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New Hampshire Adoption Legislation and Law

Text of SB335

How to apply for your original birth certificate:  New Hampshire Vital Records adoption records FAQ and order forms

NEW HAMPSHIRE RESTORES ADOPTEE RIGHTS!

Adult adoptees born and adopted in New Hampshire regained access to their own original, pre-adoption birth certificates following the enactment of Senate Bill 335 by the New Hampshire General Court. The new law took effect on January 1, 2005, and allowed adult adoptees to receive copies of their original birth certificates upon request, without restriction. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Lou D’Allesandro (D-District 20), led the successful legislative campaign and resisted attempts to place restrictions on the legislation, which would have resulted in much more limited access by adult adoptees to their own original birth certificates.

Rep. Janet Allen (R- Dist. 31 and member of the BN Executive Committee) and the Deputy Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Rep. Michael Whalley (R-Dist. 31), championed the legislation alongside Sen. D’Allesandro.  photo RepJanet.jpg Rep. Allen, an adult adoptee and member of the Legislative Committee of Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization, made an impassioned plea for passage on the House floor, citing the fundamental fairness of treating adopted citizens the same as all others with regard to accessing their own government-held birth certificates.

Senate Bill 335 was originally drafted by Paul Schibbelhute, a birth father residing in New Hampshire and member of the New Hampshire grassroots group which supported the legislation alongside a partnership of individuals and national organizations including the American Adoption Congress and Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization.

ADDRESS TO ADOPTEE RIGHTS SUPPORTERS DELIVERED BY MARLEY GREINER, EXECUTIVE CHAIR OF BN, IN CONCORD, NH ON JANUARY 3, 2005

Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization is happy and proud to be here in Concord today to share in the celebration as the Great State of New Hampshire joins pro-adoptee Kansas, Alaska, Oregon and Alabama in restoring the right to records and identity to those born and adopted in the state.

We would especially like to thank Sen. Lou D’Allesandro for his vision and perseverance, his refusal to cave-in to compromise, his belief that ALL those born and adopted in New Hampshire should be treated with equal respect, dignity, and rights, not as dirty little secrets locked up by the state. If every state had a Senator D, records would be open for all of us in just a few years. We also thank Rep. Michael Whalley and our own Rep. Janet Allen, for all their support and work and without whom none of us would be here today. And we certainly thank “civilians” Paul Shibbelhute of the American Adoption Conference, and Donna Chagnon for their fortitude, belief in open records and for the innumerable hours put into the road to victory. Finally, thanks to William Bolton, director of Vital Records and his staff for their gracious diligence in completing the implementation of the law. Because of you all, and others whose names I don’t know, adopted persons throughout the United States are one state closer to total victory. You have all made history!

Rights are one size fits all. No matter the temptation, there is no longer any reason to accept compromise legislation that divides the adoptee class and simply doles out records to some and none to others. For those states, then who have not yet achieved victory, New Hampshire serves as an example of what can be accomplished without compromising principles.

In California yesterday, in response to Fox’s new reality series Who’s Your Daddy, which premieres tonight, adoptee rights activists under the banner of the Adoptee Rights Organizing Project and BN staged the Honk If You’re My Daddy! action at Fox TV in Century City. We skewered Fox and exposed the hypocrisy of those in the adoption industry whose doom and gloom over the show bellied their own complicity in maintaining the sealed records system that creates the conditions for the very show the condemn. The protesters in California salute the free adoptees of New Hampshire.

For more information about the New Hampshire open records campaign go to our website www.bastards.org and click on the New Hampshire news on the front page. We recently updated our New Hampshire page, and you’ll now find a large collection of documents including news stories, committee testimony, and pictures, which we’ll continue to update.

Bastard Nation welcomes New Hampshire into the winner’s circle!

Marley Elizabeth Greiner

Exe. Chair, Bastard Nation

 

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 SB sponsor of SB335 Sen. D and House Speaker Mike Whalley celebrate with Janet Allen and members of the SB335 coalition, January 3, 2005 

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Rep. Janet Allen with husband David becomes first to receive her OBC under HB335, January 3, 2005 

Bastard Nation Statements on SB 335:

Bastard Nation statement on House passage of SB 335, April 30, 2004

Bastard Nation statement on enactment of SB 335, May 11, 2004


SUPPORT for SB335

Testimony in support of SB 335, Marley Elizabeth Greiner, Exe. Chair Bastard Nation, April 6, 2004

Letter of support for SB335 from Holt International, April 28, 2004

Testimony in support of SB335, Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute

Testimony in support of SB335, Elizabeth J. Samuels, Associate Professor of Law, University of Baltimore School of Law


OPPOSITION TO  SB335

National Council for Adoption analysis of SB 335, Thomas Atwood, President, National Council for Adoption

National Council for Adoption statement on enactment of SB 335, May 12, 2004

Citizens for Life Action Alert against SB 335


SB 335 IN THE NEWS

Nashua Telegraph, February 1, 2004

Endorsement: Adoption measure would be fair to all

Manchester Union Times, February 2, 2004

Paid Ad in Support of Open Records for Adult Adoptees (paid archives)

Concord Monitor, February 17, 2004

Bill says adoptees have right to know; law would give adults birth certificates; opponents say parents’ privacy violated

Concord Monitor, February 20, 2004

Letter: No guarantee of lifelong secrecy, Elizabeth J. Samuels

Concord Monitor, February 20, 2004

Letter: Extreme denial, Stacie Byrd

Concord Monitor, February 20, 2004

Letter: The cruel hoax of closed adoption, Donna Chagnon

Manchester Union Times, March 11, 2004

Endorsement: Ought to Pass: A few new laws for NH (paid archives)

Manchester Union Leader, March 12, 2004

Bill giving future adoptees access to birth records moves ahead (paid archives)

Concord Monitor, April 7, 2004

Birth papers hearing elicits personal tales; bill proposes access to certificates by adoptees

Portsmouth Herald, April 21, 2004

Endorsement: Adoptees should have right to know about their genetics

Manchester Union Leader, April 23, 2004

Another View: Pro: Treat adoptees as adults, Steve Varnum, guest columnist (paid archives)

Manchester Union Leader, April 23, 2004

Another View: Let parents be anonymous, Thomas Atwood, guest columnist (paid archives)

New Hampshire Public Radio, May 7, 2004

The Exchange: Adoption Issues with Rep. Janet Allen’s (audio download)

WMUR, Channel 9, Manchester, May 11, 2004

Bill alllowing adoptees access to birth records will become law

Manchester Union Leader, May 12, 2004

Adoption information law enacted (paid archive)

Foster’s Daily Democrat, November 18, 2004

Law boosts rights for adoptees

PoliticsNH.com, December 19, 2004

The complete story on opening birth records, Sen. Lou D’Allesandro

Laconia Citizen, December 20, 2004

Law change just first step for adult adoptees

Women’s eNews, December 29, 2004

Commentary: Birthmothers, adoptees have right to records by Lorraine Dusky

WMUR-TV, Manchester, December 30, 2004

New law allows adoptees to get birth certificates


New Hampshire State Legislature
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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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