Opening Up Adoption

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Most any American can get a copy of their birth certificate for about $13 and the time it takes to get to town hall. But not if you’re adopted. Then the process can take years. In some states, you may never see your birth mother or father’s name on paper. Laws protecting their names were put in place just after World War II, when unwed or unfaithful mothers were experiencing their own baby boom. Today adoption no longer carries associations of immorality and so laws are beginning to change. Several states have passed and others are now considering legislation that allows adopted children access to birth records. Proponents say these laws help children learn where they came from — opponents say they violate the privacy rights of birth mothers. Searching for names in the files.


Thomas Atwood, President of National Council for Adoption

Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and author of “Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming America”

Carrie Blesener, adopted person who’s had contact with her birth mother.