Adoptee Rights Demonstration, a rally and protest in Philadelphia, PA, is being held at 11 AM on July 21, 2009. This rally will coincide with the opening day of the Legislative Summit of the National Conference of State Legislators.
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Adult adoptees in most of the advanced, industrialized nations of the world have unrestricted access to their original birth records as a matter of right. In contrast, adult adoptees in all but six states in the U.S. are forbidden unrestricted access to their own original birth certificates, due to archaic laws that are a legacy of a culture of shame that stigmatized infertility, out-of-wedlock birth and adoption.
Adult adoptees and their supporters have worked diligently in different states for decades to overturn these laws, but have been opposed by well-funded lobbies representing certain adoption agencies and lawyers who have a vested interest in keeping birth certificates sealed. Their unsupported claims that access violates dubious privacy rights or will increase abortions and decrease adoptions have been categorically refuted by data from states with laws recognizing the rights of adoptees, by studies such as the recently published paper from the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and by court decisions affirming the constitutionality of access laws.