By Stacey Patton
I am case number KC 114343 in the New Jersey foster care system, and like thousands of other adoptees — some women like me, some black like me — I will not have a right to my birth certificate unless Gov. Chris Christie signs the Adoptees Birthright Bill (A1406/S799) passed this month by the state Assembly (and the Senate in March).
Though Christie and I are set in different positions on this issue, I write this piece to show how adoption touches everybody’s lives in unexpected ways, even strangers.
A few years before I was born, my biological grandfather was brutally murdered and dumped in the Kearny swamps. The prime suspect in his gangland killing was the late mobster, Tino Fiumara, a fearsome convicted Genovese crime family captain who is also a distant relative of Christie’s. As I learned more about my biological family of origin, I discovered this odd twist of history that neither the governor nor I willed, but nonetheless ties our fate.