Friday, June 02, 2006

Rell Vetoes Adoption Rights Bill

Gov. Rell yesterday vetoed a bill that would have allowed adopted children to obtain a copy of their birth certificate when they turned 21.
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.


BRubenstein said...

I agree with the veto only of this bill as their is a substantial privacy right here in question. the law stands now, if a parent elects, the adopted person can see the certificate and if the parent says no, they can't. That seems fair as it stands right now. However the law needs to be amended a bit. If the parent can't be found to state their preference one way ot the other then perhaps the law might be changed next year to include the state giving notice to the last abode of the parent and/or publicating the notice somewhere for a period of time and if there is no response then the adopted person gets the birth certificate.

Anonymous said...

Maybe everything has been said on this that needs to be said because GC did such a good job and BR succintly clarified things. I don't know anything about this issue but it always amazes me that policy like this gets so little discourse.

elancaster said...

To answer Senator Bill Finch's question, "Who owns my birth certificate?" the answer is the government. Not the parent (or birthparent) and not the child. The birth certificate is a record kept by the government to record parentage.

Brubenstein's suggestions "giving notice to last abode of the parent and/or publicating the notice somewhere for a period of time and if there is no response then the adopted person gets the birth certificate", are erroneous in many ways.

Let's break this down. Part one, 'giving notice' violates the very protection Gov. Rell sought to keep in tact - privacy. Giving notice to the 'last know address' violates the confidentiality promised the birthparent. For birthparents who placed as teens and young adults, their last known address is often their childhood home. The chance the birthparent's parent opens the notice is significantly high and would violate the confidentiality promised the birthparent. Many birthparents (especially birthfathers and some college students) never share news of the pregnancy and adoption placement with their parents. 'Public notification' is an even greater violation of privacy unless all identifying information published is that of the child's and none of the birthparent's.

Theoretically, for a 15-year-old birthparent, by 17 they are at an in-state (but out-of-hometown) college, by 24 they are have taken an out-of-state job (where a changed law in their state of placement affects them, but they are not notified of the change), and by 30 they have moved with their spouse overseas chasing a well-deserved and well-paid promotion. Not to mention mid-life and later in life travel, retirement, etc.

Part two, 'no response = release of birth certifciate to adopted person' is like saying 'guilty until proven innocent' for the birthparent. It should be assumed the birthparent requests privacy, before ascertaining they do not. The only fair and just 'default' is privacy. A birthparent is like any other young individual, moving residences frequently.

illegit said...

May I ask of those posting here.. How many are a natural mother who lost their baby to adoption? How many are now an adult adopted person? And how many are people who have adopted other people's children?

I am one of those mothers who lost a child to adoption in 1964. And I, as well as the numerous other natural mothers I now know, have never expected, asked, nor wanted this 'confidentiality crap'. And that is what it is 'crap'. I will protect myself, thank you all very much. I do not need any form of government protecting me from my own child. We are speaking of adults here.. not teeny-boppers nor 'children'. But Adults! That seems to have been very much forgotten.

Why would you 3 people be so against an adult having the same access to his/her OBC, that you all enjoy? Do any of you feel that you have the right to speak for me, a 60 yr old woman who is a mother and a grandmother? I don't think so, nor does Governor Rell.

The Closed Adoption Record System is only to protect the adoptors. To keep the 'myths and lies' in place.. Afterall we don't want those Ungrateful adoptees or those pesty 'birthmothers' to upset the Adoptive Applecart, now do we??

piedpiper said...

As a mother of adoption loss, I find this veto by Rell, unreal. I would like to know just how many mother's have asked for confidentiality? I had my son taken for adoption, and not one of the women I know ever asked for any confidentiality.

These proponents of adoption and keeping the records closed, are now trying to say we mother's have asked for confidentiality. I never did, of course, when all the searches were becoming a reality these legislators, adoption agencies,those that have a vested interest those that adopt want to claim they are protecting us, the mothers.

PLEASE, if "they" had only wanted to protect me like they do now I never would have had my baby taken, for adoption. I sure in hell don't need it now.

Exactly who's privacy is he worried about? I question that is it the adopters or is it the poor mother who lost her baby? I really don't believe its the mother!!

Its all about the adopters always was and always has been.They want protections that the baby they purchased will "not" be allowed to seek out, know or otherwise have the truths to its origins.

Another little fact is that the "personal" freedom he speaks of is only for those that are "not" adopted or mother's
who have lost children.

Adoptee's are forever children, and mother's are forever without their lost babies.

Just where does one's personal freedom infringe upon another??

IN ADOPTION thats where.

I am in full agreement it is a slap in the face of all adoptee's. They are second class citizen's, just as their mother's were when they gave birth.

The future of adoption. I want to see an end to baby buying and those that think they are entitled to take another's baby. I want to see families being helped to stay together and get the same tax help adopters get along with the same help foster care givers get which is twice the amount a young mother receives on welfare. Maybe, if we preserved families our mental health facilities and prisons would not be full of adoptee's along with mother's who have suffered the life long pain of loss.

Third Mom said...

This veto perpetuates secrecy and lies. It infringes on the human and civil rights of adopted people and the mothers who were frequently coerced into surrendering their children.

An adoptive mother

Anonymous said...

i think closed adoptions are cruel and wrong i think closed adoptions should be against the law

Anonymous said...

i dont understand why we have to have closed adoptions they are just wrong

Anonymous said...

closed adoptions only bring problems

Anonymous said...

ban closed adoptions

Anonymous said...

end closed adoptions

Anonymous said...

people need to realize that closed adoptions are evil

Anonymous said...

closed adoptions are nothing but lies for the adopted person adopted people have to live a lie in closed adoptions thats cruel

Anonymous said...

closed adoptions is abusive

Anonymous said...

having to live a life of lies is cruel end closed adoptions