The status of bills introduced in current or prior legislative sessions and are considered in play for 2020 as carry-overs. Status is current as of November 15, 2019. Click on a state for more details, which appear below the map. Looking for federal legislation related to intercountry adoptees? Go here.
Bills that are either currently active or are expected to be active through carryover to the 2020 session. Federal bills, typically related to issues of intercountry adoption, are listed here.
HB89/SB302: Bill with textual changes that do not alter a discriminatory and consent-based law. Rep. Richard Stark has filed an identical bill to one that died in the Senate last session. The bill changes text in the law but does not change how requests for original birth certificates are processed for adult adoptees in the state. Though the bill does not effectively change how the law will operate, it will likely negatively impact future efforts to enact clean legislation in the state because it reinforces the need for signed affidavits of consent from any birthparent named on the original birth certificate before an OBC will be released to the adult adopted person. It recently passed the Health Quality Subcommittee without testimony and is now in the Civil Justice Subcommittee in the House. There is no action to date in the Senate. The bills are identical to the two 2019 bills, which are discussed on the 2019 legislative map and most recently here. It is believed that a Florida group known as FLARE supports Rep. Stark’s bill and is behind the efforts to enact it.
H.1892/S.1267: Clean bill that removes date-based restrictions. This is the same short and sweet bill (14 words long) from prior sessions that closes a date-based loophole in current Massachusetts law, eliminating the discriminatory provision that denies an unrestricted right to the OBC for adoptees who were adopted between 1974 and 2008. H.1892 has been referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health. OBC for Massachusetts is advocating on behalf of the bills. The Massachusetts legislature adjourns November 20, 2019, but bills carryover to 2020.
SF2606/HF2906: Clean bills that dismantle Minnesota’s forty-plus-year history of compromise. SF2606/HF2906 are the first clean bills ever filed in Minnesota and they constitute a necessary step toward dismantling a complex system that has existed in Minnesota since 1977—which I’ve frequently written about, including here and here. A detailed memo explaining each of the sections in the Senate bill is here. The Minnesota legislature adjourned its regular 2019 session and the bills carry over to the 2020 session. The 2020 session convenes on February 11, 2020.
A5494/S3419: ENACTED! Assembly Member David Weprin and Senator Velmanette Montgomery introduced comprehensive equal rights legislation in 2019 that restores the rights of adult adoptees to request and obtain their own original birth certificates. It passed both chambers of the New York legislature in June 2019, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed S3419 into law on November 14, 2019. The law is effective January 15, 2020. The New York Adoptee Rights Coalition (NYARC) spearheaded the successful effort. Adoptee Rights Law Center, a core partner of NYARC, has an updated FAQ about the law here.
AB579/SB521: Bill that will release a copy of a report of adoption but does not address nor release the adult adoptee’s original birth certificate. The report of adoption is a court form reporting an adoption to the Wisconsin department of vital records so that, if requested, a new amended birth certificate can be issued. The report contains the names of the birth and adoptive parents involved in the adoption. I consider this bill an “identifying information” only bill and not one that relates to the unrestricted right of an adoptee to obtain a copy of his or her own original birth certificate. The House bill has been assigned to the Committee on Family Law and the Senate Bill to the Committee on Universities, Technical Colleges, Children and Families. No upcoming meetings of the committees are currently on the calendar.
Bills that ain’t going anywhere this year. Dead.