Who am I? U.S. adoptees finally winning birth certificate rights

Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:52am EDT
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By Richard Weizel

MILFORD Conn. (Reuters) - Marco Vasi was adopted nearly 28 years ago and as an only child is still very close to the Portland, Connecticut, parents who raised him.

But that hasn't stopped the 27-year-old nursing school student from wondering every time he looks in the mirror where he got those piercing blue eyes, dark brown hair and stocky athletic build.

Like millions of adoptees in the United States, Vasi has no legal access to his original birth certificate, and physical characteristics are just some of the questions about his roots that he cannot answer.

But that will change in July 2015 under a law signed last week by Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy that supporters hope will help spur changes nationwide.

About 24,000 adults adopted in Connecticut who were born after October 1983 – when birth parents' surrendering papers started including language that their offspring may someday contact them - will gain access to their birth certificates upon turning 18.

All Vasi was told by the adoption agency that placed him in 1987 is that his birth parents were in high school when he was born, and that he is of French ancestry.

"Being trained in the medical field I realize how vital it is to know my medical background," said Vasi. "But it's much more than that. There is always a feeling something is missing, creating a major gap in my identity."

Beyond that, Vasi added “this is one of the most unknown civil rights issues in our country. Sealing our birth records denies answers to the most basic human questions – who am I and where did I come from?”   Continued...