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Wouldn't opening adoption records "from this point forward" be a better starting point than arguing about how it would affect adoptions of the past?

Adopteeme's questions have got me thinking. why not put new laws into place from this point going forward? Why continue the sealing of ALL original birth certificates in a new era where the majority of situations do not warrant it? You don't have to un-do the past - and you can still have methods in place for situations where there is a need or desire for warranted confidentiality - but why should adoptees in open adoptions not have legal access to a documet that contains information they are fully aware of?

I'm tired of the "but what about the old promises?" Maybe if someone did a cost estimate of how much tax payers pay for the sealing - issuing of new documents, then maybe there would be more support and less disagreement? What if you only spent taxpayer money on protecting those that needed protection, and with the savings you supported children who haven't yet found permanent homes?


Asked by PortAngeles1969 at 3:40 PM on Oct. 16, 2009 in Adoption

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Answers (40)
  • doodlebopfan while I strongly believe all adoptees deserve their O.B .C. and have since I first started reading about this years ago. I am from BSE, I now think just get it started...a foot in the door, if we have to start with from now on to get anything done then do t hat. At the maternity home I lived in for 23 weeks all the girls/women that lived there, about 30-35 , were given the opportunity before birth to fill out a contact form to be put in the file and after birth we had to confirm our contact wishes, NO ONE while I was there didn't wish to leave contact info. I think you and S.R. are correct few birth mothers would stand in the way of adoptees having their O.B.C.s


    Answer by drfink at 4:37 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • It sounds like a logical and reasonable solution, but it ignores all the adoptees that are currently struggling to get records. There are adoptees in their 60's, 70's and 80's who desperately want to receive their records before they die. It is not fair to ignore them and just stop sealing records.

    If I really believed that moms from my era were promised anonymity or even wanted it, I might feel differently. But, I believe too that no mother has a moral right to keep her identity a secret from her own child. If she wants no relationship with her child, she cannot be compelled to have one. However, at least she should provide information that her child wants.

    I like your idea of stressing the cost savings to not seal records. But, I think the people who want the records sealed, care nothing about how much it costs.

    Answer by Southernroots at 4:02 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • "but why should adoptees in open adoptions not have legal access to a documet that contains information they are fully aware of?"

    I guess you have to make a case on why they want/need it? If the original document is considered null and void since you can only have one birth cert, what are you doing with the original.

    I dont have my original drivers license but if I did, it would be null and void for many years.

    I simply dont get it.


    Answer by Anonymous at 4:03 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • "I guess you have to make a case on why they want/need it? If the original document is considered null and void since you can only have one birth cert, what are you doing with the original."

    But if you wanted to keep your old drivers license you don't have to make a case on why you wanted to right? Maybe you liked the picture and it reminded you of that time in your life?

    So...following your example....I shouldn't have to make a case on why I want/need it because for me it will help remind me of a time in my life I don't have any other history for.

    My daughter knows who I am (we had an open adoption) yet having her OBC even if it isn't a legal document means something to her. It represents part of her story and she shouldn't have to rationalize to anyone else why she wants or what it means to her. There isn't anything on that document that she doesn't already know, yet it means something to have it.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 4:11 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • Southern -

    Oh believe me, as an adoptee who doesn't have access to my own records I'm not meaning to leave the rights of all of us behind. But it seems that this would be a good starting point and would build evidence that may eventually support going back and opening records from the past.

    Again, sometimes you can't get the right decision all at one time. Sometimes things can only be swallowed in little bites - if you know what I mean.

    I think we've heard from adoptive parents in open adoptions how they understand that the sealing of records doesn't make sense to them. They could be allies in this - if triad members could come to agreement on drawing a line in the sand and making changes going forward then that's a compelling reason to re-look at the past.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 4:14 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • Port,

    This is not correct, if tomorrow, I asked the DMV to give me a copy of the original license from 1991 when I learned to drive, they wouldn't give it to me. They will reissue my valid one but wont
    give me a copy of an invalid one .

    Also, in my state at least, you have to give your old drivers license (which they punch a hole in)to get your new one. If you cant produce it, your new drivers license has "duplicate" listed on it.

    Now, if I had the forethought in 1991 to keep my original drivers license, it would be worthless other than for sentimental vaiue.

    And many Amoms (myself included) do keep the OBC when it was issued. It is also worthless other than for sentimental value.


    Answer by Anonymous at 4:25 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • Port,This most certainly would be a great starting point:) However, SR., is correct, we cannot fail ALL those whom have waited 40,50,60 ,even 70+ years, to just KNOW who they are, and where they came from. This is ALL anybody wants,....the RIGHT to know! "OPEN THE RECORDS", plain and simple. Now as you can see, you are going to get the ANON'S , such as the one above me...whom is going to say....WHY? WHO cares why, it belongs to each individual whom wishes to have it....they can use it for toilet paper if they want...allow them their due RIGHTS. It is nobodies business to question them of the whys or how comes. There is no reason to HIDE a persons history, unless the individual whom it belongs to wishes to HIDE it! Hell, I have my past 5 drivers licenses....just for s**ts and grins! I know this is not my usual eloquence...but just wasn't feelin it today! JMHO, as always:) Blessings, to all, C.J.

    Answer by ceejay1 at 4:39 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • Follow up.....the ANON, I was referring to was the second post down...sorry did not get my post sent quickly enough!

    Answer by ceejay1 at 4:42 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • "worthless other than for sentimental value."

    OK - yup in my state we do get to keep our old drivers licenses (they punch a hole in the old one to show that it is no longer valid).

    If you as an adoptive mom have your child's OBC and therefore can provide it to your child if they decide that it does have sentimental value to them that's great. Many adoptive parents do not have access to their child's OBC's and therefore if their child wanted it (for whatever reason) they would not be able to get it.

    Does it bother you from a government efficiency perspective that countless hours of employee time are spent to seal, reissue, house and store these documents when in most cases it isn't necessary? Like for your family? Isn't that inefficent? Wouldn't those tax dollars be better spent on other things?

    If you didn't have your child's OBC and it pained them, then would you get-it?

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 4:51 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • I agree with you, Port. I don't see any reason why the birth cert. has to be completely replaced. They can have a section for changes in legal parenthood and name change, but still keep the original info.

    SR, I agree with what you are saying, but this would be a start. That wouldn't mean the other could never happen.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 5:34 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

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