Track Legislation

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Why hasn't this already happened? Can't we just get Congress to amend the Constitution?

Given that federal courts have declined to consider Constitutional arguments in support of access to OBCs and records, it appears unlikely that there will ever be a related amendment to the U.S. Constitution. History shows that state-by-state legislative reform is rarely a "one size fits all" endeavor.  The majority party, lobby groups, legislator personal agendas and unrelated legislative priorities all influence potential amendments and outcomes. ARC believes that advocates in each state are the experts on policy or incremental steps for that state. This site is not intended to tell you how to think about any particular bill. Instead, its goal is to provide tools to help you make the decision for yourself. 

Arizona

HB2921/SB1831 was signed into law 6/29/21. The billed was approved by the House as introduced, then amended by a powerful opposing lobby group in the Senate, despite the valiant efforts of local advocates and sponsors. Order a pre-1968 OBC here

Connecticut

HB 6105, repealed the state's previous "sandwich" law provides access to OBCs for adult adoptees, regardless of when the adoption took place. Click here for instructions about how to order a CT original birth certificate.  

Iowa

HF855/SF589 was signed into law 5/19/21, thanks to the efforts of Iowa grandmother Michelle Spear and the Iowa Adoptee and Family Coalition. Click here to learn how to order an OBC from the Iowa Department of Public Health.  

Rhode Island

S250 lowered the age of access from 25 to 18, aligning the statutory age with all other non-adopted citizens. This year, Rhode Island advocates are seeking to include adult descendants of adoptees as eligible parties, as a number of states currently do.  

State

FL    SB1390 /HB1369 filed and assigned to multiple committees. Session ended with no further action.

ID   S1320 prospective-only bill with certain conditions. Passed by the House and Senate. Sent to governor for signature..

KY    HB727 is a prospective access bill that also would expand retrospective access in cases where no birthparent consent or refusal is on file with the cabinet. Assigned to Committee on Committees.

LA HB 450 Approved unanimously by House. Assigned to Senate Judiciary A.

MA    HD.1543/SD.1142  Approved by House, awaiting Senate action.

MN     SF328/HF470 - SF328 was amended to include a later effective date, then pulled by sponsor before a 2021 committee vote on the bill. 

MS   OBC access bills have died in committee during 2021 and 2022. 

RI  H7310 expands OBC access to include descendants and legal representatives 

SC HB4566 is a retrospective and prospective OBC access bill that requires birth parent consent prior to release to the adult adoptee. 

VT  H629 expands existing retrospective conditions of access to include pre-1986 adoptions. Amended to include a "former parent non-disclosure" provision and approved by House and Senate. Signed by governor 5/3/22.

S275 Calls for a proposal to evaluate possible creation of a central repository for adoption agency records, and procedures for release under certain con- ditions to adult adoptees. Registry personnel could be given decision making power to weigh competing interests of parties.

WI    SB 483 / AB 502 Introduced and heard in Senate and House Committees. The legislature adjourned early with no votes on these bills.  

SB 524 Related bill designed to help descendants of deceased adoptees obtain the OBC. Enrolled 2/25/22. 

WV SB 55 Provides OBC access adult adoptees with redaction option. Requires redacting birth parent to provide medical history.   

 HB 2943 provides OBC access to adults age 21+ upon request and payment of a fee, under certain conditions. Potentially ambiguous language.

Image: Billy Hathorn, SC State Senate Chamber

Federal

HR 1593, - The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021 has been approved by the US House of Representatives after being tacked onto the America COMPETES Act of 2022. See the 2/4/22 press release from Rep. Adam Smith. 

HR 1952, S 938 - Intercountry Adoption Information Act of 2019

Image: Luis Velasquez

The law must be consonant with life. It cannot and should not ignore broad historical currents of history. Mankind is possessed of no greater urge than to try to understand the age-old questions: “Who am I” “Why am I?” Even now the sands and ashes of the continents are being sifted to find where we made our first step as man. Religions of mankind often include ancestor worship in one way or another. For many the future is blind without a sight of the past.

 

Those emotions and anxieties that generate our thirst to know the past are not superficial and whimsical. They are real and they are 'good cause' under the law of man and God. 

 

The petition is conditionally granted. 
IT IS SO ORDERED
April 9, 1979 

[Signed] 
WADE S. WEATHERFORD, JR. 
Resident Judge, Seventh Judicial
Circuit Court, South Carolina