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Closed Adoption


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Closed Adoption

  1. 1. CLOSED ADOPTION<br />
  2. 2. Closed Adoptions; A Child’s Perspective<br />The reason why I chose this particular topic is because I am an adopted child. I was given up by my biological mother, after six months of her trying hard to not give me to the foster home. I was adopted at a year and a half by wonderful and loving parents. The adoption was closed and I have no record, nor do my parents have any record. A closed adoption is when the birthparents give up all rights to their biological/birth child to a foster home or through adoption of another family. Just a picture that my foster parents sent my parents when they were looking to adopt, that has my biological last name scratched out in pencil. The reason why I am doing this topic is because in the 70s, the laws were very private about open adoption and birth mothers. I believe that if any child is adopted, there should be some kind of medical history that should come along with the adoption papers. With closed adoptions, it’s hard to get any medical history for the parents or the child. All my life, when I go to see Physicians, they ask me if anything is hereditary in my family. I tell them that I don’t know. I read an article where a 17 year old boy lured a 7 year old girl into a bathroom in Nevada and killed her. He was adopted and since it as a closed adoption, after running tests on the boy, they found out that his biological mother had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, which in turn was passed on to him. Now, had that been an Open Adoption where records are not private, this boy could have been treated beforehand. <br />
  3. 3. Closed Adoptions; A Child’s Perspective<br />Closed Adoptions: A Child’s Perspective<br /> Outline of Literature Findings:<br />Article: Adoptees gain more access: Barbara Vitello, & John Patterson). <br />Summary: During the closed adoption era, many birthparents “were in crisis situation. They felt pressured to make the decision (to give up their baby), so they signed papers but did not know or understand the fine print. Adoptees still have to go through what’s called a “confidential intermediary program, in which a third party acts as a go between, between the adoptee and the birthparents.<br />Strengths and Weaknesses: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislature that allows adoptees access to their birth records. Adopted people born in 1945 or earlier now will be able to obtain their birth certificates. Adoptees born after 1945 will have to wait until November 2011, to give their birthparents a chance to object.<br />
  4. 4. Closed Adoptions; A Child’s Perspective<br />Article: Open Adoptions Can Be A Positive Alternative: Lisette Livingston<br />Summary: Under Illinois law, court appointed intermediaries are allowed to do extensive records searches for adoptees. In addition to closed adoptions, some are open. An open adoption can be extremely important for single mothers who need the extra support. For some people who have done the open adoptions, they feel that having more people involved in the child’s life, means more than feelings of jealousy or negativity.<br />Strengths & Weaknesses: In Illinois, the degree of openness is determined by the parties involved. The Illinois State Bar Association suggest that all expectations regarding openness and the role both sets of parents play should be clearly communicated and understood by everyone.<br />
  5. 5. Closed Adoptions; A Child’s Perspective<br />Article: Mother's Day tinged with sadness for birth moms: Leanne Italie Associated Press.<br />Summary: Many birth mothers gave up newborns in the 50s, 60s and 70s, when closed adoption that sealed records left them with no choice. Birth mothers today wanting to find their children are realizing that state laws are not making it easy for them. There are 6 million adoptees in the US alone, and when it comes to open adoption birth mothers are coming out of the closet. Support groups and sharing resources help birthmothers with their struggle with sadness and displacement in society. 48 states require a court order for adults who want their original birth certificate, that often list their birth mother’s name. And only 8 states allow adult adoptees to have copies of their original birth certificates.<br />Strengths and Weaknesses: Birth Mother’s Day. This day was established for birth mothers in Seattle, WA in 1990, and has included candle lightings, poetry readings, and other events around the US, for mothers who have given up their children and who find it hard to cope.<br />
  6. 6. Closed Adoptions; A Child’s Perspective<br />Article: How birth mothers are finding adopted ones: Rhonda Bodfield<br />Summary: In 1975, Emma May Vilardi, created a non profit registry for people wanting to reconnect with families, but did not have the financial resources to do so. Almost a quarter-million people are registered on International Soundex Registry Reunion site, which is split between biological parents and adoptees that are looking for biological matches. I went online to check this website out for my own sake, and there is a form to fill out that has to be sent in to Las Vegas, where it is located, via mail. <br />Strengths and Weaknesses: There are 14,000 parents who place their children up for adoption each year. There are 1.6 million children who are adopted under the age of 18 in the United States. There is 90 number of boys adopted for every 100 girls who are adopted under the age of 18. There are 17% adopted children who are under the age of 18 who are of a different race, from the adopted family. There are 13% adopted children who are from foreign countries, nearly half of them are from Asia and Korea; 43 is the average age for parents who adopt .Personal Note: As an adoptive child, I sometimes wonder if I may pass her on the street and not know it, if she is still alive, or has she ever searched for me?<br />
  7. 7. Closed Adoptions; A Child’s Perspective<br />Article: The impact of closed, semi-open, and open adoption on children's psychological development: Ruth E Drasin<br />Summary: Thirty-nine children ranging in age from 5 years old to 10 years old were categorized into closed, semi-open, and open adoptions, depending on the level and nature of contact they had with their birth parents. In comparisons among the children in closed, semi-open, and open adoptions, few statistically significant differences were demonstrated. Children in semi-open adoptions, while functioning within normal limits, are experiencing somewhat greater emotional difficulties, particularly of the internalizing type. Children in each form of adoption struggled with feelings related to their adoption. The children expressed ambivalent feelings about adoption, a wish to know more about their birth parents, concerns about being teased, and questions about the permanence of adoption. Parents in closed adoptions believe that contact with a birth parent may be psychologically damaging to children.<br />Strength and Weaknesses: The degree of contact between the child and birth parent does not appear to play a primary role in the emotional development of young children. Rather, it is adoptive parents' commitment to raise the child in a loving home. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).<br />
  8. 8. Closed Adoptions; A Child’s Perspective<br />Article: The Sealed Adoption Record Controversy: Rebecca Smith<br />Summary: Adult adoptees are challenging the long-held practice of agency-and court sealed records. There is a growing number of adoptees who are seeking information or a reunion with their birth parents. With birth certificates being sealed this has affected thousands of adoptees, natural parents, and parents who have already adopted, or those who are considering adoption.<br />Strengths and Weaknesses: Adoptees are the primary source of knowledge about adoption. Their perception of adoption is unique, because they are the ones who can explain what it is live adoption in society.<br />
  9. 9. Closed Adoptions; A Child’s Perspective<br />Article: The Consequences of Open and Closed Adoptions: Robert Borgman.<br />Summary: AClosed Adoption is a sealed adoption record that serves as a barrier of contact between the children and their biological families. This helps promote commitment and stronger bonds between the adoptive child and the adopted parents. <br />Strengths and Weaknesses: Permanent severing of past relationships is feasible in the adoption of infants and preschool age kids who have experienced relatively few relationships, are aware of their heritages, and who are physically dependent upon parental caretakers. <br />
  10. 10. Closed Adoptions; A Child’s Perspective<br />Article: Out of the Adoption Closet: Janine Baer<br />Summary: Many adoptees never search for their birth families. The process can be somewhat frustrating or fear of hurting the adoptive parents, or being rejected once you meet your birth parent. Some adoptees deprive themselves of doubt and curiosity that they do not attempt to find their birth parents. <br />Strengths and Weaknesses: Some birthmothers are negative or resistant about a reunion with their child they gave up for adoption. Meeting the child or hearing from the child can bring up sadness and fears. Some birth mothers were rejected by the birth fathers and by their parents during their pregnancies. The birthmother could have a fear of abandonment once again if she upsets the people who are important in her life.<br />
  11. 11. Closed Adoptions; A Child’s Perspective<br />Article: Why should we root for open adoption: Michelle Kriegman<br />Summary: In recent years, in the state of Oregon, emotions played out in the battle over “Measure 58” in the mid 90s which was the right to open adoption records. Birth mothers felt that it was their right for confidentiality, against the right for adult adoptees to know their own heritage and to find their birth parents. There were six anonymous birth mothers who were backed by closed-adoption advocacy group, the National Council on adoption.<br />Strength and Weaknesses: After several rounds “Measure 58” was upheld by the Supreme Court. In my state, Tennessee, 95% of birth parents of closed adoptions agreed to meet.<br />
  12. 12. Closed Adoptions; A Child’s Perspective<br />Article: Battle Over Birth Records Adoptees' Curiosity About Parentage Does Not Trump Right To Privacy: Robyn E. Blumner St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times<br />Summary: Adults who were adopted as children feel that they have the right to know who gave them up for adoption. Some are so desperate to find out their history that they are lobbying for laws to have sealed adoption records opened. Adoptees feel that without their original birth certificate, which list the biological mother and father, they are denied their identity, heritage and medical history. However, when birth mothers give up their children, they are assured confidentiality. Some courts now are refusing to enforce to these promises. For example, women who have been raped or poor may be forced to open old wounds again.<br />Strengths and Weaknesses: When mentioning in my last Article about “Measure 58” in the state of Oregon, this measure gives adoptees old than 21 year of age access to their original birth certificates. <br />
  13. 13. Conclusion:<br />Given the results of the literature review on Closed Adoptions, the prevailing argument here is whether or not “Closed Adoptions” should be available to adoptees who want to find their birth parents. In a closed adoption, birth parents and the adopting families are unknown. Many details can be shared, but identity, such as name, SSN, and addresses are not exchanged. In the state of Missouri, adoptees who were adopted after August 28th 2010, can have total access to their birth and medical records once they turn 18. The bill would also give birth parents the choice to whether they want to be contacted by their adult child or communicate through a third party. In the state of Missouri people who were adopted before August 28th 2010, would only have access to available medical history, but to release an original birth certificate to the adoptee, the state registrar would have to try to contact the birth mother for permission. For the sake of adoptees, they need to be able to have some kind of record of our medical history and should make this legal in every state.. I read where a “privacy provision” allows parents to decide if they want to keep their identity a secret or not. If one parent opts out and the other does not the adoptee will still be able to find out one of their birth parents names. If both parents opt out, the adoptee may still be able to get a redacted version of their birth record, without any parent names. <br />In the beginning, all adoptees’ original birth certificates were NOT sealed. In America that all changed after WWII. Until 1945, however, most members of adoptive families in the United States had perfectly legal access to birth certificates and adoption-related court documents and most agencies acted as passive registries through which separated relatives might locate one another. Disclosure—not secrecy—has been the historical norm in adoption.<br /> Having access to their own original birth certificate is a Human Right that every United States citizen should have except if that person is adopted. Having access to original birth certificates is NOT about searching and having a reunion it is about knowing the truth about an adoptees ethnicity heritage and medical history for their own children one day, not just for the adoptee. I also read where one lady had problems getting a passport being denied because of a falsified birth certificate or amended certificate. This is why birth records should be legal to adoptees. <br />Those who oppose access claim that sealed records are confidential and it puts weight on the birth mothers shoulders. The birth mother is the only one who is told not to contact that child or the families who she gave up for adoption. The fact is this, if a child is relinquished for adoption and termination of parental rights, there is no guarantee of adoption, and until the adoption does actually take place, the child keeps his birth name and access to his Original Birth Certificate. To view a copy of an application to an Open Sealed Adoption File, here is the website<br />
  14. 14. Closed Adoptions; A Child’s Perspective<br />References:<br /> <br />Barbara Vitello, & John Patterson (2010, May 23). Adoptees gain more access. Daily Herald,5.<br />Retrieved July 13, 2010, from ProQuest Newsstand. (Document ID: 2041478741).  <br />Livingston, L.. (2009, August 26). Open Adoptions Can Be A Positive Alternative. Chicago Citizen,p. 5.  Retrieved July 13, 2010, from Ethnic NewsWatch (ENW). (Document ID: 1859632451).<br />Leanne Italie Associated Press.  (2009, May 5). Giftoflove: Mother's Day tinged with sadness for birth moms. Deseret News,C.1.  Retrieved July 13, 2010, from ProQuest Newsstand. (Document ID: 1698742661).<br />Rhonda Bodfield.  (1  June). How birth mothers are finding adopted ones. McClatchy - Tribune Business News Retrieved July 13, 2010, from ProQuest Newsstand. (Document ID: 1487829801).<br />Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering Vol 56(1-B), 1995, pp. 0542<br />CHILD WELFARE / Volume LV Number 2 February 1976<br />CHILD WELFARE / Volume LXI, Number 4 / April 1982<br />Robyn E. Blumner St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.  (2000, January 23). BATTLE OVER BIRTH RECORDS ADOPTEES' CURIOSITY ABOUT PARENTAGE DOESN'T TRUMP RIGHT TO PRIVACY :[FINAL Edition]. Denver Rocky Mountain News,p. 1B.  Retrieved July 13, 2010, from ProQuest Newsstand. (Document ID: 48344321).<br />