Thursday, March 30, 2006

Adoptee Hell in Maine


By Anita Walker Field

The Maine Joint Judiciary Committee is deliberating Representative Gerald Davis’ pure open records bill, LD 1805. Representative Davis’ bill would allow all adopted adults unconditional access to their original birth certificates.

Newspapers and other reliable sources tell us that a majority of the committee members of the Joint Judiciary Committee are out to gut LD 1805 and replace it with one of the most repressive and restrictive adoptee (no) rights laws in the country.

It’s one thing to disagree with Bill LD 1805 and vote “No.” That happens every day in state legislatures around the country. It’s how things work. But not in the Maine Joint Judiciary Committee!

Senator Deborah Pelletier-Simpson and Representative Sean Faircloth have grasped at this chance to re-write the adoption law in Maine in a way that will leave Maine adoptees worse off than before this bill was introduced. They are using LD 1805 as a jumping off point to Adoptee Hell.

It is HATEFUL for legislators to take advantage of a committee situation and amend the hell out of a bill in order to fulfill their personal prejudices against adoptees , Representative Pelletier-Simpson and Senator Faircloth have flushed LD 1805 down the toilet


1) Remove the provision from current Maine law that provides for adoptee access to records prior to August 8, 1953. Yes, you read it correctly! Representative. Pelletier-Simpson and and her cohorts, as well as Senator Faircloth, want to take away from adopted adults a right that is already encoded in Maine Law. Instead of retroactively opening all birth records for adopted men and women as LD 1805 originally proposed, this gang wants to retroactively seal all records.

2) Prospectively provide restricted access by adult adoptees
to adoption records sealed in the Probate Courts. Get it? Prospectively. That means that 18 to 21 years from now *some* adopted adults may be able to access their original birth certificates. Isn’t that generous?!

3) Prospectively provide restricted access by adoptive parents of minors to adoption records sealed in the Probate Courts.

4) Prospectively allow original parents to submit a confidentiality request (disclosure veto) with 7 days of surrender and release, consent, or termination of parental rights. There’s the two nasty terms again: PROSPECTIVE & DISCLOSURE VETO.

5) Impose a confidential search business on the Probate Courts, which are understaffed and overloaded with work, and allow them to subcontract for search services. Search services are none of the state’s business!


Ironically, Senator Faircloth was an original co-sponsor of LD 1805. I think someone dropped him on his head because he has now turned himself around and has offered a unique amendment equally as repressive, restrictive, and mean as Representative Pelletier- Simpson’s amendments.

Senator Faircloth agrees with the Pelletier- Simpson amendments, including the one to remove the right of adoptees born before 1953 to access their birth records. Now, from one of his worst nightmares, Representative Faircloth has dreamed up another humiliating and hateful restriction to impose on adopted adults.

6) The Faircloth Amendment will prospectively allow all adoptees unrestricted access to their original birth certificates upon reaching the age of 40 and to adoptee descendants if the adoptee is deceased


We have heard that there may be 4 or 5 votes for the original bill, LD 1805, as written by Representative Gerald Davis.

We have also heard that Representative Pelletier-Simpson has 5 votes for her "new bill" and Senator Faircloth has at least another 2 votes for his monstrosity.

LD 1805 is doomed! It must be killed in the House of Representatives before Maine adoptees find themselves living in Adoptee Hell. And it must also be killed before it gives any other states nasty ideas about how to treat their adopted citizens.