CARE’s baited breath “want and desire bill, “AB 372, was introduced in the California Legislature on February 23. Sen. Fiona Ma is the sponsor.

CARE has not disappointed us, bringing forward a bad bill. No, excuse me. I’m wrong. Not bad. Atrocious.

Though advertised as an “open records bill,” as written now, it will do nothing to restore the right of Cal adoptees to their own birth records. It will, in fact, if passed, probably make it more difficult to retrieve an obc than it already is.

To assure us illiterates (and I bet that includes its own members who hit the roof when they saw the bill), that we just don’t “understand” what the bill really says, CARE posted a disclaimer on its website a few hours ago:

(a word about reading a bill: Legislative language, and the language of statutes, can be confusing. The language is based upon existing legal code which encompasses thousands of pages that are all interrelated. The chane that we are requesting will allow adult adoptees over the page of 18 access to their original record of birth. The text herein is written by the legislative counsel for the California Assembly and is written for lawyers, not for lay people. What’s important is that it cretes a legal right for adult adoptees to get their birth records.)

Whew! That’s a relief! We can all relax. The bill doesn’t mean what is says.

Like Nebraska’s old “safe haven’ law which let kids under the age of 19 be dumped off by their parents with no questions asked. But…but..that wasn’t our intention. We didn’t think anybody would take us seriously. We didn’t mean it. Tell that to the 50 or so teens and preteens dumped and otherwise effected by Nebraska’s “non-intentions.” And their parents and guardians, now facing abandonment charges.

What’s all the fuss about?

Due to the carefree non-intention of CARE, California adoptees would be required to petition the court to get their obcs…AND a judge would be the final authority on whether the original information would be released. Names of first parents would only be released if the adoptee proved a need to establish a legal right”! (whatever that means?)


Sounds like CARE has channeled Marc Zapalla!

Think I’m making this up? This comes directly from the bill:

The name and address of the natural parents shall be given to the petitioner or requester only if he or she can demonstrate that the name and address, or either of them, are necessary to assist him or her in establishing a legal right. In all other cases, that information shall be redacted from all records and information provided, including a copy of an original record of birth.

But that’s not what the bill REALLY means.

I mean you can read the whole bill here to see what it really means.

I’ve worked with legislation since the 1970s, much of it non–adoption related, Never have I heard one single bill pusher say a bill doesn’t mean what it says–at least publicly while they’re flogging it in the hopper. Never have I seen a disclaimer like CARE’s. I have worked on several bills in the Cal Assembly and never have I needed a translator to understand the text. Since many of the assembly members are not lawyers, are we to assume, by CARE’s standards, that California lawmakers are too dumb (like us) to grasp what a blll really means? Or to be able to read open records bill with the simple language of Alabama, New Hampshire, and Maine?

If CARE is really serious about getting this bill passed, they should put Don Rumsfeld in charge of their Ministry of Truth. He’d fall right in with their adoptaspeak

If SB 372 is a placeholder, then CARE has a responsibilityand duty to its members and every person adopted in California to say it is. There is nothing but silence on their webpage. As far as readers are concerned, SB 372 is their baby. What is one supposed to think?

CalOpen has reconstituted specifically to stop this dreadful bill and create an environment for a clean records bill. Bastard Nation, a 9-year member of CalOpen Partners, opposes AB 372 and urges you to oppose, too. An updated partners list will be published soon.

Please join CalOpen. Unlike joining CARE it won’t cost you a dime or your dignity!

CalOpen has a Yahoo list you can join, also. You can find a link to it on the CalOpen page.

CalOpen also has a MySpace page, and I understand a Facebook page is up, but I don’t yet have the addy. If you have accounts on ether, drop by and be a friend.

We can defeat this bill with your help–and create and environment for a clean bill to pass.

Get mad as hell and don’t take it any more!


  1. This is indeed a garbled bit of legislation. These points seem indisputable:

    1. An adoptee 18 or older must file a petition with a court to start the process. (Filing fees in my state are more than $250.00 at present, and likely to rise due to budget shortfalls.)

    2. The file must be obtained and reviewed by the court.

    3. The court “may” grant the petition, in its discretion.

    It is unclear to me, after 25 years in law, whether the court must redact the names and addresses of the parents identified on the OBC in all cases or only in those cases in which the adoptee has satisfifed the court that the information is “needed”.

    Here’s a real open records bill:

    “All persons age 18 or older shall be provided a non-certified copy of any birth certificate issued within this State in connection with their birth or adoption upon payment of a fee to be established by ___. Certified copies of original birth certificates shall not be provided to adopted persons for whom an amended birth certificate has been issued by any State.”

    I know, too complicated.


  2. I am mad as hell! I am a member of the CUB Board and we were flat out lied to to get us to support CARE’s bill. We were told in an email from Jean Strauss that they were going to introduce a clean bill, with the proviso that it “might” have to be modified somewhere down the road. This clearly not what happened; CARE did not even try to introduce a clean bill, but came out with this travesty.

    This group deserves no support from anyone who cares about adoptee rights.

  3. Thanks, Marley, for Peter Finch as the unforgettable Howard Beal in Network!

    When I see these atrocious bills such as CARE’s it makes me mad as hell.

    No justice for CA adopted folks. Same old bailout and coverup for the corrupt adoption profiteers who continue to push unethical secret adoption.

    Mad as Hell in America

  4. A Question:

    Have any of the states with contact vetoes in their bills ever revisited that legislation and taken this provision out?

    An Answer: NO. Delaware and Tennessee still have those provisions in place, no change in sight. We must push for clean legislation that gives adoptees their rights, fully and completely. As for us poor wretches who signed away our rights…well, you know….that’s just too damn bad.
    lorraine from

  5. Not a contact or disclosure veto per se – but NY passed a prospective law last year which gives relinquishing parents info and forms on the NY Registry and waives the requirement that the parents wait until the child is 18 in order to register.

    Since this law went into effect only a few months ago – 27 parents have filed the forms and all 27 have consented to ID being made available to their children once they turn 18 and register. NO PARENT HAS VETOED DISCLOSURE. NONE.

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