Behavior: Unsealing the Records

"I think it ranks as an even more exciting day than my wedding day or the days I gave birth to my two children."

So wrote a young California woman who had been adopted at birth, about her first meeting at the age of 25 with her natural mother. Her experience was very unusual—the vast majority of the 3 million to 5 million adoptees in the U.S. do not know who their natural parents are because the laws in virtually all states require that their original birth records be sealed. Behind these laws is the still widely held presumption that all...

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