Eugene Weekly Editorial Position

Moral Quandaries.

Measure 58
Adoption Records

This measure would overturn a 1957 state law that sealed the original birth certificates of all adoptees. Currently, Oregon creates a new birth certificate at the time of an adoption, making it appear that adoptive parents birthed the child. If this measure passes, adoptees who turn 21 could learn the identity of their parents. It would apply to records sealed more than 40 years ago.

Not even adoptees are in agreement on this one. Some oppose the measure, fearing it would risk re-opening long-closed chapters of birth parents' lives. However, Willamette Week writer Patty Wentz supports the issue, writing, "I am long removed from the infant who had no say in the contract that was made among my birth mother, adoptive parents and the state. And the identity of my birth mother does not belong to her alone - it's mine too."

Others say the measure would break the bond of confidentiality the state has made with four decades of parents who turned over their children to adoption.

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