Does Opening Adoption Records Have an Adverse Social Impact? Some Lessons from the US, Great Britain and Australia, 1953–2007
E. Wayne Carp
Pacific Lutheran University
This study provides an international history of the adoption reform movement in the United States, Great Britain, and Australia from 1953 to 2007. It empirically tests how safe birth parents and adopted adults are in countries that have opened their adoption records, usually birth registration records, using preference forms and contact vetoes. The results of this investigation reveal that a vast gap exists between the fear by birth parents and adopted adults that their privacy will be invaded and their family disrupted and the reality that few or no offenses are committed. It follows that opening adoption records with contact preference forms or contact vetoes provides a balanced adoption disclosure system and is a viable alternative to the sealed adoption policies currently used in the vast majority of American states and Canadian provinces.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: Adoption, adoption records, search, birth parents, birth mothers, adoptive parentsworking papers series
Date posted: September 20, 2009
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