A newly-introduced and unexpected bill in California is a hot mess. It preserves court involvement in the release of an original birth record plus creates new rights of redaction for birthparents. Here’s what you need to know and what you can do to help.
The Bill: AB-1302
I’ve already reviewed the bill and summarized it on Adoptees United, where I’m the executive director and track adoptee-related legislation across the country. Here’s what the bill does, as described on the AU legislative page:
. . . a bill that is self-described as “slightly partisan” but is largely being led by Republican members of the California Assembly. The bill retains court involvement to request your own own birth certificate, but it creates the right of birthparents to file a “disclosure preference form” with two choices: 1) disclose personal identifying information on the original certificate of birth; or 2) redact personal identifying information on the original certificate of birth. Assembly Member Tom Lackey (R-Los Angeles/Kern/San Bernardino) introduced the bill on February 16, 2023, and it has three co-authors, one of whom is a Democrat. It has not yet been assigned a committee.Adoptees United State Legislative Tracking Page
Get Activated, Get Involved
This bill cannot be allowed to pass. It will create new rights of redaction and preserve a cumbersome court process for the most populous state in the country, likely with the most adopted people of any state. If you are in any way connected to California, please consider signing up here to help. And if you are a resident of California, your voice is particularly important. When you sign up, please indicate who your representatives are, which are listed by district on the form.
The sign-up is hosted by Adoptees United, which helps facilitate the building of adoptee rights coalitions.