It’s Time To End It

Half of these United States still keep adoption records permanently sealed unless the affected person can obtain a court order.  As I tried to learn who my original grandparents were, I ran up against sealed records in Virginia, Arizona and California.  If my mom’s adoption had not been part of a baby stealing and selling scandal, I would not have gotten her adoption record from Tennessee.

It is time for the states to throw open the locked doors.

With inexpensive DNA testing and matching sites like Ancestry and 23 and Me, it is possible to do an end-run around the effort to keep the truth from people affected by these practices.

Given the wealth of information I received from Tennessee, there is likely to be equally important personal life details in the records of these states that still withhold information from persons who have been affected.

In my case, I am a direct descendant.  Both of my adoptee parents are deceased as are their original parents and adoptive parents.  Other than laziness, I really don’t get the value of preventing me from knowing information about my family that most people not affected by the practice easily know.

With Virginia, I had hoped to know if my mom was born in a hospital or at home and what time she was born.  With Arizona, I wanted to know if they still had records of the home visits by a probation officer prior to her adoption being finalized.  With California, I wanted to be able to see my dad’s original birth certificate.  At the time, I didn’t know if his mother, who was unwed, had named his father.

 

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