Legislative battle over adoptee rights

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– An Oscar nominated feature film is drawing attention to a legislative battle at the State Capitol. Some Connecticut residents are saying their civil rights are being denied simply because they were adopted.

The new Judi Dench film adapted from the book “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee” is about a woman who was forced to give up her out of wedlock child in Ireland and her’s and the son’s journey trying to find one another.

Nominated for four Oscars, it has highlighted the issue of adoptee rights. 57-year-old Carol Goodyear is waging the same battle as Philomena and her son. She is denied her birth records here in Connecticut because she was adopted.

“I want to know my biological/medical history so I can make choices that best behoove my being the most healthy,” said Goodyear.

Karen Caffrey is an adoptee and a psychotherapist who counsels others and birth parents.

“We’re the only class of citizens that have this…access to our biological heritage deprive of us by the state,” said Caffrey.

Carol wants a ‘Brca 1 Gene Test’ to see if she’s likely to get breast cancer, her insurance company won’t cover it.

“Because I don’t have any documented history of my birth family’s medical history as it relates to breast cancer,” said Goodyear.

The Catholic Church runs one of the largest adoption services in the state. A spokesman saying they are studying this year’s bill, they weren’t happy with it last year. The prevailing view being that if mothers are not guaranteed anonymity they might turn to abortion.

Catholic church

But the advocates of this change in law note that the nine states that have made this change in law have seen no increase in abortion rates.

A provision in the proposed law would allow for the birth parents to remain private if they wish but still release the medical records to those adoptees.

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