Around noon today, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, without ceremony, signed S478 Sub AA into law. The bill restores the right of all Rhode Island adoptees, abrogated in 1944, to claim their original birth certificates, without restrictions or conditions, upon request. The law will go into effect July 1, 2012.
It has been a pleasure to work in an advisory and support capacity with Access Rhode Island: the Little Engine That Could. Through sheer perseverance, clarity of purpose, and a refusal to back down from its core principle of access for all without restriction, Access Rhode Island defeated incredibly strong opposition in the Senate. I don’t personally know all the people involved in this victorious campaign, but in alphabetically order, these are some of the who who led the way: Kara Foley, Nancy Horgan, Christine Lachapelle-Miller, and Paul Schibbelhute.
A former activist once told me that states like Rhode Island didn’t really count. He wanted the key states. Of course, we all want them, but I argued that all states count. All are important. Small states can bring down key states in the end. Rhode Island just knocked another brick out of the wall!
Kansas: never sealed
Alaska: never sealed
New Hampshire: unsealed
Rhode Island: unsealed
I want to reiterate that a campaign is already in progress to lower the age of access from 25 to the age of majority. It may take a couple years, but this unacceptable barrier will fall.
Excellent. Huge congrats to all the people who worked so long and hard towards this. I am sure you are right that the unacceptable barrier *will* fall.
And of course all states and provinces count.
I am thrilled and want to know how it went down. Hoping for some analysis soon. Congrats to all who worked on making this work.
Woohoo! Way to go, RI!
Congratulations to all adoption triad members in RI, and especially to everyone who worked to pass this bill.
So which state is next? Is there anything on the horizon in other states? What would take to get something like this started elsewhere?