Adoptee Rights Bills to Support in 2013

The Fight to Free Adoption Records

Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington State and Ohio all have Adoptee Bills in their State Capitols

New York Adoptee Rights billsWhile the Adoptee Rights Coalition organizes a national demonstration each years, it is vitally important to support Adoptee Rights Bills that come through each state capitol. The vast majority of Adoptee Rights bills are not understood at all by the very state legislators that are required to vote on them. If you need facts, please feel free to use any of the materials on the Adoptee Rights pages here.

I recommend writing a short, yet powerful letter, identifying yourself and supporting Adoptee Rights OBC access. Add some facts and why you support Adoptees Rights. Then keep your letter on file. It is then very easy to  edit it to the right legislators  regarding whatever state bill and send it off when needed.

Follow your state group on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for their mailing lists and when they ask you to do something, just do it! Send your letter, make a comment saying you did, and share the post to your own networks, The only way we will ever restore the civil rights of our friends and children is if we work on their doggedly and with purpose together.

Maryland’s Adoptee Rights Bill HB 22 & SB 165:

Maryland Adoptee OBC access billsAccess Maryland Adoptee RIghts

Website:  Access Maryland


Bill Numbers: HB 22 & SB 165

General Bill info: Adoptee Access to OBC at age 18 including records and report on order of adoption  Disclosure veto offered to all parties.

Edited for clarity: Due to the included disclosure VETO, the ARC is not supporting this piece of legislation. Vetos continue to allow discrimination of adoptees, but now based on the decisions of other parties who already had a choice in adoption rather than treating all adoptees equally.  When you write to Maryland, you can tell them that VETOES are NOT NEEDED and UNFAIR.

Latest Update: SB 165 now has a hearing scheduled in the Maryland Senate on February 12, 2013, at 1 PM

What you can do to help:

  • Write a letter/email of support for HB 22:  to the members of the Maryland House Judiciary Committee members. We don’t know when the committee will vote on HB 22, so it is imperative that the letters/emails get there ASAP. You can write one email and, using the links  here. Copy and paste the same letter into each email, and then add the subject: HB 22 – SUPPORT
  • Write a letter/email of support for SB 165: edit your letter changing the bill number to SB 165 and send to the members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. The bill is the same as HB 22. Links to the members of the Judicial Proceedings Committee are also at the above link.
  • Ask friends and family to send letters of support, too. It isn’t necessary to be a member of the adoption triad to know that discriminating against adoptees and denying them their human right to their original identity is wrong. If you are an adoptee, please explain why having a copy of your original birth certificate is important.
  • Please send a copy of your letters to
  • LIKE Access Maryland on Facebook and Share their Updates!

Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights Bill HB 162

Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights

Website:   Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights PAR


Bill Number: HB 162 in the PA House

General Bill info: Adoptee Access to OBC at age 18

Latest Update:  Introduced by Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre County, 171st Legislative District) and currently co-sponsored by 29 of his colleagues

What you can do to help:

New York’s Adoptee Rights Bills S2490A and A909

New York Adoptee Rights bills

Website:    Unsealed Initiative


Bill Number: S2490A and A909

General Bill info:  Enacts Bill of Adoptee Rights clarifying language and procedures for obtaining birth certificates and medical histories of adoptees; allows adopted adults to learn who their birth parents are when they reach the age of 18, subject to a contact preference filed by the birth parents.

Latest Update:   At the end of last Albany session May of 2012 Senator Lanza took charge of our senate bill and we need a republican sponsor to get our bill passed. Because he took charge near the end of session and because of opposition there was no action on our bill. This session we have more support and are more hopeful in the senate.

What you can do to help:

  • Join Unsealed Initiative to lobby in Albany on Tuesday March 5th!!
    • Contact your legislators in their District Offices. To learn who your state assembly member and senator are, call the Albany switchboard at: 518 455-4218. The phone number in New York City for the League of Women Voters is   (212) 725-3541. There are 150 assembly members and the link to the assembly website is
    • Contact your NY  state senators. One way to find out who your senator is by logging
      on to the senate site,
    • A written letter (snail mail) is of more importance with many legislators. However, some value emails. If your email does not get through, go to SEARCH and type in the name of the legislator for access to their website, as many have their own sites. Then send an email from the site. Be sure to include your address and phone number in your mail. Contact them in support of S2490A and A909
    • LIKE Unsealed Initiative and Share their Updates!
    • Follow them on Twitter!


Ohio Adoptee Rights Bill

Adoption Equity Ohio

Website:   Adoption Equity Ohio


Bill Numbers: SB23 and HB61

General Bill info: The bill will deal with allowing access upon request to original birth certificates for adoptees born and adopted in Ohio between 1964 and 1996, a period during which these records are currently closed. (In Ohio the original birth certificate is available upon request to pre-1964 adoptees and in the vast majority of cases to post-1996 adult adoptees.)

Sponsor:  Representatives Dorothy Pelanda (R) and Nicki Antonio (D) in the House, and Senators Bill Beagle (R) and Dave Burke (R) in the Senate. Each has a personal adoption connection as well as a policy interest, and passion for the cause.

Latest Update: 3/13/13; HB61 passed through the House Judiciary Committee hearing with UNANIMOUS  votes yes! Ohio Right to Life and the Catholic Conference in Ohio BOTH came out in SUPPORT of HB61!!

What you can do to help:

Next stop: On to the floor to VOTE!

Adoptee Rights Legisaltion in Washington State OBC access

Washington State Adoptee Rights Bill

Website:   Washington Coalition for Adoptee Rights & Equality


Bill Numbers: SB 5118 and HB 1525

General Bill info: The bill will deal with allowing access upon request to original birth certificates for adoptees born and adopted in Washington State.

Sponsors:   Representatives OrwallPedersenGoodmanHuntRobertsUpthegroveRyuJinkins

Latest Update: WsSen Mike Carrell of Tacoma amended his OBC bill SB 5118, and REMOVED the veto (affidavit of nondisclosure) and replaced w/ the ‘contact preference form’. What this means is that EVERY SINGLE WA ADOPTEE COULD GET THEIR ORIGINAL BIRTH CERT….IF this bill passes!!

Unfortunately, SB 5118 was amended to put the veto back in. HUGE disappointment. Amended bill was voted on by Senate floor and passed w/ 42 Yes, 5 No, 2 Excused.

House Bill 1525 – HB 1525 passed the House floor vote w/ a 95 Yes, and 2 No.

What you can do to help:


Also please see the CALL TO ACTION regarding Missouri!

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About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine,, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

10 Comments on "Adoptee Rights Bills to Support in 2013"

  1. Thank you very much for these links. I am an adoptive parent, but do try to advocate where I can for biological and expectant mother support and also for adoptee rights. I’m from more than one of these states, and have signed up for the email lists and am now writing to the appropriate legislators.

    Again – THANK YOU! Having these resources is phenomenal

  2. Gaye Tannenbaum | February 13, 2013 at 10:49 am |

    South Dakota too!

    There’s also some noise in Montana and even Utah!

  3. Claud ~ the correct URL for PA Adoptee Rights is

  4. Thanks for providing these resources! Just an update: the Ohio bills are: SB23 (Senate) and HB61 (House).

  5. Where do I start? The state where I was born or the state where I was adopted? Its very confusing.

    • Choose one, but since booth states affect you, you have stong cause to contact legislators in both states. For instance, I live in NY, so NY is a big deal for me. Yet, my son was born and relinquished in Ma, so I am very concerned about what happens there.

      • Thank you! I took your advice and I am sending request forms to both states now. Hope it doesn’t take years to hear back.

        Thank you for your advice!

Comments are closed.

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