Please, please stop having your writers write about things with which they are obviously unfamiliar, like adoptee rights. Yes, you are creating more problems with your problematic articles.
Articles like this: Open Adoption or Closed Adoption?
An article about a bill in Indiana (that isn’t a clean bill by the way). A bill that would restore rights taken away from adoptees, but only adoptees whose mother didn’t say, no you can’t know who you were born to be. Why not a title that actually states what the article is about? “Adoptee Rights but only for Some Adoptees” would have been a more accurate title…
And your tag line? “Should adoption records for approximately 350,000 adoptees be allowed to be opened?” Seriously? Asking the question to people who have neither skin in the game, relevant knowledge, or skill to give any valid input. Furthermore, no one should even consider asking this question – of course adoptees should have the same rights that you, as a non-adopted person writing this article has – the right to your original birth certificate.
You note that there are proponents and opponents – but only offer the opponents’ view of sticking with a mediator to make contact, what’s with that? How would you like to have to request that some stranger access your personal information and then cold-call your birth family, either on the phone, or by letter, asking permission for you to have what is rightfully yours? How do you think you would react having a stranger call you out of the blue who knows your deeply personal information – the thought is kind of creepy, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be easier if the other person, who is part of your past, wrote a letter and asked if you were willing to get to know her. Seems better to me…
Why would you need to ask how parents by birth would be made aware of this change? The same way that all the other states have done this when they restored adoptee rights: advertising, local media, notices included in mail to its citizens. And I can’t help but ask, are you asking that same question when laws designed to reduce relinquishment timeframes, or rights to putative fathers are passed? If you aren’t, why not?
Nor is open records a breach of confidentiality. The most obvious rebuttal is that a judge can, and does, unseal adoptees’ records for cause. This has always been the case, and no, they don’t bother asking permission from the parents by birth, they just sign the order. There is, and always has been, no guarantee of confidentiality for parents by birth. Courts have even weighed in on this.
What is the impact on a parent by birth if suddenly contacted by the child they placed? Hopefully, they will be welcoming. Some won’t. Here’s the thing – none of them ever forgot, they are adults, older adults now, and if they do not want contact, they can say, just like any other adult would, “I’m sorry, I don’t want to know you.” I would hope they would have the grace to answer questions first. No one is required to have a relationship if they don’t want to. Regardless, that should never be the reason an adoptee doesn’t have the same rights as a non-adopted person in the USA.
But here’s the kicker and why I was moved to write this post…
Adoptee rights has nothing to do with whether an adoption is open or closed. None whatsoever.
In my home, there were two closed adoptions and one open adoption. All three of those adoptions had the records sealed by law by the time any of us were old enough to request our original birth certificates, even the one with the open adoption. See the difference? Open adoption is when there is an ongoing relationship between the child and their parent (or parents) by birth while the child is growing up. The adoptee rights and changing legislation is about the laws on the books in that particular state, which over many years have slowly, ever so slowly, taken away all the rights of the adoptee to know where she comes from, and the right to his own factual birth certificate, just like every other person born in that state.
Please do a better job in the future of trying to educate others about adoption topics. There are also many adoptees who’ve worked tirelessly for decades for adoptee rights who would be better suited to write an article for you on this topic.