Sunday, February 21, 2010

Update on SD Senate Bill on Adoption

The bill was rejected, due to lobbyists' claims regarding abortion and birth mothers' privacy.

These are common misperceptions: that allowing adoptees access to original birth certificates will cause birth mothers to choose abortion, fearing their privacy will be invaded. Birth mothers, in survey after survey, are concerned about their confidentiality. People misconstrue "open records" thinking that it means their records are open to the public, but they are only there for the persons involved--often only the adoptee himself or sometimes the adoptive parents.

Here's a survey by the Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood research division) I just found out about, conducted in 2004, that surveyed more than 1200 mothers. None of the women mentioned that a guarantee of a "confidential adoption" played a part in their decision to abort. Top two reasons? Money and life interference (education, job). NOT adoption.

It's mainly fear that keeps this atmosphere of secrecy going. Let's wake up to the 21st century.

As the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute reiterates in one study, "for many adopted persons, the desire to obtain their records is entirely separate from any desire to search for their birth mothers or other relatives; they simply believe--as a human and civil right--that they are entitled to the same basic information about themselves that people raised in birth families receive as a matter of course."

The SD bill could pass in the House and get kicked back to the Senate again, so if you support it, click here and write to the state representatives and let them know.

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