In a traditional adoption the identity of other members of the triad is not known to members of the triad. This has come to be known as a “closed adoption”. In more recent times, open adoptions, where members of the triad do know the identity of other members, have become much more common; however, there are still millions of people living in the United States that are impacted in some way by a closed adoption. Sometimes, a member of the adoption triad wants contact with other members. Individual states have handled this delicate situation in a number of different ways, including the use of a “ confidential intermediary ”.
Whether it is an adoptee who wants to know his/her birth parents, an adoptive parent who needs to know more about an adopted child’s biological parents, or a birth parent who wants to be reunited with a child who was relinquished, the release of confidential information relating to an adoption is a highly sensitive subject, both emotionally and legally. Sometimes there is a medical reason why a party needs access to confidential information; however, more often than not it is simply because of the “need to know.” The law has been forced to wrestle with how to handle the “need to know” and one solution that has emerged over the years is to use a confidential intermediary.
Not all states use confidential intermediaries; however, in those that do they are typically a government employee or someone who has received specialized training for the position. When a request for contact has been made by an adoptee, birth parent, or someone else involved in the adoption triad, a confidential intermediary steps in and meets with the person making the request. The CI gather information and counsels the individual making the request. The CI then delivers the request for contact to the person with whom contact is requested. The confidential intermediary explains the request and attempts to ascertain if the individual is open to the idea of contact. If so, the CI will then facilitate the contact through letters, phone calls, or in-person visits. If the individual does not wish contact, that message is relayed back to the initial requester.
If you are an adoptee, adoptive or birth parent, or other relative affected by an adoption and you desire contact with another member of the adoption triad, contact the experienced South Carolina family law attorneys at Kuhn & Kuhn Law Firm by calling 843-577-3700 to discuss whether a confidential intermediary can help in your situation.