Although there are many articles and publications in print and on the Internet describing the contents of the UAA, most are extremely biased. One of the best brief objective summaries is by Joel D. Tenenbaum, who served as the ABA liaison to the NCCUSL UAA committee.
Despite the substantial differences of opinion that were aired during the drafting process, the NCCUSL aims to resolve issues by compromise and consensus. Therefore, each time the UAA was taken to the floor of the NCCUSL annual meeting, it was clear that there was a large majority in favor of the act and its recommended approaches to the controversial issues under consideration.
The most heated debates, in both the drafting committee and on the floor at the annual meeting, had to do with access to sealed records. A minority of the drafting committee and a tiny percentage of the commissioners as a whole opposed the UAA recommendation that MUTUAL CONSENT REGISTRIES be used as the usual legal means whereby persons who had been involved in an adoption in which records had been sealed could indicate their interest in exchanging identifying information.
Eventually, in 1994, the commissioners voted to approve the UAA and to promulgate it. Early in 1995, the ABA overwhelmingly endorsed the UAA. The NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR ADOPTION and a number of other organizations also endorsed the UAA.
The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, according to one of its past presidents, Samuel Totaro, Jr, by contract voted to ". . . disseminate the Uniform Adoption Act to the various states for its consideration." A substantial number of organizations that had participated in the process were unsuccessful in each instance in convincing the commissioners to accept their views on controversial issues, among them the American Adoption Congress, the Child Welfare League of America and Concerned United Birthparents. These groups launched a vigorous campaign to keep the UAA from being adopted by any state.
The outlook for the UAA is uncertain at this writing. Although it has been introduced in several states, there has been little or no organized support for the UAA either from NCCUSL commissioners in those states or from state affiliates of the ABA. By contrast, opponents of the UAA have utilized a variety of means to express their objections, and have staged protests and overwhelmed hearings. In the face of such uneven support, many state legislatures have either backed away from considering the UAA, or, in at least one instance, passed legislation directly opposed to key principles of the UAA, such as the privacy of adoption records.