My name is Amy Burt. I am writing to you again to change the laws that deny thousands of adoptees the right to access their own birth certificate. As the Indiana State legislature soon begins their new session, I hope that you remember my words. I hope that you spend time researching the information that I give you. With Homeland security changing policy concerning getting a passport, adoptees will soon not be allowed to leave and reenter the country because their information proving their birth is sealed under court records. As the Surgeon General tells Americans that they need to submit their full medical histories to their doctors, adoptees are left to suffer through their inherited illnesses on their own without their histories.
I have sent you previously links disproving the National Council For Adoption's theories on birth parents wanting confidentiality. Five hundred birth mothers put their names in a full page ad in Oregon's newspapers proving that they were not promised confidentiality nor did they want that confidentiality. I have sent you links to two major court decisions from Oregon and Tennessee stating that birth parents did not have the fundamental right to give their children up for adoption therefore did not have the right to absolute confidentiality from their own children. Those court cases also stated that the state was not honor bound by the promises made to those birth parents by social, medical and religious services.
They also stated that since birth parents gave up their rights, birth parents also do not have the right to privacy. With abortion, contraception, and parenting, women are exercising their right to privacy as provided by the law. With adoption, women are giving up their right to privacy just as they give up parental rights. Adoptees did not give up their rights yet they don't have any rights when it comes to records that record their very birth. Allowing access in fact promotes adoption. Many birth parents want to know how their children are doing. Everyone assumes an antagonistic relationship between mother and child. I have met two women who had children via rape. One has an open adoption in which she communicates with both the adoptive parents and her son. The other wants to know her daughter that she put up for adoption. She wants me to help her find her daughter.
Several states now have access record bills that they are voting on. North Carolina, New York, and New Jersey are those states. Michigan is another one that is going to consider possible legislation this year as well. It is time to take the shame out of adoption. Its time to make it honest.
Amy K. Burt
The links previously mentioned.
Studies and Research:
General Family History Project
National Association of Social Workers
Court Cases from Tennessee and Oregon
Adoptee, Birth Parent, and Adoptive Parent Supporters