Adoptees, Birth Parents and Adoptive Parents are Natural Allies, Not Enemies.

Research has shown repeatedly that members of the adoption triad have mutual, not antagonistic, interests related to adult adoptee access to identifying information.

Madelyn Freundlich, Confidentiality Becomes Political: The New Strategy in Opposition to Open Records. American Adoption Congress Decree, Winter 1997/Spring 1998, at 4.

“Thus, it was the protection of children from public knowledge of their illegitimacy, rather than the protection of the parties from one another, that led to the sealing of OBCs”… (emphasis added)  By 1948, nearly all states began issuing amended birth certificates, with the new documents listing the names of the children’s adoptive parents as their biological parents (Carp, 1998). The original certificates were sealed from the public – but through the late-1950s generally not from adult adoptees – again, so that an out-of-wedlock birth or unknown parentage would not stigmatize the children (Samuels, 2000-2001, Car, 1998). By the 1940s, organizations such as the U.S. Children’s Bureau were offering additional reasons for sealing records, at least until the adopted person reached the age of majority. These included the desirability of protecting adoptive families from the intrusion of the “natural parents” (Morlock, 1945). The Bureau explicitly recognized the importance of access for adult adoptees, however, noting “every person has a right to know who he is and who his people were” (Morlock, 1946, p. 168) (emphasis added)

For The Records II: An Examination of the History and Impact Of Adult Adoptee Access to Original Birth Certificates, Policy & Practice Perspective, July 2010, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. p. 11