OPEN RECORDS ARE GOOD FOR ADOPTIVE FAMILIES
Is Open Records the same as Open Adoption?
NO! Open records are NOT the same as open adoption. Open records refers to an adult adoptee having equal access to legal documents which pertain to him or her, including original birth certificate and adoption decree. Open adoption refers to an arrangement for raising an adopted child.
Will Open Records threaten my relationship with my adoptive child?
NO! Adult adoptees having access to their records does not threaten parent-child relationships. With open records, nothing is changed while the adoptee is a child under the care of her adoptive parents Whether the relationship becomes better or worse when the adoptee is an adult depends a lot more on how parents raise their children as members of an adoptive family rather than on whether the adult adoptee has access to birth records.
Will Open Records cause a birth parent to try to reclaim my child.
NO! Open records are only meant for adult adoptees who have reached the age of majority.
Don’t only ungrateful, maladjusted adoptees need to search?
NO! Many high achieving, well-adjusted adoptees have a desire to search at some time in their lives. Having respect for this natural desire will only bring you and your child closer together. On the other hand, if your child does not desire to search, you should not push the issue. The issue is respect. It should be the choice of the adult adoptee.
Isn’t Open Records a dangerous, radical experiment?
NO! Actually, sealed records are the experiment. Adoption records were only sealed in this country after World War II in most states. Adoptee records were sealed based on a then-fashionable, highly ideological conception of adoption as starting with a clean slate that is widely acknowledged to be bankrupt if not pernicious today. The records were sealed to protect the child of adoption from the prevailing stigma of illegitimacy.
Will Open Records cause fewer adoptions?
NO! Studies indicate that the rate of adoption is not adversely affected when adoption records are opened to adults. This is another baseless scare tactic. In Great Britain and elsewhere more adoptions took place after records were opened than would have before. There is no indication that records access in the US has lowered the rate of adoption.