Original Birth Certificate

A few months ago I shared with you some news about the state of Illinois instituting a new law that would allow adoptees to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate.  Today, I came across this story  about Governor Pat Quinn presenting a 73-year-old adoptee a copy of his original birth certificate.

I can’t help but wonder what Joel Chrastka is thinking about this evening. Now he knows the names of his birth parents; he knows the name that he was given at birth. I don’t know what a birth certificates from 73 years ago would look like, but it might contain the occupation of his birth parents, where they lived, their ages, and other information that Mr. Chrastka had no idea about until today.

If Mr. Chrastka has children and grandchildren now they too have the information they need to fill in the gaps in their own family tree. This simple piece of paper has given future generations a tie to their ancestors. What could be wrong with that?


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.

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