The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute examined whether adopted people, once they become adults, should have access to their original birth information.
The report’s conclusion is “yes,” and it urges all states to follow the eight (Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee) that already allow adults who were adopted to access their original birth records. The institute found that in states with open records, “most birthparents and adoptees handle any contact with maturity and respect.”
For many genealogists, an adopted parent or grandparent presents a research brick wall. According to the report, some states have restored access more narrowly, “typically to individuals who were adopted prior to the state’s law sealing this information.”
You can get help researching ancestral adoptions in the February 2007 Family Tree Magazine. Also see these links:
- Finding Adoption Answers
- Adoption Mailing lists