Got a letter from Albany this week. Yes, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Oh, not because I think Gov. Cuomo himself actually read my letter and its enclosed copy of my April 6 blog post urging passage of the adoptees’ rights legislation.
I suspect some poorly paid intern plugged my name, address and “adoptee rights” into the appropriate parts of the “reply from Governor” template, slapped a digital signature on it and ran it through the postage meter. Still, someone somewhere opened the note and actually read its contents.
Changing this law would allow many thousands of adoptees to finally get clues about their roots.
People like me. At 46 I have scant little information about my background gathered from the non-identifying information New York says I may have: Born in Yonkers, NY, on Feb. 15, 1966; English and German ancestry; born to unmarried teenagers — a high school dropout and a young woman who hoped to go on to college. Only with additional digging have I been able to find her name — Patricia Clark. The whole search process makes me feel like a sneak, and yet I’m just trying to learn the same information that most other people know as a matter of course.
My original birth certificate undoubtedly holds lots of other details, but it’s illegal for me to see it.
Just as it’s illegal for Ray, the 73-year-old man who commented on my recent post: “It seems that no matter what adoptees feel is not important. It is only important that antiquated laws are upheld even when they don’t make sense.” This fellow learned he was adopted two years ago. Imagine how he is sorting out a lifetime of lies and half-truths.
So is Larry, who also commented on my blog. At 59, he learned he was adopted four years ago. His non-id has unearthed just a handful of details.
I’ll bet you anything that Ray and Larry always knew something was different for them.
Too many secrets for far too long. Too many years of wondering, wishing and hoping.
We each deserve to know who we are and to understand our beginnings. It is unfair to treat us adoptees as perpetual children, relegated to the shadows, our true identities forever hidden away.
Says Cuomo’s letter to me: “Please be assured that we will keep your thoughts in mind during any discussions on the matter.”