Adoption transparency measure passes hurdle in NYS Senate

Hikergirl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
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.
So, those people had a choice to unseal their records if they wanted too.
There are plenty of birth parents who did not want to be known. At the time of the adoption that was their right.
Your opinion is every person as a "right" to know their origins but that is based on your feelings.
Fact is that every person who wanted to remain unknown did actually have the right of privacy, since it was a legal document that they signed.
I have no problem with a new law in place for any adoption carried out going forward.
Like I said previously in this thread- I have a real problem with government ripping (actual legal) rights away from people who have not broken any laws. That is something every citizen should have an issue with, someday you may be the one they are doing it too. I bet you won't be so supportive then.
 
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Hikergirl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
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.
There is definitely a way to compromise, and it is sad when lawmakers aren't willing too try to find a way to do that. I guess they forget that those birth parents at one time were the citizens they were trying to protect,
 

DisneyDebbie

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 1, 2007
There is definitely a way to compromise, and it is sad when lawmakers aren't willing too try to find a way to do that. I guess they forget that those birth parents at one time were the citizens they were trying to protect,
I don’t understand this response. Are you saying that having a redaction clause available for privacy before they open the birth records isn’t good enough?

Or are you saying that opening records when an adoptee turns 18 should only be available going forward from now. Anyone born between 1940 and 2020 is SOL?
 
  • pixiedustedme

    Planning is half the fun
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2019
    So, those people had a choice to unseal their records if they wanted too.
    No, actually, those mothers cannot unseal the records. Girls being heavily pressured to give up babies for adoption was widespread throughout most of the 20th century. It wasn't an aberration that only happened to a few. They had no hand in drawing up the legal documents they signed, often while they were underage, and typically with no access to legal counsel. So the argument that they would be victimized by having records unsealed does not carry any weight.
     

    gwynne

    Happily planning our next adventure
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2012
    No, actually, those mothers cannot unseal the records. Girls being heavily pressured to give up babies for adoption was widespread throughout most of the 20th century. It wasn't an aberration that only happened to a few. They had no hand in drawing up the legal documents they signed, often while they were underage, and typically with no access to legal counsel. So the argument that they would be victimized by having records unsealed does not carry any weight.
    Some were pressured, some weren't. Period.
    It concerns me that it appears that it doesn't matter what you signed.
    All this will really do is make another option that will guarantee privacy far more attractive going forward.
     
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    Wishing on a star

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2002
    That is unfortunate. Many adoptions are not positive or easy decisions. Women who consider giving up their infant for adoption with the desire that those negative and difficult times will not continue to affect them, forever, will now give more consideration and weight to other measures that offer a permanent option.
    For the record, I fully believe that this goes both ways. I do not feel that 'open' adoptions that give the birth parent information and access should be the legal requirement, either.

    This is from somebody who has some knowledge and experience on both sides of this.

    Not everything that somebody might want or think that they deserve is a Human Right.
     
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  • Searc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2018
    People love to chant "chose adoption not abortion" - then turn around and tell people they have no right to give up a child and expect privacy
    They also love to say "choose adoption not abortion" but then don't give a crap once the child is actually born. Do gooders support adoption but when actual monetary support is needed for that child, see ya, not my problem, etc. We see it over and over and over.
     

    Snowysmom

    <font color=darkorchid>If they say "That's interes
    Joined
    May 11, 2003
    I am happy to be able to get information about my birth mother. My family is the one I grew up with and will always be. My adoptive parents have passed. I got my preadoption birth certificate (Massachusetts) and got my birth mother's name. I did a search through Ancestry and found out about her and her family. I had already gotten a nonidentifying letter from the adoption agency so I knew a bit about her and her family. She has passed and I have no intention of contacting the few members of her family who are left. It is just nice for me to have a name and to know a bit about her. Also I saw her high school yearbook picture which was very interesting. I did 23 and me DNA testing. Just a few months ago I had a match for a half sister on my birth father's side through 23 and me. I contacted her through the 23 and Me website just to see if she was interested in talking. She responded and she is a very nice and very gracious person. I would not have pushed the issue if she did not want to talk with me. We met when she was in my area on vacation and we talked for a couple of hours. She showed me pictures of my birth father and told me about him. I saw pictures of my other half siblings. I felt like I was talking with an old friend. And we do look a little bit alike. I also got some medical history which is one thing I have wanted. He has passed too. Interestingly, I found out fairly recently that my adoptive mother gave up a son for adoption 12 years before I was adopted. A couple of years ago his daughter sent me a letter asking about my adoptive mother, her birth grandmother. She emailed a copy of the birth certificate as well as pictures of him. He looked like my uncles. I was intrigued to be honest. She told me all about him. We still keep in touch. I can understand some people being cautious about adoptees getting the information about their birth parents. But, I think most adoptees looking for birth parents are curious and just want to know a bit about them.
     

    Wishing on a star

    DIS Veteran
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    Aug 7, 2002
    They also love to say "choose adoption not abortion" but then don't give a crap once the child is actually born. Do gooders support adoption but when actual monetary support is needed for that child, see ya, not my problem, etc. We see it over and over and over.
    Wow. Seriously?
    Do not realize how inappropriate and negative and untrue that statement is?
    There are people here on this board who are adoptive parents.
    I know several adoptive parents.

    You actually call supporters of adoption 'do gooders'?
    Are you actually saying that other options are preferable because, obviously, states offer no assistance for infants and children in poverty? Like it is all about the 'monetary support'.

    I was just going to respond to the OP's update and then move on, but.

    Just wondering, you know...
     
  • Searc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2018
    Wow. Seriously?
    Do not realize how inappropriate and negative and untrue that statement is?
    There are people here on this board who are adoptive parents.
    I know several adoptive parents.

    You actually call supporters of adoption 'do gooders'?
    Are you actually saying that other options are preferable because, obviously, states offer no assistance for infants and children in poverty? Like it is all about the 'monetary support'.

    I was just going to respond to the OP's update and then move on, but.

    Just wondering, you know...
    I am clearly not talking about adoptive parents.
     

    MrsPete

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2002
    I think with DNA testing easy and readily available now that expectation of privacy is already going out the window.
    Yes, that makes perfect sense for the girl considering giving up her baby for adoption TODAY ... but what about the woman who gave up a baby 20-30-40-50 years ago and thought she was closing the door on that chapter of her life? When she made the decision, she had no idea this technology would one day exist.

    I'm sure some birth mothers want to stay "hidden", while others would love to be found -- but I do feel sorry for those who have had the choice taken away from them by new technology.
    Dirty little secrets? That is how you see sealed adoptions?
    I'd say it depends upon how the family has treated the whole event. Remember people used to send a pregnant teen away "to spend a year with an aunt" in another state to hide a pregnancy /adoption.
    I think that you mean that the _adoption_ was not what the mother wanted?
    I don't think any birth mother WANTS an adoption. That is, no woman says, "I think I'll get pregnant so I can carry the child, give birth, then give the child to a stranger. Yes, that's what I want." Rather, birth mothers choose adoption because it is the best option available to them in a difficult situation.
    I fear that this type of law, which sounds good in theory, may have the opposite effect of discouraging people from considering giving up their babies for adoption. SOME people want privacy. They have their reasons and it's not up to us to decide whether they are "good" ones or not. If they gave a child up for adoption BECAUSE there was privacy, this is a real slap in the face to them. I'm all for registries that allow adoptees and birth parents to decide whether they are BOTH interested in release of this information.
    I was thinking the same thing, though I totally agree that with simple-and-cheap DNA testing, that desire for privacy is no longer possible.
    ... Back in my college days (long before I knew I'd have fertility problems), one of my girl friends worked for an adoption agency (different state) and said that the unwed moms who were immature tended to keep their babies. The more mature girls wanted a better life for their babies and were able to make the very difficult(!) decision to give them up for adoption. It wasn't a matter of keeping a "dirty little secret" -- it was an unselfish gift of love.
    I have a friend who works with adoptions, and she says something similar: She says that teens tend to keep their babies ... but adoptive moms tend to be a little older, are out on their own and know how tough it can be to support yourself, often have one child already and know they can't manage another. She says THOSE are the birth mothers who give up their babies ... yes, an unselfish choice. Her own son was born in prison, and she says that's the "gold star baby". Why? Because a pregnant prisoner has 3 meals a day, medical care, and limited access to drugs and alcohol. I don't claim to know a lot about adoption, but I was interested in what she said -- it wasn't what I had believed.
     

    mom2rtk

    Invented the term "Characterpalooza"
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2008
    I fear that this type of law, which sounds good in theory, may have the opposite effect of discouraging people from considering giving up their babies for adoption. SOME people want privacy. They have their reasons and it's not up to us to decide whether they are "good" ones or not. If they gave a child up for adoption BECAUSE there was privacy, this is a real slap in the face to them. I'm all for registries that allow adoptees and birth parents to decide whether they are BOTH interested in release of this information.
    Registries exist already. If both parties want to break the seal on the adoption and meet, the means is already there. So apparently the new laws are happening to force people who specifically don't want their information released, for a myriad of reasons, to give it up.
     

    luvsJack

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2007
    They also love to say "choose adoption not abortion" but then don't give a crap once the child is actually born. Do gooders support adoption but when actual monetary support is needed for that child, see ya, not my problem, etc. We see it over and over and over.
    Not true in the least. That is simply the chant that those on the other side of the debate have latched on to.
     

    DisneyDebbie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2007
    First and foremost, ALL human beings deserve compassion and empathy. In my experience adoptees are not out to harm or endanger anyone. Perhaps they have a bio parent that wishes for no contact, it is their prerogative and the adoptee should respect that decision. However, what if the Bio Grandmother, Aunt, or sibling has a different perspective and would like to conctact or form a relationship? What gives the Bio parent the right to choose for ALL of the adults in their family?

    I remember a thread about a sister who was estranged from her brother. The reason was because she supported her niece being gay. The brother disowned his daughter and sister over this. Everyone here agreed that the Aunt was right to support her niece despite going against the wishes of her brother.

    Adoption, unwed mothers, single parenting has evolved over the decades. Amending the laws created in other times happens to accommodate these changes.

    And obviously I can’t get into the pro-life pro-choice debate here...

    ETA - I’m not out to change anyone’s mind. Just a discussion of ideas and opinions
     
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    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    Registries exist already. If both parties want to break the seal on the adoption and meet, the means is already there​
    Key phrase. But it sounds like this NY law allows the child 100% of the decision.

    Absolutely when both parties want to ymeet, and both register with a clearinghouse, they should be given the means to contact.
    What gives the Bio parent the right to choose for ALL of the adults in their family?
    Being the biological parent. Heck, there's a good chance the biological grandmother had a degree of influence (minimal to extreme) in the decision.
    Everyone here agreed that the Aunt was right to support her niece despite going against the wishes of her brother.
    Not the same. You are comparing someone who has grown up in and with the family her entire life (and for whom being gay is nature, not a decision) and who very reasonably expects family support, to someone about whose existence most/all family are unaware.
     

    Wishing on a star

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2002
    I am clearly not talking about adoptive parents.
    No, that is not clear.
    And, that doesn't matter.... Doesn't matter at all. You said 'adoption supporters', followed my name calling.
    No question about this, at all.
    There are a lot of adoption supporters, and many of these are adoptive parents.
    You said what you said. Completely negative and untrue and inappropriate in all respects.
    Backpeddling or trying to hide behind semantics doesn't change that.

    Be careful people, you hate is showing.
     


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