open those filing cabinets

A group has filed a report with the state of TN asking for adoption records to be opened. While I think that the records for current adoptions will have to be handled on a case by case basis instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, I am certain that after a certain period of time has passed, the secrecy is no longer needed. I’ve said before that my father was adopted. I’ve whined about the brick walls that have kept us from learning everything the state has in their files. I am well aware of the fact that anything in those files could be a lie. A new book about the Tennessee Children’s Home Society describes in painful detail how horribly things can go wrong when records are allowed to be treated like skeletons in the closet that should never be found. The reality is that both of my father’s adoptive parents are gone and his birth parents probably are too. My father should be able to sign a paper and read the records. Maybe I’ll never know if he was named Thomas Fitzpatrick at birth. Maybe someday I’ll know more about his past than lies.

6 thoughts on “open those filing cabinets

  1. My husband is adopted and has no medical reason to fight the closed paperwork problem. (Although there really IS a medical reason. They just don’t think so.)

    That, and he won’t do the footwork even though he really wants to know. Like most adoptees, I think he flip flops at time, only from the guilt trip of the adoptive parents, but knows he’s got at least four or five sibs out there he’d like to at least meet.

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  3. I’ve got strong feelings on both sides of this.

    My niece and nephew are adopted. And I can’t deny that it wouldn’t be great to have a full family medical history. It’d make some things easier for them. And I can see that at some point, they will have questions about things and it’d be nice to know they can access those answers, if they want to.

  4. Yup, I would like to have my medical history as well. It gets tiring explaining the “information not available” for family history on doctors forms.

    I couldn’t care less who my “birthparents” are, or where they are etc. I’d just like the medical information. If they want their privacy they can have it.

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