Can a law be made around a myth? It surely can if you are in Pennsylvania.
Legislators attempting to be sensitive to what they perceive birthmothers' wishes, don't allow adopted adults access to their own original birth certificate, on the assumption that birthmothers were promised confidentiality. This is patently false. The average birthmother never asked for nor wanted confidentiality. While it's true they may not have wanted their names in the newspapers, if you think about it, it's hard to imagine a birthmother pleading "Please, cover all the tracks and I am so ashamed, and I would prefer my child to have a false birth certificate too."
No one could have promised her confidentiality. First, no one could ever promise "The law will never change."
Second, it can't have been promised because no one could guarantee her child would actually get adopted. Children who are not adopted always have access to their own original birth certificates. Relinquished children who go to an orphanage or into foster care always retain this access. It's only the adoptee who loses it, and who then gets the "amended" birth certificate.
What's the difference? An OBC- an original birth certificate- shows the truth: Who the child was when they came into the world, and who their biological parents were. An amended birth certificate makes it look like the adopted parents gave birth to the child, and essentially re-writes history.
Any shyster who promised confidentility was either lying or not in tune with the legal process of adoption. The state is not obligated to back them up. In fact, many birthparents were told "Your child can find you when they are 18" and that turned out not to be true either.
Follow along below and you'll see!
Now the child's birthparents have given up the right to parent them. What can happen to that baby?
Now you see- the unadopted child retains the right to access a real OBC, while an adopted child loses it. And you can now see why no one could promise total confidentiality to a birthmother since there is no guarantee the child will be adopted.
Back to main page of the Pennsylvania Adoption Search Menu.