New Hampshire Adoption Legislation and Law
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. 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
SB sponsor of SB335 Sen. D and House Speaker Mike Whalley celebrate with Janet Allen and members of the SB335 coalition, January 3, 2005
Rep. Janet Allen with husband David becomes first to receive her OBC under HB335, January 3, 2005
Bastard Nation Statements on SB 335:
SUPPORT for SB335
OPPOSITION TO SB335
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)
Bill says adoptees have right to know; law would give adults birth certificates; opponents say parents’ privacy violated
Letter: No guarantee of lifelong secrecy, Elizabeth J. Samuels
Letter: Extreme denial, Stacie Byrd
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)
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)
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
Commentary: Birthmothers, adoptees have right to records by Lorraine Dusky
WMUR-TV, Manchester, December 30, 2004
New law allows adoptees to get birth certificates