Sunday, March 21, 2010
Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization, the largest adoptee civil rights organization in North America, opposes S799. We recommend that this bill be defeated on the Senate floor
S799 permits some New Jersey adopted adults to receive their true and accurate original birth certificates. Others, through the compromise language of the birthparent disclosure veto, will receive only a false and mutilated government document with the name and address of the parent(s) bureaucratically excised by the Department of Health and Senior Services by order of the birthparent(s).
Bastard Nation rejects the special right of birthparents to remove their names from the birth certificates of their own adult offspring. No other parent has that right. Why should birthparents have different rules?
We are also troubled that the bill requires birthparents, under specific circumstances, to submit a medical and health history to the state, a requirement that is most likely illegal under HIPAA and other privacy laws.
Since 1999 four states have restored to adoptees the unrestricted right to records and identity access: Oregon through ballot initiative, and Alabama, New Hampshire, and Maine through legislation. Why should New Jersey buck the tide and pass a bill that continues to treat adoptee access to their own birth certificates as a favor, not a right--a right that the non-adopted enjoy without a second thought?
Rights are for all citizens, not favors or privileges doled out by legislators and special interest groups. New Jersey does not segregate rights by religion, ethnicity, age, or gender. It should not segregate rights by birth, adoptive status, or parental preference.
Either go back and create a clean bill that restores the rights of all adoptees to full citizenship or kill this discriminatory bill that does nothing but grant favors to some and blacklists others.
All of the New Jersey's adoptees must enjoy equal protection, due process, and dignity. New Jersey adoptees deserve better than this.
Bastard Nation: the adoptee rights organization
Anita Walker Field
Nina M. Greeley
Marley Greiner, Executive Chair
PO Box 1469
Edmond, OK 73083-1469