Cross-posted from Bastard Nation.


The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for. — Maureen Doud

On November 30, I posted the following piece on The Daily Bastrdette regarding Wisconson AB579/SB521 The time didn’t seem right for an official statement from Bastard Nation since the bill would probably be held over to 2020 or die in committee.  The bills, introduced on October 25, 2019, have been held over, and the Assembly bill is scheduled for a hearing on January 7, 2020, in the Family Law Committee. I have updated my original post and am posting it here and on the Daily Bastrdette. —Marley Greiner


Just when we thought the 2019 legislative season was over, Wisconsin lawmakers decided to move on  AB579 and SB521, a set of really bad “adoption information bills.”

If passed, instead of receiving their Original Birth Certificates upon request, without restriction, Lucky Bastards will receive a court -generated document— a copy of their Report of Adoption form. The form is routinely sent by the court to the Wisconsin Office of Vital Statistics after an adoption is finalized, to request the Amended Birth Certificate be issued. It includes the names of the child, birth and adoptive parents and other OBC information.

This sounds awfully similar to that piece of state-generated-paper scam that Pennsylvania tries to pass off as an OBC.

Judging from the response on the Adoptee Equal Rights Task Force Wisconsin Facebook page, most posters there either haven’t read the bills or don’t care. One supporter refers ahistorically to the bills as “a compromise step toward equality.”

Really? I have a bridge for you.

B579/SB521 is a reunion-only bill, a work-around bill. A really stupid work-around bill. If lawmakers would be so willing to release the Report of Adoption, why not the OBC out the gate? What’s the big deal?

The bills do nothing to further the adoptee right to our birth records, and, in fact, sets the Wisconsin movement back by years. It still denies us access to our birth certificates. We still remain legally second class. Worse in some ways, it makes the movement look politically naive.

According to the Task Force Facebook page, changes have been suggested, including a tack-on unrestricted OBC access amendment. While that might sound like a good idea, the willingness of promoters to compromise right out the gate and then ask for more shows lawmakers that they are willing to ask for less than what they want, and any improved amendment(s) will get booted. At this point, the bill needs to be pulled or ignored. Why is anyone supporting this pointless muddle?

Also, read Greg Luce’s blog on this proposal, My Big Problem With Wisconsin’s Bill, on the Adoptee Rights Law Center page. Besides making a strong statement, he fills in some of the history of Wisconsin’s current complicated law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *