Press Release




NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2007 – Rap superstar Darryl McDaniels (DMC of the group Run-DMC) yesterday called a major new report from the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute “a turning point in the struggle to give adopted people like me the same rights as everyone else has in this country.”

McDaniels was referring to “For the Records: Restoring a Right to Adult Adoptees,” an Institute study issued this week that is the most comprehensive examination to date of one of the most controversial, emotional issues in the adoption world: whether adopted people, as adults, should have access to their original birth certificates. The report suggests that all states change their laws so that the answer is “yes.”

McDaniels learned at age 35 that he was adopted as an infant. He has dedicated himself to changing current laws since he discovered he could not get his own records several years ago and then found his birthmother without them – a journey chronicled in the VH1 documentary “DMC: My Adoption Journey.”

“Knowledge is power, and the Adoption Institute report gives power to all of us who believe in equality and fairness,” said McDaniels. “Now we can work together to win this fight, and we’re going to do it.”

Among the findings in the report are:

  • Prohibiting adopted people from getting their personal information raises significant civil rights concerns and potentially serious, negative consequences for their physical and mental health.
  • Providing access to original birth certificates does not cause the negative consequences predicted by opponents, such as problematic behavior by adoptees, increased abortions or fewer adoptions.

Based on its research and an analysis of its findings, the Institute’s recommendations include:

  • Every state should amend its laws to restore unrestricted access for adult adopted persons to their original birth certificates, even as more extensive research is conducted on the issue.
  • Within three years of enactment, state should revisit laws that create a “sandwich” situation in which some adult adopted persons get access to their documents while others do not.

“Darryl McDaniels understands this vital issue from a profound perspective: his own experience,” said Adam Pertman, the Institute’s Executive Director. “With his story and his intelligence – combined with the real facts we’ve accumulated – I believe we can now change public policy so it genuinely helps millions of people.”

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is an independent, nonpartisan not-for-profit that is the pre-eminent research, policy and education organization in its field. Its mission is to provide leadership that improves the lives of everyone touched by adoption through better laws, policies and practices.

To schedule an interview or appearance, email or call 212-925-4089. To learn more about McDaniels, go to For additional information about “For the Records” or the Adoption Institute, go to

To access the full report, go to:

11/12/2007 Press Release
Ground-Breaking Study Recommends Adoptee Get Access to Their Birth Records