Adoptee rights bills are being heard in numerous committees this week. Here’s what is on those agendas as well as recommended actions. If you just want to get right to it, further details and suggested emails for each recommended action are here.
Monday, February 22
IOWA HSB226/SSB1040: OPPOSE
A House Judiciary subcommittee in Iowa will be considering HSB226, which is a discriminatory bill. It will create new rights for birthparents to redact their information from an adopted person’s birth record. OPPOSE this bill and write to the full Judiciary Committees in both the Senate and House (the full committees are expected to take up the bills soon) to express your opposition. Indicate that creating new rights for a person to redact another person’s birth information is unacceptable and does not ultimately lead to “privacy” for anyone, as it simply compels adopted people to go around such discriminatory restrictions. UPDATE: the full House Judiciary has recommended passage of HSB226. Please contact the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose SSB1040. Suggested language and legislator emails are here.
Tuesday & Wednesday, February 23-24
TENNESSEE HB62/SB723: SUPPORT
The House and Senate bills in Tennessee, which would remove an existing contact veto in current law, are under consideration in committees in both chambers. A House subcommittee meets on February 24, while the Senate Judiciary meets on February 23. UPDATE: The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 9-0 to advance the bill, recommending passage. Please continue write to the members of the House Civil Justice Committee to request SUPPORT for HB62. It will be heard in that committee on March 3. Suggested language and legislator emails are here.
Thursday, February 25
RHODE ISLAND S250: SUPPORT
This bill does three things. First, it lowers the age at which an adopted person can request his or her own birth record, from 25 to 18. Second, it provides rights to direct-line descendants to request the OBC if the adopted person is deceased. Third, effective July 1, 2021, it allows an adopted person to request his or her own original birth record from the date of birth, no matter an intervening adoption. I recommend you email the members of the Judiciary Committee in full SUPPORT of this bill. UPDATE: The bill has been held in committee for consideration after testimony so emails are still needed. Details and emails are here.
IDAHO HB59: OPPOSE/REQUEST AMENDMENT
This is a prospective-only bill that would allow adopted people to request their own original birth records at age 18, so long as they were adopted on or after July 1, 2021. It effectively would not be implemented for most adoptees until well over a decade, except for older adopted people. It also applies this restriction to intercountry adoptees, which makes little sense in the context of birth records for intercountry adoptees. Write to members of the House Judiciary, Rules & Administration Committee to OPPOSE the bill and request that it be amended to apply retroactively to all adoptions. UPDATE: The committee has rescheduled HB59 for consideration on Monday, March 1. Emails are still needed. Emails and suggested language is here.
MARYLAND HB0999: CANCELLED
HB0999 is an equal rights bill supported by Maryland Adoptee Rights, a partner in the Capitol Coalition for Adoptee Rights. A hearing in the House this week has been cancelled. More information about the cancellation is available from the coalition. Adoptee Rights Law Center is a core partner in the Capitol Coalition.
Keeping Up to Date
I have moved my legislative tracking to Adoptees United Inc. so that it becomes a more public resource. Click on any state below to see what is happening in that state or go to Adoptees United for the full map and more detail.
Joanne Wolf Small says
Gteg, speaking as one adoptee, I believe what you have done here represents outstanding work. And can’t help but wonder if there is some way you/we can reach more adoptees.
Thank you! 😊