Adoptee access to their own original birth certificates
Washington Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee
March 21, 2013
Presented by Lori Jeske
Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization is the largest adoptee civil rights organization in the United States. We support only full, unrestricted access for all adopted persons, to their original birth certificates. (OBC). We do not support any restrictions such as the Affidavit of Disclosure, Disclosure Vetoes (DV), Contact Vetoes (CV), white-outs, or any other restricted access to a true copy of the original birth certificate.
HB 1525 is being purported as a bill that supports “adoptee rights”. However, the bill continues the State of Washington’s discriminatory sealed birth records system. While this bill would allow a substantially larger number of adult adopted citizens access to their original birth certificate, the bill continues to prohibit the release of original birth certificates due to the “Affidavit of Non-Disclosure” which serves a privilege for only four (4) citizens at the present time.
Affidavit of Non-Disclosure: This form is onerous and only serves as a discriminatory privilege. The Affidavit of Non-Disclosure was implemented into state law back in 1993 and applies only to Washington adoptions finalized on and after October 1, 1993. This Affidavit of Non-Disclosure creates 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.
Sponsors of HB 1525 claim the bill will restore the civil right of adult adoptees to access their original birth certificate, yet the bill continues to abrogate that right by continuing to let the legislature control our birth records and who gets what, instead of treating all adoptees in a uniform manner under law. This attitude might be politically expedient and meant only to justify past bad legislation. It does not, however, justify the continued denial of the right all Washington’s adoptees once enjoyed, A right exists or it doesn’t. A right is not contingent on third party approval.
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