The Utah State Legislature is considering passing a bill that would allow certain adoptees who were born in Utah access to their original birth certificates. Representative Jim Nielson is sponsoring HB256 that would provide for adoptees to have the ability to request a copy of their original birth certificate and, thus, to their biological parents.
This bill like many other states such as Illinois and New Jersey who have presented similar legislation gives those who want to know more information about their biological families a place to start. For many adoptees being able to gain access to information is critical to them. Many want to know who they looked like and why they have the interests they do, but for many there is a need for further medical information to aid in their health and physician’s ability to provide critical care.
This bill, if passed, will only open records for those that were born prior to 1941 and for adoptees that will be born after the bill is passed. The bill still allows for the confidentiality of records that were sealed after 1941 until current. Those who are proposing HB256 are very aware of a birth parents right to maintain their privacy and keep records closed that they believed would remain closed. Additionally, even if the bill does pass, birth parents that desire to have their privacy will have the right for their records to remain closed and confidential.
For many, open adoptions have provided information and access to their medical and health history. Open adoption allows for communication either through a third party for privacy or directly between the birth parents and adoptive families. Act of Love has been providing the option of open adoptions since 1993. We promote healthy relationships and understand the need for all in the adoption triad to feel the connection with each other.
The State of Utah also provides a registry that allows birth parents and adoptees to find each other after the age of 18, if both parties choose to do so. If both parties choose to submit an application, the applications will be matched and contact can then be made. The registry provides for another manner other than through the adoption agency to remain in contact.
If you are interested in seeing this bill passed, please respond TODAY to your legislators and encourage them to “prioritize” the bill for a vote in the State Senate. You can find the legislators in your area by visiting le.utah.gov. Please send them an email with a subject to “Prioritize HB256 Adoptee Bill for Senate Floor Vote”.