Denver 2022: Mile High Momentum
To borrow a phrase from iconic rock band The Grateful Dead, what a long, strange trip this pandemic has been.
The 2020 NCSL Summit was cancelled, and the August 2021 Indy Conference was relocated to Tampa and postponed until November 2021. Adoptee Rights Coalition team members attended, and had a wonderful time spinning the Wheel of Adoptee Fortune/Misfortune and meeting with and educating legislators next to the Gulf of Mexico.
To everyone's post/ mid- COVID surprise, a bevy of varied, mostly incremental bills have been signed into law in the 2021 and 2022 sessions in Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Vermont, providing further evidence that state-by-state flexible strategy is effective. At the time of this writing, Massachusetts HD.1543/SD.1142 awaits Governor Baker's signature, joining its New England neighbors in the repeal of "sandwich" laws and restoring unfettered OBC access to all adult adoptees, regardless of when the adoption took place. Respect and honor goes out to everyone whose long-term dedication has changed laws and lives, and now fuels a magnificent nationwide momentum.
Suddenly, it was August 2022 and the Adoptee Rights Coalition booth showed up in Denver with a new logo and new banners featuring a powerful message: Truth and Transparency in Adoption is Good Policy for Everyone. The landmark Big Blue Bear outside the Denver Convention Center offered conferees a huge, warm greeting as they rode the escalator up to the exhibit hall.
We invited the Coalition for Truth and Transparency in Adoption and the US Donor Conceived Council to share our booth on the heels of the historic passage of CO SB 22-224, which removes gamete donor anonymity and provides other protections starting in 2025. News of the bill's passage made a big splash at the NCSL, and legislators from three states are already taking a serious look at sponsoring similar measures in their states.
A passionate team of birth/first moms, adoptees, and our first-ever donor-conceived person staffed the booth, greeting visitors from as far away as Asia and South Africa. The number of people with a connection to adoption and a story to tell is always remarkable. It was a special treat to see legendary bill sponsors NY Assemblyman David Weprin and IL Senator Sara Feigenholtz visit our booth together.
Based on the high level of interest expressed by a variety of lawmakers, staffers, and policy wonks, we would not be surprised if another bevy of bills is on the way. If you have not yet had a chance to contribute to the Breakfast Club, please consider a donation in any amount. See you next year in Indy!