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Barend B.
Barend B., Legal Consultant
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1356
Experience:  BLC LLB (Pret) LLM (Augsburg)
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I was adopted ... searched father many years but when I did

Customer Question

I was adopted ... searched for y father for many many years but when I did I found he had passed. I found our family is from the US and our government says it was a closed adoption and there is no way I can have access to these documents. Meaning I will never get my fathers birth certificate or anything. He says NO LAWYER CAN OR COURT CAN HAVE TH DEPARTMENT CHANGE THE STATUS OF THE FILE AS ONE OF THE PARTIES ARE DECEASED.
How do I get the unabridged birth certificate of my biological father if this is what they say
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

This is a further information request so that I can provide you a proper answer to your legal question. Please continue in this same question thread.

Do you know where about in the US your bio-father was born, or where he lived when you were given up for adoption?

Do you know the adoption agency/attorney that assisted in your adoption?

Awaiting your further information.



Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Case lawWhen I logged into the system I saw profiles of lawyers from South Africa. I failed to mention that I and my father was born in South Africa but assumed it would be answered by an SA lawyer.I required an answer form a South African lawyer so I apologize for wasting your time.My situation is like this:My mother ran away from home in 1970/71 she was crying in a park and a guy asked her whats wrong one thing lead to another and he took her in ... year or so passed and she fell pregnant with my sister, a year and half later she fell pregnant with me, one day she signed documents my father gave her he said they will be legally married once she signed and she signed and few months later there was knock at the door and a women stood there claiming to be my fathers wife.She left that same day took us and ran back home. It came out later that he was in fact already married. There she meat my step dad and married him before my first birthday, they were married for about 25 years and got divorced. she has since re- married and I see her often, every weekend two or three days (like this weekend) I stay at their place but I don't see my step father, he re married too. I have changed my surname back to my birth surname of Oxley.The reason for my problem is that we have a closed adoption, my mother did not know it was closed as she was never part of the proceedings in court during our adoption.From the courts adoption file which I have bought copies of I only could find 11 pages of a statement done by my adoptive father. My Biological Mother has been divorced from my step Father and re married now for more than 9 years, I do not see my step father at all I haven't seen him for years. I know who my biological father is and have been to his grave as he passed before I could meet him. What is strange is that a small town court was used, my new birth certificate was issued 3 to 4 years prior to the adoption certificate being signed, no other documents were in the file, no social services records nothing. I asked my mother if there was a home visit from our social department she said none was done. As far as she knows it was a deal made between the clerk and my step father or something, it was a farm community and everyone knew everyone.I and my sister was told that it was a closed adoption and therefore we cannot receive our unabridged birth certificates, to prove that Avon Thomas Oxley was my father although we have a copy of her certificate where it states the father.I need the closed adoption to be opened as my father has passed and he has no rights that would be violated, hes DEAD!
I have his death certificate the original in my possession, I have photos of him I have spoken to is sister, everyone knows, I know who he is or at least was. I am so mad at this ... I can move his grave but cannot get his certificate ... I now have his surname again but cannot get his certificate .... protection from my biological father was in the first place stupid. Now the living must suffer because of my step dad making it a closed adoption, and I do not want to speak to my step father.How do I get the South African government to open the file and give me my and my fathers unabridged birth certificates.
I want this adoption rescinded or reversed or declared void and I want my father unabridged birth certificate and mine.Thank you
Michael Trevor Oxley
Expert:  Barend B. replied 1 year ago.

Good day Sir,

Where did the adoption take place, in the US or SA? It appears from your narrative that you and your biological father were born in SA. How does the US feature? Is that where you currently live or is that where the relatives of your biological father live? Who says that you can't have access to the documents of the adoption?

I look forward to your response.



Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear SirCorrect, we both were born in SA, we both live here and my father died here.
We are trying to prove our lineage back to 1633 whats missing is our proof we are the children of Avon Thomas Oxley and he was was the son of Thomas Bartle Oxley - but we are getting no where. The people at the documents office where my sister applied for her and my fathers birth and unabridged birth cert. informed us that we
" will never see your unabridged birth records in your biological fathers surname ever" ... that .... "no lawyer or court has the power to un-do a closed adoption or open the files for you to get the documents as one of the parties have been deceased and his rights would be violated"I understood that my step dad was protecting me against my BIOLOGICAL father therefore the reason for it being closed adoption... My Father passed in 1997-01-01 so he is no danger (he never was). The rights of my father would not be violated as he never instituted the closed adoption ... it was my step father whom I don't see or speak to since 8 - 9 years ago ... now I must be bound to the courts decision to uphold something I was never part off put in place by someone I don't see or have in my life. There should be a law in place that if the child passes 18 or 21 they can do what they want with the adoption file see their biological parents change their surnames ... be given the Choice or Freedom to do what they feel is right.Now we get f'd by people that are no longer part of our lives for almost a decade, i am way over 21 now (41) it should be my choice. (Even though I already have changed my surname back to Oxley - using the irregularities of the adoption and several other factors as my reasons)I will have to find a lawyer or judge or something, I don't have a lot of time left to fix this.
Thank you for your time and efforts.
Expert:  Barend B. replied 1 year ago.

Good morning,

The people at the documents office are most likely mere clerks and know little about the law. When you were adopted we did not have a constitution in place (at least not a constitution that guarantees certain human rights). In my opinion you are entitled to at least view the contents of the adoption file. You are right, you will need to consult an attorney, and the attorney will need to launch an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

Those people are wrong that a court does not have the power to open the adoption file. The decision to close the adoption file can be reviewed by a higher court, or the decision of the people at the documents office to not disclose the information you require can also be countered with an application in terms of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act. Their decision to not provide you with the information required, is an administrative act and must comply with the provisions of this Act.

I am convinced that you will be able to succeed in getting the adoption file opened. If you don't know a capable attorney, you can contact your provincial Law Society and ask for a referral or you could visit .

I wish you all the best.



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