SPRINGFIELD SHENNIGHANS: Illinois Adoptees Hustled and Shuffled

Tuesday, I wrote that Amendment 1 to HB 4623, would be heard by the Illinois House Adoption Reform Committee the next day. This amendment would add limited records access language to the CI fix-it bill which had already passed Rules. I was told by sponsor Rep. Sara Feigenholtz’s office that this hearing was for language approval only. If approved, the amended bill would be published on the Illinois legislative site probably on Friday. I posted that information in good faith, wondering how it would really play out. Now we know. Late yesterday afternoon I was forwarded the email below sent by Melisha Mitchell, the putative author of the bill, with the news that HB 4623 had passed out of the Adoption Reform Committee, 8-1. The only opposition came from Illinois Right to Life. Dear All: I am happy to report that HB 4623, Illinois’ obc access bill, waspassed out of the House Adoption Reform Committee today, 8 votes to1. We had letters of support from most of the state’s prominentadoption agencies and adoptive parents’ groups as well as the supportof the Dept. of Public Health, Dept. of Children and Family Services,NASW, and IL Psychiatrists Assn.; in addition, the Chicago Bar Continue Reading →


I spoke to Steve in Sara Feigenholtz’ office this afternoon. As I suspected, the current HB 4623 (CI fix-it bill) will become the records “access” bill. The hearing tomorrow is for reading and approval of the new access records language–which will become Amendment One. If passed the new bill will go up on the Illinois Legislative site probably on Friday. Hearings on that will be scheduled later. When the new bill goes up, I’ll post the link here. After that, the fun begins. UPDATE 3/13/08, 10:05 PMMelisha Mitchell has posted a copy of the proposed amendment on her White Oak Foundation website. The amendment is 77 pages long! Here is her fun FAQ on the bill which is being flogged as “a simple fee-free way for an adoptee who was born in Illinois to request a non-certified copy of his or her original birth certificate.” Well, not ALL adoptees!


HEADS UP! According to Kristen Kridel in Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune, Sara Feigenholtz’s alleged “records access” bill will be heard in the Adoption Reform Committee of the Illinois House on Thursday. (SF is the committee chair). Feigenholtz and professional confidential intermediary money hound Melisha Mitchell gushed proud during their Monday press conference, which included former Denver Bronco’s fullback and adoptee Howard Griffith and Chicagoland radio personality Steve Cochran. Ms. Feigenholtz, in her prepared speech, glommed a line from DMC, without credit, Chapter 1 of everyone else’s life begins with a birth certificate, a document I and everyone behind me are prohibited from having. WLS elaborated: “We have been deprived of our history and our identity. We have been deprived of the chapter that everyone else in this state simply gets.” Ms. Feigenholtz may talk the talk, but she doesn’t walk the walk. Under her cowardly compromise bill some adoptees are more equal than others. Since the bill doesn’t seem to be on the Illinois Legislative webpage (more about that in a minute) we can only judge from the summary posted in the Trib: Anyone born before January 1946 will get their original birth certificates immediately (their records were sealed retroactively) Anyone Continue Reading →