Adoption Records Should Be Unsealed. Lorraine Dusky.
Opposing Viewpoints: Adoption. Ed. Mary Williams. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006.
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Adoption Records Should Be Unsealed
Table of Contents:
Lorraine Dusky, “Birth Mothers, Adoptees Have Right to Records,”
December 29, 2004. Reproduced by permission.
"[Adoptees] are the ones whose rights should be tantamount."
Adult adoptees should have legal access to their original birth certificates, argues
Lorraine Dusky in the following viewpoint. Open records make it easier for adoptees to
seek out their birth parents and learn about their heritage, a right that should not be
denied to any adult, Dusky explains. Moreover, contrary to the claims of open-records
critics, the majority of birth mothers do not wish to remain anonymous to their children.
Most, in fact, have a strong desire to meet their offspring, she points out. Dusky is the
New York state representative to the American Adoption Congress and the author of the
As you read, consider the following questions:
Which states allow adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates,
according to Dusky?
Which organizations have opposed open-records laws, according to the author?
What percentage of birth parents filed a "no contact" preference in Oregon in
2004, according to the author?
O n Monday, Janet Allen plans to walk into the Division of Vital Records Administration
in Concord, N.H., and ask for a copy of her original birth certificate. It will be the first
time she can legally obtain it.
Allen, 51, a state legislator, was adopted as an infant. In New Hampshire, where she was
born and adopted, Allen has been denied the right to that singular piece of paper that
contains the answer to one of life's most basic questions: Who am I? The change in the