Hello, I am helping a friend to find his birth parents. He was born in a hospital in California in the late 60's. He has a questionnaire filled out by his birth mother, and he is also listed in the California birth registry under his birth name. The mother's maiden surname is the same as his birth surname. It is usually a first name, not a last name, and can be either female or male but is usually female.
I know that his birth mother was a college student at the time, and I'm pretty sure that I know what college she attended, but I cannot find anyone with that surname among their alumni.
So my question is - would the information in the California Birth Index have to be accurate? Or could the birth mother just make up a surname for the baby and herself, and that's what would go into the registry?
I am just starting this search, I have not asked my friend whether he has his birth certificate ... would it make sense to go to his county of birth and request a copy of it? Or would it just contain the same information that is in the California Birth Index?
Thanks for any assistance!
The California birth index is only as accurate as the information the birth mother and adoptive mother supplied -- and it will be the same as the birth certificate (unless someone made a typo). The index usually only shows the mother's maiden name with no first name, while the birth certificate shows both. It was quite common (especially in those days) for birth mother's to make up names so the name may be bogus altogether. Typically, what happens is that when a child is adopted the original birth certificate showing the actual birth mother is replaced by a secondary birth certificate showing the adoptive mother's name as the mother's maiden name, as if she actually gave birth to the child. The first birth certificate is suppressed or sealed and can only be opened by a court order. Very rarely (and depending on the circumstances of the adoption) the original birth certificate will still be "out there" but that's pretty unusual. The birth certificate your friend has is going to be the same one being presently issued, but I wouldn't hesitate to ask him/her to let you look at it. You need all the facts you can get.
You should also contact the state of CA and request non-identifying information on the birth mother. That will give you more facts to track her down.
Best of luck,,
Terri England
Search Angel
My siblings and I were all born in California. We're all listed in the online Birth Index -- and our mother's maiden name is spelled incorrectly every time. It's just a matter of one missing letter, but it's still wrong.
Not sure why that happened ... ???