Document Detail

Releasing pre-adoption birth records: a survey of Oregon adoptees.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12500963     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: In June 2000, Oregon implemented a citizen-initiated ballot measure that grants adult adoptees access to their birth records, which contain their birth parents' identifying information. Because other states are considering similar policy changes, the authors explored whether Oregon's new law is meeting the information needs of adoptees. METHODS: Birth records were abstracted for a 9% (221/2,529) random sample of adoptees who obtained their records from June 20, 2000, to July 20, 2000, to describe the population and the information they obtained. Telephone interviews documented their motivations, expectations, and whether they considered the birth record useful. RESULTS: The mean age of the adoptees was 41 years, 64% were female, and 97% were white. Virtually all received information about their birth mother; however, only one-third received information about their birth father. Of the 221 sampled, 123 (59%) participated in the telephone survey, 12 were ineligible, 84 could not be reached, and 2 refused. The most common motivations for requesting records were to find birth parents (29%) and to obtain medical information (29%). Twenty-nine percent received less information than they expected, with many expecting, but not receiving, birth father information. Thirty-three (47%) of the 70 adoptees who tried to find their birth mother were successful. The records were considered "very" useful by 52% of respondents, "somewhat" or "a little" useful by 42%, and "not at all" useful by 6%. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that many adoptees received less information than they expected, and many did not meet their goals of finding birth parents or obtaining medical information. Nonetheless, the majority considered their birth records useful and important.
Julia C Rhodes; Wanda D Barfield; Melvin A Kohn; Katrina Hedberg; Kenneth C Schoendorf
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974)     Volume:  117     ISSN:  0033-3549     ISO Abbreviation:  Public Health Rep     Publication Date:    2002 Sep-Oct
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-12-25     Completed Date:  2003-01-28     Revised Date:  2008-11-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9716844     Medline TA:  Public Health Rep     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  463-71     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Infant and Child Health Studies Branch, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, MD 20782, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Access to Information / legislation & jurisprudence*
Adoption / legislation & jurisprudence*
Birth Certificates / legislation & jurisprudence*
Consumer Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
Data Collection
Information Dissemination
Middle Aged
Parent-Child Relations

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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