According to Kristen Kridel in Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune, Sara Feigenholtz’s alleged “records access” bill will be heard in the Adoption Reform Committee of the Illinois House on Thursday. (SF is the committee chair). Feigenholtz and professional confidential intermediary money hound Melisha Mitchell gushed proud during their Monday press conference, which included former Denver Bronco’s fullback and adoptee Howard Griffith and Chicagoland radio personality Steve Cochran. Ms. Feigenholtz, in her prepared speech, glommed a line from DMC, without credit,
Chapter 1 of everyone else’s life begins with a birth certificate, a document I and everyone behind me are prohibited from having.
“We have been deprived of our history and our identity. We have been deprived of the chapter that everyone else in this state simply gets.”
Ms. Feigenholtz may talk the talk, but she doesn’t walk the walk. Under her cowardly compromise bill some adoptees are more equal than others. Since the bill doesn’t seem to be on the Illinois Legislative webpage (more about that in a minute) we can only judge from the summary posted in the Trib:
- Anyone born before January 1946 will get their original birth certificates immediately (their records were sealed retroactively)
- Anyone born after January 1, 1946 will have to wait until April 1, 2009 so that terrified “birth parents” will have time to submit a (guess what?) disclosure veto!
- Those who submit a disclosure veto are required to send a medical questionnaire with it.
- Those finicky folks who don’t want their own kids to even acquire a medical history can pay a $40 fee to the state to remove their name from the obc. (Where in the world did that come from?)
- Those poor bastards who are slapped with a disclosure veto can go to court 5 years from that date to initiate a search for updated medical information free of charge.
The Trib reported that the bill will receive a hearing on Thursday in the Adoption Reform Committee. The only problem is, it’s not on the online schedule. What will be heard is HB 4571, a first parent compensation bill and HB 4623, Feigenholtz’s CI fix-it bill. If records access has been folded into that bill, it is not reflected in the bill as published on the web. If it is a separate bill, nobody I know can find it doing a keyword search. I’ve spoken to several adoption reform organizations. None like the high-handed way this came down. None like that they were treated like bad little bastard idiots, expected to sit in the corner, shut up, and be grateful for scraps from the grown-ups table. None support this bill nor do they intend to. Barring the possibility that a wrong hearing date was reported, the short notice appears to be a way to ameloriate organized opposition from the putative beneficiaries of Feigenholtz/Mitchell largess.
Right now, whether the bill is posted or not, or even if it gets a fast-track hearing this week is inconsequential to the larger issue: Illinois adoptees getting screwed again by one of their own. As my old friend Dr. Steve White, who worked on Illinois records access during the Big Feigenholtz Screw era of the 1990s posted on my February 21, blog, a Illinois: Trainwreck Ahead for Records Rights, “I can tell you that Rep. Feigenholtz ‘gets’ it: she just doesn’t want it.”
I’m calling Ms.. Feigenholtz’s office in the morning to see if I can find out what’s going on. If indeed the bill is being heard I’ll post a quick and dirty action alert here so you can voice you opinion to the Adoption Reform Committee.
See Adoptee Rights News Blog for an up-to-date archive of adoptee rights article.