CITING "NO CONFIDENTIALITY" TO LEGISLATORS.
Dear Assembly Member __________
My purpose in writing to your office is to formally request your support of restoring adult adoptees access to his or her original birth certificates.
There are currently over 6 million adoptees in the United States for whom most know nothing about their birth parents because of outdated state laws which seal all adoption records. New York is one of those remaining states.
Many of these laws were instituted in the 1930s to prevent the adoptee from being labeled "illegitimate" or a "bastard". Social values have changed tremendously since those days and there is no longer the same stigma attached to adoption. The sealing of these records is now hurting the people they were designed to protect.
One common myth surrounding our cause for unsealed Original Birth Certificates is confidentiality involving the women who surrendered us following our births. I can assure you without any reservation whatsoever that confidentiality was never promised, guaranteed, or even implied to these wonderful women who gave birth to us. Through my work as a volunteer with several adoption organizations as well as networking, I have met several hundred moms; not a single one of them was promised confidentiality.
Adoptees have been totally denied access to medical information and testing for certain genetic diseases due to their lack of a family history. Consider my home state of New York where records were ordered sealed in 1935. In no way could our leadership then have anticipated the technologies that now exist in 2009. If ever there was a reason for the adoption laws in the US to change, this is it. No one in this country should be denied their right to practice preventative health care, but that is what is truly happening to adoptees. Why should the status of adoption keep someone from knowing what medical risks their true blood line holds?
The main point is; why should non-adoptees be allowed their original birth certificates while the adopted are denied? Is this no longer a nation founded on equality for all? Why then are adult (tax-paying) adoptees treated like second class citizens? In short, we deserve the same equal rights that are celebrated by all other American born citizens.
(your name and contact information)