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Bill to open adoption records passes Senate committee

January 13, 2016

A proposal to expand access to sealed adoption records for adoptees is headed to the Indiana Senate floor after winning unanimous approval from a Senate committee.

The bill approved Wednesday rolls back a 1994 measure that by default prevented the release of adoption information unless a consent form was on file. Under the bill, those records would be made available beginning in 2017 unless a non-disclosure form is filed with the Indiana State Department of Health.

Committee members also extended the period to file the non-disclosure forms by one year, to January 2018.

Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, proposed a similar measure last year that met some criticism from the Pence administration and later failed in the House. The advocacy group Equal Access to Records has expressed optimism about the bill's chances in this session.

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