Map and Descriptions
Color Key (some bills are still active in 2021 sessions, are awaiting final implementation, or will carry over to 2022).
2022 Adoptee Rights Legislation (Domestic)
Active State Bills
Summaries and analysis provided by Gregory D. Luce.
H2294/S1440. Bill that removes a date-based restrictions that creates a “donut hole” in the state for adoptees born between 1974 and 2008. This is the same short and sweet bill (it strikes out 13 words) that has been in play for at least four consecutive sessions. It closes a date-based loophole in current Massachusetts law, eliminating the discriminatory provision that denies an unrestricted right to the OBC for adoptees who were born between 1974 and 2008. The Joint Committee on Public Health heard the bills on May 10 and reported them out favorably in September. On November 4, the House passed H2294 by voice vote and it now moves to the Senate. While passage has met resistance in the Senate in the past, there does not appear to be any known opposition to the bill this session. Access Massachusetts and national adoptee rights advocates have been involved for years in pushing the bill. Further action in 2021 is unlikely but the bills will carry over for consideration in 2022.
SF328/HF470: Unrestricted equal rights bills that dismantle Minnesota’s forty-plus-year history of compromise. SF328/HF470 are equal rights bills that, with minor tweaks, are identical to bills filed in the 2019-2020 legislative sessions. Sen. Jim Carlson, a DFL (Democratic) legislator, is the author of the Senate bill. Republican Rep. Dave Baker is the House author. The bills constitute a necessary step toward dismantling a complex intermediary system that has existed in Minnesota since 1977. After a March 9 hearing in the Senate’s Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee, Senator Carlson withdrew SF328 in part to avoid discriminatory amendments and to keep the bill active during Minnesota’s two-year legislative process. Though the bills carry over to 2022, they do not currently have adoptee support for the 2022 session. Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform is the primary organization behind the effort, in collaboration with Minnesota-based Adoptee Rights Law Center.
HB4566: Consent-based bill applied retroactively to all adoptions in the state, no matter the date the adoption was finalized. Representative RJ May has prefiled a bill that will amend Section 44-63-140, which was amended as recently as 2019 but the enacted law at that time only applied to adoptions finalized after July 1, 2019. HB4566 effectively makes the 2019 law retroactive to all adoptions no matter when finalized, stating that adult adoptees may obtain a “copy of their original birth certificate and accompanying evidence of adoption with the consent of the biological parent and applies retroactively, regardless of the date on which the adoption was finalized.”
SB483/AB502. As introduced in 2021, provides an unrestricted right, at age 18, for an adoptee to request and obtain the “impounded” pre-adoption birth certificate. Wisconsin and its legislators have a mixed history on the issue of original birth records, agreeing in the past to compromised legislation that would reinforce the state’s current system of consent-based release of the OBC. This bill, as introduced, would provide a simple and unrestricted right to request and obtain the original “impounded” birth certificate at age 18. It further divorces current law from Wisconsin’s complex intermediary system that depends on searching for birthparents to obtain consent for release of the OBC. Hearings on the Senate bill before the Senate Committee on Human Services, Children and Families have been scheduled twice but subsequently cancelled. A House hearing on AB502 was also set for October 13 before the Committee on Children and Families but it was also cancelled. The bills will carry over to 2022.
SB524/AB577: Purports to allow adult children of deceased adoptees to request and obtain the adoptee’s original birth certificate, subject to the state’s current restrictive law. This bill will provide a right for “offspring” of a deceased adopted person to request the adoptee’s OBC (plus “any available identifying information” about the adoptee’s birthparents), but only if the adoptee and the adoptee’s identified birthparents are all deceased. The bill also appears structured so that it applies only to children of adoptees who were adopted in Wisconsin—and not necessarily to adoptees who were born in Wisconsin but adopted in another state. The Senate Committee on Transportation and Local Government heard the bill on September 22, 2021, and the bill later passed the Senate unanimously on October 20. The House Committee on Children and Families heard the bill on October 13 and again by executive session on October 27. The bill carries over to 2022.
Enacted into Law
Enacted into law in 2022 or enacted previously and awaiting final implementation in the state.
HB2921/SB1831. [ENACTED] Bill that replaces a previously vetoed bill. It creates a donut hole, excluding and discriminating against adoptees born between June 1968 and 2022. Late-introduced bills late in a long-running, bizarre, and hyperpartisan Arizona legislative session. The bills “replaced” HB2070, a previously vetoed bill discussed below. SB1831 “repassed” the Senate by a vote of 17-13, meaning it actually lost additional support since the Governor’s veto of HB2070. It subsequently passed the House on a vote of 49-7 (4 not voting), and Governor Doug Ducey signed the bill into law on June 29. It becomes effective September 28, 2021, and the date-based requests for the OBC may be made beginning January 1, 2022.
The bills are discriminatory and exclude adopted people who are born between June 20, 1968, and December 31, 2021, creating a donut hole for the vast majority of Arizona adoptees. Those whose births fall into the 53-year donut-hole period will have no right, apart from securing a court order, to obtain their own birth records. The vast majority of adoptee rights advocates and allies oppose the bill, which has little support from Arizona-born adoptees. The bill was driven by a conservative anti-abortion organization, though Heritage Arizona and the Adoptee Rights Coalition also supported and cheerleaded the discriminatory exclusions contained in the bill. The Adoptees United board, along with 37 other state and national organizations, endorsed opposition to the bills.
HB2010 [ENACTED]. Requires that supplemental information added to an adoptee’s file be sent to the adoptee. This bill involves de-identified “supplemental information” that a birthparent or any member of a birth family may provide to the agency or person responsible for the adoption. If such supplemental information is received, the adoption agency or person who receives the information must notify the adoptee, if at least 18 years of age, or the adoptive parents if the adoptee is a minor, of the receipt of the information. The bill also carries an emergency measure regarding foster care reentry for youth who were discharged from foster care on account of COVID-19 restrictions. The bill passed both chambers, and Governor Doug Ducey signed it into law on March 18.
SF589/HF855 [ENACTED] Discriminatory law that creates redaction rights through a corrupt contact preference form. Iowa has tried to enact a bill over the past few years, each time moving forward but either starting out or ending up with a discriminatory bill. These bills in 2021 simply kicked off with discriminatory provisions, including a corrupt contact preference form that a birthparent may file stating that “I do not want to be contacted. I request that my personally identifiable information be redacted from the noncertified copy of the original certificate of birth and my contact preference form.” The House Judiciary Committee recommended passage and the bill was renumbered and introduced as HF855 by the Ways and Means Committee. It passed the Iowa House on April 13 on a vote of 91-0. The Senate Judiciary Committee recommended SF559 for passage on March 3, and the Ways and Means Committee subsequently approved it for passage. The Senate on April 21 passed the bill, 46-0, after substituting HF855 and adding an amendment regarding the collection of fees. The House agreed to the amendment and, after an extended legislative session, Governor Kim Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 19. The Facebook group Iowa Adoptee and Family Coalition supported the birthparent redaction rights in the law, as did the Adoptee Rights Coalition. A FAQ on the new law and how it works is available here.
HB62/SB723 [ENACTED]: Removes contact veto provisions in current law. Tennessee is not an unrestricted rights state. It has three provisions that are problematic: 1) redaction of records in certain limited cases; 2) a $150 fee to request records; and 3) a highly problematic and likely unconstitutional “contact veto.” The bills, sponsored by the Republican Majority Leader in the Tennessee House, removes the contact veto and contact notice registry provisions. While the bill is hard to review because of way it is drafted, I have compiled how the proposed changes fit into existing law. Last session near-identical bills were set to be heard in each chambers’ Judiciary Committees, but COVID-19 led to deferral of all legislative action. The only difference with the bill this session is a requirement to inform people who registered a contact veto that the law is changing. It was reported out favorably from the House Subcommittee on Children & Family Affairs, the full Civil Justice Committee and the Finance Committee, and now moves to the House floor, where it is on the regular calendar for consideration on March 25. The companion Senate bill, SB0723, was recommended unanimously for passage by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 23, and subsequently passed the full Senate, 32-0. On March 25, SB723 was substituted for HB62 and passed the full House, 88-0. Governor Bill Lee signed the bill on April 7, and the bulk of the new law now becomes effective on July 1, 2022.
No bills are considered dead yet for the 2022 session.