Adoptee Rights Demonstration
11 am July 21, 2009
All Americans, adopted or not, have a right to access government records about their own lives. This rally will coincide with the opening day of the Legislative Summit of the National Conference of State Legislators.
Adult adoptees in most of the advanced, industrialized nations of the world have unrestricted access to their original birth records as a matter of right. In contrast, adult adoptees in all but six states in the U.S. are forbidden unrestricted access to their own original birth certificates, due to archaic laws that are a legacy of a culture of shame that stigmatized infertility, out-of-wedlock birth and adoption.
Adult adoptees and their supporters have worked diligently in different states for decades to overturn these laws, but have been opposed by well-funded lobbies representing certain adoption agencies and lawyers who have a vested interest in keeping birth certificates sealed. Their unsupported claims that access violates dubious privacy rights or will increase abortions and decrease adoptions have been categorically refuted by data from states with laws recognizing the rights of adoptees, by studies such as the recently published paper from the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and by court decisions affirming the constitutionality of access laws.
Please join us in Philadelphia as we fight to restore our dignity and equality! If you can’t attend the demonstration, you can still help. Participate in our writing campaign to inform all state legislatures of the urgency of unsealing records to restore the equality of adoptees in the United States. Help spread the word about the protest on your blog, or to any groups or mailing lists you belong to. And if you can afford it, your donation would be greatly appreciated.
Make a difference, be a part of history and get involved today!