A Texas Monthly article features the work of the Texas Adoptee Rights Coalition and the story of TXARC spokesperson Shawna Hodgson. The story also highlights details of pending equal rights bills in Texas, including HB1386, which is set for hearing this coming week in the Public Health Committee.
From the story:
Hodgson, who did not know her birth parents’ names, went to court twice, and both times she was denied. A judge in Harris County even told her she needed her adoptive parents’ permission, despite the fact that she was 38 years old. She ultimately spent five years conducting her own search, during which she says she spent more than $15,000 on everything from DNA testing to private investigators. After all the arduous effort, Hodgson says, ‘When I met my birth family, it was like a photo that was blurry came into view.’ The search fired her up so much that she became an advocate for other adoptees, and is now a spokeswoman for the Texas Adoptee Rights Coalition.
The new bill was introduced in the Senate by Democrat Nathan Johnson, and in the House by Representative Cody Harris, a Republican who represents an East Texas district that includes Palestine and Corsicana and who is an adoptive dad himself. Harris said his experience of adopting his daughter Chloe, now seven, out of foster care and “just seeing how guarded and limited the information is from an adoptive parent’s perspective” greatly informed his decision to sponsor the bill.
‘I believe everyone should be able to know where they came from and gain access to that information. It covers everything from knowing your own family medical history about things you might be predisposed towards to diseases that you could take a preventative approach to if you only had the information,’ Harris says.
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equality for all Texas-born adoptees.