A Round Up of Birth Certificate News

I have some hesitation about returning to the general topic of birth certificates as I know many people get quite wrought about it. But there’s a bunch of different stories out there on the topic so I’ll have a go on it. However, I want to try to set the stage first.

Birth certificates—at least in the US–are rather peculiar documents. Some of what is on them at least looks like a historical record. So for example, birth certificates routinely list the time of birth. That would seem to be in the nature of a historical record–a formal noting of a particular thing happening at a specific time and place. (Place is also in that category.)

But then there are some other things on birth certificates that, though they look like the stuff of historical records, aren’t. One–and the one that has been discussed the most extensively here–is “parents”–or as it sometimes appears “mother” and “father.”   US birth certificates do not necessarily list the name of the woman who gave birth–which it seems to me would be the most obvious historical fact they might reflect.  

Instead US birth certificates generally list the legal parents of a child.   That means that if the child has been adopted, a new birth certificate is issued that lists the adoptive parents.   Similarly if the woman who gives birth is married, her spouse (a legal parent by virtue of the presumption) will typically be listed as a parent.

Now this makes a number of people very unhappy.  I think the general objection is that birth certificates should list the genetic parents of the child–they should in essence be something like a pedigree or a blood lineage certificate.     That’s a perfectly plausible position–one can easily imagine a society where that is what birth certificates did.   We can debate the merits of such a system.

But the key thing for me–right here right now–is that like it or not, this is not the current practice in the US.  For better or worse, US birth certificates are meant to show legal parentage.    You need to produce a birth certificate when you apply for a passport or register a child for school or for a new doctor or even for soccer because it shows the registrar that you are the legal parent of the child.    We could change that.   But for the rest of this post you all need to just take things as they currently are.

So to current events:  Item 1.  There’s a new case in Ohio in which same sex couples who were married in other states seek to have both parents listed on the birth certificates of their children.  Now in fairness, there’s more going on here than just a birth certificate for some of these couples.   There may also be demands to be recognized as legal parents.    That’s a more complicated argument we could also discuss.

But Ohio is, I think, one of those states that will not put the names of two people of the same sex on a birth certificate, even if they are lawful adoptive parents of the child.   (Louisiana is another such state and its position was the subject of litigation I followed for a long time a few years back.)    At its simplest, there’s claim here is that if a state issues new birth certificates with two names on it for heterosexual married couples, it cannot refuse to issue new birth certificates with new names on it for lesbian or gay married couples.    And given  the US Supreme Court ruling in Windsor last June, this appears to me an awfully powerful claim.   If you’re going to list legal parents, you cannot really pick and choose among that category.

Item 2.   This is from Canada and Canadian law is both different and complicated. (Not to say US law is simple.)  But still–here’s a story about the first child born in British Columbia who has three parents listed on the birth certificate.   As in the US, it’s pretty clear that Canadian birth certificates are not simply documents that show who gave birth–though one of the people named did that.   Neither do they simply show genetic lineage–though two of the three people could claim that.

Item 3.  There’s a new federal statute that allows for the creation of a new birth certificate with a different date of birth.   This is important for adopted kids whose original birth certificates can be off by several years.  Remember that birth certificates are used when you are entering school?  A birth date that makes you four when you are really six can keep you out of school.  Again, it’s about what we use birth certificates for–you can imagine a different system.

I’ll close here.   But with one more note about birth certificates.  A number of states allow people to change the gender on a birth certificate.  Here, too, that’s necessary because of the ways we use birth certificates in today’s world.



173 responses to “A Round Up of Birth Certificate News

  1. Need to stop issuing “birth certificates” and title the documents “parentage certificates” so that it’s more clear we’re simply talking about legal parentage. And, of course, LGBT couples should be listed as the legal parents when they are the legal parents just as hetero parents are listed when they’re the legal parents.

    • see Tyson, this is yet another example of how the minority is setting the precedent for the mainstream. Because for ART users a ‘birth certificate’ is inaccurate, now the rest of society is supposed to forgo birth certificates in favor of parentage certificates? Both can be done as i said below.

      • The majority isn’t foregoing anything. Birth certificates do little more than feed parental egos. Parents need to get over themselves. The only reason we need these documents is for proof of legal parentage and to prove people are US citizens. Any other info is the responsibility of parents to provide – not government. Why biological parents are so insecure about their status is a mystery to me.

    • We still need to record people as the offspring of their biological parents as a matter of public health Tyson. That’s where CDC get’s its birth statistics. That’s where the march of dimes get’s the information it needs about people and their biological parents in order to help reduce infant mortality and birth defects that are unrelated to heredity. Birth certificate data on people and their biological parents is the basis for all tax funded medical research on virtually every known disease and physical or mental abnormality. There was always some margin of error for questionable paternity because the technology simply did not exist to be 100% sure a birth record was medically accurate before certifying it but the state did what it could to ensure the information reported was medically accurate for public health purposes and as a medical/vital record for the individuals whose names appear on it.

      The parentage certificate you suggest is a lovely idea but it should be something done in addition to the birth certificate which names each person as the offspring of their parents and since its a medical record the expectation is that it is medically accurate. It serves as a vital record of each person’s health and is accessible by their immediate relatives who also rely upon the information printed upon it to be medically accurate and not a falsification serving the egos and legal needs of unrelated individuals who want parental authority. The birth certificate as a vital record should only be altered to correct errors or complete incomplete information. It should be medically accurate as of the date of birth. So an unknown father at birth could be added later to make it complete and accurate, because they were the father at birth but their name was unknown at the time. But the gender on a birth certificate should not be changed because a 30 year old man has a sex change because the gender of the baby given birth to was male on the date of birth.

      Identity does not change regardless of whether you are adopted or who raises you or what gender you might change yourself to later on down the line. ID records should be a truthful accurate reflection of the occurances in ones life and if a person gets adopted then an adoption certificate is now part of their history. The birth record is who they are and who their parents are and the adoption certificate says the person on the birth certificate was adopted by the people on the adoption certificate. And if their name changed upon adoption the court issues paperwork approving a name change for the person whose name is listed on the birth certificate. Same as someone whose name changes upon marriage – their birth record does not change. It all works out OK for them.

      We need to have a solid fixed system of tracking people and their offspring its a public health matter and nobody absolutely nobody should be exempt as everyone’s offspring are human beings, even the offspring of donors are human beings. Even the offspring of people who give their kids up for adoption are human beings and so should have the same access to genetically accurate health records as people whose parents were willing to tell the truth.

      It’s very simple. We need to record the truth in a very candid and accurate way and allow people full unobstructed access to their own records and those of their immediate relatives. This is how it works for the vast majority of citizens. We need to remove the barriers in place that prevent a segment of society from having the information they need about their own health and the health and identity of their relatives.

  2. perhaps the birth certificate issue is convoluted because it began as a historical record. Then, People who didn’t fit the norm were supposed to pretend that they did, so the birth certificate looked the same, as if it was a historical record, even though it wasn’t. now we want to abandon the pretense and jettison the historical record along with it.
    but we can do both. we can have an accurate, private, historical record, and public form to be used for legal purposes.

    • Yes, originally amended birth certificates started in the era of closed adoption, I think?

    • I think it stems from insecurity among non biological parents that is a result of people like Marilynn, John and others in society who have the belief that non biological parents are not “real” parents. Not that it’s right or excuses it but societal attitudes toward non biological parents encourage these types of measures to legitimize their status as parents and for the child to be confident in who people are in their life.

      I disagree with you though I don’t think a so called “parent certificate” is a public matter. Family matters on both the adult and child side are private matters. If birth certificates are private records so should “parent certificates”. If we want to treat every person as equal then children who are adopted or those who have non biological parents who raise them should not be treated differently than those raised by their biological parents.

      • Interesting point

      • I think there is confusion about what “public record” means. Perhaps it used to mean anyone could go in to where the records were physically stored and be allowed to look at all the documents, but these days, we have controls about who is allowed access to our public records. My Social Security number and birth date and my mother’s maiden name are enough for someone to impersonate me and withdraw all the money from my bank account, but they are also public records, legal facts that a judge or the police need to be able to see to know that I am indeed who I say I am. So we don’t let the public access to that data, or my arrest records, high school grades, SAT scores, college transcripts, degrees, etc. We couldn’t see Barak Obama’s birth certificate or his college transcripts, as members of the public they were off-limits to us. But some of those are certainly officially legally verifiable facts, I can’t just make them up to be whatever I want them to be.

        (Since I brought it up – Do we have a right to see if Barak Obama is actually the son of Frank Marshall Davis and not Barak Obama Sr? A simple test of his half-siblings would show definitively what photographs suggest to high probability. It makes a big difference to his eligibility to be President (not that eligibility mattered) as Davis was an American citizen and so if he had been listed as he should have been, he’d be a Natural Born Citizen, the child of an American citizen and not a naturalized citizen. But by choosing instead to collude with Barak Sr about who got her pregnant, his mother put his citizenship into question, making him a dual citizen of Kenya and the USA, and thus technically not eligible to be President.)

    • Rebecca is partly correct. In the first half of last century at different times the states decided that to protect the adopted child from the stigma of being illegitimate (BC’s were public records to anyone about anyone) – that perhaps the child should be allowed to change their name, and adopt the surname with a new birth certificate, and the previous BC would be hidden from the public (using public for a reason). The likes of Georgia Tann and others of her ilk were doing very bad things in adoption, but they had political power as well, and because of their actions (specifically Georgia Tann in TN), the politicians decided to seal the records to cover up what was done. Originally, most states still allowed the adopting family / adoptee access to the original documents, but over a period of several decades the laws were lobbied to be completely closed records, even from the adopting family and that was when it changed from being child centric position to adult centric position of catering to the needs of the adopting parents.

      There is also the fact that the amended birth certificates were allowed to change other pertinent facts than parents and child’s name. In NJ it is still legal to change the place of birth to the city the adopting parents live in. I would assume other states still have those types of archaic laws on their books as well.

      • TAO,

        As a resident of NJ (though I was born in NY) I am curious as to how changing the city of where a child was born has any benefit. I get why you might want to change country for citizenship purposes. But am I missing what benefits there would be in changing the place of birth on a birth certificate?

        • They would change the place of birth to the parent’s city to create a seamless falsified past, as if the new person named as mother had actually been the mother and given birth in the local hospital. If it still said the child was born in some state everyone knew the mother had never lived in, it would be a red flag that she wasn’t really the mother.

          • Oh, sorry to use “really” there, I should have said “it would be a red flag she was not the woman that was the person’s gestational carrier or genetic progenitor.”

            • Cut it out John just say it. It feels good to say it – not really the mother pretending the child is her offspring. Impersonating the child’s mother just run with it own it feels super. “real mother” is kind of yucky because its been used as a slur so much it’s lost its usefulness.

          • “If it still said the child was born in some state everyone knew the mother had never lived in, it would be a red flag that she wasn’t really the mother.”

            It’s ignorant attitudes like this that encourage the type of actions that hurt children. It comes from people who were able to have kids and those that made the decision not to have kids. In your case it’s the latter.

            • I’m really confused by your position here Greg. Aren’t you the one that wants to have the birth certificate record the legal parents and hide the fact that they are not biologically related? Marilynn and I say, being adopted or raising someone else’s offspring is nothing to be ashamed of, so don’t hide it from the children and cover it up with lies. Sure, present it to the world however the situation calls for, tell the child you are their real parent now and will always be there, but don’t lie anymore, those days are over now that DNA tests are so ubiquitous anyway. People do care about their ancestry and heritage and it does matter for marriage and for medical data. (Though Marilynn and I disagree on whether we should criminalize intentional conception by unmarried progenitors. I think we should to preserve the idea that people should not only care for their offspring but also that caring for offspring means caring for the other parent of their children, and I want to stop eugenics and baby selling. Though I do support Marilynn’s proposal to hold sperm donors responsible as legal parents as a way to curtail the practice too, but it still results in bad situations that should be prevented and treats children as means to an end and commoditizes them.)

              • “Aren’t you the one that wants to have the birth certificate record the legal parents and hide the fact that they are not biologically related? ”

                Please tell me where I’ve ever said that.

                What I’ve said is that people like Marilynn and yourself that are anti non biological parents and argue that non biological parents are not real parents encourage non biological parents to take measures to legitimize their status as a parent of their children. By arguing that being a non biological parent is not a real parent you are basically saying that it is something to be ashamed of. Thus it encourages them to do things to make it seem like they are biological parents.

                So you see attitudes like yours are a big part of the problem.

                • Well, Marilynn and I use “parent” differently, she says that a child only has two parents, the biological mother and father, and I don’t know what she calls adoptive parents or legal parents if not “parents.” Perhaps she insists that people always use the qualifier “adoptive” when introducing someone to their adoptive or step parents, but I sure don’t, call them parents, call adopted children sons and daughters, it’s perfectly appropriate if that’s the situation. No one needs to know if the DNA tests out if it’s not their business, and it only becomes important when things like marriage and dating comes up, and it is important to people to know their own truth because people are interested in their heritage and ancestry (not that people don’t usually believe “family lore” that might not be correct, but these days with DNA testing people seem to want to know the truth (and not that DNA tests can really prove anything given that the true ancestry chain might not be what the family tree says it was). If I or others use the term “real parents” it is only as a careless colloquial way to refer to the genetic parents in conversations like this, and I know now that it is offensive to adoptive families and so I try to remember to say “genetic parents” instead of “real.” I was never trying to imply that adoptive parents are not real parents in a family, emotional, social and legal sense, or that they should not ever be called parents. So it’s not that I am “anti non-biological parents” I am anti intentional unmarried conception, purposefully creating children who will not be loved and cared for their mother and father together, living and showing the loving union that resulted in their existing. I am anti eugenics and anti children-as-products ordered up on demand. I am also anti baby selling and separating children from their parents when it isn’t necessary and think children should maintain their genetic family history when it is necessary to place them with new parents. I think we should have better social supports so that parents are able to care for and raise their kids (and not be “outcasted” because they have kids) so they don’t feel they should let some other people take them and pretend they are their kids instead.

                  • If you were a kid who was adopted wouldn’t you feel less a part of their family if their parents kept on referring to them as their adopted child especially in situations where there are biological children in the family? Wouldn’t you feel more a part of that family if their parents were mom & dad and you were their son or daughter rather than adopted child?

                    See Marilynn and yourself are full of it being about the child this is about your anti non biological parent agenda.

                  • I said I don’t think people should refer to adopted kids as “adopted kids” or parents as “adoptive parents” we should just call them parents and kids. That’s in there: “call them parents, call adopted children sons and daughters, it’s perfectly appropriate.” But I do think that adopted kids should be told they are adopted at an appropriate age, but then it should be forgotten about and other people don’t need to know.

                  • Ok, so you just have extremist views on reproduction not parenthood…..Gotcha.

                    What about people who were married, had children but then get divorced?

                  • After divorce, kids generally stay in touch with both parents and they stay legal parents, even if they are primarily raised by only one of them, with a step parent. The step parent should be known as a step parent, and only adopt if the other parent is dead or really messed up, the other parent shouldn’t just happily step aside and abandon their child to be replaced by the step parent. It certainly shouldn’t ever be planned out that they would marry to have kids together and then divorce, that wouldn’t be a bona fide marriage that ought to mean real intent to stay together and exclusive lovers and parents together for life. That would essentially be the same as intentionally having kids without marrying, since these days when unmarried people have kids, they are treated as if they were married and divorced.

                    And I wanted to point out that sometimes even bio legal children don’t keep their parents company on holidays or care for them in their old age and don’t fulfill any of the dreams that the parents had about having kids. So don’t envy bio parents too much, they can be sad and abandoned too.

                  • I was asking from a standpoint as to whether you opposed divorce because I know a lot of churches and religions do.

                    “The step parent should be known as a step parent, and only adopt if the other parent is dead or really messed up, the other parent shouldn’t just happily step aside and abandon their child to be replaced by the step parent. ”

                    Unfortunately someone very close to me has a narcissistic mother who never really took much of in an interest in their child’s life. Luckily this person has a very loving step mother who has treated this person like they were their mom. In fact this person will refer to their step mother as their mommy.

                • Oh bull sht. Greg people are responsible for their own reactions to reality. If people who adopted did it for the joy of raising a child to adulthood rather than adopting because they want to become parents, the world would be a much less f’d up place for people that were adopted. They’d enter the family with their own name and own identity totally unaltered with their own mother and father and family out in the open and fully recorded but clearly unable to care for them and support them they would join their adoptive family without any expectation that they’d have to call the people who adopted them their parents or have to manage anyone’s feelings and emotions about who deserves the title of mother and father since the person’s parents are not doing the hard work of raising them. So there would be no expectation that doing the job of raising the kid was going to get them something from the kid or earn them a title and a ceptor and a crown. They’d just be who they really are and the kid would be who they really are and the kid whould feel like they were worthy of love and care from the adoptive parents without them having to do anything or give up anything or pretend as if they the adoptive family replaces the family that is absent. They are two separate families that should have their own distinct rollthat don’t overlap. Clearly the people who do the adopting are the ones who are going to have the deep long lasting parent/child like bonds simply because they showed up and did the hard work day in and day out. It’s pretty obvious when someone has adoptive parents that their bio parents did not do the work of raising them so the adoptive parents get what they were looking for which is the joy of raising the child which they had the skillset and resources to do. Let the kid just keep their title and rights and let the chips fall where they may and they’ll develop their own feelings about their mom and dad who did not raise them. I really hate that people adopt in order to get something earn a title earn a kid. They are people and should not be something we earn by sweat equity.

                  • “Clearly the people who do the adopting are the ones who are going to have the deep long lasting parent/child like bonds simply because they showed up and did the hard work day in and day out. ”

                    And because the child was adopted into that family. That doesn’t happen when the adults are legalized babysitters. But that depends on how the child is raised and whether they are fully loved and supported in an open environment.

                • All your words not mine. I’m not worried about anyone who does not have offspring I’m worried about having all people with offspring held to the same standards so their offspring receive equal treatment. Has nothing to do with an anti-anything agenda. I’m arguing for equal treatment and equal treatment by its very nature has no negative effects on society. Cause it’s fair and treats everyone equal.

                  • “I’m not worried about anyone who does not have offspring ”

                    Of course you don’t because you are anti non biological parent and discriminate against those unable to have children. You just want to use our tax dollars to fun your child’s education and pick up the bulk of the work in the workplace.

              • You want to get the problem at its roots which makes sense but you’re going back to the seed which is earlier than the roots you know?

        • What John has said is correct. It also has another effect. States have set up reunion registries which is dependant on matching parameters – you might have the same birth date, but if your city of birth doesn’t match – then you don’t have a match – despite being a match. State registries are the de-facto argument against changing sealed records laws to allow the adult adoptee their OBC (the last bill in NJ that Christie line-by-line veto’d also removed the ability to change the place of birth). There are so many obvious flaws to the concept of registries – and – birthdates have also been changed on our era birth certificates…

          • Ok, I wasn’t sure if there was some legality benefit that I was missing but it sounds like the state birth certificate is the only benefit so to speak and I’m not sure if I see it as something that really benefits anyone including the parents.

            • Greg – it benefited the adopting parents when they would wear padding around their stomach and pretend to be away giving birth. Their infertility was hidden from those in the community – people back then seldom, if ever, adopted unless there was infertility.

              • It might be a short term benefit. But in the long run does it really benefit them if it complicates an adoptees search for their birth family and it justifiably so makes them resents their adoptive parents? At least for me it’s short term thinking that doesn’t benefit anyone in the long run.

              • People really wore padding? That’s crazy. What if they could not get a baby by their pretend due date? What did they do? Stay pregnant for a year? You know I have long suspected that the stories of women in the family who gave birth in their mid to late forties were really most likely women who adopted.

                My first intro into the craziness of family research was a friend in the 8th grade that stumbled upon documents that said her father was in the vietnam war the year she was born. She thought she was illegitimate. She confronted her mother about it and then found out she was really the child of her eldest sister and that her mom was her grandmother. How they faked a 50 year old woman’s pregnancy I’ll never know.

                • “People really wore padding? That’s crazy. What if they could not get a baby by their pretend due date? What did they do? Stay pregnant for a year? You know I have long suspected that the stories of women in the family who gave birth in their mid to late forties were really most likely women who adopted.”

                  This is where I know you forgot where you have come from. I don’t condone people doing that but I could see how infertility, it’s stigma and what it does to a person for them to go to that extreme.

                  • I dont think they are so worried about their infertility as they just dont want anyone thinking the kid the are raising is not theirs. They wish it was their kid not someone else’s. They don’t want to raise someone else’s kid they want their own

                  • My point was infertility and the desire to have children drives people to extremes. So yes it has to do with their infertility. I think you forget what your infertility drove you to do.

          • the other problem with the registry is that it is not fair or equal treatment for you because nobody else’s bio parents have a choice in the matter. The vast majority of people not covered by these special exemptions, There is no privacy when it comes to having offspring it is a matter of public record, you will be named as their parent on their birth records and they will know who you are unless your off breaking the law somewhere or someone has failed to inform you that your offspring was born. Nobody else has the right to only be known to their offspring if and when their offspring consent to know who they are as well. Its totally absurd and it overlooks the very obvious fact that the medical reasons why we record the facts accurately for everyone else also impact adopted people and donor offspring, its not like they are not also born human and their relatives are not human either. The benefit of knowing who our relatives are does not just skip over them because their parents would prefer not to own up to the fact they have offspring on the planet that they have not taken care of like they were suppose to. Boo hoo. Registries are great for me when I’m looking for people but I should not have to be looking for people’s relatives and neither should they. Registries in fact suck because people should already know who their parents and children and relatives are. If they don’t someone is lying and hiding or being lied to and hidden from.

          • sorry can you explain more about this new jersey bill?

            • kisarita – assume you are speaking of changing the place of birth? this is the wording in the current legislation:

              [Upon application by an adopting parent or parents of any person born in the United States and adopted pursuant to the laws of this State, the court before which the adoption proceedings have been conducted, may, for good cause shown, direct and order that the place of birth shall be the residence of the adopting parent or parents at the time of said adoption; provided, however, that the adopting parent or parents were residents of this State at the time of said adoption.]

              From what I can tell this is being left in the current revisions bill this year to allow adult adoptees access to their original birth certificate. http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/S1000/873_I1.HTM

              Imagine finding out one day that another piece of your history was fabricated…can you see why adult adoptees want to know their truth?

        • Actually if you do readopt in your state – the country does not change but you get a state birth certificate that just lists something like foreign birth – the state just confirms the adoption is valid.

    • I’ve recently come to understand the sick financial motivation behind it all. I was very confused when I started studying all this as to why the law seemed so inconsistent and contradictory when it came to identifying the father and why in some cases the child had a right to his support and then in others poof nothing. Money
      The birth certificate does not have to change when parents loose their parental authority in court. It really does not have to change and the kid can still be taken to the doctor and still be enrolled in soccer practice and still travel with guardians. There is no real reason to issue people a new birth certificate when their parents rights are terminated….case in point, 2 cases actually.

      1. Think of all the couples where only one parent has their rights terminated completely, say due to abuse. They may even have a restraining order out against that parent but they won’t erase the parent’s name from the birth record. It does not change the fact that they are the father or mother they just don’t have any authority. A piece of paper issued by the courts states that their rights were terminate – but not the kid’s rights. Think about that – the kid still has a right to be a member of their maternal and paternal family with all the benefits bells and whistles, but their parent lost THEIR rights to custody and control of their child. The parent who lost his or her rights may still even be ordered to pay support and that just confirms the child still has rights to the parent’s support even if the parent has lost their rights

      2. Think of kids where both parents lost their rights. Those kids are in foster care and the State is their parent. Think of a foundling from the street – when a child is a ward of the state and the state has all the parental authority over the child they don’t issue a birth certificate that says the word “State” on the line for mother and father. If the kid has a birth record that names the parents, they don’t change it to reflect the state’s total authority to make decisions on behalf of the minor in question. So it really is not necessary to be named on a birth certificate to take a kid to the doctor as countless foster parents and guardians have no doubt enrolled the minors in their care in soccor and extra cirricular activities and countless have no doubt taken them to the doctor and authorized treatment.

      No the state offers people who are willing to adopt a bonus of altering all the identifying documents of the adopted person so that when the adopted person turns 18 they don’t get to go back to being who they really are they have to stay living life as if they were the child of the people who adopted them. They have to give up their identities in order to simply be cared for and raised to adulthood. They have to play the roll do a job perform a service for the people who adopt them for the rest of their lives their identifying documents are withheld so they cannot leave and go back to being the person that they really are. Its a horrific abuse of freedom and human rights. The state essentially sells off these people’s freedom and identities to get them off the public dole. It’s just wretched and abusive.

      • From reading this I don’t see how you can argue any other way that you are anti adoption of children being adopted into non biological families and non biological parent. You favor the Legalized Babysitting aka Guardianship that provides food, shelter and medical care until the child turns 18. You feel that those children need someone to provide for them not parent them. You have no issue with children aging out of Foster Care who end up with no families after they turn 18 and end up leading troubled lives.

        • Not at all. I would favor a system that allowed for minors to be adopted into families at no cost to their true identity and at no cost to them or their relatives in terms of legal kinship. Simply terminate their parent’s authority without terminating the minor’s kinship within his or her own biological family. They already issue an adoption decree and seperate documents for the legal name change so there is no need for the birth record to reflect any of that and besides amended records are not viewed as real vital records by the CDC or State department anyway nor are they viewed as such by the adopted people forced to navigate their lives with falsified vital/medical records.

          I suppose there is this fear on the part of the state that nobody would invest their time and money into raising a minor who would retain thier identity and kinship within their own families even after adoption so the state simply threw away the adopted minors freedom and rights in order to get them off the public dole.

          Do you agree then Greg? Do you agree that adopted minors should have a job to do? Do you believe they owe it to their adoptive families to give up their true identities and their legal kinship and their right to know who their relatives are just simply in order to be worthy of food and shelter and love? Do you believe that they owe it to their adoptive families to loose those rights and legal protections in exchange for the financial and emotional investment made by the adoptive parents? Do you also believe the that adoptive parents invest so much into rearing the adopted child it is not enough to have the adopted minor loose their identity and rights as paymet for only 18 years? Do you believe that the adoptiv e parents financial out put and physical care may stop when the adopted person reaches the age of majority but the up front effort to adopt and the up front expenses and legal fees for adopting would not be fully offset by the time the adopted person reached 18 and it is therefore necessary for the adopted person to work off their debt for the rest of their natural lives by continuing to perform as the as-if-born-to-child of their adopted parents unable to regain their true identity or paperwork and unable to access information that other people have access to when they turn 18. Do you believe the extra expense to cover adoption costs entitles adoptive parents to an extra measure of privacy and an extra level of control that long outlasts the adopted person’s childhood simply to get their money’s worth, their mileage out of what considerable expense and effort they put forth?

          Cause it sure sounds like you think adoptive parents are owed a cookie for their work or they won’t be willing to serve up the love. So I guess you think only bio children deserve to be loved and cared for for free with out having to do anything in exchange for food and shelter and clothing. You think only bio children would deserve to not need to do a GD thing in exchange for their room and board and love. Well whose obsessed with bio relationships now?

          • What do you think being adopted into a family is? It’s when you join that family and they change their last name to reflect that they now have joined that family. Otherwise they aren’t being adopted into a family. There is no proof in day to day life that they are a part of that non biological family.

            It’s not about what parents are owed. It’s about what being adopted into a family is defined as. I think you are upset with what the definitions of these things are. Again you favor the legalized babysitting model. There is nothing wrong with that. I’m not sure why it’s so hard for you to admit that. It doesn’t make you a bad person. Though it proves you only believe parents are those who conceived a child. And proves my theory of you being anti non biological parent.

            • Yeah, I don’t see much difference between M’s version of adoption and foster care. The difference as I see it ought to be changing the last name and legal parents permanently so the old parents are no longer looming about to become their parents again if they get off drugs or get a job or whatever, but I think they should still be identified and other siblings should be known and maybe even kept in contact with, but not to the extent that kids in temporary foster care would be. And after 18 they should still be members of the adoptive family, though maybe some Christmases they’ll reunite with their original siblings or parents but rarely. And they’ll inherit only from their adoptive legal parents, not from their original parents. Is that different from your view of adoption?

              • What you describe adoption as being is what a true open adoption is. The child is adopted into a non biological family. As part of being adopted the child’s last name changes as part of becoming a part of that new family. After all a child should be worthy of having the last name of the family they are joining.

                But the child and their parents should have an open relationship with their birth family unless their safety is an issue. They should always know who they are and who they look like and who they get certain traits from. Sure after they turn 18 as when they were children they may spend holidays, vacations and other functions with their birth family. Heck in some cases you may have the adoptive family and birth families getting together. But the person’s legal parents will always be the people who adopted them. They’ll always be mom and dad though they could call their birth parents mom and dad as well.

                Are you and I on the same page as to what we believe adoption should be? It sounds like we are but I want to make sure.

                • Yeah, same page on adoption. Open adoption, driven by a need to find a home for a parentless child, not by desire of adults that pulls children from their birth family if not really needed.

                  • Foster Care provides homes while adoption provides families. We need to provide homes for the ones who need them and families for the ones who need families.

              • Tell me why they should not be able to inherit from their original family? What did they do wrong? Their parents could not raise them thats ad enough why ostracize them? Why not just end the parents right to inherit through them? Adoption shoud impact the parent’s rights not the kids

                • They can still inherit if the bio parents want to write that into their will. People can leave their money and possessions to whoever they wish.

                  • Exactly and this is what Marilynn will not ever recognize. Because it destroys her irrelevant kinship non sense argument.

                  • it should just be no different than if they had not been adopted. The parents are the ones who should loose their rights and authority, it should not impact anyone else in the family their rights to be recognized as family.

                  • It is no different than not being adopted. You have to be written into a will to receive an inheritance. Plus kinship comes up so rarely that it’s nothing that a person ever needs to worry about.

            • No proof? They have an adoption decree signed by a judge. That’s the proof. They have custody of the minor they adopted, claim them as a dependent on their taxes, name them as a beneficiary on their insurance policies, love them take care of them and attend their school plays. That is proof of their day to day reality of raising an adopted child. Their neighbors all know they are a family the kid’s teachers all know they are a family. When they pile into the mini van to go to the mall or on a road trip they sure look like they are a family. What proof what more proof does one need that they are a family? Why should the adopted person have to sacrifice anything at all? Why should they have to change their name when their lives are just dripping and oozing with proof of their adoption into another family?

              • A piece of paper means nothing in day to day life. Without having the same last name they are no different than Foster Care with Legalized Babysitters. Having that same last name gives the child confidence that they have the same last name

                “Why should they have to change their name when their lives are just dripping and oozing with proof of their adoption into another family?”

                Because any of what you described could be something a babysitter could be for a child. Being a family is about sharing a bond. Especially in cases where it’s an older kid who needs confidence in belonging. A different last name means that Mr and Mrs different last name are babysitting them. Rather than Mom and Dad are my parents we share the same last name and same bond,

                Again you are against non biological parents and anti adoption. You feel kids need providers and homes not families.

                “Why should the adopted person have to sacrifice anything at all? ”

                They aren’t sacrificing anything. What exactly are they sacrificing that couldn’t be simply addressed with a will?

            • Actually Greg – adoption as it is understood/practiced in the US today is not the only adoption that is practiced around the world, nor even the only type of adoption that exists in US history. The other type of adoption is commonly called “simple adoption” where there is a legal parent/child relationship, but the child is not severed from their ancestral line – they have both. What is practiced here in the US is plenary adoption if I have my terms correct. Both types of adoption are parent/child relationships.

              • “Simple Adoption” is Guardianship aka legal babysitting. There is no parent/child relationship, there is a provider/child relationship instead. It provides a child with shelter, food and medical care but doesn’t provide them with parents or a family.

                  • It’s legalized babysitting. I don’t know how a child is a member of that family if they don’t look like their family or even share the same last name. Must be a very lonely isolating experience for the child.

                • Here’s more info in describing what is included: http://www.notaires.fr/notaires/en/simple-adoption

                  • Again how exactly is the child a member of that non biological family? I don’t see how they are. Seems to me they just have legal

                  • Greg, Parenting a child is a choice to parent that specific child. It is a mindset, a commitment that you willingly and lovingly take on to be that child’s ultimate protector. Whether you birth, adopt, foster, guardianship – it is *you* committing your heart and soul that you will forever be the parent of that child. That is what creates the parent / child relationship – not a piece of paper. The only real difference between Simple or Plenary is that legally the child is part of both families in Simple, in Plenary they are legally severed, but they are still connected in a way that can’t be severed whether they ever meet or not. Being a parent has nothing to do with ownership, possession – it about absolute commitment to a little person who needs you to be their parent – in good times, bad time, forever.

                  • See Tao I disagree the child isn’t a part of both families when they is a plenary adoption. A child will always be a part of their biological family no matter if their names chanes. That DNA blood connection can never be erased no matter what a piece of paper says. Legalities only mean so much. I’m sure you’ve read just as I have stories of adoptees who have been reunited who feel that instant connection with their birth/first families.

                    I just believe that part of what can help a child feel like they are a member of the non biological family is sharing the same last name. W/out it they don’t share anything beyond an address. It places the biological family above the non biological family creating a situation where the non biological family is inferior.

                    Now I’m not saying the OBC should be altered or replaced. I just believe that taking the last name is an important part of the child joining there new family. It’s not about ownership. It’s about being a member of and having something to share together beyond an address. It’s a child being good enough to not have to earn their new families last name as Marilynn likes to say.

                    I also don’t believe Foster or Guardianship is parenting. It’s providing care for a child but not parenting. Parenting goes beyond that. It’s forming a familial bond that doesn’t happen in Fostering and Guardiamship which is more like legalized babysitting. Not that there is anything wrong with that as it serves it’s purpose. But it’s not parenting.

                  • Greg – from the article I linked (specifically the second article that is this thread)

                    “Children adopted by simple adoption (and their children and grandchildren) inherit from both families.

                    Adopted children add the name of their adopters to their own name.

                    Provided the judge agrees, adopted children may even bear only the name of the adopter if­ they so request. “

                  • What exactly do they inherit? To me they don’t inherit a thing from the non bio family other than the address the adults legally responsible for them live at.

                  • The right of inheritance Greg – and you have to understand the history of adoption to understand why that is an important part. The adopted child did not have the same right of automatic inheritance that a child had that was born to the parents. That right to inherit also includes rights such as death benefits of children of veterans, insurance policies, wrongful death suits. The US way is sever the legal link to the biological family and attach to the adoptive family, so that the child doesn’t have automatic inheritance rights to the biological estate, but does to the adoptive estate. Historically they were excluded from that automatic right – somewhere around the middle of the last century the laws changed in both adoption and inheritance. Wills dated AFTER that change in law recognised adopted as a full and equal child of the adoptive parents – before they had to be named specifically. Not so long ago a will that was executed prior to the change was challenged and lost because the laws at the time of execution made the difference. In France – the automatic right to inherit is given to the child for both families.

                  • Tao,

                    All of those issues are easily addressed with a will. To me “automatic” inheritance is secondary when it comes to a child needing a family and needing something to share with their non bio family so they feel a part of it. Maybe it’s because I’ve never counted on inheritance from relatives but I really don’t see it as any big importance in the big picture.

                  • Greg, you are simply trying to be argumentative at this point when one argument fails you look for the next. I will explain the most basic reason for change to inheritance laws, and vagaries of human nature, and even the smartest parents in the world being incredibly stupid about the fact that they have not made a will, and could be hit by a bus tomorrow leaving their 3 year old adopted child without any protection under old law to inherit, and be thrown into state care while their sibling, a natural child is protected by the old laws. Even if there is a will written, I would remind you that even the most tightly framed will can, and has been challenged. The right of automatically being seen as a natural child under law – is societies way of confirming acceptance of that adopted parent/child relationship – a seal of approval if you will.

                  • I am not trying to be argumentative. And my argument didn’t fail. You just don’t agree with it and that’s fine. I just believe that in the big picture an adopted child feeling more connected with the family that is raising them is more important than automatic inheritance that comes up rarely. You feel differently. We agree to disagree.

                  • There is no adoptive parent/child relationship in Simple Adoption. There is only a Adult Provider/child relationship, IMO.

                  • Greg, from someone who actually lived the life of an adopted child – you are wrong.

                    I was, and still am the child of mom and dad – nothing can break that parent/child bond. As a child I had no idea that mom and dad went before a judge and made it legal. My story was they were asked to be my mom and dad and they said yes, and that’s how we became a family. It really is that simple for the child who is loved by their parents, and returns to my explanation of a parent is someone who willfully makes the decision to be the parent of that child up the thread.

                    You don’t get to tell me what creates an adopted child / parental bond.

                  • While I respect your experience. Everyone’s experience is different. That doesn’t make your experience not valid because it is your story to interpret. Just as my story isn’t for you to interpret and dismiss the way you have on multiple occasions.

                    I just believe that an older child who is adopted would benefit from taking the last name of the family they were being adopted into to help them feel like they are a part of that new family.

                  • Oh give it up Greg. Seriously. Simple adoption in France allows for taking the name of the adoptive family and/or completely changing the name – I pointed that out to you with a direct quote up thread.

                    You are simply trying to be argumentative as that has already been said by you, and countered by me, and if you get right down to it – there is nothing in the US adoption law that states that the adopted child’s name must be changed to that of the adoptive family and in older child adoptions, i.e. from foster care it doesn’t always get changed by request of the child who wants to be adopted but doesn’t want to give up his original surname.

                  • If I understood it correctly in Simple Adoption the last name doesn’t change at the time of adoption but could change. My point is that I believe it should.

                    If the child doesn’t want to change their surname then I guess that non biological family just doesn’t mean that much and is more of a provider than actual family to that child.

                  • You didn’t understand it correctly, perhaps you should re-read the link.

                    Nor should you be applying judgement on what a name means to an individual.

                    I’m done Greg…

                  • Ok, fine I re-read it and if I now understand it correctly the child would have both last names similar to when a woman gets married and hyphenates her last name. But a child could decide to just take the adoptive family last name if they wish.

                    I just don’t believe biology trumps all and the biological family is always above the non bio one. Not even from an adoption standpoint. From a step parent to bio parent perspective as well. We agree to disagree. I agree though we are done with this discussion.

                  • Greg Tao is bringing much in the way of historical information to the table for you to read and learn from. You frequently make sweeping statements about say legalized babysitting or being outcast by society or being a second class citizen that are not supported by you with any actual laws as proof and this is a place where the laws that impact parents and their offspring are discussed. Sometimes like with the historical legal info Tao is presenting to you it seems you want to dismiss it as being a mater of opinion and in fact its not opinion its fact.

                    My anger, my advocacy came from having seen one too many falsified records and learning all the various legal protections and rights that people with inaccurate/incomplete birth records are subjected to. It is bland stuff like legal kinship and inheritance and accurate medical records and vital records that are the losses experienced universally by people living with inaccurate birth records. They won’t all feel the same about those losses but it is very hard to argue that they are receiving fair and equitable treatment. Many many adopted people are not at all interested in pursuing relationships with their biological families however it is quite reasonable though for me and others to still suggest that laws be corrected so that a person who is adopted should not have any loss of identity or loss of rights at all.

                    I know what the laws are currently and my sense of what the law should be is really simple, just treat people the same, treat them equal. I believe the problem with adopted people asking for rights thus far is they’ve never asked for equal rights they have asked for access to their original birth records – when nobody else has two birth records or two identities. What they need is only one identity just like everyone else. I don’t personally think it’s appropriate to change a minor’s name on adoption, if they feel like it they could change it at 18, but changing a name can and is done without trying to alter the person’s identity. Only the birth certificate modification is a true attempt to alter their identity. If it was just an adoption decree and name change there would be no loss of identity. It seems very reasonable. I don’t see any reason for severing any of the adopted person’s rights. It’s the parents who are having their parental authority terminated and that can be done without severing the adopted persons rights.

                    I for one am always grateful to Tao for presenting historical information. I’ve learned so much from Tao about the history behind the laws that I find so disturbing. If I understand Tao correctly (he/she gender neutral Tao) is not against adoption perse but against unethical adoption practices and against the loss of legal rights that you scoff at as no big deal. Inequality is always a big deal Greg. It’s so sad to me that so many in this world find it acceptable to compromise the freedom and rights of people who are adopted I mean they already lost plenty as it is that nobody can do anything about. The loss of legal rights adds insult to injury and is unnecessary really.

                  • Marilynn,

                    Legalized Babysitting is a description and if you go by the definition of what a Guardian, Foster Parent and Simple Adoption Adult providers are it’s an accurate description of what they are. All are providers not parents nor family to the child. That’s what their role is. It serves it’s purpose in situations where reunification is possible.

                    I understand the historical context of why we are where we are today but I think that adjustments need to be made. I think there needs to be prevention of children ending up in Foster Care, Reunification periods need to be shorter so children aren’t stuck in Foster Care and it needs to be easier for the children who need families (not providers) to be adopted.

                    As far as a name change if the Adoptive Families name isn’t good enough for them as a child why all of a sudden would it be good at 18? When they are adopted into a family their identity changes anyway. That doesn’t mean their bio family is erased because it never can. But the Adoptive Family becomes a part of their biography, so why not help them feel more a part of their new family by giving them something to share with their new family other than an address?

          • Let me ask you Marilynn, when a woman gets married and legally changes her last name to her husbands, does she lose her “true identity”?

            • this is a very different situation; her birth certificate stays the same and all her previously held documents. thus there is continuity between before and after her marriage, no fiction that she didn’t exist.

              • But as long as an OBC is not altered even if a child’s last name changes to the family they are being adopted into, their identity is altered according to Marilynn’s logic.

                • Did your wife’s identity change when she changed her name to yours? No. Her birth record stayed the same but her name changed. Adopted people have separate name change approval from the court in their adoption paperwork. Their names were legally changed in court. Its not the birth record that changed their names it could stay as it was. The adoption paperwork says what their name was and what it was changed to so they stay one person like a woman whose name changed on marriage.

                  Yes I happen to think its lame to change adopted peoples names but you could just add a last name

                  • That’s not being adopted into a family. That’s a child knowing they don’t look like their parents nor do they have the last name. The confusion and lonelyness they must feel by not belonging to any family must be very isolating for them.

                • No changing your identity is changing your parents from bio to non bio on your birth record. Changing your identity would also be changing your sex on your birth record rather than having a separate document that said Bob Smith from birth certificate reg #X changed his name legally to Jane Smith and changed his gender to female. That proves its one person who changed their name and gender. Not fronting and faking like their Mom gave birth to a girl 25 years earlier

                  • So to you is changing their identity changing their last name from their birth family to their new non biological family?

                  • If its just a name change no. Its kinda f’d cause its not their choice but as long as its a court approved name change not on their birth record their original identity is untouched. Records wise adoption works like one body gets two identities which is impossible. Same with donor offspring only their real identity is never recorded they are given a false one and that’s it.

                  • What’s F’d up is someone favoring kids aging out of Foster Care with no families.

                  • Greg what I have said is that if they age out at least their rights are never compromised. I think it is great when people are adopted by loving families and feel accepted and loved and safe and cared for. I of course think that minors deserve to be loved and cared for when their would crumbles beneath their feet. I don’t think its appropriate that adopted people loose their rights though. For those who happen to age out of the system they age out having received food and shelter and care and sometimes a decent and loving foster family environment, other times not decent at all sadly, they age out with their identity intact and their rights intact. What I’ve seen personally is that those individuals have a much easier time putting their family back together because they were not adopted and can still access all the original birth records of their siblings who may have been adopted. They can more easily find their bio families.

                    I’m sure there are many kids in foster care that have no bio family at all. I have not encountered those individuals because I deal with people who are seeking bio family that do exist. They may not have the kind of families that middle America thinks are good, but they are family and the siblings and other relatives frequently seek one another out once they are adults and can forge very deep bonds later in life.

                  • Which do you think is more important to a person, having access to kinship rights that come up rarely or having a family to support you as a young adult when they need it most? I think it’s the latter. I shared the statistics th

            • I did not see that you wrote this before i wrote below. See Ki’s answer. She’s correct

  3. btw the link to the law about chnging the date is not working. are you talking about correcting a mistaken date on the original birth certificate or creating a fictional birth date?

    • Kisarita – If it is the legislation I think it is – I believe it is primarily intended for international adoption. Many families find out after they get home and all the paperwork is complete that their child is older, or younger, and get bone age scans, etc., done that show the birth date is off by years at times – which complicates many things like school, and all those associated services that are based on age. The other complication is the immigration and citizenship paperwork that would probably have to be changed to reflect the actual age – doubtful they would ever hit on the actual birthdate but they could get closer to reality.

      • well if its just about correcting a mistake- as best as possible- then i have no problem with that. if its inventing an entirely new date perhaps to fit in to the adoptive story, thats a major issue.

        • TAO is correct. Many parents who adopt internationally are told that their children are a different age – usually younger – than they really are. When they come to the US, doctors notice that the child’s age seems off in relation to his or her physical development. Tests can be done to better understand the child’s age. In some cases, once the child can speak English, he/she tells the parents something along the lines of, “I’m really 10, but the orphanage told me to say I was 8 so I’d be adopted.” Children also age out of being adoptable, so sometimes orphanage directors will change their ages so they can stay in care.
          This is a huge problem in international adoption.

  4. Are birth certificates now also changed when adults change their legal sex? Or just their driver’s licenses? How about when parents decide their child is the other sex, do they get a new birth certificate for them?

  5. The only data the government should be collecting and providing is legal parentage. The rest is foolishness and an invasion of privacy and something that could be provided on a voluntary basis by those so inclined. But, as long as we have to deal with the insecurities of biological parents and those who favor big government, it will be difficult to switch to the smarter, more streamlined “parentage certificate” and leave biological matters to families, where it belongs.

    • I don’t make the rules Tyson, the information on the birth record is collected as a mater of public health in order to monitor the spread of disease in the general poulation and to better understand the health of the population. Listen tell you what when they stop using the info from birth records for public health purposes lock stock and barrel then you’ll have a point. Until then citizens will continue to enjoy the fruits of CDC’s considerable time and effort collecting and analyzing birth, marriage and death data. Most of us enjoy living in a country that has modern medical bells and whistles and enjoy the safety net of a public health and welfare infrastructure that saves thousands of infants a year from premature birth. Most of us have benefited from the early and ongoing education about environmental causes of birth defects and infant mortality and appreciate the early and ongoing education about how to avail ourselves of our relatives identities and vital information to form for ourselves a more complete picture of our own family health histories enabling us to be as informed as possible when making critical reproductive decisions like who we want to create offspring with and whether or not we want that person to be a blood relative closer than three degrees. So as long as the information CDC collects is pertinent to the health welfare and safety of every single person living or working in the U.S. I’d say it had better be fkg accurate and it had better be available to to the subjects who are the basis of the data collected. It’s just common sense not to play around with the accuracy of vital records to reflect a preferred version of reality.

      • It’s not collected for health reasons unless one is in a 3rd world country. Here in America we have modern medicine.

        • you said birth certificate data is not collected for health reasons here in the United States. That is not true. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss.htm

          The CDC dictates what information State’s have to collect on the bio parents of children at birth http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vital_certificate_revisions.htm


          We tax payers are also now paying for a new program where they try and call people they suspect are not the bio parents and kind of try to get them to tell if they are or not by offering them something (I think its money I have to look this up again) Problem is that that it would be just easier to make it more difficult to not tell the truth. There was always a margin of error for paternity fraud to be managed when doing medical research but now the margin of error for non bio parenthood is just so enormous as to make the results of any medical research down right questionable.

        • our modern medicine is attributed in large part to the incredibly detailed birth and death data we collect.

    • every person who is not the legal child of the person/people they were born too, should have some type of legal proceeding or at least a review and therefore the historical birth certificate should reflect the before as well as what tyson calls the parentage certificate should reflect the after.

      • Whatcha mean “who is not the legal child of the person or people they were born to”? Do you mean everyone who is not the offspring of the people who wish to raise them? If so, I agree. If not then exactly how do you propose to protect minors from being bargained for prior to birth? What is to stop adults from colluding to conceal the identities of their biological parents in order to make it appear that a person is the offspring of people who contracted to have custody and parental title over them or people who were given parental title over them as a gift.

        This sham of being “born to” unrelated individuals is black market adoption it’s fraud. It may appear that the adoption process would serve no purpose since all the arrangements were made ahead of the person’s birth but in fact they became human when they were born and it is at that point that they need protection from our government with regard to things like ensuring they are properly protected from trafficking if their bio parents are not going to be raising them. There is no magic here Ki, no special technology no third parties reproducing, its just biological parents and people who wish to look like bio parents colluding to keep the name of bio parents off their offspring’s birth records in order for others to secure parental authority without having to go to the time and expense of addoption and to fraudulently misrepresent step parents as biological parents on the original birth records of their step children. In the case of embryo adoption it is to fraudulently represent themselves as the bio parents of persons whose bio parents are both absent and protected by donor regulations.

        • Yeah, non biological parents need to be demonized because they are bad people in Marilynn’s world.

          • Sounds like she’s saying the biological parents are bad people for colluding to keep their names off the birth certificate. The bio mom who lies about who got her pregnant, the bio father who purposefully abandons his offspring, are bad people, as well as the people who facilitate it.

  6. Marilynn,

    I emailed this to you but think everyone should see this about the dangers of children aging out of the Foster Care system:


    Aging out of the Foster Care system doesn’t seem to be a good thing one does it?

    • Greg its the fact they have to loose their identity and kinship rights I have a problem with. Not the adoption its the adoptout.

      • The kinship non sense is something that comes up in any person’s life rarely. It’s also something that can be addressed in simple estate planning. Having families to support young adults w/out them is not something that can ever be addressed without some type of adoption prior to aging out of Foster Care.

        • Hey if your saying estate planning will offset the persons loss of kinship why not flip it have them loose no kinship and do the estate family on the adoptive family side instead?

          • Kinship is BS. You are grasping at straws here.

            • G you keep complaining that no one can walk in your shoes. Can you walk in the shoes of a person without kin? no double standard please.

              • Speak for yourself Ki. Never forget where you came from. No double standard here.

                Kinship situations come up rarely. Even when they do it can easily be addressed with a will. It’s much easier to address that than the children who age out of Foster Care with no families that end up leading troubled lives. That is a more important issue than kinship issues. But Marilynn feels the opposite which shows you her priorities are the ones that are self serving.

                • What do you mean kinship situations come up rarely? Why would you be opposed to adopted people having the same kinship rights as everyone else? It’s not exactly a radical proposal that would give them an unfair advantage. Remember they already lost their family raising them and there is nothing anyone can do about that so why not just leave their kinship rights alone? Why mess with them in the first place?

                  • i don’t think inheritance is the issue here. excuse me for being crass, but the adopters are more likely to have money to bequeathe than the bio kin. so no loss there. but thats not the point. because i believe that most people who seek out their bio kin aren’t doing it because they are seeking money. some people’s bio siblings won’t give them the time of day – if hte bio parent was rich- actually because they think the person is after the inheritance, when thats not the case.

                  • i’m just saying because i think sometimes you overfocus on the money aspect which to my mind is really not at the front of the list.

                  • of course they are not after money thats is not the point its why should here be any loss of their rights at all? it makes no difference if there is nothing to inherit or if they would not want it anyway. its just one of many rights lost by adopted po
                    eople and frankly who is anyone to say this or that right is no big deal you dont need it anyway

                  • Again it’s something that comes up rarely where there isn’t a will or if someone isn’t named as a beneficiary to a certain insurance policy. If it was something that couldn’t be easily addressed I’d be more likely to agree with you.

            • my straws are actual legal rights enjoyed by the rest of the population whether or not those rights are ever exercised is besides the point. There is no reason to exclude a segment of the population from the same rights and legal protections that other people are afforded. Why exclude them? Why not just treat them the same?

        • You can’t get military death benefits as a minor if your parent dies with estate planning if you’ve been adopted under the current system. It’s one of the reasons I never favor step parent adoption. The only thing step parent adoption is good for is a little bit of process and procedure vs being co-opted into a step family by adding a step parent’s name to a birth record as a parent.

  7. As I read these comments, it seems many people are using birth certificates and the government to assuage their insecurities about their status as biological parents. Government really shouldn’t be used in such a vain way. We need a document proving that a person is a citizen and their age and perhaps who their legal representative is while they’re a minor (although I’m not convinced this legal parentage is important just as I know the biological parentage is totally irrelevant for a government form). To involve biology is such a waste of government resources and a matter best left to private people. But, people do like big government.

    • before the baby has a social identity, the fact that you have a birth certificate means nothing, because it doesn’t say which kid you belong to. there is no other way to identify the kid other than true, historical, biological parameters related to its birth.

    • Tyson would you favor changing the law so that there was no legal parental responsibility for people to have over their own offspring? If people were not held accountable as parents for their own offspring ever under any circumstances? If everyone had to apply to become legal parents of any given child and if there was no priority given to people for being the bio parents of a child?

      • If you are all about people being treated equally why wouldn’t you favor that bio parents be treated the same way as non bio parents? Why should non bio parents have to go through things bio parents don’t have to become parents?

        BTW, I am not advocating for or against what you are discussing I am just using your logic.

        • “Why should non bio parents have to go through things bio parents don’t have to become parents?”

          that’s mother nature’s doing. there is no law that can change that.

          • Oh I know that, I’m just trying to show Marilynn that her people being treated equally argument is flawed when situations are not equal.

            • show me some more then Greg. What are you comparing your analogy to specifically? When saying that bio and non bio parents are not treated equally, be ultra specific in citing the law where the treatment is not equitable and then cite whatever it is that your comparing that inequity to. When I talk about the need to correct the law so that all people have identical rights and legal protections or identical obligations to their offspring it’s pretty straightforward stuff. Having everyone with offspring follow the same rules is easy enough. It’s not like there is not already a working model to follow.
              Like people with offspring all have that in common so they are equal in that regard – the situations are equal so obligate them equally. Your talking about wanting to obligate people equally when their situations are not equal, one has offspring to be obligated to and the other has no offspring to be obligated to so it’s kind of hard to require someone without offspring to take responsibility for the care and support of offspring they don’t have.

              So I require further explaination. If you could just pinpoint the laws the inequity should be evident. I want to understand what it is you want ot point out.

              • Why should non bio parents have to go through things bio parents don’t such as having their lives evaluated to see if they are worthy and qualified to become parents?

                • because non-bio parents seek to become a parent to an already existing child who has rights and is entitled to state protection.

                • Parents don’t need anyone’s permission to be parents, they just are the first in the chain of authority. You can’t go over their head, they don’t have managers, nobody gave them permission to be parents they made themselves parents. They don’t have to go through any hoops to get the obligation to take care of their own offspring they are automatically responsible for taking care of them. They are God the creator to their kids that they made. They don’t need to interview for the position.

                  If they fail then human beings have to find other people to raise their kids and we take that very seriously.

                  • Non Bio Parents do. They need to go through home studies and background checks things bio parents never need to do. If your logic is people need to be treated equally shouldn’t it apply in this situation as well?

                  • Once non-bio parents have legal custody the expectations of them are of course equal to that of any bio parent. Their legal parenthood won’t be terminated without just cause and this is no different than that of a bio parent.

                    Are you talking about simply acquiring a child to raise? The screening process? Well one is handled by a human being where a bad placement decision can be blamed upon the person who placed the child.

                    People with offspring put themselves into the position of being responsible for caring for their children and then if they do a bad job at it the State gets involved.

                    People raising other people’s kids are in that same boat where if they do a bad job the State get’s involved.

                    The process for raising other people’s kids is not supposed to be self appointed nor is it supposed to be privately appointed and that is for the protection of the minor to prevent them from being trafficked, sold, given as gifts etc. You can’t truly just appoint yourself as the parent of someone else’s kid, you need that person’s knowledge and consent and it should not be in the form of a private contract whether before birth or afterwards because it smacks of objectification and trafficking and slavery. This is what is so wrong with surrogacy agreements and gamete donation agreements, the adoption is concealed and the adopted person’s identifying records are falsified to make it appear they were not given up by their bio parents.

                  • “Are you talking about simply acquiring a child to raise? The screening process?”

                    Yes, if you are all about being treated equally then why should non bio parents have to go through a process that bio parents don’t? One is being treated differently and going through a process that the other doesn’t. By your logic shouldn’t they all be treated equally?

                  • Greg I’m going to slow you down here for a moment. You actually are not talking about treating non-bio parents the same as bio parents. Right? You don’t mean that adoptive parents should have the same level of authority that the bio parent had prior to them taking over (which adoptive parents do legally and then some) – when you say non bio parents you just mean plain old ordinary people not parents at all but plain ordinary people that are interested in becoming parents.

                    So you are saying do I think that people who want kids should all be treated the same in what it takes to get kids to be the parents of. Well sure I think anyone who wants to be a parent should have to jump through the exact same hoops to get a child to raise that is not their own offspring. When and if they get that other person’s offspring to raise, at that point they are granted legal authority over the child they adopted. I definitely think it’s wrong for people to short cut that process and try and handle obtaining other people’s offspring as some sort of off line out of court under the table black market deal. Everyone should have to jump through the same equal hoops if they want to raise another person’s offspring and have parental authority over that other person’s kid in the eyes of the law. I believe in equal treatment there.

                    Regular old ordinary people who want to be parents of their own offspring get to be parents of their own offspring if they have offspring it’s automatic.

                    The only way to make a person have to go through that same court approved process to become a parent to their own offspring would be obviously a radical departure in current policy. It’s a fun mental exercise though and interesting to play out for fun if nothing else.

                    That suggestion would mean that we no longer held individuals accountable for their own offspring as parents automatically but because infants are dependent human beings there would have to be a default party responsible for their care instead of the people who reproduced to create them and so I suppose that would be the State Government. It could seize every infant born at birth and distribute the infant to people on a waiting list for a child with no preference at all to the biological parents. If the bio parents wanted a kid they could get in line with everyone else and receive one from the state later on but it would not be related to them.

                    So we’d have to not record the identity of the bio parents at all in order to make them have absolute zero responsibility as parents to the child or to the state. And we could do that the state would be the automatic parent who then decides who the kid would get distributed to. Then there would be absolutely no record of anyone’s biological parents or families and it would be totally fair no hiding of the records at all. Women would give birth anonymously so as not to create any records that could be sought after later. The kids would have to go into state foster care until they could be distributed to the best non-bio parents. It would sure take the financial incentive out of it if it were totally state run.

                    This move would have massive public health implications and would create a situation where everyone was in the same boat having no idea who they were or were not related to and so incest would become rampant and people would become quite ill and malformed a generation or two down the road. We’d ultimately inbreed ourselves into extinction. It would also be very very expensive for the state to become the parent of every child born and to administer 40 times the adoptions it currently handles.

                    Fascinating little exercise in following the logic all the way out though. I think the way we currently have it set up works pretty well where people are responsible for their own offspring unless they blow it royally. We just need to not have any exceptions to the rule is all.

                  • You proved my point. It’s not about people not being treated differently, it’s about their situations being different. Thus it seems like they are being treated differently but in reality it’s their situations that are different. Does that make sense?

                  • OK G so your point was that people in different situations need to be treated differently – well yes and no. Depends on what the situation is and whether or not that situation was crafted by someone else or is a matter of happenstance. It matters very much whether man has imposed the rules that are unfair or if life itself is unfair.

                    It’s unfair that some people are born disabled while others are not born disabled but its an unfair that law and government can do nothing about (unless its doing something to cause those disabilities environmentally or something). Life is not fair but the laws of man can be fair and should strive to be.

                    People with offspring are equally situated to one another in that they all created human beings who will be dependent on care from adults for 18 years. It’s fair and just to obligate those individuals equally so that their offspring all have the same expectations and legal protections and so that society can rely on all people with offspring to meet the same standard of care. That is fair equal treatment given their circumstances of having created a person that is dependent upon care.

                    People who have not created dependent minors would have no such obligation for care. Nobody should be relying on them to take care of other people’s offspring out the gate. If they want to sign up to take on that obligation of care for a parent who has failed to meet their obligation then they should have to follow certain guidelines for doing that which protect the interests of everyone involved. That is treating all people in that situation who want to raise other people’s kids equally.

                    Once someone is the legal parent of another person’s offspring then they should be held to the same requirements that bio parents are held to.

                    Please identify the specific situation where you feel the circumstances are different and therefore my call for equal treatment is unwarranted. Specifically which people is it that you feel have different situations and therefore the rights they have should be different. Cause if their situation is different because they were put in that situation by someone else then that is not fair to them. I mean the fact your bio parent does not feel like raising you puts you in a position where they’ve screwed you and giving you rights to just some other random person that wants you is not enough because the rights could be equal, its possible to give that person equal rights, there is something that can be done to equalize them that won’t compromise anyone else’s rights so we should do it. In the case of people that cannot have offspring there is nothing we can do to eliminate the screening process that won’t compromise the rights of minors. That’s why people love to go around the screening process in black market adoption schemes like what they call donor conception. They want to skip that really important step.

                  • No, my point is people aren’t being treated differently. Their situations are different.

                    I think you are picking and choosing where you want equal treatment. You want it for certain groups but don’t want it for groups such as non biological parents and those who are unable to have children that you don’t care about or think much of.

          • Sounds like Greg is suggesting Sanger’s American Baby code again. The idea that married couples shouldn’t be allowed to procreate just because they are married, they should have through the same things adoptive parents do in order to become parents, ie, prove fitness. Sanger actually proposed this, though she knew it was too radical to put into practice, but she thought the principles were sound:

            Article 3. A marriage license shall in itself give husband and wife only the right to a common household and not the right to parenthood.
            Article 4. No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit for parenthood.
            Article 5. Permits for parenthood shall be issued upon application by city, county, or state authorities to married couples, providing they are financially able to support the expected child, have the qualifications needed for proper rearing of the child, have no transmissible diseases, and, on the woman’s part, no medical indication that maternity is likely to result in death or permanent injury to health.
            Article 6. No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.

            • I’m not suggesting it in any way but I think it falls in line with Marilynn’s logic of “equal treatment”.

              Personally I think everyone is treated equally. It’s their situations that are different that makes it seem like they aren’t treated equally when in reality they are.

              • Greg some people are exempted from parental responsibility for their offspring while others are not. Explain why its a good idea for some people to have offspring they don’t have to be accountable for. In what way are their offspring different than offspring of those held accountable? Why is it good for most to have medically accurate vital records but not them?

                • Some people are unfit and broke and so it’s a good idea for someone else to be accountable for their offspring, and a bad idea to make the child suffer by forcing their bio parent to raise them and legally be responsible for them.

                  • Sure but John being broke does not make parents unfit. Also even unfit parents must be held accountable as parents first to then be judged unfit. They must abide by a standard of care that they have to not meet in order for it to be determined their children are better off taken care of by someone else correct?

                  • Yes, correct.

                  • Not being able to provide for a child makes someone unfit to be a parent, IMO.

                • And explain why you feel non bio parents have to go through a different process to become parents than bio parents. Because you aren’t treating them equally.

            • I mean good luck enforcing it.

              • Right, Sanger knew it couldn’t be enforced, but she said so what, it would still send a message. You should look it up and read her commentary on it, it’s interesting and still very relevant. But the message is an offensive message, that puts eugenics above human rights. It’s the same exact thing Greg is doing when he says why shouldn’t fertile people have to go through the same hurdles that adoptive parents go through. It’s disrespectful of human rights, jealousy and judgement rationalized into dangerous fascism.

                • I think many members of the general public might suggest that everyone be screened before being legally allowed to be parents simply out of frustration at how many biological parents wind up abusing and neglecting their kids because the vast majority of CPS cases are issues with bio and not adoptive families. The screening process is I’m sure one reason for seeing fewer abuse and neglect cases in CPS but another reason is that adoptive families have money and are not on welfare and so CPS has no financial inscentive to separate the kid from the wealthy adoptive parents where they do have financial insentive to remove a child from parents on welfare and into an adoptive home. I’d say that two sets of parents accused of the exact same neglectful behavior would be treated entirely differently depending on whether they were on or off welfare.

                  Anyway that being said I think most who would suggest that everyone be screened has not thought the proposal through since it would mean every child was entitled to have the state be their parent at birth. Nobody would have the right to be raised by their bio parents or to be identified as the offspring of their bio parents and nobody would know who was related to whom. It really would not be fair if people could pass the test and get their own offspring. Lets go all the way even and make sure nobody ever gets their own offspring to raise. Cherry.

                  • It’s funny on the news last night I saw a piece about NYC discussing mandatory parenting classes for all parents. Interesting I think some could benefit from it but I don’t think it’s fair for the good parents to go through it.

                  • Well everyone that has a baby does receive Educational material from the state on nutrition and care giving guide lines for the first 5 years of life that are un monitored while the kid is not in school. They get the information to all parents whether they follow the rules is another issue entirely.

        • i think maybe you mean why should they have to go through things AFTER they become parents?

        • Greg you said if I’m in favor of equal treatment why would I not favor treating bio and non bio parents equally. But I do favor holding adoptive parents to have the same level of legal authority to act on behalf of the adopted child as would a person over their biological child prior to the transfer of authority in court. They have a burden of care equal to that of any bio parent as far as financial support goes and they have equal rights to medical benefits and tax benefits for the adopted child as one would for a biological child. In what areas of the law do people who adopt have less legal benefits or fewer financial obligations than bio parents? Adoptive parents currently have more power and authority than bio parents because their authority to control information about the adopted person outlasts the adopted person’s childhood. I would eliminate authority and rights in excess of that available to a bio parent. So I am very much in favor of equitable treatment here.

          “Why should non bio parents have to go through things bio parents don’t have to become parents?”

          Well the government can’t control who does or does not have offspring; all we can or should do is identify people with offspring as parents and hold them accountable for the care and support of the offspring they create. The government is not involved with how people become biological parents it just needs to identify them and their children for public health and statistical purposes. So what a person goes through to become a bio parent is outside the limits of government authority. What a person has to go through to gain parental authority over another person’s child is within the scope of the governments authority and needs to be handled with the up most scrutiny and ethics for the protection of all involved because dependent individuals are vulnerable to human rights abuses by individuals who support them or should be supporting them. So

          • No, you don’t you put biological parents over non biological parents always have and always will and it goes beyond just the “law”.

            • No. Legally their authority once granted, is equal if not more. It should simply be equal not more.

              • Why shouldn’t the people actually parenting the child have more authority and a bigger role in the child’s life?

                • I meant compared with any other parent by biology not compared to the parents they’ve taken over for. The bio parents they’ve taken over for won’t have any authority over the child they gave up of course not. Of course your right in that regard that they’d have more authority because they are raising the child of course. What I’m saying is that their authority is not only equal to that of any bio parent but rather more than that of any bio parent because bio parents don’t have authority over their offspring’s information beyond 18 years of age where adoptive parents have control over the person they adopted that lasts well beyond the adopted person’s childhood.

                  • What control does any parent have over their kid after they turn 18? If you are referring to the OBC, that’s the government who has control over that not any parent.

                • You said its the government with the control and not the adoptive parent – well yes and no. It’s true that ultimately the government holds the cards by withholding the legal documents and by refusing to return their identity to what it was prior to the adoption. I mean after all the person was not able to consent to the arrangement when they were a baby.

                  So the adoptive parents do have considerable authority here because the State has trusted them with information that they can choose to tell or withhold. They will have signed the original adoption paperwork and name change documentation which likely has the name of the child prior to the adoption typed out. Heck just knowing about the adoption and having the files from the adoption alone puts them in a position of special knowledge over the adopted person. They don’t ever have to tell them they are adopted or give them or show them the adoption paperwork. The state leaves that decision entirely up to the person who adopts. The state gives them a little extra special perk of the State forcing the adopted person to live out the rest of their days with a false identity and gives the adopter the luxury of never even letting the adopted person know they are not really their child. The authority to withhold the truth about not being related to the adopter is totally in the adopters hands as if they are the owner of property rather than the parent of a person. Its fkg sick.

          • Marilynn, it is false that “all we can or should do is identify people with offspring as parents and hold them accountable for the care and support of the offspring they create. The government is not involved with how people become biological parents it just needs to identify them and their children for public health and statistical purposes.”

            One word: incest. We have laws against a brother and sister creating offspring together, which is also why we don’t allow them to marry. We can also have laws against cloning offspring and attempting to create offspring with someone of the same sex as the other progenitor. We don’t have to punish fornication or adultery in order to say there is no right to them, and that people only have a right to reproduce within marriage, with a spouse. You seem to think that a married man has a right to impregnate an 18 year old babysitter, but no, he has a right to impregnate his wife, not their babysitter. Don’t you see that it harms society and people to say that a married man has a right to create offspring with the babysitter?

            • the outlawing of incest is a child welfare issue.

              • Yeah, that’s the point. Child welfare trumps the right of people to make people however they want, we don’t have to just let people do whatever and then mop up afterwards, we can and do prohibit things.

                • except that you don’t care squat about child welfare. we’ve been through this in the past. you support wholesale separation of children from parents. youre excuse is that the parents are unfit. why? not becacuse of any harm to children but becacuse they’ve behaved in ways you don’t approve of.

              • And it’s more than just the welfare of the child being created, it is also about the welfare of families and society at large, even when no children are conceived.

            • Um if two adults want to have a kid together that’s their business

              • So you ignore the incest thing, huh? If a man and a woman want to have a kid together and are eligible to marry, they can marry, and then it’s their business if they do or how they do. That’s the extent of their rights, and even Eisenstadt didn’t contradict that. A married man does not have a right to have a kid with anyone other than his wife. This is not radical, or out of step with current culture. Rights are called rights because they are socially and legally protected approved behaviors.

                • I believe that the government should not dictate with whom an individual has children so long as they are held accountable for them as parents. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that I have a desire to either control other people’s bodily autonomy or to suggest that I believe some individuals ought not exist or that there is such a thing as a birth that should have been prevented. I’m concerned with treating people fairly regardless of the circumstances that led to their conceptions or their births. I have no desire to punish anyone for creating their offspring and frankly who a person has offspring with is up to them as far as I think. Society has the right to set forth rules for being accountable for the results of your own actions and that includes taking care of your own offspring.

            • I take a more pragmatic approach here John. There are administrative reasons why siblings would not be allowed to marry. I submit to you that you cannot be truly related to a person more than one way – for record keeping purposes its chaotic and you simply have to pick a relationship and stick to it. For instance you can’t really be someones brother and their father because you’d have to be their father first in order for you to then become their brother. Relative dependency – if you are dependent upon a person for existence then they are your parent first and foremost. You are siblings, that is your relationship. Your already a member of the same family there is no need to join your families together contractually no need to found a family where one already exists. You can claim a sibling as a dependent if you want, help one immigrate, be next of kin for inheritance purposes if that’s the case. Marriage is for joining unrelated individuals to form a new contractual family. Join their property assets and liabilities.

              Now as to incest I firmly believe everyone should have a right to all identifying information possible on their own relatives so that they can avoid incestuous relationships if they so choose and I believe that its important to arm people against the dangers of reproducing with immediate relatives. The government has a stake in a healthy population and that means giving them as much information as possible to keep themselves informed and healthy. It also means holding people responsible for the care and upbringing of their own f’d up kids if they should opt to do something as stupid as mate with an immediate relative.

              I don’t think its appropriate for the government to restrict people’s reproductive behavior but I do think its appropriate to hold them accountable for their own offspring. I think it is reasonable for the government not to certify marriages that effectively join assets and liabilities of an already existing family making it essentially a moot exercise that carries with it the additional complication of having to somehow undo or trump the already existing kinship which is simply an administrative fur ball that the government has no interest in certifying.

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