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An Adult Adoptee’s Right to an Original Birth Certificate

Posted on April 10th, 2011 by David R. Ford

Only 10 states currently have laws that give adult adoptees access to their original birth certificate (much less full access to their adoption records): Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee).  Two more (Connecticut and Rhode Island) have legislation pending, and there are efforts underway in others to give adoptees this right to basic information.

There are honorable arguments for and against granting adult adoptees access to their original birth certificate—as opposed to the second one issued for them, naming their adoptive parents in place of their birth parents.  The American Adoption Congress ( strongly supports access, while the National Council for Adoption ( takes the opposite view.  I personally support the efforts of the American Adoption Congress.


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