Illinois: Santa Advisory

Adoption Reform Illinois

December 17, 2008

Santa Advisory

What adult adoptees want for Christmas is their original birth certificates

WHO: Santa’s elves (Adoption Reform Illinois, a coalition of adoption reform advocates)

WHAT: Letters to Santa from triad members requesting his help in obtaining Illinois adoptees’ original birth certificates will be delivered to the Department of Public Health.

WHERE: Vital Records, 605 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL

WHEN: December 19, 10:30 a.m.

WHY: Adopted adults in Illinois cannot access their original birth certificates, a right all other Illinois natives take for granted. AFI member organizations work to recover the right of people everywhere to have access to their original birth records, upon demand, unaltered and free from falsification.


Upon judicial finalization of adoption, all adoptees’ original birth documents are sealed in perpetuity. According to the Illinois Adoption Act, the only recourse for an adopted man or woman is to go to court and petition for the original birth certificate. [ 750 IL CS 50/18 ].

Adoption Reform Illinois was formed early in 2008 in response to a series of disappointing legislative attempts to create multiple classes of adoptees, some of whom would be denied access to information about their own identity. Member organizations of ARI oppose substituting mandated mutual consent registries or intermediary systems in place of fully open records and do not support any other system that assures anything less than access on demand to the adopted adult, without compromise and without qualification. (For an explanation of the difficulties with conditional legislation see

ARI member organizations urges the Illinois Legislature to pass a law that would put all adopted men and women on a par with all other citizens with regard to access of original birth documents.

For more information or to arrange a telephone interview with Santa:

Anita Walker Field, Illinois Open – Phone: 847-677-0694/ Email:

Mary Lynn Fuller, Illinois Open – Phone: 217-722-4814/ Email:

Triona Guidry, Green Ribbon Campaign for Open Records, Phone: 847-540-5938/ Email:

Or visit our websites:


  1. I participated in this as fast as I could. I thought this was really an ingenious way to get the word out there and get focus on the endeavors in Illinois.

    With my husband’s permission I am copying/pasting his letter to Santa. He wrote this of his own accord. He asked me the afternoon I was writing my letter what I was doing. I told him and he walked away. About 20 minutes later he came back and handed me a piece of paper.

    I was stunned at first as I couldn’t believe he just went and supported and wrote! BUT, THEN WHEN I READ THE LETTER….oh, my gosh! If you knew my husband! He probably only knows 2 feeling words in total Happy and Sad! So to think that my husband wrote this to support not Illinois, but his adoptee wife blew my mind.

    Get your tissue ready…I still can’t read it without getting teary-eyed. It does just go to show you how adoption impacts not only Triad, but EVERYONE Triads are connected to.:

    Dear Santa,
    I hope you still remember me, even though I haven’t written you for about 25 years. Sorry about that. The reason I’m writing again after such a long time is that I want something for Christmas that I can’t get on my own. You see, for a long time now I have been able to get the things I need, and most of the things I want on my own. I have a great job and most of the stuff I want I can buy, I guess I am very fortunate.
    This year though, what I want the most is not available in any stores, or on any website. You see, what I want this year is to get my wife back. Don’t misunderstand me, we are not separated, or divorced, we actually just celebrated our thirteenth anniversary a few days ago. Even as I write this, she is just a few feet away in the other room. But it isn’t really her, not all of her anyway. She is there sitting in her green chair, where she sits every day, most of the day and night. On her laptop searching, searching, always searching. Missing meals, missing work, even missing me. That’s right even missing me. Me, standing right there in front of her, trying to get her back.
    Santa, you are probably wondering , what she could possibly be searching for? What is it that is so important that she sits there in that chair on her laptop day and night searching? She is searching for herself, literally searching for who she is. You see, she is not allowed to know, at least not according to the state. And it is the state that holds her identity. More specifically they hold her OBC (original birth certificate). They say she can’t have it, can’t see it, can’t even know what is on it. That means she can’t know who she is, can’t even know when her birthday really is. Can you imagine that Santa, not being allowed to know when your own birthday is? I sure can’t.
    She knows more about the dog she had as a child than she does about herself. There is a file full of the dogs info, its parents names, their parents names and the Grandparent’s names. When it was born, how many siblings it had, and even their names. That file has all the information about her dog you could ever imagine. And that file is there at home where she can look at it anytime. The file about her is not here at home. It is locked away in some basement somewhere, like a secret. Hidden from her and the state holds the keys. They hold her OBC and won’t let go their grip. I just don’t understand why. Don’t they want her to be happy, complete, fulfilled? Just like everyone else is.
    Instead, they leave her ashamed, lost, and heartbroken, a shell of a person. A shell of the wonderful person that I know she is, that person that I love, and that person that I want back, my wife.
    So I guess what I really want isn’t a Christmas gift for me. What I want is a gift for my wife, her OBC. I have mine, you have yours and even her dog had his. If she can get that, than I don’t want anything else. What I need I already have, her. She is right there just a few feet away in her green chair in the other room, lost, heartbroken, searching…
    Merry Christmas,
    Ed Waiksnis

  2. Wow, Chynna Girl, your husband is a gem! I can imagine how that must have touched you. I am writing my letter as fast as I can. My lost son was adopted in Illinois.

  3. http://Anonymous says

    Not really anonymous it is unsigned masterpiece.

    What an amazing letter posted by Chynna girl.

    Send it to a newspaper. I bet they’ll publish it,

  4. UM, we have sent our advisory to Illinois media outlets. I will post coverage in a followup after our visit. Be sure to visit Anita/Granny Annie and Mary/Rights of Adoptees (see sidebar); they’re our elves and hopefully can give us a firsthand account!

    Chynna, your husband is awesome. He and mine should get together for a sympathetic searching-spouse beer. Mine, too, has been very tolerant of me disappearing for hours to fax legislators or blog, he even comments sometimes (as “dawidge”).

    There is still time if anyone wants to email letters for the campaign (click on Contact in the menu or use the contact info in the Santa Advisory). Depending on weather we are tentatively rescheduled for early next week.

    Those who have sent letters might want to send them as “letters to the editor” to your local papers, to show support for the Santa campaign and open records in Illinois and elsewhere.

    Thank you all for your support, and our elves for their hard work!

  5. Chynna Girl, your husband’s letter is a tearjerker. It made me realize how much my own family must have gone through during my 20-plus year search. When we have as important goal as to find birth family, it is not uncommon to sit down at the computer and to use the telephone for hours. But the completion of a search means alot to family too. They not only “get us” back but they have more family members too to enjoy and love!