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adoptee: the person adopted in an adoption proceeding; the child in the adoption proceeding; refers to either minor or adult person

due process: right guaranteed by the the Fifth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment; requires that conduct of legal proceedings provide for protection of private rights, including fair hearing

equal protection: constitutional guarantee that similarly situated person will receive the same constitutional rights

fundamental right: a right derived from natural or other source of law; examples include the right to Due Process, Equal Protection, Free Speech; these are rights guaranteed explicitly or implicitly by the constitution

intermediate scrutiny: level of scrutiny above rational basis, but below strict scrutiny; relates to quasi-suspect classifications such as gender or legitimacy; this is the proper test used when a law classifies a person based on legitimacy, see Clark v. Jeter, 486 U.S. 456, 108 S.Ct. 1910 (1988), courts have traditionally not employed this test and instead used a rational basis test when upholding closed records statutes; a law reviewed under intermediate scrutiny must have a substantial relationship to an important government interest or it will be struck down

rational basis: the lowest level of scrutiny used by a court; the law will be upheld as long as there is one rational basis for the law; used on laws that do not affect a fundamental right

scrutiny: the level of review a court uses when determining the validity of a law

strict scrutiny: the highest leval of scrutiny; applied to laws with suspect classifications such as race, or that affect a fundamental right such as voting; for a law to be upheld under strict scrutiny, the law must be the least burdensome means of achieving the state interest, the state interest must be compelling and that the law is directly related to achieving that interest


Duhaime's Legal Dictionary - Oran's Legal Dictionary

Why Iowa Needs Adoption Reform Legal Information
Open Records Myths My Petition to Unseal My Records
My Story The National Council for Adoption on Open Records
Adoption Resources Online Valuable Books
Journal and Scholarly Articles About Me
History of Sealed Records Right Not Reunion