Falsified Birth Certificates

This was the only birth certificate my dad knew as the original.  Yet another one was created when he was 8 years old when his adoptive mother re-married following a divorce.

Neither of the two certificates were “true” as to who my dad was born to.  The attending physician’s location was actually a clue but I didn’t know that until I received some additional information from the Salvation Army through whom he was adopted in El Paso Texas.

My dad’s name at birth was Arthur Martin Hempstead.  He was given his mother’s surname as she was unwed.  I believe his father, a married man, Danish immigrant and not yet a citizen never even knew of my dad’s existence.  More’s the pity – they would have gone fishing together.

We did always know he had been born in San Diego.  Ocean Beach would have been more accurate.  He was born at the Door of Hope home for unwed mothers on Voltaire walking distance from the ocean’s shore.

This falsifying the birth certificate to make it appear that an adoptee was born to someone they were not born to was common in the 1930s when each of my parents were adopted.  Actually, to my knowledge it is still common practice – though reform activists would desire that to change.

When a child is adopted, their origins are falsified, they are given a new name and the identity of their parents becomes the names of the couple who adopted them.

Can you imagine being forced to live a lie all your life ?

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