Adoptees and Their Medical History

chairs_edithann2

Adult adoptees are frequently infantilized by virtue of the fact that they are perpetually regarded as adopted children with, in most U.S. states, no access to their medical histories due to closed adoption records. Imagine going to the doctor and filling out that sheaf of forms by simply scrawling across the top “unknown.”

A few months back the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement regarding adoption records.  It’s not unequivocal good news since it contains the caveat “unless specifically denied by the birthparents.” I’m a birthmother, not an adoptee, but I’m pretty sure many adoptees viewed this as only a partial victory. What strikes me is that it was the American Academy of Pediatrics that came forward to voice their (partial) support for open records. My research cannot find a similar policy statement issue by the American Medical Association. Doesn’t their silence perpetuate society’s view of adult adoptees as children? As a person grows older, doesn’t medical history become even more important?

 

2 thoughts on “Adoptees and Their Medical History

  1. Pamela Hasegawa

    You wrote,

    “A few months back the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement regarding adoption records. It’s not unequivocal good news since it contains the caveat “unless specifically denied by the birthparents.”

    Here is the link I found when researching AAP’s statement of endorsement of the policy statement of the National Center on Adoption.
    http://www.aappublications.org/content/35/6/14.2

    “The National Adoption Center believes it is an inalienable right of all citizens, including adopted adults, to have unencumbered access to their original birth certificates. In keeping with this position, we believe that copies of both the original and amended birth certificate should be given to the adoptive family at the times of finalization unless specifically denied by the birth parents. In any case, the National Adoption Center advocates that the adoptee, at age 18, be granted access to his/her original birth certificate.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *