Adoptive Parents Favor Opening Adoption Records

By Lang, Susan S. | Human Ecology Forum, Spring 1997 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Adoptive Parents Favor Opening Adoption Records


Lang, Susan S., Human Ecology Forum


Parents of adopted children in New York are overwhelmingly in favor of laws that allow adult adoptees access to information in their birth certificates about their birth parents, according to a new Cornell study.

"One major argument for keeping records sealed is to protect adoptive parents who might feel threatened if their adopted children knew more about their birth parents," says Rosemary Avery, associate professor of consumer economics and housing and a specialist in family policy and foster care.

"Yet, these results indicate there is no justification for keeping such information from adult adoptees, especially nonidentifying information," Avery says. "And there is no reason to believe that New York State adoptive parents are any different from those in other states: they are overwhelmingly supportive of opening sealed adoption records."

As more adult adoptees pressured state legislatures to open sealed adoption records on the grounds that they are unconstitutional and important for healthy psychological development, Avery set out to determine how adoptive parents felt about the potential legislative changes and how common open adoptions were in the sample.

She surveyed 1,274 adoptive parents in 743 adoptive homes in New York. The study, which is the first intensive study on this issue in New York, based its findings on a diverse sample of parents who lived in rural and urban areas, adopted through public and private agencies, and adopted children of various ages.

Among her findings:

* Adoptive mothers were more in favor of opening adoption records than fathers: 83 percent of adoptive mothers and 73 percent of adoptive fathers felt that adult adoptees should be able to obtain a copy of their birth certificates; only 9 percent of adoptive mothers and 11 percent of adoptive fathers felt they should not have access.

* 78 percent of adoptive mothers and 66 percent of adoptive fathers felt that all adult adoptees should have the right to obtain an original birth certificate, regardless of when they were adopted.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Adoptive Parents Favor Opening Adoption Records
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?