Do I Look Like I Need Protection?
March 13, 2019
Massachusetts State House, #335,
Boston, MA 02108
Re: In Support of S.1267 and H.1892.
This is a picture of my son and me. On November 14th, 1987, I gave birth to him at Newton Wellesley Hospital.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts had decided that I needed to be “protected” from him, and due to THIRTEEN WORDS in the current law, we can walk hand and hand into the office of vital records and he will be denied access to his legal documentation of his birth.
Because thirty-one years ago, I left my home in New York and arrived in Boston. Nineteen and pregnant, I had contacted an adoption agency with a kind name in Massachusetts and they flew me into Logan Airport. I was young, struggling and had lack of emotional and financial supports. I also was naïve, doubtful and scared and so, I did what I thought was the best solution; I consented to relinquish my newborn son to adoption. I became forever a birth mother and he, through my decision, was forced to become an adoptee.
My son was born a citizen of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He was born in Newton, raised in Burlington, lives in Medford and sports a wicked Boston accent. Yet, due to a mere thirteen words in the current law, he is discriminated against. Not even because he was adopted as not all adoptees are treated equally under law in MA! Indeed, older adoptees have the right to access their documentation as will those adopted twenty years after him. His crime? Being born on the wrong dates: after July 17, 1974 and before January 1, 2008. Look at the picture again. Do I look like I need protection?
That picture is now twelve years old. Since that day - a day that is considered to be one of the greatest highlights of my life - my son and I have enjoyed a wonderful, healing relationship. I have three younger children who are also thrilled to have their brother in their lives. We do birthdays and holidays and all the “normal” things families do. Sometimes, it can almost feel like he was never gone from us, yet, still, those thirteen words continue to exist in the law and deny him access to that simple piece of paper.
Thirteen words deny the connection of my family even though our hearts, our truth, our blood, our DNA, our memories, our souls, say otherwise.
Thirteen words keep my wonderful son trapped as a second class citizen.
Your support of S.1267/H.1892.will help remove those horrible, terrible, oppressive words, “on or before July 17, 1974 or on or after January 1, 2008” .
I know, they don’t seem like such bad words. They don’t even seem like important words. They definitely are not needed words. Please, let’s get rid of them once and for all so my son and I can walk hand in hand to the Office of Vital Records and finally see, for the first time in either of our lives, that document that legally binds us. We’ll be there on opening day! With bells on. Together.
Do sign on as a co-sponsors for S.1267 and push to pass!
Claudia Corrigan D'Arcy
Mother of Gary “Max Corrigan” Gianino
Direct of Outreach and Advocacy
Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York