Could Adoption Bill Increase Abortions?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Baby in WombGovernor Chris Christie made national headlines on Monday when he conditionally vetoed a controversial adoption bill that would permit expanded access to birth records previously only accessible by way of court order.

Since the veto was ‘conditional’ in nature, the Senate and Assembly are expected to concur with the Governor’s suggested changes at which point the bill formally becomes law in the Garden State.

Reaction has been mixed. Some adoptees and parents who chose adoption and want to reconnect are delighted; privacy advocates are less-enthused, as are many in the pro-life community.

There’s a window of opportunity to retain some anonymity. The legislation gives parents up until December 31, 2016 to redact the names from their biological children’s birth records; consequently, adoptees could begin accessing their original birth records one day later on January 1, 2017. The Christie compromise allows biological parents to redact their names and other vital contact information on birth certificates for adoptions generated prior to 2015.

The sponsors believe adoptee rights trump other considerations. “For 34 years, adoptees throughout the state have been fighting for the right to access their birth records and family histories – important documents that not only supply a core identity of who they are and where they come from, but also important medical information,” said Senator Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex), in a press release issued from the Democrat Senate office. 

abortion illegal“I thank the Governor for recognizing the injustices that New Jerseys’ closed records laws have imposed on adoptees here for far too long,” added Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington).

Pro-life advocates remain worried that New Jersey parents weighing the competing choices of adoption and abortion might have lost an important incentive to choose life.

“It’s noteworthy that the lead sponsors of the bill, Vitale and Allen, who the Governor worked with on this compromise are well know pro abortion supporters,” said Marie Tasey, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, in a statement to Save JerseyAre we supposed to believe that they really care if abortions increase? In New Jersey, a woman who chooses abortion is guaranteed privacy, but under this proposal, if a woman chooses adoption, her identity will be made public. How is this fair and equitable and beneficial to society?”

“If this conditional veto is adopted, we advise New Jersey women who are considering placing their child for adoption and desire privacy to give birth in a state that values privacy,” Tasey continued.

I’m admittedly sympathetic to Marie’s argument, Save Jerseyans, although it’s a tough issue by any measure. 

It will be much harder in the future to convince young pregnant women considering adoption that they can move on with their lives afterwards without future complications. The only somewhat compelling argument in favor of adoptee curiosity trumping privacy rights in this instance, to me, would be access to medical history, but the availability and accuracy of modern genetic tests should’ve assuaged those fears. We should’ve left it alone, but Trenton isn’t famous for its restraint.

For now, adoption of the bill itself could still be weeks away since neither legislative chamber has an upcoming voting session in the near term. We’ll keep you in the loop.


53 thoughts on “Could Adoption Bill Increase Abortions?

  1. “It will be much harder in the future to convince young pregnant women considering adoption that they can move on with their lives afterwards without future complications” SERIOUSLY??? What kind of an imbecile wrote that? Does anyone think that a woman who relinquishes her child ever moves on with her life unscathed by the emotional toll that takes? This is either a man or a woman who has never given birth. I am not only an adoptee but I am pro-life. A woman who chooses life is strong enough to handle the fallout.

  2. Very concerning. I think the better approach would be that the birth parent’s names be anonymous. Of course medical information will be revealed to the child.

    If the birth parents wish to have their names/name revealed to the child, then they should notify the state. If the bill goes through with the birth parents names automatically revealed to the child, there will certainly be more abortions. It does not take much thinking on the part of the birth parents to imagine that their life will go on at some point and they may be in a situation where they want to remain anonymous. With this bill, they know anonymity is not an option..

  3. I clearly didn’t say unscathed. Maybe I should’ve said “future ADDITIONAL complications,” but com’on, don’t go looking for an argument!

  4. “Surrender your baby. We won’t tell.” – sounds like an ad. I almost didn’t become a
    birthmother; abortion had just become legal.I actually left an abrtion clinic. The stigma against “unwed mothers” was isolating. It has stayed that way, in part, because birthmothers have been expwcted to stay in hiding. I wanted to have my baby – the decision wasnt based on religion. It is preposterous and offensive to suggest that abortions might increase if birth mothers are not guaranteed anonymity.My sense is anonymity was part of a sanction against unwed mothers. Secrecy is necessary for biased social conceptions to thrive.In this case, the collateral damage is the adoptee. However it would out,I risked my child’s future with my signature on the surrender papers. Treating biryh mothers and adoptees with respect might be a better way to increase adoptions. I did not really think about anonymity for me; it’s unjust to adoptees to keep their backgrounds secret after they are adults. I was outraged by the perception of birthmothers and added my story with this six-word memoir – “Birthmothers Day: Grief Takes a Holday” (link below)

Comments are closed.