Please read this article, “Shift In Law Will Allow Adopted Children In New Jersey To Learn Names Of Birth Parents”, and leave a comment there showing our support for open records.
Every person has the right to know where he or she comes from. No person should be forced to adhere to a contract lifelong that s/he never agreed to because s/he was an infant or young child when said contract was rendered. A contract which is designed to deny him for all time one of the most fundamental aspects of human existence; knowing who one is genetically related to, knowing one’s parents, one’s grandparents, great-grandparents and more distant ancestors, not to mention his medical history. Every human being on earth has these connections and no one should have the right to deny a person this vital information just because s/he ended up adopted, and just to save a natural parent from possible embarrassment. In many cases, it even brings a great deal of relief to a first/birth parent to know that her child is alive and well.
And stop with the scare tactics already. Tactics like the idea that open records will encourage those facing an unintended pregnancy to choose abortion, based on the fear that sometime two decades in the future a relinquished child may want to know who her natural parents are. This connection between adoption and abortion has already been debunked. Or that knowing her relinquished child will have access to her original birth certificate someday will encourage expectant mothers considering adoption to not follow the normal procedures. There have been open records for decades in other countries, and some states such as Kansas and Alaska have never had sealed records. Yet such an ominous prediction has never come true. The only thing that needs to be stopped is to stop treating adoptees as perpetual children by forcing them to honor a contract, usually made on them in infancy or early childhood, after they become adults. And, I might add, a contract that is finalized in the majority of cases without their knowledge or consent.
One of the most telling sentences in the article is this, “The New Jersey Department of health said more than 300 birth parents have asked not to have records opened, but those who were adopted disagree.”—Well, surprise, surprise!—Yes, huge numbers of us do disagree. And I am sorry that there are so many first/birth parents and adoptive parents who are so insecure. Because in case everyone has forgotten, ADOPTION IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT THE CHILD.
Congratulations to Pam Hasegawa and all those who worked so hard in New Jersey to come this far.