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Open adoption records, the human rights of adopted people, and discrimination: the case of Odièvre v France 2003

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The recent judgement by the European Court of Human Rights in the Odièvre v France case has denied some adopted people the right to access identifying information about their family of origin. Yet, in the UK, adopted people have enjoyed the right to access identifying information for many years. The evidence from practice and research has demonstrated the positive benefits adopted people and their birth and adoptive relatives have gained from an open record policy. In this paper, the authors argue that denying some adopted people access to information that could enhance their personal identity creates an act of discrimination.

Keywords: Adoption; Identity; Information Rights; Origins; Reunion; Search

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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