Open records are about information. Open adoption and reunion are about ongoing contact. Having information doesn't automatically equal having contact.
Open records don't force anyone--first parents or adopted adults-- into unwanted relationships. And they certainly don't force potential adoptive parents into open adoptions. They just let adoptees know the identities of their birth parents. Knowing someone's name is not the same as having a relationship with that person. Just ask any adoptee or first parent who has searched only to have the door slammed in their face.
Conflating these issues whenever the subject of open records comes up is a favorite tactic of some major players in the adoption world:
Nationwide, one of the major foes of open records is the National Council for Adoption, which represents many religiously affiliated adoption agencies. Its president, Thomas Atwood, says any reconnection between an adopted adult and a birthparent should be by mutual consent — which is the policy in most states.
“I empathize with anybody who feels the need to know their biological parents’ identity,” Atwood said. “But I don’t think the law should enable them to force themselves on someone who has personal reasons for wanting confidentiality.” (source, emphasis added)
I actually agree with Mr. Atwood on one point: any relationships between adults should be by mutual consent. But open records don't preclude that. Trying to force someone into a relationship is called harassment, and there are already laws against that. Giving adopted adults access to information about their origins makes contact possible, but it doesn't make it mandatory. Mr. Atwood makes it sound like open record laws give adoptees a free pass to stalk their biological parents.