Adoption-Seeking Birth Mother

[deleted account] ( 27 moms have responded )

Do adoptees have a right to seek out their birth mother, if the birth mother does not wish to be found? If the adoption was a private, closed adoption, does the birth mother have the right to remain anonymous? Is she obligated to have a relationship with the infant she relinquished rights to once that child becomes a legal adult? In the United States, original birth certificates w/the birth mom's information are sealed and the adopted parents are listed as the parents.

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Mary - posted on 02/08/2011

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Actually, any child, adopted or not, only has access to whatever the parent or other family members are willing to divulge. Personal health information is legally protected in the US (HIPPA).



I'm not adopted. I am extremely close to my family. However, if my parents, grandparents, or sister chose to keep all of their health issues and history private, I really have no legal "rights"' to their information.



In a perfect world, a birth mother would provide as detailed of family medical history as she can. However, I do think that she should have the right to remain unknown if that is her wish. After all, allowing the child to find out her identity does not mean that child will then have automatic access to her health issues that arose after she gave him up; sharing that information is totally at her discretion.



It's not that I don't feel for the adopted child, and the many questions that may arise as they grow up - I do. However, I also fear that placing lifelong obligations on a birth mother may dissuade some from going through proper channels to do so. Making the decision to give up your baby is hard enough; I would hate to see any further requirements or restrictions in place that might discourage someone from doing it.

Sharon - posted on 02/07/2011

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She is NOT obligated to a relationship.

She is obligated to give more information. An explanation for the sanity and mental well being of the human she CHOSE to give birth to as well as the best medical information she can supply. Health and discoveries change throughout the years so what she knew 18 years ago - will have changed.

They don't have to have a relationship. a simple exchange of information is often all that is needed.

Johnny - posted on 02/07/2011

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I agree with Sharon's points.

The child has the right to know the identity of their parents and any pertinent medical and personal history. The child is never asked whether or not they wish to relinquish their rights to their own personal information, and I do not think it should be a choice solely granted to the parent who is giving up the child.

Obviously that individual has the right to refuse a relationship or contact, but I don't think that goes as far as having the right to hide someone's personal history from them.

[deleted account]

IMO....
Adoptee's have every right to seek out their birth mothers. However, the women that gave them up also have every right to refuse contact and stay hidden if they want. If a woman give a child up for adoption they probably, whole heartedly believe, that they gave their child a better life and that child will be healthy and happy. I also don't think anyone is "obligated" to have a relationship with a child if they gave that child up. (at any point in life)
IMO

Danielle - posted on 02/08/2011

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As an adoptee I say yes we do have have the right to find our birth mother. No she isn't obligated to have a relationship with the child but I believe it's the child's right to know "why?" In my case I met my mother a few years ago and the only question I had was why. The reason I found her when I did was b/c I went through a horrible post pardom depression with my first child and thought maybe she did too. She didn't but she did answer alot of questions for me. We now have a good relationship. I don't look at her like my mom (I have a mother) but we still have a good relationship. I never met my father. He died two yrs ago and the first time I layed eyes on him was at his funeral. But I now have a relationship with his side of the family. As a birth mother the woman needs to realize that the child never asked for being brought in the world or to be adopted and will have questions that only she can answer. I think the child is owed that much. Not to mention the health aspects. I would have never known heart disease ran in both sides of my family if I hadn't found them. My B. grandmother died of a heart attack, my mother has had a massive heart attack and my father died of a heart attack. So if for nothing else at least let them know what they need to know about their health.

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Iridescent - posted on 10/09/2011

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My mom was adopted. Nobody knows who her biological father was. She was adopted by her biological mother and step father, her name was changed at 6 years old, a new birth certificate was issued. When she became an adult she petitioned the court for her original birth certificate - it was denied. Again, she petitioned, in her 30s because of major health problems. Again, denied. It's a permanently sealed record. Her mother would not release the name of the father, and now her mother has died. Nobody knew who it was. The only way to get that record is to wait 100 years to the day from the adoption decree and petition for it, so she'll be 106 years old at that point. She's the only one with the right to petition for it, so if she can't, we'll never know. This is very common, and this is in the US. Sealed is sealed.



It would be nice to know at a minimum the health history that goes with the biological parent, or if the child was the product of incest. It makes a huge difference in how you may plan preventative care, or plan for children. What could have been prevented, had we known who the father was? I don't know, but I feel we should have been given at least that much information. We will never have it.



Edited to add: http://www.parkbooks.com/Html/res_adpt.h...

This is our state. My mom was born in a home for unwed mothers, which intentionally did not maintain birth records to prevent people from learning later their history. It still exists in this way - they are exempt from standard birth record laws. The birth is recorded, but not in full and untraceable if they choose it to be so. Her mother kept her, but that record is still inaccessible. While MN is one of the most strict states in the nation in this regard, there are other states with identical laws and their own homes for unwed mothers with the same guidelines. It's not a simple matter of requesting the papers.

Leeann - posted on 10/07/2011

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I'm adopted and could care less about having a relationship with my BM and BF. I know who my parents are, that being said what I do need to know is medical background and where the hell I come from. what's my history, where do my ancestors hail from. So yes I think that information should be available.

Hannah - posted on 02/09/2011

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Yes, I think that they should have the right to know more about their birth mother and father. I think it could be beneficial to the adoptee to know more about their biological family and medical history as it may answer questions that they have.

One of my good friends whom Ive known since high school is adopted. She talked about wanting to find her adoptive parents when she turned 18 and when she turned 18 she started the process to finding them. She found them and has met them but things dont always turn out to be kittens and rainbows. I think a tiny part of her wishes that she had just left well enough alone, HOWEVER I know that she is happy that she knows who her parents are, and her siblings and her aunts and uncles, grandparents etc. I think finding your birth parents changes all the dynamics more than what one could expect.

Either way though, its not easy thing to deal with....

[deleted account]

"I think that if a woman is going to give her child up for adoption, she should have to sign something stating whether or not she is ok with being contacted later in life when the child grows up."

My only concern with this is what happens if the mom changes her mind, what if she says she can be contacted later in life but 18 years later she has a new family and doesn't want to be contacted or vice versa and she says no but then 18 years later wouldn't actually mind being contacted. It is too final a thing to decide because things change, people change and grow.

[deleted account]

In 1971 my husband was born to a 15 year old girl. From what my husband was told about his adoption, the girl was 1st generation American from very strict Italian Catholic parents who forced the adoption. Hubby knows his birth father was 17. He knows birth mother's name and some other family information name, but that's it. He is perfectly content just knowing the name and has no interest in finding her. He really could care less about medical issues as well. Every few years it seems like my hubby gets on a Google kick to search but he really has no interest. Just curiosity. He feels that adoption records should go through a 3rd party but he compltely respects a birth mother's right to remain anonymous. Adoption came up the other day in our home because my son announced he knows that "adoption means you go to PetSmart and take home a cat". So...hubby had a discussion of what adoption in his situation means.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/08/2011

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From what I understand, if it is a closed adoption, it would be very difficult to find the birth mother. It would be very hurtful for the adoptee to find a birth parent and still not be wanted...but that is the risk someone would take. They were given up for a reason and should not expect to much from the birth parent if they are found. If it was me, I would not want to locate someone that did not want me.

[deleted account]

I think that if a woman is going to give her child up for adoption, she should have to sign something stating whether or not she is ok with being contacted later in life when the child grows up. That would simplify a lot. But in cases of medical necessity, I do think that it should be ok to contact birth mothers (and birth fathers) for information. No one is obligated to have a relationship with anyone they don't want to. We live in the real world, not in a Lifetime movie. A relationship would be nice and all warm and fuzzy, but there's no way to force that on anyone.

Janessa - posted on 02/08/2011

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I also think the child should be gave the rights to more information about someones family. Because they are genetic dieses that run in families and If I was in the same situation I would like to know about my family history so I do not ended marrying my cousins :(

Janessa - posted on 02/08/2011

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This is very interesting my younger sister is an american. She knows hardly nothing about her birth parents except her mothers name and how many siblings she had. My sister I know for a fact wants to know more about her birth parents because she has no idea who her father is and wonders about her siblings. I am not sure if they have the same father. I feel sad that she might likely never know anything. In my adoption case since I was given away because of unrest in my country. I know for a fact my mother never wanted to gave me away because of danger in Haiti. I am so glad to know my mom would still want me and I am hers forever and she never kept a secret from me. She has always been truthful since I was a child. I guess some of us are lucky to know why we were put up for adoption and our parents would share everything. I hope that I can find my birth parents in Haiti because I miss them and I remember so much and I jsut want to sponsor them and take care of them now.

Bonnie - posted on 02/08/2011

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The child has a right to know who their birth parents are. For some it provides a state of peace just knowing. It doesn't mean any relationship has to become from it.

Esther - posted on 02/08/2011

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I agree with Carol. The birth mother had a choice. In all likelihood she could have prevented the pregnancy altogether (yeah yeah, I know, accidents happen) but she chose not to be careful enough. She then chose to give that baby up for adoption. The child was not given any choice in the matter whatsoever. I think the least you can do is make yourself available should that child want to find you later in life and answer their questions. You cannot force a relationship but you should be willing to provide any information they feel they need to know to the best of your ability. I do not think that birth parents should be entitled to look up their birth children however. Again, it was a matter of choice. They chose to give that child up and with that any rights to them, the child was not afforded the luxury of options then, so they should have them now.

Amanda - posted on 02/08/2011

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No, i think adoptees should have the right to the birth parents medical history, but i don't think they have the right to seek out someone who does not wish to be found (couldn't that classify as stalking?). She gave up the baby, she is in no way obligated to have a relationship with that individual. The same goes for the adoptee, the birth parents shouldn't be allowed to seek out the child they put up for adoption if that individual does not wish to be found.

[deleted account]

It's a horrible situation for everyone involved but the adopted person should have the right (if the onformation is there) to know information about their biological parents because as has been pointed out there is certain information that could help make that persons life easier. Information such as parental and family medical history, why was I adopted etc. However, if the bioloigical parents do not want to be known this information should be made available via a third party because yes they did choose to give up their children but those children still have rights to certain information.

I believe in the UK unless it is for the protection of the child all adoptions are open and have the potential of some level of contact with biological family members now, although in the past many were closed. I feel this works better than closed adoptions because the child has some answers to their questions when they arise.

Medic - posted on 02/07/2011

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My adoption was not done as an open adoption...it just ended up that way. My mothers adoption was closed she got her info my birth mothers was closed and she has hers and my aunts was closed and yet again she has hers. All three were in different states and all three had to go threw different states to get them. But it is possible.

Sharon - posted on 02/07/2011

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Jennifer - not in every state. In some states you are not allowed access to your birth certificate if you were born before a certain date.

You have an open adoption and access to information - what about those who don't?

Medic - posted on 02/07/2011

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In the US you have every right to your original birth cert. I have mine, my mom and aunt have theirs. But no she is not obligated to speak to you on anything. I have an open adoption and that was decided between my birth mom and adoptive parents so I know her. My birth father has never met me and has made it clear he is not interested in anything and I am fine with that. Why would you want to push something that isn't wanted??

Sharon - posted on 02/07/2011

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She may have relinquished her RIGHTS but because she chose to bring a human being into this world, she has additional obligations. She and only she can fulfill as the biological mother.

She gave birth to a baby with the expectation that it would grow up to be a sentient being. When that has been achieved - there will be questions. why was I given up? What didn't she put on the forms? Where is the rest of my biological family? is there a chance I'll marry a sibling? marry my own father/uncle/nephew/cousin? Does everyone in my bio family battle obesity or is it just me, is it just because I'm adopted and look nothing like my adopted family, do I maybe have a bizarre inherited allergy that causes me to not metabolize food like normal people?

And that is just the obvious superficial stuff. I had a couple of friends who were adopted. THere is so much more to it.

Lacye - posted on 02/07/2011

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Unless it has to deal with medical reasons, no. The adopted child should not be allowed access to the birth mother's name or the birth father's name. The birth mother has no obligation towards that child because she relinquished all rights to that child to begin with. IMO, sometimes it's just better to let sleeping dogs lie.

Stifler's - posted on 02/07/2011

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I agree the biological parents aren't obligated to a relationship since they gave up the baby but the person should still be allowed access to names and medical records of their parents.

Stifler's - posted on 02/07/2011

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if someone wants to know who their parents are, i think they should have the right!

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