We are overjoyed to see folks united for Texas adoptee rights this year.
Every two years, Abrazo has joined in the push to persuade the Texas Legislature to recognize the civil rights of Texas adoptees. Every other year, we draft a letter of appeal and head to Austin to beg Texas legislators to change the laws.
And every year, Abrazo works to educate the world about the importance of adoptee rights. And about why Texas adoptees should be entitled to a copy of their own original birth certificate. (You read that right: Their. Own. Original. Birth. Certificate.)
Because in Texas, whether you were adopted 21 years ago or 71 years ago, your OBC is still locked up and hidden. It’s sealed away like a secret too dangerous for you to view. (Even though that truth belongs to you, and nobody else.) Texas legally alters the birth certificates of those adopted here then denies adopted adults access to their real birth record. That is wrong. It’s a seriously-outdated concept. And it’s a civil rights injustice that nobody should ever have to tolerate.
Other, more progressive states have changed their laws to reflect current adoption standards. Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, Maine, New York, Alabama, New Hampshire, Kansas, and even Rhode Island granted adopted persons the unrestricted right to obtain their own OBCs upon request. Why shouldn’t Texas honor the rights of its adoptees to the same extent?
Who Supports Adoptee Rights & Why?
Adoptees who understand the importance of knowing their own truth and accessing their own medical history want the right to their own story. They don’t want the law to hide their original birth certificates.
Birthparents and adoptive parents who care about kids they placed and adopted don’t need the law to hide adoptees’ real records from them.
Medical professionals who understand the importance of genetic information don’t want adoptees denied the access to the best possible treatment for lack of accurate data.
Ethical adoption professionals like Abrazo don’t want to have to deidentify birth records and support a legal system that makes them permanent secret-keepers for no good reason at all.
Educated, conscientious lawmakers who have done their research know that there is no just cause to falsify state records for decades just because an adoption once occurred.
Mental health experts have testified to the damage that secrecy and shame can cause in the lives of adoptees forced to endure the damage of closed adoption practices of yesteryear.
Good people don’t back bad adoption regulations. Not everybody agrees on everything about adoptee rights and adoption reform, of course. Nobody claims that open adoption is a one-size-fits all cure for everybody. But everyone who genuinely cares about the rights and welfare of adoptees can agree. All adults ever adopted deserve to be able to access their own unaltered birth record before they die.
Same Song, Same Verse… But New Chorus!
So every other year, when the Texas Legislature meets, woke folks gather to try to bring important change about, for the sake of all adults ever adopted here. Yet usually, it’s the same, small-minded cabal of powerbrokers who fight to keep things the same. Why? Because there’s power and control in keeping secrets, and because change is scary to some, and because yes, there’s money involved, too.
But this year, folks are truly united for Texas adoptee rights. In an exciting new alliance, STAR (Supporting Texas Adoptee Rights) and TXARC (Texas Adoptee Rights Coalition) are joined in their support of Texas HB1386, sponsored by Rep. Cody Harris. Abrazo urges you to lend your support to both of these important groups. This could produce a new chorus of voices too big to be unheard– all across Texas and beyond.
Working together, we just might all make a legal miracle happen for Texas adoptees during this 87th Texas Legislative session. You’ll be hearing more about this from us and them, and we beg you to join this cause.
This year, take a stand, so we can all be truly united for Texas adoptee rights. It’s time to make things right for adoptees in the Lone Star State.