Sally Ann’s birth mother was 32 years old in 1968. Prior to her birth, Sally Ann’s mother had a gall bladder operation. She also had her appendix removed during her pregnancy with Sally Ann. At the time of Sally Ann’s birth her maternal grandmother was living. Her mother also had a sister and a brother that were also living.
Sally Ann has twin sisters and a brother. About 1964 her brother has convulsions and was placed on phenobarbital. The doctor attributed his convulsions to nerves. The relationship between the additional children and Sally Ann is currently unknown - they may be full siblings or they may be half siblings.
Sally Ann’s father is recorded with the designation punitive. The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys defines “A putative father is generally a man whose legal relationship to a child has not been established, but claims to be the father or who is alleged to be the father to a child who is born to a woman to whom he is not married at the time of the child’s birth.” Her paternal grandfather and grandmother were living when she was born.
Those are the only clues that Sally Ann has about her birth family. The only details she is able to obtain from the State of New York are known as Non-Identifying Information. As defined by the New York State Department of Public Health Non-Identifying Information: "If you are adopted you can get non-identifying information about your birth parents even if they do not register with the Adoption Registry or consent to sharing. This includes their general appearance, religion, ethnicity, race, education, occupation, etc; and the name of the agency that arranged the adoption, and the facts and circumstances relating to the nature and cause of the adoption."
Even though Sally Ann's original birth certificate is on file with the State of New York - the records are sealed and not accessible to her. The laws in New York are best explained in this except from Free Adoption Records: Open the Secrets in New York – part 1:
"In 1935, the then acting NY Governor Lehman, an adoptive father, signed a bill making NY a sealed record state. His children were adopted from the most infamous baby thief of them all, Georgia Tann and it is not a farfetched thought to think of New York States adoption records becoming closed upon her request ala quid pro quo.
As a portion of the estimated 6 million adoptees, our New York adoptees have two “official” birth certificates. The original one, which truthfully states the information about their physical birth, including their original names, their natural parents names, the hospital, doctor, date, time and weight, becomes forever sealed under a court of law when their adoption is finalized. At that point, the new adoptive parents are issued a new amended birth certificate which might or might not state the real birth information such as date, time, hospital and weight, and replaces the natural parents names with the adoptive parents names “as if” the child was born to them. The name of the child is also reborn and all identity from the point of finalization on is replaced. The OBC is forever more sealed under Domestic Relations law and never to be seen in the light of day by anyone. No one has access to it but the clerks that hold the keys and they are sworn to the subjective secrecy. The adoptive parents have no rights to it, not the adoptee, and not the original parents whose names are also listed. This 75 year old law continues to frustrate and mystify all to this day."
Sally Ann was adopted by a family after spending her first five months at a foster home in Mayville, Chautauqua County, New York. The foster home was managed by a married couple. At one point there were four other children living in the same home with Sally Ann. The adopted family named her Julie. Julie has spent over 20 years searching for her birth family. This is her journey.
|Julie as a child|