Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Check is in the Mail...

as they say. We visited the notary today and I mailed off my form requesting an original copy of my birth certificate (pre-adoption). Now comes the wait. If anything, it should fill in at least one more hole for me. I'll know my birth mother's first name. I might even find out the name of my birth father. Wouldn't that be something!

As I sat here today thinking about what this birth record might tell me, I started to wonder what OTHER information I might be able to view. I'm not up on adoption legislation in the state of Kansas, unfortunately. So I thought I would do a little searching and asking around.

I started back at the website for the Office of Vital Statistics and shot off an email to the contact name there - the "Adoption Clerk". She was very prompt in her reply. Nope. They only deal with birth records. They don't have any other types of data. She suggested I call another office within the state government and gave me a phone number. I'll file that away for later use if my internet perusal comes to naught.

The next thing I did was search on Kansas Children's Service League. Turns out they are still in business! But they have a very different mission now then they did back in the 60s. The agency is actually 113 years old! They started out as sort of the nations first "foster care" organization. Rather than putting orphans and unwanted infants into the standard, institutionalized orphanages of the time; the League created a network of clergymen and volunteers who would provide temporary homes ("boarding mothers") for kids and babies until they could be placed for adoption.

They centralized their operation in Topeka in in 1921 and continued to advocate for child welfare. By 1940 they took on the mission of ending the bootleg traffic in babies who were being sold by unsavory individuals and agencies. Private adoption became a large part of their business in the 50s and 60s. But by 1970, the birth rate had dropped so low (because of the invention of the Pill and legalized abortion) that they had to move with the times and change their mission.

Now? The state of Kansas decided to privitize their foster care system and guess who is in charge of the hundreds of thousands of kids in the "system"? KCSL! Talk about coming full circle! I hear Kansas has one of the best run foster care agencies in the nation. Nice to know someone has got it right!

The point? Oh yes. I found a contact name at the Topeka branch (they have offices all over the state now) and I sent her an email too. They handled my adoption in 1966, so it only made sense to me that I should ask them for information about my records. Right? I'm still waiting to hear back from them.

Meanwhile, it's back to the net to research adoption law.

P.S. I also registered with Adoption.com. They have a reunion database for people who are looking for birth parents and birth parents who are looking for the babies they put up. Sadly, there is no one registered in there looking for me. I'm not discouraged. Not everyone is internet savvy.

2 comments:

Gail in MN said...

Good luck!!
I just read all your comments about trying to find more info on your birth. I hope it doesn't get too complicated and frustrating.
How exciting for you. I hope your search goes quickly!

BTW, I hope your red hair color lasts longer than mine did! I loved it, but the brightness seemed to fade too fast from the gray areas. Of course, you probably have a lot fewer grays hairs than I do!

hestiahomeschool said...

I am sure that it will fill in some empty places to know where you came from, who you look like, and what kinfolk you have living.

It is only natural for your mom to feel worried and threatened. I probably would not feel so blase if Mandy's birthmother wasn't dead. But it is an important part of who you are, and you are entitled to know all you want about your life.

Wishing you hugs and love.