Who are my birth parents Dixie Lee Patton 1/28/73, Toms River NJ, help please catepatton@[REDACTED]

+3 votes
330 views

I was born 1/28/73 at Point Pleasant Boro hospital in Ocean Co NJ. I thought that Mary Catherine Kleespie and Robert Harold Patton were my parents but I just tried to get a copy of my BC and was told by Vital Stats in NJ that that info was NOT correct. They told me I needed to have a conversation with my siblings to get the truth but no one will tell me anything. Help please. My legal name now is Cate Dixie Lee Patton. 

WikiTree profile: Space:Patton_Name_Study
in Genealogy Help by
recategorized by Jillaine Smith
Cate, I don't know the answer to your question, but I can appreciate that it would be a bit shocking to get that kind of news.  That seems to me like a strange response to get from a government agency or vital records repository when someone tries to obtain a copy of his/her own birth certificate.  Was any rationale offered?  Were they not satisfied that you were who you claimed to be, or was it just that the information you provided did not all track with their records?  Was there any explanation of what sort of documentation might be necessary to obtain your birth record?  I'm also curious as to whether there is any law or written policy behind the response, or if you made the request in person, perhaps it was just a clerk winging it?

If you are certain about the date and place of birth, I think I would find a newspaper repository that may publish birth announcements, or perhaps even hospital admissions and discharges.  I would also check with the hospital to see whether they maintain any applicable records.  And I think I would visit vital records in person with whatever data I have and try to get a satisfactory explanation of what is needed to proceed.

I think you would also be a good candidate for a DNA test, but don't expect any instant gratification from it.  Good luck!
I, also, do not know the answer to your question, but I suggest you take your email address out of your post. This is an open forum that anyone can access.
Dear Cate,

    New Jersey can be difficult, especially with the long- versus short-form birth certificates.  Do you have a driver's license and if so, what proof of identification did you use to obtain it?  If you have a long term relationship with a health care professional, that person might have records in your file.

    How about the grade school or high school you attended?  Some birth record was likely used to enroll you when you first entered school. You will undoubtedly need a birth record in the future.  Good luck in your search! -NGP

I sent them copies of everything I have and it was all acceptable except my “parents” names do Not match what they have in their records. I have never had a BC with their names on it. I never thought anything of that TBH. But now I need a copy from the state to get my enhanced ID from WA and NJ said they will not give me a copy W/O the correct names. They said that they no longer issue certificates W/O parent names? Seems odd since I’m sure I’m not the only person out there that (I guess) doesn’t know who their real parents are. 

Thanks for the response. 

they said that all the docs I provided are accurate and acceptable but that my answer to who my parents are is not what they have. She then went over my siblings names with me and then suggested I have a talk with them to find out the truth. (In so many words). 

This is very strange.

I added the "adoption_angels" tag to your question because I think members of WikiTree's Adoption Angels team, which helps adoptees find their birth families, might be able to advise you.

If you can contact your siblings, it would be a good idea to try that route.

I asked my 1 sister and she said that it wasn’t her and that it “wasn’t her place”. I take that as being it’s not her place to tell me since it’s been a secret for 46 years. 

Thank you so much for getting others involved. This is A LOT to absorb. 

Good luck Cate⚘

If it was me I would be asking your sister again as it is rather important to you and not an unreasonable question to be wanting answers for.

Cheers ... Sharon.
As shocking as New Jersey's response is, it does not surprise me at all.  I had the same type of experience trying to get my birth certificate from New York.  I have a copy of my birth certificate, but need an "official" one in order to apply for a passport.  New York will not give me a copy because the spelling of my first name on it is different from the way my first name has been spelled my entire life, starting from when my parents taught it to me.

The first time I had to get my birth certificate (for a government security clearance) was when I discovered that my first name was spelled Gail on it, even though it is Gaile on every legal document I have ever had and I have never had any problem with the difference before - not even on my prior passport, which expired too long ago to renew.  I can't believe how stupid I was to have thrown it away - if I still had it, I could use that instead of a birth certificate even though it is long expired.  I was told that I would have to go through a legal name change from Gail to Gaile in order to be able to get my birth certificate.  Can anyone explain how I can get my name legally changed from something it never was to something it has always been???????
Your description of the situation and your sister's reaction leads me to think that one of your siblings (apparently not the sister who said it "wasn't her place") was your parent. If Catherine Kleespie and Robert Patton married in 1945, they could have had several children who were old enough to have had children of their own by 1973. If the parents of a new grandchild were unmarried (or their marriage collapsed around the time of the child's birth), Catherine and Robert may have chosen to raise the grandchild as their own. It's understandable that the family would have protected you from that kind of information, but at age 46 you are plenty old enough to know the truth.

2 Answers

+3 votes
Cate, Ellen's suggestions are good.  From what you have said, I take it that you have at least one sibling (presumably an older sister) who knows something relevant but says it's "not in her place."  OK, but I wonder if you have told her that you need the birth record to obtain a Real ID (which all of us will probably need), and you're not able to obtain it in NJ without knowing what names are on the birth certificate.  For this problem, it's not a matter of whether the record is correct.  That can be discussed later if she is willing.
by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (408k points)
+3 votes

Mary and Robert were married in 1945 

Mary Kleespie

    Name: Mary Kleespie
    Maiden Name: Kleespie
    Gender: Female
    Marriage Date: 1945
    Marriage Place: New Jersey, USA
    Spouse: Robert H Patton

    Source Citation

    New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; Marriage Indexes; Index Type: Bride; Year Range: 1945; Surname Range: A - Z

    by Eddie King G2G6 Pilot (583k points)
    There is a website familytreenow.com

    If you type in the last name Kleespie and New Jersey  , you get a list of Kleespie people and at the bottom other associated persons. Some listees have provided their addresses . You could write and ask if they know anything ?

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