Nearly 9,000 adoptees have claimed their birth certificates since Illinois fully re-opened birth records for adopted residents less than two years ago. And thousands more nationwide have come forward to claim their papers, prompting reunions between mothers and children. Illinois is now one of nine states since 1999 to re-open original birth certificates to adults adopted as children. The law's sponsor, Chicago Democratic Representative Sara Feigenholtz, says it allows everyone to have access to the truth about their birth. Adoptees also can glean crucial medical history even if they don't meet their birth mothers.
Thirty-five-year-old Maura Duffy of Chicago met her birth mother for the first time last September. She says she is thankful to her birth mother and adoptive family for all they did for her.
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