My name is Amy Burt. I live on the W. T. Waggoner estate, south of Vernon, Texas. I am also an adoptee. I am asking you to change the laws concerning adoptee access to their own records. As I look over my part of the Waggoner Ranch, I am consistently reminded of what I do not have. The owners of this ranch have the medical history and ancestral lineage of every livestock, horses and cattle, on this ranch. This helps them prevent and correct malformation, diseases, and even death in these animals. These people would not have the profitable ranch without this key information.
I also visited my sister over the weekend. Our father died about five years ago. We were going over pictures and other memories. I was utterly amazed to see his influence in both her and her children. I am saddened again because I do not have the information for myself or my children. I can not see the influence of both of my birth parents in me or my children.
With the Surgeon General of the United States putting out the importance of medical history every November and with the tightening of rules for the State Department in gaining a passport, it is time for adoptees and their extended families to have access to the same information that every non-adopted person has in the United States. By keeping the records sealed, you have sentanced me and millions of others like me to a priori. You have sentanced all living adoption for crimes that we have not even committed.
Allowing adoption agencies, adoption attorneys, and their lobbyists to control your thinking about our lives is like allowing the wolf to guard the hen house. Adoption agencies make money off the birth parents ( They have to pay their own expenses during their pregnancy. This might include a stay at a maternity home that costs $3,000 per month.), off the adoptive parents ( The average cost of an adoption is $30,000) and the adoptee ( If the adoptee decides to search, the cost is $1,000 and up. Many times adoptees are nickled and dimes until completely out of money and still have nothing to show for that money).
Gladney Adoption Center, LDS, Bethany Adoption Services, and the National Council for Adoption would have you believe that birth parents will be forever damaged by their children lost to adoption. They would have you believe that they were promised forever confidentiality. If that were the case, where is the documentation proving it? There is none. There was never the promise of confidentiality. Two court cases deciding this were in Oregon and Tennessee. Both agreed that women did not have the fundamental right to give their children up for adoption; therefore, they do not have the fundamental right to the forever confidentiality. They also state that adoptee access did not impede familial privacy. In parenting, contraception, and even abortion, women are exercising their right to privacy. In adoption, women are relinquishing their rights. They are forfeiting their right to privacy.
With all this being said, birth parents are not even allowed access to the adoptee's original birth certificate yet Gladney is worried about their privacy. In states that have allowed adoptee access, the statistical information is overwhelming. 99% of birth parents want contact with their children. .4% want contact via a confidential intermediary. Yes that is point four percent. When the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute did a research study on birth mothers, their statistics were at 90%. If you think about this information, it makes logical sense. As a parent, would you want to be cut off from your child? No you would not.
The other major excuse for sealed records is increase in abortion. Texas and New York have the highest rates for abortion. Both states are closed states. In Oregon, abortion rates are falling and adoption rates are INCREASING. Shock did I say that right? Yes I did. In Kansas and Alaska, both states have had the lowest abortion rates and the highest adoption rates. They have both always been adoptee access states.
With these kind of statistics, I guess that blows the theories of Gladney Adoption Center, LDS, Bethany Social Services, and the National Council for Adoption out of the water. I will provide a list of links that will take a few short minutes of your time to review. You will see that I and the many many others who support adoptee access laws are correct. You will also see the very dark side of adoption.
Here is a few questions for you to ponder. One blogger friend once said, "If adoption is so great, which child are you willing to give up?" I bet none. Would you like to be held to a forever contract which was made about you in your best interests? No. Do the non adopted have to pay someone money to contact their parents when they wish to speak with them? NO. Do the non adopted have to get permission from their parents to see the document that accurately records their birth? NO. You expect adoptees to do all of this. Are you going to allow the Shawn McDonald Cases to continue? Are you willing to allow the Stephanie Bennett Cases to continue? Are you willing to tell Rashad Head that he can't get his son back because an adoption agency was unscrupulous? Are you willing to let more situations like Allison Quets to continue? Make adoption agencies be subject to the light of truth. If you want to reduce abortion, vote to allow adoptees access to their own records.
Amy K. Burt