BASTARD NATION ACTION ALERT
STOP WASHINGTON HB1525 AND SB5118
SAY NO TO CONTINUED AND EXPANDED DISCLOSURE VETOES
The State of Washington currently has
two bills running, one in the House and the other the Senate,
promoted by politicians as OBC access bills. They are not!
It is true that both bills, "open" OBC access to the majority of pre-1994 adoptees, who are currently barred, except by court order from access. Importantly, however the bills continue to maintain the current sealed records system (1) with an expanded Affidavit of Disclosure procedure (Disclosure Veto) and (2) a misnamed “contact preference form”
which acts as a DV on top of the Affidavits that covers all adoptees, no matter when they were born or adopted. Both authorize third parties to bar the state from releasing the birth certificate of adoptees to whom they pertain. Only four (4) Affidavits of Disclosure have been filed in Washington since 1993, and those were filed in June 2012 in what appears to be an attempt by opponents to derail enactment of a similar bill last session. Legislators prefer to hold the rights of thousands of the state's adoptees hostage to "protect" the vague "interests" and comfort zone of four anonymous persons.
Washington legislators have made it clear that
they will not pass a clean, non-restricted bill this session. Tina
Orwall, an adoptee and sponsor of the the House bill supports
restricted access to “get something passed.” On the Senate side,
her friend Sen Ann Rivers, an out first mother wants to "protect" other
women from their own adult offspring. The Senate bill which
originally was restrictive was, in fact, amended to a clean bill, and
later amended back to a restricted bill.
Over the protest of numerous
individual adoptees, their families and state and national adoptee
rights activists and adoption reform organizations, both bills, passed out of their
respective chambers and are now waiting for concurring language and a
vote in their opposite chamber..
We do not know which bill will
eventually become THE bill, so we are sending out an action alert
The Bills and their
Regardless of when an adoption was
finalized, the DOH must provide an adult adoptee, upon the adoptee's request, a noncertified
copy of the adoptee's original birth certificate, unless the birth parent has filed a valid
affidavit of nondisclosure. An affidavit of nondisclosure is valid for five years from the date of filing
for an adoption finalized on or after October 1, 1993, and 10 years for an adoption finalized
before October 1, 1993. A birth parent may renew the affidavit before it expires by filing a
new affidavit and may continue to renew the affidavit or file a new affidavit if the previously
filed affidavit expired. An affidavit is considered expired upon the death of the birth
For adoptions finalized after October 1, 1993, the DOH must provide a noncertified copy of the original birth certificate to an adopted person age 18 or older upon request, unless the birth parent has filed a valid affidavit of nondisclosure before the effective date of the act, or has filed a valid contact preference form that indicates the birth parent prefers not to be contacted. For adoptions finalized on or before October 1, 1993, the DOH may not make available a copy of the original birth certificate until after June 30, 2014. After June 30, 2014, the DOH must provide a noncertified copy of the original birth certificate to an adopted person age 18 or older upon request, unless the birth parent has filed a valid contact preference form that indicates the birth parent prefers not to be contacted.
HB1525 and SB5118 are Irredeemable
information about surrendering parents often appears on court
documents given to adoptive parents who can at any point give that
information to the adopted person. The names of surrendering parents
are published in legal ads. Courts can open “sealed records” for
“good cause.” Critically,
the OBC is sealed at the time of adoption finalization, not
surrender. If a child is not adopted, the record is never sealed. If
a child is adopted, but the adoption is overturned or disrupted, the
OBC is unsealed.
- Disclosure vetoes do nothing to restore the right of all Washington adoptees to access their OBCs. They maintain the current archaic and discriminatory sealed records system by permitting some adoptees the privilege or favor of access, while segregating others who are denied access due to third party intervention. No other person or class born in the State of Washington or in the US is subjected to similar third party interference and birth certificate denial.
- A "contact preference form" is NOT not a Disclosure Veto or a Contact Veto. A genuine contact preference form as created in Oregon is non-binding. It never contains a disclosure or contact veto or any other restriction to the issuing of an original birth certificate to any adult adoptee who requests it.
adults, especially since 9/11, are increasingly denied passports,
drivers licenses, pensions, Social Security benefits, professional
certifications, and security clearances due to discrepancies on their
amended birth certificates, and their inability to produce an
original birth certificate to remedy the problems. Proposed changes
in passport application regulations will make it literally impossible
for some adoptees to ever receive a passport without an accessible
paper trial to the OBC. Should Washington's adoptees be denied these rights and entitlements due to lack of an OBC or "legal birth certificate?"
- The government has no business moderating the consensual relationships of adults
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