A Massachusetts equal rights bill, which removes date-based restrictions on the release of an adopted person’s own original birth certificate, has passed the Massachusetts House of Representatives. It’s now up to us—and up to the state Senate—to make full equality a reality for all Massachusetts adoptees.
What can I do today?
- If you are a Massachusetts resident, contact your Senator. You can look your Senator up here. Simply request support for S.1267 and specifically ask for the senator’s position on the bill. Bastard Nation also has an action alert out that lists all Massachusetts state senators, along with their social media connections.
- Contact members of the Senate Rules Committee asking them to advance S.1267 out of that committee and to the Senate floor. Contact information for the seven members of the Rules Committee is below.
We are holding out on contacting Senate President Karen Spilka, who ultimately controls the movement of the bill to the floor, until we know more.
Who Is Your Senator?
Use the Massachusetts Find My Legislator tool to find your state senator.
Members of the Senate Rules Committee
Note: Senator Joan Lovely, the Senate Rules Committee chair, is a co-sponsor of S.1267. Please thank her for her support and ask that her committee forward the bill for a full Senate vote.
|Joan Lovely||Chair||[email protected]|
|Joseph A. Boncore||Vice Chair||[email protected]|
|Adam G. Hinds||Member||[email protected]|
|William Brownsberger||Member||[email protected]|
|Cindy F. Friedman||Member||[email protected]|
|Ryan C. Fattman||Ranking Minority||[email protected]|
|Bruce E. Tarr||Member||[email protected]|
What does the bill do?
The bill removes a restriction that prohibits the release of an original birth certificate to specific adult adopted persons who were born in Massachusetts between certain dates. Current law does not allow an adopted person in Massachusetts to request and obtain his or her own OBC unless they were born before July 17, 1974, or or on or after January 1, 2008. Those born between 1974 and 2008 are currently out of luck.
The bill removes this date-based restriction so that all Massachusetts adult adopted people may request and obtain their own original birth certificates, without discriminatory conditions or restrictions.
What are the bill numbers?
The Senate bill is S.1267. The Massachusetts House bill, which passed the House on July 27, 2020, is H1892. The bills are identical.
What is the language or text of the bills?
The entire text of the bill strikes thirteen words, including the the restrictive dates, as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 2B of chapter 46 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 3 and 4, the words “on or before July 17, 1974 or on or after January 1, 2008”.
SECTION 2. Said section 2B of chapter 46, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 6, the words “on or after January 1, 2008”.
Information and full text of the bills are here, and a PDF of S.1267 is here.
Is there opposition to this bill?
The opposition is hard to figure out, other than one or two key legislative leaders have for years been adamantly opposed to securing universal equal rights for adult adopted people in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Recent developments in New York and other states—where long-time legislative opponents have reversed their long-held convictions— may now also convince leaders in Massachusetts to reconsider their positions.
Adam Antly says
WHO are the one or two key legislative leaders have for years been adamantly opposed to securing universal equal rights for adult adoptees?
What are their names?