CAROLYN’S DAILY POSTS: 2011
SHOULD ADULT ADOPTEES HAVE ACCESS
TO ORIGINAL BIRTH RECORDS?
My history includes both being an adoption caseworker and a foster parent for unwed pregnant women placing their children for adoption . It also includes my being the mother of an officially adopted child, an aunt to another adopted child, and the parent of an unofficially adopted child.
Now it includes something more: being the sibling of a child my parents released for adoption.
Because of these experiences, I am interested in both sides of the issue of adoptees access to their original birth records.
My new-found sister found me due to two factors:
- she was born New Hampshire, a state that has made original records available birth records available to adoptees since 2005 (provided the adoptee was born and adopted in the state)
- my writing blog site, www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com, which has a category posting our mother’s writings
One of the hottest current adoption controversies, in the United States and globally, is whether adoptees should have unrestricted access to their original adoption records when they reach the age of majority (as defined by the law of their state or country), or if the privacy of the bio-parents should be preserved.
It’s a critical rights issue, with strong arguments on both sides. The question is: whose rights are most important? The resolution, either way, changes lives.
I was aware our family had a sibling “out there” somewhere. I’ve thought about as I listened to the adoptees stories, as I heard the pain of mothers who have released their children. And I realize that there are no perfect answers in a debate that cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all of the parties involved. Keeping the doors closed maintains a questionable status quo; opening the doors reveals the mysteries—whether positive or negative.
If you are an adoptee or a bio-parent, I pray you will find answered questions, and a rewarding journey. As for me, I am happy my sister discovered our family. Hopefully, our journey will be rewarding. So far, it has been. But it could have been different—both for her and for me.
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