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View Poll Results: Should adoption records be required to be open by law?

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  • Yes- the adoptees have a right to know

    7 20.59%
  • No- the birth parents have a right to privacy

    18 52.94%
  • Not Sure

    5 14.71%
  • It Depends/ Other

    4 11.76%
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Thread: Adoption records open or closed?

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    #1

    Adoption records open or closed?

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    I went to a TEDx event today (really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone!).

    One of the presenters was an adopted woman who spoke about adoption records being sealed in many statea and her not legally being able to access her original birth certificate or restrictions on her being able to find out who her birth parents were. She circumvented the legal system and found her birth parents on her own after 25 years. Anyway she was advocating for adoption records being open because adoptees deserve their identity not to be 'a secret of the state'. She even discussed that this was actually a UN right of children that America and two other countries (I think Somalia and one other) were the only two that didn't uphold. I definitely got where she was coming from and felt for her but I was also left wondering about birth parents who really didn't want to be found. So I pose the question here, do you think adoption records should be required by law to be open?

    I feel adoptees should be allowed basic information about their birth parents and circumstances, but I do feel, to some degree, that the birth parents (if they so desire) have a right to not be contacted. I guess I'm torn.
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    #2
    Closed adoption rates and added stigma was much higher in the past than it is now. Now open adoptions are seen much more eliminating the what if and the sense of abandonment many adoptees had felt or feel and eliminating the issue of needing records of any kind. I think for those in a close adoption situation it can be very hard to decide the line of rights. I understand why they are sealed but I do think adoptees should have the ability to access their records once they are 18 or for health purposes if they so choose. They take the risks that go along with that if that is a choice they decide to take on though.
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    #3
    I thought about this for quite a while. And I can absolutely see the birth parents POV, but, IMO, the choice to have a kid, whether you keep it or not, is a life-long game changer. And if you have a kid, you made that choice, you need to live with the consequences of your choices. I dont think the kids should have the right to contact the birth parents, for me, the emotional reasons for the kids to do that are not a good enough reason, especially when sperm is used vs a straight up adoption, for having the birth parents life disrupted and possibly hurt. But having the kid have access to health information, or the ability to gain health information, IMO, is important.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.VinoVet View Post
    I thought about this for quite a while. And I can absolutely see the birth parents POV, but, IMO, the choice to have a kid, whether you keep it or not, is a life-long game changer. And if you have a kid, you made that choice, you need to live with the consequences of your choices. I dont think the kids should have the right to contact the birth parents, for me, the emotional reasons for the kids to do that are not a good enough reason, especially when sperm is used vs a straight up adoption, for having the birth parents life disrupted and possibly hurt. But having the kid have access to health information, or the ability to gain health information, IMO, is important.
    Exactly how I see it. I feel like the birth parents got to make a LOT of choices that effected the life of the child, the child should get to at least obtain basic information about themselves. They had no choice in being born and put up for adoption, removing their ability to even find out about their OWN history and genetics seems... overboard. Plus, medical records are so important. If a birth parent doesn't want to be contacted, I am okay with them saying that and the child should not be able to actually make contact, but I feel they should at least provide the information and not completely close all avenues and leave that child in the dark forever.
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.VinoVet View Post
    I thought about this for quite a while. And I can absolutely see the birth parents POV, but, IMO, the choice to have a kid, whether you keep it or not, is a life-long game changer. And if you have a kid, you made that choice, you need to live with the consequences of your choices. I dont think the kids should have the right to contact the birth parents, for me, the emotional reasons for the kids to do that are not a good enough reason, especially when sperm is used vs a straight up adoption, for having the birth parents life disrupted and possibly hurt. But having the kid have access to health information, or the ability to gain health information, IMO, is important.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinderbelly View Post
    Exactly how I see it. I feel like the birth parents got to make a LOT of choices that effected the life of the child, the child should get to at least obtain basic information about themselves. They had no choice in being born and put up for adoption, removing their ability to even find out about their OWN history and genetics seems... overboard. Plus, medical records are so important. If a birth parent doesn't want to be contacted, I am okay with them saying that and the child should not be able to actually make contact, but I feel they should at least provide the information and not completely close all avenues and leave that child in the dark forever.
    I do agree with this. I guess where things get a little fuzzy for me is when you think about what is stopping an adoptee from contacting a birth parent if they have their information?
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    #6
    It is not a secret of the state it's a secret of the parent.
    Closed.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinderbelly View Post
    Exactly how I see it. I feel like the birth parents got to make a LOT of choices that effected the life of the child, the child should get to at least obtain basic information about themselves. They had no choice in being born and put up for adoption, removing their ability to even find out about their OWN history and genetics seems... overboard. Plus, medical records are so important. If a birth parent doesn't want to be contacted, I am okay with them saying that and the child should not be able to actually make contact, but I feel they should at least provide the information and not completely close all avenues and leave that child in the dark forever.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by just, Chaleigh View Post
    Closed adoption rates and added stigma was much higher in the past than it is now. Now open adoptions are seen much more eliminating the what if and the sense of abandonment many adoptees had felt or feel and eliminating the issue of needing records of any kind. I think for those in a close adoption situation it can be very hard to decide the line of rights. I understand why they are sealed but I do think adoptees should have the ability to access their records once they are 18 or for health purposes if they so choose. They take the risks that go along with that if that is a choice they decide to take on though.
    That's actually a good point. Ive always wondered what the general feeling is about open vs closed adoptions and why people choose one or the other.
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    #9
    How does that work in a closed adoption if you need your birth certificate? I mean ... I've needed mine several times for different things, if I didn't have access to it that would be a huge roadblock.

    Does the child get a different one after he/she is adopted?
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Guynavywife View Post
    It is not a secret of the state it's a secret of the parent.
    Closed.
    I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. Do you mind expanding a bit?
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