Howie Hawkins supports state legislation (A909 and S2490A) to allow adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates.
Hawkins Calls For Repeal of Laws Denying Adoptees Access to Their Original Birth Certificates
Howie Hawkins, who is running for Governor as a Green, said today that he supports state legislation (A909 and S2490A) to allow adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates.
“I support giving all adult adoptees 18 and older the right to a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate. The motive behind the old law signed by Governor Herbert H. Lehman in 1935 that restricted an adoptee's inalienable right to know the basic facts of their birth, genetic, and medical history was flawed and studies now exist to substantiate that fact,” Hawkins said.
“It is a violation of human rights and discriminatory since all non-adopted persons have the right to their birth certificates anytime they wish, but children that have been separated from their original families due to adoption are being denied vital information regarding their heritage,” Hawkins concluded.
Hawkins’ sentiments are being echoed in San Francisco this week as The American Adoption Congress is holding their 35th annual international conference with the mission of “Building Bridges for Change” via adoption reform.
Supporters of adoption reform such as Michele Newell, an adopted from Schenectady, NY, says “There is a desperate need for us adoptees to know our medical backgrounds. Adoptees are dying from the not knowing. This should not be going on. I demand for these horrific laws to be changed ASAP."
Another adoptee, Stacy Mantel, states “We need to know our biological history because inherited diseases are no joke. It is very expensive to test for all these genetic diseases. It is discriminatory against low and middle class people who cannot afford testing. The FDA just banned low cost DNA testing via 23andme.com. I am an adoptee that has no clue of whether or not to get the extra testing for heart disease, mammograms, or colonoscopies. (If you are high risk, these tests are more frequent). In addition, not knowing my origins is known as 'Ancestricide'. I have no clue as to my heritage.”
James Lane, an adult adoptee, was the Green Party candidate for Public Advocate in NYC last year.