Saturday, February 02, 2008

HB289 won't increase abortions

Utah State Representative Kenneth Sumsion is sponsoring a bill, HB289, (see here) this legislative session that deals with allowing adoptees to be able to legally find their birth parents after the adoptee is 30 years old. There are those who claim this would lead to more abortions. I disagree. Statistics show that access to original birth information does not cause higher abortion rates, nor does it lower adoption rates. The states with access to open adoption records, Alaska and Kansas, have lower abortion rates (14.6/1000; 18.9/1000 respectively for women age 15-44) compared to the national rate of 22.9 (source: Alan Guttmacher Institute). HB289 also includes several safe guards, including, the adoptee must petition a court to begin the process; the court, after making several findings, apoints a confidential intermediary; the adoptee must pay the costs for the intermediary; and the birth parent can say no to the request.

I think it is interesting that in most cases of adoption, people lobby for "do what is best for the child" until the "child" is an adult. Then it quickly turns to "we must protect the privacy of the birth parent."

I believe that those who are against this bill fall into one of the following categories. They are a birth parent who hasn't been honest with their spouse about what happened in the past, they are somebody who has not been involved with a adoption case at all, or they are a adoptive parent that hasn't told their child that they were adopted.

I would ask you to put yourself in the shoes of an adoptee (like me). How many times have you gone to the doctor for some ailment and he asks, "Does (fill in ailment) run in your family?" To which you must respond, "I don't know, I'm adopted." Maybe you take your child to the doctor for some ailment, and they same thing happens. These are situations that adult adoptees deal with on a regular basis. Do you know your full health history? I don't. Do you know what your mother was doing when she went into labor? I don't. Do you know why you like certain foods? I don't. Do you know if twins are in your genes? I don't.

Passing HB289 makes sense.

1 comment:

antiadoption said...

I repsectuflly disagree that this bill makes sense. This bill is a slap in the face to adoptees ( myself being one ) We don't need to be 30 to ask permission to see our documents. I'm 28 years old, and if I want my birth certificate, I should have it. There is not another group of people in the United States that are denied access to their birth certificates. This isn't about "reunion" this is about equality and ending this discrimination that is against us as adopted people. There is no law in Utah that gives surrendering parents a right to privacy upon surrender, so there is no need for any protection clause nor slap in adoptees face like exists in this bill.

This bill must die, and a simpler, more honest one must be enacted. Such as oregons measure 58 which restored the access to unaltered birth certificates to adult adoptees upon age of majority. End of story.

good day :)