Friday, January 25, 2002

Cal Open: Adoptee Rights Legislation in California

This page was updated January 2012; please refer to the California Open Website for more information.
For information regarding current access for adoptees and bithparents please see our page about California birth certificates.

Find your California Legislators and write to them.

California Adoption Legislation Bills to Watch in  Session

California Adoption Legislation Bill #AB 73

Author: Asm. Mike Feuer (District 42)
Cal Open Position: SUPPORT

Bill AB 73 Synopsis: This bill would express the intent of the  Legislature to enact legislation to provide that juvenile court hearings  in juvenile dependency cases shall be presumptively open to the public,  unless the court finds that admitting the public would not be in a child's  best interest. The bill would also include a statement of legislative  findings and declarations. Public access to juvenile court hearings has  the benefit of ensuring that the child welfare system can be held more  accountable, and of educating the public about the needs of the child  welfare system.

Contact the Assembly Human Services Committe

California Adoption Legislation Bill #AB 791

Author: Asm. Tom Ammiano

Cal Open Position: SUPPORT

Bill AB 791 Synopsis: This bill would require the court, when it  terminates or declines to order reunification services, to order that  the child's caregiver receive the child's birth certificate, or, if the  child is 16 years of age or older, that the child receive his or her birth  certificate, when appropriate.

Get Involved in the Fight for Birth Certificate Access in California

California Adoptee Rights Email Lists

Join the California Open List Yahoo email group: This listserves as a meeting place for those interested in affirming the identity rights of adult adoptees bornand/or adopted in California. Specifically, California Open seeks to restore unconditional access to birth records by adult adoptees. California Open will also monitor adoption related bills in the California State Legislature and take position on those bills which forward our mission. We believe truth and dignity are GOOD for adoption.

Join the California Open Action Alert List Yahoo email Activist group: This receive only list is an adjunct to California Open membership and  Coalition Partner organizations. It provides periodic alerts for those  whose activism time is more limited. Here you will receive California  Open leadership's posts of important news that requires immediate action  by supporters of adoptee rights.

Follow California Open on Twitter California Open on Facebook

California Open has a private Facebook Group.

You can follow California Open on Twitter

California Adoption Support Live Meetings

  • Sacramento Triad Meeting
  • 2nd Tuesday of every month
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Marie Callender's 
  • (Library Room) 
  • 5525 Sunrise Blvd. 
  • Citrus Heights, CA 95610 
  • RSVP: Jean (916) 213-0992 or

California Adoption Surrender Consent Forms Needed!

California Open has initiated a call for California relinquishment papers, sometimes termed surrender papers. Our purpose is to utilize actual documents in educating lawmakers and voters to the specific language presented to mothers and fathers, who relinquished their parental rights to the state. Copies of these documents should have been provided at the time of signing. Birthparents may request them now, from the agency that assisted them with the relinquishment.

These documents were often provided to adoptive parents, at the time of adoption. They may also be retrieved, by parties to the action, when access is petitioned through the courts. Cal Open intends to explore the specific terminology of the documents, as it varied from decade to decade, when Family Code was amended through the legislature. Through this activity, we can historically dispel the myth that parents were promised anonymity. Further, we will explore the dissonance found within code, specific to the California Birth Index, which was a protected public record, since 1907.

To protect the privacy of parties from the general public, Cal Open will white out legal names, preserving the content and language of the document for teaching purposes.

Issued 05/11/2010

E-mail to:

To FAX, call for dedicated fax line: (916) 213-0992


  1. I am hoping that with the new legislature, reforms to the "closed adoption" rules might be changed in the near future.

  2. I was adopted in 1955. I was fortunate to be able to find my birthmother and meet her. However, due to the circumstances of my conception (she was raped), she was very hesitant to talk about the adoption and I didnt want to further her trauma, so we didnt speak of it much. I was able to find my birthfather death certificate, but have no more info about him. I really want my sealed records opened so that I can have this information and be able to have complete closure.


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