Saturday, July 14, 2007

Letter from Austin

I got a letter from the Texas Department of State Health Services a couple of days ago, letting me know that I've been put into their adoption registry database and that no matches have been found there. That's no surprise--these registries match people maybe 10% of the time. Thus, a few weeks ago I petitioned the court for the unsealing of my adoption records. It's ridiculous to think that the basic information about my birth is some kind of state secret, and, as I previously wrote, I have some interest in knowing about my genetic makeup. Anyhow, the letter discusses possible reasons for people deciding not to search or put their names into the voluntary registry. The final sentence was a little harsh--"Last, to quell any probing questions from older siblings, the birth parents may have told them that their brother or sister died at birth." Ouch! Apart from the paragraph containing the quoted sentence, my interactions with that agency have been pleasant.

Off-putting language aside, Texas has made a fair amount of information available to the public, and much of it is available online. Unfortunately, I am listed under my adopted name in both the annual birth book and the abstract of births, so I'll either need to have records unsealed or see about paying a private detective service. After I struck out in the available records with my own information, I ran my former sister's information through, and, within an hour, I had a pretty full family tree for her. If I really wanted to mess with her, I'd draw it up all nice and send it to her. She was convinced, based on nothing, that she had met her birth mom 10-15 years ago--a woman who was as nutty as she is. Actually, it was a different gal entirely.


Sideon said...

I'm upset my father wasn't Howard Hughes, but thankful it wasn't Ted Bundy.

Good luck on your search, Randy. Cliché to say it, but the waiting is really the hardest part.

Be well.

Ann said...

A friend of mine signed up with a search service on a whim and within a week they had found her birth mother. She was a little freaked out, because it was just a whim and she hadn't really thought it through.

Anonymous said...

Not to suggest anything untoward, but I imagine that you've got access to a bevy of information through WL and L-N.

- craig

Anonymous said...

I have used WL to find people before, but only after checking whatever box it is to make clear that I'm not tracking someone down for law enforcement or a political campaign. I've pretty much forgotten how to use Lexis/Nexis. The big problem in my situation is that the records are sealed. Evidently there are ways around that, but I'm going to wait until I hear back from the state court before pursuing them.