Clock ticking on adoption rights bill

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The clock is ticking on an adoption rights bill. The legislation must get final passage by midnight Wednesday.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch came to the Capitol Tuesday to push his former colleagues in the state Senate to vote to approve the bill that would allow adoptees to have access to their original birth certificates. Finch was adopted when he was four months old.

“We are not adoptees, we’re citizens, we’re mayors, we’re legislators, we’re owners of businesses, we’re voters and we’re being treated like second class citizens,” he said.

Earlier this year, News 8 told you about Carol Goodyear. She’s been waging a battle to get her birth certificate so she can get a ‘BRCA 1 Gene Test’ to see if she’s likely to get breast cancer. Insurance companies want family background.

“Because I do not have my biological medical history, the test would cost me $3,000 and for the non-adopted population in Connecticut the test costs zero,” Goodyear said.

Most people can tell their doctor about their parents and grandparents and what diseases and illnesses they might have had. Adoptees cannot, making this issue even more compelling.

State Representative David Alexander was also adopted.

“With medical technology moving forward that’s a serious issue for adoptees,” Alexander said. “They don’t know their medical history.”

The Catholic Church runs one of the largest adoption services in the state. They have opposed this bill in the past, the prevailing view being that if mothers are not guaranteed anonymity, they might turn to abortion.

Advocates say that has not been the case in other states. The compromise bill that has already passed the House allows people that were adopted after 1983 to get their birth certificates.

Because the consent form signed by mothers since 1983 says “I am aware that the child, upon reaching his or her 18th birthday, may have the right to information which may identify me or other blood relatives.”

The presumption is the mother who gave up their children knew they were signing that. The adoption rights advocates are hoping that if they can get this through final passage by Wednesday, they can work on people who were born before 1983 in the next legislative section.

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