Thursday, November 22, 2007

Adoptees Should Have Access to Birth Records

Earlier this month, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute released a report recommending that all states amend their laws to ensure that adoptees have access to their birth records. "For the Records: Restoring a Right to Adult Adoptees" found that:

• Prohibiting adopted people from having access to their personal information raises significant civil rights concerns and causes potentially serious, negative consequences for their physical and mental health.
• There is no evidence that, in those states that allow access, such access has caused problematic behavior by adoptees or harm to birth mothers.
• There is no rise in abortion rates and drop adoption rates in states with access (as some opponents feared); in fact, it appears just the opposite occurs.

The Institute recommends that:

• Every state should amend its laws to restore unrestricted access for adult adopted persons to their original birth certificates.

• Further research examine the experiences of adopted persons, birth parents, and adoptive parents in relation to access to records.

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