Monday, February 25, 2008

UNITED STATES: Letter from Mirah Riben--States' Sealed Records Discriminate Against Adoptees, Families, February 25, 2008

February 25, 2008

States' sealed records discriminate against adoptees, families

Mirah Riben, member, board of directors, Origins — - Richmond, Va.

In his letter "In cases of adoption, respect privacy of birth parents," USA TODAY reader Craig Roberts wrote about his "concerns" for mothers who surrender their children for adoption. Roberts took enormous liberty in speaking for others (Tuesday).

He wrote that mothers who lost children to adoption "could have made a choice to terminate their pregnancies." Yes, they could have, but so could the mother of any child ever born.

Roberts wagers that "the majority of these decisions were made at a young age." The majority of mothers placing children for adoption today are in their 20s. I don't consider those ages to be young. Also, the history of sealed adoption records indicates the records were never sealed to "protect" mothers who surrendered their rights. They were originally sealed in the 1930s to protect adoptive parents and the secrecy of adoption. This kind of protection is a smoke screen for denying adoptees and their families of origin the same rights as others.

Mothers who lost children to adoption have been speaking out, writing and appearing on national television since the '70s. We do not need others speaking for us, making assumptions about us or trying to protect us.

Link to article

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