Getting Involved in Adoptee Rights

Access to family health records, open and equal access to original birth certificates, unsealing adoption records, preventing the deportation of international adoptees and more. These are a few of the adoptee rights that the adoption community is working toward.

The following information can help connect you with ways to get involved with the fight for adoptee rights:

How Birth and Adoptive Parents Can Support Adoptee Rights

Other members of the adoption triad can (and should) support adoptees, too! Here are a few ways that you can support adoptees if you’re a birth or adoptive parent:

  • Listen! Adoptees may share their thoughts, feelings, questions and experiences with you. Listening without judgement will mean a lot.
  • Offer your emotional support to adoptees. As their family, your support will often carry the most weight.
  • Don’t take things personally. Everyone has their own unique experiences within the adoption triad, and that includes adoptees. If an adoptee is frustrated by an aspect of their adoption, remember that it doesn’t mean they’re frustrated with you.

Take some time to learn about the issues that can affect adoptees, and offer your personal and public support to the adoptee(s) in your life.

How Those Who Haven’t Been Touched By Adoption Can Support Adoptees

If you’re not a birth or adoptive family, but you want to support adoptees, here are some ways you can help:

  • Just like the list suggests above, listen to adoptees and offer them your support.
  • Learn about adoption. Educate yourself about the many benefits and difficulties that all members of the adoption triad can experience, and learn about the basics of the adoption process.
  • Educate others about adoption and adoptee rights. Make sure others only share facts! There are plenty of myths and misconceptions about adoption and adoptees out there.
  • Find out what affects some adoptees. Learn why adoptees are advocating for adoptee rights.
  • Speak up. Lift up adoptee voices, share their stories, and get involved in adoptee rights.

Everyone can support the adoptees that they love in many different ways. If you’re not sure how to help, just ask!

Changing Legislation to Improve Adoptee Rights

The best way you can get involved in adoptee rights is to work to change the laws that affect adoptees the most. Join other adoptees in the push to tell your representatives that these laws are outdated and need to be changed.

It can be helpful to work with fellow adoptees to develop a script and a list of representatives to contact. The following resources can help you get started with contacting your elected officials and track their efforts on issues like adoptee rights:

You can track legislative bills, including those that affect adoptees, here and here.

Getting involved with a community of fellow adoptees can also be empowering. You can search for adoption support groups in your state here.