Adoptees from New York now have the right to their original birth certificates; in the first 48 hours 3600 online applications were made. There’s an estimated 650,000 adoptees from New York per this article: New York Adoptees Rush to Request Birth Certificates, After Years of Blocked Access. Adoptee Rights Law has details on how the new law works: Updated Info on New York’s New Law
Congratulations to everyone who has fought to change the law in the last 40 odd years and to all adoptees from New York. Now the challenge is to get the changes made to the NY Law known by adoptees from NY, seems easy but there are still adoptees from states who have changed the law regarding their original birth certificate, who have no idea they can order theirs.
Not everyone is pleased about the change and that makes me incredibly sad. People with no stake in adoption always seem to feel the need to weigh in with dire warnings and predictions every time a state does the right thing for adoptees.
New York Daily posted an article on the changes made to the law in New York re adoptee rights on their FB page; the comments in quotes below are from the responses. Interesting how little has changed in the last 20 years, lots of “experts” on why an adoptee should never be allowed to know the names of their parent(s) by birth. As you read the comments below understand that many adoptees have heard them at least once in their life, regardless if their state has changed the law. (note each quote below is from a different person in this FB post.)
“I don’t know about this. Might open up to many cans of worms that people can not handle.”
As a fan of old sayings I can say this is not one I’m a fan of; probably because people have been saying this to adoptees since adoption became a thing.
“be careful what you wish for sometimes ignorance can be bliss.”
Another tried and true old saying to adoptees, said by someone who will never understand what it is like to live 45 years (my story) before they met any member their family of birth.
“So less people will put kids up for adoption now.”
So adoptees just need to suck it up, get over it and be grateful they were lucky they weren’t aborted…Gotcha
“If a person gives a child up for adoption and doesn’t make an attempt to stay in their life, there’s probably a reason… Meaning they probably don’t want to speak to you 18 years down the line even if you’re looking for something important like your medical history.”
Noted by someone who has no knowledge of adoption history, or adoption at all, but just needed to school adoptees for wanting to have the same rights they have – access to their factual certificate of birth.
“It sounds like a good idea, but there have to be measure to protect people. Suppose you wanna find out who your biologicals are to mess up their life?”
Ah, yes, the angry adoptee who wants to do something bad, I mean, we obviously didn’t come from good people because they’d have kept us, so you never know what our intention would be…(and yes, I’m being snarky here)
“In today’s technological world there should be a data base that has current medical records available for the adopted without revealing the parents identity. Especially in the case of a parent who doesn’t want to be found for a variety of justifiable reasons.”
No, it’s about having the right to your factual birth certificate. The parents are can say: “I don’t want a relationship”. And when that happens it does suck, it happened to me, my father wouldn’t even provide the one request I had, a family health history.
“So what exactly are you giving them, copy of their birth certificate and copies of their birth parents medical history. Last time I check the birth certificate doesn’t have that info and there is no guarantee real paents or family will be welcoming. Sounds like a stretch and a deterrent from people adopting. Just my opinion.”
The above comment is the flip side of the prior comment: “So less people will put kids up for adoption now.”. And honestly, if people aren’t open to an adopted person knowing their biological kin, it’s probably for the best they don’t adopt. Knowing your biological kin takes nothing away from the relationship you have with your family; if it was honest and good, it will remain honest and good unless you choose to mess it up.
“except that a lot of people that give their children up for adoption do not want to be found or have any communication with the child. Its a painful process especially for those that don’t want to give them up but had no choice due to hardship and there are some adopters that prefer no communication with those parents for themselves and the child.”
Again, there’s a remedy for that: “I don’t want a relationship”, although one would hope they’d have grace to at least answer some questions. The last part about the AP’s? The adoptees are adults and have the right to have a relationship with whoever they want in their lives. Good adoptive parents with fears will stretch and if that isn’t enough, they seek advice and do their best to understand and adjust, just like we’ve adjusted to what other’s need our entire life.
“what about the biological mother who did everything to not abort that baby but lived through 9 months of sacrifices. According to Hollywood, that mother gave up her future for that child don’t you think she should have some rights too?”
This one made me laugh out loud because Hollywood is the authority on adoption? The rest isn’t worth commenting on.
“not everyone has their DNA on record to know family medical history or find family members. And I am not sure what you mean by your own records. In the modern world you will have a birth certificate and your own medical history. There are dozens of reasons why someone might want to stay anonymous and that is their right. Keep in mind they could have had an abortion. And does anyone really want to know they are the product of rape, incest, a priest and a nun or many other horrible circumstances? I agree people should have access to family medical history. But if someone didn’t have an abortion because of anonymity of adoption you might not want to cross that line.”
The previous commenter had noted correctly that with DNA testing there is no such thing as privacy, and yet, the commenter has no clue about how DNA links a family together. Also note the horror stories the adoptee could face; again, nothing new there, adoptees have had a lifetime being told those dire events may be our story.
Adoptive parents and agencies: you hold the power to shape how the public views adoption and being adopted. It’s up to you to educate others that adoptees have two sets of parents and have the right to all their truths, good or bad.