Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Adoptees Lose Again

The Utah House of Representatives voted down HB289 today. I have posted some of my feelings on this bill before. I want to make it clear that this bill will not affect me at all as I have already found out identifying information regarding my birth parents. I listened to the floor debate regarding this bill. The vote was close with 35 representatives voting for the bill and 36 representatives voting against the bill. During the floor debate, Representative McGee noted that the position of LDS Family Services was against this bill. I found it very interesting that Representative McGee would point this out and I'm sure that this had an affect on this bill failing. Representative Janice Fisher spoke in opposition to the bill saying it would be devastating to have someone knock on the door 30 years after making "the terrible decision" to "give up" a child. This speaks volumes to me as it shows that Representative Fisher has not been involved in a adoption case because if she had, she would not have used the terms that she did. Several representatives spoke in favor of the bill pointing out that adoptees have the innate desire to know what the circumstances are surrounding their birth. I would like to publicly thank my representative, Representative Barrus, for voting for this bill.

I'd like to express some additional feelings about adoption and about this bill. There are many reasons why adoptees want to know who their birth-parents are. Some of them are for health history. Others are just wanting to know what the circumstances were surrounding their birth. I love my parents. They are the ones who raised me. They are the ones who taught me the things that I know today. Nothing could change the way I feel about them. Having said that, there were still some questions that they couldn't answer. They couldn't tell me if certain health issues were in my genes. They couldn't tell me why I was placed for adoption. These are questions that I wanted answers to. The only way these questions could be answered was by contacting my birth-family. I believe that any adoptee would have told their state representative to vote for this bill.


Voice of Utah said...

You may be right about what adoptees would have told their legislators, but of course there were two sets of rights and interests at stake here. The voting down of this bill does not preclude increased funding, advertisement, etc., of the voluntary adoption registry, which I think is something that should be done.

Thad said...

You're right, there were two sets of rights. The birth-parents rights were taken into account in the bill by giving them the option to say no to the release of their identifying information.