On March 28, 2008 Adoption Reform Illinois issued a letter to members of the Illinois House of Representatives and the media. The letter was signed by Illinois Open director Anita Field Walker, Green Ribbons Illinois representative Triona Guidry and 27 prominent adoption reform leaders urging the defeat of HB 4623, a so-called records access bill which would open records to some Illinois adoptees while trapping many in the lucrative Illinois Adoption Registry. (More names may be added to the protest at a later date.) Background leading to this letter can be found in several Bastardette entries for February and March 2008. Later tonight I will post Anita Field’s personal comments about HB 4623 and tomorrow I will publish Melisha Mitchell’s claims regarding the bill and opponents. Additional commentary will follow in the days and weeks to come.



Attn: News Director March 28, 2008

For Immediate Release Contact: Triona Guidry

Adoption Reform Coalition Urges: Reject HB 4623

We, the undersigned members of the adoption community, urge legislators to oppose Illinois House Bill 4623. As written, this bill offers some adopted adults the chance to access their original birth certificates, while banning others from accessing theirs.

Illinois adoptees should be treated the same as non-adopted Illinoisans who face no birth certificate access restrictions. We urge legislators to reject the current compromise language of this flawed bill, and to create a new bill that will restore the civil right, rescinded in 1945, of all Illinois adopted adults to access their original birth certificates without bureaucratic restraint or third party interference.

This bill is merely a convoluted extension of the existing mandatory intermediary system. It turns equal access to adoptees‘ public records into a question of search and reunion, instead of addressing the civil right of all persons to access their original birth certificates.

Our organizations are united in our concern that the amended bill was not the bill that was posted for weeks on the Illinois legislative web site. This amended bill was not available online until March 13, 2008, the day the bill passed through committee, making it impossible to present testimony.

“For The Records: Restoring A Right To Adult Adoptees,” a comprehensive study published by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, examines the issue:

Access to one’s own birth certificate is not a favor to some, but a right for all.

Anita Walker Field
Illinois Open
[email protected]

Triona Guidry
Green Ribbon Campaign for Open Records
[email protected]

The attached PDF gives background material about the bill to help your reporter in preparing an article. (NOTE: I’m having with the URL to this. I will post it later…Bastardette)

The Hon. Janet Allen
New Hampshire House of Representatives

Marley Greiner
Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization

Ann Wilmer
Green Ribbon Campaign for Open Records

Bonnie Pazdan Pierce Spinazze
Co-Founder: Illinois Coalition for Truth in Adoption

Mary L. Fuller
Founder, FamAdopt
Illinois Born and Adopted

Trish Maskew
Linh Song, MSW
Executive Director
Ethica, Inc.

Ron Morgan
Kali Coultas
Day For Adoptee Rights

Sandy White Hawk
Executive Director
First Nations Orphan Association

Melissa Holub, Ph.D.
Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology

Betty Jean Lifton, Ph.D.
Adoption Counselor
Author, Journey of the Adopted Self:
A Quest for Wholen

Carol Schaefer
The Other Mother:
A Woman’s Love for the Child She Gave Up for Adoption

Sally Howard
Finding Me In A Paper Bag

Sandra K. Musser
I Would Have Searched Forever

Rick Ouston
Finding Family

Donna Montalbano
Host: Speaking of Adoption

Lindsay Woodside
Missouri Adult Adoptee Rights Coalition (MAARC)
Missouri Open

Pat Marler
Oklahomans for Adoption Reform and Honesty

Betsie Norris
Founder/Executive Director
Adoption Network Cleveland

Sheila Ganz
Bay Area Birthmothers
Unlocking the Heart of Adoption

Erik L. Smith
Paralegal, natural parent advocate, author

Mary Anne Cohen
CUB member since 1976

Peter Christian Mose
Illinois Born and Adopted
Arts Educator

Gerald Bailey
Illinois Adoptee
Retired Educator

Msgr. John W. Sweeley, Th.D.
Adoptee and Adoptive Father
Adoptee Rights Activist
Author of the forthcoming
Rights, Liberties, and Social Justice

David Kruchkow
Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform


  1. Hi, I am not sure quite where to post so i hope this gets where it needs to be! ISO my dad Kenyon Richard Bennett (went by mostly, Ken Bennett)
    Well first does your state have a birth index, then or adoption index> Registry?
    Dad was born on 01/24/1910 where and fam. is what I am searching for, then he was adopted by whom and where is the second thing, I am searching for…
    His info: name (Adopted): Kenyon Richard Bennett, was adopted by a strict German couple name and state unknown… He did receive his SS # in 1951 in Ill.
    There was a sm. named movie star (I think) was his birth mom, names associated with her were June, Leotia… Beinke or Bienke were associated with him??? He was smart and secretive, why I don’t know. Married 4 times, first wife’s name unk, but she was an aerialist hung by her teeth in a circus, second wife my mom was Lillian Annette. Then he married a Pat last name unknown, then he married a Martha Webb who he was married to till he passed, his DOD was 01/12/1972 in Ormand Bch. FL. the funeral and cremation and obit all were from Woodward Funeral Home in Ormond Bch. FL. they now say they don’t have any info. anymore on him I do have the Obit. death cert # and Vital Stat. says he wasn’t born in FL…. I just can’t find where he was born and adop. to or by, or states…..
    Dad was the original Dr. I.Q. of early radio, a baseball announcer, had a station called (ready kill o watt) in Idaho, was a Moose Member, he also worked in radio broadcasts in St. Louis, in his last years he worked as a manufacturing Representative with Murray Sales of Atlanta, Georgia. His obit. says he came from Charlotte, North Carolina but he married my mom in Utah, Martha and Pat in FL.
    Dad was well known for his intelligence he designed the paper hosp. and Dr. gowns they still use today, place mats and napkins in all airlines, restaurants, hospitals…. He was a trav. salesman and I do know he traveled every state, as he used to bring me a plate from every state he went to I am the eldest of 5 kids… none of us know much about him but I do remember him telling me he was adopted by a strick German couple… I do have his Death Cert. numbers, C1520448-72-007877, and his SS number, 318-10-3453. If any of this sounds familiar to anyone please contact me. Kathryn Bennett email [email protected].
    I did get his death cert. it said where he dies and he was from FL. I wrote to Vital Stat. They denied it, I have a picture that was in the paper his Obit., I tried numerous times calling them and they denied having any info. any more (back in 1972) I went to the funeral and my brother and I signed the cremation papers and my brother picked up the ashes a fewdays later, and still has him and our moms ashes, moms name was Lillian Annette Smith neither were Morman, Kenyon Richard Bennett were married in Ogden Utah, none on him is in the LDS records>>went to the SS office and they showed me there was not a thing on him… I sent for a numendent on him. Rec. it and it had all different dates on it not pertaining to dad and most of the info. was after he had passed??? So that was that???
    Dad was not in the military, and have run him for wants and warrents all through the states, but couldn’t find a Dr. lic. on him either, so no licence but he has a clean record, dad was a w/male… When he passed he was married to a Martha Webb Bennett she was from Popular Bluff Missouri has a son that was a Dr. Rod Webb, there at the time… Dad usually went by Ken Bennett.
    ISO my dad, named Kenyon Richard Bennett DOB– 01/24/1910 Place / state unknown
    DOD passed in Ormond Bch. FL. on 01/12/1972 Death cert # 72-007877
    he was creamated on 01/19/1972 at Woodward Funeral Home in Ormond Bch. FL. But they now have no record of it.. dad was adopted when I don’t know at the age is a mystery, heard he was born in other states but they all say no also all I know is I remember him telling me he was adopted by a strick german couple, and dad named a younger sister Leotia he said it was for his mom it was her name I don’t know if it was his birth or adopted name.. Vital stats says they have no record, can’t find immig. records on him, SS sent me a numendent with dates (after) dad passed didn’t make sense to me.. But now I don’t know who to go to.. If any one can help or it sounds familiar to anyone please e/m me thank you …. w/m died age 61 of a heart attack…
    Names?- Beinke: Bienke Leotia: (Bennett Kenyon Richard)

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