Adoptees praise Illinois law giving access to their birth records

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In the four years since Illinois became the most populous state in the U.S. to give adoptees the right to see their original birth certificates, about 10,500 individuals have obtained that vital piece of paper that most of us take for granted.

On Wednesday, some of them will be in Springfield to thank those who made it happen and to extend a message to all the states that still haven’t followed suit:

C’mon in. The water’s fine.

Despite the trepidation long associated with piercing adoption secrecy, the opening of Illinois birth certificate records has met with mostly smooth sailing.

“The sky did not fall,” said state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, who sponsored the legislation. “Illinois took a leap of faith and got it right. It’s time every state did this.”

To date less than 20 states have passed similar legislation to open up original birth certificates, with the privacy concerns of birth parents still trumping the rights of adoptees to have the information so many of them seek.


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