Is it right for open record laws to include a condition that a mutual consent registry be used? I don't think so. The registries have proven to not be very effective. Many confidential intermediaries have so many cases that a search does not receive a personal touch to it. Therefore when the person being sought is located, the manner in which they are spoken to can close the door. Will the intermediary contact them again? Probably not, so then the adoptee can be out the money it cost to register and still have expense to then do the search on their own without receiving any identifying information from the intermediary to help them out. But yet when open record bills are introduced and one of the conditions is that there will be a mutual consent registry, it sounds good to many. I can't help but think it sounds best to those new to searching. Just who makes the mutual consent registries sound good to legislators? Probably the intermediaries because they don't want to be out of a job. Do they care about the best interests of the adoptee and birthparents? I don't think so. Anyone who does would be all for open record laws so that an adult adoptee could obtain their original birth certificate, just like those not personally touched by adoption. It is time for adoption reform to move forward and do away with mutual consent registries and intermediaries.
For over 30 years now I've been an advocate for open records. I had a good adoptive home. My father was killed in a freak accident when I was two years old. But my mother remarried and my step-father treated me as if I were his biological daughter. In 1997 the search for my birth family was completed. My birth parents died during my 20 plus year search. I've had a great reunion with siblings and other birth relatives. I want other searching adoptees to complete their searches. Open records laws in all states would make the task easier. Over the years I've conversed with many triad members and the majority have wanted laws so that all adoptees can request and receive their original birth certificate.
During a 20+ year search for my birth mother, I provided the AdopTriad BBS. I was the founder of Insight to The Adoption Triad, a search and support group in OH (Columbus and Delaware areas). For many years I helped numerous adoptees and birth parents throughout the U.S. with their searches and provided support during and afterwards. Although I'm not as active today I am the list owner for FamAdopt (Yahoo eGroups)and continue to offer advice and provide support. I'm currently writing a book about my own search and reunion since I do feel that it will be inspiring to many. This blog was started because I do feel the violation of the rights of adoptees needs to be more widely known in the hope that it will lead legislators to opening records in the majority of the states that still have closed records. ALL adoptees deserve their original birth certificate, just as those not personally touched by adoption obtain their OBC with no questions asked and are not denied this link to their heritage.