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This SC-born Adoptee's Rights are Amended, not Restored...
From this bill's introduction by Rep. May, I pressed and advocated to him, his sponsors, and the Judiciary Committee. Although a non-resident, I am bound by SC's adoption law. I like to think my story was considered. The result, though imperfect, should allow me access to my birth records in 2023, at long last.
Adoptees United Bill Watchlist https://adopteesunited.org/legislation/resources/bill-watchlist
It’s not in my nature to give up. I believe my lifelong struggle with anxiety, depression, catastrophizing, fear, and loss, a sense of un-rootedness are a result of my relinquishment at birth and adoption at one year old by an Air Force couple. More therapy would likely have helped, but I’m stubborn and impatient. I’m inclined to read up on fixes, maybe it’s curiosity, maybe I’m a seeker of solutions. Or a hypochondriac. But I crave answers, as we humans do, and the need to know, to solve the puzzle of my origins, to reunite with myself has been present like a longing since childhood in some shape. But I don’t give up.
When I survived a brain hemorrhage at age fifty-seven, my therapists and my husband persuaded me I could recover. Giving up was not an option. But God! I struggle with this every day, thirteen years later. I want to slip. But it’s not in my nature. Keep going.
If you’ve followed my story, you’ll have read about my search and discovery of my natural mother, my persistent efforts to learn who my father was, and to pull it together with DNA and Ancestry.com. I identified both sides of my biological family, though, sadly, not all survived until I could meet them; crucially, both sets of grandparents, and my father.
I dedicate the second edition of my memoir, I Must Have Wandered, to Teri, one of my three paternal sisters, who passed away recently. I often wonder how my life would have been were my biological parents to have had a lasting relationship.
I cannot overstate the importance of taking action. It was not a small thing for me to send the application to SCDHEC with the pieces the State now requires of an adopted person to get her birth certificate. Note, it is not a legal record. The watermark states not certified. In any case, after two months, something was sent to me which the post office did not deliver. My email notification showed a scan of the mail piece — addressed incorrectly. I did not react calmly, and I called the office of the Director, Caleb Cox. This is my follow-up email.
In light of the serious clerical error at SCDHEC which sent my vital records to an invalid address, I understand you are forwarding my urgent request to the specialist in your office, along with my documents which prove I sent the correct application on 5/19 with payment of $30, and my birth mother's death certificate. I can't help but wonder what SCDEC sent in that envelope to an incorrect address.
I want to emphasize that my request is for 2 copies of my original birth certificate (I understand will be uncertified) and for my full pre-adoption file, including relinquishment and early care records from St. Francis Hospital. Whatever happens to be in the vault, is important to me.
As I stated in my request, I am 71, and there are no living parents, either biological or adoptive.
I respectfully look forward to a speedy delivery of what now is my legal right to receive..
I breathed again when the manila envelope arrived Friday. I’m grateful for the closure of this adoptee’s case, but shake my head at the absurdity that it has taken so long to receive what should be available on request—without restriction—to adult adoptees from every state. The rights, by default, should go to the human who was relinquished. Complete restoration of adoptee rights must happen. We’re getting there with legislation in many states. Let’s not lose momentum.
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