I am a 65-year-old woman who does not even know for sure if I was or was not adopted. When my father died in 1984 I found a receipt for payment for an adoption the year I was born. My mother suffered from bi-polar disease, and I didn't feel I could bring up this difficult question with her. She died six years ago, so I went to the vital statistics bureau in Springfield, IL, simply to ask them to tell me whether or not I was adopted, so I could decide whether to pursue the past any further. I was told I had to get a judge to open the records even to tell me yes or no about the possible adoption. Since I have traced my family history back to the 1500s in some lines, I am somewhat loathe to find a whole new family; still, as the only child of two only children, I still contemplate the possibility of siblings and other relatives out there somewhere, and of course, there is the whole question of medical history.
Yes, of course every adult should have the ability to learn the basic facts about her/his birth family--especially those of us born in the era when children were often not told they were adopted.