Documentary Review: A Simple Piece of Paper

SImple_Piece_of_Paper“What happened when Illinois provided adoptees with access to their original birth certificates? An equally important question to ask is what would have happened if they’d done this sooner?”

In Jean Strauss’ documentary, A Simple Piece of Paper, the viewer is invited into the lives of several adult adoptees who, for the first time, received their original birth certificates. In the first year of enactment 8,145 Illinois adoptees received their original birth certificates. Some received birth parent names, and some were able to contact birth siblings. “For 60 years I have wanted a brother. Now I’ve got one.” Others received less direct information but like one adoptee said, “It’s still an answer.”

This documentary explores the feelings and emotions that come up when questions of, “did you think of me” or “was I born on my birthday?” are answered. For some, it was like their missing puzzle piece had been found. For others, it was a key to help guide them on their journey as an adoptee. Each story shared is unique and touching. Reunion and rejection are two common themes these adoptees encountered. They gained hope, and felt pain. One’s identity as an adoptee can feel limited. But when Illinois recognized the rights of many adoptees, the only question to ask is, “what would have happened if they’d done this sooner?”

Written by Maya Rogers-Bursen
Boston Post Adoption Resources

Quotes taken from A Simple Piece of Paper

About Maya Rogers-Bursen, LMHC, Expressive Therapist

Maya Rogers-Bursen, LMHC, ATR, Expressive Therapist, is a former clinician at Boston Post Adoption Resources.