Opening Records Is Cheaper – Good Laws Go Bad In Michigan

In another example of good legislation gone bad, Michigan has gutted a nice law in favor of a distorted replacement.

As reported by Granny Annie and Bastardette, the original Michigan HB 4896 was a simple open records bill that restored unrestricted original birth certificate access to adoptees, while allowing birth parents to file a non-binding disclosure preference. But along came the distorters, and whap! bang! now MI HB 4896 is dependent upon the newly-created HB 6287. And no surprise, HB 6287 is the one with all the gotchas.

It looks an awful lot like the sort of table scraps offered to us here in Illinois by HB 4623. Registries, intermediaries, hoops to jump through and red tape to entangle. Bills like these are an insult to our intelligence. Forget about those who say we need to take “small steps” – once these compromises are in place, it’s that much harder to enact true open records legislation.

What could be simpler than a plain, ordinary open records bill? Here’s what it looks like, courtesy of Oregon:

All adopted adults, upon reaching the age of majority and upon written request, shall be able to request and receive a copy of their original birth certificate without any restrictions or falsifications on the certificate, in a manner identical to that of all other non-adopted citizens of the state.

That’s it. No compromises, no complicated wording. There is NO reason other states cannot adopt (hah!) this exact same legislation.

It’s also cheaper. Granting adult adoptees their original birth certificates uses the same existing mechanism that grants other people theirs. It’s convoluted “solutions” like registries and intermediaries that cost money. Here in Illinois, our budget crisis is out of control. What better place to save than cutting the pork called post-adoption services? Let’s be honest, they might be 501(c)(3)s, but we all know they’re not charities.


  1. Triona, I agree about the “small steps”. Compromises should not be taken because it can take years and years to get rid of them and open records. It seems like legislators think that compromises are great and there is no reason for change. You are right in that it is costing Illinois too to not issue OBC’s to adoptees just like those not personally touched by adoption.

  2. Porky post-adoption services! You said a mouthful, sistah!

    It’s all about keeping the NCFA member agencies in the black…human rights, be damned!

    Humans are a commodity they deal in and the only rights thy are concerned about are their own right to make a buck!

    And they’ve got everyone bowled over believing that adoption is about “rescuing” babies…and if there aren’t enough INFANTS to save here in the US we’ll just import some!

    It’s amazing that we tsk tsk at human trafficking when it’s for prostitution or child labor and applaud it when it’s to meet a DEMAND for “adoptable” kids – and turn our back on the exploitation and human rights violations involved.

    Until we get more organized and some of us start putting money where our mouths are and hire some slick ad agency, etc…we will never stop “the machine.”

    Who will stand up and b our MLK?

  3. Why should the state even offer “post adoptive services.” Just give adoptees their records. The state has mucked around enough. It’s none of their business.