Bastard Nation Action Alert: Write to Oppose HB 1525 and SB 5118 Today!


The State of Washington currently has two bills running, one in the House and the other the Senate, promoted by politicians as OBC access bills. They are not! 

It is true that both bills, “open” OBC  access  to the majority of  pre-1994 adoptees, who are currently barred, except by court order from access.    Importantly, however   the bills  continue to maintain the current sealed records system  (1) with an expanded Affidavit of Disclosure procedure (Disclosure Veto)  and (2) a misnamed  “contact preference form” which acts as a DV on top of the Affidavits that covers all adoptees, no matter when they were born or adopted.  Both authorize third parties to bar the state from releasing  the birth certificate of adoptees to whom they pertain.  Only four (4) Affidavits of Disclosure have been filed  in Washington since 1993, and those were filed in June 2012 in what appears to be an attempt by opponents to derail enactment of a similar bill last session. Legislators prefer to hold the  rights of thousands of the state’s adoptees hostage to “protect” the vague  “interests”  and comfort zone of  four anonymous persons.

Washington legislators have made it clear that they will not pass a clean, non-restricted bill this session. Tina Orwall, an adoptee and sponsor of the the House bill supports restricted access to “get something passed.” On the Senate side, her friend Sen Ann Rivers, an out first mother  wants  to “protect” other women from their own adult offspring. The Senate bill which originally was restrictive was, in fact, amended to a clean bill, and later amended back to a restricted bill.

Over the protest of numerous individual adoptees, their families and state and national adoptee rights activists and adoption reform organizations, both bills, passed out of their respective chambers and are now waiting for concurring language and a vote in their opposite chamber..

We do not know which bill will eventually become THE bill, so we are sending out an action alert opposing both.

The Bills and their legislative history:
HB 1525

Brief Description
Regardless of when an adoption was finalized, the DOH must provide an adult adoptee, upon the adoptee’s request, a noncertified copy of the adoptee’s original birth certificate, unless the birth parent has filed a valid affidavit of nondisclosure. An affidavit of nondisclosure is valid for five years from the date of filing for an adoption finalized on or after October 1, 1993, and 10 years for an adoption finalized before October 1, 1993. A birth parent may renew the affidavit before it expires by filing a new affidavit and may continue to renew the affidavit or file a new affidavit if the previously filed affidavit expired. An affidavit is considered expired upon the death of the birth parent.

SB 5118

Brief Description:  
 For adoptions finalized after October 1, 1993, the DOH must provide a noncertified copy of the original birth certificate to an adopted person age 18 or older upon request, unless the birth  parent has filed a valid affidavit of nondisclosure before the effective date of the act, or has filed a valid contact preference form that indicates the birth parent prefers not to be contacted. For adoptions finalized on or before October 1, 1993, the DOH may not make available a copy of the original birth certificate until after June 30, 2014. After June 30, 2014, the DOH must  provide a noncertified copy of the original birth certificate to an adopted person age 18 or older  upon request, unless the birth parent has filed a valid contact preference form that indicates the  birth parent prefers not to be contacted.
HB1525 and SB5118 are Irredeemable
Talking Points
  • Identifying information about surrendering parents often appears on court documents given to adoptive parents who can at any point give that information to the adopted person. The names of surrendering parents are published in legal ads. Courts can open “sealed records” for “good cause.” Critically, the OBC is sealed at the time of adoption finalization, not surrender. If a child is not adopted, the record is never sealed. If a child is adopted, but the adoption is overturned or disrupted, the OBC is unsealed. 
  • Disclosure vetoes do nothing to restore the right of all Washington adoptees to access their OBCs.  They maintain the current archaic and discriminatory sealed records system by permitting some adoptees the privilege or favor of access, while  segregating  others who are denied access due to third party intervention.  No other person or class born in the State of Washington or in the US is subjected to similar third party interference and birth certificate denial.
  • A “contact preference form” is NOT  not a Disclosure Veto or a Contact Veto. A genuine contact preference form as created in Oregon is non-binding.  It never contains a disclosure or contact veto or any other restriction to the issuing of an original birth certificate to any adult adoptee who requests it.
  • Adopted adults, especially since 9/11, are increasingly denied passports, drivers licenses, pensions, Social Security benefits, professional certifications, and security clearances due to discrepancies on their amended birth certificates, and their inability to produce an original birth certificate to remedy the problems. Proposed changes in passport application regulations will make it literally impossible for some adoptees to ever receive a passport without an accessible paper trial to the OBC. Should Washington’s adoptees be denied these rights and entitlements due to lack of an OBC or “legal birth certificate?”
  • The government has no business moderating the consensual relationships of adults 
Further reading

Bastard Nation: Testimony in opposition to SB5118
Watch  Bastard Nation’s Lori Jeske testimony before the Senate Social Services and Corrections Committee
Quick and Dirty mail list:
You need to write only one email; cut and paste in the addresses below.  (You may need to divide the list in half or in thirds depending on your email program.)

[email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected] ;[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected] ; [email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];

Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization
PO Box 9959
Spokane, WA 99209
Phone/Fax 415-704-3166

One Reply to “Bastard Nation Action Alert: Write to Oppose HB 1525 and SB 5118 Today!”

  1. HB 1525 passest the Senate and is likely on its way to the Governor for consideration. Proponents of a clean bill or nothing can contact Governor Jay Inslee:

    Ask him to either veto the contact veto provision or the bill in its entirety.

    After the Senate President signs the bill the Governor has five days to either sign or veto a bill. If he does nothing the bill automatically goes into effect.

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