Sociology Adoptee Rights

Discussion in 'Sociology' started by drlau, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. drlau

    drlau Premium Member

    Adoptee Rights

    The topic of Adoptee Rights can spark some VERY heated debate and personal attacks. For this reason, I chose not to post this over at ATS. Nothing against ATS, but I feel there is a better chance of intelligent discussion here at ID not evolving into a flame-fest replete with bannings and general unrest.

    I want to point out something right off the bat: the quoted information does not necessarily reflect my own opinion on the subject. I am posting this information in the hope of fostering some enlightening discussion. Having said that, I still reserve the right to put my foot in my mouth at any given moment. :)

    In the US, November is National Adoption Month.

    In light of this, here are some things to think about:

    .::Note: All information quoted is from #@!&% Nation, an organization that advocates for the civil and human rights of adult citizens who were adopted as children.::.

    From #@!&% Nation:

    .::Note: Only two countries have not ratified: the United States and Somalia, which have signalled their intention to ratify by formally signing the Convention.::.

    Some other links to information/opinion: (I did not want to post the full text for all of these – it would have made an already lengthy post unbearable…)

    THE HISTORY OF SEALED ADOPTION RECORDS IN THE UNITED STATES

    IDENTITY INFORMATION IS A CIVIL RIGHT

    IDENTITY INFORMATION IS A MORAL RIGHT

    ADULT ADOPTEES' BIRTH CERTIFICATES ARE PERMANENTLY SEALED - WHOSE RIGHT TO PRIVACY?

    A PRO-LIFE CONSERVATIVE ENDORSES OPEN RECORDS

    STATES WHERE ADULT ADOPTEES HAVE ACCESS TO THEIR ORIGINAL BIRTH RECORDS BY COURT ORDER ONLY

    STATES WHERE ADULT ADOPTEES HAVE UNCONDITIONAL ACCESS TO ORIGINAL BIRTH RECORDS

    .::Note: The last two links are not entirely up-to-date. Adult adoptees born and adopted in New Hampshire regained access to their own original, pre-adoption birth certificates following the enactment of Senate Bill 335 by the New Hampshire General Court. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2005, and will allow adult adoptees to receive copies of their original birth certificates upon request, without restriction.::.
     
  2. Bleys

    Bleys Phoenix Takes Flight Staff Member

    I had no idea about US law...

    I always assumed that once you reached the age of majority that you had every right to know who your birth parent was.

    From one of your links:

    I have several friends who were adopted and with one exception sought out their birth parents during their teens. The one who didn't had no desire to know anything of her birth parents.

    My biggest concern is with regard to medical information. If your adoptive child is suffering from an unknown ailment and they need the biological parent's medical history - how do you get it or are you just SOL?

    Interesting topic -

    Bleys
     
  3. drlau

    drlau Premium Member

    Each state has its own rules; generally, you have to petition the court for non-identifying information which can include medical information. The decision to release any information is up to the court. Worse yet, when asked for medical info, information given at the time of relinquishment is what is sent, which is very seldom complete, accurate or updated, and thus, virtually worthless.

    In some states, the birth parents can file a "veto" to block release of any information, including medical information.

    In this day of preventative medicine, adult adoptees are being denied the opportunity to access potentially life-saving family medical info, simply because of being raised by someone other than by those who conceived them.

    With November being National Adoption Month, I found it a little ironic that the US Surgeon General declared Thanksgiving Day as "Family Medical History Day".

    Thanks for your reply, Bleys.
    I may start some new threads with more specific issues, if I have time.

    Doc