The Open Adoption Debate – Vote Yes

By DD / October 30, 2015
Open Adoption Records

Open Adoption Records

As an adult adoptee that spent years looking for her birth parents, I completely support opening adoption records for adults. Some states have open records, some are closed and some are somewhere in the middle. When I was finally able to find my birth parents they were both deceased. One of the saddest, most disappointing things was when my birth mother’s sister told me my mother never forgot me and always hoped I would be standing on her doorstep. I always dreamed she would be standing on MY doorstep. She said that my mother told the Florence Crittenton Home in MO to give me her information if I ever asked. I had written a couple of times through the years but was told there was no information and no one was looking for me. I started looking for my mother in my 20’s and not being able to get information caused me to loose 30 years I could have had with my her. My mother died not ever meeting me or hearing me tell her I appreciated all she went through to give me what she thought would be a better life. That was a needless shame.

Costco has joined the Open Adoption Debate with their “Current Debate” page in their magazine, Costco Connection. Some people believe that adult adoptees should automatically be given access to their information when they turn 21. Other people argue that birth parents privacy should be protected if that is what they want. There is a statement from someone on each side of the debate.

April Dinwoodie is chief executive at the Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI), an independent think tank and research policy organization. She says that the DAI has conducted the most extensive research to date on the issue of adopted adults gaining access their original information and the results show that providing access doesn’t threaten the stability of adoptive families. Research also showed that the majority of birth parents don’t oppose the information being opened after the child becomes an adult.

Dinwoodie said ” Adopted persons who lack access to their original information are left without potentially lifesaving family medical history as they mature into adulthood. They are without basic information surrounding cultural and ethnic history.”

For me, not having access to birth records has cost me time with birth parents that I found too late. I found grown half-siblings I could have had a relationship with. I found an aunt and some cousins that would have been a blessing in my life. I probably should have had some medical tests I didn’t know I should have. My birth mother died not knowing I was looking for her because someone dropped the ball and didn’t pass on to me the information she wanted me to have. This is just wrong and I don’t want anyone else to suffer this needless loss.

Vote yes at Costco Connection This vote won’t legally change anything, but will bring attention to the cause of opening the records and be something that people fighting for the laws to be change can site to the people that do have the power to enact change.

About the author

DD

I found my birth family after 40 years of looking for them. I used DNA tests, software to sort DNA match results, family trees, contacting DNA matches and several website tools. We want to provide you a "one stop shop" with all your resources to help YOU find YOUR family.

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