Texas law presents a number of procedural difficulties for adoptees who wish to contact their birth families or obtain their original birth certificate and adoption records. This paper proposes reforms to reduce these barriers while balancing the rights and interests of all parties to an adoption.
- Recent trends toward greater openness in adoption have shined new light on the tension that exists between the interests of adoptees and birth families.
- Adoptees have a legitimate interest in accessing their original birth certificate and adoption records.
- Likewise, birth parents have a legitimate interest in maintaining their privacy and having a say in whether or not they communicate with the child they placed for adoption.
- Current Texas law requires adult adoptees to get a court order upon a showing of “good cause” to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate.