The law allowing adult adoptees in Illinois to request their original birth certificate is a year old. State records indicate 7,700 people have taken advantage, and one of them is the House sponsor of the law, State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago).

A spokesman for Feigenholtz, David Ormsby, says this is about more than a simple piece of paper: “This is all about their identity. It helps to tell them who they are and where they came from. They will learn what their original name was. They might learn what the names of both their birth parents were.”

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Another benefit, Ormsby says, is for a person to learn the family medical history.

The law does allow parents who do not want to be “found” to shield themselves, something Ormsby says has occurred in about 5 percent of the cases.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/