USA TODAY, June 1, 2011
Give adoptees all rights, or none
I am a senior citizen who was adopted at birth. I have lived more than six decades without knowing who my birth parents were. I understand what it feels like to be discriminated against by the state because I was adopted. I know how frustrating and humiliating it feels to have my own identifying information withheld. Yet, I do not support New Jersey's bill.
If Gov. Chris Christie signs it, birth parents who gave their children up for adoption before the law was enacted will have the right to withhold their names from the birth certificates. All the birth parents would need to do is file an affidavit of disclosure, within the year, requesting the state keep their identities secret. If this bill passes, the birth mother's right to veto will ultimately trump the adoptee's right to get that information.
Six states have granted adoptees unconditional rights to birth information. If it works for them, surely it can work in New Jersey.
Anita Walker Field; Skokie, Il