RE: SB 2690: records access for selected adoptees. Please Veto!
Dear Governor Romney:
Massachusetts Access Rights to All (MARTA) asks you to veto SB 2690. This bill creates an unfair, discriminatory tiered system in which adopted persons born in Massachusetts on or before July 17, 1974 and on or after January 1, 2008 can receive copies of their unaltered original birth certificates. Adoptees born between those dates, will not be allowed to receive their original birth certificates except by petitioning the court.
The precursor bill to SB 2690 was SB 959. The intent of that bill was to restore the right of birth record access to all Massachusetts-born adoptees without restriction, no matter when they were born or adopted. SB 2690, the amended version of that bill now on your desk, guts that original intent. It denies to thousands of Massachusetts adoptees, based solely on their date of birth, the natural right of identity and the legal right to access to their own birth certificates.
MARTA believes that all people born in Massachusetts should be able to receive a truthful copy of the state record of their birth regardless of their adoptive status. We believe that the state holds no legitimate interest in keeping this document and the information on it, including the identities of our biological parents, from us.
MARTA believes that tiered rights systems such as codified by SB 2690 are open to legal challenge. SB 2690 creates a class system in which adopted persons are segregated and treated different from everyone else (the non-adopted). To add insult to injury, it treats some adoptees better than others. Why, do adoptees, because of the date of their birth deserve “special rights”–or “special disabilities“–as the case may be? What makes a person born on July 18, 1974 less worthy of rights than someone born on July 17, 1974 or January 1, 2008?
SB 2690 is a mean-spirited, ugly discriminatory bill. It is a slap in the face of every person adopted in Massachusetts. Adoption is supposed to be about the “best interests” of the child. But when that child grows up he or she apparently loses “best interest” status. Our “best interest” is suddenly subjugated to a government-created mythological “interest” du jour–in the case of SB 2690, an inexplicable codification of an “implied promise of confidentiality”–a promise whose existence has been debunked repeatedly by adoptee rights activists, adoption advocates, legal scholars, and court decisions.
Please veto SB 2690 and let Massachusetts adoptees and those who stand with them return to the Great Court and pass a genuine records access bill that makes all adoptees equal to each other and the non-adopted.
For the MARTA Executive Committee
Fr. John Sweeley