Today the Massachusetts House passed H2294, (Senate version s 1440) a bill to restore the right of all Massachusetts-born adoptees to their original birth certificates. Current Massachusetts law allows adoptees in the state to obtain their original birth certificates without conditions or restrictions at age 18 if they were adopted on or before July 17, 1974, or on or after January 1, 2008., This bill unseals records for those adopted between July 18, 1974, and December 31, 2008.
HB 2294 is also the shortest OBC bill in history:
SECTION 1. Section 2B of chapter 46 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 3 and 4, the words “on or before July 17, 1974 or on or after January 1, 2008”.
SECTION 2. Said section 2B of chapter 46, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 6, the words “on or after January 1, 2008”.
And had the shortest hearing I’ve ever heard on a bill. I tuned in tonight to watch the recorded session and get more details, but the vote lasted about 10 seconds and there was no count listed other than “the ayes have it.”
Last session an identical bill passed the House but sat unheard in Senate Rules. HB 2294 now goes to the Senate,and we need to push this through committee hearings to victory on the floor. No details of the next step have been released yet by Massachusetts. Access, the organization leading the fight. In their message to supprters tonight, Massachusets Access wrote;
Now, we move on to the Senate. We will let you know as we have updates, but meanwhile, PLEASE contact your Senator and let him/her/them know that you care deeply about S.1440 and want it to be passed as soon as possible.
Massachusetts Access (OBC for ME) and Bastard Nation are not affiliated but we are friendly with them and have supported their clean bills for years. They have held the line–no compromise–for years, while other states have folded.
You can read Bastard Nation’s submitted testimony here. (The bill number changed later). Our testimony also contains a bit of the unhappy deform history that has gone down n Massachusetts in the last 15 years. I have written extensively about the 2006-2007 sell-out by deformers “to get something on the books.” Links to many of those pieces can be found in Massachusetts Timeline; Chronology of a Sell-out as Published by the Daily Bastardette. The Bastard Nation Massachusetts Page has lots of history and information, also.
It is absolutely essential that we win Massachusetts. Not only because victory will restore rights there, but because it proves that perseverance, fortitude, and ethics win over complacency, compromise, and venality. A Massachusetts win also means that New England will be locked in except for Vermont, with its tiers of birth parent consent and Disclosure Vetos across the board that will be difficult to void.
BTW, Massachusetts Access is throwing a fundraiser on November 15–a live-stream performance of the award-winning play The Good Adoptee written and produced by our friend and New York adoptee rights activist Susan Bachner. followed by a discussion panel of adoptee rights advocates including Susan, Bob Bradner, Etta Lappen Davis, Claudia Corrigan D’arcy, and others. Go to Eventbrite for more information and to sign on.
Sometimes Just in time for #NAM can be good news!
Please support HB 2294 and Massachusetts Access.
Day 4 of 30–
26 to go