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Adoptee birth records bill advances to full House

February 15, 2016

A House committee voted 11-2 Monday in favor of passage of a bill that would provide thousands of adopted Hoosiers with access to their birth and adoption records.

The House Judiciary Committee moved Senate Bill 91, which passed the Senate last month. The bill would permit Hoosiers adopted between 1941 and 1993 to access birth records. Proponents have been asking lawmakers to ease those restrictions for eight years.

 “We thank the House Judiciary Committee members for their commitment to providing equal access to personal information for all adoptees,” said Pam Kroskie, president of Hoosiers for Equal Access to Records, a nonprofit formed to push for adult adoptee access legislation in Indiana.

HEAR says people adopted during Indiana’s “closed records” period are forced to use a difficult and expensive intermediary system for getting their records, causing many to quit their search in frustration, or never start. The new law will equalize access to information for all adoptees.  

“SB 91 will finally allow adoptees to find the closure they desperately seek, uncover vital answers about their medical history and cure administrative headaches that come from having an amended birth certificate,” Kroskie said.  

Not all adoptee-rights groups support the bill, however. Spokane, Washington-based Bastard Nation opposes SB 91 because it would allow parents who placed their children for adoption during the years in question the ability to sign a non-release form that would block the release of birth and adoption records. The group supports unrestricted access for adoptees to their original birth certificates.
 

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