After painstaking work with legislators and legislative staff that began in the fall, we now have a solid draft of a clean adoptee rights bill in Texas. The draft bill does the following:
- Restores the right of all Texas-born adoptees, at age 18, to obtain noncertified copies of their own original birth certificates upon request;
- If the adoptee is deceased, allows the adoptee’s descendant, adult sibling, surviving spouse, or adoptive parent to request and obtain the adoptee’s original birth certificate;
- Creates an optional and genuine contact preference form that a birthparent may complete, which expresses that parent’s preference for contact with the adoptee;
- For parents who do not prefer contact, requires the filing of a supplemental medical history form that would nevertheless provide additional information to the adoptee;
- Goes into effect on January 1, 2020, for all provisions.
It is a necessarily simple and straightforward bill that does what all clean bills must do: recognize and restore to adult adopted persons the equal right to request and obtain their own vital records.
We will continue to work with legislators and legislative staff to secure sponsors of the bill. We will also be visiting with past supporters and co-sponsors to assure that the overwhelming support on this issue in the past continues this session.
In the end, we cannot succeed without you. As the bill moves forward in the coming months, we will need your strong support to convince Texas legislators that restoring adoptee rights is the right thing to do. Make sure you join our efforts so that we can count on you during the current Texas legislative session.