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2001

University of Baltimore Law

Family Law

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The Strange History Of Adult Adoptee Access To Original Birth Records, Elizabeth Samuels Jan 2001

The Strange History Of Adult Adoptee Access To Original Birth Records, Elizabeth Samuels

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In the late 1940s and early 1950s, contemporary accounts reported that most states had sealed adoption court records completely but, typically, had sealed original birth certificates from all persons except adult adoptees. Through the 1950s influential experts recommended that original birth certificates remain available to adult adoptees, while birth and court records otherwise be closed to all persons except upon court order. In 1960 the laws in some 40 percent of the states still permitted adult adoptees to inspect them, but between 1960 and 1990 all but a handful of the rest of the states closed the birth records to ...