On July 1, I received a court order from the Michigan 3rd Circuit Court that compells Michigan to release my birth certificate after refusing to release it, repeatedly, over nearly the last three decades. The state could have always released my original birth record, and in fact had consent documents signed by my birth mother to do that as far back as 1989. Instead of demonstrating leadership and prudent judgment, state records managers dug in, promoting ongoing discrimination against all adoptees on the basis of their status at birth as illegitimate and adopted children. This remains one of the least reported forms of state-sanctioned discrimination in the United State, which the media continue to ignore. One likely reason is historic and deeply archetypal attitudes to bastards a–a group that has historically experienced more than double the levels of infant mortality and death than children deemed “legitimate.”
Not surprisingly, Vital Records just called me at home on July 8, 2016, expressing confusion about the court order and what record it was asking for. Let us be clear, the court order is crystal clear that my original birth record, with my original birth name of Scott Douglas Owens, was ordered released by the court. And this was made abundantly clear in my cover letter and supporting documents, including a clear instruction in a court document telling the state to release a copy of the sealed record. Supposedly Vital Records wasn’t clear which of my birth records, for my two names (original birth name of Scott Douglas Owens and Martin Rudolf Brueggemann, my former legal name for which I have an “amended birth certificate”), the court said should be released. It may be a final delaying tactic, given the MDHHS’ actions to deny me my original identity document.
So, will they honor the court order, or will they try a delay or legal evasion? I of course let the court know this development too immediately after the call from the Vital Records staffer. I will be updating my web page and the court of the state’s actions, tactics, and communications until the court order is fulfilled.