• A Must Read List for Adoption Truths

    • In many states across the USA including New York, Adoptee Rights bills are introduced to state legislators year after year. Due to lack of public support and misinformation based outdated beliefs about the adoption process, year after year, this bills fail to become laws.

    • I am a product of this experiment. I was born on December 24th, 1988 and I was soon transferred from one mother to another because my first mother, known throughout my life as my birth mother, wasn’t married to my birth father. She was 16 years old and still in high school.

    • I was 14 when I learned I was pregnant and my life changed forever. Once I’d gotten that fateful news, I tried to imagine what it would be like to have a baby; I wondered if I’d be able to finish school, would I be able to give my baby the life she deserved?

    • So How Do We Fix Adoption in the USA? Domestic Voluntary Infant Adoption is what we are discussing here. Women facing and unplanned pregnancy and “choose” adoption rather than parenting. If you aren’t aware of adoption facts, then you might not be aware of the need for reform.

    • There are some facts about adoption that, really, you cannot dispute unless you are just trying to purposely to stay ignorant regarding the facts of infant adoption in this country. Adoption is, in its perfect form, suppose to be about finding homes for children that need them, not about finding children for parents that want them.

    • What Happens to the Numbers of Adoptable Infants in the USA if We Compare to Australia? IF the USA had similar adoption practices to Australia and supported mothers, in the US we would have only 539 Voluntary Domestic Infant relinquishments annually give or take.

    • The relinquishment and subsequent adoption of my son was actually picture perfect. I am a perfect example of exactly what adoption is when it works just as it is suppose to.The adoption of my son was perfect, I did everything the “right” way and still; the adoption of my son caused unnecessary pain and was wrong. This is way I speak out against adoption today.

    • Adoption was almost more like a crack that happened in my soul. A crack that that I thought and was encouraged to believe that would be temporary or always below the surface. Over time, the rest of life worked it’s way in, like water in cement and caused the very foundation of myself to crumble.

    • When I relinquished Max, it was suppose to be something that affected ME. Like so many things in adoption, the professionals were wrong. The “gift of adoption” just keep on giving and giving.. the pain has a huge ripple effect that touches every aspect of a woman’s lives including ALL our children.

    • Secondary adoptee rejection is a very real reality in adoption reunions. We all have a different skill set and experiences to handle a reunion.There are many mothers who were simply told to “never speak of this again” and that has proven to be a real unhealthy bit of advice.

    • The simple fact is that it is less than 1% of all relinquishing mothers desire to never set eyes on their children again. So because these 1% mothers another 6 to 8 million people and their children and their children’s children get denied medical histories, get denied their identity, get denied their truth..

    • Most adoption agencies will offer free “birthmother” counseling as part of their adoption services. A true counselor is supposed to advocate for their client, not the organization for which they work. Often adoption counseling is “in agency” and therefore, not really nonpartisan. There is no guarantee that the “counselor” is neutral and actually has the expectant mothers’ best interests at heart.

    • I figured that I would write a post that makes it easier for women to become birthmothers. Hence, here’s a handy guide on how to become more appealing to adoption agencies and ways to ensure that you will place your baby.

Adoptee Rights Bills to Support in 2014

Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Georgia, Lousiana and Connecticut all have Adoptee Bills in their State Capitols

Adoptee rights coalitionWhile 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.

Notice that Ohio and Washington State are not on this list again. Not perfect bills by any means, but still OFF the list!

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.

Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights Bill HB 162 

adoptee rights birth certificates in paWebsite:   Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights PAR

Email: AmandaWoolston@pennsylvaniaadopteerights.org

Bill Number: HB 162 in the PA House

General Bill info: Adoptee Access to OBC at age 18

Latest Update:  We know that the chair of the Aging & Youth Committee supports the bill and wants to schedule it for a hearing. We are waiting to find out when. Representative Benninghoff has been in contact with the Executive Director of the committee about setting a date and moving forward. We’ll keep you posted. 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 billsWebsite:    Unsealed Initiative

Email: unsealedinitiative@nyc.rr.com

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:    Public assembly hearing set for Friday, January 31st. The bill continues to be thwarted by Helene Weinstein on the issue of supposed “birthmother privacy.” Please address this issue in your support!

What you can do to help:

  • Join Unsealed Initiative 
  • 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 http://assembly.state.ny.us
  • Contact your NY  state senators. One way to find out who your senator is by loggingon to the senate site, www.senate.state.ny.us
  • 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!

Colorado Adoptee Rights Bill SB 14-051

colorado adoptee rights birth certifcatesWebsite: http://www.aisctc.org/

Bill Number: SB 14-051 in Colorado is the Adoptee Rights bill

General Bill info: Two separate bills with bipartisan sponsorship that have been introduced for the 2014 legislative session.  The first bill, SB 14-051, sponsored by Sen. Lois Tochtrop (D-Thornton) is focused on providing access to original birth certificates and adoption records to adult adoptees.  The second bill, HB 14-1042, sponsored by Rep. Lori Saine (R-Dacono), will for the first time in Colorado history provide a statutory requirement that birth/first parents who voluntarily relinquish(ed) their parental rights have access to the documents they signed.

Latest Update:  House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee  heard HB 14-1042 Tuesday Jan. 21 at 1:30 pm.  Exciting news!  The bill passed unanimously out of committee by a vote of 12 yes and 0 no.

Next:  Senate Judiciary Committee will hear SB 14-051 Wednesday January 29 at 1:30 pm (subject to change)

What you can do to help:

  • Now that the bills have been introduced, you can also help by writing to your state representative and senator asking for their “AYE” vote.  If you would like to start small, begin with the following committee members:
  • The mailing address is:  (Legislator’s Name), Colorado State Capitol, 200 E. Colfax, Denver, CO 80203.  BRIEF personal letters are preferred to emails, but in either case, be sure to label your correspondence with “In support of SB 14-051″  or “In support of HB 14-1042″ prominently at the top of the letter or in the subject line of your email.
  • LIKE Adoptees in Search - Colorado’s Triad Connection (AIS-CTC) on Facebook and Share their Updates!

Georgia Adoptee Rights Bill HB 524  

adpoptee rights birth certificates in gaWebsite: http://obcforga.org/GEAR/Welcome_To_GEAR.html

Email: info@obcforga.org; nslebo@gmail.com

Bill Number:  HB 524

Latest Update re End of legislative session 2014:  House Bill 524, as proposed by Representative Brockway, was an unrestricted access bill that would have allowed all Georgia-born adoptees to receive a copy of their original birth certificate at age 18.

The Welch Substitute to HB 524 included a name redaction option by biological parents.  In addition, adoptees would not receive their birth certificate if there was no contact preference form on file.  The Welch Substitute passed the Welch Subcommittee and the Juvenile Justice Committee, but did not move forward in the House.

Georgians for Equal Access to Records and supporters will be working towards a new bill for next year.

What you can do to help:

New Jersey Adoptee Rights Bill S 873

New Jersy adoptee rights njcareWebsite:    http://www.nj-care.org

Email:  njcare.staff@gmail.com

Bill Number:  S 873

General Bill info: Adoptee Access to OBC at age 18

Latest Update: 2-27-14 PASSED both HOUSE AND SENATE!

What you can do to help:

Connecticut Adoptee Rights House Bill N0. 5144

Ct birth certificates for adopteesWebsite:    http://www.OBCforCT.org

Email: pschibbe@aol.com

Bill Number:  House Bill N0. 5144

General Bill info: Adoptee Access to OBC at age 18

Latest Update:  The Legislative session starts Feb. 5 and after that we will have a bill number. Next Access Connecticut meeting is Sat. Feb 8 at 9:30 am at the offices of CAFAP at 2189 Silas Dean Highway, Rocky Hill.

What you can do to help:

Louisiana Adoptee Rights Bill HB No. 1028

Louisiana Adoption Support Alliance Adoptee rights in LAWebsite:    http://www.lasalliance.org/

Email: info@lasalliance.org

Bill Number:   HB No. 921

General Bill info: Provides an adoptee, age 25 and older, access to a non-certified copy of his original birth certificate, and authorizes a birth parent to file a contact preference form with the voluntary registry. BUT has gotten all muddled up with lat minute amendments

Latest Update:  Support form the adoption community has been pulled; Please see KILL the BILL 

What you can do to help:

If you have information about another state moving, please let me know! I will gladly add to this list or great a new post with particulars as needed. If the information can be supplied like the above, then I like it even better! And if ANY state group needs help in designing a website that will WORK for this cause and connecting the social media accounts, Facebook pages,  connecting to Twitter etc, PLEASE reach out. I have done this work professionally for years!

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Claudia Corrigan DArcy

About 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, Adopt-a-tude.com, 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.
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5 Responses to Adoptee Rights Bills to Support in 2014

  1. Great update on the various bills.

  2. TAO says:

    IOWA – looks similar to Oregon’s CPF…
    http://coolice.legis.iowa.gov/Cool-ICE/default.asp?Category=billinfo&Service=Billbook&ga=85&hbill=HF2315
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Iowa-Adoptee-Family-Coalition/436910373060903

    I like Hawaii’s bill Priscilla noted above – my problem is I don’t know if the effective date will change once passed or was meant to be 2050…

  3. Melynda says:

    Utah has a bill that is before the Senate right now, Utah HB256. It passed yesterday with 56 for & 16 against it.

    However, don’t get your hopes up, this is truly a terrible bill when it comes to adoptee rights. It has blackout dates for anyone born after 1941 and before Jan 1, 2015, (74 year time span) and also includes a birth parent veto. If it passes, the current system of the mutual consent registry will most likely be dismantled, too.

    This is truly a horrible bill for Utah adoptees and I don’t understand why so many are so excited about it getting this far in the process. Essentially, the only Utah adoptees who will gain access to their original birth certificates are either not born yet or are so old (at least 74 years of age), their natural parents will almost certainly be dead. The proponents for the bill are claiming “victory by baby steps,” to which I say “Remember Ohio.” It took them 30 years to do away with the tiered access and with this being Utah, the law will most likely NEVER change once it is passed.

  4. madge m gunia says:

    I was born at The Willows in Kansas City, Missouri supposedly on Jan. 8, 1934 with the name of Mae Lee. Sure would like to know where I came from and if I have any genetic family out there.

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