Friday, April 19, 2013

Bastard Nation Action Alert: Write Washington Inslee Governor Today! Kill HB1525

Washington HB1525 passed the Senate and is on its way to the governor's desk.  If signed, it will promote and continue the state's sealed records system and deny the right of all Washington adoptees to their original birth certificates.  As other state's  restore adoptee rights and open our OBCs,  some Washington adoptees will find the right to their OBC subject to the whim of third party approval and comfort and will have no chance of ever getting it.   Don't let this happen! Write directly to Governor Jay Inslee and tell him why HB1525 is bad for adoptees, their families and the State of Washington.  Contact information for him is here.  (a template for email)  There is also information for phone and fax contact at that link. Phone:  360-902-4111 TTY/TDD users should contact the Washington Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-833-6388. Fax:   360-753-4110 Email a copy of your note to  Insle's senior polilcy adviser Andi Smith at We have only a couple days to get this message to the Governor's Office. Below is a copy of Bastard Nation's letter to Governor  Inslee sent on April 17.  Send us a copy of your letter  to comments below, and  we'll  post it here.
Kill HB1525!
Dear Governor Inslee: Bastard Nation, the Adoptee Rights Organization, opposes the passage of HB1525 We have submitted both written an oral testimony in opposition to this bill and its SB5118 companion. HB1525 is promoted by sponsors as an “adoptee rights bill” that will allegedly make available to adoptees upon request, a copy of their original birth certificates. Nothing could be further from the truth. HB 1525 does not restore the right of Original Birth Certificate (OBC) access once enjoyed by all persons born and adopted in the state. It make access conditional by segregating the “worthy” adoptee from the “unworthy” by means of an Affidavit of Disclosure/Disclosure Veto and a misnamed “Contact Preference Form.” Briefly:
  • The Affidavit of Non-Disclosure/Disclosure Veto (DV) creates and maintains a special third party privilege for birth parents that no one–parent or otherwise in the entire United States–-possesses: to bypass state law and to personally bar the state from releasing another person’s birth certificate to the person to whom it pertains. The current law has permitted DVs for those adopted since 1993, but according to testimony from the Washington State Department of Health and verified by email to our Washington representative Lori Jeske. only four (4) had been filed, in those 20 years, and those were only filed June 2012 , which suggests an attempt to derail last year’s similar legislation.
  • The misnamed Contact Preference Form (CPF) in the current legislation serves as the exact opposite of its original and legal purpose and intent. A genuine CPF, passed in other states allows biological parents to voluntarily voice their preference for contact with the adoptee, without any legal ramifications. A “no contact” preference, does not bar release of the OBC; it only serves as a preference for personal contact for the person filing it.
Adopted 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. Adoptees without a genuine original birth record could soon be barred from running for public office. Last year, at least 10 states, introduced legislation requiring presidential and vice-presidential candidates to present their original birth certificates to appropriate authorities to prove citizenship eligibility for office. Some of these bills go farther, mandating anyone running for office to prove an identity through an original birth certificate. It is no stretch to think that someday soon adoptees could be barred from voting due to lack of “legal birth certificates.” Should these rights and entitlements be nullified for adoptees because OBC access might make some people “uncomfortable?” Why should the “preference” of four anonymous persons in the state hold the rights of all Washington adoptees hostage? The irony of this is that the birth certificates of of adopted persons are not sealed until the time of adoption finalization, and if a child is not adopted, the OBC remains open and available to the relinquished-for-adoption person. If the adoption is disrupted or voided, the the OBC remains open and available to him or her. Moreover, the Internet and other technologies have made adoption secrecy and anonymity moot. HG1525 is a horrible bill. It is is a greatly damaged bill that does not speak for nor support Washington's adopted population, nor their biological or adopted families. The bill instead supports special interests and anonymous fear mongers. Within the next few years the OBCs of adopted adults will continue to be unsealed throughout the country. Washington, as a progressive state, should be happy to be in the forefront of change, not lagging behind in a misguided attempt to preserve special privilege over rights. The right to an OBC is not about reunion. It is about the restoration of the civil right of adoptees to acquire their own OBCs upon request. Veto HB1525 It's the right thing to do! Sincerely yours, Marley Greiner Executive Chair Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization Bastard Nation is dedicated to the recognition of the full human and civil rights of adult adoptees. Toward that end, we advocate the opening to adoptees, upon request at age of majority, of those government documents which pertain to the adoptee's historical, genetic, and legal identity, including the unaltered original birth certificate and adoption decree. Bastard Nation asserts that it is the right of people everywhere to have their official original birth records unaltered and free from falsification, and that the adoptive status of any person should not prohibit him or her from choosing to exercise that right. We have reclaimed the badge of bastardy placed on us by those who would attempt to shame us; we see nothing shameful in having been born out of wedlock or in being adopted. Bastard Nation does not support mandated mutual consent registries or intermediary systems in place of unconditional open records, nor any other system that is less than access on demand to the adult adoptee, without condition, and without qualification.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bastard Nation Action Alert: Stop Washington HB1525 and SB5118 Today!


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 opposing both.

The Bills and their legislative history:
HB 1525

Brief Description
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 parent.

SB 5118

Brief Description:  
 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
Talking Points
  • Identifying 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.
  • Adopted 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 
Further reading

Bastard Nation: Testimony in opposition to SB5118
Watch  Bastard Nation's Lori Jeske testimony before the Senate Social Services and Corrections Committee

Quick and Dirty mail list:
You need to write only one email; cut and paste in the addresses below.  (You may need to divide the list in half or in thirds depending on your email program.);;;; ;;;;; ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization
PO Box 9959
Spokane, WA 99209
Phone/Fax 415-704-3166


Thursday, March 08, 2012

Oklahoma HB 2634: Geographically Limited Action Alert

Oklahoma: HB 2634--Geographically limited Action Alert

Important:  please read the guidelines before you write . This is a limited action alert for those born in Oklahoma or current residents.

From Pat Marler:

Great news! HB2634 was placed on the House of Representatives Floor Calendar today! It will be heard between the 12th and the last day to be heard, the 15th.

This is a clean bill with no restrictions; only a contact Preference Form which does not affect the release of the OBC. 
The following are e-mail addresses for the Representatives and we want all those who were born or live in Oklahoma to please write these Representatives and tell them why passing this legislation is important to all adult adoptees born before 1997. It is a sensitive way to let a birth parent to let the adoptee know how or if she/hewants to be contacted. Also, if there is no contact wanted, the birth parent will be asked to fill out a medical and social history to be given along with the Contact Preference form to the original birth certificate.

IMPORTANT:   HB 2634 sponsor Rep. Ben Scherrer  requests that  emails not be sent until  Monday morning March 12.  He wants them to be fresh in the legislators' minds. He also wants them short and to the point.

Read the bill here and then write:

Representative Email

Armes, Don

Banz, Gary W.

Bennett, John

Billy, Lisa J.

Blackwell, Gus

Brown, Mike

Brumbaugh, David

Cannaday, Ed

Casey, Dennis

Christian, Mike

Cockroft, Josh

Condit, Donnie

Coody, Ann

Cooksey, Marian

Cox, Doug

Dank, David

Denney, Lee

Derby, David

DeWitt, Dale

Dorman, Joe

Enns, John

Faught, George

Fourkiller, William

Glenn, Larry

Grau, Randy

Hall, Elise

Hamilton, Rebecca

Hardin, Tommy

Hickman, Jeffrey W.

Hilliard, Wes

Holland, Corey

Hoskin, Chuck

House District 71

House District 88

Inman, Scott

Jackson, Mike

Johnson, Dennis

Jordan, Fred

Joyner, Charlie

Kern, Sally

Key, Charles

Kirby, Dan

Kouplen, Steve

Liebmann, Guy

Lockhart, James

Martin, Scott

Martin, Steve

McCullough, Mark

McDaniel, Curtis

McDaniel, Jeannie

McDaniel, Randy

McNiel, Skye

McPeak, Jerry

Moore, Lewis H.

Morgan, Danny

Morrissette, Richard

Mulready, Glen

Murphey, Jason

Nelson, Jason

Newell, Tom

Nollan, Jadine

Ortega, Charles

Osborn, Leslie

Ownbey, Pat

Peters, Ron

Peterson, Pam

Pittman, Anastasia

Proctor, Eric

Pruett, R. C.

Quinn, Marty

Renegar, Brian

Reynolds, Mike

Richardson, Phil

Ritze, Mike

Roan, Paul D.

Roberts, Dustin

Roberts, Sean

Rousselot, Wade

Russ, Todd

Sanders, Mike

Schwartz, Colby

Scott, Seneca

Sears, Earl

Shannon, T. W.

Shelton, Mike

Sherrer, Ben

Shoemake, Jerry

Shumate, Jabar

Steele, Kris

Stiles, Aaron

Terrill, Randy

Thomsen, Todd

Tibbs, Sue

Trebilcock, John

Vaughan, Steve

Virgin, Emily

Walker, Purcy D.

Watson, Weldon

Wesselhoft, Paul

Williams, Cory T.

Wright, Harold