Wednesday, February 11, 2009


There seem to be some adoptive families who fear their grown child finding birth family members. We currently have among our Illinois legislators at least one adoptive parent that seems to be in this category. Is it right for someone like that to fight an open records bill to the point that they are very persuasive in getting followers to go along with their belief that records should remain closed? I personally don't think so. When a strong bond is formed between an adoptee and their parents, there is no need to fear that they will be placed on a back burner if the birth family is found. Anyone who does not have a strong relationship with their adoptee should not try to punish all adoptees. When the child was younger and did something that called for a spanking, did the parent spank all the children in the neighborhood or town of residence? I highly doubt it. It might not even be their son/daughter's fault that there is not a stronger bond between them.

To open records in Illinois would restore a civil right to adoptees. Obtaining an original birth certificate (OBC) does not necessarily lead one to the doorstep of their birth mother or her family. There are a few adoptees who choose to not search. Many do search and having an OBC could make a search easier. Then we have the reunited adoptees but still don't have their OBC. It most likely has no information on it that the reunited adoptee does not already know. The OBC would not exist if it had not been for their birth but yet it is denied to them by Illinois adoption laws.

We need to educate adoptive parents who fear having the records open in Illinois. I do know that some adoptive parents do fear what their grown child might find if they search for birth family. As a parent I do understand that because we always want what is best for our children. Different circumstances can lead to a baby/child being placed for adoption. Some hurtful things could be learned but that is why an adoptee should be as emotionally prepared as possible for the end result to possibly not be the best. Adoptive parents can be helpful with that. But to do everything possible to try to prevent a reunion from happening could just push the adoptee to proceed with haste.

I do hope that any adoptive parent who does not have a strong bond with their grown
son/daughter will not take it out on all the other adoptees and fight open records. It certainly does not sound fair to me. And, it definitely needs to be remembered that open records is not about search and reunion. It is about restoring a civil right to adult adoptees.


Grannie Annie said...

Once again, Mary, you've hit the nail on the head.

There are too many adoptive families who don't want to come out and admit they are afraid for their son or daughter to search. So instead, these adoptive families use birthmother confidentiality and/or privacy issues as their reasons for keeping our records sealed.

We both know that in a large number of cases, the adoptive families do not care about birth mother confidentiality at all, but they use it as a "socially acceptable" hook to hang their hats on.

And I'll bet that these legislators will not admit that they what they are really afraid of is losing their child's love.

I'll bet if I were an adoptive mom, I would be scared too, especially in the beginning. But I also know that I would want my child to be able to know everything he/she could possibly find out about his original identity.

I hope all adoptive parents who read this will find the courage to put their fears aside and help their children fight to get their obcs, which is their civil and human right.


Being Me said...

Yes. Prohibiting information is not going to improve their relationship anyway. It's really sad that they can be that scared.