Representative Gina Calanni introduced a long-awaited adoptee rights bill today in the Texas House of Representatives. HB2725 will finally restore a right that has been restricted in Texas since 1957: the right of all Texas-born adult adoptees to receive their own original birth certificates upon request.
The bill amends the discriminatory Texas vital records law that has for six decades prohibited adopted Texans from obtaining their own original birth records when they are adults. The bill aligns Texas law with reality, where people are not secrets and the genetics and genealogy of humans cannot be hidden by government, especially from the people whose own records are at stake.
“We’re thrilled with the leadership of Representative Calanni, who understands what equality means for adoptees and for all Texans,” said Shawna Hodgson and Kim Dimick, Texas adoptees and two of the leaders of the Texas Adoptee Rights Coalition.
What the Bill Does
TXARC has for months helped with drafting and reviewing the bill. If enacted, HB2725 will:
- Restore the right of all Texas-born adoptees, at age 18, to obtain noncertified copies of their own original birth certificates upon request;
- Allow a deceased adoptee’s descendant, adult sibling, surviving spouse, or adoptive parent to request and obtain the adoptee’s original birth certificate;
- Create an optional and genuine contact preference form that a birthparent may complete, which expresses that parent’s preference for contact with the adoptee;
- Allow birth parents to file a supplemental medical history form that would provide additional information to the adoptee;
- Require adoption agencies to inform birth parents of the provisions of the new law and the availability of the contact preference form;
- Go into effect on September 1, 2019, though some provisions related to the use of the contact preference form are delayed until January 1, 2020.
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