When second parent adoption became legal in Oregon I was 16. My parents and I jumped at the chance to be legally recognized as a whole family. Within that process, we had the chance to change my name. Since I had always gone by my middle name, Tobi, and never liked my first name, we decided to legally drop that first name.
Now I find myself needing proof of that name change, and after updating my birth certificate, the only proof in existence is the adoption papers. But when I went down to the court archive to pick up a copy, I was told that they were confidential -- only the adoptive parents or their lawyer can access them. Apparently, being the one who was adopted wasn't enough!
It's a bit insulting to be told that you're not worthy of seeing your own adoption papers, but it's even more perplexing when we're talking about a second parent adoption. My parents never changed, only their legal status did. And even if they had, in a second parent adoption, no one loses custody, only one person gains it. What could possibly be in those papers that the adoptee wouldn't already know?
I'm lucky that I'm on good terms with my parents, lucky that they still live in town, and lucky that one of them can take off work between 9-12 or 1-4 to pick up the papers. But this confidentiality law seems ridiculous, especially when I think back to the requirement to publicly post my intention to change my legal sex before I was allowed to do so. Somehow, that seems a bit more personal and confidential that the fact that both my parents didn't always have that legal status.