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26 January 2012

New Legislation Allows Adopted Adults to Obtain Original Birth Certificate

I'm adopted.

My mother adopted me when I was six months old.

For all intents and purposes, my mother is my mother. She changed dirty diapers. She stayed up nights when I was sick. She took me to the doctor. She made sure I was enrolled in good schools. All the things expected of a good parent, my mother did. And she did it by herself. My mom chose to be a single parent when she adopted me, and I am so grateful that she did.

Still, there is a certain amount of curiosity that comes with being adopted. While I personally do not want to meet my "bio-mom," I am still curious about this person.

A new bill, sponsored by state Representative Buzz Brockway (R - Lawrenceville), helps to alleviate some of that curiosity.

House Bill 748, if passed, would allow adults, like me, who were adopted to receive an original copy of their birth certificate.

When a child is adopted, as far as the state is concerned, the adopted child is the child of the adopting parent.

As the adoption is finalized, the Court modifies the adopted child's birth certificate to list the adopting parent as the parent of the child.

My birth certificate, for example, was originally filed on November 4, 1983. However, after my adoption was finalized, a modified birth certificate was issued on October 25, 1985. My modified birth certificate lists my mother as my mother. There is no record at all of my biological mom whatsoever. For all practical purposes, my biological mom does not exist. But my original birth certificate, filed on November 4, 1983, does exist. It was simply removed from my file.

House Bill 748 allows me, an adopted adult, to get a copy of my original birth certificate.

House Bill 748 has bipartisan support and currently sits in the House Judiciary Committee. I think it should pass, if only because it would provide adopted Georgians with an opportunity to learn more about their background and heritage.