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Proposed Law Could Help Adoptees and Birth-Parents Find Each Other

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RALEIGH — Adopted children sometimes search for theirbiological parents out ofcuriousity, but sometimes it's a matter of life and death.

Family medical histories are severed by adoption. Now, there's abattle waging that might repair the breach.

A proposed new law would set up a mutual consent registry where adultadoptees and birth parents could register and, possibly, be reunited.Advocates say the critical part of the bill would allow adoptees toget their medical histories.

Under the proposal, the process would be established asconfidential. Advocates of the proposed legislation say it could savelives.

By the time Jackie Parker found out who her birth mother was, it wastoo late for them get acquainted. Her mother had died of breast cancer.But at least Parker was able to learn about her medical history.

Kim Beck wasn't so lucky, she hasn't been able to determine her birthmother's identity at all. Beck has what could be genetic medicalproblems, but doctors have no way of knowing without a family medical history.

This is why a group of adoptees and birth mothers are pushing for thebill to provide a medical registry. The bill would allow adoptees withserious health problems to get information about their family backgrounds.The state would do the work so there would be no contact between theadoptee and the birth parents, but adoptee Lynn Giddens says lawmakers arestonewalling the bill.

Birth mother Julie Bailey says they're only asking for healthinformation.

Lawmakers who are sponsoring the bill could not be reached forcomment. The bill is still in the House Human Resources Committee, so itisn't likely to be voted on during this session.

Photographer:Joe Frieda

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