Ancestry research is a worldwide obsession these days. With millions of people submitting their DNA to these databases the amount of information available to someone looking for clues about their family tree is quite vast. With the ready availability of this information some interesting questions arise.
In the past many parents who gave up their children for adoption chose to have it as terms in the adoption papers to not have the identity of the birth parent ever revealed to the child they gave up for adoption. Without a court order this information in the past has remained unavailable to adopted children.
However, with the massive DNA databases widely available to the public the clues to family relationships make it much easier to find out this information that previously was not available. This completely bypasses the legal system and allows children to find parents who put them up for adoption even if the adoption papers were sealed during the adoption process.
Are DNA databases in violation of providing information that only a court can allow access to? This seems to be a gray area that hasn’t been explored much in conversations or legally.
And for siblings who find out they are adopted, does their right to know who their parents are trump the parent who gave them up for adoption their right to privacy? This is an interesting question.
There are arguments for both sides. A child does have the right to know who their parent is and the parent has the legal right to remain anonymous. The reasons for giving a child up for adoption are wide ranging and often times it’s for the best for both the child’s sake and the parent. Adoption can often give the child a chance at a better future when the parent is not able to raise a child. The adopted child is able to grow up with parents who love and adore him or her and has the financial means to take care of them.
But the right to know who gave you life and why you were given up is, in this author’s opinion, a child’s right to know. Often times it impacts a childs self esteem. Children can imagine they were unloved and unwanted and disposed of instead of loved enough to make sure they were given a better life. Also knowing the medical history of a biological parent can be helpful information for the child’s health.
There are no definitive answers to these questions but they are something to think about and have conversations about.