Topic: Profiles

Adoption Resources in New England

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More than 6 million Americans are adoptees; surveys indicate that at least half of them search for a birth parent’s identity at some point in their lives. Laws governing an adoptee’s degree of access to his or her original birth certificate and adoption file vary from state to state. From the 1920s until the 1970s, adoption records were commonly sealed and birth certificates amended to protect the privacy of both birth mothers and adoptees. Over the last 30 years, however, a more tolerant society and new definitions of “family” have erased much of the demand for secrecy, fostering a trend toward “open” adoptions, in which birth parents and adoptive parents may share information about each other and may even have extensive contact.

For adult adoptees in search of birth parents or siblings — or simply their family medical history or ethnic origins — reunion registries, intermediaries, or professional searchers may offer assistance if a court petition is unsuccessful. For fact sheets, search tips, and guides to state-by-state adoption regulations, reunion registries, and support groups, contact the Child Welfare Information Gateway, Washington, D.C., 800-394-3366, 703-385-7565.

Additional resources on the adoption process, search guidelines, and related issues:

State Resources

Other Resources

See also: Baby Boy #3331


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