Adoptees deserve to have rights to re...

Adoptees deserve to have rights to records

There are 36 comments on the Star-Gazette.COM story from Apr 5, 2008, titled Adoptees deserve to have rights to records. In it, Star-Gazette.COM reports that:

Adoptees deserve to have rights to records April 3, 2008 Under legislation pending in the state Senate and Assembly, adoptees will have the same right to their birth records and early health histories as every ... via Star-Gazette.COM

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Johnny Cirrito

Lewisville, TX

#1 Apr 15, 2008
It's about time NY state came into the 21st century and did away with decades old, outdated laws.
Pat Jaquay - Cicero NY

Clayton, NY

#2 Apr 16, 2008
Adoptees Rights are being denied. It is within the power of this NY Legistaure to insure these rights are restored. Pass Bill #A2277 this session.
Paul Pelon

Yelm, WA

#3 Apr 16, 2008
We MUST have our records. Medical, Birth, Background, We are the most disciminated group in the country. I found my 2 sisters, what a high for an only child. Go for it NY, join the 21st century.

Since: Nov 07

Oskaloosa, KS

#4 Apr 16, 2008
New York should look at the experience of other states who have restored the rights of adult adoptees to their OWN documents. Abortion rates dropped (as they did in other states - proving NO link to unsealing records) and adoptees did not violate "no contact" requests from their first parents.

NY has had a "mutual consent registry" in place for over 20 years, in all that time less than 10% have been matched. Not all adoptees want a reunion in order to obtain basic genealogical and medical history information. And most (80-90% in surveys and statistics in other states) first parents would like contact with the sons and daughters they relinquished.

What is holding NY back? Other than Sheldon Silver's refusal to allow the bills out of committee, that is.
Hope Catricala

United States

#5 Apr 17, 2008
The Bill of Adoptees Rights has been put before the NY Senate and Assembly 15 years now, within that time it has yet to reach either floor for a vote. The head of both houses seem to be afraid of actually allowing this legislation before each floor for a full vote because they probably know that with the lobbying effort that has been done over the year's enough support has come forth to see this legislation pass. It is time for NY and for adult adoptees to be granted their true rights and first class citizenship. Enough of keeping adoptees and birth parents in the dark ages. Legislation A2277 is the fairest and best law put forth before these lawmakers and it needs to have its time in history, as do Adult Adoptees and their birth parent, let's not keep people apart because lawmakers are afraid that we will get along and have happy reunions.
Anne Cote-Morris

Lewisville, TX

#6 Apr 18, 2008
Enough with the archaic thinking which has kept Adoptees from knowing their health history and ethnic origins. The state has no right to keep this basic information from ADULT Adoptees. The current law is not only archaic, it's downright dangerous and inhumane to prevent Adoptees from accessing their own health history. I personally knew several Adoptees who have passed away due to this unconscionable lack of response to their very real human need. Shame on NY State. Please wake up before more human beings die needlessly.
And DO NOT cite implied Birthmother's confidentiality issues. I am a Birthmother. I was never promised confidentiality nor was it ever implied. On the contrary, I was laboring under the mistaken belief that my son would be able to contact me when he reached the age of 18.
Wake up NY State- you can save lives! Let's turn this around NOW.
Alberta Russell


#7 Apr 19, 2008
As a 60 year old NY born adoptee, I want my original birth certificate!! New York State needs to open its eyes to the facts that the other states that allowed open records for adoptees have only gained and not lost. I'm old and I'm tired, come on NY, lets finally get A2277 on the floor for a vote and a new law passed for open records. How many more have to die before knowing the truths about their birth?????


#8 Apr 19, 2008
Adoptees in both the UK and Australia have had access to their unaltered, original birth documents for decades...when is the US, the supposed "Leader of the FREE World", going to catch up with the rest of civilized society?
NO problems have arisen in these other countries, NOBODY'S lives have been shattered, and in fact, it has proven to be a great benefit to everyone involved. It is time for the United States to stop treating adopted adults like perpetual children and stop meddling in our personal lives.
Arlene V

Boca Raton, FL

#9 Apr 19, 2008
I can't believe current New York State statutes forbid a certain group of people (adoptees) from knowing who their parents are. It makes no sense. If passing this "Bill of Adoptee Rights" will fix this, then I certainly hope that the New York State legislature will take some action immediately to rectify a situation that should not exist in the first place and which seems so fundamentally wrong.

Ocean Park, ME

#10 Apr 19, 2008
Enough of the secrets, enough of the lies, its time to treat adoptees like everyone else! Open birth records, give our identities back that you have stolen! New York and others,it is time to emancipate adoptees.
Lisa Sainsbury

Pembroke, Canada

#11 Apr 19, 2008
Adopted adults deserve full unfettered access to their original unaltered birth records - just like everybody else.

It's their information, not the state's.
Non-adopted people don't have to question this right. Why, under any circumstances, should adopted people? It's nonsense for them to be denied rights that are the prerogative of others -- unless of course, one believes that there are two classes of citizen.

Brampton, Canada

#12 Apr 19, 2008
It's pretty sad that in the US and Canada it's against the law for certain people to know who their parents are. It's discrimnination at its finest. This type of bill should fly through any legislature. How anyone could question why adopted persons should have access to their own birth certificates is beyond me. It's their birth -their identity.

Colton, CA

#13 Apr 19, 2008
Why isn't the state outraged that mothers and fathers who surrendered their rights to their biological children were ILLEGALLY PROMISED SECRECY ON THE STATES BEHALF? The state should be OUTRAGED, and the agencies who did the ILLEGAL promising should be PUT OUT OF BUSINESS.

Why is the state protecting 3rd parties who have no right to promise any surrendering parent privacy? A review of the adoption and surrendering rights laws PROOVES there is NO RIGHT TO SECRECY. NONE.

Check out the Adoptee Access Report the Evan B. Donaldson Insititute did on access to records for adult adoptees.

They are a non invested research institute. They don't get funded by agencies, they don't get funded by adoptees, THEY HAVE NO INVESTED INTERESTS IN OPENING RECORDS.

THE ONLY people who have "interests" in keeping our records sealed are:
1) the agencies ( who did the unlawful promising and took part in the black market adoptions ) and they want to keep that covered up as long as possible.
2) right to lifers - and the right lifers really need to BUTT OUT. They have NO BUSINESS being involved in open records. They advocate for women to "keep their babies and not chose abortion" and then they wont BUTT OUT when it comes time to GIVE US OUR INFORMATION. Unfortunately they've been too busy advocating against us to LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF OPENING RECORDS.

Statistics show that all of the states who have opened up their records ( and oregon had NO change in "right to life bills" around the time of opening the records eg: parental consent pre-abortions laws took place in a couple open records states where the RTL'ers are claiming that those bills are the reason the abortions decreased) ALL of the states who've opened records have had abortions DROP. Adoptions INCREASE.

When are people going to just GET IT.

There is no right to privacy.
Opening records does NOT increase abortions.
1 + 1 = 2
Laurie Dunfield-Baker

Sacramento, CA

#14 Apr 19, 2008
Adopted citizens are denied unconditional equal access rights to the factual documents of their own births in New York. This is something the non-adopted take for granted. This is an issue of an entire group of citizens, adopted adults, being barred from a right non-adopted citizens have. Unequal treatment under the law is discrimination by the state holding the records. This discrimination turns access to one's own birth record from a right to a privilege, based solely on the adoptive status of a person, a condition over which the adopted person had no say or control. No other citizens but adopted adults are expected to grovel before a judge or ask someone else's permission in order to obtain access to their own birth records. This places adopted citizens in a position of being considered suspect and placed in a secondary class compared to non-adopted citizens.

At one point in history, no one was denied the right to his or her own birth record, adopted or not adopted. Sealing records began in the 1930's to hide the shame of out-of-wedlock pregnancy and infertility, as well as provide a means allowing adoptive parents privacy from birth parents. Some states did not seal records until much later, while Alaska and Kansas never sealed records.

For anyone who believes records are sealed in order to protect the anonymity of the natural parents, consider the actual law.

1. It is highly notable that records only seal upon the finalization of an adoption. They only stay sealed if an adoption remains intact. They do not seal upon relinquishment, are not sealed while the child is in foster care and are not sealed while the child is in an adoptive placement that is not yet finalized by the court.

2. If an adoption fails, i.e. the adoptive parents "return" the child, the original birth record with the natural parents' names on it, is unsealed and re-established as the child's only legal birth certificate.

3. Adult adopted citizens in states with sealed records, such as New York, can gain access to their birth records as long as they petition the court and get a court order.

4. No one has ever been able to bring forth a relinquishment document that promises anonymity. Even the greatest opponents of open records, such as the National Council For Adoption, has ever been unable to produce such a document.

Clearly, there is no guarantee of anonymity or confidentiality, nor can such be promised under the law as written.

Although this is not truly an issue about reunion, the topic always brings with it discussion of reunion. Therefore, I shall briefly cover this issue. Reunions happen all the time under sealed records laws.

Like other citizens, adopted persons and natural parents are capable of handling their own relationships, without state interference. They do not need others speaking for them or deciding what is best for them as though they were children incapable of doing so themselves. This is an infringement of the free association enjoyed by other citizens in our society.

New York is practicing discrimination when adopted citizens are the only citizens denied access to their own factual, recorded documents of their OWN births. Because there is no right to anonymity in our society, natural parents are not being denied any right others have. However, ALL other citizens except adopted citizens are granted the right to access their own actual, original birth certificates. Even those given up for adoption but not adopted have that right. Why should the act of someone ADOPTING a relinquished child remove this right to equal treatment under the law?

San Diego, CA

#15 Apr 19, 2008
Restore adoptee rights NOW.


#16 Apr 19, 2008
Excellent comments above.

NY join the 21st century, restore rights to adopted adults!
Bob Gordon

Denver, CO

#17 Apr 19, 2008
What an amazing amount of support for the two Bills regarding open records in Ny State. The fact that it seems to have so much support, and had been held up in the Legislature for over 15 years (!!!!!) tells me that someone in power has a personal reason for not even allowing it to come to a vote by elected officials who seem to, by a majority, favor allowing adoptees the dignity and birthright they deserve as adults. I would hope that Mr Silver would look at the numbers of supporters, the valid reasons particularly outlined in the Evan B. Donaldson report, and at least agree to bring it to the Legislature for a vote. I have met adoptees, natural or birth parents, AND adoptive parents who support the essentially reversal of the 1930's law that protected special interests of the time. I am in favor of Bills A2277 And Senate S235 after looking at all the facts.
Ron Morgan

Eugene, OR

#18 Apr 19, 2008
If the New York state legislature continues to drag its feet in restoring the right of adult adoptees to access their unaltered records of birth, it's time to vote them out of office. If no amount of reasoned argument will persuade them, then organize support for new legislators. Speak in a language that they will understand...

Haskell, NJ

#19 Apr 20, 2008
Sometimes pictures speak louder than words...

Haskell, NJ

#20 Apr 20, 2008
Sometimes pictures speak louder than words

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