The Norman Transcript

Breaking News


March 4, 2013

Oklahoma adoptee speaks out for change in law

NORMAN — At age 36, Norman resident Kevin Lewis knows he will take action to be screened for a genetically inheritable form of cancer. His biological father died from cancer in 2005, and that puts him in a high-risk category.

Taking precautions based on medical history is not unusual. What is unusual is that Lewis only learned this important information last year. Lewis, like many Oklahomans who were adopted, did not have the right to his own birth records or medical history under state law. Proposed legislation this session could change that.

House Bill 1118, as authored by Rep. Wade Rousselot, D-Wagoner, creates the Oklahoma Truth in Adoption Act which, beginning July 1, 2014, would allow adult adoptees born in Oklahoma or their descendants to obtain a noncertified copy of their original birth certificates.

The measure would allow a biological parent to file a contact preference form accompanied by an updated medical and social history with the Registrar of Vital Statistics to be made available to the adult adoptee.

“I’d always known I was adopted,” Lewis said. “As a little kid, I had two birthdays, my actual birthday and a special day. I think that was, all things considered, the true genius of my adopted parents.”

He now knows this life-saving medical information about his biological father’s cancer because his birth mother, Jackie Dawes, tracked him down at great time and expense.

“She reached out to me,” he said. “I got a letter in the mail on Feb. 15 last year and my mother read it to me over the phone. I had to pull off the road. I started uncontrollably crying.”

Hearing from his biological mother after all those years was a dream come true.

“Every day after that and probably six months after that, I felt like I was in a movie. It felt very surreal,” he said. “Not every day is always wine and roses, there are days as you replay your entire life in your mind and you think about the way that you were and you understand why you are the way you are.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Oklahoma City Memorial Bombing museum gets tech boost

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A memorial and museum built to remember the worst act of domestic terrorism on American soil is in the midst of a $7 million upgrade so it can better portray how different the world was when Timothy McVeigh blew up the ...

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Is Okla. backing off accountability?

    One by one, K-12 education reforms passed in previous years by Oklahoma lawmakers are being targeted for weakening or repeal....

    April 19, 2014

  • Hope Trunk travels to Norman

    The rustle of paper could be heard as students meticulously folded one crane, then another and another Friday afternoon. After reading the inspiring story, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” Cleveland Elementary School fifth graders ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Selling Norman is love at first sight

    Meeting planners who make a site visit to Norman tend to fall in love, convention and hospitality experts said this week. The staff of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau are commissioned with the job of promoting tourism and selling ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Green House is a homegrown business

    Nancy Muenzler was a banker in her previous life. That was before the Green House, 1708 SW 24th Street, became her passion....

    April 20, 2014

  • Conan’s martial arts moves downtown

    Conan’s Kickboxing, Karate, Boxing, Jujitsu, MMA Academy is celebrating the grand opening of a new facility right in the heart of downtown Norman at 310 E. Main St. Founded in 1996 by four-time World Kickboxing Champion Scott “Conan” ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Chamber welcomes new members

    The Norman Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all our sales volunteers and welcome our new Chamber members from our recent spring membership drive.  Suzanne McAuley was this year’s membership drive chair....

    April 20, 2014

  • It’s easier than ever to be your own movie producer

    Things have certainly come a long way since 1988, when the first stand-alone audio CD recorders outside of CD manufacturing plants started showing up. At that time, do-it-yourself CDs were the province of the rich and famous, as the ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Congressman Cole reflects on recovery

    Congressman Tom Cole’s home in Moore was not hit by the May 20 tornado but it came pretty close. His wife has made it clear she wants a saferoom, he said. In a visit to the Transcript on Friday afternoon, Cole talked about tornado ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Gaylord to get $35,000 grant for poverty project

    A team from Gaylord College is among the first winners in a national competition to fund innovative news experiments that serve communities, the Online News Association has announced....

    April 19, 2014