Why You Don’t Get To Say It Isn’t My “Right” To Find My Birth Parents

Rights are complicated, but they’re also so simple.

Tom Andriola May 19, 2017
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In this day and age, it surprises me that this is still even a debate. But let’s lay it all out anyway. To start, what is a right? That question is basic enough. As human beings, I think we would all agree that we have the right to try to survive, and to find ourselves food, water, and shelter. As humanity has evolved, questions about what constitutes a right have become more and more complex. Do we have a right to claim our own land and keep others off it? Do we have the right to protect ourselves? How about a right to attack fellow human beings? Do we have a right to bear arms? Our own Declaration of Independence tells us straight up that we are all created equal, and have certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Rights are complicated, but they’re also so simple. The way I look at it is that if there is a negative impact imposed upon a group of individuals by withholding their ability to do something that would otherwise afford them something positive, those who are not part of that group should have no say in preventing their “right” to have it. Of course, if others are negatively impacted by that “right,” the situation becomes a more complicated.

Civil rights, women’s rights, marriage equality. The list goes on, but these are some of the big ones. Why did it take so long? Who was stopping it from happening? Not them, that’s for sure! These groups suffered for years, and for what? And some continue to suffer in many ways because we’re not all the way there. How about adoptee rights? Where do those stand? They’re moving, and we’ll get there one day, but it’s taking time, just like the others did and continue to do.

Sure, there are the arguments to stop the rights from happening, from being achieved. But it’s nothing more than white noise and you–yeah you–you don’t get to say it isn’t my “right” to find my birth parents as an adoptee. Period.

You can talk about the biological parent’s right to privacy all you want. Guess what? They’ll still have it! We all have a right to privacy. If someone infringes upon our right to privacy, there are consequences. There are anti-stalking laws in place to protect biological parents from being harassed by adoptees who decide they don’t want to respect their wishes if they are asked to discontinue contact. That doesn’t mean by any stretch of the imagination that I don’t have a right to know where I came from as a human being. Not. At. All. Mic drop.

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Tom Andriola

Tom Andriola advocates for adoptee rights and shares his personal experiences about being adopted and his successful, independent search for both biological parents. To see more of his writing, visit Tom's Facebook page.


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