Texas News for Adoptees

Sunday, July 23, 2017

By Pam Queen

Recently, WARM (Washington Adoption Rights Movement) had the opportunity to be involved in the opening of a client’s sealed adoption record in Texas.

Fortunately for adoptees, Texas has a fairly efficient process in place for the direct release of the sealed record plus the original birth certificate (OBC) to the adoptee or the adoptee can use a Confidential Intermediary, like WARM.

Texas does require some counseling as search/reunion is a serious and important life journey to obtain updated medical information, genetics, family history, and hopefully enjoy a long term reunion.

WARM has 40 years of experience reuniting families so we are a good resource.

As an overview, the adoptee would first query the State for the correct County, Cause (file number), and Court to petition. The form is Application for Identity for Court of Adoption.

After receiving the Court/File number information, the adoptee then completes the Application for Access to Termination and Adoption Records plus the Order Regarding Access to Termination and Adoption Records. In Washington, we use Petition and Order forms.

WARM can, as always, provide seasoned Confidential Intermediaries (CI) for the search and initial contacts.

WARM’s first Texas search/reunion involved a Washington resident. 

Dennis is in his 50s and was born/adopted in Texas. Initially, we had thought the birth Mom’s name was false but we pursued the given name until we were certain the name was indeed false. In these cases if the name is incorrect, usually the sealed record narrative is true.

After many weeks of search work, the WARM CI found the birth Mother’s actual name. Sadly, the lady was deceased but we were able to reunite Dennis with a cousin. They have met and the cousin brought pictures of the birth Mom to give to the adoptee.

Now we are searching for the birth Father but we have no name but a couple of sentences about him within the narrative. We are challenged but the skills and patience are in force to overcome the lack of a name. DNA testing has been of some help but not definitive in this search.

Our current Texas case involves one of my DNA relatives. Always room for one more in the family, especially another adoptee.

Early on I determined my new relative was from my birth Father’s maternal line. Defining which part of the ‘tree’ was the easy part. Shannon has an extensive narrative from her sealed record but no specific names. Generations back, families had many children, so tracing each person forward to current times is proving more of a challenge.

Easier just to file with the specific Texas court for the sealed record and original birth certificate than to grind through multiple generations and possibly miss someone.

Due to adoption affecting 25% of the population, we could miss some important clues because a branch of the tree does not follow a genetic line.

At a future date, I’ll share the outcome.

Pennsylvania News: November 3, 2017 is THE DAY for adoptees to order their original birth certificate (OBC). Indiana adoption law will change in 2018. The times, they are a-changing!

Shoreline resident Pam Queen has been involved for decades with the Washington Adoption Rights Movement.

She has written other columns for us on adoptees. See "adoption" in the Features section on the front page


Anonymous,  July 24, 2017 at 10:13 AM  

Hmm. One might believe that a person giving up a child prefers to not be contacted by that child in later years. Perhaps a child given for adoption should wait to see if the parent tries to find them?

DKH July 24, 2017 at 11:32 AM  

WARM representatives act as go-betweens for just the reasons you mention.

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