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My OBC

I finally got my original birth certifate. This is a BIG DEAL to adopted people. I truly thought I would not live to see this day. I was taught that who I was, and who I was born to was none of my business. I was taught wrong.

There were no big surprises. I know who my parents are, I know how old they were, I know where I was born. The surprises were small, little jolts that hit like soft punches to the gut.

The certificates are so similar, but so different. On the amended, false one there is no mention of the ages of the “parents” at the time of my birth. The OBC has 15 fields, but the false one only has 11. So many details were omitted, I suppose to make the new “parents” forget that I was born to another woman. It’s labeled a Certificate of Birth, but there is little mention of birth on the certificate.

One big surprise was the OBC was mailed to my mother’s address at the time of my birth. I never knew where she lived when I was born. My mother’s sister was 4 when I was born, and she remembers the apartment. She said it was a basement apartment, very dark. My parents were hiding out, growing a baby they were planning to get rid of. They were hiding the pregnancy, even though they were married, so they didn’t have to explain to anyone why they didn’t have a baby.

6 thoughts on “My OBC”

  1. So very happy for you! Happy they put it on the proper paper too, same as they did mine but not sure what other adoptees from my state got theirs on. But why did they need to use the top of the certificate to put their disclaimer across, my state has it in neat text to the left of the seal at the bottom stating this isn’t the current legal bc on file (something like that).

    I framed mine so I could see it every day.

    1. I’m glad you got yours too. That big red stamp on the top does bother me, quite a bit. It makes me feel tainted, and less than. Like I heard they used to stamp bastard on birth certificates back in the day.

      1. It would bother me too Marylee. Just went and looked and it’s a dark red and it’s written as a paragraph in normal size font and looks both professional and like it belongs there. (long run-on sentence). For all NY did right, this they did wrong.

  2. When I was doing my adoption search, I sat in the office of the social worker who had personally handled my adoption 30 years previously. I was sitting directly across from her at the foot of her gray metal desk. Her hair was in a bun. It was the same color as the desk. She held my case file tightly with both hands containing the names and social security numbers of my birth parents, two feet in front of my face, refusing to divulge any of the information in my folder. I thought about going postal, grabbing the folder out of her hands, and running out the front door–what would have happened? The idea that a complete stranger knew everything about me, while I was denied this basic information about my parents and details about my place and date of birth was infuriating, morally and ethically wrong…

    1. My adoptive mother used to tell me that I had a “very Irish” last name. But she wouldn’t tell me what it was. So, I methodically searched her closet when she was at work, and I found my adoption papers when i was 12. She knew the name, but wouldn’t tell me. And she wonders why we don’t have a good relationship, because she never did anything wrong.

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