Adoptees like me who were relinquished during the era of closed adoption have a hard time explaining to others why the arrangement shouldn’t be glorified. Getting people to understand that the Pollyanna narrative around the arrangement is based on flawed assumptions and that growing up not knowing our true selves has caused emotional harm is a tough sell.
In recent years, there have been glimmers of hope and change, however. Social media and technology like DNA testing are helping connect many of us with natural families and answer some of the lifelong questions that have plagued us.
State laws are still behind the times, though. Unrestricted access to original birth certificates is available in only nine states. Throughout the rest of the nation, legislation that sealed birth records — ostensibly for adoptees’ own good — remains on the books. Adoptees are treated like second-class citizens in the eyes of the law.
Yesterday’s Boston Globe took up the subject of closed adoption in more depth than news articles typically do, providing critical context and insight around the issue. Read the piece here. Then if you’re an adoptee or love someone who is adopted, send it to your legislators and demand they change the law.
It’s high time adoptees were the focal point of adoption.