Adoption transparency measure passes hurdle in NYS Senate

china mom

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Feb 15, 2010
.... "New Yorkers need their own medical histories in order to make better health care choices. And connecting adoptees and birth parents works; in the overwhelming majority of cases, these reunions are cherished by both parties. .....
I think that this is someone looking at the world through rose colored glasses. just because you identify a birth parent does not mean that the birth parent would be willing to meet with the bio child. and if they do meet, it does not guarantee access to medical information or family history. And the bio child has no way of knowing that a birth parent is giving a full and accurate health history. heck, I grew up with my biological parents and they were less than open with me about much of their health history. When I became my mother's caregiver, she lied about so much that I literally almost killed her (she said she didn't take diuretics and as a result went into congestive heart failure).

I would also like to know what study he found that showed "the overwhelming majority of cases, these reunions are cherished by both parties" He might be right but he also might not be. He can't just assume based on his personal beliefs.
 

Hikergirl

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Feb 28, 2016
I think that this is someone looking at the world through rose colored glasses. just because you identify a birth parent does not mean that the birth parent would be willing to meet with the bio child. and if they do meet, it does not guarantee access to medical information or family history. And the bio child has no way of knowing that a birth parent is giving a full and accurate health history. heck, I grew up with my biological parents and they were less than open with me about much of their health history. When I became my mother's caregiver, she lied about so much that I literally almost killed her (she said she didn't take diuretics and as a result went into congestive heart failure).

I would also like to know what study he found that showed "the overwhelming majority of cases, these reunions are cherished by both parties" He might be right but he also might not be. He can't just assume based on his personal beliefs.
I'd like to know if included parents who wanted the adoption sealed or was it just open adoptions they "studied".
 
  • DisneyDebbie

    DIS Veteran
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    Jul 1, 2007
    If this goes through, time will tell how this works out.

    It seems some of you think an adult adoptee receiving their original birth certificate means they will go barging into peoples lives, forcing relationships. Who’s to say the adoptee just wants to know his/her mothers name? What time they were born? How many pounds they were at birth? Maybe the adoptee was given a different name at birth?

    Once you have a name, you can research your heritage, look at marriage and death certificates, service records, jail records, newspaper stories... gathering information doesn’t have to be talking face to face and disruptive.

    In my experience with who I’ve known throughout my life, adult adoptees know who their parents are (as in who raised them). Finding out their biological roots is not replacing their childhood or their family.

    In regards to people’s opinions, don’t we all use our own experience and knowledge? Some of you have had (or know of) a negative experience, doesn’t mean that’s how it will always be
     

    amberpi

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    Jul 13, 2012
    I am not discompassionate. My best friend found her birth mom and now has a great relationship with her. So, obviously, I'm thrilled for her and enjoy her mom now too. She isn't my sister, but she is. HOWEVER, not only is it a breach of privacy which I hold as one of our most important human rights, but it's a breach of contract. If the laws change going forward, women can make their adoption decisions with that information in hand. What if HIPAA (a great boon to privacy) was overthrown tomorrow? I bet transparency to possible employers, or whoever, on things like sexual history would not be transmitted to medical professionals like it is now. I know that's a straw man, but privacy is important too.
     

    DisneyDebbie

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    I am not discompassionate. My best friend found her birth mom and now has a great relationship with her. So, obviously, I'm thrilled for her and enjoy her mom now too. She isn't my sister, but she is. HOWEVER, not only is it a breach of privacy which I hold as one of our most important human rights, but it's a breach of contract. If the laws change going forward, women can make their adoption decisions with that information in hand. What if HIPAA (a great boon to privacy) was overthrown tomorrow? I bet transparency to possible employers, or whoever, on things like sexual history would not be transmitted to medical professionals like it is now. I know that's a straw man, but privacy is important too.
    I understand your point and I can agree to an extent. Where it gets tricky is that the contract was made while the child had no say. Almost like in divorce proceedings, where the babies/young children have no say, but as they age, the courts, judge, parents give merit to their thoughts. I think the difference for me is that the original birth certificate pertains to my being, it’s a document about me. And again, the birth parents have the right to refuse any contact.
    In my perspective, HIPAA is necessary and doesn’t qualify in the same situation. Each adult individual is able to request their own reports/documents.
     

    Katie Dawn

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    Apr 15, 2007
    Wanted to chime in here since it's a commonly held belief about adoptees being curious about their birth families. Long-term studies conducted with large groups of adoptees over several decades has shown that whether or not a child/adult is interested in finding out about their bio family seems to be based on their personality, not their life experience. People often think that if adoptees are raised in a loving family they won't be curious, but as we can see from some of the PPs that just isn't true. The adoptee may have been raised by loving parents and be intensely curious, they have may have been raised by abusive adoptive parents and have zero interest. It's not a male / female thing. They just either are, or aren't, interested... and it doesn't reflect anything at all about their personal experience as an adoptee.

    I'm not responding to any particular commenter, but this belief is often an underlying assumption in these conversations, so putting it out there!
     
  • pixiedustedme

    Planning is half the fun
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    Mar 4, 2019
    Adoptee Rights has passed the NYS Senate- now onto the Assembly! Hopefully NY will join other states in allowing adoptees the right to their own birth certificates that has so long been denied to them! “The right to know one’s identity is a human right that should not be incrementally bestowed or denied to any American".
    This should be universal, nationwide. Everyone should have access to their actual birth certificate.
     

    pixiedustedme

    Planning is half the fun
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    Mar 4, 2019
    In States where the child's rights have been put before the mother's they are being challenged.

    In this case there is an easy solution- allow it from this point forward (or when it is signed into law).
    Let any adoption that was done prior with a sealed record remain sealed.
    That isn't an easy solution. You're assuming that the natural mothers all wanted the records to be sealed, but that is not the case. For most of the last century, there was no other choice but sealed records for adoption. Many women signed the papers because they had no way to care for their child, but they nevertheless felt terrible about having the child taken away. Also, many women and girls were forced, tricked or heavily pressured into adoptons they didn't want. Some are still being pressured into adoptions they don't want even today.

    Every person has the right to know the facts of their birth. If the natural parents want nothing to do with the child, then fine. But that child has the right to know his or her origins.
     
    Last edited:

    gwynne

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    It isn't an easy solution. You're assuming that the natural mothers all wanted the records to be sealed, but that is not the case. For decades, there was no other choice but sealed records for adoption. Also, many women and girls were forced, tricked or pressured into adoptions they didn't want.

    Every person has the right to know the facts of their birth. If the natural parents want nothing to do with the child, then fine. But that child has the right to know his or her origins.
    You might be right. But the eventual result will be far fewer adoptions. Maybe that's the goal, IDK.

    Personally, I don't believe every person has the means and support to afford every child in every situation.
    I also don't think that victims of sexual assault should be forced to co-parent with their assaulter. Sexual assault is more common than many people think.
    I guess there are other options for someone in a very difficult situation.
    The legal and ethical discussions will continue.
     

    pixiedustedme

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    You might be right. But the eventual result will be far fewer adoptions. Maybe that's the goal, IDK.

    Personally, I don't believe every person has the means and support to afford every child in every situation.
    I also don't think that victims of sexual assault should be forced to co-parent with their assaulter. Sexual assault is more common than many people think.
    I guess there are other options for someone in a very difficult situation.
    The legal and ethical discussions will continue.
    I disagree that required open birth records will lead to fewer adoptions. Most adoptions today are much more open than adoptions of the past, which indicates that is what the natural mother usually wants.

    I absolutely agree that no rapist should be allowed to co-parent. That should be a law. Convicted rapists should automatically have their parental rights to the child of the rape terminated.
     
  • aprilgail

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    Nov 10, 2001
    Wanted to chime in here since it's a commonly held belief about adoptees being curious about their birth families. Long-term studies conducted with large groups of adoptees over several decades has shown that whether or not a child/adult is interested in finding out about their bio family seems to be based on their personality, not their life experience. People often think that if adoptees are raised in a loving family they won't be curious, but as we can see from some of the PPs that just isn't true. The adoptee may have been raised by loving parents and be intensely curious, they have may have been raised by abusive adoptive parents and have zero interest. It's not a male / female thing. They just either are, or aren't, interested... and it doesn't reflect anything at all about their personal experience as an adoptee.

    I'm not responding to any particular commenter, but this belief is often an underlying assumption in these conversations, so putting it out there!
    That is so true! My family was great- and yes I still consider every one of them MY family because they are. I was adopted in NYC and lived my life in the suburbs, mom, dad, brother, 2 dogs and a cat. My dad was the manager of all my softball teams growing up, we vacationed every year, had family reunions every year with extended family- yet part of me still felt "empty", had a hole deep down always just wondering why, why I was given away and who my biological parents were. My dad passes away when I was 21 but my mom was totally supportive of me looking. She even invited my birth mom to my baby shower! My birth mom passed away 2 years ago but her husband is one of the most stand up men I have ever met. She was actually married to him and just separated when I was conceived by another guy. They got back together and when I was born gave me up- they had 2 other children already and she was only 20 and couldn't afford anymore. When I found her I was afraid that he would be resentful of me dragging it up again but he was so cool- he signs cards to me "love dad" and he treats my daughter the same as every other one of his grandkids-he is so wonderful. He had actually told her to look for me if she wanted to and she was registered at the 2 sites I was not registered on!
    My brother who was brought up in the same house as me has ZERO interest in contacting his bio family- his ancestry DNA shows 1/2 siblings and first cousins but he could care less. Took me years of searching before I had a hit close enough to find my bio father (he passed in 1999 in a homeless shelter).
     

    focusondisney

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    May 7, 2009
    This should be universal, nationwide. Everyone should have access to their actual birth certificate.
    I totally agree. My DH found out he was adopted from a family member after both his parents passed away.. he had no idea he was adopted. We live in NY state, but he moved here with his parents at about a year old. He was born in New England. So even if NY passes this law, it wouldn’t do him any good, since his original birth certificate isn’t from NY. Unless they have a copy on record from the adoption & also make that available to adoptees.
     

    aprilgail

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    Nov 10, 2001
    I totally agree. My DH found out he was adopted from a family member after both his parents passed away.. he had no idea he was adopted. We live in NY state, but he moved here with his parents at about a year old. He was born in New England. So even if NY passes this law, it wouldn’t do him any good, since his original birth certificate isn’t from NY. Unless they have a copy on record from the adoption & also make that available to adoptees.
    That is horrible, to be lied to your entire life. I always told my mom I was glad she told me from the time I was a toddler because if I found out later in life I would have never trusted them again. He can always do a dna test, most of the time you can sort out who is who and track it back to bio parents.
     

    DisneyDebbie

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    Jul 1, 2007
    Do you know which 9 states allow adoptees to have access to their birth certificates?
    Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Rhode Island
    I could be wrong, but I also think Pennsylvania and New Jersey recently opened original non-certified birth certificates for adoptees
     

    amberpi

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    Jul 13, 2012
    I understand your point and I can agree to an extent. Where it gets tricky is that the contract was made while the child had no say. Almost like in divorce proceedings, where the babies/young children have no say, but as they age, the courts, judge, parents give merit to their thoughts. I think the difference for me is that the original birth certificate pertains to my being, it’s a document about me. And again, the birth parents have the right to refuse any contact.
    In my perspective, HIPAA is necessary and doesn’t qualify in the same situation. Each adult individual is able to request their own reports/documents.
    It's like immigration, there isn't one single great answer. Wish there was, but if a contract was signed, it was signed, the state shouldn't have the right to pull it out from under people and say "just kidding." I think that may be the easiest answer for me because it at least follows the law...going forward, I don't see an easy solution, but I think it's crap if someone gave up there child for that kid to just be able to pop back up. Now, if you choose to adopt (and I do think this change will mean less adoptions, more abortions, and more abandonments) when the rules change you'd know that was always possible, so that seems like a legal standing I can stand by while putting away my own emotional response.
     

    DisneyDebbie

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    Jul 1, 2007
    Honestly, in my day to day life and other social media platforms, the majority of opinions are for this ‘adoptees rights’ amendment. The pushback that has been demonstrated here has gotten me to think a bit more. My opinion hasn’t changed, but I do like to listen to both sides of a discussion.

    I looked at the requirements for New Jersey and Pennsylvania opening up their birth records. Any adoption that happened before 1940 is already open for the original birth record. After 1940 is when the privacy law came to be. There is a clause that the birth parent has the option to redact their identifying information from the birth records before they were opened to adoptees. Both states listed a deadline that the form had to be received by. Along with the privacy form, they also had to fill out a family history - medical, cultural, and social. Without that information, the state will not honor the redaction request. I guess that’s a compromise, the birth parent can have their privacy, while still giving the adoptee more info than they have had previously.
     



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