Tag Archives: Michigan Adoption Law

State of Michigan releases my birth certificate it never had a legal right to hold

That's me holding up my original birth certificate, that shows I was a person who born in Detroit with a different name and past than the one I lived after I was adopted. This document is no longer a state secret, despite Michigan's efforts to keep it sealed in some storage area, and especially never in the hands of the human being who owns that document by birthright.

That’s me holding up my original birth certificate, that shows I was a person who born in Detroit with a different name and past than the one I lived after I was adopted. This document is no longer a state secret, despite Michigan’s efforts to keep it sealed in some storage area, and especially never in the hands of the human being who owns that document by birthright.

After decades being denied equal treament by Michigan’s “public health” officials, I finally prevailed in my test of wills with the state’s over-zealous adoption bureaucrats to secure my original birth certificate from the state of my birth. I received my copy of my original birth certificate–the document that was mine by birthright–on July 18, 2016. See my update on my adoption records request summary page.

In typical Michigan fashion and without any legal mandate, the secrecy mongers at the state marked it “SEALED” three times, just to remind me I was a lowly bastard, and not “legitimate” like all non-adoptees who are treated as persons with greater rights. Yes, dear reader, welcome to the world of adoption discrimination and paternalism, Michigan style. However, by publishing my certificate here, I am now taking away the state’s illegal and immoral assertion that my record of birth is a secret document and never meant to be touched, seen, smelled, or owned by me.

Getting my document ultimately required a court order. That was an entirely avoidable process had the state chosen to demonstrate compassion and leadership, and treat me with dignity instead of as a second-class citizen who had to be defeated at great cost. The state always had the ability to exercise discretion in its management of its duties and in accordance with law, but chose to double down on secrecy and oppose a bastard–yes, I am a bastard–who dared question the state’s power and legitimacy.

This 27-year-long effort ultimately occurred because of the state’s out-of-date and discriminatory approach toward adoptees and in managing adoption records. You can see a video of my request on my adoption web resource page. I have published a “key facts” page to summarize the issue. (See below for a detailed record of my requests and the state’s denials and replies, as well as my state Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] request.) My court order, sent to the state on July 1, 2016, finally compelled reluctant “public health” officials to release my original birth certificate. The state always had the abilitiy to release my original identity document, but they chose to deny it to me as far back as 1989. I also published a long-form essay on this journey and why this matters to anyone who cares about public health, fairness, and equality.

 

Posted in Human Rights, Uncategorized Also tagged , , , , , |

The fight for my birth certificate

Photo of Rudy Owens during phone-based court hearing on June 17, 2016. Following the hearing, the Hon. Judge Richard Dingell of the 3rd Circuit Court of MIchigan signed an order compelling the state of Michigan to release a copy of my original birth certificate--denied for decades because I am adopted.

This is a photo of me, Rudy Owens, during my court hearing by telephone on June 17, 2016. Following the hearing, the Hon. Judge Richard Dingell of the 3rd Circuit Court of MIchigan signed an order compelling the state of Michigan to release a copy of my original birth certificate–denied for decades because I am adopted.

I just published a record of my ongoing efforts to secure a copy of my original birth certificate from the State of Michigan. This should have been released 27 years ago, but still remains held in secret because of a regressive law the is really an expression of unchecked state paternalism that penalizes adoptees like myself. The Michigan 3rd Circuit Court has signed an order, effective June 17, 2016, compelling Michigan to surrender a copy of what is mine by birthright: a copy of my original birth certificate.

Posted in Human Rights Also tagged , , , , |

Adoption writing, media, and more

Fist of Equality
I just created a new page on my web site dedicated to my writings, videos, and more related to adoption. I have published a video on YouTube there as well highlighting why the State of Michigan needs to end its discrimination against me and release my original birth certificate without further delay.

Posted in Human Rights Also tagged , , , |