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The miraculous inflammability of adoption records/documents


Over the years, I have heard so many stories of adoptees whose adoption records/documents have been lost in a fire, I have come to wonder if there is some inherent quality to adoption records that make them ignite more easily than other documents.

Last night while surfing the internet, I ran into a Wikipedia article about audio-engineer and journalist J. Gordon Holt, whose biography contains the following statement:

Justin Gordon Holt was born on April 19, 1930 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and adopted when he was two years of age by Justin Gordon Holt (Sr.) and his wife Katherine (née Hart). His biological parents are unknown, as the records of his birth and adoption were lost in a fire. The only thing he was ever told about his biological parents was that they were "Irish musicians."

It immediately reminded me of the many stories from other adoptees related to the inflammability of their adoption records. Apart from the stories I have been told over the years, there are several references on the internet too about self-combusting adoption records:

My mother was said to be born to a young German girl , who was 17 at the time of her birth. The father was a young Indian boy , who was not liked, and was not married to the mother. Eileen ( I’m not sure of the spelling of her name), was the daughter of German immigrants who were land owners somewhere outside of Ft. Worth. All the information I have was given to my mother by the EGH. My mother had her original birth certificate, with her birth-mothers name on it until 1978, when we lost everything in a house fire. When she tried to obtain another one, she was told that all birth records were lost in a fire so she was sent a certified letter stating her birth info, minus birth-mother name. My mother passed away in 1990, but always wanted to find her mom. If it is too late, being that she is 92 or so, I would like to know as much as possible.

from: http://www.gsadoptionregistry.com/texas.html

I know that my adopted mother was an RN at the hospital where I was born in Orange, Texas, and she agreed to train new nurses in exchange for being at the top of the list to adopt a baby. I was told that all of the records of that particular hospital were destroyed in a fire. I was also told that my birth family is of Italian decent, and that I was the eighth child born to my birth mother.

from: http://www.gsadoptionregistry.com/texas.html

I know my birth mother lived in North Carolina and was sent to SC to give birth.  I think she stayed at the Greenville Rescue Mission before giving birth, however, they had a fire and all records were lost. 

from: http://www.gsadoptionregistry.com/southcarolina.html

She wanted to search, but was told (by her family I think) that all of her records were lost when the adoption agency burned down.

from: http://adoptionsfaq.com/adoption-agency/another-adoption-records-disaster-2294820.html

I am searching for my birth mother/father... She was at DC Florence Crittenton and gave birth to me Aug. 10, 1965. If anyone has any suggestions on how to possibly obtain birth records, being the FC says they were lost to fire...

from: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Florence-Crittenton-Home-Reunion-Registry/178229546088

I am interested in how one would be able to find records for births at the Beulah Home in Alberta...I have tried most avenues available in Edmonton and was told all records were lost in a fire.

from: http://forums.adoption.com/maternity-home-registry-adoption-records/161765-beulah-home-edmonton-alberta.html

Many of the records in babies' homes such as McBrides were made this way. We have access to some of these records, although many were destroyed when the homes closed. For example, it is believed that the records from Kate Cocks Babies' Home at Brighton were destroyed in a fire.

from: http://www.dfc.sa.gov.au/pub/tabId/234/itemId/888/moduleId/871/How-adoption-information-is-stored.aspx

We are not sure of my grand fathers last name before his adoption.  He told us that all the adoption records were distroyed in a fire when the orphange burnt down.

from: http://www.gsadoptionregistry.com/washington.html

Janette contacted an attorney who tried to get the adoption records but was unsuccessful because of a fire at the Courthouse...

from: http://www.firstmotherforum.com/2010/08/doubly-damned-by-adoption-turns-victim.html

It would be interesting to learn more about the miraculous inflammability of adoption/birth records, especially since some of the buildings that are claimed to have been burned down, still inexplicably seem to appear on Google Earth.

by Niels on Wednesday, 22 September 2010