Part 4: The Buffalo News 3-Part Series Search for Yesterday (Adoptive Parents Dilemma) 1984

I’ll let this article speak for itself:

 1984-10-19 AdoptiveParents - 1


1984-10-19 AdoptiveParents - 2


1984-10-19 AdoptiveParents - 3


But the newspaper reporter couldn’t just end the series. She had to re-print the undated article by Geoffrey Taylor of the Associated Press “Registry Opposed by Judges”:

 1984-10-19 AdoptiveParents - 5

 1984-10-19 AdoptiveParents - 6



This article was originally published by The Buffalo News four months earlier, on July 12, 1984, under the name of “Judges Deny File Access to Adoptees”:

 1984-7-12 JudgesDenyFileAccessTo


This type of negative publicity influences public opinion, including our legislators. Over the decades, there has been a tendency to make this an “either – or” topic: either you have a good reunion, or you have a bad one, with nothing in between. In the mental health fields, such as social work or psychology, we see that life itself is a collection of shades of grey. Life is a series of good and bad experiences with lots of ups and downs. People go with the flow. Same is true with searches and reunions. Many adoptive parents of the past are now viewing their adoptees with greater understanding of their losses due to the adoption itself and are more open to search and reunion.

Legislation and public opinion toward adoptee and natural parents’ access to the true original birth certificate has slowly gained momentum. It depends on who you talk to.

~ ~ ~ Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, born Doris M Sippel, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.



Part 1 in a 5-Part Series: Has Anything Really Changed Since 1984 in My Reunion and Adoption Reform?

Today, I embark on a 5-part series of a look back into time. I will be reflecting on a slice of my reunion as well as adoption reform 26 years ago and relating it to the present situations.

Here’s Part 1 of my 5-part series: 

Part 1: Registry Law Unjust to Adoptees

I begin with an article I wrote 26 years ago today: “Registry Law Unjust to Adoptees”, published as a Letter to the Editor in The Buffalo News. This article can also be found in My Archives Pages in this website.

 1984-8-8 RegistryLawUnjust


The New York State Registry has undergone a few changes since 1984. What I do know has changed is that adoptees no longer must seek written permission from their adoptive parents and natural parents to obtain basic information about themselves. However, I do believe the provision still exists that dead people cannot register, therefore, the past and current New York State Registry would do me no good at all because my natural mother died 54 years ago and cannot file to a mutual-consent registry. Mutual consent registries do not give adoptees access to their sealed birth certificates. Also, media still addresses adoptees as “adopted children”.

For more information on the current adoption reform legislative efforts in New York State, please visit Unsealed Initiative online at Please be aware that their Home Page Link is broken, but you can search through the rest of their website.