Michigan deformers have capitulated.

Michigan’s original clean obc-access-rights-for-all bill has been replaced by something-is-better-than-nothing-for-a-few-favor legislation: the tie-barred HB 4896 and 6287. These bills, which must be passed together, contain a disclosure veto disguised as a Contact Preference Form that authorizes what the leggies quaintly call “former parents” and even more quaintly, “former siblings” to block issuance of the obc to adopted individuals. The bills also contain a contact veto. They have already passed the House and are now in the Senate.

I had high hopes for Michigan, which already allows some adoptees to retrieve their obc and their identity. And I am sorry and sad that good people with good intentions have taken a short-term approach instead of a long-term solution. In the end we all pay.

These bills need pulled.

Below is the Bastard Nation Action Alert and how you can help stop this travesty.


The Michigan House of Representatives has just passed two very restrictive adoptee rights bills, HB 4896 and HB 6287, by the frightening majority of 90 – 10. The bills have now been forwarded to the Senate Committee on Families and Human Services.

Please contact ALL of the Michigan Senators immediately and urge them to vote NO to HB 4896 / 6287.(These bills are tie-barred, which means one cannot pass without the other) This bill is a perfect example of what happens when a clean bill gets amended. We will not accept the leftover table scraps. Let’s make sure that they hear our voices loud and clear.

With HBs 4896 & 6287 a birth parent can file a disclosure veto preventing her adopted adult offspring from getting an original birth certificate. This is unacceptable. Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization advocates for full restoration of rights to unconditional access to original birth certificates for 100% of adopted adults. HBs 4896 and 6287 won’t get this job done!

We believe that ONE adoptee left behind is too many!

Please explain to the Senators the kind of bill that you want to see in place of HB 4896 & 6827 – a new bill that will put adopted adults on a par with all non-adopted citizens of the state. Tell them that adopted adults want to be free of all state interference in their lives. [Contact information below]

Bastard Nation is adamantly opposed to both bills for several very important reasons.

· HB 6287 contains a disclosure veto. The “former parents,” as they are called in these bills, will have the power to prevent an adopted adult from getting his or her original birth certificate.

· The sponsors of HB 6287 have made up their own version of a contact preference form and have buried their disclosure veto in the middle of the form. The Michigan legislators borrowed parts of the GENUINE CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM, as found in the adoption law of Oregon, Alabama, New Hampshire, and Maine, to trick people into thinking that HB 6287 & HB 4896 are the same as the laws passed in these other 4 states.

· A GENUINE CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM never contains a disclosure veto or any other restriction to the issuing of an original birth certificate to any adopted adult who requests it. A GENUINE CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM has been used since 1998 when it was created by the authors of Measure 58 in Oregon. It is now part of Oregon’s adoption law as well as Alabama, New Hampshire and Maine. A GENUINE CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM is meant to be a respectful and private means of personal communication between a birth parent and his/her offspring. A GENUINE CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM is never tied in any way to the issuance of an original birth certificate. Shame on the Michigan sponsors for suggesting differently. They all had ample time and opportunity to examine GENUINE CONTACT PREFERENCE FORMS from these 4 states. They know the difference but they don’t want anyone else to know it.

Also, there is new and disturbing section which gives a “former sibling” the power to keep the state from issuing his or her name to the adult adoptee.

· Finally, these two bills would create a dangerous precedent if they were to pass. We do not want legislators from other states to copy this bill and use a Michigan “pretend contact preference form” which we know contains a disclosure veto. It is purposely misleading and we must put a stop to it right now!


HB 4896 is the bill that gives the state the power to issue original birth certificates to adopted adults if the request is accompanied by a central adoption registry clearance reply form. This clearance reply form must be completed by the Department of Human Services.

HB 6287 is the bill that contains the nitty-gritty dirty work. HB 6287 contains all of the details of the central adoption registry clearance reply form. It’s long and complicated – all the better to hide former parent vetoes, former sibling vetoes, and pretend contact preference forms.

Text of bills
HB 6287; http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(xkgr0b55350gnvvgqhjr3a55))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=2008-HB-6287
HB 4896; http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(xkgr0b55350gnvvgqhjr3a55))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=2007-HB-4896

Michigan Senate Committee on Families & Human Services
Senator Mark Jansen – Chair
Senator Bill Hardiman – Vice Chair
Senator Gilda Jacobs

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected],[email protected],[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected],[email protected], [email protected], [email protected] , [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

*All phone numbers are toll free unless stated otherwise.
* Should you wish to contact a senator by snail mail the senator should be addressed as follows: [example]

The Honorable Jason Allen
State Senator
Farnum Building, Room 820
PO Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536


Senator Jason Allen
Majority Caucus Whip
Office: Room 820, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Glenn Anderson
Assistant Democratic Floor Leader
Office: Room 610, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Jim Barcia
Office: Room 1010, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Raymond Basham
Democratic Caucus Whip
Office: Room 715, Farnum Bldg.
NO toll free number.
[email protected]

Senator Patricia Birkholz
Office: Room 805, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Michael Bishop
Majority Leader
Office: Room S-106, Capitol Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Liz Brater
Office: Room 510, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Cameron Brown
Assistant Majority Floor Leader
Office: Room 405, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Nancy Cassis
Majority Caucus Chair
Office: Room 905, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Deborah Cherry
Office: Room 910, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Irma Clark-Coleman
Office: Room 310, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Hansen Clarke
Office: Room 710, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Alan Cropsey
Majority Floor Leader
Office: Room S-8, Capitol Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Valde Garcia
Office: Room S-132, Capitol Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Tom George
Office: Room 320, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Jud Gilbert
Office: Room 705, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator John Gleason
Assiatant Democratic Caucus Chair
Office: Room 315, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Bill Hardiman
Room 305, Farnum Bldg.
email & website are the same:

Senator Tupac Hunter
Assistant Democratic Leader
Office: Room 915, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Gilda Jacobs
Democratic Caucus Chair
Office: Room 1015, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Mark Jansen
Assistant Majority Caucus Chair
Office: Room 520, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Ron Jelinek
Office: Room S-324, Capitol Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Roger Kahn
Assistant Majority Whip
Office: Room 420, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Wayne Kuipers
Office: Room 1005, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Michelle McManus
Assistant Majority Leader
Office: Room S-2, Capitol Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Dennis Olshove
Assistant Democratic Caucus Whip
Office: Room 920, Farnum Bldg.
NO toll free number. 517.373.8360
[email protected]

Senator John Pappageorge
Office: Room 1020, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Bruce Patterson
Office: Room 505, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Michael Prusi
Office: Room 515, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Randy Richardville
President Pro Tempore
Office: Room 205, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Alan Sanborn
Assistant President pro Tempore
Office: Room S-310, Capitol Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Mark Schauer
Democratic Leader
Office: Room S-105, Capitol Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Martha Scott
Office: Room 220, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Tony Stamas
Office: Room 720, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Michael Switalski
Office: Room 410, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Buzz Thomas
Democratic Floor Leader
Office: Room S-9, Capitol Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Gerald Van Woerkom
Office: Room 605, Farnum Bldg.
[email protected]

Senator Gretchen Whitmer
Office: Room 415, Farnum Bldg.
NO toll free number. 517.373.1734
[email protected]

2 Replies to “MICHIGAN: STOP HB 4696 AND HB 8297”

  1. Marley,

    I am a closed-records Michigan adoptee and so have been following the progress of these bills since their inception.
    You are right, the original bill was modeled after Oregon’s and was a pure and simple attempt at restoring equality.
    But the big money won out as usual. The NCFA has a strong presence here through Bethany Services, and a large chunk of Catholics’ tithings went to fight the bill as well. They tried to kill the bill outright, then lobbied heavily for the veto clauses.

    I am truly ashamed of my state’s position on the civil rights of adopted individuals.
    OBC and contact veto’s are unnecessary because laws already exist in Michigan to protect all citizens from unwanted intrusion.
    This bill’s OBC veto clause continues the history of state-sanctioned discrimination in Michigan.

    It is my opinion though, that, pass or fail, it will take the replacement of many of Michigan’s legislators before such an attempt will even be considered again. I have had the opportunity to communicate with a few of Michigan’s lawmakers lately and it seems they take cues from previous votes more than examining each issue individually. It’s truly pathetic. It seems that, had the opponents succeeded in killing the bill in it’s entirety, another clean bill submitted within a few years would have received much less favorable response.

    On a potentially brighter note (something I hesitate to publish because the NCFA no doubt has some troll monitoring this site but
    which they’ve probably already budgeted for), the state of Michigan does nothing to publicize this kind of legislative action and no veto on file means no further roadblock to issuance. No law prevents any private individuals or companies from
    publicizing any such activity, however.

    This bill does not end discrimination. It will enable most closed-era adoptees to, at least, obtain their OBC’s.
    My opinion is that a clean bill cannot survive the current Michigan legislature. Lawmakers who voted against the clean bill need to be advertised to the public and replaced before discrimination can end in Michigan. That is the work to be done here.
    If Michigan law allowed such an issue to go to vote before the public we would have the same rights as Oregonians.

    Marley, I thought I was pretty familiar with this bill but I am anything but an attorney. I see where a “former parent” may veto the issuance of the OBC, and I see
    where a “former sibling” may veto the issuance of their identifying info, but I don’t see where the “former sibling” may
    veto the issuance of the OBC itself. Can you point me to it?


  2. Thanks for your comments, Jimm. I agree with you that a clean bill won’t pass in MI. Interestingly, the only people I see supporting these two bills are the small group of people who have worked on it. I haven’t seen any outside support at all, either from organizations or prominent adoptee rights advocates. Usually somebody comes out for compromised bills. Maybe you’ve seen things that I haven’t.

    I need to go back and find the “former sibling” designation. I know I saw it someplace–as did others. I’m heading out of town in a couple hours, so it may be awhile before I can find it.

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