It flies under most people’s radars. But today marked a big day in Connecticut’s adoption community.
The state presented original birth certificates to 4 adult adoptees. They received them under a new law that requires the Department of Public Health to give adopted individuals age 18 or older whose adoptions were finalized on or after October 1, 1983 — or their adult children or grandchildren — uncertified copies of the adoptee’s original birth certificate on request.
It’s a key to an adoptee knowing his or her family medical history — and the truth about who they are.
The Westport connection — besides its importance to adoptees — is John Suggs. The RTM member works full time as a forensic genetic genealogist, specializing in helping adult adoptees, and birth parents and siblings, find each other.
The search he’s proudest of took 9 years to solve. It involved a birth mother of an abandoned 3-month old — who was now 91 years old.
Suggs found and interviewed an 85-year-old nephew of the missing birth mother. He said his aunt had “disappeared,” and after a lengthy search by her father and brother was presumed to have been murdered.
Suggs finally told the birth mother’s 91-year-old daughter that her mother had never abandoned her — she’d been taken from her. The daughter died a few months later.
Not all his searches are as dramatic. All, however, are unique — and important.
Suggs also volunteers as Westport’s representative on Access CT. The 501(c)(4) organization fights for the right of every adult adoptee born in the state to access his or her true original birth certificate.
This morning Access CT launched a social media fundraising campaign to help all Connecticut adult adoptees — not just those born after a certain date — gain access to their original birth certificates. Suggs says 43,000 Connecticut birth mothers and adult adoptees are still trying to find each other.
He’s doing all he can to help.
(For more information, click here. To contact Suggs directly, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-273-2774.)