Adoptees discriminated against

Dear Editor:

I am an adult adoptee born in the State of California in 1969. I do not have the same civil rights as non-adoptees in this state. I cannot access my original birth certificate or my sealed adoption records.

My son is in 2nd grade. The State of California curriculum states that all second graders must study their ancestry. His teacher recently sent him home with a family tree to fill out. He could not do this because I don't have that information. The curriculum in this state's schools needs to be changed or my right to my identity needs to be granted.

In 1998, I almost didn't get a job because my birth certificate is "amended." The hiring city did not consider my adopted birth certificate as a legal document!

I do not have access to family medical history and cannot locate family members to give or receive organ donations, if needed. I can't fill out the "Family History" on any doctor's forms. I have to put: "N/A I'm adopted." This endangers my health and the health of my children.

Native Americans have the ICWA act protecting native children from such discrimination. It states that when adoptees turn 18 that they must be told who their biological parents are. I say, if one ethnic group in California has that right, then all ethnicities in this state should have that right. Anything other than that is discrimination.

Adoptees are not second-class citizens and should not be treated as such. I should be able to go down to the Humboldt County Vital Record's Department and purchase my original birth certificate.

I am looking for a civil rights attorney to take my case Pro-Bono and fight the State of California to open sealed original birth certificates and adoption records of all adoptees in California thus restoring our basic civil rights to our identities.

For information on the plight of California adoptees, please go to Bastard Nation at: www.bastards.org

Mara Rigge

Trinidad

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