Stephanie, I just traced my lineage and I am a direct descendant from the Mayflower too!!
By sealing my records, not only were we robbed of our birthright to our amazing family heritage but these ancestral heroes were robbed of having US as their legacy!:-)
While I'm pleased that some Massachusetts-born adoptees have had their rights restored, please note that if you were born or adopted between July 18, 1974 and December 31, 2007, you have no rights.
Can anyone explain how this is NOT discrimination?
I am also a Mayflower descendant. However, I am having trouble being approved by the various Mayflower (and specific passenger) societies because I cannot provide a BIRTH CERTIFICATE. I have been happily reunited for nearly a decade. My father (biological) told me about our ancestry. A great cousin (biological) who is a member of the Mayflower society encouraged me to join. I attempted to obtain a copy of my birth certificate via a court petition, which is the only option in the county in California in which I was adopted. My petition was denied for "lack of good cause."
Parents who give up their children for adoption (or otherwise lose their parental rights) cannot be assured that a legal adoption will be finalized. If one is not finalized, there is NO SEALED RECORD. How then, can anyone suggest that sealing birth records has anything to do with "birthparent anonymity?" The records don't seal upon relinquishment. They don't seal when a child is placed with a family. They ONLY seal if and when a legal adoption is finalized by the court. The sealed records are about the adoption, not about the relinquishment.
Further, adopted citizens are the ONLY citizens in 44 states who don't have the right to unfettered access of their own, actual birth certificates. That is discrimination. All other issues are separate. Taking away a societal segment's equal rights out of fear of other circumstances possibly occurring doesn't make it okay. A lot of people were frightened of the ramifications of women getting the vote or of the Civil Rights Act, but do we not consider legal equality above that? Other issues can and should be handled on an individual basis.