(Chicago, IL) – Beginning in November, a new Illinois law will allow an estimated 250,000 Illinois-born adoptees to request non-certified copies of their original birth certificate from the state, and a local post-adoption group today announced that it is gearing up to help adoptees navigate the process.
According to the head of the Chicago-based White Oak Foundation, adoptees born on or after January 1, 1946, may apply for their original birth certificates starting November 15, 2011, and the organization is getting ready to help applicants.
“Starting on November 15th, the new law will allow adopted adults to apply for a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate that will help them learn more about their birth families,” said Melisha Mitchell, the non-profit’s executive director. “We are planning to help people walk through the application process.
A free seminar organized by the White Oak Foundation will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2011 to provide adoptees with application assistance and on possible next steps once they’ve received non-certified copies of their original birth certificates.
Adoptees born before 1946 have had access to their original birth certificates since May of 2010.
The law’s sponsor, State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), an adoptee, will be the keynote speaker at the seminar.
“On November 15, I will be able to mail my application and $15 check to the state’s office of Vital Records and get a copy of my original birth certificate within six months,” said Feigenholtz.
“And on that document will be the name of the woman who gave birth to me 53 years ago. I can’t wait to hold it in my hand,” Feigenholtz added.
Aimed specifically at adult adopted persons, the 2-hour symposium will provide a “roadmap” to securing a non-certified copy of an original birth certificate under the new law as well as review the search and reunion options available to adoptees and their surviving relatives through the White Oak Foundation and state agencies.
The seminar will be held at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital, 836 West Wellington Avenue, 7th Floor, Clarke Auditorium, Chicago, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
For additional information or to register for the seminar (seating will be limited), please call 312-666-5721 or e-mail Melisha Mitchell at [email protected] or visit www.whiteoakfoundation.org.