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N.C. Bill Could Make it Easier for Adoptees and Birth Parents to Find Each Other

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RALEIGH — Knowing about a history of health problems in your family can help protect you. But thousands of adopted children in North Carolina have no way of knowing.

Adopted children have many reasons for wanting to find their biological parents. For some, it is a medical necessity.

Now, thestate legislatureis consideringa billto make it easier.

Meredith Mills still gets emotional when she thinks about her reunion two years ago with her birth mother. As an adoptee, she says the reunion made her life complete.

"I knew it was her. I just looked at her and I saw my face," says Mills. "She looked at me and she's like 'Meredith.' And I said, 'Oh my gosh, you're my mom,' and we just hugged each other and cried and cried and cried."

Kim Beck knows exactly how Mills feels. She also found her birth parents two years ago after seven years of searching.

Beck needed to find her biological parents for medical reasons.

"Every night on the phone, every Friday I took off of work and went to Davidson County and searched high and low for anybody who knew who I was so I could have my medical information," says Beck.

Beck and Mills say access to medical information is just one reason North Carolina needs a mutual consent adoption registry. It would allow adoptees and their birth parents to contact one another if both agree.

North Carolina is one of only three states without a way to exchange adoption information. Although similar measures have failed in the past, advocates say this may be the time.

"North Carolina laws are archaic. The attitudes of society in North Carolina are archaic," says Pat Weaver, a supporter of the Adoption Records and Registry bill.

Opponents say this type of legislation jeopardizes confidentiality for women who put their children up for adoption.

Supporters say the legislation is simply for a passive registry and will not force someone into the open.

The House Finance committee will consider the bill Thursday.

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Laurie Clowers, Reporter
Terry Cantrell, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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