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  #1  
Old 10-21-2006, 11:06 AM
diggleblop diggleblop is offline
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Do adopted children have a right to know their birth parents?

And if you feel that they do, at what age should they "find out" they are adopted?

I feel they do have a right to know their "blood" and "true family" history. If I were adopted I would want to know my birth parents and why they gave me up for adoption, I think it's mentally healthy to know these things. Basically I feel it should be know-it-all about your past or nothing at all.

I also feel that as early as possible is the best age to tell them. I think around the teenage years could be a bad time to find out, they're are already rebellious enough.
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2006, 11:42 AM
Eureka Eureka is online now
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I think the question of whether adopted children have a right to know their birth parents is entirely separate from whether they should know that they are adopted--and when they should find that out. I do agree that adopted children should know from an early age that they were adopted--even if they look like the adoptive parents, as opposed to adopted children from other races.

That said, adopted children DO NOT have an absolute right to know their birth parents. Should they be informed to the best of the adoptive parents ability (and the child's curiousity) at an appropriate age? (which again is separate from the age at which they should know that they were adopted) Sure--but there are reasons why it isn't always possible. Open adoptions are great, for those who want them, but I know people who have adopted foster children where a clean break would have been easier on all concerned. In other cases, if the birth mom can't give the child up with a promise of privacy, she may reconsider the adoption. (Either choosing abortion, or keeping a child she doesn't want and can't afford to raise). In other cases, the adoptive parents feel threatened by the birth parent remaining in the child's life.

Probably someone with more direct experience with adoption will come along and explain some of the possible pitfalls in requiring that an adopted child be fully informed about their birth parents, but it isn't just the child who is affected by the choices and public policies made on this issue.
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2006, 11:49 AM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diggleblop
And if you feel that they do, at what age should they "find out" they are adopted?
These are actually two unrelated points. I believe that children should ALWAYS know that they are adopted. There was no time in my life that I am aware of when I didn't know. Being told as though it is some big revelation is, I think, damaging to children, because it make them feel lied to (not because of an actual lie, but because it is natural to assume your life is as it appears to be), and therefore is destablingizing to the feelings of belonging in one's family.

Whether or not this has anything to do with the right to know your birth parents, I am not sure. As a child, I'm not sure most adoptive kids think much about it (the idea is pretty abstract at this age). As a teen or an adult, if it is really important to them, maybe they do.

Quote:
I feel they do have a right to know their "blood" and "true family" history. If I were adopted I would want to know my birth parents and why they gave me up for adoption, I think it's mentally healthy to know these things. Basically I feel it should be know-it-all about your past or nothing at all.
I don't mean to contradict you, but I'm not sure that you know how you would feel if you were adopted. Many, many adopted people feel no urge whatsoever to know their birth parents. Adopted people grow up with a different frame of reference about adoption, and about what it means to be a family. You may very well be in the group of people who feel the need to have a blood connection, but unless you have actually been in the shoes of an adopted person, you don't really know what it is like, or how you would feel...you only know what you THINK it is like. I find that most non-adopted people don't spend a lot of time thinking about the meaning of "blood." You may be surprised to know that adopted people don't spend a lot of time thinking about it, either! It's kind of irrelevant, in most significant ways. (Of course, if I needed a kidney transplant, it might become a lot more relevant pretty quickly!)

Quote:
I also feel that as early as possible is the best age to tell them. I think around the teenage years could be a bad time to find out, they're are already rebellious enough.
Of course, I agree with you here. Really, if there are "rights" involved here, I certainly think that knowing a simple fact such as this would be one of them.

The way I think of it, and I am being totally honest here, is that my parents (my real parents who raised me) have the right to feel secure in the family that they loved and nurtured. I should no more give them cause to feel unappreciated or unloved as either of their "natural" children (there are 2 of each of use in the family), since the job of parent was no different for the adopted kids vs. the natural.
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2006, 11:50 AM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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I'm put off by the use of the word "right" in such arguments in general. Anyway, for practical reasons, I'd at least try to convince birth parents that providing a certain compilation of facts about themselves, well short of their actual identity, if they do not wish to share that, would be helpful to their child for a variety of reasons. To offer one specific example, a thorough medical history requires some information about heritable health risks, and that can only be gotten if the birth parent makes their own medical history available.
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2006, 12:26 PM
fisha fisha is online now
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No, I do not.

The whole family health history is a crock, if you ask me. Most people have no idea of specific health histories in their family, or if it applies to them. In addition, most adoptions happen when the birth parents are young, and most genetic health issues aren't a factor yet.

And the "I would want to know my birth parents and why they gave me up for adoption, I think it's mentally healthy to know these things."

Well, ok, if your mom was a European princess who was impregnated by the charming and handsome prince from a feuding country, who tragically died in childbirth. Not so mentally healthy when you find out that your mom was a $2.00 crack whore who would on occasion sleep with her brother.

Should you know if your were adopted? Yes. Should you have an ongoing relationship with your birth parents, an "open adoption?" Not so sure about that.

My story--My unmarried mother had me when she was 24, my birth father supposedly died in Vietnam about 3 weeks after I was born. The story was she was banished from his family because of grief, etc. About 4 years later she married the guy who became my father, and adopted me, legally. But a man with the same last name, different first name, signed off his parental rights during the adoption, supposedly it was my birth father's brother, who happened to be married the entire time. Now this guy is still alive, and living in AZ, I did a search on him about 10 years ago. I have never contacted him. I'm not so sure I'd like the answers about something that happened 38 years ago. My mother died about 15 years ago, so no answers there. Is it an overwhelming yearning in my life to know of my origins? No, I am an adult, and there wouldn't be much benefit to knowing what the truth actually is, it'd have no major impact on my life, (unless the uncle/father is rich, rich, rich and terminal. And I have never liked blood money, so that's out.) By the way my mother handled the entire situation, I think there is more to the story, and it's probably not pretty.

Sometimes it is better not to know. I think in many, many, many cases of adoption this rule applies.
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2006, 12:30 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahfisheroo
The whole family health history is a crock, if you ask me. Most people have no idea of specific health histories in their family, or if it applies to them. In addition, most adoptions happen when the birth parents are young, and most genetic health issues aren't a factor yet.
You seem to insist that A) risk assessment from pedigree hasn't improved and won't continue to, and B) the discrete sharing of records must cease once the adoption is finalized.
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2006, 12:35 PM
fisha fisha is online now
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Give my a specific example of where health history would be an overwhelming advantage. Not trying to be argumentitive, looking for specific afflictions that would prove your case for knowledge.
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2006, 12:37 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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Breast cancer.
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2006, 12:50 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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Oh, for the Hell of it: Cystic Fibrosis, Huntington's Disease, Tay-Sachs, ALS, hemophilia A & B, PKU, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and at least a couple dozen more are worthy of some consideration, and will become more amenable to interventions in the future, especially if caught in a timely fashion. Of course, one could simply screen a baby for every one of these allelic variants to determine if they are afflicted, a carrier, or completely negative, but that's not how it's normally done, and it will be prohibitively expensive for most for the forseable future. One can only employ the services of a genetic counselor to narrow the list if one has information to be counseled on.
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2006, 12:56 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahfisheroo
Give my a specific example of where health history would be an overwhelming advantage. Not trying to be argumentitive, looking for specific afflictions that would prove your case for knowledge.
My son, given up for adoption, found me as a consequence of having testicular cancer at the age of 22. Apparently the court felt that knowing if there was any history of this in his birth family might be significant in his treatment, and gave up the identifying information along with the non-identifying information.

However, I myself was adopted--so this turned out to be not very helpful. Also finding me took him 10 years, by which time he was completely cured, no remission, perfectly healthy. So, really, he just wanted to know, and the medical data was a good excuse.
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  #11  
Old 10-21-2006, 12:56 PM
fisha fisha is online now
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http://www.breastcancer.org/genetics_breast_cancer.html

"Women diagnosed with breast cancer who have an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene often have a family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or both. But it's also important to remember that most women with breast cancer have no family history of the disease."

Bolding mine.

Go to regular checkups, do a self examination every month, get mammograms after a certain age.

Yes, I have heard of a few women who have had double mastectomies prophylactically because of near relatives incidences of breast cancer, but those are a rarity. I tend to believe that the vast majority of women would not choose to do that, even if their family was rife with breast cancer. So, they'd do self exams, do regular checkups, and get mammograms. Just like every other women with no family history should.
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  #12  
Old 10-21-2006, 12:58 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahfisheroo
Give my a specific example of where health history would be an overwhelming advantage. Not trying to be argumentitive, looking for specific afflictions that would prove your case for knowledge.
My mother's family has an extensive history of cancer. My grandfather died of liver cancer, my grandmother of breast cancer, two of her sisters also of breast cancer, the only other sister of ovarian cancer...my grandmother's parents also both died of cancer, as did some of her great-grandparents and assorted aunts/uncles and great aunts/uncles. It gets quite a reaction from doctors when they take my family health history.

Knowing this family history, I can either a. choose to minimize my exposure to things such as smoking and hormonal birth controls which studies are currently debating the risks associated with them and cancer. Or b. ignore the possibilities that these things could be more harmful to me than a lot of other women. The point is that it's my at (least somewhat, given current scientific inconclusiveness) informed choice because I know what's happened in the past.

I think that an adopted child should have access to as much as their family's medical history as is possible at the time of their adoption. If the parents don't know much, that put the kid in the same boat as a lot of people, but an effort should be made to do a medical history in any case.

As for the right to know their parents, no. It's nice when they do get to, but it isn't something that ought to be a right. I fear that if it was mandated into law it could lead to more women choosing to abort because they don't want to be tracked down.
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  #13  
Old 10-21-2006, 01:05 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahfisheroo
Yes, I have heard of a few women who have had double mastectomies prophylactically because of near relatives incidences of breast cancer, but those are a rarity. I tend to believe that the vast majority of women would not choose to do that, even if their family was rife with breast cancer. So, they'd do self exams, do regular checkups, and get mammograms. Just like every other women with no family history should.
Are you saying that because heritable disease is rare there's no point in recommending passing medical histories along? I disagree. Lots of risks are unlikely to afflict any particular person, but that doesn't make one irresponsible to try to take some measure of precaution against, them, and family history provides one of the easiest and most-cost effective ways to do so. Again, without it, you're just casting about wildly to get at the info. that's relevant to you. With the history, you're likely to not be better off, but you're certainly not going to be worse off, and the parent needn't make personal contact to share it. I really don't see the harm, and the potential benefits, though presently unlikely to be realized, could be of crucial importance in the future.
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Old 10-21-2006, 01:18 PM
fisha fisha is online now
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You know, Loopy, we could go on forever sifting through genetic diseases debating on the merits of family history. I don't think it's that much of a factor. Most of the ones you mentioned are only important if you have children with another carrier of those genes. If I was that worried I would have genetic testing with my partner before having children. Whether I knew my family health history or not.

Cystic Fibrosis- Diagnosed typically before 3 years old.
HD, I'll agree with you there, but I am not sure I would want to know, nothing can help.
Tay-Sachs, again diagnosed typically within a few months of birth.
ALS is only 5-10% genetic---90-95% random
Hemophilia is too big of a description of blood disorders to address.
PKU is screened at every birth, and is a recessive gene, no one would know anyway.
Duchenne is also diagnosed in childhood, you'd know you have it.

I think the family health history is a straw man, and not very helpful in general. But hey, that's me.







HD, I'll give you, but I'm not so sure I'd want to know anyways, nothing can be done.
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  #15  
Old 10-21-2006, 01:27 PM
fisha fisha is online now
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Elfkin, if you are a female, (not sure, pardon me,) considering your family history, would you have a double masectomy? That's the only way to be sure to not get breast cancer.

Other than that, you are sitting in the same boat with the rest of us.

Shouldn't smoke, eat crap, drink in excess, jump out of planes sans parachute, and make sure to exercise regularly.

Just like the rest of us who don't know.
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  #16  
Old 10-21-2006, 01:37 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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Cripes, the entire point of some genetic counseling is to determine if one is a carrier. And the impact of some genetic diseases, if caught early through a screen, can be mitigated considerably by intervention before the patient is symptomatic, because by then terrible damage may already have been done. This is just considering the indentifiable alleles. Lots of formerly ideopathic illnesses with suspected heritability will have objecive diagnostics in the future, and even relatively common conditions like type-II diabetes, for which the genetics remain obscure, still are widely recognized as having significant heritability in many cases, and good doctors are likely to implement aggressive interventions at the first sign of trouble if they feel there is an enhanced risk of developing the full-blown syndrome. The value of nearly all of this counseling is preventative, so if you wait until the disease presents and is clearly diagnosable by symptoms or the objective measures one then knows to utilize, it's quite a bit less than optimal timing.

This is just well-established public health policy, for crying out loud. I can't fathom why you'd call it a "straw man", or even consider it all that debatable. I've cited genetic counseling as arguably the most modern example of a rapidly growing, and increasingly relevant field, but it's news to me that the importance of family history is a serious bone of contention even without it. That the proper availability of a history is often lacking in more conventional family arrangements does not seem to me a worthy argument against recommending it be shared. Rather it ought to shed light on the need for concomitant efforts at getting those could more easily know their history to obtain it.
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:07 PM
fisha fisha is online now
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Ok, you got me off on a tangent with specific diseases, Loopy. I never said that genetic counseling is bad. I said that

"The whole family health history is a crock, if you ask me. Most people have no idea of specific health histories in their family, or if it applies to them. In addition, most adoptions happen when the birth parents are young, and most genetic health issues aren't a factor yet."

This was in regards to the excuse of adoptees and others who say it's necessary to know the birth parents because of medical history. At the time of adoption, and even periodic anonymous health updates, I have no problem. (I am still not convinced of it's overwhelming value, but it's not a bad thing to have.) I think it is a straw man when adoptees say, "I went looking for you because I was concerned about my health."

You might be able to make the case of mandating that all couples, before having children, must have genetic counseling, but boy oh boy, is that a can of worms, and another debate for another day.
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:20 PM
fisha fisha is online now
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Oh, and just as an aside, my husband's father at 78 years old, smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish, worked a very stressful job, and is at least 40 pounds overweight on his 6'5 frame. He's been doing it for at least 50 years. So, knowing my husband's family history, is he ok in smoking, drinking, stress and gluttony? Because he should be immune genetically, at least by one generation's example. Somehow I don't think that's the response you're looking for when you or the Surgeon General advocate family health history.

So, in summary, don't smoke, don't eat crappy food, don't jump out of airplanes without a parachute, and exercise regularly. No matter what your genetics are.
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  #19  
Old 10-21-2006, 02:26 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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Well, if you re-read my first post, you'll note I said I am uncomfortable with the application of "right" to this subject, but as a matter of policy I'd advocate, at bare minimum, the sharing of whatever potentially useful medical historical info. is available, for the sake of the child. I can see no reason why the state of being adopted makes a child less worthy somehow of having the opportunity to access such information. To the extent I could in a free society, I'd advocate the discrete disclosure of parental medical history in the same way most public health recommendations are advocated. I'm not for legal mandates forcing the relinquishing parent to disclose any information.
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:45 PM
fisha fisha is online now
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Ok, we agree, Loopy.
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  #21  
Old 10-21-2006, 04:15 PM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
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I think the question in the OP was about more than just medical history...even delving into the reasons for being given up for adoption. Personally, I think the medical history thing is a little over-blown, too, and I'm not sure if there is any good way to demand that people give a full history before they give their child up for adoption (I would rather be alive, with my two dedicated parents, and without my birth parents' medical history, than aborted or with a parent who might not be equipped to take care of me.)

In terms of having the right to know details about a birth parent...I think that the biggest problem with this as a concept of being a "right," is that it can directly conflict with any right the birth parent has to remain anonymous, if they so choose...or any right the adoptive parents have not to have to deal with another set of parents in the child's life.

I think that, overall, the benefits a child receives from being adopted (as I mentioned, not being aborted, and being raised in a stable family) are more important than the perceived
"right" to know about their blood relations. I gladly revoke any right I have to this kind of information, in exchange for life, happiness, and a loving family.
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  #22  
Old 10-21-2006, 04:47 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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It seems to me if I have a legal "right" (which is the only sort I need consider for this argument, I think) to know the circumstances of my birth, and the reasons for my relinquishment, why should children in the custody of their biological parents be any less entitled to know the circumstances of their birth, and the reasons why their parents wanted to or otherwise felt inclined to keep them? I mean, do I need to sit my kids down at some point, by law, and tell them how and why I helped bring them into the world and kept them around? If adopted children have lawful rights to specific forms of information about their parents, are biological children being discriminated against somehow? Say, for instance, my Dad decides to move away and cut off all contact with his family other than providing child support. Mom raises me. I'm not an adopted child. Do I therefore not have a right to question my father about his actions because they don't involve adoption? What, then, would make adoption so special that the adopted child gets the legal right to be a know-it-all, but I don't?

It's just a horrible intrusion of govt. into people's personal affairs, with rather onerous implications, if you ask me, to start granting legal rights to such information.
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  #23  
Old 10-21-2006, 04:59 PM
mks57 mks57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diggleblop
Do adopted children have a right to know their birth parents?
No. The records should remain sealed.
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  #24  
Old 10-21-2006, 05:03 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mks57
Quote:
Originally Posted by diggleblop
Do adopted children have a right to know their birth parents?
No. The records should remain sealed.
The OP's question lacked a bit of context, but we have been fleshing out context and your response strips it away again.

Are you saying that no birth child should ever be permitted to meet or to discover information about the birth parents?
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  #25  
Old 10-21-2006, 06:08 PM
the PC apeman the PC apeman is offline
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Another adoptee here. Like Sarahfeena, I don't recall ever not knowing that I was adopted and I'd recommend that to adopting parents. I have no interest in finding my biological parents or knowing anything (health history included) about them. I'm perfectly content to live the health cards my biology deals me as they come. The people I call Mom & Dad are my parents in every way that is important to me. My three siblings (all older) were also adopted*. The only time I've seen adoption be an issue in my family was during my rebellious sisters' teen years. They would wield it in unrelated arguments with only cruel intentions.

Given all that, I'd say that the birth parents right to privacy trumps any right of the children to know anything about them and vice versa. I don't think anyone has a right to know their future. It's not unfair that some have more of a clue than others. There are registries where interested parties can be matched if both sides are willing. That's about the best solution I can see.

*Of the four of us, I'm the only child that resembles our parents. I sometimes joke that my parents will some day reveal that I'm not adopted.
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Old 10-21-2006, 06:37 PM
mks57 mks57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomndebb
Are you saying that no birth child should ever be permitted to meet or to discover information about the birth parents?
I'm saying that the records should remain sealed unless someone can convince a judge that someone's life is in danger, all other avenues have been exhausted, and that unsealing the records would provide vital information that would make a substantial difference in the outcome.
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Old 10-21-2006, 06:49 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mks57
I'm saying that the records should remain sealed unless someone can convince a judge that someone's life is in danger, all other avenues have been exhausted, and that unsealing the records would provide vital information that would make a substantial difference in the outcome.
I can't agree with that. I will respect the privacy of either party to remain anonymous, but the absolute sealing of the records has prevented people who wanted to be reunited from finding each other. That is just pointless bureaucracy.

I would prefer that all adoptions be registered by date of birth and sex and that if a child and a parent both apply to the registry seeking a reunion, each be given a blind drop through which they can communicate until both are sure that they want it and through which they can provide current name and address if they choose to give it out.

The absolute seal was implemented foolishly and serves no purpose.
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  #28  
Old 10-21-2006, 06:56 PM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePCapeman
Another adoptee here. Like Sarahfeena, I don't recall ever not knowing that I was adopted and I'd recommend that to adopting parents. I have no interest in finding my biological parents or knowing anything (health history included) about them. I'm perfectly content to live the health cards my biology deals me as they come. The people I call Mom & Dad are my parents in every way that is important to me. My three siblings (all older) were also adopted*. The only time I've seen adoption be an issue in my family was during my rebellious sisters' teen years. They would wield it in unrelated arguments with only cruel intentions.
It's funny, I find far more adoptees feel like you and I do than not...I have only ever met one other adopted person who went on a search, and she was someone with a lot of problems, anyway. I always thought this was an attempt on her part to try to solve them somehow, but unsurprisingly, it didn't. Her brother, also adopted, had a really good attitude about it, and never was too interested in searching. I know that there is a movement in the adopted community to open birth records, but I believe these folks are a tiny minority of adopted people.

Quote:
Given all that, I'd say that the birth parents right to privacy trumps any right of the children to know anything about them and vice versa. I don't think anyone has a right to know their future. It's not unfair that some have more of a clue than others. There are registries where interested parties can be matched if both sides are willing. That's about the best solution I can see.
I agree that I don't think it's unfair. Each of us is in a different circumstance in life...and that's just life. Even in "blood" families, some people have a ton of relatives and lots of information, and some hardly have any. My husband's family (on one side) is from Cuba, and he only ever had his dad in this country, and virtually no contact with anyone else on that side of the family (none of whom are living anymore, anyway, including his dad). I'm sure he would love to know more about his dad's family, but what can you do? Life doesn't always give us exactly what we want, but somehow we muddle through.
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  #29  
Old 10-21-2006, 06:59 PM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomndebb
I can't agree with that. I will respect the privacy of either party to remain anonymous, but the absolute sealing of the records has prevented people who wanted to be reunited from finding each other. That is just pointless bureaucracy.

I would prefer that all adoptions be registered by date of birth and sex and that if a child and a parent both apply to the registry seeking a reunion, each be given a blind drop through which they can communicate until both are sure that they want it and through which they can provide current name and address if they choose to give it out.

The absolute seal was implemented foolishly and serves no purpose.
I agree that this is a fair system...why not let the parties get together, if there is interest on both sides? I just don't think it should be able to be done unilaterally.
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:14 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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It's interesting to get this perspective. I've been to a couple adoption conferences recently, and questions related to disclosure get asked a lot. The consensus among the agencies appears to be to strongly encourage leaving a door open, some mechanism to allow the relinquished child to make contact if they so wish. Given this stance, you'd think the actual interest level in such reunions would be higher than it appears to be.
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  #31  
Old 10-21-2006, 07:23 PM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopydude
It's interesting to get this perspective. I've been to a couple adoption conferences recently, and questions related to disclosure get asked a lot. The consensus among the agencies appears to be to strongly encourage leaving a door open, some mechanism to allow the relinquished child to make contact if they so wish. Given this stance, you'd think the actual interest level in such reunions would be higher than it appears to be.
Quite frankly, I think there's a little bit of political correctness going on. There's a belief (like diggleblop's) that adopted people are all yearning to find their "real" parents. This is why I said that he doesn't know how he would feel if he was actually adopted...I think a lot of this comes from how non-adopted people THINK adopted people feel, or how they think THEY would feel if they were adopted. But, they don't really know how it feels at all.
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  #32  
Old 10-21-2006, 07:27 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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I'm not sure what a "tiny minority" entails. If there are 125,000 adoptions every year and only 5% of adopted kids seek their birth parents, we are still talking about over 6,000 additional adoptees looking for parents each year. (And the same site to which I linked suggests that there were more adoptions in earlier years, so the numbers might be higher.)
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  #33  
Old 10-21-2006, 07:58 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahfisheroo
Hemophilia is too big of a description of blood disorders to address.

Excuse me? Cite? Hemophilia refers to the inability for blood to clot properly. It's not just a generic term for blood disorders. There are several types of hemophilia yes, but it is primarily an inherited disease.



ON THE OTHER HAND, I would like to see procedures adopted (no pun intended) that would require women giving children up for adoption to provide a family medical history, so all bases are covered from the beginning.
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  #34  
Old 10-21-2006, 08:32 PM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomndebb
I'm not sure what a "tiny minority" entails. If there are 125,000 adoptions every year and only 5% of adopted kids seek their birth parents, we are still talking about over 6,000 additional adoptees looking for parents each year. (And the same site to which I linked suggests that there were more adoptions in earlier years, so the numbers might be higher.)
I'm not sure what it entails, either, as I have no evidence or statistics for this other than my own observation. Even if it is 5%, this is still a pretty small minority, even if the actual numbers seem like a lot of people.

The only point I was trying to make is that I think it is an overblown assumption that many adoptees are very eager to find their birth parents, or feel that they are missing something if they don't know their birth parents. I wasn't trying to imply that I consider this a factor in deciding whether knowing about your birthparents is a right.
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  #35  
Old 10-21-2006, 08:34 PM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia
ON THE OTHER HAND, I would like to see procedures adopted (no pun intended) that would require women giving children up for adoption to provide a family medical history, so all bases are covered from the beginning.
What if they don't have one? Or what if the necessity of doing so is too big of an undertaking, so that she decides she doesn't want to go through with it? I appreciate the good intentions behind wanting to secure medical records, but I just don't think it's necessarily practical.
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  #36  
Old 10-21-2006, 08:54 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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Originally Posted by Sarahfeena
The only point I was trying to make is that I think it is an overblown assumption that many adoptees are very eager to find their birth parents, or feel that they are missing something if they don't know their birth parents. I wasn't trying to imply that I consider this a factor in deciding whether knowing about your birthparents is a right.
It may be overblown, but I think it's a subject worthy of discussion all the same. I guess what I find interesting (if, again, only a "tiny minority" of adopted kids have any interest in finding their biological parents) is that so much attention seems to be given the subject by prospective adoptive parents and the agencies that work with them. Of course that's a base to be covered, but I remember one discussion where the subject of what one should do if the child wants to connect with his or her birth parents took up half the session. There are so many inevitable practical concerns the adoptive parent has to deal with, many of which they typically had no idea about (my wife and I sure didn't), I figured anything that got that much of an airing must be a priority. I suppose it still is, but I was originally thinking more in terms of frequency.
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Old 10-21-2006, 08:58 PM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
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Originally Posted by Loopydude
It may be overblown, but I think it's a subject worthy of discussion all the same. I guess what I find interesting (if, again, only a "tiny minority" of adopted kids have any interest in finding their biological parents) is that so much attention seems to be given the subject by prospective adoptive parents and the agencies that work with them. Of course that's a base to be covered, but I remember one discussion where the subject of what one should do if the child wants to connect with his or her birth parents took up half the session. There are so many inevitable practical concerns the adoptive parent has to deal with, many of which they typically had no idea about (my wife and I sure didn't), I figured anything that got that much of an airing must be a priority. I suppose it still is, but I was originally thinking more in terms of frequency.
I am absolutely not saying that it's not a subject worth discussing (or thinking about, if you are a prospective adoptive parent). There are, obviously practical concerns, as you mention. I think that it's thought a lot about because it's probably the #1 way in which raising an adopted child is different from raising one's birth child, other than the unlikely chance they will end up absolutely needing medical records that you won't have.
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  #38  
Old 10-22-2006, 02:17 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahfeena
I am absolutely not saying that it's not a subject worth discussing (or thinking about, if you are a prospective adoptive parent). There are, obviously practical concerns, as you mention. I think that it's thought a lot about because it's probably the #1 way in which raising an adopted child is different from raising one's birth child, other than the unlikely chance they will end up absolutely needing medical records that you won't have.
My experience is that it is more likely to originate with the agency than the adoptee. It seems to be an idea that is more common than it used to be.

Possibly I am projecting. When we suggested a trip to Korea* for the family, both the kidlets agreed that they would rather go to Disney.

Again, possibly something they got from me - we attended a meeting when we were adopting for the third time, where the birth mother in an open adoption spoke. I was surprised by the intensely negative reaction I had to her and what she had to say. I had to leave the room.

YMMV. Void where taxed or prohibited. Professional driver on a closed course.

Regards,
Shodan

*Both the Shodan-ettes are adopted from South Korea.
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  #39  
Old 10-22-2006, 03:00 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Regardless of medical implications, You should have a right to know whio you're parents are. Maybe not when you are raised by adoptive parents, but when you become an adult you should be able to connect with your biological heritage and confront that person or persons that abandoned you. They fucked up, and they should be taken to account. Toi deprive your baby of a real mother and father is very cruel in my books, regardless of your circumstances. Anyone here who doesn't give a shit about who there parents are? That includes sperm donor kids.
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Old 10-22-2006, 03:13 PM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman
Regardless of medical implications, You should have a right to know whio you're parents are. Maybe not when you are raised by adoptive parents, but when you become an adult you should be able to connect with your biological heritage and confront that person or persons that abandoned you. They fucked up, and they should be taken to account. Toi deprive your baby of a real mother and father is very cruel in my books, regardless of your circumstances. Anyone here who doesn't give a shit about who there parents are? That includes sperm donor kids.
I don't necessarily agree with you, because I think it might be a deterrent to people deciding to place their children for adoption. But I do understand that some may see a certain logic in giving an adult some control over being allowed to find out where they came from, if it is important to them.

On the other hand, I do not really appreciate the way you have characterized adoption. First, how has a birth parent "fucked up," when they have given a child a chance for a better life than they feel they could give it? Second, I strongly object to your implication that the people who raised me are not my "real" parents, or that anyone treated me cruelly. I love my parents, and I deeply respect my birth parents, who made a difficult choice. And, in case you didn't read my posts, or ThePCapeman's, neither of us cares at all about knowing who our real parents are. I can't necessarily speak for him, but in my case, I know everything I need to know about them...which isn't much in hard facts.
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  #41  
Old 10-22-2006, 03:59 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Originally Posted by Sarahfeena
First, how has a birth parent "fucked up," when they have given a child a chance for a better life than they feel they could give it?
If you have ever been a parent, you wouldn't ask that question. After all, given my average financial circumstances and the comments of my children when they can't have what they want, I'm sure that there are other couples who could offer my children a "better" life. It ain't gonna happen. Fortunately although I do fuck up now and then, its never been that big to affect someone elses entire life.


Quote:
Second, I strongly object to your implication that the people who raised me are not my "real" parents, or that anyone treated me cruelly.
You drew that inference, I in no way intended to suggest it. I generally have a great deal of respect for those who adopt children.
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  #42  
Old 10-22-2006, 04:03 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman
Regardless of medical implications, You should have a right to know whio you're parents are. Maybe not when you are raised by adoptive parents, but when you become an adult you should be able to connect with your biological heritage and confront that person or persons that abandoned you. They fucked up, and they should be taken to account. Toi deprive your baby of a real mother and father is very cruel in my books, regardless of your circumstances. Anyone here who doesn't give a shit about who there parents are? That includes sperm donor kids.


Wow-could you be any more offensive?

Oh, and "real parents" are the ones who love and care for a child, not necessarily blood.
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  #43  
Old 10-22-2006, 04:05 PM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
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Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman
If you have ever been a parent, you wouldn't ask that question.
I am a parent, actually, to one child and another one on the way. And I still ask it.

Quote:
After all, given my average financial circumstances and the comments of my children when they can't have what they want, I'm sure that there are other couples who could offer my children a "better" life. It ain't gonna happen. Fortunately although I do fuck up now and then, its never been that big to affect someone elses entire life.
I was in no way talking about financial issues. Many people have much bigger problems than lack of money, that might keep them from being good parents. I applaud those who realize that they might not be able to handle it.

Quote:
You drew that inference, I in no way intended to suggest it. I generally have a great deal of respect for those who adopt children.
I drew no inference. You stated that giving a child up for adoption is cruel, and you stated that birth parents are real parents.
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  #44  
Old 10-22-2006, 04:07 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman
...when you become an adult you should be able to connect with your biological heritage and confront that person or persons that abandoned you. They fucked up, and they should be taken to account. Toi deprive your baby of a real mother and father is very cruel in my books, regardless of your circumstances. Anyone here who doesn't give a shit about who there parents are?
Not to get huffy about adoption or anything, but I have to agree with Sarahfeena here - this is hardly a fair way to describe the actions of birth parents in placing children for adoption. They are not "abandoning" the child - they are doing just the opposite in placing them with parents who will care for them. This is just the opposite of "fucking up" - it is about as responsible as a person who has a child and cannot support a child can be.

And, again, not to be huffy, but it is more than a semantic mistake (IMO) to refer to adoptive parents as being other or less than "real" parents. Obviously, I am biased, but you seem to be assuming that most or many adoptive children are seething with resentment towards their birth parents. This is not, in my opinion, all that common.

And on preview -
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahfeena
First, how has a birth parent "fucked up," when they have given a child a chance for a better life than they feel they could give it?
If you have ever been a parent, you wouldn't ask that question.
Well, I am a parent, twice over. So I will ask the same question.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #45  
Old 10-22-2006, 04:14 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Well it seems I hit a nerve. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about so please consider my comments withdrawn.
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  #46  
Old 10-22-2006, 04:24 PM
fisha fisha is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman
Regardless of medical implications, You should have a right to know whio you're parents are. Maybe not when you are raised by adoptive parents, but when you become an adult you should be able to connect with your biological heritage and confront that person or persons that abandoned you. They fucked up, and they should be taken to account. Toi deprive your baby of a real mother and father is very cruel in my books, regardless of your circumstances. Anyone here who doesn't give a shit about who there parents are? That includes sperm donor kids.

Ok, Dutch. The adoptee finds their biological parents. Parents are wrecks, or could give a shit less, or are heartily sorry for giving the child away, or are mature enough to understand some things are for the best. Confronting them isn't going to change any of those scenarios. Confronting them is pointless.
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  #47  
Old 10-22-2006, 05:00 PM
the PC apeman the PC apeman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman
Regardless of medical implications, You should have a right to know whio you're parents are. Maybe not when you are raised by adoptive parents, but when you become an adult you should be able to connect with your biological heritage and confront that person or persons that abandoned you. They fucked up, and they should be taken to account. Toi deprive your baby of a real mother and father is very cruel in my books, regardless of your circumstances. Anyone here who doesn't give a shit about who there parents are? That includes sperm donor kids.
I know who my real parents are. They're the ones that loved, fed, clothed, educated, supported, and raised me. These things don't require shared DNA. I'm not deprived in any way. Real parents do all those things and more. It doesn't take much effort to become merely biological parents.

Sarahfeena, you're right on.

Dutchman, where are you coming from? Are you an adoptee or adoptor? If not, how do you know how you would feel if you were? I don't feel any need to confront my biological parents. Why should I? It makes no difference why the put me up for adoption. It has no bearing on how I was raised nor who I am today. What would your "right to know" be based on?
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  #48  
Old 10-22-2006, 05:19 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Originally Posted by ThePCapeman
Dutchman, where are you coming from? ... What would your "right to know" be based on?
Over the years I've observed news programs dealing with the issue of adoption/birth parent secrecy. Secrecy protects the adopting parents rights or the birth mothers rights, but where is the child's right considered.

I have witnessed many adopted children, and in the vast majority of cases they love and cherish there adoptive parents but have expressed a desire (to varying degrees) to meet their biological parents. I can just understand that.

Perhaps I haven't been educated eough with a large enough sample.
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  #49  
Old 10-22-2006, 05:28 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman
Over the years I've observed news programs dealing with the issue of adoption/birth parent secrecy. Secrecy protects the adopting parents rights or the birth mothers rights, but where is the child's right considered.

I have witnessed many adopted children, and in the vast majority of cases they love and cherish there adoptive parents but have expressed a desire (to varying degrees) to meet their biological parents. I can just understand that.
Ironically, the huge number of laws sealing adoption records (in the U.S.) passed between 1958 and 1962 (as nearly all were) were written to protect the child. The intent behind that movement was to prevent anyone looking up the birth records and declaring that the child was [gasp] illegitimate.

It was only in the mid 1980s when a movement began to make the sealed records a bit more permeable that the argument was turned around to claim that the laws were needed to protect the birth mother. (The father was generally ignored.)
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Old 10-22-2006, 05:37 PM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman
Over the years I've observed news programs dealing with the issue of adoption/birth parent secrecy. Secrecy protects the adopting parents rights or the birth mothers rights, but where is the child's right considered.

I have witnessed many adopted children, and in the vast majority of cases they love and cherish there adoptive parents but have expressed a desire (to varying degrees) to meet their biological parents. I can just understand that.

Perhaps I haven't been educated eough with a large enough sample.
I don't think anyone here disrespects your opinion that the adopted child has a right to know where he or she comes from. It is your expression of it, which frankly sounded a little bitter and angry, that is off-putting.

Do these adopted people you know believe that their birth parents fucked up, and that they deserve some kind of explanation for why they were abandoned, or is that your interpretation of their feelings? Perhaps they have the natural curiousity that anyone might, and don't feel the least bit angry about their circumstances, or towards their birth parents.

As I said, I am torn by this, myself. I can understand the desire to learn more, but I also think that there are things about parents that children simply don't have the right to know. My mother was in her 60s when she found out that her parents "had" to get married. Was her life lacking up until that point, not knowing this piece of information? Were her parents obligated to tell her, to be sure she understood the complete circumstance behind her existance? I would say no to that. To me, adoption is no different. You know you were born, adopted, and raised. What more is there, really? The whys and wherefores are just details that don't really affect your life, anyway. As dahfisheroo says, what is to be gained?
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