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2001

University of Baltimore Law

Family Law

Law

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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 ...