I am a lawyer. I work exclusively for adult adopted people.
I help adult adopted people navigate legal challenges in obtaining their own original birth certificates, securing U.S. citizenship, and seeking information to which they are entitled. I also work to develop broader legal strategies to challenge and upend a legal framework that frequently operates to deny adopted people their basic and fundamental rights.
My work involves four primary areas:
- Sealed original birth certificates and court records. I have been successful in unsealing court records and obtaining court orders in Minnesota to release original birth certificates, court records, and—in some cases—adoption agency records. This practice, however, is limited solely to adoptions finalized in Minnesota.
- Citizenship for intercountry adoptees. I represent intercountry adoptees on issues related to U.S. citizenship, whether naturalization, renewing legal permanent residency status, or obtaining proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a certificate of citizenship or U.S passport. Practice limited solely to federal immigration law.
- Legislative strategy and action. I track adoptee rights legislation across the country and support efforts that will lead to an unrestricted right of an adult adopted person to request and obtain his or her own original birth certificate. I am an ally for legislative efforts related to passage of the Adoptee Citizenship Act.
- Coalition work with other adoptee rights organizations. I am the president of Adoptee United Inc., a national nonprofit organization dedicated to securing identity rights, U.S. citizenship, and equality for all adult adopted people. The Adoptee Rights Law Center is a founding member of the New York Adoptee Rights Coalition, the Capitol Coalition for Adoptee Rights, and the Texas Adoptee Rights Coalition.
—Gregory D. Luce, Founder/Attorney
Current and Ongoing Projects
United States of OBC
I monitor legislation across the country and in the U.S. Congress that relates to an original birth certificate as well as to citizenship issues for intercountry adoptees.
I am creating flowcharts for each state to show how complicated or simple it is to obtain an original birth certificate. Here’s an example.
This is the core of what I do. I represent adoptees and descendants who seek records or other information from Minnesota courts, agencies, or archives. I also represent intercountry adoptees across the country who need legal help in securing or proving US citizenship.
I surveyed hundreds of adoptees to determine the rate of success or failure in getting an OBC. Read more about the project here, and I roll out state-specific data when it helps in state legislative issues.