Marion Werle <werle@...>
Many thanks to everybody who responded privately to my query about birth
certificate changes after an adoption by a step-parent, after the natural
parent has died. Apparently it is standard practice, as part of the
adoption process, for the state vital records agency to alter the birth
certificate and replace the name of the deceased parent with the
step-parent. It also happens when an adoption takes place after a divorce
(the adoption requires the consent of the other living parent, of course).
I have had responses >from people >from several different states in the U.S.
Apparently the states do not differentiate between an anonymous infant
adoption (although these days, many of these are not anonymous) and an
adoption where the child is older, and one parent has died, and did not
give the child up for adoption.
The point is, that if we as genealogists don't know that there was an
adoption, then we would think the information on the birth certificate was
accurate. The moral of the story is: genealogist beware! Even information
on a birth certificate is now suspect.
Marion Werle <email@example.com>
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