Saturday, April 17, 2010

URGENT ACTION ALERT: Illinois HB 5428 - Contact Senators Now!

It's not too late to let your voice be heard!

STOP HB 5428 !

Don't let Illinois continue to gut the rights of Illinois adoptees!



Talking points

HB 5428:

conflates rights with reunion. It confuses OBC access with contact with a parent. It retains the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Exchange (IARME), and currently outsources the registry process to the privately owned Midwest Adoption Center as the OBC gateway; thus, keeping the vital records of the state’s adoptees at the mercy and whim of “confidential intermediaries” and paid “searchers” in an inherently arbitrary system accountable to no one.

2. vacates, though parental disclosure veto power (see #4) 750 ILCS 50/10) (from Ch. 40, par. 1512) FINAL AND IRREVOCABLE CONSENT TO ADOPTION which states in part:
That I do hereby consent and agree to the adoption of such child. That I wish to and understand that by signing this consent I do irrevocably and permanently give up all custody and other parental rights I have to such child. That I understand such child will be placed for adoption and that I cannot under any circumstances, after signing this document, change my mind and revoke or cancel this consent or obtain or recover custody or any other rights over such child.

It also contradicts its own language:
“Surrendered person” means a person whose parents’ rights have been surrendered or terminated but who has not been adopted.” (p 11)

3. divides Illinois’ adopted citizens into two arbitrary classes based solely on date of birth: worthy and unworthy. Worthies are born before January 1, 1946. Their OBC is released upon request--like the not-adopted. Unworthies are born after that date. Their OBC release is subject to a lengthy menu of regulations, restrictions and other people’s decisions about access, none of which are under the adult adoptee’s control.

4. subjects Unworthies to five subcategories of parental permission. These categories are not based in a public or civil rights /equal protection and treatment paradigmn. but on state-granted privilege. The bill predicates release on a “special right” for parents whose rights were terminated decades ago, which no other parent or adult has: a special right to deny another adult his or her own birth certificate.

5. Parents (referred to as “birthparents in the bill) are given five “preferences” to choose from:
a. Agree to full release; parent prefers direct contact
b. Agree to full release; parent prefers contact through a personally designated third party
c. Agree to full release; parent prefers contact through IARME
d. Agree to full release; parent prefers no contact
e. Prohibit release of the OBC or certain designated information on the OBC. Depending on the parent’s “preference” the prohibited adoptee may receive the OBC with specific information deleted. In other words, the State of Illinois will deliberately mutilate its own public record at the request of a private individual—in most cases a virtual stranger to the requester--to abrogate the right the “basic right” state says the adoptee has.

6. forces adopted persons who have been denied their birth certificates, to wait FIVE years before they can appeal the decision. At that time, IARME, upon petition, can search for the parent to request an updated medical history and/or confirm the continuance of the prohibition.

7. levies a minimum $10,000 punitive damage claim, payable to the “sought-after relative” against any individual—a CI, state employee, even the adopted person-- who uses information allegedly received from the IARME to identify the relative who has requested “anonymity.” How the source of information is to be determined is anybody’s guess.

8. includes a provision for a massive taxpayer funded public information campaign including a website, press releases, and printed notices about the law enclosed with drivers license and vehicle renewal applications. This cost does not include the cost of retention of separate birth, adoption and registry records, general maintenance of IARME, and outsourced searches which the state has no legal or fiscal responsibility to pursue. We have seen no fiscal note at this time, but under the current state government budget slashes, such expenditures are irresponsible and wasteful.

For further information go to BN's testimony here.


Please contact Illinois Senators now and let them know that HB 5428 has no support from adoptees, adoptee rights advocates, and the adoption reform committee.

Senators have no published email addys so it's all about phone calls and faxes. Go here for a contact list.


Also go here for some other addy inks and updates.

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