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Posted on April 14th, 2011 by David R. Ford
My birth father refused to acknowledge any of the four children he gave up for adoption, even 20 years after some of us had made contact with our birth mother (who grudgingly acknowledged us and met with some of us infrequently over the years). Having never spoken with him before he died a few years ago, I can only speculate about my birth father’s negative views on an adoptee’s right to access to his or her original birth certificate–the one that lists the birth parents’ (rather than the adoptive parents’) names.
My birth father lived in very different times, when adoption seemed to be a dirty secret. More challenging still, I suppose, was his active participation in creating four children in seven years that he wouldn’t raise. Even in modern society, let alone the more straight-laced time in which he was fathering children, he would have faced scorn–and intrusive scrutiny from child welfare agencies. In the end, my birth parents were very good at keeping all those pregnancies secret, and my birth father died pretending his four unwanted children never existed.