Some years back the Costco Connection asked its readers: “Should it be mandatory to give adult adoptees full access to their birth records if they want it?”
Arguing the “Yes” side, April Dinwoodie said it came down to the best interests of the child. While noting that in the US 95% of recent adoptions are already voluntarily open, she insists all should be.
“…adopted persons…are left without potentially lifesaving family medical history…Most importantly, we are denying this class of people a right that every other human being currently enjoys: the right to know the truth of their origins.”
The next month the results were in and an overwhelming 92% of responding readers agreed with Dinwoodie.
But there is one important point Dinwoodie never mentioned: in our day and age parents with an unwanted child don’t have to choose adoption – they can also choose abortion. So the question could also be reframed from their perspective: “Should birth parents who may be debating between giving up their child for adoption or killing him via abortion be denied the option of an anonymous adoption?”
That puts a different spin on “the best interests of the child,” doesn’t it? It’s no given that a unwanted child will be given up for adoption. If we want to give these unwanted children their very best chance at being carried to term, and delivered, then we need to do everything we can to make adoption look as attractive to the parents as possible. Then we’ll want to take away anything that might make these parents hesitate, or consider their other “option.”
If that means giving parents involved in a crisis pregnancy the option of anonymity, wouldn’t we want to do that? Better a living child without roots, than an aborted one with the “right to know the truth of their origins.”
A version of this article first appeared in the February 2016 issue of Reformed Perspective.