why can’t adopted persons access their original birth records?


In most states, original birth certificates are replaced upon the finalization of every adoption.  The original birth information becomes filed away and sealed from all public access, and, according to the laws of the land as they stand now, those records shall remain sealed throughout the remainder of eternity.  Not even an original birth parent and/or the adopted person is allowed to have access of any kind to the original birth information of an adopted child.  That information is re-written into a brand new birth certificate, and the blanks are filled in with new parental information to match the adoptive parents with the newly-adopted baby (who may or may not retain the name recorded on the original birth certificate).  The new birth records are designed to give the appearance that the child was born to the adopting parents, as, after all, they are assuming all of the rights and responsibilities of parenting the child they are adopting as if he or she had been born to them.

This practice was put into place and “perfected” during the period we now call the Baby Scoop Era, which started largely in the early 20th century and became more refined throughout the later part of the century.  During this time period, women who were pregnant and unmarried were whisked away, usually by their families, under the cover of night and sent away to live in homes set up specifically for unwed mothers.  They were usually sent to a home in a different state from where they’d been living when the child was conceived, and the prearranged agreement was that they were to remain there throughout the entirety of their pregnancy then return promptly to their home state after the birth and relinquishment of the baby to the adoption agency and the adopters.  It has been said that these laws concerning the original birth information were put into place to protect the “privacy” of these mothers by effectively doing away with all evidence that they ever gave birth out of, shall we say, less than ideal circumstances.  It was the job of certain “concerned parties” to “counsel” an unwed mother as well as help to facilitate/mediate/carry out the adoption of her gestating child.  Such counseling largely consisted of many reassurances that as soon as her baby was whisked away from her and given to someone else to raise, she would forget all about it and go on to marry, have other children, and lead an otherwise productive life.  It was a sort this kind of, “There, there, dear, don’t you worry yourself about a thing.  We’ll arrange everything.  It’ll be as if this whole messy business had never even happened.  And, besides, since this child will belong to someone else, what would be the point of retaining any evidence that the child was ever yours?”  Of course this, “you’ll forget all about it” thing couldn’t be farther from the truth of the actual experience of most birth mothers.  It is now very well-known and well-documented that women do not forget – ever (unless they are struck with persistent amnesia). This approach was all part of the rationale behind the sealed birth records and a basic component in the history of how it all came to be.

As many advocates now head to their state legislature brances to rally in favor of adoptees’ rights to be granted access to their original birth records, many who oppose the idea use the argument of a birth parents’ right to privacy, citing the archaic Baby Scoop era line of thinking.  As a birth parent myself, I am of the opinion that once I procreate, my genetic information is no longer mine to keep under lock and key.  If I truly want to keep my name out of the mix of someone else’s entry into this world then the answer to that is simple: I refrain from procreating.  If I truly want to keep my genetic information to myself, then I do not contribute it to a newly-forming fetus that, if left to gestate in peace, will become another human being, who is not now and never will be me.  Otherwise, once I’ve participated in the procreation process, then any law that is supposed to protect my so-called privacy has become irrelevant, a moot point.  The right to that privacy was forfeited by the very real and verifiable event of having conceived, gestated, and given birth to a living human being.  For if the natural order of things prevails, my offspring will, in turn, contribute their genetic information – which also happens to include my genetic information – to other human beings, and so the cycle of the continuation of our species carries on.

This is all scientific and actual fact that is irrefutable.  Therefore, my genetic information never was and never will be exclusively mine.  It belonged to plenty of other people long before I was ever conceived.  It will belong to others long after I’m gone.  The rest is just paperwork – which, by the way, happens to be a system put in place, in part, to provide a reference to document the existence of the previous generations for the sake of posterity.  If the genetic information is not mine exclusively (nor does it, by the way, belong to the state), then neither is the accompanying paperwork.  It’s just common sense.

And that is what has gone off the rails with current adoption laws, practices, and procedures in the United States…most all of it defies COMMON M-Fing SENSE!!!

And so, if we have managed to hold onto enough sanity in the lunacy of today’s world to maintain at least some measure of common sense, then we owe it to the generations to come to re-introduce the rare and precious commodity of common sense that’s been lost to the generation of now (for it seems to have become masked by the fog of pink unicorn farts that is now the accepted average, everyday adoption story that baby brokers have so shrewdly been marketing in recent decades).

How much simpler can this @#*&%$!~ing be???  Give people their @#*&%$!~ing birth records, already!!!


2 thoughts on “why can’t adopted persons access their original birth records?

  1. Well put! I am an adoptee and I am dealing with TWO closed records states so I pretty much have No chance of finding out my info. And I have a Multitude of medical problems, which most are evidently hereditary. I know my birth name but have been able to get no further. I would Love to get my biological info as well as my family medical history so that my kids and my grandkids know what kind of health problems to possibly expect and try to Prevent. But I guess I have to accept that it won’t happen just because of political shit like in your article. It is Not fair to us, the adoptees to be kept in the dark and to not be allowed to Preveent medical problems because of not being Allowed to know our biological information. So thank you for your supporting this issue and for trying to make this issue heard by them.

    • There is no good reason for the sealed records. We will not stop until every adopted person is free to have access to THEIR (key word) birth records!

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