Adoptee Access Succeeds in Oregon and New Hampshire
Oregon adoptees, age 21 and older, gained access to a copy of their original birth certificate (OBC) through Measure 58, a state referendum affirmed by the Oregon Supreme Court in 2000. Birthparents were given an opportunity to indicate their preference regarding contact by filing a non-binding Contact Preference Form. The law became effective May 31, 2000.
New Hampshire’s bill resembled Oregon's with the inclusion of the non-binding Contact Preference Form for birthparents. Adoptees, 18 years and older, were granted access to their OBCs effective January 1, 2005
Maine granted OBC access to adoptees, age 18 and older effective January 1, 2009. They also included a non-binding Contact Preference provision for birth parents.
Facts and Data
In these three states, there are a little over 155,000 sealed records. Historically, in-family (related or non-confidential) adoptions account for 50% of all adoptions world-wide; therefore, the other half are unrelated. The total of 105 birth parents requesting no contact represents 0.14% of sealed, unrelated records. That's 14 one-hundredths of a percent!
Data from Oregon shows:
Note: Neither the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse nor the Guttmacher Institute has statistics on adoptions and abortions, respectively, after the passage of the New Hampshire and Maine laws.