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4 Bumps

Are you divorced with children? SEALED records

What would happen - if every time child custody changed due to a divorce, everyone's names had to change, contact was automatically FORBIDEN without a court order, and all parties were discouraged from seeking information about each other because it might intrude on someone's life???


Asked by adopteeme at 6:35 AM on Jul. 5, 2010 in Adoption

Level 16 (3,092 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • Here's a scenario that may put the shoe on the other foot and help enable some to better understand your position.

    What if....funeral directors took possession of our deceased loved ones' remains, and then changed the names on the death certificates so that the obituaries couldn't be connected with their rightful owners and we were prevented from having our loved one buried or cremated (giving us closure) because now the papers that we signed relinquishing our LO's remains have been changed, thus legally obstructing us from regaining "custody" of the remains.

    Gruesome, yes, (and not nearly so cut & dry as it sounds) but something that could put the reader in the mindset of having lost control of being able to reconnect to their own family members during an emotional time and that has no closure. I hope I don't offend anyone by comparing adoption to funerals, but in this case, to try to relate to an A-EE's feelings. :)

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 1:06 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • adopteeme, I understand the intent of your question and in trying to communicate to a general population what it feels like to be obstructed by laws that some say "were for your own good" to prevent you (and others) from going back to your beginning and to gain knowledge of yourself that many (including myself) often take for granted.

    In the divorce scenario, people who have been divorced are often "freed" from the "bad" other half, so to cut them from their lives is no big loss. Not to mention they are likely caring for the children whose names are changed, so no big deal to them. On the other hand, were you to be talking to the fathers or mothers who have been cut from their children's lives, your responses might be different.

    Adoption is an "animal" like no others. It's difficult to explain the loss to others who have not been adopted.

    You have me thinking again... :)

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 1:00 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • I'm with you on this one, too, Adopteeme. As a mother of two adoptees, I would hate for them to experience some of the things I've heard of, like being unable to get a passport or a driver's license because their official (amended) birth certificate is not considered valid, and they cannot access their original birth certificate. This is very much an issue of equal rights and equal treatment under the law.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 6:30 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • And for the record, I know that you aren't talking about adoption, but SEALED RECORDS. An adoptee being unable to access records that are rightfully his/hers. It's assinine.

    And, of course, being an adoptive mom, I'm not against adoption, just FOR honest-to-goodness, necessary adoptions with as much openness as possible for the benefit of the child when a mother absolutely cannot take care of the child and/or has exhausted all resources in order to do so, or when she truly doesn't want to parent. :)

    Hope this helps! :)

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 1:12 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • In my case, I would love that. XH decides to pop in and out as he pleases, and this would stop him from doing just that.

    Answer by MunchiesMom324 at 10:59 AM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • In a divorce no one allows their parental rights to be terminated. Your situation is not like all adoptions, the adoptee is not always discouraged to find their birth parents. Maybe your BP and APs didn't do it perfectly but, your adoption happened a long time ago and for all they knew it was for your best interest to not know about your BPs. Its unfortunate but, divorce and adoption are two very different things.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 12:31 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • db and Iam thanks for taking the time to post. it's a good feeling to know that at least 2 amoms here "get it", and that adoption HISTORY is important now. If nothing else, it shows the significance of change over time.

    In 1917, the Minnesota adoption law was revised to mandate confidential records, and between the world wars, most states in the country followed suit. Confidential records placed information off limits to nosy members of the public but kept it accessible to the children and adults directly involved in adoption, who were called the “parties in interest.”

    Until 1945, however, most members of adoptive families in the United States had perfectly legal access to birth certificates and adoption-related court documents and most agencies acted as passive registries through which separated relatives might locate one another. Disclosure—not secrecy—has been the historical norm in adoption.


    Comment by adopteeme (original poster) at 3:57 AM on Jul. 10, 2010