Urgent California Open Alert: Oppose AB 372!

* * * CALIFORNIA OPEN ACTION ALERT * * *
PLEASE DISTRIBUTE FREELY

Issued May 12, 2009

URGE THE CALIFORNIA STATE LEGISLATURE
ASSEMBLY APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
TO VOTE NO ON AB 372

On Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 AB 372 will come before the California State Legislature’s Assembly Appropriations Committee. Assembly Bill 372 would require State Notification to birthparents of an adoptee’s request for their record and the birthparent’s Consent to Disclosure and Release of the Original Birth Certificate to the adoptee. The author’s office has stated there is an $8 Million start up cost estimate attached to the bill. The State of California can not afford such foolish expense, especially when other open records states have utilized a Contact Preference Form with no fiscal note attached and no additional staff required for implementation and provision.

WE MUST ACT NOW TO DEFEAT AB 372 AND LEAVE CLEAR THE PATH FOR A RIGHTS DRIVEN OPEN RECORDS BILL. DO NOT ALLOW A MISGUIDED ATTEMPT TO WORK WITHIN AND EXPAND AN EXISTING DISCLOSURE VETO, UNDER THE GUISE OF “PRIVACY RIGHTS”, TO ESTABLISH FURTHER PRECEDENT IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA! NO MORE BAD LAW ON THE BOOKS!

BILL TEXT OF AB 372: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_0351-0400/ab_372_bill_20090507_amended_asm_v96.pdf

FAX, PHONE and E-MAIL the Assembly Appropriations Committee to vote NO on AB 372.
http://www.calopen.org/asmapprop.shtml

KEY POINTS FOR YOUR LETTER:

– I strongly urge a NO VOTE ON AB 372.

– Adult adoptees refuse to pay for notification to birthparents, as provided for in the bill. “Mommy May I?” Adults, adopted or not, should not be required to seek parental approval to receive their original birth certificate from the State. Certainly, a parent who relinquished all legal right, prior to adoption, can have no credible veto right to disclosure. Therefore, I oppose the fee laid onto adoptees.

– There can be no “settled expectation” of privacy by birthparents, since birthparent names were published and sold under the protection of the California Public Records Act and are available on the internet TODAY. www.vitalsearch-ca.com

– Adopted adults hold constitutional privacy rights, the same as non-adopted citizens, who have no restrictions placed on their access rights.

– Adopted adults are not only the subject of their own adoption, but a PARTY to the action of adoption. AB 372 seeks to allow a non-party to the adoption, the persons who relinquished all rights, to veto access and pay for the notification to exercise that veto.

– AB 372 has strayed far from its original intent, to restore adopted adults unrestricted access to their own birth certificate. I’m glad the discussion was opened, but this bill is a monstrosity. I strongly urge a NO vote on AB 372.

We urge all California residents to ATTEND THE HEARING.
http://www.calopen.org/attend.shtml

You can watch and listen LIVE to the hearing via the internet:
Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
Room Number 4202
9:00 AM (PST)
http://www.assembly.ca.gov/committee_hearings/defaulttext.asp
(Click on Committee Room List)

RAPID E-MAIL CUT-N-PASTE

YOU LETTERS AND PHONE CALLS DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Assemblymember.Ammiano@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.Calderon@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.Davis@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.deLeon@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.Duvall@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.fuentes@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.Hall@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.Harkey@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.Miller@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.Nielsen@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.John.Perez@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.Price@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.Skinner@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.solorio@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.strickland@assembly.ca.gov;
Assemblymember.Torlakson@assembly.ca.gov;
info@calopen.org

California Open and Coalition Partners thank you for your activism!
www.calopen.org

Comments

  1. Yes, there is evidence that intermediaries – mandated and voluntary – can do more harm than good.

    Having said that, we cannot beat ourselves up when we do our best. Having personally been involved of thousands of reunions I can tell you that the results are independent of how the contact is made – in person, via phone or letter or through an intermediary. Or how “pushy” or “touchy feely” or not — versus a very formal: “I don’t want or need anything from you – just to know you.”

    The bottom line is that whoever initiates contact does so on their timetable – whether it be the mother or the adoptee. The recipient is caught off guard and it could be – unbeknownst to the initiator a very bad time for them.

    The end result has to do with all kinds family pressures and belief systems set in place at the time of the adoption and have nothing to do with us or our efforts at reunification.

    Mirah Riben