Open Adoption

Adoption in the Best Interest of the Child

 
Main Page Domestic Adoption Adoptee Information Planning to Place Planning to Adopt Adoption Reform

The Adoption Revolution Led by Adoptees
Searching on the Internet

While birth mothers have been a strong and positive force in bringing about the changes now happening in adoption practice, it is the adoptees who are the ones who will bring about the most significant changes. After all, closed adoption was primarily supposed to be in their "best interest."

When adoptees by the thousands speak up wanting access to their birth information it is no longer possible to argue logically against allowing adoptees to see their original birth certificate and court files.

"What do you wish your adoptive parents had known?"  is probably the most basic issue adoptees face in their relationship with their (adoptive) parents. This question was first asked online near the end of the 1990's on the Adoptee Internet Mailing List pages. Hundreds of answers were received on this blog that was open to the public. This listing of responses is no longer online due to the closing of the Adoptee Internet Mailing List pages. Since I was involved in the formulating of this question, and encouraging its posting online to collect responses, I have now reposted some of those responses adoptees gave to the question, "What do you wish your adoptive parents had known?" These are VERY powerful pages! Every adopting parent should read them carefully and embrace what they reflect. If you are an adoptee and would like to give your own answer to add to this list please email it to bbetzen@openadoption.org.

Another document adding to the growing mountain of evidence gathered by adoptees pleading for open records is the keynote address given by Rev. Tom Brosnan to the 1996 National Maternity and Adoption Conference for Catholic Charities USA in April 1996 in San Antonio, Texas. It is about his experience as an adoptee. The talk received an extended ovation and was the center of discussion at the conference. The title of the talk was "Strengthening Families".

The adoption world is changing!


Online Adoptee Resources

It is now impossible to keep up with the explosion of home pages addressing the need for adoptees to have access to their records. It is easy to get overwhelmed going from one page to another. (These pages often list great advice and resources than can help adoption triad members who are searching for birth relatives.) What follows is a listing of some of the better web pages. These web pages will change, grow, move, and new ones will continue to develop, until the legal right to one's own birth records is established for every US citizen, including adoptees!

Here in Texas we have the Texas Coalition for Adoption Resources and Education (TxCARE) and our web pages located at http://www.txcare.org. If you live in Texas, or have adoption links to Texas, please come and join us in the work to give the adoption process in Texas the dignity it deserves. Our first goal is to give adult adoptees a legal right to have a copy of their original birth certificate. Keep up with our progress in this area at http://www.txcare.org.  The TxCARE web pages also have the largest free on-line adoption registry in Texas with over 28,000 registrations as of July, 2005.  There are matches more than once a week from the registry.  Your chances are about 100,000 times BETTER than a Texas Lottery drawing to make a match within the year!!

A good web site, also with links to many other pages for search and adoption issues, is An Adoptee's Right to Know which is part of the pages maintained by Shea Grimm at http://www.plumsite.com/shea.

Bastard Nation is a very powerful and blunt addition to the Internet. It has grown very fast and is now forming a rapidly growing national membership. It has a very simple common goal of open records for all adult adoptees. I strongly recommend visiting those pages. They are well done with many good resource links. They had their first national convention back in the summer of 1997, and I am certain it is the first of many. You can find them at http://www.bastards.org/. At the rate they are growing they may become one of the largest national forces in the adoption reform movement.

The American Adoption Congress pages are growing well and include details about the annual national convention every year somewhere in the US. These are, as always, very valuable gatherings. The AAC pages are located at http://www.americanadoptioncongress.org

Web pages by triad members, birth mothers and adoptees, dedicated to the opening of adoption records are now all over the Internet. Over the past 12 years the number of such pages has increased tremendously and there is no way to keep up with the number of pages expressing the pain associated with the closed adoption record system. Just place the words "adoption, search, adoptee, reunion, adoption, and/or reform" into any search engine and you will find many such pages.

I am aware of no personal web pages dedicated to keeping adoption records sealed. While I presume they do exist due to the nature of the Internet, they are very, very rare.

If you are an adoptive parent, and hesitant about an open adoption, please listen carefully to adoptees. You do not want your child(ren) to have to go through the agony of search if at all possible. Please do everything you can so that your child has an open adoption. If your children are in closed adoptions already, please prepare to help them search. It may be the time you and your child become closer than at any time in your lives. When you help and support your child in their search they will know your love is solid and your interest in their welfare complete and unconditional. All children need to know that from their parents.

(Written in 1996 and revised 08/03/05)
Bill Betzen LMSW (Emeritus)

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Tapestry Books: Your complete source for adoption related books since 1990.
Tapestry Books: Your complete source for adoption related books since 1990.
Main Page Domestic Adoption Adoptee Information Planning to Place Planning to Adopt Adoption Reform
Bill Betzen, LMSW (Emeritus), Webauthor
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