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Not a Pretty Picture 

Editor:

I'd like to respond to the advertisement for the state adoption office's photo display of foster children ("Arts! Arcata," Feb. 12). Adoption isn't always a beautiful experience, especially for the adoptee. When the children become adults, they will be discriminated against.

I am an adult adoptee, born in the State of California in 1969. I do not have the same civil rights as non-adoptees in this country. I cannot access my original birth certificate or my sealed adoption records. My "amended" birth certificate has been falsified, showing my adopted parents as my biological parents. My original birth certificate with my true biological identity and names of biological parents was sealed when my adoption was finalized a year after I was born.

I do not have access to family medical history and cannot locate family members to give or receive organ donations, if needed. I can't fill out the "family history" section on any doctor's forms; I have to put: "N/A -- I'm adopted". This endangers my health and the health of my children.

Since 9/11, adoptees are being denied passports out of the country because their birth certificates are amended. We are being kept captive in our country just because we are adopted!

I should be able to go down to the vital records department and purchase a certified copy of my original birth certificate like non-adoptees can. My heritage, my ethnicity is being withheld from me. This is a gross injustice.

Adoptees are not second-class citizens, and should not be treated as such.

— Mara Rigge, Trinidad

*SWEET SPOT: Mara Rigge wins a Bon Boniere sundae for sending our favorite letter of the week.*

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