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Adoptees sick of being treated like ‘second class citizens’

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch (Photo by Hugh McQuaid)
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch (Photo by Hugh McQuaid)

HARTFORD, Conn. – Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch tried Tuesday to pressure the Senate to give adoptees access to their original birth certificates and the names of their biological parents.

The legislation awaiting action in the Senate passed the House last week. It would allow adoptees born after Oct. 1, 1983, access to their original birth records. In Connecticut and most other states, adoptees receive amended birth certificates that omit the parents’ names.

At a Tuesday afternoon press conference in the Legislative Office Building, Finch, a former state senator who was adopted himself, said the current law perpetuates a type of discrimination.

“We’re being treated like second class citizens and we have been since 1974 in most of the United States,” he said. “. . . The government does not have a right to take my identity from me and put it under lock and key.”

Finch compared the issue to the debate over marriage equality. When he was in the state Senate, the legislature adopted Connecticut’s civil union law for same sex couples. He said he almost did not vote for the bill.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.

Comments

6 responses to “Adoptees sick of being treated like ‘second class citizens’”

  1. Casey Smith

    Like Mayor Finch, I was born before 1983 and would like a copy of my original birth certificate. I’ve already connected with my birth family, so there’s no breach of confidentiality. I just want the document because it’s mine.

  2. John Frank sr

    As and adult adoptee myself, I’m sure mayor Finch means well, but has no real understanding of the issues involved in passing this bill. Under present law, birth mothers who, for a variety of reasons, feel they need to give up their babies for adoption, have some assurance of privacy in that painful, difficult, decision. Without that assurance, not a true guarantee, many will choose instead terrible alternatives. Those alternatives will, sadly, include ones harmful to the babies. The present privacy rules are not inviolable, I found my birth mother without too much effort or expense years later when all I expected was to discover some information. For us, it was a good experience, but there are considerable risks for the moms and for the adoptees, that should not be ignored. The legislature should leave this process alone. “If it ain’t broke……”

  3. Suzanne

    What I know about this is not much but my family had an incident in which a child was born and put up for adoption. My understanding of the law is that an adopted child can go to a national registry seeking their adoptive parents but the mother is contacted only if there is consent. In other words, those who do not want to be known by their adopted child can “opt out.” I think this is a reasonable way to handle the situation: parents to child and child to parents, either one could protect their privacy should they so choose. I agree with John Frank, Sr., above and would not want to see a deterrent to adoption where privacy needs to be maintained (unless an open adoption is chosen.) I feel it is another law that, once again, deprives the mother the right to her own body and her own decisions. Giving up one’s infant to adoption is a brave act with repercussions. Our relation has said to me, “I did my job, I gave the gift. Now, it is up to the adoptive parents who choose my child to receive that gift and raise the baby.”

  4. John Frank sr

    Well said, Suzanne.
    There are State and private online registries where adoptees can register and, if the birth mother has also registered, they can be connected. It is also possible now, in Connecticut, to contact the agency that handled the adoption and ask for information. They will not give you anything, but will, depending on the circumstances, contact the birth mother and/or other adoptee children of the same mother and ask if they want to meet. The answer is not always positive, and any adoptee seeking to meet needs to be prepared for that result. I met my birth mother and her other adult children and that was a real joy. My biological father had already passed away and his family. with one exception, had no interest in meeting.
    “If it ain’t broke………”

  5. John Frank sr

    Casey
    If you are in touch with your birth family, they have unrestricted access to your original birth certificate and can easily get you a copy.

  6. EveT

    Not all adoptions were arranged through agencies, and not all agencies are still in existence decades later when the now-adult adoptee wishes to access birth information. Even if the adoption was through an agency that still exists, there’s no guarantee that the agency staff will have the time to hunt for current contact information and serve as intermediary to contact the birth mother.

    We need open adoption records nationwide. Until that can happen, I hope CT will join the states that provide adoptees with access to their birth records upon request.

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