New Video: Adoptee Access to Original Birth Certificates

Posted on March 28th, 2013 by David R. Ford

In an earlier post I talked about the need to give adoptees access to their “Original Birth Certificates” — the ones with their birth parents’ names on them.  Despite some movement toward granting access, three-quarters of all U.S. states still prohibit adoptees from signing these accurate documents, giving us only the certificates that identify our adoptive parents.  My friends at Mind&Media ( have helped me produce a video on the issue:

Father’s Day Can Be a Strange Time for Adoptees

Posted on June 3rd, 2011 by David R. Ford

Father’s Day can be a strange time for adopted kids.  Even those of us who were raised by wonderful adoptive parents may still harbor strong feelings—even if it’s just curiosity—about our unseen birth fathers.  In my case I found my birth mother later in life and had a long, complicated relationship with her.  And yet her husband of more than 50 years (who was my biological father) steadfastly refused to have any contact with me or the other three children they gave up for adoption.  He died without giving us the chance to understand him, and the shadow that hangs permanently over him leaves me with bittersweet thoughts on Father’s Day.

I Was the “Diaphragm Baby”

Posted on March 28th, 2011 by David R. Ford

The last time I saw my birth mother before she died, we talked about the circumstances of my birth. I was the last of the four children she had given up for adoption.  She candidly described the various methods she and our birth father had used to avoid all of those unwanted pregnancies.  My birth mother laughed as she told me that I was the “Diaphragm Baby.” I tried to laugh along with her, saying that the sperm that made me must have been a tough guy.  But I thought to myself how lucky I was that she hadn’t been very skilled at using her diaphragm.

A Sad Story

Posted on March 23rd, 2011 by David R. Ford

One of the great things about writing Blind in One Eye: A Story About Seeing the Possibilities, or just talking to people about finding my birth family, is that the intimacy and emotion of it seems to encourage people to tell me their stories.  Often the stories relate to adoption, but sometimes they’re about variations on the theme of “family secrets.”  I’ve learned not to be too surprised by the reactions I get to my story, and have learned much about the complexities of families.

“Adopted” is Not a Good Answer to a Doctor’s Request for Your Medical History

Posted on March 21st, 2011 by David R. Ford

I spent forty years scribbling the word “adopted” across the medical history form whenever I went to a new doctor.  That one word answered all of the questions, but didn’t tell the doctor anything.  At least it saved me time, not having to check the boxes that would have said whether either of my birth parents had heart problems, diabetes and the like.  And every time I faced those unanswerable questions, the process left me wondering how much what I didn’t know was affecting the quality of the health care I got.