For a time, I wrote about adoption issues, a topic that fell into my lap, not one I was led to from personal experience. I am not personally involved in any side of the "adoption triad" - as adoptee, birth mother or adoptive parent - but I spent a lot of time listening to people on all sides of the triangle, as well as professionals in the field.

So this headline in yesterday's Toronto Star -"Adoptees vow to fight for access to records" - jumped out at me.
Adults who were given up for adoption as children say they have an inherent right to know their birth name, and are vowing to fight any restrictions added to a bill that would unseal adoption records.

For 78 years, adopted children have had no right to access basic information such as their name and birthday, and that must change, said Wendy Rowney, an adoptee and president of the support group Adoption, Support, Kinship.

"This is a human right, and we will keep fighting until we have access to our own original birth information," Rowney said today before presenting her case to the committee examining the proposed legislation.

The bill, introduced by the government in March, has come under intense scrutiny this week.
I was sorry to see that Canada lags behind the UK on this, though encouraged that BC, Newfoundland and Alberta have unsealed records (though with the controversial "contact veto").

I'm not saying this is a simple issue, but I will say that the more I learned about it, the simpler it became. Every person should have access to basic information about themselves. It's a right every person who was not adopted takes for granted, but one denied to adoptees based on antiquated social norms. (The silence surrounding adoption was originally intended to protect women and children from the double stigma of birth without marriage.) How can a legal system decide that an adult is not allowed to know where she or he came from?

I wish the Canadian adoptees good luck in their battle. I hope they fare better than their American counterparts, who are still struggling.

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