UPDATE JUNE 7, 2016
You Can Enable Us To Succeed. Read This. Really.
June 7, 2016
Dear Friend of Access Connecticut,
We have good news!
After several years of concerted effort by supporters like you, we have greatly increased awareness of adoptee rights in the legislature. As a result, we believe we now have strong support among lawmakers to restore the right of all Connecticut adoptees – including those born and adopted before October 1, 1983 – to access their own original birth certificate.
Times are changing. As a result of DNA testing, social media and the hard work of advocates across the country, we are riding the crest of the adoptee rights wave. We are poised to succeed.
Adoptees like Lori desperately need us to succeed. And to do it soon.
Lori is a pre-1983 adoptee now in her late 50s. She knows the identity of her biological parents. Both are long deceased. Lori wants her original birth certificate so she can have a sense of closure about her life. She petitioned the Probate Court its release. But the Court denied her petition because, among other things, “Release of said Birth Certificate would be for personal reasons only.”
For many of us, it’s personal because we have a medical need. Or a psychological need. Or a human rights need. Or a civil rights need. Or a straight-forward need to know, because we’re just like our non-adopted peers who get their birth certificates as a matter of course.
So, yes, this is personal. This is personal discrimination. So we’re writing you today because, with your help, we can finally stop it.
But we have a problem. Advocates like us who are doing the “boots on the ground” work have obligations (just like you) that mean we simply cannot be at the legislature as much as we need to be. Our success to date has relied upon the hard work and expertise of a professional lobbyist. We need him.
Right now, however, we don’t have the funds to hire him – which probably means we can’t get this bill passed. And that means thousands of other adoptees like Lori will not get their original birth certificates.
It’s as direct and simple as that.
So there are three things that will make the difference between success and failure in the next (2-017) legislative session:
1. Donate immediately. If each person on our email list contributed $50-$100 to support our 2017 effort, our lobbyist would be hired. So please make a donation of this amount, or however much you can afford.
2. Reach out to at least three people who care about you and explain why it’s important to make as generous donation as possible to Access Connecticut.
3. Identify one or two individuals who have the financial means, as individuals, to take us over the top. It may be someone you know, or it may be you. Introduce us, and we’ll take it from there. This has been a successful approach in at least one other state, where a single committed adoptee donated enough to hire a lobbyist, who made all the difference in passing broad legislation.
You can contribute directly on line at;
Or mail a check to:
PO Box 270129
West Hartford, CT 06107
The Access Connecticut Now, Inc. Board of Directors
Karen Caffrey, Adoptee
Brian Donahue, Adoptive Parent
Carolyn Goodridge, Adoption Professional
Eileen McQuade, Birth Parent
Please Note: Your contribution is NOT tax deductible. Although Access Connecticut is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization our primary focus is advocating for legislation (not charity). Donations are, therefore, not deductible under federal or state law.
ATTENTION CONNECTICUT ADOPTEES!
On July 1, 2015 a new law became effective in Connecticut that gives certain adult adoptees the right to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate.
Your are eligible to receive your original birth certificate under the new law if:
- You were born and adopted in Connecticut.
- You will be 18 or older on or after July 1, 2015.
- Your adoption was finalized on or after October 1, 1983.
Pursuant to the new law, you are also entitled to receive a Contact Preference Form and Medical History Form, if they have been filed by your biological parents with the Department of Children and Families.
You must file an application and pay a fee to the Department of Public Health in Hartford to receive your original birth certificate. The Application Form to obtain an Original Birth Certificate can be obtained from the Department of Public Health.
Notice to Biological Parents: The new law provides that you may file a Contact Preference Form and updated Medical History Form with the Department of Children and Families, which will be provided upon request to your adult offspring. The Contact Preference Form allows you to indicate whether or not, and how, you wish to be contacted. The Medical History Form allows you to provide current, updated medical health information that may be critical to the health of your offspring and their children.
For more information, please contact:
Department of Public Health, Vital Records Office: (860) 509-7700
(Original Birth Certificates)
Department of Children and Families: (860) 550-6300
(Contact Preference and Medical History Forms)
Access Connecticut would like to thank Mr. Matthew Hallisey, managing principal of Matthew Hallisey Government Affairs, for his support and guidance in helping to shepherd Public Act 14-133 through the legislative process. Our success to date would not be possible without him!
Who Is Access Connecticut?
Access Connecticut is a grassroots organization of adoptees, birth/first parents, adoptive parents and adoption professionals dedicated to re-establishing the right of adult adoptees to access their original birth certificates, which was taken away in 1975.
Access Connecticut has one goal: We seek to re-establish the right of adult adoptees to access their original birth certificate, a right which the all non-adopted citizens have under Connecticut law. Prior to 1975 all adoptees born in Connecticut had the right to obtain their true, original birth certificates (OBCs) upon reaching the age of majority.
Every adoptee has two birth certificates: A true, original birth certificate (OBC) created the day they are born and a false, amended birth certificate. The false birth certificate is created by the state when their adoption is finalized (up to a year or more after their birth), and says their adoptive parents are their biological parents. The false birth certificate is the adoptee’s legal birth certificate.
More than four out of five Connecticut residents (85%) would support a law allowing adult adoptees to obtain copies of their original birth certificate naming their birth parents. (See this 2007 Univ. of Conn. Survey)
Laws in several states now acknowledge the unrestricted right of adult adoptees to access their OBCs. These states include our New England neighbors in Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, as well as Alabama, Alaska, Colorado and Kansas. Adoptee rights organizations are active in many states. See a list of state, national and international experts who endorse access!
Join our group of adoptees, birth/first and adoptive parents, adoption professionals and our friends in making Connecticut the next unconditional access state!
Your voice and your opinion matter.
Your support of Access Connecticut matters.
Your joining our email list matters.
Your personal letter or email to a legislator matters.
*Thanks to our friends at NJCARE for generously sharing resources from their website.*
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