Illinois Botches Adoptee Birth Certificates

The Chicago Tribune recently had a snippet, hidden in the Problem Solver column, which provides a stellar example of how Illinois and other closed-records states botch the birth certificates of adoptees.

Go read it, then come on back. This is the same system we adoptees are supposed to blindly entrust with our very identities?

Friends, what do you think of this situation? I’d love to know if this was the adopted woman’s original or amended BC. And did they tell the other woman her file has been “corrected?” What about this:

“[T]he incorrect records have been flagged so they are never again released.”

Maybe if all records were available to those to whom they pertain, incidents like this wouldn’t happen in the first place.

Funny how the Tribune’s Problem Solver is able to get more joy out of Public Health than the average adoptee… if this woman hadn’t publicized her problem it’s likely she would still be stuck in the quagmire.


  1. It makes one wonder just how many Illinois born persons might be celebrating their birthday on the wrong date. It is hard to believe that this was an isolated case.

    Sadly, there could be many adoptees who are celebrating the wrong date since their birthdate might have been changed to “protect their identity” that some adoption attorney or other party might have felt to be necessary.

  2. http://Anonymous says


    This is to let you know that I posted a reply online to the article mentioned in your blog – For 60 Years Her Birth date Was Wrong. My reply is at Another person posted after me.

    Here is my post:

    This is not an unusual problem.

    I have been reunited with my natural family since 1974 and joined the adoption reform movement almost a year later. In 1976, I recall that a newsletter distributed among adoptees along the East Coast said that Pennsylvania has the legal right to change an adoptee’s birthdate.

    Around the same time, in a local adoptee support group in Buffalo, New York, it was brought to our attention that one of our members had been adopted across state lines. She had three different birth certificates from three states in which she had lived and had “passed” from one care taker to another.

    Obviously, the older an adoptee is, the more likely an adoptee is to be part of an illegal adoption ring. Falsified records were made to cover up the baby trail. People making money from the sale of babies that were taken from single mothers were the “in” thing decades ago.

    I dated a man who was bought and sold — and he didn’t like it one bit. Still, he had an advantage most of us adoptees don’t have: he was born Jewish (ethnic) and adopted Jewish (ethnic). He at least knew his genetic ancestry.

    But to know that your parents paid a price for you, and the chance that your birth records are wrong, is a tremendous emmotional burden.

    Actually, all adoptees have fake birth certificates: the only birth record were are allowed is the amended birth record, which records the date, time, hosptial of birth, and if the birth was single, twin, or triplet, but the names of the parents are the names of the adoptive parents, not the parents who actually are the parents by birth.

    How this country can continue this mockery of personal freedom is a travesty and beyond comprehension. It is illogical to issue a fake government document that certifies the facts presented on the amended birth certificate to be true. Yet, this government sanctioned legal fraud continues in all American States.

    Abolish the amended birth certificate and tell the absolute truth: give adoptees one and only one birth certificate and one adoption certificate. Grow up America! Stop cheating adoptees from the truth of our births because you want to deny the facts.

    Joan Wheeler (born as) Doris Sippel
    Buffalo, New York

  3. Mary Lynn – Yes, I wonder also how many people are celebrating the wrong birthday, assuming the wrong heritage (or medical history)… there are as many reasons against closed records as there are adoptions. And I’m sure they’d like us to think this is isolated, but how are we to know for sure?

    Joan – Thanks for the link, and for your reply. How can a state have the LEGAL right to change someone’s birth date? Ridiculous! I don’t particularly relish being a marketable commodity myself, especially since I had no say in it. The travesty continues because those who profit from it continue to stack the deck.

    Thank you all for your replies. I am interested to hear from more people who have had the experience of botched, falsified, or “missing” adoption information.