Birth Mothers’ Needs for Privacy? Again?

June 5th, 2007
Categories: Open Records

This editorial states that: Adoptive adults deserve sympathy and support in reconciling with their fate. What they don't need is a proposed state law granting them access to records that make it easier for them to identify and contact their birth parents. Adoptees do not need sympathy or support if their "fate" is adoption. They need their adoption records and should have a right to them. How insulting is it to adoptees to insinuate that they need people to feel sympathetic towards them, but imply they should just accept the fact that they do not know their own roots? And then, of course, there is the obligatory argument about birth mothers needing their privacy. Just once I would love to see an open records… [more]

What are Open Records Really All About?

May 18th, 2007
Categories: Open Records

Reunion lover that I am, when I write about open records I often yammer on about how many opportunities reunions provide for healing. I talk about how much my reunion has helped me to find some peace and resolution. I discuss all the ins and outs of reunions and talk about various possible outcomes. However, adoptees’ rights’ activists make a very valid point when the subject of open records comes up. Open records are not just about reunion. In fact, people are reuniting all over the place without open records. Reunions happen often because for some there is a burning desire to reconnect and they find ways to do so. The point that I need reminders about from adoptees’ rights’ advocates… [more]

Tracking Down Birth Parents

May 10th, 2007

You have to love that term - "tracking down." For me it evokes an image of someone dressed in camouflage gear traipsing through the woods carrying a long rifle, and ready to aim and fire. Although I do not believe it is the best way to describe an adoption search, sometimes searching is a matter of tracking someone down. Therefore "tracking down" does not bother me. Tracking Down Biological Kids or Parents is an article about recent changes in adoption access laws in North Carolina. The reporter began this story by using "biological parents" and "tracking down" in the title of this story. Two faux paux already for those advocates of positive adoption language(PAL). Good thing I loathe much of PAL personally! This… [more]

Massachusetts OBC Survey

March 16th, 2007
Categories: Open Records

If you adopted in or were adopted and born in or adopted in Massachusetts this may be of interest to you. The Center for Family Connections is conducting a survey to research the impact of attempts to access original birth certificates in order to affect change in the law to gain access to birth certificates for all parents of adopted children under 18 years as well as adopted young adults and adults over 18 years of age. The deadline for the survey is Sunday, March 18th and you can pass it on to any one who may be interested. The link is at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?A=183023480E95930 The beginning of the survey asks some basic questions such as whether you were born in Massachusetts and whether you were… [more]

Ontario Adoption Disclosure Act Part 2

February 6th, 2007
Categories: Open Records

Ms. Stevens fears that the result of this legislation that there will be natural parents who have no choice but to live their lives in fear of their secret being found out by other members of their family or friends. The article goes on to say that there are adopted children who as adults may be unaware that they had been adopted and are happy with their lives the way they have chosen to live them without knowing their natural parents. The article discusses the application filed in the Ontario Superior Court last October they argue by amending the province’s Vital Statistics Act to disclose adoption related records without the other person’s consent, the Adoption Information Disclosure Act provides a “unilateral and presumptive right to… [more]

Ontario Adoption Disclosure Act Part 1

February 6th, 2007
Categories: Open Records

Ontario’s new Adoption Disclosure Act that comes into effect September 1, 2007 will allow adult adoptees and natural parents to find out the identity of one another without the other’s consent. Two attorneys have teamed up to challenge the constitutionality of the new act arguing that it violates the privacy rights of those individuals who wish to remain anonymous. In addition, one of the attorneys has a personal interest in the case because she found out that she was adopted when she was 14 years old. There was an article in the Law Times at http://www.lawtimesnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1020&Itemid=82 on Monday, January 29th detailing the full story. The article starts out telling the readers that a Toronto lawyer, Stacey L. Stevens found out she was adopted… [more]

Opening Records State by State & Weather in CA

January 31st, 2007
Categories: Open Records

Where but in California could I take a photo like this one at this time of the year? Florida, maybe? Although it snowed in Malibu a few weeks ago, our weather is superb this time of year. Our weather is alternating between barely freezing to 80 degrees! California has made at least two attempts to open records, maybe more. Both have failed. It is very tough to drum up the money needed to get legislation passed, and many other factors make it difficult as well. This article towards the bottom of this webpage discusses some of the open records' attempts in various states. It is not a comprehensive list as I know that other states have made attempts to open records as… [more]

Access to Adoption Records in the Rest of the World

January 28th, 2007
Categories: Open Records

Ever wonder how difficult it is for adoptees in the rest of the world to access their adoption records or original birth certificates? In most countries, it is much easier than in the United States. If you live in another country, do you know the laws in your country on adoption access? This link discusses access to adoption records in some other countries. Even many countries less developed than the United States have open records laws for adoptees in place. Records have been opened to both parties in Australia, the U.K., and two other provinces in Canada. In France, Finland, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Norway, and Israel, adoption records have never been closed. Natural mother, Bryony Lake's article about open… [more]

More on NJ Legislation

January 25th, 2007
Categories: Open Records

Larry Newman, reunited adult adoptee and volunteer for NJ Care wrote to me privately clarifying the Courier Post’s December 7th article. With his permission I have reprinted his response for you here. New Jersey's bill (S-1087/A-2557) was originally introduced with an appropriation of $90,000, not $1,000,000. Here is the history of the million dollar price tag. In the last legislative session (2003-2005), the bill in the assembly was assigned to an "unfriendly" committee. This committee let the bill sit for nearly two years and decided to schedule the only public hearing in the last month of the session, December, 2005. A week or so before the hearing, the committee introduced amendments raising the appropriation to $300,000. On the morning, prior to the hearing, the… [more]

New Jersey’s Long Fight for Open Records

January 25th, 2007
Categories: Open Records

"This bill has been my life for nearly 26 years," said Pam Hasegawa, spokeswoman for the New Jersey Coalition for Adoption Reform and Education. "I eat it, I sleep it, my family and friends are tired of hearing about it. I think everyone agrees it's been a very, very long road, and this is the closest we've ever come. It's very satisfying to see the secrecy of adoption finally erode." New Jersey adoption reform advocates have been fighting long and hard to open records in their state. Pam Hasegawa has worked tirelessly towards this goal. Is victory in this long battle finally in sight for Pam and her cohorts? For birth/first mothers, it is extremely discouraging to read newspapers articles quoting men who… [more]