she was back, but it gave me a glimmer of hope.

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