It seems like there are a never-ending number of causes that need support. And it typically takes a significant effort and level of attention to make progress for many of them. It can be discouraging to continue the push when the odds and the system seem to be on the wrong side of justice. But progress wouldn’t be made without such a push, and the push for adoptee rights is no different. Here are four things you can do NOW to support the issue.
1. Educate yourself about adoptee laws and regulations
Do you know how the adoption process works? What’s legal and what’s not? Help educate yourself and the public about what’s on the books and whether or not it’s fair for adoptees. Find states that are the most adoptee-friendly, and help push other states to adopt similar laws and regulations on behalf of adoptees.
2. Demand the release of original birth certificates for adoptees
It’s a basic fundamental right for an individual to know where he or she comes from and who his or her biological parents are. Hiding behind the shield of privacy is no defense. That’s why we have privacy laws that apply to everyone. If a biological parent wants to be left alone, they can be left alone through existing privacy laws. Fight for your fellow adoptee and push your representatives to change the laws that will allow adoptees access to their own information.
3. Fight to protect adoptees from deportation
I was shocked when I read the recent story about the 41-year-old father of four who is being deported back to South Korea. He was brought to the United States and adopted when he was three, and his parents never completed his citizenship papers. They ended up abandoning him to the foster care system, and this is his predicament now. This should never, ever happen, and we need to fight the deficiencies in a flawed system that allows it. We need everyone to speak up about these atrocities.
4. Push to require family health records to be disclosed on behalf of adoptees
Adoptees who go to the doctor are asked for their family health history, and can rarely answer the question. I know from personal experience that it’s embarrassing. I dread having to answer that question every time I go. Health records of biological parents and other family members should at least be provided to the physicians who are treating the adoptees, if not the adoptees themselves. This is something you can help push at a state or national level as an advocate for adoptees.