When people talk of birth certificates, usually they
speak in the singular when referring to one’s form of identification. In the
case of adoption
The genesis of sealed adoption records hearkens back to
reform efforts of the 1940s and was perpetuated by perceived benefits to all
parties. For birth parents, at least, a closed adoption record was seen as a
form of protection from the stigma of giving birth to a child out of wedlock.
By a “guilt by association” extension, a sealed adoption record has
since been construed as a method of shielding children from the same societal
condescension toward illegitimacy.
Depending on the State, adoptees may not always have the right to view
their birth records. The intent of some policymakers on adoption records,
though, is not to prevent adoptees from seeing their identifying information.
Even so, a number of states require a court order for adoptees to access a
sealed adoption record.