Sunday, January 27, 2013

Is her Birth Certificate a lie?

So I signed up Elizabeth for Soccer yesterday. In order to register her, I had to provide a copy of her Birth Certificate (to verify that she meets the age requirement to play). Doing so made me think again about this legal document that we have and what it says. It says that I'm her mother, which is true. I am. But it implies that I gave birth to her, which obviously, I did not. It totally obliterates her first mother. And let's not even get into the fact that under "father", it is blank. So apparently, on 7/11/07, I magically produced and delivered a baby all by myself. Funny, I could have sworn I was actually sitting in a California Law and Ethics class that night...
Seriously, though, I don't understand why it is necessary for the amended Birth Certificate to erase E's birth parents. It's a Birth Certificate. J gave birth to her. That is a fact. I have no need to claim that I did. Why can't there just be an addendum to the original Birth Certificate, denoting the adoption? In answer to the question I asked in the post title, I'm going to say, yes, her amended Birth Certificate is kind of a lie. One thing that I am so glad of is that I have a copy of her original BC. Of course, legally, it is null and void, but I hope that it will mean something one day to E to have it.

6 comments:

Andy Drouin said...

Here's a different take, and not a very popular one, from an adoptee - me.

I would have HATED having an amended BC growing up (or even now). Why do the soccer people need to know that I was adopted? Or the Girl Guides or anyone else?

My BC is a small, credit card sized paper that doesn't list any parents on it. It has my birth date, where I was born and the date my birth was registered. That's it. We have the same thing for Liam to use. We also have the long form that does list Hilary and I as parents, so when we travel we can prove that yes, he is indeed supposed to be with us. But we would never use it anywhere else.

While I know that I have 2 mother's and have no qualms in claiming them both when I talk about myself, legally I do not have 2, and to me a BC is a legal document that states who my parents are. Having my first mother on there would have felt more like a lie to me. Liam's long form BC does not state that we gave birth to him, simply that we are his parents. This is a true fact. Does it omit who gave birth to him? Yes, but the purpose of the document is not to state lineage, but simply to record the live birth for the government to have a record and to give the person a legal document to prove who they are.

That's my 2 cents on the topic, and one that usually gets beaten down in the adoption community as being wrong.

Anne said...

Thanks for your input, Andy! Definitely no beating down here!

Heliotrope Tree House said...

Very interesting response written above from one of your readers. I appreciate that. I too, was adopted. But I was legally adopted after my mother passed away and my father gave us up. I was seven, my brother was five. We were given a new last name...and when I saw a copy of my birth certificate it listed my grandmother's name where it said "Mother." I always resented this and would think, "This is weird and this is a lie. My grandmother is not my mother." IT was all pretty painful for me, so I may have a different take. I would have at least had my name and my parent's names on my birth certificate. But instead, I felt as if my identity was wiped away. :( You are very thoughtful to even consider this. Giving a cyber hug of thanks across this blog world...to you!

Heliotrope Tree House said...

I just realized I didn't clarify above...my mother's parents adopted us after Mom's death.

Andy Drouin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TTABaby said...

The comments made me go back and look at Baby Girls amended birth certificate. So its states "mother: my name" I guess it never states anything about me giving birth to her its just implied. I too am fortunate to have both certificates so she will understand that I didn't give birth to her.

Andy its interesting that the card is more an identifier for just you though in our case it would also have changed since her birth name and legal name are different. Sounds almost like our social security card except I just looked at mine and it doesn't have a birth date.

Heliotrope were you ever able to talk to anyone about your feelings? Did you have a copy of your original?

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