Demand states release original birth certificates to adoptees as proof of U.S. citizenship.
  • Petitioning Department of Homeland Security

This petition will be delivered to:

Department of Homeland Security

Demand states release original birth certificates to adoptees as proof of U.S. citizenship.

    1. Jo Swanson
    2. Petition by

      Jo Swanson

      Marquette, MI

One class of native-born U.S. citizens has been disenfranchised of the vital statistics instruments documenting their birth - and thus proof of their citizenship. This group, those born into one family but adopted into another, has been burdened with an 'amended,' certificate which falsifies their parentage and sometimes even changes date and/or place of birth. To compound matters, all but a few states place their authentic birth certificates in sealed files and deny their true owners access to them.

The result to adoptees is a frustrating, embarrassing, and often costly struggle to obtain something as basic to U.S. citizens as a passport so they may visit other countries. Many lose their $95 application fees when they send for a passport with their birth certificates and are refused because the filing dates on their falsified documents is more than a year after their birth. But of course their filing fee is not returned and the fee must be paid again with another attempt. When they look on the official passport website, they find these suggested documents they can provide to supplement their "delayed" birth certificate:

......documentation used to create it (preferably early public records) and
......signed by the birth attendant or lists an affidavit signed by the parents

The adoptee has access to neither the original document (his original birth certificate) used to create the delayed copy nor any document "signed by the birth attendant" or "affidavit signed by the parents."

Some adoptees have been verbally admonished and even humiliated by clerks in local passport offices, as well as in state license bureaus, when they present their state-falsified "birth" certificates. At least one has been questioned by police; another questioned by Homeland Security.

Most of these disenfranchised individuals are second, third, and even fourth generation U.S. citizens. The denial of authentic vital statics documentation of birth to this class of citizens is an egregious denial of civil rights. They must be granted full, unrestricted access to copies of these government-held personal documents, just as they are provided, for a fee, to all other U.S. citizens.

Recent signatures


    1. Drivers License Refusal

      Jo Swanson
      Petition Organizer
      Adoptee Denied Driver's License In Florida

      If you would like to know what it's like to live a day in the stigmatized life of an adult adoptee, I would like to introduce you to my friend Cynthia, or Chynna as she is known. I met her through an adoption support group, where she shared a recent experience that I would like to share with you.

    2. One Adoptee's Experience (Ignore reference to counseling)

      Jo Swanson
      Petition Organizer
      US Adoptees Have Trouble Getting Passports Due to Sealed Records Law

      Conflicts in Government Requirements Demonstrate Need for Adoptee Rights Bills Post 911, the Homeland Security Act tightened up regulations for American's obtaining passports. One of the requirements is to " Submit Evidence of U.S. Citizenship". For that, the choices for Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship are as follows: Previously issued, undamaged, and fully valid U.S.

    3. Reached 1,500 signatures
    4. Homeland Security Issues in Multiple Birth Certificates

      Jo Swanson
      Petition Organizer

      There is more to this petition than the civil rights issue for adoptees. Perhaps you have not considered the fact that the manipulation of 'birth' certificates has drawn an unacceptable curtain over your proof-of-identity requirements and rendered them ineffectual. You have accepted falsified documents, many of which have been falsified more than once. In fact, the potential exists for multiple 'birth' certificates for the same person To wit:

      1. State amends birth certificate at time of adoption - two birth certificates now on file.
      2. Adoptee is adopted a second time after failed adoption - three birth certificates.
      3. Same adoptee; parents divorce; mother remarries; stepfather adopts - four birth certificates
      4. Adoptee can't get a passport; his state changes registration date on latest 'birth' certificate to that of his original - five birth certificates.

      So you have a swill of polluted documentation and no original. And the adoptee is not allowed a copy of the original.

    5. Reached 500 signatures
    6. Additional Points to Consider

      Jo Swanson
      Petition Organizer

      Point #1
      In essence, one set of citizens - parent/s who unconditionally surrendered forever all rights to the child born to them - are, years after the fact, given unconditional control over the release of vital statistics documents to another set of citizens (adoptees). In what other instance can one U.S. citizen deny rights to another citizen by default and without due process?

      Point #2
      A child born to an illegal immigrant can get his birth certificate by applying and paying the required fee, as can a convicted murderer, a domestic terrorist, or anyone who needs such document for legal reasons. The only exception would be one of the above who also happens to be an adoptee. And this makes

      Point #3
      Since a few states permit adoptees unfettered access to original birth certificates but all other states don't, there is a 'privileged class' within the generally disenfranchised class of U.S. citizens - something the U.S. Constitution would never have permitted.

    7. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Cynthia Doolittle KENNEBUNK, ME
      • 16 days ago

      Every adult citizen should have access to his/her original birth certificate. There should be no reason why adoptees should be set aside as different from any other citizen of the United States. As a matter of fact, no one applying for a passport, wants to be treated differently. Confusion might ensue over paper work that doesn't look like yours or mine. Adoptees can have more challenges than the average citizen, physical and psychological. Why do our state governments punish this group further with another denial from Homeland Security?

    • Christine Kline SCOTTSDALE, AZ
      • about 1 month ago

      No child should have to believe they were abandon,or foster because their parents didn't want them.

    • Bee Dalton VALLEJO, CA
      • about 1 month ago

      My dad was a us GI in the Army and I should be a natural citizen instead of a naturalized one.

    • Mollie Malone BURNSVILLE, MN
      • about 1 month ago

      I'm adopted and I believe all adoptees have the right to know their heritage... negative or positive!!

    • Erin Lakin PORTLAND, OR
      • about 1 month ago

      I have been a genealogist for 22 years and still have not been able to help any of the many requests from adopted children, or relatives of an adopted out child, to reunite with their family or even to discover their cultural and ethnic roots, let alone important health and genetic information. It is heartbreaking, but more importantly is not being able to get a passport and other complications due to their birth records. Would an adopted person be able to run for president?


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.