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Adoptees still seeking their origin stories

A gap in state law blocks too many from accessing their birth records.

This editorial appeared in the The Boston Globe, May 23, 2021

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Adoptees still seeking their origin stor
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The story of how former Boston city councilor Tito Jackson finally found his birth mother after 45 years is a poignant one of two people searching for each other — and of near-misses.

In 2011, Rachel Twymon went to City Hall to search for the birth certificate of “Baby Boy Twymon,” born April 11, 1975, when she was 13 years old. She couldn’t get it.

“We were in the same building at the same time,” Jackson told a legislative committee recently. “I was right upstairs.”

Jackson is among an unlucky cohort of adopted children born between July 17, 1974, and Jan. 1, 2008, who through a bizarre quirk in state law are locked out of access to their original birth certificates, which include the names of their biological parents, unless they get a court order — a cumbersome and costly process.

Excerpt from Adam Pertman, a former Boston Globe journalist and now head of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency, urged the committee to “follow the science” and the years of research on allowing access to birth records. “You are not conducting an experiment here,” Pertman added. “Millions of people have already gotten a piece of their souls back.”

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