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 January 19, 2020. 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.
HB2600: Unrestricted rights bill with a genuine contact preference form. Arizona advocates have been busy over the past year, returning in 2020 with an unrestricted OBC rights bill that is nearly identical to last session’s bill—with one huge difference: it has been introduced with more than 30 sponsors, including 26 in the House and five in the Senate. The bill is straightforward and requires, upon request of an adopted person who is at least 18 years of age, the release of the adopted person’s own original birth certificate. A birthparent may file an optional contact preference form but it does not alter the release of the OBC to the adult adoptee. Descendants of the adoptee are not covered by the bill. Advocates with Heritage Arizona are behind the bill.
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. The Florida legislature formally convenes on January 14, 2020.
SF621: Birthparent redaction bill. SF621 was an unrestricted rights bill when it hit the Senate floor last year—until the Iowa Adoptee & Family Coalition agreed to the addition of redaction provisions, which it has supported. SF621, which has now carried over to the 2020 session, grants birthparents the unchallenged power to alter an adopted person’s original birth certificate—for now, for future adoptions, and forever, even after the parent dies. The Senate approved the discriminatory amendments by a vote of 50-0, but it died in the 2019 session after the House did not bring it forward for debate. It has carried over for the 2020 session and is now referred to committee. I’ve written about these Iowa efforts before.
H.1892/S.1267: Bill that removes date-based restrictions that have created a “donut hole” in the state for adoptees born between 1974 and 2008. 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 born between 1974 and 2008. H.1892 has been referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health, where a hearing is occurred on December 10, 2019. OBC for Massachusetts is the primary group advocating on behalf of the bills, though more information about it and what you can do is at Adoptees United Inc.
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.
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. This is solely an “identifying information” only bill and does not relate 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. A public hearing in the Senate committee (video starts at 3:50:00) was held on December 4, 2019, and passage without adding discriminatory amendments looks unlikely.
SB25. Discriminatory bill with birthparent redaction requests. SB25 is a discriminatory OBC bill that will allow birthparents to file name redaction requests. If filed, the request would operate to redact a birthparent’s name on the adoptee’s original birth certificate. It is essentially identical to a bill introduced in 2019 that died shortly after making it through the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee. It has been referred to the same committee again this session.
Bills that ain’t going anywhere this year. Dead.