Ethics Related to Postadoption
Ethics are also important after an adoption is legally finalized. Ethical practice in balancing the birth parents' right to privacy with an adopted person's desire to know their history is imperative in postadoption practice. Find resources in this section regarding ethics, privacy, and wrongful adoption -- where information, if known to the agency, may not have been fully disclosed prior to an adoption.
Privacy, Confidentiality, and Disclosure of Information
|Access to Adoption Records|
|Series Title:||State Statutes|
|Author(s):||Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 541KB)
|Year Published:||2012 - 68 pages|
|Discusses laws that provide for access to both nonidentifying and identifying information from an adoption record by adoptive parents and adult adopted persons. Generally, the person whose information will be disclosed must consent to the disclosure; methods of providing consent are discussed. Access to the original birth certificate by the adult adopted person also is addressed. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.|
For the Records: Restoring a Legal Right for Adult Adopted People (PDF - 247 KB)
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
Examines the debate over whether or not adopted adults should have access to their original birth information and recommends that all States amend their laws so that adult adopted people all allowed access.
Information Packet: Birthright: An Adopted Person's Right to Know (PDF - 125 KB)
National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning
Provides information about the policies and principles that apply to adopted people who search for their birth parents.
Making Good Decisions About Confidentiality in Child Welfare
Legacy Family Institute and Every Child Matters (2003)
View Abstract and Document
Provides guidelines for evaluating the appropriateness of disclosure. Laws about confidentiality, challenges to releasing information, and strategies for balancing accountability and confidentiality are discussed.
Mutual Consent: Balancing the Birthparent's Right to Privacy with the Adopted Person's Desire to Know (PDF - 262 KB)
Adoption Advocate (2009)
National Council For Adoption
Explores the debate over whether and when adult adopted people should be allowed access to the portions of their birth records that include their birth parents' identifying information.
Unsealing Adoption Records: The Right to Privacy Versus the Right of Adult Adopted People to Find Their Birthparents
Whittier Journal of Child and Family Advocacy, 7(1), 2007
Explores whether or not States should allow adult adopted people to access identifying information regarding their birth parents.
Provides a compilation of news articles about adoption fraud.
Families Need the Whole Truth
Riggs & Kroll
Adoptalk, Spring 2004
Emphasizes the importance of providing complete background information on a child to foster and adoptive parents. The article explains that full disclosure about a child's medical, educational, and social background is key to adoption success and reviews laws related to disclosure of this information.
Protecting Parents, Children and Agencies by Avoiding Liability in Wrongful Adoption Cases
Freundlich & Peterson
Discusses the historical and social context as well as legal developments around wrongful adoption and offers recommendations for practice to avoid liability in adoption.
Wrongful Adoption: Litigation/Practice Issues
Freundlich & Peterson (1999)
Examines the impact of wrongful adoption cases on adoption practice.