I am writing to you to ask that you sponsor a bill that will allow all adoptees access to their original birth certificate. It is very clear that the current Indiana laws are discriminatory as well as harmful to adult adoptees and their families. The Indiana right to privacy law treats adult adoptees and their families separate under the law. According to Brown vs. Board of Education, separate is not equal. Its time to start treating us equal under the law. The right to privacy is not about complete anonymity but according to Roe vs. Wade and Griswold vs. Connecticut, it is about the right to be free from governmental interference. Isn't it time that the Indiana state government steps out of the relationships of adult adoptees and their families? No other personal relationship between individuals is governed except those of adult adoptees and their families.
Currently adoptees and their families are having major issues with the current system. Many adoptees and their families are being deceived about the information that is currently in their files. Much of that information is being altered as we speak now. Both adoptees and their biological families are being double charged for their searches by the agency related confidential intermediaries. If a confidential intermediary does not know the answer to a question an adoptee or birth mother has, that is considered a denial of contact. There is still issues concerning adoptees and their families paying the money to the confidential intermediary and the confidential intermediary not following through with the search. Its time to bring honesty and ethics back to the adoption table. Adoptee access is one way of doing this. Currently adoptees and their families are being told that they need protection from each other. We no longer want that. We want the freedom to make these choices on our own as it should be. It is our basic human right.
Here are some bullet points that prove the point of adoptee access:
* Ninety percent plus of natural mothers support adoptee access. This is according to the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. In states with access that number is even higher.
* Adoption rates increase and abortion rates decrease with adoptee access. This has been proven in several states with adoptee access. For example, Oregon and New Hampshire have both encountered statistics such as these. Alaska and Kansas have never sealed their records. Their statistics in this area have all been consistent with Oregon's and New Hampshire's statistics.
* Uncertified copies of the original birth certificate can be assessed at the same cost as the amended birth certificate; thereby not needing a financial assessment or special circumstances to adjust the system.
* With a contact preference form, the mothers have a voice in how they want to be contacted. They do not have that voice now. The adoptee has both the uncertified copy of the original birth certificate as well as their parent's preference of contact. This has been very successful in Oregon and New Hampshire.
* According to a Cornell study, 80% of adoptive parents also support their adoptee's access to their original birth certificate.
Please end this discrimination against adoptees and their families. Please sponsor a bill that would allow us access to a document that accurately records the facts of our lives.
Amy K. Burt
Owner of the Indiana Open
Owner of the Coleman Moms and Babes
Committee member of the Adoptee Rights Demonstration