Imagine for a moment that you are not allowed to know the name of your grandparents, your ethnicity, or stories of how your ancestors arrived in America.
Pretend that you have a very distinguishable physical feature, but no idea where it came from.
And every single time during your life that you go to a doctor's appointment, and they ask "Do you have any family history of (fill in the blank)?", your answer is an obligatory "I have absolutely no idea".
For hundreds of thousands of people, this is a reality. Due simply to the circumstances of their birth, they are not allowed by law to know names of blood relatives, and in many cases, any pertinent medical information. For some, this poses only a slight inconvenience. But for many, many more, it feels as though their birth is considered shameful, and that they are being expected to "pretend" that they arrived in their adoptive families by an actual stork.
January 1, 2016, the laws in Colorado---along with many other states---stated that all adoptees were not allowed to have access to their Original Birth Certificate (OBC). Colorado's laws were even more detailed, only allowing adoptees born during certain years to access their information. If you were born during the years 1949-1951 OR 1967-1999, you were completely out of luck. No real reasoning. Apparently only people that were born during those intervening years were better equipped to handle the truth.
Fortunately some legislator recognized the utter nonsense of the law and it was finally amended to allow ALL Colorado adoptees to receive their OBC. On January 2nd, 2016, I mailed my notarized form and payment off, and waited anxiously for the information I had been searching for. And on January 30, 2016, I received a thick envelope that included a blurry copy of my OBC, and the name of the woman who I had once exchanged "anonymous" letters with. I cried for 30 minutes after staring at it.
My birthmother's name is Mary.
It's a very simple piece of information, but with that name, my entire world opened up more than I ever dreamed it would. I spent the next few weeks scouring the internet for pictures, names, and anything else I could find. I stayed up late at night filling out family trees. I learned information about my bloodlines that was previously a complete dead end to me.
I didn't know it at that moment, but my family was getting ready to expand.
Your description of how it feels to not have access to your birth information is perfect! More people need to understand that perspective!
I'm interested to hear the rest of your story, too. :)