I think I have search on the brain right now. I'm not exactly sure why. But there it is, and I figure I should just run with it.
However, in my fixation about thinking through the issue of search, I want to be clear about something. The NCFA and other opponents to equal rights for adoptees would have you believe that open records is about search and reunion. It's not, and that is important.
By conflating the two issues, the NCFA avoids the equal rights argument and tries to suggest that what we are fighting for is the right to have relationships with our biological families. Of course, no one has the right to any relationship, so it seems easier to refute this position. It's called a straw man, and it's a fallacy. But if done well, it can be rhetorically effective.
The fact of the matter is, adoptees have a right to access government documents about themselves, the same documents every other citizen has access to. It doesn't matter for what purpose they want them. These are their documents. They have a right to them. We have a right to them.
Open records is simply about giving us the same rights everyone else has. It's about providing us access to documents that no other person is denied.
The issue of search is important. And it requires each adoptee to decide how to approach it, how they need to go about answering the questions, for themselves. Some may never search. But it is their decision.
The issue of open records is about equality and civil rights. We are owed these documents. And any discussion that avoids that simple observation is really avoiding the true issue. This is what it's about. And anyone who cares about adoptees should support open records.