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Nov 16, 2007

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Evening Sun

Separated: Siblings reunite after 30 years

We'd have more stories like these if the states would just let adult adoptees and their families have access to their records. It shouldn't have taken an investigator to "pull strings" to get names and contact information. Unfortunately most states are still living in the dark ages when "adopted children" needed to be "protected " from their origins. Gaye Sherman Tannenbaum  (May 23, 2008 | post #11)

Adoptees deserve to have rights to records

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.  (Apr 16, 2008 | post #4)

Chicago Tribune

Adoption shock

What Ms. Jones doesn't seem to realize is that 80-90% of first parents want contact with the sons and daughters they relinquished: - In Oregon, only 1% of first parents requested "no contact" since the records were unsealed. - In Michigan, at the time of relinquishment, 90% of first parents asked for contact information to be placed in their files and to be given to their children upon request. - The Evan B. Donaldson Institute cites additional studies which support the 80-90% range of parents who WANT contact. It is unfortunate that Ms. Jones believes her mother would have aborted her. I know my mother's story and someday I may get to hear it directly from her.  (Apr 9, 2008 | post #12)

Chicago Tribune

State bill would help adoptees look for identity

I've read this bill and what I don't understand is how the disclosure veto (option E) expires on the death of the birth parent. Who will tell the State of Illinois that the birth parent has died? I'm guessing it won't be the birth parent.  (Mar 12, 2008 | post #35)

Chicago Tribune

Why do these wives stand by these men?

I'm just wondering what it would be like if the tables were turned. If a prominent WOMAN was caught cheating with some boy-toy. Would her husband stick by her?  (Mar 11, 2008 | post #14)

Chicago Tribune

State bill would help adoptees look for identity

1. The OPEN RECORDS = MORE ABORTIONS assumption has been disproven in the states that have restored access for adult adoptees. Stop perpetuating lies. 2. If you don't want to know who your first parents are - don't ask for your records. It's as simple as that. Not everybody is a genealogist. 3. Doctors DO look at your family medical history if there's actually something in it. Many familial diseases, like certain forms of heart disease and diabetes - run in families but the genetic markers have not been identified. You can have your blood sugar and cholesterol tested but you won't know you're at risk, only that you are in the early stages. 4. How, pray tell, is someone going to get your family medical history for you? Will they contact your first parents? Or will they simply give you the 50 year old dusty bits and pieces from your adoption files? 5. If you don't want to be contacted - there will be a form available. That's better than what you have now, isn't it? Gaye Sherman Tannenbaum  (Mar 11, 2008 | post #22)

Newsday

Rapper lobbies N.J. lawmakers for adoption rights

I would like to thank everyone who lobbied on behalf of open records. This is a right that was taken from adoptees and this bill will restore it for the most part. I'm in favor of a "no contact" preference rather than a disclosure veto. As the law stands right now - an adoptee does not know how their parents will feel about being found. Give us our information, let us know if and how you want to be contacted. And if your parents died young - that would be something your doctors would definitely want to know. Gaye in Kansas - where original birth records were always available to adoptees  (Jan 26, 2008 | post #7)

Chicago Tribune

The baby-making market

Open adoptions and open records work when the people involved respect each other. The same issues arise in a divorce with kids involved. Some people are just plain nasty - and the kids end up victims. It's like any other relationship. Friendships, business partnerships, marriages. Respect for the other person(s) is what is required. Years ago, a divorced father was "encouraged " to stay out of his kids' lives (especially if the wife remarried) so there wouldn't be any confusion about loyalties. Promoting that kind of policy today would be political suicide. Giving ALL people access to the history of their own origins is now being seen as an idea whose time has come.  (Jan 17, 2008 | post #28)

Chicago Tribune

The baby-making market

The child can form a bond/attachment with the adoptive parents - but will the adoptive parents be able to form a bond/attachment with a child that is not of their own creation. Many people can - but not everyone. That's where the "it's not a puppy" warning comes in. In preparing an adoptee to search for and possibly meet their biological parents the worst case scenarios MUST be discussed - especially if the adoptive parents actually know the biological parents' history. Discussing the what-ifs with a teenager (either directly or with professional help) makes sense. Many adoptees (and some non-adoptees) create a set of fantasy parents and eventually grow out of it. Some adoptees are able to handle the truth better than others - the question is not whether to tell them the truth - but WHEN and HOW. But finding out at age 31, like I did, and/or having the adoptive parents take whatever they knew to their graves - is not the way to go. Birth and adoption records should be available to the adult adoptee and to the adoptive parents of a minor child. This isn't about finding one's *real* parents - it's about finding one's self. Something that everyone else can take for granted.  (Jan 16, 2008 | post #26)

Newsday

letters -

This is the only issue I know of where residency in a different state or even country has no effect. I currently live in Kansas - where original birth certificates were NEVER sealed and can be easily requested by the adult adoptee. But because I was born and adopted in New York, I am forever kept from receiving my OWN birth certificate until the New York law changes. This is my personal information - why does Mr. Britvan and the NCFA think that I cannot be trusted with it. Adult adoptees can marry, raise children, vote, run for office, mortgage their homes, fight and die for their country - but can't be trusted with their OWN birth certificates. What's wrong with this picture?  (Dec 16, 2007 | post #30)

Chicago Tribune

Separated at birth: Bizarre twins experiment

Did they comb mental hospitals for pregnant woman and declare them unfit? The adoption agency in this case was Louise Wise Services. And yes, they did have a pipeline from many area mental hospitals. See Juman v Louise Wise Services  (Dec 4, 2007 | post #21)

Chicago Tribune

Separated at birth: Bizarre twins experiment

The scary thing is not that they were separated but WHY. It was an experiment. Most twin studies use twins who were already separated for other reasons. These two (and many others) were deliberately separated in order to perform the experiment. And, as another poster said - what about those adoptees who will never know their siblings because the records remain closed and the secrets are so buried that one side doesn't even know the other exists - so registries are worthless. Even worse are those separated, not at birth, but as children. Whatever reason the state may have had to remove these children from their parents - it is beyond cruel to separate them, change their names and seal their records so that they can't find each other. I understand that adoptive parents would have a hard time taking on multiple children at one time - but at least let them know where their siblings are. Gaye in Kansas  (Dec 2, 2007 | post #11)

Orlando Sentinel

Protect birth mother, adoptees

This is not about reunion (even though many birthparents WANT to find the son or daughter they relinquished) this is about being trusted with our OWN birth certificate. We can marry, rear children, obtain a mortgage, vote, run for office, fight and die for our country - but we can't be trusted to know our original names and the names of our parents. What's wrong with this picture?  (Nov 30, 2007 | post #31)

Chicago Tribune

These identical strangers learn how to be twins

Yes - times have changed. But New York State still keeps adoptees' birth certificates sealed and prevents adoption agencies from telling the whole truth, even when the agencies want to. It doesn't surprise me that the twin study was facilitated by Louise Wise Services. They also had a habit of trolling for babies of schizophrenic mothers (and fathers) to "lovingly place" with unknowing adoptive parents.  (Nov 29, 2007 | post #5)

Orlando Sentinel

Protect birth mother, adoptees

Let's get some things straight here - 1. As so eloquently stated by many posters - birth certificates are not sealed on relinquishment. 2. In the case of step-parent adoption - birth certificates are sealed as well. Where does confidentiality fit in here? To hide the parent's divorce or widowhood? 3. As shown in the Donaldson report - abortion rates do not INCREASE once records are opened. If anything, they DECREASE. Kansas and Alaska (always open record states) have lower abortion rates than the average state. 4. Read the decisions in Doe v Sundquist and Doe(s) v Oregon - promises of confidentiality (oral or written) made by adoption agencies DO NOT BIND the State to the same contract. 5. I'm happy that CHS does searches. What about the rest of us? When I contacted post-adoption services at the agency that holds my records, they asked me if I wanted to search. I told them I didn't have enough information to make a decision - but if I wanted to, would they be able to help? No, they would just give me the website of the State passive registry - which after 20 years only has a 4% match rate. 6. Records were not always sealed. This is not a NEW right, it's the restoration of an old one. Our records, our rights.  (Nov 19, 2007 | post #25)

Q & A with Gaye

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Oskaloosa, KS