YORK, PA--January 19, 2013--A bill currently available for consideration by the Maryland General Assembly, if passed, would result in thousands of adult adoptees having access to their original birth certificates while also allowing biological parents who relinquished a child to adoption to sign a disclosure veto.
"HB 22 is biased, and if passed will not provide equal access to each Maryland born adoptee," says Jeff Hancock, president of the Adoptee Rights Coalition. "While promoting open adoptions retroactive to 2,000, it also places unfair conditions for older adoptees who seek their personal information."
When a child is adopted in the state of Maryland, the adoptee's original, factual birth certificate is altered--or amended--to make it appear as though the adoptive parents actually gave birth to the adoptee. There is no indication on the amended birth certificate that an adoption even took place. The original, factual birth certificate is sealed away and not legally recognized. Currently, Maryland-born adult adoptees (age 18+) who were born after 1947 are not allowed to access their original birth certificate. In contrast, all non-adopted adults born in Maryland can obtain a copy of their original birth certificates through a simple request process.
The disclosure veto would allow an adult adoptee's biological parents to withhold their identifying information from being included on the copy of the original birth certificate provided to the adoptee. In contrast, all non-adopted adults in Maryland can obtain a copy of their original birth certificates containing all identifying information without a disclosure veto option available to their biological parents.
The Adoptee Rights Coalition does not support HB 22 (cross-filled with SB 165) because it feels that disclosure vetoes result in adult adoptees being treated differently under law from non-adopted adults. The Adoptee Rights Coalition is a national, grassroots group of adoptees, original parents and adoptive parents that supports legislation giving all adopted adults unconditional restored access to their own birth certificates.
For more information on the Adoptee Rights Coalitions, its participation in the National Conference of State Legislatures and birth certificate access in other states, visit www.adopteerightscoalition.com