URGENT ACTION ALERT – ILLINOIS HB 5428
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Illinois HB 5428, the bill that is supposed to help adoptees get their obcs, but doesn’t - is on the move again. It was rushed through the House and passed on the House floor by a vote of 74 – 67. Now it’s going quickly through the Senate. It must be stopped right now in the Judiciary Committee.
The Illinois Judiciary Committee has scheduled a public hearing for HB 5428. It will be held on Tuesday, April 13, at 2:30 pm in Capitol 400, Springfield, IL. We hope that some of you will be able to attend and speak to the committee. This will be our opportunity to speak out and talk directly to these senators.
If public speaking isn’t your thing, then please consider coming anyways because we really need to have the committee members look out into the audience and see a lot of people who object to this bill. Your very presence in that room is extremely important!
We are also asking everyone to write and/or call the committee members before the hearing on the 13th. (Contact Information below)
The only way for Illinois to be a truly open state some day is to stop conditional legislation such as HB 5428 from getting a foot in the door now. We want a state where every single adoptee is free to request his obc, with no restrictions or alterations. We want a state where adoptees will be equal among themselves as well as with all other non-adopted citizens.
We need an unconditional bill to accomplish this goal. HB 5428 won’t help. It is a conditional bill (see specifics below) which will keep some adoptees locked out of the system for good.
The legislators will not revisit adoptee problems any time soon if they can get HB 5428 in the law now. History has proven this to be true.
The legislators do not care about the percentage of adoptees whose birth mothers will file a disclosure veto and keep them from getting a birth certificate. If the law makers really cared, they would change this bill right now so that 100% of Illinois adoptees could get their obcs. The legislators have absolutely no incentive to come back again another year – and they won’t.
Here is the law from Oregon. It is simple, to the point, and does the job. This is the kind of law we want but we will NEVER get it if HB 5428 passes.“Upon receipt of a written application to the Illinois Dept. of Public Health, any adopted person 21 years of age and older born in the State of Illinois shall be issued a certified copy of his/her unaltered, original and unamended certificate of birth in the custody of the Dept. of Public Health, with procedures, filing fees, and waiting periods identical to those imposed upon non-adopted citizens of the State of Illinois.”
The State of Illinois must no longer be allowed to honor an archaic sealed records law enacted in 1946 that took away from 100% of the adoptees their right to access their original birth certificate without restrictions or falsifications. Now, in 2010, we want the State of Illinois to restore that right to 100% of the adoptees in the state. We want all adoptees to be equal to all other adoptees and to all of the non-adopted citizens when it comes to accessing their birth certificate.
WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC OBJECTIONS TO HB 5428?
1. HB 5428 would give birth parents a right to stop an obc (original birth certificate) from being issued to their adoptee. Any birth parent would have an entire year to file a Denial Form. The bill details several ways in which the state will advertise the new bill to try to reach as many birth mothers as possible and let them know about their new option to file a denial form. And remember, these are the very same birth mothers who irrevocably relinquished all legal rights to their children decades ago.
2. The state will allow birth parents to legally veto an obc. Therefore, it follows that the state is actually transferring to birth parents a part of its statutory authority to issue official birth certificates. Birth parents have no legal standing in the law and must not be given any such standing.
3. This bill would permit the state to white-out historical birth information from either a copy or an original document that the state officially issues – both unacceptable.
4. The bill would divide adoptees into two arbitrary categories: those born before January 1, 1946, and those born after. The adoptees born before this date would be allowed to get their obcs without any restrictions or falsifications. Those born after Jan. 1, 1946 will comprise the pool of all adoptees who will be eligible for a birth parent veto.
5. This bill will cost the state a lot of money and the state is nearly broke; it’s laying off teachers and closing public schools right now.
6. HB 5428 is a search and reunion bill – not an adoptee civil and human rights bill. If adoptees want help from the state in search and reunion matters – then let the social workers and the searchers write a separate bill. Search and reunion issues do not belong in a bill to own one’s birth certificate.
7. HB 5428 is a birth mother- rights bill – not an adoptee civil and human rights bill. Birth parents have no standing in the law and should not be given standing in an adoptee bill. If birth mothers want the state to protect their anonymity, then let them write their own bill.
The archaic 1946 law should be repealed. In its place a new and simple law can then be enacted, one similar to the states of Oregon, Alabama, New Hampshire, and Maine. Kansas and Alaska never sealed their records and adopted adults in those states have always been able to freely access their birth certificate. Unsealing obcs for all adoptees can be done very easily. Just ask anyone from these 6 states. They have been no litigation, no birth parent uprisings, no citizens coming back to the legislature demanding that the law be changed, and no social upheaval, as some had predicted.
You can read the full text at: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=76&GA=96&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=5428&GAID=10&LegID=50466&SpecSess=&Session=
Status of the bill : http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=5428&GAID=10&DocTypeID=HB&LegId=50466&SessionID=76&GA=96
Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization
Questions? Please write to anita5000@comcast. net or firstname.lastname@example.org
We are very much aware that some of these email addresses may not be correct. It is extremely difficult to get any senate email addresses. They “don’t want them to be given out.” So please do the best you can and try and get through to as many as possible.
A short phone call to the senator’s office is an excellent alternative. FAX’s are good too.
ILLINOIS SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
Phone 217-782-8148 FAX (630)-969-1007
RANDALL M. HULTGREN
Phone 217-782-8022 FAX (217)-782-9586
Phone 217-782-4471 FAX (847) 776-1494
DALE A. RIGHTER
217 – 782-6674 FAX (217)-235-6052
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WILLIAM R. HAINE
217-782-5247 FAX (217) 782-5340
217-782-8181 FAX (847-735-8184)
217-782-7746 FAX (217) 782-2115
217-782-5338 FAX (773) 681-7166
IRA SILVERSTEIN Co-Sponsor of bill
217-782-5500 FAX (217-782-5340)
217-782-8176 FAX ( 708) 848-2022
A.J.WILHELMI Chief Sponsor of the bill
217-782-8800 FAX (815) 207-4446
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Representative Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chgo) is the main sponsor of the bill in the House of Representatives.