Here is the link. Here is the letter.
State should pass Adoptees' Birthright bill
We are so frustrated that there hasn't been any progress in getting the Adoptees' Birthright bill posted in the Assembly.
For almost 30 years, advocates have tried to get a bill passed in New Jersey that would permit adult adopted individuals access to a copy of their own original birth certificates. Bills have passed in the Assembly in 1991 and 1994, and in the Senate in 2004, 2006 and in March 2008. (A bill has a two-year life.) The Senate bill, S-611, passed by a 31-7 margin. There are 23 sponsors on the companion bill, A-752, and several others have pledged to sign on. (For details about the bill, go to www.njleg.state.nj.us andtype in the bill number.)
We believe that attempts to broker a compromise have failed, because the Catholic Conference of Bishops controlsAssembly SpeakerJoseph Roberts. He is the single force that is stopping the bill from being heard in the Assembly Human Services Committee. For the past three legislative sessions, we have had the votes for the bill to pass not only in committee, but also on the floor, yet he will not let it be heard, and he won't say why. What is there to fear?
Other opponents include the New Jersey Bar Association, N.J. Right-to-Life, ACLU-NJ and the National Council for Adoption, a Washington-based organization. Note that many of the opposition make their living through adoption.
What's behind the opposition you may ask? They claim that birth mothers were promised confidentiality, yet no one can produce a document backing that up. When the Bar Association was asked at a hearing a few years ago to show where "confidentiality" was promised in the law, they finally admitted that it was not, but said it was implied because records were sealed.
In fact, the New Jersey bill that sealed records in 1940 stated it was "to protect adoptive parents from the birth parents coming back and possibly causing harm or embarrassment."
Right to Life claims that abortions will increase, yet statistics prove otherwise. And the ACLU says they will not support access because of "competing interests."
We have so much data to show that the oppositions' claims are unfounded and that providing adoptees with access to their heritage and possibly updated family medical information is not only healthy for adoptees, but also for birth parents as well.
New Jersey Representative