ABORTION, ADOPTION AND OPEN RECORDS
Since the advent of the adoptee rights movement, those who oppose open records for adult adoptees have often claimed that open records would lead to an increase in the rate of abortion and a decrease in the rate of adoption. These claims are nothing more than propaganda that is easily debunked by empirical data. There is no correlation between records access for adult adoptees and a rising abortion rate, nor between records access and a declining adoption rate.
Open Records Does NOT Lead to an Increase in the Rates of Abortion
According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the historically open records states of Alaska and Kansas have lower abortion rates (14.6/1000; 18.9/1000 respectively for women age 15-44) than the United States as a whole with a rate of 22.9/1000. (1996)http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/journals/3026398.html
Also according to the Guttmacher Institute, in England and Wales the abortion rate increased from 1961 through 1973. Beginning in 1974, when open records were discussed in Parliament and then codified into law, the abortion rate has continually decreased.
Oregon Right to Life chose NOT to oppose Measure 58, Oregon’s open records ballot initiative, because it was satisfied that Measure 58 would not cause the abortion rate to go up.
Open Records Does NOT Lead to a Decrease in the Rate of Adoption
The National Center for Court Statistics reported that the 1992 rate of adoptions per thousand live births were 31.2 nationally, 53.5 in Alaska and 48.4 in Kansas, two open records states, but lower in surrounding states with sealed records laws (CO, 26.0; MO, 27.5; NE, 42.4; and OK 47.6). [Source: Flango & Flango, National Center for Court Statistics, “How Many Children Were Adopted in 1992,” 74 Child Welfare 1018, 1021-22 (1995)].
In England between 1968 and 1976, when adoption records were closed, adoptions declined from 14,641 in 1968 to 4,777 in 1976, which is a decline of 67 percent. Between 1976 and 1984, when adoption records were open, adoptions declined to 2,910, which is a decline of only 39 percent.
In New South Wales, Australia, between 1972 and 1990, when adoption records were closed, adoptions declined from 4,564 in 1972 to 688 in 1991,which is a rate of 85 percent. The rate of decline between 1991, when adoption records were opened, and today, shows no significant rate of change.