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Series

2001

University of Baltimore Law

Family Law

Adult adoptees

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Idea Of Adoption: An Inquiry Into The History Of Adult Adoptee Access To Birth Records, Elizabeth Samuels Jan 2001

The Idea Of Adoption: An Inquiry Into The History Of Adult Adoptee Access To Birth Records, Elizabeth Samuels

All Faculty Scholarship

There has been in recent years and there continues to be intense debate around the country about whether to open original birth records to adult adoptees. Our understanding of the legal history relevant to the debate has been incomplete and inaccurate. According to this understanding, the state laws that closed court and birth records to the parties to adoptions generally closed these records for all time to all parties; the laws had a primary purpose of insuring lifelong anonymity for birth parents; and the laws became nearly universal by about the middle of the twentieth century. In fact, the history ...


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

All Faculty Scholarship

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 ...