Adoptee Rights Struggle
Texas - 2007
(Click on either of these signs to see larger photo.) ______________________________________________________________________________________________
A Texas Legislation Blog with most recent postings as the first listed below:
HB525/SB221 have both died with the ending of the 2007 Legislative session in Texas. We need to prepare to return to continue the battle in 2009. Between now and then we need to secure the support of as many legislators as possible to understand the need for adoptees to have access to their own information. 6-6-07 Bill Betzen
Due to legislative progress the demonstration planned for 4-29-07 was canceled.
This progress was not expected and happened suddenly this week. HB525 passed unanimously to the floor recommended for approval with no amendments! SB 221 has been significantly amended making the full benefit for adoptees only available to those placed for adoption after January 2008. However, it does put all the forms and procedures in place so that in 2009 we can return and simply change the dates to expand the bill to cover all adoptees. This will also give a full two years for all birth parents to begin filing preference forms as to if they want their birth child's original birth certificate released and if they want contact. The amended SB 221 allows for a birth certificate to be released if a birth parent has filed a preference form asking that that be done, and the birth child, now an adult, comes to see if they can get their original birth certificate.
We have a lot of work to do the next month to get a good bill
passed that we properly understand. While I am not on the TxCare Board, I
strongly recommend you join TxCARE to keep up to date on what is happening with
this process. Also go to the Texas Legislature online,
to follow these bills online. And by all means call your Representative
and Senator in Texas to support this legislation.
4-28-07 Bill Betzen, firstname.lastname@example.org
This page is in no way supported by the Edna Gladney Adoption Center. It is coordinating the 4-29-07 evening demonstration (ultimately canceled) at the Gladney Adoption Center Campus, 6300 John Ryan Drive, Fort Worth (hyperlink to Google map of Gladney Campus location.) The goal is to expose the Gladney Adoption Center's leadership role in thwarting adoptee rights in Texas. Below are links to documents related to major public figures and events in US adoption history including Georgia Tann, Edna Gladney, the agency holding Edna Gladney's name, and recent legislative history:
Draft of handout to be available the evening of 4-29-07 at the entrances near the Edna Gladney Adoption Center.
Who was Georgia Tann and how was she related to Edna Gladney? Which one would most strongly support HB525/SB221? Which one would fight it? See Edna Gladney or Georgia Tann?
Study companion bills HB525 and SB221 through the Texas Legislative web site online at http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/.
The 3/21/07 hearing of the House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee on HB525 is online at http://www.house.state.tx.us/committees/broadcasts.php?session=80&committeeCode=340. Scroll down to 3/21/07. HB525 is presented by Representative Goolsby 50 minutes into the video with the testimony following. A Gladney Center employee gave the only testimony against HB525 while many others gave testimony in support of this reform.
The video record of the Senate Jurisprudence Committee 3-28-07 hearing on SB221 is online at http://www.senate.state.tx.us/avarchive/?yr=2007. Go down the page to the link to the 3-28-07 hearing for the Senate Committee on Jurisprudence. The testimony on SB221 starts 38 minutes into the hearing when Senator Lucio introduced SB221. It ends with testimony by the Gladney Center employee who was the only witness registered against the bill, following many speakers in support of the bill.
Edna Gladney is certainly a hero to adoptees who pushed legislation through the Texas Legislature to improve adoption by providing adoptees privacy from the general public but not from their birth parents. Adoptees were not denied that right until 1973, long after the 1961 death of Edna Gladney.
"The Idea of Adoption: An Inquiry Into the History of Adult Adoptee Access to Records" by Elizabeth J. Samuels is the most detailed history of adoption records access in existence. It is required reading for anyone dedicated to adoptees and their families.
The Archive at the American Adoption Congress has many documents that clarify adoption reform issues and the progress made by and for adoption triad members over the past 30 years. These pages include a chart on all the states with similar birth record access laws and the results from giving adult adoptees access to their own records. It is a powerful testament to the pro-life and pro-adoption benefits of this legislation.
These plans to expose the role of the Edna Gladney Center in denying adoptees access to their own records grew out of the frustration that birth parents, adoptees and adoptive parents have had over the past 16 years in repeated failed attempts to restore adult adoptee rights to their own birth records in Texas. Adult adoptees enjoyed those rights until 1973. Efforts to regain those rights were well underway by 1991. With accommodations made to the forces led by the Edna Gladney Center, a much modified bill was introduced in 2007 with expectations it would easily pass into law and allow 99% of adult adoptees to access their records. A representative from the adoption agency using the Gladney name was the only speaker at both the House and Senate hearings on the identical companion bills, HB 525 and SB 221, to speak out against this legislation. Dozens of others appeared and spoke in support of this priceless legislation. Then the week of 4-9-07 evidence appeared that these bills to restore adoptee rights would die in committee again due to the influence of the adoption agency using the Gladney name.
What is happening in the abused name of Edna Gladney will no longer be keep secret. Why does the Gladney Center not support the policies recommended by the Child Welfare League of America, the largest affiliation of child placement agencies in the world, regarding access to records by adult adoptees? Due to the obvious leadership of the Gladney Adoption Center in the fight against HB525/SB221, why have they not already sponsored a public discussion of the issues presented? Rather it seems they want to keep their leadership role less than public in their efforts that they must know are an insult to the public image of Edna Gladney.
Adoptive parents, birth parents, adoptees and their families are invited to join many others who will march on the sidewalks surrounding the Edna Gladney Adoption Center, the evening of 4-29-07 starting at 5PM. Above are links to many documents related to HB525/SB221 and the national adoption reform movement. The first item in the above list is the handout that is to be offered to people attending functions at the Gladney Adoption Center the evening of 4-29-07. Please join with us on 4-29-07 for this celebration of the efforts to restore basic human rights to adult adoptees, the right to their true birth record.
What is the best way to improve the public image of adoption?
Isn't it sad in that signs like these even have to be made? These laws should have passed long ago.
Please help HB525/SB221 become law in Texas. Contact your legislator.
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