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 photo Birthrec.gif2014  OBC ACCESS LEGISLATION

All information taken from official state legislative pages unless otherwise indicated. For more information on these bills, go to the appropriate links.

Tracking may include records bills not directly related to OBCs.

Click on state heading to go to bill site.

Additions and corrections welcome!

NEW!  CALIFORNIA– AB 2118

Information up shortly

  • Status:  February 20, 2014, Introduced.
  • Status:  March. 6, 2014: Referred to Com. on Judiciary

Bastard Nation is a partner with CalOpen which opposes this bill and  is working to amend or kill  it.

Note from CalOpen :  This is not a clean bill. It will not ensure equal treatment under the law for adopted citizens. It will still require that adopted persons go through the court system in order to request an original birth certificate. A judge can still deny the request. Even if the request is granted, the judge can order that any documents have identifying information about the first parents “whited out” before the adoptee be given access them.

CONNECTICUT–Raised Bill 5144

Description: To provide adult adopted persons, twenty-one years of age or older, access to their biological parents’ health information and information in the person’s original birth certificate or record.  NOTE:  This is a bill-in-progress and changes are expected to be made.  Until the bill if finalized we won’t have a genuine description.

Clean bill AMENDED to restricted:   House Bill 5144 requires, beginning July 1, 2015, the Department of Public Health to give adult adoptees whose adoptions were finalized on or after October 1, 1983, an uncertified copy of their original birth certificate on request; creates a voluntary procedure for biological parents to complete a contact preference form indicating whether they want to be contacted by their adopted adult offspring; and requires DPH, when issuing an original birth certificate, to provide a notice stating that these completed forms, as well as the biological parents’ completed health history forms, may be on file with the Department of Children and Families.

According to Access Connecticut:  About 24,000 adoptees out of the state’s 61,000 adopttes (starting in 2015)  will be eligible for access.  36,000 are left behind.

  • Status:  February 13, 2014,  Referred to Joint Committee on Public Health
  • Status:  February 28, 2014,  Public Health Committee hearing scheduled.
  • Status: March 25, 2014,  Approved by Public Health Committee unanimously.; filed with Legislative Commissioner’s Office
  • Status:  April  1, 2014, Referred to Office of Legislative Research and Office of Fiscal Analysis
  • Status:  May 2, 2014:  House passed amended bill.
  • Status:  May 7, 2014, Senate passed  amended bill
  • Status:  May 22, 2014:  Sent to governor for signature.
  • Status:  June 6, 20114:  Signed by governor

READ:  Public hearing testimony

 

COLORADO   14-051

Description: Re-write state’s confusing multi-tiered OBC access system replacing it with access for all at the age of 18 EXCEPT for those who are subject to an already-on-file disclosure veto, which by law cannot be removed by the state

Restricted due to previous compromises that cannot be undone.

  • Status:  January 10, 2014,  Introduced in Senate; assigned to Judiciary Committee
  • Status:  January 29, 2014,  Senate Committee hearing
  • Status:  February 17, 2014,  Senate Committee on Judiciary referred amended bill to  Senate Finance Committee.
  • Status:  02/25/2014, Senate Committee on Finance Refer Unamended to Appropriations
  • Status:  March 8, 2014,   Passed Senate  Appropriations 5-0 Committee; scheduled for Consent Calendar; full vote expected on March 11, 2011.
  • Status:  March 13, 2013,  Passed 2nd reading
  • Status:  March 13, 2014,  Introduced in House; assigned to Public Health Care & Human Services
  • Status: March 25, 2014,  House Committee on Public Health Care & Human Services; refer unamended to Finance.
  • Status: April 2, 2014,  House Committee on Finance refer unamended to Appropriations
  • Status:  April 17, 2014,    Passed  House Judiciary unamended; referred to House
  • Status:  April 21, 2014,  Passed House unamended.
  • Status:  May  22, 2014,  Signed by governor

 

COLORADO 14-1042      Birthparent access bill.

Description:  Requires  custodian of records relating to the relinquishment of a child provide the following records to the child’s birthparent at the time of relinquishment or at the time the document is created:

  • The final order of relinquishment or other relinquishment documents
  • The affidavit of counseling;
  • The temporary waiver of custody; and
  • The expedited relinquishment documents, if applicable.

If relinquishment records were not provided to a birth parent at the time of the relinquishment of the child or at the time the document was created and the subsequent termination of the parent-child legal relationship was not the result of a dependency and neglect action, then upon written request of the birth parent and proof of identification, the custodian of the records shall provide access to and copies of such records to the birth parent, including all documents that the birth parent signed or on which the birth parent is named.

  • Status:   January 2, 2014, Introduced in House; Assigned to Public Health Care & Human Services
  • Status: January 21, 2014,  Public Health Care & Human Services refers amended version to Finance Committee.
  • Status:  February 6,  2014,  House Finance Committee voted  to move bill forward without amendments
  • Status:  February 23, 2014,  House Appropriations votes 13-0 to send bill to House Floor for second hearing
  • Status:  March 8, 2014,   House floor, 3rd hearing. Passed 61-1 with 4 abstentions/excused.  Bill sent to Senate soon.
  • Status:  March 12, 2013, Passed with amendments.
  • Status: March 13, 2013 , Passed.
  • Status: March 13, 2014,   Introduced in House; assigned to Public Health Care & Human Services
  • Status:  March 17, 2014,  Passed Senate Judiciary Committee 5-0.
  • Status: March 25, 2013,   House Committee on Public Health & Human Services; Refer unamended to Finance.
  • Status: April 2, 2014: House Committee on Finance Refer Unamended to Appropriations.
  • Status:  April 17, 2014:  Passed Appropriations unamended;
  • Status: April 22, 2014, Passed House unamended.
  • Status:  May 22, 2014, Signed by governor.


GEORGIA  HB524— Carry-over from 2013 session

Description:  INTRODUCEDunrestricted access for all adoptees 18 and older; contact preference form/  AMENDED:  Disclosure veto.

  • Status: January 27, 2014,  hearing, House Juvenile Justice Committee.  Hearing continued, probably heard later in week.  Please send letters of support for original bill.
  • Status:  February 20, 2014,  House Juvenile Justice Committee reported favorably on substitute (compromised) version of bill.
  • Status:  March 5, 2013 ,  2nd reading in House
  • Status:  DEAD

See Bastard Nation Testimony/Letter in support of HB 524 as introduced; opposition to Welch Amendment.

 

IOWA  HF2315

Description:  Unrestricted access at age 18; CPF

  • Status:  February 19, 2014,  Introduced;  referred to Human Resources Subcommittee

 

LOUISIANA– HB1028 (HB921 has been withdrawn)

(From bill digest)  Description: Abstract: Provides an adoptee, age 25 and older, access to a noncertified copy of his original birth certificate, and authorizes a birth parent to file a contact preference form with the voluntary registry.

Present law (Ch.C. Art. 1271) provides procedures for registration with the voluntary adoption registry.
Proposed law retains present law and requires the office of children and family services to
develop and furnish a contact preference form. Further requires a birth parent who files a
preference form indicating “No Contact” to submit an updated statement of family history form to the registry. Allows a birth parent to prohibit the release of identifying information on a birth certificate, contact preference form, and updated statement of family history.

Present law (Ch.C. Art. 1272) provides procedures for matching registrants, including notice and mandatory counseling.
Proposed law retains present law and requires the office of children and family services to
provide a copy of a contact preference form and updated statement of family history, if available, to the adoptee when an adoptee and birth parent have been matched.
Proposed law (Ch.C. Art. 1272.1) requires the department to make reasonable efforts to inform the public of the voluntary registry, that an adoptee who is 25 years old or older may obtain a noncertified copy of his original birth certificate, that the birth parent of an adoptee may file a contact preference form with the registry, that a birth parent may prohibit the release of identifying information, and that a birth parent electing “No Contact” is required to submit an updated statement of medical history.

Present law (R.S. 40:39.1) authorizes the state registrar of vital records to promulgate rules to implement the issuance of certified copies of birth certificates and death certificates and provides certain procedures.
Proposed law retains present law and adds noncertified copies of birth certificates to this list of documents.

Present law (R.S. 40:41) restricts disclosure of certain records in the custody of the state registrar, including confidential birth information that may disclose whether a child was born of or outside of marriage.

Proposed law retains present law but ccreates an exception for original birth certificates provided pursuant to R.S. 40:80.

Present law (R.S. 40:73) provides procedures for providing adoptive parents with a new record and requires the original birth certificate to be sealed with other documents related to the adoption. Further restricts opening the sealed package only upon order of a competent court after a showing of compelling reasons.
Proposed law retains present law except it deletes the requirement that an order of the court is the only method by which a sealed package can be opened.

Present law (R.S. 40:77) provides procedures for providing adoptive parents with a new record and requires the original birth certificate to be sealed with other documents related to the adoption. Further restricts opening the sealed package only upon order of a competent court after a showing of compelling reasons.
Proposed law retains present law except it deletes the requirement that an order of the court is the only method by which a sealed package can be opened.

Present law (R.S. 40:79) provides for records of adoption decrees and requires the original birth certificate to be sealed by the state registrar with the certificate of the adoption decree. Further restricts opening the sealed package only upon order of a competent court.
Proposed law retains present law but expands restriction to allow a sealed package to be opened upon the application of an adoptee 25 years old or older who has requested a noncertified original birth certificate.
Proposed law (R.S. 40:80) requires the state registrar to issue a noncertified copy of an original birth certificate and statement of family history to an adoptee who is 25 years old or older upon the adoptee’s written application and requires the state registrar to redact any identifying information from the noncertified copy if a birth parent has prohibited the release of any identifying information.

Effective upon signature by governor or lapse of time for gubernatorial action

  • Status:  March 12, 20114,  First reading,
  • Status:  March 13, 2014,  referred to Committee on Civil Law and Procedure
  • Status:  April 8. 2013,  Passed 9-1 in Committee on Civil Law and Procedure.  Amendment proposed for state to sponsor extensive 1-year campaign to advertise law and basically warn parents to file a redaction request.
  • Status:  April 16, 2014,   Passed House 98-0 severely amended.  Amendments here.
  • Status:  April 21, 2014,   First reading in Senate.
  • Status:  April 22, 2014,   Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary A

Bastard Nation Action Alert, April 22, 2014

Bastard Nation Letter to Louisiana Senate Judiciary Committee, April 24, 2014: Kill HB 1028

 

 MINNESOTA HB 2440

Description:  Restricted access at age 18

  • provides access on demand for adoptee 18 or older except when a DV is filed  by a birthparent. (Und er current la, such as DV would end the inquiry.  There is no legal procedure to contest it.)
  • New bill leaves DVs in place but does not permit the filing of new DVs  after the effective date of the bill.
  • Creates a new procedure under which those whose OBCs are subject to DV  may petition the court for an order opening the record. The petition must be filed with both the court and the Office of Vital Records, which must then serve the petition on the filing parent, at the parent’s last known address. The parent may then serve a statement in opposition with the Office, which will file it with the court and provide a copy to the petitioner.  At present, petitions by those not subject to an affidavit do not receive a court hearing. The court rules on the basis of the record before it. This bill provides for a court hearing.
  • The standard for release of an OBC remains unchanged:  “The court shall grant the petition if, after consideration of the interests of all known persons involved, the court determines that disclosure of the information would be of greater benefit than nondisclosure.”

As of 2008, more than 1200 affidavits of non-disclosure were on file in Minnesota.

  • Status:   February 27, 2014, Introduction;  First reading; referral to to Human Services Policy Committee
  • Status:  April 30, 2014, DEAD

 

MISSOURI  SB685

(Apparently this bill has not come from any adoptee rights/adoption reform group in the state though it seems to have support from so-called reform groups)

Description:  Restrictive access

  • allows an adopted person (age 18 or over born in state) , the adopted person’s attorney, or the adopted person’s descendants, if the adopted person is deceased, to obtain a copy of the adopted person’s original birth certificate from the State Registrar upon written application and proof of identification.
  • OBC will be released if the birth mother is deceased or cannot be found. Under these circumstances, the registrar shall inform the adopted person that the birth certificate shall be released five years from the date of the initial application and upon the adopted person’s subsequent written application for release of the birth certificate and notification to the state registrar that the five years have passed.
  • If the birth mother is not deceased, the State Registrar shall, within three months of application by the adopted person, make reasonable efforts to contact the birth mother via telephone, personally and confidentially, to obtain the birth mother’s written consent or denial to release the original birth certificate. If the birth mother could not be contacted, the adopted person may re-apply for a copy of the original birth certificate once every two years from the end of the three-month period during which the attempted contact with the birth mother was previously made.
  • Status:  January 9, 2014,  First reading
  • Status:  January 30, 2014, Second reading; refereed to Senors Families and Pensions Committee
  • Status: April 1, 2014,  Hearing Conducted  Seniors, Families and Pensions Committee
  • Status:  April 23, 2014,  Seniors, Families and Pensions Committee votes “do pass.”

 

NEW JERSEY   S873: “Restore Adoptee Access Bill”

Last session’s S2814    (see BN’s Current Legislation 2013 for details.)  Same as this session’s A4253

(link goes to general leg. search page; type in bill #)

To listen to any committee hearing or voting session of the NJ Legislature and its committees, go to www.njleg.state.nj.us  In the middle of the home page, you’ll see a photograph of one of the chambers.  To the right of the photograph are 2 links:  one for live proceedings and one for archived proceedings.  Choose the appropriate link depending on when you want to listen.
Description:  unrestricted access at 18; contact preference form; required medical and social history form if  CPF is filed
  • Status: January 14, 2014,  Introduced in Senate; referred to Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee. Committee.
  • Status:  January 27, 2014,  Reported from Senate Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading.  Pass out of committee 9-0-1 and on to full Senate vote.
  • Status:  February 27, Senate Floor,  PASSED 
  • Status:  Sent to governor (April 28, 2014 deadline for action)
  • Status: April 28, 2014:  Christie vetoes bill conditionally; asked for amendment to (1) permit birthparents to authorize the state to redact their name from the  from OBC; (2) bill to take effect January 1, 2017.
  • Status:  May 22, Passed both houses
  • Status:  SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

READ:  BN Commentary:  New Jersey.  When is OBC Access Not?  When Does a Right Deny itself?

 

NEW JERSEY A1259: “Restore Adoptee Access Bill”

Last session’s : A4253   (see BN’s Current Legislation 2013 for details.)  Same as this session’s  S873 (ABOVE)

(link goes to general leg. search page; type in bill #)

 To listen to any committee hearing or voting session of the NJ Legislature and its committees, go to www.njleg.state.nj.us  In the middle of the home page, you’ll see a photograph of one of the chambers.  To the right of the photograph are 2 links:  one for live proceedings and one for archived proceedings.  Choose the appropriate link depending on when you want to listen.

Description:  unrestricted access at 18, contact preference form; required medical and social history form if  CPF is filed.

  • Status:  February 10, 2014, hearing in Assembly Human Services Committee.  Passed.
  • Status:  February 27, 2014,   House floor vote scheduled PASSED
  • Status:  Sent to governor (April 28, 2014 deadline for action)
  • Status: April 28, 2014:  Christie vetoes bill conditionally; asked for amendment to (1) permit birthparents to asked for their name to be redacted from OBC; (2) bill to take effect December 31, 2017.
  • Status:  See directly above.

READ:  BN Commentary:  New Jersey.  When is OBC Access Not?  When Does a Right Deny itself?

 

NEW YORK   A909  (Companion to  S2490)–  Carry-over from 2013 session

A909a  amended bill (see below)

Both bills were deformed late in the legislative session gutting rights and turning a clean bill into an anti-adoptee/rights bill.  BN LegCom members Christopher Philipo who followed the deformation describes the “amended bills”:

…. adoptees could apply to the Department of Health for their original birth certificate (identifying their parents at birth) just like any non-adopted person can do, and just as adoptees in real adoptee rights states and nations can do.  NY’s anti-adoptee rights bill would have the adoptee apply instead to a court and the court would contact the biological parents who could then prevent the release of the birth certificate.  That would treat adoptees radically differently and it pathologizes and infantilizes adoptees as dangerous and as eternal children who always need their parents’ permission.  Incredibly, the court may even hold that the release of an original birth certificate may be “clearly detrimental” even to the adoptive parents.
 
The permission of the parents would even be needed, apparently, in cases of open adoptions, adoptions of adults, intrafamilial adoptions, and cases where the biological parents’ rights were terminated (e.g. due to physical or sexual abuse).  It also flat out contradicts N.Y. DOM. REL. LAW § 117 (1) (a) “After the making of an order of adoption the birth parents of the adoptive child […] shall have no rights over such adoptive child”  Have the sponsors really thought that through?
Amended bill(s) were not hard in the Codes Committee the last day of the legislative session; therefore were not heard on othe floor before the close of the session.

Description:  Unrestricted access (original)

 

  • Status:   January 9, 2013,  referred to Health Committee;  Not on House Calendar; no hearings scheduled
  • Status:  April 23, 2013,   Scheduled for vote in Health Committee.
  • Status:  April 24, 2013,   Reported; referred to codes.
  • Status: January 8, 2014, Referred to Health Committee;  Hearing January 31, 2014
  • Status:  January 31, 2014,   Hearing scheduled in Heath Committee

 

NEW YORK   S2490A  (Companion to A909)–Carry-over from 2013 session

Description:   Unrestricted access (original)

S2490B restricted (see above)

  • Status:  January 17, 2013, recommitted to Senate Health Committee; Not on House Calendar; no hearings scheduled
  • Status: January 8, 2014,  Referred to Senate Health Committee

 PENNSYLVANIA   HB162--Carry-over from 2013 session

Description:  Unrestricted access

  • Status:   January 17, 2013,   referred to Children and Youth Committee
  • Status:  July 17, 2013,   hearing scheduled in CYC
  • Status:  October 23, 2013, PASSED House (197-0)
  • Status:  October 30, 2013,   Referred To Senate Aging and Youth Committee
  • Status:  March 18, 2014,  hearing scheduled for Senate Committee on Aging and Youth
  • Status:  September 16, 2014, hearing scheduled for Senate Committee on Aging and Youth

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UpdatedMay 31  2014

 

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See our state partners:

See our state partners:

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: CalOpen

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: CalOpen

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Indiana Open Access

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Indiana Open Access

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Michigan Open Access

Proud Bastard Nation Partner:  Michigan Open Access

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Missouri Open

Proud Bastard Nation Partner:  Missouri Open

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Equal Access Oklahoma

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Equal Access Oklahoma

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Open Adoption Records in Quebec

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Open Adoption Records in Quebec

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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