Statement of Support for Adoptee Access to their Original Birth Certificates

Ethiopian Adoption Connection, a search registry for adoption from Ethiopia, supports open access for adoptees to their original birth certificates. Here are some of the many reasons for our support:

  • A birth certificate is the record of the birth of an individual, and as such it belongs to that individual.
  • Withholding original birth certificates from adoptees is discriminatory; every other person born in the United States has access to their own record of birth. Adoptees are denied access to their birth certificates because of decisions made by others.
  • Many adoptees in reunion do not have access to their original birth certificate despite already knowing their birth families.
  • Numerous adoptees suffer life altering negative consequences on a regular basis because they do not have access to their original birth certificate. Some of these consequences include the inability to obtain a driver’s license and United States passport.
  • All people deserve to know where they come from, including the record of their birth. Not knowing can cause problems such as depression, anxiety, identity issues, and a feeling of disconnection. Contrary to popular thought, adoptees do better when they know their history, and original birth certificates are part of that. Even in the best cases, adoption does not, and should not try to, create a clean slate for a child.