West Virginia once had a law that allowed an adult adopted person, at age 18, to dissent to their adoption and automatically void it—and there are recent efforts to revive that law.
An adoptee as an adult can at any time seek “readoption” by a birthparent—or adoption by anyone else for that matter.
Adoptive parents have for decades been able to “disrupt” an adoption and literally give the child back or rehome them with another family, often legally. And historically most adoptive parents were given a specific “return” policy that allowed them to return an adoptive child if the child was “defective” or “feeble-minded.”
Adults in the past—and continuing to this day—are able to use adoption as a way to structure their own adult relationships, whether to secure inheritances, to counteract historical discrimination that prohibited same sex marriages, or to legalize a relationship for whatever reasons each adult sees fit.
So why are there no laws today that allow a specific right of an adult adoptee to annul or undo their own adoptions, especially if it is no longer in their best interest? What barriers to vacate or annul an adoption exist and how hard is it to overcome those barriers?
Attorney and Adoptees United board member Gregory Luce will talk with adoptees and others who have circumvented social and legal restrictions on “undoing” an adoption or who are considering other remedies, including “readoption”— i.e. adopting back an adult child who had been relinquished decades ago.
Nikki Carlson will talk about her experience in successfully vacating her adoption in Minnesota and restoring her original birth certificate—but at a great emotional and financial cost. Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy and her son Max will discuss how they are exploring whether to “undo” Max’s current adoption by readopting him, including how it could be done and what goes into any decision to do so. We’ll talk with others about how they are considering undoing their adoptions, if they even can. And we’ll discuss what the right of an adult adopted person to annul an adoption could look like and how it could be implemented.
Please join us on December 9, 2021, at 4:00pm Pacific/6:00pm Central for this important discussion.
Other Upcoming Events
Rescheduled! Join us on November 29, 2021, to hear from a diverse panel of adoptees as part of our continuing commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Adoptee Community.