Changing attitudes toward adoption may warrant a fresh look at the confidentiality of Iowa’s adoption records law, the Iowa Supreme Court said Friday in its unanimous ruling that will not order adoption records for an eastern Iowa woman to be unsealed.
Iowa, like many states at the time, rewrote its adoption law in 1941 to heavily favor sealing records, the court wrote. Exceptions have been made over the years if access to the record would save the life of or prevent irreparable physical or mental harm to the adoptee.
The 51-year-old woman from Linn County, identified only as R.D., says her drinking problem is rooted in feelings of abandonment. She was told at age 6 she was adopted and often feels that she was given up because she was not loved and has a hole in her soul.
Court records say the woman was raised by a loving, adoptive family, earned advanced degrees, is on the teaching faculty of a prestigious university and has been married to a supportive husband for several decades.
However, she said she began drinking in her 30s due to anxiety and depression from a lack of knowledge about her origins. She checked herself into a rehabilitation center in 2007, ...