Wednesday, November 21, 2007

E-mails are pouring in

Nearly 20 years in this business and it still catches me off-guard occasionally.

Last week, I centered my Friday opinion column on the movement across the U.S. to grant adoptees access to their birth records. Only eight states allow adoptees access to their birth certificates and other pertinent papers; Alabama's one of them.

For adoptees in the other 42 states, that means they have no access to family histories or their medical histories, which in many cases are vitally important. I think that's wrong. Why should adults who were placed for adoption as children be denied the rights all other U.S.-born citizens automatically have? They shouldn't.

Understandably, I've received a lot of e-mail on this issue. Some Web site picked up my column and passed it around; most of the e-mailers have been from out of state. And most of the e-mails have been from adoptees who agree with my take.

But a few e-mails have been from adoptees who are searching for their birth information and are requesting my help. It's been amazing to read their stories and realize the pain they feel from being denied access they both deserve and need. I have a hard time believing that anyone who reads their comments wouldn't understand the seriousness of this issue.

Here's the column. It's tooting my own horn, I know, but it might be worth another read. It's an important subject.