March 21, 2013

Why Oppose Adult Adoptees Accessing Their Original Birth Records


I have seven sisters and six brothers.

Sister Lee is fifteen months older than I. Although we weren’t close (another post?) we do share the same history— the town of Portsmouth and Wallis Sands Beach in Rye, both in New Hampshire. And together we welcomed Jane, the oldest child in my mother’s second family, into the family when I was eleven years old. We were together in a move to Buffalo, New York, in November 1955.

Jane was the oldest child in my mother’s second family—brother Hugh arrived in ‘56; sisters Cynthia and Sally ’58 and ’59, and brother Pete in ’63.

When I was in my thirties I met another sister and three of four new brothers, my father’s family from his second marriage. It was akin to the adoptee meeting their bio-parents, since I had no contact with or knowledge on my father or his new family until this time.

In January 2011 I was contacted (through CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS comments) by a sibling ten years younger than I. She was released for infant adoption by my mother.

Likewise, in February 2012 I was contacted the same way by a sibling five years younger than I. She too was released for infant adoption by my mother.

I was fortunate that I could meet both my new sisters, although each lived several states distant.


I was also fortunate that the reunions, in all cases, went well, and that we are all undergoing the difficult and tedious task of getting to know each other.

My experience provides a positive attitude towards opening adoption records for adult adoptees, although I recognize that this is not the case in all reunions.

My additional experience with access to open records for adult adoptees comes from a variety of angles. I’ve been an adoption home-study case-worker, I’m an adoptive parent and aunt.

A friend of mine, who once leaned towards open adoption records, may be retracting her opinion. She is deeply pondering the issue.

Her main fear is (more…)

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