Adoption info searches not often fruitful

I was 8 or 9 years old when my brother, Don, told me that I was adopted.
The evidence was irrefutable: I was the only child in the family to have freckles, I was the only one (of six) who had to wear glasses at an early age and I didn’t have a baby book.
I would say the absence of the baby book was the main proof of my birth outside the family. Also, Mom couldn’t put her hands on my birth certificate.
When one adds up all the "facts," there are several good reasons why I believed what my older brother had told me.
Taken individually, the absence of a baby book and birth certificate were good enough for me, but add in the freckles (over 864 on my face alone) and the evidence mounts up.
Once I accepted the fact that I was in the family by the sufferance of my siblings, I participated wholeheartedly with the vision of Cinderella, alive and well in my imagination.
I remember mom looking at me kind of funny one evening when I asked for permission to join the family for supper. My place was at the head of the table, directly opposite my father, and I was also willing to give that up to any of the legitimate children if they wanted it.
I didn’t go to Mom or Dad and ask about my family status – why bring up a family secret. I do remember asking Mom about my baby book, and her reply that after six children she couldn’t remember whether I had one or not. But if I had one, it was packed away, she said.
I think my adventure into being adopted lasted a week and a half. I participated fully accepted my "new" position in the family, asking permission for this and for that, letting my brother, Don, boss me around and generally enjoying the whole depressing experience.
Then, my older sister, Sandy, burst my bubble by telling me that I couldn’t be adopted because poor people weren’t allowed to adopt children.
Over the years I have been contacted by many people looking for information that might lead to identification of their birth mother. In only one instance was I able to help a woman locate her parents.
In celebration of her 75th birthday, a party was given in her honor, and some of her old family friends were invited. One of the guests was a spry 84-year-old woman,  who turned to the guest of honor and said, “Why, of course, Ethel, you know you were adopted.”
Ethel didn’t know, and had never been told this secret.
Because of her advanced years and the fact that anyone who had been involved in the adoption was probably dead, the court opened the records. This led her to search in Fayette County, where, aided by her birth certificate, I was able to provide her with family history information for both her birth mother and birth father.
Help is finally here for any adult who was surrendered or adopted on or after Jan. 1, 1946, in Illinois under the amended Illinois Adoption Act (750 ILCS-50). Under this act, any adult (age 21 and up)  who was surrendered or adopted, can request a non-certified copy of their original Illinois birth certificate, which typically includes the birth parents’ name(s), age(s) and place(s) of birth. The fee is $15.
Also, parents who either surrendered a child or gave a child up for adoption can request that their identity not be given. The amended act allows the birth parent to complete a "Birth Parent Preference Form" questionnaire, through which they can control what information is released.
Forms are available online at http://www/idph.state.il.us/vitalrecords/vital/noncertified.htm or by calling the Illinois Adoption Registry at 877-323-5299.

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