Once again, it’s time for the nation to again raise the question: when will Texas honor adoptees’ rights?
After all, it comes up, again and again, Whenever the Texas Legislature reconvenes, those who care about civil rights and those who care about adoptees rally to the cause, to try to pass much-needed legislation to give adults adopted in Texas the right to their original birth record.
It shouldn’t be a big problem, normally, After all, every other American adult has a civil right to request a state-issued copy of their own original birth certificate. It’s called a “vital record” for a reason, you know?
The purpose of a real birth record
In any state in the nation, your original birth certificate is the legitimate record documenting your birth and your initial identity as a citizen of this country. That makes it Pretty Big Thang.
The average American needs it when they register for school. They need it when they go on vacation on a cruise ship. They need it to get a passport. Maybe they need it to secure a form of ID. Or they may need it to prove they’re entitled to citizenship. Perhaps they just want it because it’s theirs, pure and simple.
For $22, any adult born in Texas can get a copy of their OBC, no questions asked… unless they were once adopted, and then it’s a whole different ballgame. Suddenly, they’re not entitled to their own legal record of their own actual birth, not unless they have a court order. Or unless they already know the full names of both of the parents named on that record. (Never mind that they likely haven’t seen what’s on that record if they never had a copy? Duh.)
Yet, for years, Texas has sealed (ie., closed off and locked away) the original birth certificate of any Texas-born child who gets adopted, and replaced it with an “amended” (ie., falsified) “birth record.” That identifies the only parents of each child as the adoptive parents, eliminating any fact/s of who the biological parents of that person truly are or were.
No matter how many decades old an adopted Texan becomes, after becoming an adult, they still are not entitled to see, hold or receive a state-issued copy of their real birth record, as anybody else can, because the State of Texas still treats adopted adults like shameful little secrets. And that’s just plain wrong. When will Texas honor adoptees rights, and what’s taking this state so durned long to do it?
It’s time for Texas to make things right
Adoptees don’t have any say in whether or not they get/have to be adopted, as children. But they sure as heck should have a right to know the truth of their own beginnings once they’re grown.
This doesn’t mean they want to undo their adoptions, and it doesn’t guarantee they’ll seek out a reunion. It won’t result in anyone banging down someone’s door demanding to be a child all over again. It does mean that they may be able to seek out more accurate healthcare for themselves, finally knowing the facts of their own origin. Many adoptees discover that knowing their own original identity enhances their own sense of self and helps to strength their adoptive relationships by removing the lifelong sense of shame over being treated like a secret.
State Rep. Cody Harris, backed by such esteemed groups as Texas Adoptee Rights Coalition and Support Texas Adoptee Rights, is again sponsoring a new bill, TX HB2006, to give adults adopted in Texas legal access to their own original state-issued birth certificates. He’s an adoptive parent, so he gets how important it is for all loving parents to honor their sons’ and daughters’ right to their own truth in life.
But not all parents are that conscientious, unfortunately. Some folks may have done adoptions in a way that they’re not proud of, so they want to hide the truth. Less-than-honest families sometimes try to hide adoption from their kids to make the adults feel more secure, but that should never be any’s adoptee’s burden to bear, (Other parents don’t even realize they can legally adopt in Texas without letting the State falsify their child’s original birth records.) Lies hurt, secrets harm, but the truth can heal.
It’s time for all Texas lawmakers to heed the will of the people, since the vast majority of Texans DO support adoptee rights. Let’s make Texas adoptee rights the law of the land– at last.
Join the cause
If all adoptions are truly supposed to be in the best interests of each child who gets adopted, then shouldn’t honesty and truth be hallmarks of every adoption, too? We think so, which is why Abrazo wholeheartedly supports the cause of adoptee rights and the rights of Texas adoptees to know their own truth. Yet it’s going to take all of us, together, to turn back those in power, who stand for secrecy and shame merely because it keeps them in control of the adoptees’ right to know their own truth.
Please contact your Texas state representative and tell that office that you are a constituent who supports TX HB2006. Tell all your friends on social media about this bill and why it matters. And lend your support to the groups mentioned above, who keep fighting the good fight on behalf of all Texas adoptees everywhere.
Let’s answer the question “when will Texas honor adoptees’ rights?” with a resounding response that “NOW is the time!” No bull– let’s get TX HB2006 passed, this time!