By Roseanne Tellez

(CBS) — It’s just a document, but for many it holds the key to their identities.

Thanks to a fairly new law in Illinois, thousands of adoptees have received their original birth certificates.

In this Original Report, CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez shares one woman’s emotional journey- and efforts to expand adoption laws.

Tracy Theodore is one of nearly 10,500 Illinois adoptees who sent in applications to receive their original birth certificates since the law was passed.

Her birth mother, Beverly Campbell Shaw, was given a chance to remove her name before the law went into effect.

“I had the paperwork. It was completed, it was notarized but they never got mailed because I knew deep down that we really needed to connect,” said Campbell Shaw.

For Tracy, it was a search for answers about her heritage.

“Giving birth to my own children, I know that is had to be just heart wrenching to do what she did,” said Theodore. “I wanted to know she was ok.”

Tracy and several other Illinois adoptees are featured in a documentary being called – “A Simple Piece of Paper”

“I believe the telling of this story with this film has changed hearts and minds of lawmakers,” Rep. Sara Feigenholtz.

Feigenholtz says Illinois is playing an important role in expanding the rights of adoptees.

“It’s their truth. It’s their information,” said Feigenholtz.

Some adoptees received notices that their birth certificates can’t be found.

Wednesday Governor Quinn will sign a bill that will give them a chance to search other county adoption files looking for answers.

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