The 2016 Legislative Session has ended. While the Minnesota bill for adoptee access to original birth certificates (HF 2247/SF 2132) passed Senate HHSH Committee, it did not advance further. We are committed to passing OBC legislation and will build on this year’s successes and be ready for the 2017 Session.
HF 2247/ SF 2132
Chief authors: Rep. Melissa Hortman (D), Sen. Michelle Benson (R)
Read full text, see co-authors, and track bills at: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=Senate&f=SF2132&ssn=0&y=2015
- 99.5% of MN-born adult adoptees would be able to receive their original birth certificates by request from Minnesota Department of Health Vital Records.
- The remaining 0.5% of adoptees who have an affidavit of non-disclosure attached to their birth certificate would have an appeal process through the court.
- Birthparents will continue to have the option of filing a non-disclosure. (Only 1 non-disclosure was filed during 2010-2014.)
- Birthparents will be able to state their preference for contact (“Yes, I would like contact”, “No, I do not want contact”, or “Yes I want contact, but through an intermediary.”) This contact preference option has been added to many states that have recently passed access legislation and helps the adoptee know if reconnection is desired and includes a birthparent’s contact information.
Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora – https://afaad.wordpress.com
American Adoption Congress – http://www.americanadoptioncongress.org
Children’s Home Society of MN – http://www.chsfs.org
Concerned United Birthparents – MN chapter – http://www.cubirthparents.org/twin_cities.php
Evolve Adoption and Family Services – http://evolveservices.org
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota – http://www.lssmn.org
Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform – http://mnadoptreform.org
MN Adopt – https://www.mnadopt.org
North American Council on Adoptable Children – http://www.nacac.org
What happens next?
The companion bills HF 2247/SF 2132 were introduced April 2015 at the end of the first year of the 2015-2016 Biennium Legislative session. Public education and discussion occurred during the interim May 2015 – March 2016. The Senate bill SF 2132 passed through the Health and Human Services and Housing Committee on March 24, 2016 and was referred to Judiciary Committee. ……..
For more information and how you can help
Send an email to: MnAdoptReform@yahoo.com;
December 2015 Costco Connection Magazine published results of debate:
see online at: http://www.costcoconnection.com/connection/201512?pg=13#pg13.
A bill has been introduced in the 2015-2016 Minnesota Legislature as a result of working with the Citizens League of Minnesota from October 2014 to January 2015. Adoption stakeholders in MN participated in discussions that resulted in a consensus agreement and has been endorsed by the following stakeholders:
- Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora
- American Adoption Congress – http://www.americanadoptioncongress.org
- Children’s Home Society of MN – http://www.chsfs.org
- Concerned United Birthparents – MN chapter – http://www.cubirthparents.org/twin_cities.php
- Evolve Adoption and Family Services – http://evolveservices.org
- Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota – http://www.lssmn.org
- Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform – http://mnadoptreform.org
- MN Adopt – https://www.mnadopt.org
- North American Council on Adoptable Children – http://www.nacac.org
Event November 8 – “Adoption – In Our Own Words” was fabulous thanks to authors, speakers and co-sponsors American Adoption Congress, AdopteesMN, Concerned United Birthparents (MN), and Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform.
(To see all November National Adoption Month events in Minnesota, click on Events tab above.)
16 States currently allow adoptees to access their own original birth certificate (OR, NH, ME, AL, WA, DE, TN, IL, CO, RI, NJ, OH, CT, MT, and Alaska and Kansas which never denied access.)
States that recently passed access legislation:
Connecticut: July 5, 2015
Montana: passed April 2015 – became effective 10/1/2015 http://laws.leg.mt.gov/legprd/LAW0210W$BSIV.ActionQuery?P_BILL_NO1=397&P_BLTP_BILL_TYP_CD=HB&Z_ACTION=Find&P_SESS=20151#sed_table
Colorado (effective January 1, 2016) https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/adoption
New Jersey passed 5/24/14 (effective 2017) http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/05/christie_signs_law_releasing_adoptees_birth_certificates_in_2017.html
States working on legislation:
Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Texas, Massachusetts (additional access), Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Missouri.
For more info, see http://www.americanadoptioncongress.org
Today is National Adoption Day. The Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform will again be lobbying for the right of adoptees to have access to their original birth certificates. Seventy-four years ago, Minnesota Law 1939, chapter 89, section 1, placed adoptees’ original birth certificates “under seal” and under a culture of shame and secrecy.
Open adoption has demonstrated that both adoptees and birth mothers have a need to know. Secrecy kills.
Antiquated laws? Start with that one.
EUNICE ANDERSON, Burnsville