The adoptees were expecting a new adoption bill in New Jersey to go into effect on January 1, which would reveal their adoption records, with some restrictions. Some had been waiting for decades to get their original birth certificates. Now, all of that was about to change for th
[ClickPress, Fri Jan 13 2017] Thousands of people from around the United States were gathered to celebrate New Year 2017.People danced in the streets, celebrating the end of 2016 with full excitement and hopeful New Year is full of happiness. Billions of people had enjoyed this on live television.
Meanwhile, while the celebration was held in New York, some neighbors nearby had even more reason to be happy.
Adoptee Birth Certificates Released!
The adoptees were expecting a new adoption bill in New Jersey to go into effect on January 1, which would reveal their adoption records, with some restrictions. Some had been waiting for decades to get their original birth certificates. Now, all of that was about to change for them.
A little history about adoption records and adopted birth certificates
In the early and mid-nineteenth century, adoptions were informal arrangements outside a court of law. Then in 1851, Massachusetts became the first state to enact a formal adoption statute. Other states followed suit in the coming years. Since adoption laws are created at the state level, each state has its own statutes and ways of doing things. During this period, adoption records remained accessible, or open.
The turbulence of the closed adoption
In the 1940s, a push to seal adoption records began, and the era of closed adoptions was born. Terrible adoption laws were created destined to become failures many decades later.
Mothers by birth, 1.5 million of them, were forced to give their babies to the closed system, as they had no other options. Most were told to forget about the baby they had given up, and to go home and start a new life.
The adoptees did not get much better with these new closed adoption laws. Many experienced a sense of life as if they had been abandoned or rejected. Their self-esteem was low because they felt that perhaps their birth the Mothers abandoned them because they were not good enough or worthy of being loved. Sealed records carried with them the stigma of shame, of lying, and of secrecy. It was not until the 1990s that open adoptions began to be accepted. Birth mothers could now stay in touch with their baby's adoptive parents if a post-adoption agreement was made. Many states had amended their statutes to allow greater flexibility in open adoptions. The benefits to both the biological mother and the adopted mother began to be recognized and became more widely accepted.
Now, there are approximately 30 states that allow adoptees access to information they do not identify. This information includes a medical history and the social history of the biological parents and their families. Policies on what information is disclosed vary from state to state. Most states have established mutual consent registries to allow the disclosure of identifying information. Identification information about birth parents, adoptees, or other birth relatives may be released if written consent is obtained by the parties.
There are still 20 states, including New York and California, which do not allow anyone access to any identifying information.
So far, in New Jersey, there have been 903 adoptees who have applied for their original birth certificate. There are also 356 biological parents who have a written request on file to remain anonymous or have the records expelled. A wording is when it is sensitive or the identifying information is obscured or deleted from the records before it is released.
Due to this new law, signed by Governor Christie in 2014, New Jersey ceased to seal the records on August 1, 2015.
The adoptees who will be most affected by this new law will most likely be the Baby Boomers adopted 1946-1964, Generation X 1965-1980 and Millennial or Generation of 1981-2000.
Some adoptees have spent many years, and thousands of dollars in their quest to find answers about who they really are. Many have hired private investigators to do the homework. Unfortunately, many have gone up empty-handed, without leads, and drained bank accounts. This perpetual cycle of failures led to disappointment and despair. Feeling lost and hopeless, they gave up their pursuits.
Now, with the help of state-of-the-art technology and social media platforms, it's easier than ever to look for birth parents, siblings, and other family members. Once these records are unsealed, adoptees and birth parents will have access to sensitive information that states have unduly tried to protect for decades. Armed with something as simple as his last name, an adoptee has what he needs to start a search. More than that, they now have a piece of their identity. The emotional impact of this new law on adoptees will be very profound in many respects.