It’s time to kill the Missouri “adoptee rights” bill. It may have been time to do so a month ago, and I admit I may have been wrong and even naive to think the bill stood a chance of being cleaned up. Instead, it continues to go south, and may even get worse.
If you are text-impaired and wondering what’s going on and cannot figure it all out by trying to keep up with the various changes to the bill, then here’s a quick infographic breakdown. I hope it visualizes what is happening and how language in the bill has been added or changed over time. If you click on any of the circles, it should bring up the text of the bill at that time, just in case you need to verify that I have it all shipshape. I’m also ignoring provisions in the bill that are minor or not critically related to access to an original birth certificate.
There are a few other things in the bill that have also been amended or added since its introduction, like medical history provisions and extending out access to birth certificates to January 2018 “to allow time for birth parents to file a contact preference form.” But the main problem continues, and that is a zombie disclosure veto and no apparent or real strategy to deal with the “left behinds” other than likely also making them forgotten left behinds.
Pull the bill now. Talk candidly with the sponsor, who is an adoptee, and figure out a way to pull the bill and fight a different fight another day, presumably next year or the year after. We cannot continue to enshrine—at birth and with an adoption agency’s direction—the notion that birth parents have a right to instill secrecy. Enough is enough.