Bastard Nation Action Alert:
Clean HB 1599 Deformed – Turned restricted
Stop Missouri HB 1599
As Bastard Nation predicted, the once clean, unrestricted HB 1599, that would permit all Missouri adoptees access to their original birth certificate (OBC) upon request has been amended into a restricted bill that upholds the state’s sealed records system, original birth certificate redaction, and a spurious right to “birthparent anonymity.” The vote has not been placed on the House calendar, but we need to get our letters in quickly. Please ask the Missouri House to reject this vandalized bill.
On February 9, 2016 the clean, unrestricted OBC access bill, HB 1599, with nearly 50 sponsors, passed the Missouri House Children and Families Committee. That bill was amended before it passed out of committee to include a Contact Preference Form (CPF) which did not restrict release of the OBC. Bastard Nation did not oppose that amendment.
On February 18, 2016, HB 1822, a blocker bill promoted by Catholic Charities and Lutheran Family and Children’s Services with one sponsor, restricting OBC access through redaction and disclosure vetoes was heard and passed by the same committee. Due to Missouri’s unique legislative process both bills, because they covered the same subject, were sent to the House SelectStnading Committee on Social Services where they were “combined” or merged into a totally different HB 1599 with no recourse to additional hearings or committee votes. The bill was “merged” on Thursday, February 18 and will now go to the House Floor for a vote. It has not been heard yet in the Senate.
The new deformed HB 1599 is supported by Missouri Adoption Records Effort (MARM) that argues “it’s as good as it will get” in Missouri. Bastard Nation and CalOpen have withdrawn their support and are now working to defeat the measure.
New HB 1599
The original HBH 1599 has been gutted. Restrictions listed in the deformed HB 1599 are:
- A misnamed “contact veto form “’ (CPF) that acts as a Disclosure Veto (DV). If a parent indicates they do not want to be contacted, an intact true copy of the OBC will not be released to the adoptee.
- If a misnamed “contact preference form” is submitted to the state requesting that no contact be made, that birth parent’s “identifying information” will be removed from the OBC . A redacted OBC will be issued to the adoptee in lieu of a true copy of the OBC. (The bill does not define “identifying information, so it’s reasonable to conclude that the redacted information will be more than just the redaction of a birth parent names).
- If both birth parents listed on the OBC file a DV requesting that no contact be made, the adoptee will receive no OBC.
- A true copy of an OBC will be issued only if an adoptee who is DV’d, submits proof that the birthparent is deceased. How an adoptee can prove a birthparent is deceased if names are unknown is not addressed.
- Adoptees born before 1941 are exempt from the DV provision under the assumption that birthparents are deceased