Does Opening Adoption Records Have an Adverse Social Impact? Some Lessons from the US, Great Britain and Australia, 1953–2007

24 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2009

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Adoption, adoption records, search, birth parents, birth mothers, adoptive parents

Suggested Citation

Carp, E. Wayne, Does Opening Adoption Records Have an Adverse Social Impact? Some Lessons from the US, Great Britain and Australia, 1953–2007 (2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1475785 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1475785

E. Wayne Carp (Contact Author)

Pacific Lutheran University ( email )

Tacoma, WA 98447
United States

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