Reform Adoption Data



Abortion and Adoption Data from States Who Have Enacted Access

Since new laws have allowed adult adoptees access to their birth certificates, 13,104 adoptees have received their original birth certificates from Alabama, Delaware, Oregon, New Hampshire and Tennessee with no harm shown to anyone including birthparents. The data reveals that if access has had any effect on adoptions and abortions, it has been to increase adoptions and decrease abortions.

State Content of Law Access Results Abortion/Adoption Stats

Alabama

Original birth certificate (OBC) is made available to adoptee, age 18 or older, upon request.  Birth parents may file a non-binding Contact Preference Form, requesting direct contact with adopted adult, contact through an intermediary, or no contact at all.

Since the law became effective in August 2000, approximately 4,843 adult adoptees have requested copies of their original birth certificates with 215 Contact Preference Forms filed. 209 wished contact and 6 requested no contact.

Between 2000 and 2005 (the last year for which national data are available) resident abortions declined 16% in Alabama compared with 9% in the nation as a whole. Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services, 2005 Guttmacher Institute.

Alaska
(always open)

Alaska provides access to adoptee, 18 and older, and birth parents of adoptee, 18 and older, if the adoptee gives written permission to release of information.

Alaska never sealed birth certificates for adopted persons.

Alaska, a state that never sealed birth certificates, has the nation’s highest adoption rate (Source) and until recently one of the lowest abortion rates. (Source)

Delaware

Birthparents have the option of filing a veto against disclosure. If a disclosure veto is filed, the OBC is not released to the adoptee.

From January 1999 to April 2010, 778 adult adoptees have received OBCs with 18 adoptees not getting their OBCs under the disclosure veto provisions of the law.

Between 2000 and 2005, resident abortions declined 8% in Delaware.

Illinois

Adoptees 21 or older may obtain OBC as will those adopted before 1/1/46. Those adopted after 1/1/46 get OBC unless birthparent filed disclosure veto and is still alive. Veto ends at birthparent's death.

Bill signed into law 5/21/2010, but access withheld for those born after 1/1/46 until November 2011 to allow for public information campaign.

Current adoption and abortion data are not yet available for the years following passage of Illinois’s access bill.

Kansas
(always open)
Grants access to the adoption file and to the OBC of adopted adults, 18 and older, birth parents and adoptive parents of minor child.  Birthparents may contact the adopted adult if he/she agrees to contact. Kansas never sealed birth certificates for adopted persons.

Kansas, a state that never closed records, has the nation’s fifth highest adoption rate (Source).

Between 2000 and 2005 (the last year for which national data are available) resident abortions declined 14% in Kansas compared with 9% in the nation as a whole. Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services, 2005 Guttmacher Institute.

Maine Original birth certificate is made available to adoptee, 18 or older, upon request. Birth parents may file nonbinding Contact Preference Form. Since enactment on January 1, 2009, 755 requests for original birth certificates and 27 birth parent contact preference forms have been received. Eight birth parents requested no contact. Current adoption and abortion data are not yet available for the years following passage of Maine's access bill.
Massachusetts Allows adults, 18 and over, born on or before July 17, 1974 and adults, born on or after January 1, 2008 – as well as the adoptive parents of minors born after January 1, 2008 - to access their
original birth certificates. This “window access” bill prohibits access by those born on or after July 17, 1974 or before January 1, 2008
The bill took effect on January 1, 2008. No data is available. Current adoption and abortion data are not yet available for the years following passage of Massachusetts’ access bill.
New
Hampshire
Original birth certificate is made available to adoptee, age 18 or older, upon request. Birth parents may file nonbinding Contact Preference Form. Since January 2005, 1,296 adoptees have requested their original birth certificates and 69 birth parent contact preference forms have been received. Twelve birth parents requested no contact.
(Source)
Current adoption and abortion data are not yet available for the years following passage of New Hampshire’s access bill.

Oregon

Original birth certificate is made available to adoptee, age 21 or older, upon request. Birth parents may file a non-binding Contact Preference Form.

Since enactment in May 2000, 10,189 adoptees have requested their original birth certificates with 34 birth parents wishing to use an intermediary, 494 birth parents requesting contact and 85 wishing no contact.
(Source)

Between 2000 and 2005 (the last year for which national data are available) resident abortions declined 25% in Oregon compared with 9% in the nation as a whole. Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services, 2005 Guttmacher Institute

Tennessee Adoptees, age 21 or older, may access OBC and adoption records unless records indicate that adoptee was product of rape or incest and birth parent victim does not consent to disclosure. Birth parent may veto contact. Tennessee stats have not been successfully tracked by the state. Between 2000 and 2005 (the last year for which national data are available) resident abortions declined 5% in Tennessee compared with 9% in the nation as a whole. Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services, 2005 Guttmacher Institute.


American Adoption Congress - Compiled April 2010