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WORKING TOGETHER TO UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF ADOPTION

The Problem

Under our current laws, most states deny adult adoptees access to their own original birth certificates. A few states have always allowed any adult adoptee to obtain his or her own original birth certificate, and in recent years a number of states have joined this enlightened group of governments in restoring the right of every adult to unhindered access to his or her original birth certificate.  Since 1951 Florida has prohibited any adult adoptee from receiving his or her original birth certificate.  Prior to that time an adult adoptee need only request to see his or her original birth documents.

Adult adoptees in their 30's, 40's and 50's are not considered by the state of Florida to be mature and responsible enough to receive the information contained in the original birth certificate. These same people can drive, marry, raise children have jobs and otherwise function as every other adult member of society, with the exception that they may not know their birth names or parentage. These people are doctors, lawyers, ministers, police officers, pilots, and others who fulfill important roles in our society often roles in which they are trusted with our lives and well being and yet they cannot be trusted with their own identity.

Confidentiality issues for birth mothers are often cited as the reason for not giving adult adoptees their original birth certificates, but in fact the vast majority of birth mothers didn't ask for confidentiality, don't want it, and wish to have contact with the children they lost to adoption. Studies and surveys have shown that a significant percentage of birth parents actually would like to meet their, now adult, relinquished children.

Adoptees should have the same right as any other United States citizen to receive a copy of their birth certificate, a right that they are currently denied. Equitable human rights are at issue here. There is no justifiable reason to deny this right to this group without due process.

The Solution:

F.R.E.E. is an organization made up of adult adoptees, birth family members, adoptive family members, friends and relatives of adult adoptees, and is working to draft and advocate for new legislation which would allow adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates.