It's crazy to think that there's a way to find out public information about family, friends, locations. and more. I never thought of a thing until I find out you actually can. You can find a person's life story with a few clicks of a button. I know it sounds weird, but it can be very useful, inspiring, and life-changing. Public records changed my life, let me tell you why.
When I was born I was given up for adoption at birth, never meeting my biological parents, nor family. At three months old I was adopted by a beautiful infertile couple who's always dreamed of having a child of their own. I was given the biggest gift ever. I was gifted a home, family, and love. Don't get me wrong growing up my life was somewhat good, I just felt like the black sheep of the family. My mom didn't look like me at all, but my dad shared barely any features. I wanted to know who and where I truly came from.
Random thoughts came into my head all the time I could be walking in a mall and happen to walk past my brother or sister not knowing. I could go to school and never know that maybe my teacher was my own mother. I could have a playdate with my friend and not know they are my brother. Eventually, I grew restless to find the truth and to find out where and whom I came from.
First Encounter With Public Records
The first person I came to was my parents. I explained to them this missing piece of my life is eating me alive inside. As much as they would want me to know, they knew just as much as I did. They never got to see them in court because my biological parents never showed up. It's not like I can just show up to the hospital where I was born and ask who my parents are. I need to fill a tower of paperwork, which I would do, but considering the fact I've been a minor at the time, there was nothing anyone can of done for me at that time. Yeah it was disappointing, but exciting knowing one day those papers can be in my hand and my whole world would unravel, but the process would not be easy whatsoever.
A day occurred in middle school where we had to create and present a family tree for an English project. The requirements listed from birthdates, our relationship to that person, marriage records, and all that fun stuff. To help us our teacher gave us access to public record sites to find the information we couldn't receive for whatever reason. That was the day I found out bout public records and how easy they were to access just by making an account, and typing names. Seeing all these people's information I felt invasive and somewhat guilty. The site proves and shows that documents and all information given are secure, protected, and safe to access and put out there.
Knowing this I felt better and knew I was in a good spot and good care. It was also acknowledged that there is a clear difference between public records and private records. Private records are records that contain information about a particular individual. In general, records with public information are accessible to any person for inspection. Those that are non-public are not necessarily confidential but can be withheld from the public. Some things I can see like census data, property information, tax liens and judgments, criminal records, bankruptcies, and court records. Others I can't like medical history and diagnoses unless requested to access or sites that can offer contact requests.
My Own Experience With Public Records
Eventually, after all these years, I got to the age where I can request some records and purchase them. I used ancestry sites and used DNA kits to find my possible relatives. I found out that my biological mother had another child before me her name's Abby. She was born in Iowa and given up for adoption at birth and adopted as an infant just like me. I used public records to find her contact information and reached out through social media. Within an hour I got a response and we talked for hours thanks to public record sites. Not only did I discover my sister but I discovered she's my half-sister due to us sharing the same mother but different fathers.
We found her dad once again through public records, and even though the results were disappointing due to him passing away it still helped us discover our story. I'm not done though, we even found our brother Kaleb who lives in Nevada with his son, making my sister Abby and I an uncle and aunt. We found our cousin Elizabeth and her mother who makes her our aunt Sheri who lives in Texas. Not too long ago another teenager reached out to Abby, Kaleb, and I stated he's our brother.
Public Records Effects
Overall, If it weren't for public records I would have never found my family whom I've always dreamt of meeting one day. I felt complete and it felt amazing. My life changed with a simple site and service that does miracles. Not all public records can be used for finding family members, but even to explore property information, government data, and information on residents to get an understanding of areas that could impact your business function. Access to data like this could help identify areas where your business could prosper and areas to pull back.
The whole purpose of Public Records is to give the public access to information that enables them to monitor the functioning of their government. Its fundamental precept is that governmental records shall be disclosed to the public, upon request, unless there is a specific reason not to do so. Thanks to the Internet and public record cites users can now view, download, and print public records in a cost-effective way to save money, time, and energy. Public records are tools that should always be used and offered. Think of what benefits records can do for you.
Author: Anthony Michael Menogue
Anthony Michael Menogue is a junior at The University of Arizona where he is in special education with a minor in school phycology and the winner of the Infotracer Education Grant for the 2021-2022 academic year.