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 and privacy.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 677KB)
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.