MARTA (Massachusetts Access Right to All) submitted testimony opposed to SB 63, SB 77, HB 2190 all of which codify a 34-year black hole for those adopted in Massachusetts, barring them from automatic unrestricted access to their own birth certificates. Below is MARTA’s SB 63 testimony. Since the other bills are basically the same, testimony opposing those bills is identical and won’t be posted here.
SUBMITTED TESTIMONY IN OPPOSITION TO SB 63:
An Act Further Regulating Access to Birth Certificates
(original birth certificate access to certain adoptees)
MASSACHUSETTS ACCESS RIGHTS TO ALL (MARTA)
Massachusetts Access Rights to All (MARTA) asks you to vote NO on SB 63. 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. This makes no sense to us. Does it make sense to you?
MARTA believes that tiered rights systems such as codified by SB 63 create a class system in which adopted persons are not only segregated and treateddifferently from everyone else (the non-adopted) but treats some adoptees better than others. Why, do adoptees, because of the date of their birth deserve “special rights”–or “special discrimination?”
MARTA believes that a person born on July 18, 1974 is just as worthy of rights and birth records as someone born on July 17, 1974 or January 1, 2008. What is the rationale for tossing thousands of the state’s adult adoptees born over a 34 year period into a black hole, stripped of identity and birth certificate rights, while letting adopted persons born before or after them enjoy the full right of identity? We have heard no rationale except some vague talk of “implied promises of confidentiality” during the forbidden years. How can a promise be “implied”? It’s either a promise or it isn’t. Moreover, this so-called ” promise” has been debunked repeatedly by adoptee rights activists, adoption advocates, birthparents, legal scholars, and court decisions. Why is it resurrected and promoted in SB 63?
MARTA believes that SB 63 is a mean-spirited, ugly discriminatory bill with no logic or sense. 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 63 an inexplicable segregation of adoptees into worthies and unworthies.
MARTA believes that all people born in Massachusetts should be able to receive a truthful copy of the state record of their own 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 any of us. SB 63 denies thousands of Massachusetts adoptees, born at the wrong time, the natural right of identity and the legal right of access to their own birth certificates and personal information.
Please do not support SB 63. Massachusetts adoptees deserve a genuine birth record bill that makes all adoptees equal to each other and the non-adopted. Vote NO on SB 63
ABOUT MARTA: MARTA was founded in 2005 to promote legislation in Massachusetts, which would restore the right of original birth certificate access to all Massachusetts adoptees without restriction. MARTA does not support tiered access legislation, disclosure or contact vetoes, mandated confidential intermediary systems or mandated mutual consent registries. We believe that all adoptees have the right to access their original and birth certificates upon demand.