Action Alert: Say No To Michigan HB 4896 and HB 6287

Both AmyAdoptee and GrannyAnnie have posted about the passage of conjoined Michigan bills HB 4896 and HB 6287. GA reports the Michigan House of Reps has passed the bills. We now must focus on the state Senate and encourage them to oppose this legislation in favor of true adoption records access.

I am against these bills for the same reason I oppose Illinois HB 4623. Some people say access for some is better than access for none, and that those who are bypassed will get another chance. Except that once a bill is passed, it’s almost impossible to get the legislators to revisit the issue. They think it’s done and dusted, which means the have-nots will never have. Would you really accept your adoption information knowing that the same law prevents some of your adoptee brethren from accessing theirs? I know I wouldn’t (although for me it’s a moot point; thanks to my birth mother’s denial, I’m a have-not).

AmyAdoptee also makes the excellent point (that I myself sometimes gloss over), which is that these bills do nothing for granting birth relatives access to the same information.

Michigan’s bills are particularly odious because they have renamed a disclosure veto a “contact preference form.” The difference is profound. A disclosure veto gives the birth mother the ability to lock the adoptee out of his/her informaton. A preference form is just that, stating preference on contact. I believe the rights of the birth mother to privacy should not trump the rights of an adoptee to access his/her original birth certificate. What is it about adoptees that makes people assume our desire for equal rights makes us crazy-psycho-stalkers who will pounce on the first opportunity to destroy our birth relatives’ lives (or vice versa)?

So if you’re sick of being treated lower than ass tattoos and bulldog puppies, write Michigan legislators and urge them to vote NO on HB 4896 and HB 6287.

Contact Michigan Legislators:

Cut and Paste email addresses:

senjallen@senate.michigan.gov, senatoranderson@senate.michigan.gov, senjbarcia@senate.michigan.gov , senrbasham@senate.michigan.gov, senpbirkholz@senate.michigan.gov, senmbishop@senate.michigan.gov, sendcherry@senate.mi.gov, coleman@senate.michigan.gov, senhclarke@senate.michigan.gov, senacropsey@senate.michigan.gov, senvgarcia@senate.michigan.gov, sentgeorge@senate.michigan.gov, senjgilbert@senate.michigan.gov, senjgleason@senate.michigan.gov , sentahunter@senate.michigan.gov, sengjacobs@senate.michigan.gov, senmjansen@senate.michigan.gov, senrjelinek@senate.michigan.gov, senrkahn@senate.michigan.gov, senwkuipers@senate.michigan.gov, senmmcmanus@senate.michigan.gov, sendolshove@senate.michigan.gov, senjpappageorge@senate.michigan.gov, senbpatterson@senate.michigan.gov, senmprusi@senate.michigan.gov, senrichardville@senate.michigan.gov, senasanborn@senate.michigan.gov, senmschauer@senate.michigan.gov, senmscott@senate.michigan.gov, ofctstamas@senate.michigan.gov , senmswitalski@senate.michigan.gov, senbthomas@senate.michigan.gov, sengvanwoerkom@senate.michigan.gov, sengwhitmer@senate.michigan.gov

Snail mail and phone contact:

The Honorable Jason Allen
State Senator
Farnum Building, Room 820
PO Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

MICHIGAN STATE SENATE

Senator Jason Allen
Majority Caucus Whip
Office: Room 820, Farnum Bldg.
866.525.5637
senjallen@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Glenn Anderson
Assistant Democratic Floor Leader
Office: Room 610, Farnum Bldg.
866.262.7306
senatoranderson@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Jim Barcia
Office: Room 1010, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2131
senjbarcia@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Raymond Basham
Democratic Caucus Whip
Office: Room 715, Farnum Bldg.
NO toll free number.
517.373.7800
senrbasham@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Patricia Birkholz
Office: Room 805, Farnum Bldg.
888.28.PATTY
senpbirkholz@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Michael Bishop
Majority Leader
Office: Room S-106, Capitol Bldg.
877.9BISHOP
senmbishop@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Liz Brater
Office: Room 510, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.0318
senlbrater@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Cameron Brown
Assistant Majority Floor Leader
Office: Room 405, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.0316
sencbrown@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Nancy Cassis
Majority Caucus Chair
Office: Room 905, Farnum Bldg.
888.38.NANCY
senncassis@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Deborah Cherry
Office: Room 910, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2126
sendcherry@senate.mi.gov

Senator Irma Clark-Coleman
Office: Room 310, Farnum Bldg.
866.747.7803
coleman@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Hansen Clarke
Office: Room 710, Farnum Bldg.
877.252.7537
senhclarke@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Alan Cropsey
Majority Floor Leader
Office: Room S-8, Capitol Bldg.
866.305.2133
senacropsey@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Valde Garcia
Office: Room S-132, Capitol Bldg.
1.800.516.0026
senvgarcia@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Tom George
Office: Room 320, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2120
sentgeorge@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Jud Gilbert
Office: Room 705, Farnum Bldg.
877.445.2378
senjgilbert@senate.michigan.gov

Senator John Gleason
Assiatant Democratic Caucus Chair
Office: Room 315, Farnum Bldg.
866.268.2914
senjgleason@senate.michigan.gov
Senator Bill Hardiman
Room 305, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2129
email & website are the same:
www.senate.mi.gov/hardiman

Senator Tupac Hunter
Assistant Democratic Leader
Office: Room 915, Farnum Bldg.
866.262.7305
sentahunter@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Gilda Jacobs
Democratic Caucus Chair
Office: Room 1015, Farnum Bldg.
888.937.4453
sengjacobs@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Mark Jansen
Assistant Majority Caucus Chair
Office: Room 520, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2128
senmjansen@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Ron Jelinek
Office: Room S-324, Capitol Bldg.
866.305.2121
senrjelinek@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Roger Kahn
Assistant Majority Whip
Office: Room 420, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2132
senrkahn@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Wayne Kuipers
Office: Room 1005, Farnum Bldg.
877.KUIPERS
senwkuipers@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Michelle McManus
Assistant Majority Leader
Office: Room S-2, Capitol Bldg.
866.305.2135
senmmcmanus@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Dennis Olshove
Assistant Democratic Caucus Whip
Office: Room 920, Farnum Bldg.
NO toll free number. 517.373.8360
sendolshove@senate.michigan.gov

Senator John Pappageorge
Office: Room 1020, Farnum Bldg.
877.SEN.13TH
senjpappageorge@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Bruce Patterson
Office: Room 505, Farnum Bldg.
866.262.7307
senbpatterson@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Michael Prusi
Office: Room 515, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2038
senmprusi@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Randy Richardville
President Pro Tempore
Office: Room 205, Farnum Bldg.
866.556.7917
senrichardville@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Alan Sanborn
Assistant President pro Tempore
Office: Room S-310, Capitol Bldg.
888.353.ALAN
senasanborn@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Mark Schauer
Democratic Leader
Office: Room S-105, Capitol Bldg.
888.962.6275
senmschauer@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Martha Scott
Office: Room 220, Farnum Bldg.
800.SCOTT.78
senmscott@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Tony Stamas
Office: Room 720, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2136
ofctstamas@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Michael Switalski
Office: Room 410, Farnum Bldg.
866.303.0110
senmswitalski@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Buzz Thomas
Democratic Floor Leader
Office: Room S-9, Capitol Bldg.
866.348.6304
senbthomas@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Gerald Van Woerkom
Office: Room 605, Farnum Bldg.
866.305.2134
sengvanwoerkom@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Gretchen Whitmer
Office: Room 415, Farnum Bldg.
NO toll free number. 517.373.1734
sengwhitmer@senate.michigan.gov

Comments

  1. I have a blog about this terrible situation in MI as well. All need to contact the MI Senators and urge them to vote NO. For these bills to become law in MI could set an example for other states to follow and it just can not happen. Ohio is a good example of a bad bill becoming law and years have passed now without getting it changed. Lawmakers seem to think once an adoption law is in effect that things are just dandy even when it is a bad law that does not treat all adoptees equally. Even those not personally affected by adoption laws in MI need to contact the MI Senators. For these bills to become law could indirectly affect you some day.

  2. Dear Senator Allen:

    I write as a birth mother who relinquished a daughter for adoption in 1966, when the world was a far different place. I kept my pregnancy secret, as I did not want to be known as someone who “got in trouble,” or identify to the world the (married) father of the child. But I—like the vast majority of women who have been in this position—never sought or desired anonymity in perpetuity from my child. I desperately wanted to know her one day. I did find her, and have had a relationship with her—and her adoptive family—for more than 20 years. I represent the overwhelming majority of birth mothers, as every survey or record of birth mothers shows. In Oregon, where the records have been open since 2000, more than 7000 adoptees have asked for their original birth certificates. Of that number, only 1.1 percent have found letters their mothers did not wish to be contacted.

    Our toughest opposition usually comes from people with adopted children who think the sanctity of their family will be violated if adoptees have the right to their original birth certificates. But they don’t say that—they invariably use the smoke screen of the birth mother’s privacy as their excuse. However, most adopted people say—if they have a good relationship with their parents—that searching and reunion improved that relationship because now there were no secrets, no pretense, no lies. The elephant was out of the closet, so to speak, and he didn’t bring down the house.

    As you search your heart about this issue, please consider that—after holding numerous hearings with birth parents, adoptees and adoptive parents and social workers at several locations around the country—the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare included this in a proposed Model Adoption Act in 1980:

    “There can be no legally protected interest in keeping one’s identity secret from one’s biological offspring; parents and child are considered co-owners of the information regarding the event of birth….The birth parents’ interest in reputation is not alone deserving of constitutional protection.”

    While some provisions of the act were promulgated, organized opposition from adoption agencies who wish to keep records sealed for their own purposes kept this part of the bill from passing. The greatest opposition comes from the “National Council for Adoption,” which sounds as if it speaks for the good of the adoptees, but it really is for the continued welfare of agencies that support closed adoptions. Two of the largest memberships of NCFA are Bethany agencies, and those of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, which supports closed adoptions for religious reasons. If you doubt me, check out their membership agencies at their website.

    It is time to give adoptees the right that the rest of us take for granted, that is, the answer to the question: Who Am I? Identity is many things…but surely it begins with the knowledge of one’s true origins—the name, date, and place of birth, information that is contained on an original birth certificate. To say that it is inconsequential is to deny the obvious.–

    Please consider that as you deliberate this bill. Do not include a “contact veto” for that once again takes the right of ownership of one’s own heritage away from him or her.

    Lorraine Dusky
    firstmotherforum.com
    Sag Harbor, NY 11963

    I am the author of the first memoir from a birth mother, Birthmark, published in 1979. I now reside in New York.

  3. Love the title of this entry, Triona. Laughing out loud [though it’s really terribly sad].

    Lisa Kay
    45 yr old adoptee