Your right to stay informed
In an ordinary circumstance, the information on the origin of the adopted kid remains sealed. This is in
order to comply with the court proceedings and facilitate the development of a good relationship
between the adoptive parents and the kid without influence of the natural parents.
In most jurisdictions, the adoptees are denied access to the record that discloses information on the natural parents. In most cases, the natural parents usually give consent to adoption only on condition that they should never reveal information. However, in the recent past, as a result of the growing interest of people tracing roots and families, there are many adoptees who are seeking the rights to access the sealed records on adoption.
However, most adult adoptees agree that revealing the information can be traumatic to the minor adoptees. However, they also suggest that concealing this kind of information can be traumatic in their adulthood. On top of this, medical issues have been cited or have even being misdiagnosed and these could be as a result of the lack of a genetic history, not having a religious indentify or even the fear to get into an incestuous relationship.
Most adoptees who are in their adulthoods agree that the adoption statutes don’t make a distinction between the adoptee whether in their minor even in their adult stage and this result in the adult getting deprived of their rights to trace their background. On top of this, adults also cite that they are denied equal protection under the law as they are prevented from getting medical information that is already available to the non-adoptees.
There are different approaches that have been used for the sake of resolving the issue. One of these is the enactment of the necessary statutes that private and public adoption agencies need to open their records once they have been requested to do so by adults who were adopted in their childhood but with a certain level of limitations. For instance, where the kid was placed by his or her natural parents before the enactment of the statute, the adoptee can be prevented by the natural parent from looking at the statute.
This issue of the rights of the adoptee to access their adoption records after they reach their adulthood also considers the right of the natural parents to have privacy. This can end up getting violated where the free access to documents that were previously sealed are given to the adult adoptees. The right of the adult adoptee should therefore be balanced with the rights of the natural parents to their privacy. However, the main challenge here has always being on the right way of achieving this balance.
1n 1999, the Supreme court in Tennessee overturned a ruling by the court of appeal which challenged a law that had been passed in 1995 unsealing the adoption records as well as the original birth certificates for the adult adoptees. The court of appeal had made a ruling that was in favor of the state to the chagrins of the advocates of sealed record.