CLOSING ADOPTEES' RECORDS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
In today's society, information regarding personal status holds greater significance than ever. We are individualized by our Social Security numbers, our driver's licenses, bank and credit card accounts and our birth and medical records.This personal information must continue to be protected as intended by the Constitution. This protection is provided to every individual under the search-and-seizure clause of the Fourth Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures..."At the time of the Founding Fathers, what else could have been intended but that our personal information be regarded as "papers and effects"? It can only follow that "seizure" and denial of personal information from an adoptee in a closed-terminal adoption is unconstitutional.
Birth information and medical records are the property of both adoptee and birth parents. We cannot grant everyone but adopted individuals access to their vital information any more than we can say that everyone can vote but the Democrats, or that anyone can assemble with the exception of anti-war protesters. What do we say to the adoptee from a closed adoption faced with a life-threatening disease, unable to obtain hereditary information that might be life-saving?When the state withholds adoptee birth and medical records, the adoptees are singled out for unequal treatment in the seizure and availability of their personal records. This is in direct violation of the search-and-seizure clause of the Fourth Amendment as well as the equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
- Kyle Solberg,