I have been reunited with my birth family after being adopted in 1957 and I believe all adults who were adopted have the right to their orginal birth certificate after all we are US citzens, vote, work and pay taxes like all others who weren't adopted, yet till this day too many States still deny us our birth right we are treated like second class citzens. I thank God for ALMA ( Adoptee Liberty Movement Association) which was found by Florence Ann Fisher if it wouldn't have been for ALMA and their resources and volunteers I would have never been able to find my identity and health background and birth family I feel like a whole person now. Fortunately I was born in a State that has partial open records for adopt adults who's adoption took place before Jan. 1, 1964. And was legaly able to obtain my original birth certificate. This state needs to extend this law to all people born and adopted who have reached the age of 18. I would also like to thank ABC for bring the story of the Senator in Maine who was also adopted and manage to change the law in Maine so that others who were born there and adopted can obtain their orginal birth certificates. Hopefully since you aired this story nation wide it will get thee attention of other senators to get these laws changed in their states like Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin and so on.
I have little to know sympathy for the mothers/fathers.
1) The vast majority of the time, they are trying to cover up a past indiscretion -- running/hiding from their past.
2) We are talking about THE PAST. If the birth mother or father's spouses, families, and friends can't handle it, that's pretty pathetic on their part. I mean, really -- the past is the past. I don't buy it. I think it's just an excuse, and a lame one at that.
3) Have these birth mothers and fathers ever had to sit in a gynecologist's office (or any doctor's office for that matter) and had to tell the doctor that they know absolutely nothing of their medical history. For that matter, do they know what it feels like to be a medical professional trying to put pieces of a puzzle together when some of those pieces are missing?
4) Do they know what it is like to spend their entire childhood without ever feeling connected to their family? The saddest story I ever heard was when my husband told me that as a kid, he never felt at home with his adoptive family. He described it as the feeling of a child at a babysitter who was eternally waiting for his parents to come aand pick him up.
The basic question is this... WHY should the birth parents' right to hide trump the birth children's right to know who they are, where they came from, and what their medical history is? I cannot reconcile that. It just doesn't compute.
Several points have been brought up, both for and against, with no solution offered. Why not have a state appointed contact center that makes initial contact with the birth mother to see if she wants to be found? That person could get the medical info if the mother doesn't want to meet her child.
I can understand the "child's" need for info, and the desire to meet the birth mother, But I can also understand that many women are in a position that would be disastorous if her present family became aware of her situation. If laws are passed that forces the mother to meet the child, I can see the abortion rate going up drastically. Although I'm pro-choice, it would be better if an abortion were not needed. The pro-lifers say that adoption is an option, but this will sure close down that avenue!
"Why not have a state appointed contact center that makes initial contact with the birth mother to see if she wants to be found?"
Those methods simply didn't work for us. We had to hire and fire a few attorneys (confidential intermediary is the term for them in Michigan.) I don't know if it is simply a matter of motivation, but they just didn't come through. I had to keep pestering and pestering the last attorney who was ultimately only able to contact my husband's mother by breaking the rules and revealin information to someon when she wasn't supposed to.
As for the disastrous consequences that those opposed to open records seem to always fall back on... I simply don't buy it. This isn't 1946 anymore. I just don't believe that would be an issue, except in very rare cases. Whereas the fundamental of who you are and how you got here and what your ancestry and medical history are is a very troubling fundamental mystery for every adopted person I have ever known.
I think that it is ridiculous alarmis propaganda to say that abortion rates would drastically increase. They used o say te same thing about abortions when they weren't legal in all states, and that simply didn't turn out to be true AT ALL -- no abortion capital appeared!! In fact, abortion rates have been steadily declining -- despite the fact that states are slowly starting to open adoption records. the facts don't fit your propaganda.
Thank-you for your positive post. My husband and I talked about this at great length last night. He is adopted, but has not attempted to contact his birth family. (We are both in our 60s). Here are our suggestions: 1. All birth parents, at the time of the adoption, must be made aware that at some point in the future they may be contacted by their child. At least they would 'know it may be coming.' 2. There should be some kind of go-between to facilitate the first contact, especially for closed adoptions. What I think some adoptee's fail to realize is that some birth parents WANT to contact their children, too, but can't do so for the same reason--the records are sealed. They, too, would face the same dilemma--maybe the adopted child has no interest in knowing them. Not all adopted children or birth parents feel the need to recontact. Something must be done, however, for those who do. I realize other posters have said they've tried mediation, but that may have been on an individual basis. Why not legislate so that it would work for all. We believe adopted children and birth parents should have the option of having all their questions answered. I just don't think "opening the books" is the best way to do it. It's not just a matter of each side's 'right to know'. It's a matter of how to handle the initial contact, and how to provide answers to all parties should either prefer not to establish a relationship.
"" WHY should the birth parents' right to hide trump the birth children's right to know who they are, where they came from, and what their medical history is? I cannot reconcile that. It just doesn't compute. ""
No it doesn't 'compute...because you have your closed records facts wrong...way wrong. I lost a newborn to adoption back in 1964. I knew nothing nor heard a single word about 'closed records' at the time that I was being told that I would be selfish if I entertained the notion of raising and loving my own newborn baby. Not I, nor the vast majority of mothers from the Closed Records Era (post WWII) had any control, power or say so about closed records. Much like the non-choice given to us former young unmarried mothers that our babies would be taken for adoption...so it is the same when it came to closed records. It is the NCFA (and adopion agencies, and yes even some adoptive parents) that is perpetually lying about the supposed guarantees/promises of 'privacy and confidentially' to young unmarried mothers who would lose their newly born child to adoption. IT AIN'T TRUE!! Closed Records were Closed to hide..to hide illegitimacy, to hide that the baby was not born to the people who adopted him/her, to hide the location of the child from the mother, to hide the identities of the adoptive parents, to hide the underhanded..coercive measures that were taken to separate the young unmarried mother from her newborn. PLEASE...this myth that 'birth parents' have rights needs to stop. Because it simply is not true. For those handful of 'burfmothers' who have chosen to stay in their 'Closets of Shame'...I say too bad! They are not the majority, but rather a minute population of former unmarried young mothers who have chosen to stay grounded in the 50s, 60s, 70s. Yet these are the same 'handful' that the NCFA keeps trotting out as the main reason to keep Closed Records...Closed. Why? Because it benefits the NCFA and the Adoption Industry, that's why. They could give a good rats *** about 'burfmothers'...they just don't want all the Adoption Industry Dirty Laundry hung out to dry, for all to see!