Dear Texas Governor Abbott:
Greetings from the best ‘lil adoption agency in Texas, Abrazo Adoption Associates. Our staff has been visiting your workplace every other year, so you may be familiar with us? (Because unlike a lot of Texas adoption agencies, we speak out on the issues that matter.)
Either way, though, we have a concern to share with you.
The 86th legislative session recently ended here in Texas. And you’re undoubtedly looking forward to a long vacation with your lovely wife, and the daughter you adopted long ago.
That’s a daughter you love dearly, of course. She’s a daughter you would go any lengths for, no doubt. Every parent wants to give their child everything they need in life, right?
Texas Overlooks Adoptee Rights… Again
And yet, Governor, that daughter of yours is an adoptee still denied legal access to her original birth certificate here in Texas. Every adoptee in Texas, whatever their age, is restricted by law from having their original birth record, just because they were once adopted.
(Do you not have a problem with that? Because we do.)
Obviously, as a Texas lawyer, you may have legal tricks that may enable you to bypass restrictions. Maybe you can obtain your daughter’s OBC for her, when she wants it?
However, thousands of adult adoptees in Texas do not have that same advantage. And far too many go to their graves having never possessed even a copy of their own birth record… their own truth.
Plenty of Texans have tried to right this wrong. Abrazo supports them, so we know this. This past legislative session, HB 2725, another adoptee rights bill was filed by Representative Gina Calanni (also an adoptee.) Unfortunately, it never even made it to your desk.
(We say “another” because sadly, this happens every two years here in Texas, it seems. Despite the best efforts of many, Abrazo included.)
As an adoptive dad, as a lawyer and as Texas’ governor, we trust that you can do something about this problem. (Surely you do want to, right? For your daughter, and all other Texas adoptees, too?)
History matters, after all.
Texas Outlaws Fertility Fraud
Meanwhile, in the same great state, during the same legislative session, another bill having to do with pregnancy and parentage did make the vote and merit your signature.
You signed into law SB1259. This makes it a sexual assault crime for medical providers to use an unauthorized donor’s sperm, eggs or embryos in the fertility treatment process.
We’re all for it, sure. But honestly, we’re struggling to wrap our minds around the greater injustice here. Because what this does, essentially, is that it protects the identity rights granted to those who can afford fertility treatment– in the same legislative session in which Texas again denied adoptees the right to know who gave them life.
How is this okay, Governor? What makes it right to protect one privileged group’s right to know where their children came from, yet refuse to honor another group of citizens’ rights to know who their original parents were?
As we say here in Texas: “that dog don’t hunt.”
The Bottom Line: Parentage Matters
What it comes down to is this: parentage matters. People need to know who they came from.
Parents need to know who their children are.
Adoptees need to know who their birthparents were.
This is a universal need, and it’s a civil right, as well.
And this is why, dear Texas Governor, it’s time for you to take the proverbial bull by the horns, and right this wrong for once and for all.
You have signed into law a bill giving fertility treatment patients the right to know where their children are coming from.
Now, dear Texas Governor, you need to be just as committed to ensuring that Texas adoptees have the same right to documentation verifying their original parentage.
Do it for your daughter, and for all other Texans’ sons and daughters, please.