Rell said the bill jeopardized the privacy rights of birth mothers who placed their children for adoption with the understanding that their personal information would remain confidential.
While acknowledging that the bill was "well-intentioned and much-needed in certain respects," Rell said the right to privacy is "a basic tenet of personal freedom" and the bill "violates that principle."
Rell said she worried about the "chilling effect" that the bill would have on future adoptions.(Poitras)
Proponents of the bill, including Sen. Bill Finch (D-Bridgeport), criticized the governor's decision.
Finch said the legislature never sought to open all adoption records, which can include sensitive court documents regarding the termination of parental rights and potentially embarrassing personal information associated with such a decision.
"All we sought was access to the original birth certificate," Finch said. "And if I don't own my own birth certificate, who does?" (Poitras)
I don't know much about the mindset of parents who give children up for adoption, but wouldn't it seem cruel, almost, for the state to give those children to show up unannounced on their doorstep two decades later, demanding answers?
And yet, we all do want to know where we come from, and who we are. Right now adopted children can have access to adoption records, if the biological parents agree. It isn't a perfect system. If they say no, or can't be reached, what then? I can't imagine the frustration.
I can't decide whether this bill would have made things better, or much worse. So it's probably good that it remain on the shelf for another year.
Poitras, Colin. "Adoption Rights Bill Vetoed." Hartford Courant 2 June, 2006.