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Bastard Nation Testimony Missouri HB 1822. Not an adoptee rights bill Oppose

February 16, 2016 News No Comments

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Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization

Bastard Nation Letter/Testimony in Opposition to HB 1822

Missouri House Committee on Children and Families, February 16, 2016

Submitted by Marley E. Greiner, Executive Chair

 

Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization is the largest adoptee civil rights organization in the United States. We support only full unrestricted access for all adopted persons, to their original birth certificates (OBC). We do not support any restrictions such as the Affidavit of Non-Disclosure/Disclosure Vetoes (DV), Contact Vetoes (CV), white-outs, or any other form of redaction or restricted access to a true copy of the original birth certificate.

First we congratulate the committee for its passage of HB , sponsored by Rep. Don Phillips. HB 1599 is a genuine adoptee rights bill that would restore OBC access to all Missouri adoptees without condition or restriction and reflects current best practice standards in adoption.  By supporting this bill, the committee supports adoptees and adoption reform at the highest level in the US today.

Unfortunately with the success and interest in HB 1599, HB 1822 has been introduced as a blocker bill to gut the reforms and restoration presented in HB 1599. Unlike HB 1599 which has nearly 50 sponsors, some of whom sit on this committee, HB 1822 has, according to the bill’s webpage, only one sponsor Rep Joe Don McGaugh. We are disturbed that such an unsupported bill has the potential to derail OBC access and adoption reform in Missouri.

HB 1822 is regressive, anti-adoptee, anti-adoption, and anti-family sending the message that adoption is and needs to remain a shameful and secret process. It tells Missouri adoptees, their families and the public at large that the state’s adult adoptees cannot be trusted with their birth records, genealogy, social histories, and relationships

HB 1822 maintains and solidifies state-control and interference in the lives of the Missouri’s  adopted adults, maintains a clumsy court-order release system, and contains a disclosure veto option for birthparents to block release of the OBC decades after their parental rights were terminated—a special “right” that no other parent much less adult has over another person’s birth certificate.

There is no state interest in keeping original birth certificates sealed from the adoptees to which they pertain. Nor does the state have a right or duty to mediate and oversee the personal relationships of adults. Those who claim a statutory right to parental anonymity through sealed records or though restricted access to them promote statutory privilege and state favoritism

On February 9, 2016 The House Committee on Children and Families passed HB 1599 out of committee; thus, demonstrating its support of restoration of OBC access to all Missouri adoptees. That message should stand and not be contradicted by passage of HB 1822—the exact opposite of HB 1599.

We oppose passage of HB 1822 and urge the House Committee on Children and Families to reject it during its Executive Session. Please vote Do Not Pass.

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Proud Bastard Nation Partner: CalOpen

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SAMPLE STATE ORGANIZATION RESOLUTION AGAINST VETOES AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS

SAMPLE STATE ORGANIZATION RESOLUTION AGAINST VETOES AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS

Any political organization seeking to enact true open records legislation should be very clear with both their constituents and the legislators they work with about what the essential provisions of the proposed bill are. Any modification or deletion of the essential provisions of a bill should be immediate cause to have the bill killed.

Any political organization seeking the assistance of Bastard Nation to pass open records legislation must hold unconditional access by adult adoptees to the original record of their birth as an essential provision that cannot be modified or deleted. Read our Mission Statement.

Bastard Nation will not assist any political organization to pass open records legislation unless their governing board or other leadership

passes a written resolution such as the following that commits the board to a strategy of no compromise on key provisions
informs its constituents of this commitment and this strategy
informs the sponsoring legislators of this commitment and this strategy.

WHEREAS we recognize that disclosure and contact vetoes, redactions, mandatory intermediaries and registry provisions are an affront to the dignity of adopted persons everywhere and a violation of their right to due process and equal treatment under the law,

WHEREAS there has been a demonstrable negative effect on the ability to pass unconditional open records in states that have passed veto legislation and/or any provisions that are less than unconditional access on demand by the adult adoptee,

WHEREAS our primary goal is to restore the right of adult adoptees everywhere to be treated as full citizens under the law,

WE HEREBY DECLARE that under no circumstances will we accept the addition of veto, redaction, intermediary, or registry provisions, or any conditional provisions to our legislation that would be less than unconditional access for adult adoptees to the original record of their birth. All legislative sponsors and members of this organization will be informed of our policy on this matter to ensure that the bill is pulled promptly in the event of such revisions.

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