Friday, April 02, 2010


There is a very bad adoptee rights bill going through the Illinois General Assembly. HB 5428 has already passed the House of Representatives and is in the Senate Assignments Committee now, awaiting a referral to a regular committee.

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. Remember, these are the very same birth mothers who irrevocably relinquished all legal rights to their children decades ago.

2. HB 5428 has provisions in it where the state can actually redact all identifying information from some adoptees' original birth documents.

3. The bill would divide adoptees into two 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.

4. This bill would have to have a fiscal note. Illinois is laying off teachers because it can't pay them. It's outrageous to think of the state spending even one dollar of taxpayer's money on a year-long campaign to tell birth mothers of their new "right" to file denial forms. This campaign is spelled out in the text of the bill.

5. HB 5428 would also need new monies in order to print all of new forms that the bill calls for. Money will also be needed to hire people to manage the several layers of new red tape that is written into this bill.

We must stop this bill in its tracks. HB 5428 has already passed in the House, which means it's half-way home. The bill's sponsor, Representative Sara Feigenholtz (Dem-Chgo) put this bill on a fast track in order to keep the bill hidden from the public.It was kept so quiet that it did not even have a public hearing to accept oral and written testimony from the citizens of the state. Not one word about the bill was ever written about or talked about in the IL media. I guess that's what the reps do with a contentious bill.

Tracking the bill was made difficult by giving the bill a "generic" name; a name that wouldn't call attention to itself as being about adoptee rights or birth certificates. HB 5428 is titled "Adoption Registry - Info - No Sunset."

Ironically, I read about the bill on March 18 or 19th, a day AFTER the bill passed on the House floor. I opened one of my Google Alerts and what do I see but a link to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Newspaper - yep, that's St. Louis, MISSOURI. I understand that some folks in southern Illinois read this newspaper. But it sure is odd that this is the one and only place the bill has received any publicity. If this were such a wonderful bill, I would expect Representative Feigenholtz to have called a press conference to announce that her bill had been approved by the House of Representatives.

The best thing that could happen to this bill would be for it to be pulled. Since I don't envision Representative Feigenholtz doing anything of the sort, the next best thing could happen in the Assignments Committee. This committee could chose not to release this bill, and the result would be a dead bill in June.

If the bill does get a referral to a Senate Committee, then this will be the next place to kill the bill. We'll keep you informed.

Please write a short letter to the members of the Assignments Committee, asking them to keep this bill out a Senate Committee until the legislative session is over. You can also write to the sponsors of the bill in the Senate. Ask them to please revisit and reconsider the ramifications of HB 5428. Ask them to change the bill so it becomes a true adoptee rights bill.

Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr.,
Senator Don Harmon
Senator Louis Viverito,
Senator Kirk Dillard
Senator Dale Righter

Senator A. J. Wilhelm
Senator Ira Silverstein
Senator Iris Martinez

1 comment:

Von said...

Very good wishes with givig this the fate it deserves.