Bastard Nation, the Adoptee Rights Organization, the largest adoptee civil rights organization in North America, urges the passage of Rhode Island S478 Sub AA, which restores the right of all Rhode Island adoptees to access their original birth certificates without restriction, upon request.
We are, however, disappointed by the age qualification of 25, set by the Senate, since the House earlier had voted 66-0 for H5443 Sub A which authorized the access age at 18, the state’s age of majority.
That said, lawmakers in both Houses have already decided that Rhode Island adoptees have a right, as they did until 1944, to their original birth certificates, so it is imperative to restore that right now, and get a clean law on the books and working.
We believe that in the near future, the access age set out in S478 Sub A should be and can be reduced to the age of majority in order for the adopted and not-adopted to be treated the same under law and policy regarding public document access. The age discrepancy sets a bad precedent.
We are grateful for the support Rhode Island House Members have shown in the past for adoptees and our rights. We trust this support will continue, even with a somewhat flawed bill.
We urge you to vote DO PASS on S478 Sub AA. It’s passage will put Rhode Island in the forefront of adoption reform in the United States today.