There’s been some talk on the ‘net that Michigan’s HB 4896 is a clean bill. IT IS NOT. Here is an informal message from Anita Field about the Michigan situation. We will have more information this later, but in the meantime please distribute this information freely.
Here is an update of Michigan HB 4896. You won’t be jumping for joy when you read this.
Please forward all over.
The original Michigan HB 4896 was really a good bill. It passed the Children and Family Services Committee by a vote of 8-5. But somehow on its way to the floor of the House, someone decided to split it into two bills.
Consequently, HB 4896 was amended beyond recognition. The amended HB 4896 (4897) is now a very short bill. It seems to have 3 sections.
1. The bill will establish a Central Adoption Registry which must approve clearance to any adopted individual who requests an obc. Clearance will come after the adoptee has fulfilled the requirements of the Dept. of Human Services.
2. A CI may request the obc of an official client but the record shall be clearly marked “sealed record only.”
3. HB 4897 shall not go into effect unless and until HB 6287 is passed into law.**
**See the tie-in?
Now, they filed a second half of the bill, HB 6287,** which is the guiding light for HB 4826. These two bills are joined at the waist. Can’t have one without the other.
HB 6287 does the dirty work. It contains a disclosure veto, which they are calling a “revised contact preference form.” Any “former parent” may file this new form at any time. One option for the “former parent” is that he/she does not want any contact and does not want the adoptee to receive an original record of live birth.
There is also a section where an adoptee may receive a redacted copy of he/her obc if the “former parent” so wishes.
The amended HB 4896 was passed by the House on June 27th.
HB 6287 is now making its way through the corridors of the House and is expected to get to the floor very soon.
I’ll write a more complete explanation in a blog very soon. But I wanted everyone to be aware that the passage of the amended HB 4896 is nothing to cheer about! It’s a complete betrayal of the original access bill.
Addenda: Robin Westbrook has also written about Michigan: Oh Give Me a Break!