What does Adoption Records mean?
Adoption records can contain any information related to a child's adoption, including information about the child's medical and social history, the adoption decree, letters from lawyers, information from the birth family, and information from other individuals associated with the adoption. The adoption record may also contain photographs and the original birth certificate.
State laws vary whether or not a child will be allowed to access their adoption records. Some states such as Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, and Oregon have open adoption records. These laws may allow an adopted child to access their adoption file when they turn eighteen years of age, although certain states may only provide adoptees with access to their original birth certificates. Other states allow an adoptee to have access to the adoption agencies' and courts' records, which generally contain more detailed information about the birthparents. Other states may allow adoptees to see only some of the information related to their adoption.
Access to adoption records remains a very contentious adoption issue. For years opinions have differed between the opponents and proponents of open adoption records access. Many question the appropriateness, wisdom and impact of such legal changes to the laws. Everyone recognizes that changes which open adoption records will have serious personal and social consequences for children and their birth parents and should not be made without careful consideration of the pros and cons for all parties involved.