HB 984 (Rep. Deshotel/Sen. Creighton) having cleared the Senate State Affairs Committee (6-0), comes now to Second Read on the Texas Senate Floor. While the bill language is clean regarding adoptee access to their own original birth certificate, the accompanying Contact Preference Form is in reality a Contact Veto.
Section 2 and Section 3 of the bill would provide a birthparent a new affirmative right to “authorize” or “not authorize” contact, by their adult adoptee. The language of “prefer”, as utilized in Oregon, Alabama, New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island, was lobbied OUT of this bill. By replacing this single word, the legislation undermines an adoptee’s right to due process and the equal protection of the law. Section 4 of the bill places limitation on the time frame (07.01.16) that a birthparent may change their mind or file a Contact Preference Form and a Medical History Form. After that date, it is in the discretion of the Registrar. Of further concern, for adoptions after 07.01.16, it is an adoption agency, not the Registrar, that issues and collects the forms. No language in the bill provides date for compliance and there is no oversight or penalty to an agency that fails to adhere to the law. Continue Reading →