I've been advocating the use of the phrase "equal access" (as opposed to open records) since 1989, when I presented the subject at an AAC regional and again in 2006 when I wrote about it in the BN newsletter....and it is slowly catching on.
Now for my modest proposal. Imagine approaching state legislators with a bill that requests everyone who is named on a birth certificate has access to that information: the mother, father, child named therein. No exceptions. Simple.
Do you think legislators would have trouble with that? Is there any issue of conflicting interest? Violating "secrecy" or promises of anonymity?
It is then pointed out that people separated by adoption SUBSEQUENT to the occurrence of the birth, are denied that right that is allowed all others. Why should they be denied the right to a birth certificate which is by all rights theirs and theirs alone?
Why should adoption annul the birth that preceded it? At the time of the birth the child was in every way - naturally, biologically and LEGALLY, the mother's (and father's, if named).
While adoptions proceedings are sealed to "protect" adoptive families from outside scrutiny, and the birth family can never find or interfere with children relinquished...the birth is not part of the adoption, as an adoption can take place at any time during the first 18years of a person's life. It has no more to do with birth than a subsequent marriage which likewise often changes a person's name.
Mothers and adoptees standing side by side, meeting with legislators, asking for EQUAL HUMAN RIGHTS to a document on which they are named, seems hard to argue with.
Worst case scenario they drag out the old alleged promises made to alleged mothers and suggest vetoes. Nothing new, they do that now. Though the counter argument is that all the adoptee would gain is their original birth certificate which may be very diffcult to lead to any current ID of their natural mothers, or fathers, especially if they did not want to be found. But whether they wanted to meet or not, every person has a right to their own birth certificate!
I believe that legislators seeing us together, side by side, both victims of sealed records - not as opposing parties with rights in conflict...it would be a help. It takes nothing away from adoptees, and makes the issue very clean and simple.
I think it's worth a try if anyone wants to propose such legislation.
We are likewise ALL entitled to all medical and nay other records that refer to us, and only us.In other words, adoptees - like any non-adopted person - is entitled to pediatric birth records, but not records that of the mother which would be HIPAA protected and accessible to her and her only. The mother should access to all hospital records, her and that of the child born of her body which might contain information that might be of importance to her in regard subsequent pregnancies or offspring, and which any other mother is entitled to. We and our subsequent offspring should not be punished for us having done what we were told is the right thing to do.
UPDATE: Are they kidding - ignoring OUR needs?
The American Medical Association voted today to oppose the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and declared that gay marriage bans contribute to health disparities.
The health disparities policy is based on evidence showing that married couples are more likely to have health insurance, and that the uninsured have a high risk for "living sicker and dying younger," said Dr. Peter Carmel, an AMA board member.
Is anyone working this angle? Trying to get them onboard on access to our records?