The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which was ratified by Canada in December 1991 and agreed to by every province except Alberta stated:
quote: The offenses brought about by closed birth record legislation include the violation of constitutional rights.
Adoptees and their families are denied the enjoyment of various social and cultural privileges such as genealogical history, and tribal birth rights.
Without an original birth certificate, neither the adoptee, nor any of their future descendants will have an opportunity to possess a complete family medical history. A complete family medical history is a crucial foundation for quality medical care. Without it, genetically indicated preventative medicine, early testing and early diagnosis, a quick and accurate diagnosis, decisions on the best course of treatment, and ultimately, patient survival rate is severely impeded. The secrecy of adoption is not superior to the right to life, as closed birth record laws indicate. Allowing these crucial records to be kept a secret, even from those to whom they belong, trivializes and sacrifices these people's lives.
Our opponents would have you believe that granting an adoptee their original birth certificate would generate an increase in the amount of abortions performed. Statistics simply fail to prove that claim. The states that have always had open records, Kansas and Alaska, have two of the lowest abortion rates in the nation.
Another argument often raised is that of the Constitutional right to privacy which is often claimed by a minuscule amount of birthmothers. This is not a right to privacy that they are claiming, it is a right to total anonymity. Every citizen is afforded a certain level of privacy. This is evidenced by the passing of stalking laws that were written to protect this right. The granting of an original birth certificate at no time waives a birthparent's right to protection and remedies afforded them for a true and legally defined violation of privacy.
When the rights and privileges of any .....citizen are abused or denied, the rights of all ......citizens are in jeopardy. unquote
quote: 6.22 Access to Identifying Information
The agency providing adoption services should support efforts to ensure that adults who were adopted have direct access to identifying information about themselves and their birth parents.
The prevailing legal practice in the United States prohibits adults who were adopted as children from obtaining access to their original birth certificates or to identifying information contained in their adoption records. The practice of sealing records had come under scrutiny as the benefits of openness in adoption for the adopted individual, birth parents, and adoptive parents have come to be understood.
The interests of adopted adults in having information about their origins have come to be recognized as having critical psychological importance as well as importance in understanding their health and genetic status. Because such information is essential to adopted adults' identity and health needs, the agency should promote policies that provide adopted adults with direct access to identifying information. This trend toward openness has already been recognized by the Indian Child Welfare Act (P.L. 95-608). Under that Act courts must unseal records for American Indian children, on request, and provide any information necessary for the adopted individual to ascertain his or her tribal affiliation and membership. Such information may include the names of the adopted child's birth parents. unquote
(a similar law exists in Canada whereby aboriginal adoptees may apply to the Federal Government, Department of Indian Affairs, and receive their band numbers, which identifies the reserve where their birthmother lived. - RLK)