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Monday, November 19, 2012

What you need: Court Order Petition

Hi! I wrote about this in my memoir One Small Sacrifice but I am going to post it again.

Since it's National Adoption Awareness Month and we need our information, adoptees can petition the state court for your adoption file! You get a court order to request a copy of your adoption file! A judge has to agree to release it to you!

You have to pay for it ($75-100+) but what is in the adoption file are documents about your birth, your social worker, where you were placed in foster care, who they were, and even doctor appointments you had prior to your adoption.

What is in my adoption file:

1 - State of Wisconsin Order for Hearing and Investigation, where my adoptive parents petition in writing to adopt me: Laura Jean Thrall and the court ordered Catholic Welfare Agency of Superior, Wisconsin and the State of Wisconsin to investigate, as required by law.

2 – The letter to my parent’s lawyer from the Wisconsin State Supervisor of Adoptions, Division for Child and Youth who wrote, “According to our incomplete record, it appears this child was committed permanently to the Catholic Child Welfare Bureau and that agency placed this child in this home. If that is true, no action is necessary on the State Dept. of Public Welfare. We are sure that if our assumption is incorrect, the agency will so notify us and appropriate action of the state dept. can be taken upon receipt of the investigator’s report.” Dated June 9, 1958.
ALSO in my file, the state of Wisconsin sent a letter to the Judge in Superior, Wisc. acknowledging the date of my adoption hearing: June 24, 1958. The investigator was the Catholic Welfare Agency who had complete control of me.

3- Report: Movements of Child while Under Care: Catholic Infant Home, Foster Care in Superior (with their name and address) and Foster-Adoptive Home (DeMeyer).

4-Certificate of Baptism: First Baptism: 9-18-56 (requested by my mother Helen) and a New Baptismal Certificate was issued on 2-21-1964. Wow – Catholics get this done quick and recorded. Up on the top of the form is Legal Status: Illegitimate and Mother’s Name: Helen Thrall. My Birthplace: St. Paul, MN. In my adoption file is the signed “Certificate of Baptism, Cathedral of St. Paul,” listing my adoptive parents and my new name! It is signed by Rev. Barr and dated March 10, 1959 when in fact I had been baptized in Sept. 1956. This falsified baptismal certificate and my amended birth certificate are two fake documents made to hide my adoptee status – in case my parents decide not to tell me I am adopted.

5- Hospital Discharge Report: The Physical Record of Mother. She was admitted to the Catholic Infant Home on May 23, 1956. Her home address is in Chicago, IL. She delivered on 9-9-56. She stayed in the hospital 5 days until 9-14-56. Children living: One. (This is the proof Helen had already had a child who was also given up for adoption before me!) Delivery: Normal, spontaneous (Helen had an lml episiotomy with no complications). On 5-25-56, Helen’s blood work: Her RH factor was positive. Helen was allergic to penicillin. No Sauk Vaccine given. (I am also allergic to penicillin.) ALSO: The Child (me) Physical Report: full-term, 10 lbs., 3 oz., 21 ½ in., Head Circumference 14” and Chest Circumference 14 ½ in. I was discharged from the hospital on 9-26-1956 as a normal female infant. Social Worker: Miss Underhill.

6- Catholic Infant Home Report – Their Address, Nurse: Sister Enid, Physical Exam at Birth and Physical Exam on Discharge from Hospital to Infant Home, 2 doctors signed. Feeding: Similac every 4 hours. (Obviously no breast milk for me!)

7- Medical Exam (Infant to Two Years, Wisconsin Child Center) – Laura Jean Thrall in Foster Care, General physical: Ok with Mild eczema on face. March 12, 1957.

8- Medical Exam – July 15, 1957 – now named Tracy DeMeyer, General Development: Normal and lists all the various immunizations and vaccines I had. (My adoptive mother told me I was covered in rashes and bald on the back of my head when they got me.)

9- State of Juvenile Court, Vilas Country, Wisconsin, Parental Consent to Termination of Parental Rights, dated December 5, 1956. Miss Alverna Underhill (social worker) is the witness. "Father’s consent is not necessary In case of illegitimate child." Signed by my mother Helen Thrall.

10- Leo Block, Director of Catholic Welfare Agency appears before Judge Robert Curran on May 28, 1958, in the matter of Adoption of Laura Jean Thrall and Mr. Block consents to my adoption on this legal form. Block’s reason for consent: for the best interest of the child.

11 – Form letter: Request to the State of Minnesota Dept. of Public Welfare on April 9, 1958, states that Catholic Welfare Agency needs a copy of my birth record to be used as proof of birth to protect the interest of this child at the time of placement of adoption. Required fee enclosed $1.00. Signed Jean Johnson, Supervisor Protection Unit. Certified Photostat April 16, 1958 sent to Social Worker Miss Underhill.

12- Copy of Investigation, submitted by Catholic Welfare Agency, done March 17, 1957 through May 28, 1958 to the County Court in Wisconsin. Describes The Child (me) and Mother of Child (Helen). INFORMATION NECESSARY FOR CHANGING BIRTH CERTIFICATE in bold type. This is the story I wanted – all the details and dates.  My first months, Helen’s life, and my adoptive parents life and their desire to adopt me, was revealed on four typed pages.

This is what to expect: PAGES of legal documents, reports, letters, stories, arrangements, explanations, descriptions, maybe even a Baptismal Certificate, places and dates.

The BUREAUCRACY they created for each adoptee, all the paperwork, judges, lawyers, social workers, no wonder they don't want to change their system - it's jobs and generates billions of dollars each year!

Every adoptee needs to read their file.

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