Help Adoptees Find Our Families

$3,500 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 40 people in 39 months
Andrea told me she remembered when her mother came home from the hospital and told her that Baby Ira died. I was baby Ira and I didn’t die. I was put up for adoption.

 Almost everybody knows where they come from and who they look like. This is not true for adoptees. We spend our lives wondering who we look like, who our birth parents were, and why they gave us up? We don’t even get to know what hospital we were born in. In most places, adoptees are denied access to their original birth certificates. These are not just pieces of paper – they open doors to a sense of identity, history and legacy.

In 1937, adoptions records in Washington, D.C. were sealed to "protect the interests of children.” In practice, however, the Courts opted to protect the abstract concept of confidentiality made at the time of relinquishment. How can it be in anyone’s interest not to know who they truly are?

In 2014, I petitioned the Court to unseal my records and give me my original birth certificate. After the lower Court said no, I appealed to the D.C. Court of Appeals – the equivalent of our State Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals now is considering changing the Court’s practice after 78 years. All indications suggest that the Court will reinterpret its practice to favor adult adoptees in accordance with the law. If it rules in my favor, a clear path to accessing records will be established for thousands of people. But there is more work to do: more lawyering, helping others, and getting the word out.

This GoFundMe campaign will finance three things:

1.     Legal Fees to finish the case;

2.     Templates and Guidance for adult adoptees seeking their records; and

3.     Publicity to spread the word.

Last year at the age of 50, after the Court of Appeals agreed to hear my case, an investigator amazingly found the identities of my birth families. My birth mother and father were deceased, but I have met their children. These are the first people I’ve ever met who I’m genetically related to. They have shared stories and photos of our mother and father, and have received me warmly. And when Andrea, my new sister, told me I was named, everything inside shifted and I came to understand that I was never forgotten.

I was lucky. Thousands of others still don’t know their origins and have no legal recourse. I continued with my case in hopes that it would change the status quo for everyone. A decision is expected by year’s end, and I will update this page as events unfold. This is an important cause and I would be most grateful for your contribution.
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Dear Friends and Supporters,

I am excited to report that, with your help, the DC Court of Appeals overturned the lower court's outright denial of granting me access to my adoption records. It is a very big deal for the Court of Appeals to overturn any decision, and it affirms that there was some injustice in how my case was handled. (The link to the decision is below.)

With that said, the Court of Appeals did not grant me access. The three judge panel sent it back to the lower court for a "do-over" essentially instructing the next judge to take into consideration everything the first judge ignored. So the next step is we go back and get a fair hearing with the hope that the new judge will see things differently and open my records. If that happens, then the precedent I've been looking for could be set and others may be able to more easily gain access to their records. But for now this is far from done.

So while it's not a complete victory, it is a HUGE deal that the Court of Appeals overturned the previous decision and provided a path to justice.

It is amazing to me that I raised exactly the amount of money I needed to help cover some legal fees, and the outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming. I am filled with humility and gratitude, and thank everyone from the bottom of my heart.

With great love, Danny

http://www.dccourts.gov/internet/documents/14-FS-1076.pdf
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In 2014, I petitioned the Court to unseal my adoption records and give me my original birth certificate. After the lower Court said no, I appealed to the D.C. Court of Appeals – the equivalent of our State Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals now is considering changing the Court’s practice after 78 years. The oral argument has been scheduled for December 10 - finally my day in court! Nervous and excited at the same time. Thanks to everyone who has supported and encouraged me in this effort. I'll keep you posted!
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Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far! Others, please take a look at this and contribute if you can, and/or share with your friends. I'd be most grateful!
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$3,500 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 40 people in 39 months
Created September 16, 2015
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GL
$24
Gregory Luce
32 months ago

Good luck with this. I'm pulling for you and may ride on your coattails in DC if you are successful. Huge deal to get the remand on those specific issues!

$25
Anonymous
33 months ago
$25
Anonymous
37 months ago
$30
Anonymous
37 months ago
$25
Anonymous
37 months ago
$40
Anonymous
37 months ago
AP
$25
Alfredo Pelicci
37 months ago (Monthly Donation)
LR
$25
Laurel Radow
38 months ago

I wish you success.

$50
Phill Botham
38 months ago

kisses!

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