The American Adoption Congress, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to adoption issues and adoption reform efforts, released the following letter, which endorses HB2725, the adoptee rights bill sponsored by State Representative Gina Calanni. A PDF copy of the letter is here.
Texas State Representative Gina Calanni
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
March 4, 2019
This statement is furnished to express support by the American Adoption Congress for the “clean” Bill of Adoptee Rights in Texas (HB2725) as well as support for the efforts of the Texas Adoptee Rights Coalition. As you know, HB2725 allows:
- Unrestricted access to original birth certificates (OBC) for adult adoptees, just like all citizens and adults who “age-out” of foster care
- Creates an optional and genuine contact preference form that a birthparent may complete, which expresses that parent’s preference for contact with the adoptee
- Allows birth parents to file a supplemental medical history form that would provide additional information to the adoptee
At the age of 18, all Texans have the legal right to obtain their original birth certificate, except for adopted adults. The American Adoption Congress feels that now, after years of consideration, committee hearings, and overwhelming support in both House and Senate chambers, Texas is poised to join the nine other states with unrestricted access policy. This belief is consistent with our formal legislative policy for “clean” adoption reform.
Further, we expect passage of HB2725 will lead other large and diverse states to enact proper reform. The time is now. The right to know one’s identity is a human right that should not be incrementally bestowed or categorically denied to any American.
Birth parents were not promised lifelong anonymity from the daughters and sons they surrendered for adoption. There is no law in Texas that legally guarantees anonymity to birth parents or birth families. These, and the various other arguments offered by opponents to reform, have been thoroughly refuted with constructive results in other states.
The American Adoption Congress began in 1978. The group officially formed the American Adoption Congress in 1980 with the goal of championing adoptee rights, with emphasis on gaining universal access to original birth certificates for adoptees. The AAC incorporated in 1981 and has been a 501(c)(3), registered in the state of Missouri, since 1982.
We hope this statement may assist. We thank you for the introduction of HB2725 and ongoing efforts to advocate for adult adoptee human and civil rights.
AMERICAN ADOPTION CONGRESS
National Legislative Chair