Is a verbal contract not binding in Maine?
The elements are definitely there: offer, acceptance, and consideration.
Witnesses, which are the usual stumbling block of verbal contracts, shouldn't be an issue, as the understanding is extremely common...
That depends. See the Statute of Frauds and the UCC.
Even if there is a contract, it does not bind third parties. If an adoption agency promises not to release information, but the state has the information. The contract does not bind the state.
It appears neither [url=http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/bronte/cbronte/brontbio.html]Charlotte Bronte[/url] or [url=http://www.historycentral.com/Bio/presidents/hoover.html]Hoover[/url] were the product of adoptions. Yes, they had rough childhoods, but, not adopted. They knew their mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, grandparents etc.
I am not going to bother with the rest of your list.
[quote="Dan Billings"]That depends.[/quote]
The type of contract. An oral contract to sell land, for example, is not enforceable.
[quote="Robert"]I am not going to bother with the rest of your list.[/quote]
Fortunately for me, I know both of my parents, so I should be able to get over it. ;)
[quote="Bruce Libby"]...I believe this is one of those issues and life experiences that is so personal and individually private that any discussion of it borders on the impossible ,for people not involved, to fully appreciate on both sides of the issues pro and con! There are a few of those left in life...[/quote]
I think youâ€™re right on here, Bruce.
My own family is a good example. My older sister and I were adopted as infants a year apart from a Catholic orphanage in the Philippines. While we do not share biological parents, the circumstances in which we became orphans were very similar. Both of us were born to mothers who were very young and incapable of caring for us.
My sister used to harbor some resentment for her biological mother; at the same time, she wanted to reconnect with her. I, on the other hand, never had a desire to know my biological mother and I have always been content to know that it was a major sacrifice for her to give up her baby boy. Iâ€™ve always thought that, aside from laying your life down for your child, there is no greater act of love.
Of course, my sister and I were raised in the same environment. Perhaps the difference in our feelings on this matter can be attributed to gender.
Disclaimer: Should I learn that someone in my birth family is a wealthy landowner in the P.I., my feelings toward a reunion might change. :wink:
Oddly, my birth certificate (issued by the State of California) lists my birth name but not my biological parents.
[quote="Robert"]...Knowing who your parents are is knowing who you are...[/quote]
I guess I donâ€™t know who I am. :D
[quote]Shandier - if you are adopted, you may have no way of knowing your bio family's medical history. If you don't even know who your parents are, how are you to know whether they have a family history of heart trouble, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, etc.?
That's the kind of medical history adopted folks generally mean when they refer to it.[/quote]
I understand that and I suggested that each mother/father (ideally) fill out a sheet like everyone does when they go to the doctor for the first time. You know the one that has all the have you ever had... who in your family had... There need be no names on it and the adopted family will be given the sheet. For me, the biggest problem with adoption is the lack of family medical history. It can be solved so easily now too.
[quote]...Knowing who your parents are is knowing who you are...[/quote]
Now I know I'm not regular adopted... step dad wanted very much to be my dad. He adopted me when I was four. I remember him sitting me down and reading the name part to me. He smiled when he said my last name was different and now was his last name. I also remember going around telling people my name was First Middle Birth last name New last name for many days afterwards. LOL I have never had much of a desire to connect with my bio father (I usually refer to him as sperm donor since the only memory I have of him is yelling at my mother and she sat on the couch and cried. I was 2 or 3.) He initiated contact when I was 15. He came to my house. He gave me his name and number and said it was up to me to contact him. I never did.
My dad raised me. He was there for my first day of school, when I got caught under the car after sliding down the street after I was told not to, he was there when I graduated, when I had two flat tires in the same day, when I had chicken pox at 14, he walked me down the aisle, etc. etc. etc. I have never missed my bio dad because I had a man who loved me enough to chose me. He didn't have to be my father... he wanted to be. I can't imagine it would be any different if my mother had adopted me as well. My parents were far from perfect, but they were mine and we all love each other very much!
Great stories from everyone - so interesting to read. We need an AMG biography!
Michelle - like you, I would have assumed that any birth mother given an "assurance" of privacy when giving up her child for adoption, would be protected later. However, as Dan has pointed out, that "promise" isn't necessarily viable.
The issue, as Bruce stated, is indeed one that only adoptees and their families (bio and adopted) can fully understand. However, as we've just seen from the few stories on this thread, everyone has a different scenario, expectations, and wishes concerning access to that knowledge vs. none.
I still say it could be a tough situation for someone who gave up their child 25 years ago, with the "assurance" that they would be protected later, only to find out the state may have reopened that door.
Michelle, let me tell you about how I reunited with Maria. I surrendered her through Catholic Charities of Maine. (I was at St. Andre's Home for Unwed Mothers in Biddeford). They assured all parties that the information would be kept confidential forever; this was especially important to the adoptive parents. 22 years later I contacted St. Andre's to find out if there was anything in the file to indicate how the parents might feel about a reunion. There was nothing, but St. Andre's now had a reunion service. For a fee they would contact Maria and act as intermediary for a reunion. Luckily, Maria had already done the paperwork on her end because she too wanted to know her biological roots.
Also turned out I was lied to way back at the time of the adoption when St. Andre's told me about the adoptive family, but that's beside the point.
As far as I can tell, sometimes when money is to be had promises of confidentiality tend to go out the window. Catholic Charities took the adoptive parents' money for the adoption and then they took mine for a reunion.
[quote]In a comprehensive report being released Monday, a leading U.S. adoption institute says the answer is "Yes" and urges the rest of America to follow the path of the eight states that allow such access to all adults who were adopted.[/quote]
These have all been very interesting posts.
I have had the extra burden of a piece of knowledge
we came into possession with by accident.
Due to an error by our attorney we recieved a copy of
original certificate that gave the biological mothers name.
35 years later it is stashed some where and available if the
question ever arises I hope it doesn't and feel that my daughter
so far has never wanted to know.
As an adoptive parent, my thought regarding the legislation is that the first order of business is to "do no harm".
Don't do anything that would diminish the ability to put children up for adoption. Everything should be done to encourage adoption. Make it easier if they can.
The agency we went through is the 3rd party intermediary so contact to the birth parents is strictly between them. I was a bit apprehensive at first as it was not the classic set of rules of long ago where no contact was given. Having been at it awhile I can tell you it works just fine. All the birth parents information will be available when our child gets old enough to understand it and make a decision on contact or not. Then it would be the birth parents decision to reciprocate.
Our adopted daughter has found out a lot about her birth family over her 13 years, and they exchange letters and photos by mail occasionally through the agency involved. It can be stressful at times, but it is what it is and I think one day she will appreciate the distance we have kept from her birth family.