Adoption Reform Organizations Statement on Illinois HB 4623 Records Access
We, the undersigned members of the adoption community, urge legislators
to oppose Illinois House Bill 4623. As written, this bill offers some adopted adults the chance to access their original birth certificates, while banning others from accessing theirs.
Illinois adoptees should be treated the same as non-adopted Illinoisans who face no birth certificate access restrictions. We urge legislators to reject the current compromise language of this flawed bill, and to create a new bill that will restore the civil right, rescinded in 1945, of all Illinois adopted adults to access their original birth certificates without bureaucratic restraint or third party interference.
This bill is merely a convoluted extension of the existing mandatory intermediary system. It turns equal access to adoptees' public records into a question of search and reunion, instead of addressing the civil right of all persons to access their original birth certificates.
Our organizations are united in our concern that the amended bill was not the bill that was posted for weeks on the Illinois legislative web site. This amended bill was not available online until March 13th, 2008, the day the bill passed through committee, making it impossible to present testimony.
"For The Records: Restoring A Right To Adult Adoptees," a comprehensive study published by
The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute examines the issue:
Access to one's own birth certificate is not a favor to some, but a right for all.
Anita Walker Field
Illinois Open Access Coalition
Green Ribbon Campaign For Open Records
Opposition to HB 4623
Ron Morgan and Kali Coultas
Day For Adoptee Rights
Oklahomans for Adoption Reform and Honesty
Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization
Betty Jean Lifton, Ph.D.
Adoption Counselor, Author, "Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness"
Melissa Holub, Ph.D.
President-Elect Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology
Author, "The Other Mother: A Woman's Love for the Child She Gave Up for Adoption"
Author, "Finding Me In A Paper Bag"
Erik L. Smith
Sandy White Hawk
Executive Director, First Nations Orphan Association, South St. Paul, MN