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HAWAI’I” Clean HB 2982 records access bill passes out of committee

February 24, 2016 News 1 Comment

HawaiiAloha!

While Indiana and Missouri continue to fail, flail and founder on the Sea of Deform, the Hawai’i legislature took the first step yesterday to restore adoption records access with no restrictions to all Hawai’i-born adoptees.  In a vote of 13-o-1 (absent) the House Judiciary Committee voted Do Pass on clean HB 2982.  All testimony supported the bill with no opposition either submitted or addressed in person. The bill is sponsored by Hawaii adoptee Chris Lee (D-51).  It now goes to the House Floor for a vote. A companion Senate bill may be introduced as early as next week.

Bastard Nation submitted testimony and  BN Special Legislative Adviser Shea Grimm flew into Honolulu to give her personal  testimony.

The Hawai’i legislature has a comprehensive, easy-to-navigate bill page so instead of posting our testimony here as we usually do,  we’re posting a link to the bill page so you can follow its progression.  Click on “Testimony” in the right column to download all testimony.  If you just want to go straight to the testimony go here.

Here’s a snip, from each statement:

 

Bastard Nation:

There is no state interest in keeping original birth certificates or other adoption records sealed from the adult 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.

Hawaii’s current complicated “search and consent” laws do not reflect current adoption best practice and culture, and as we’ve noted above, the reality of technology and social media which has been eagerly embraced by adoptees and their families in search of information that is rightfully theirs, denied them by the state.

Shea Grimm:

I am aware that the Committee has received written testimony that more thoroughly addresses the issue of the legal issues and implications of HB 2982. I only want to add, that birthparent anonymity is not something that was promised or could ever have been promised to birth parents, and that has only become exponentially more so for the DNA and search reasons I enumerated above. Laws change and the things that people were able to do or not do one year, might not be true the next year. Whether marriage equality or other laws that have evolved over time as our social mores and sense of justice has changed, the law must keep up with society. Times have changed. Adoption is, or shouldn’t be, secret or shameful. There is not, or shouldn’t be, a stigma associated with being adopted, or born out of wedlock, a birth parent, or an adoptive parent. Sealed records laws simply perpetuate these outmoded and harmful stereotypes and attitudes. It is my belief that adult adoptees have a right to the original record

Chris Lee

Thank you, Chris Lee, for sponsoring HB 2982!

 

Please drop a note of thanks to the following AYES:

repmcdermott@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repthielen@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repwoodson@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repmorikawa@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repkawakami@Capitol.hawaii.gov, rephashem@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repcreagan@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repbelatti@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repbrower@Capitol.hawaii.gov, reptakayama@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repnakashima@Capitol.hawaii.gov,  reprhoads@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Twitter

reprhoads@Capitol.hawaii.gov, @RepBelatti,@MarkNakashima

And a special note of thanks to Chris Lee (also a committee member). He’s one of us!

  •  repclee@Capitol.hawaii.gov
  • @chrisleeforhi
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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Mary Ellen says:

    Bravo, Shea Grimm and Chris Lee!

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See our state partners:

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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

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Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Missouri Open

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Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Equal Access Oklahoma

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Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Open Adoption Records in Quebec

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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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