As previously discussed, Assemblymember Fiona Ma has introduced an ammendment to the CA Health and Safety Code. Legalese is not my first, nor even my second language. So wading through the related code and the bill was an unpleasant experience. Please let me know your thoughts and ideas.
I am thrilled that it’s bringing the subject of open records to the table. Open records are coming! Yesterday a (foggy) natural mother told me she didn’t even know they weren’t open yet! It’s all about awareness. More people need to know. The part in red is newly introduced in AB 372, introducing availability of Original Birth Certificates to adopted adults. I’m not positive it even needs to be added. If it is necessary, I suggest crossing out the word court and replacing it with the county recorder’s office or some such.
102704. A copy of the original record of birth shall be made available to a person who is the subject of that record if all of the following criteria are met:
(a) The person is at least 18 years of age.
(b) The person was adopted.
(c) The person submits to the court county office of vital records or the state health department, a written request for a copy of his or her original record of birth. The request shall be signed by the person and notarized
We may really need to leave (b) in, even though it seems unnecessary to me. We don’t need to involve the court system in adoptee records of birth anymore than we do in other people’s record of birth. The way you play this game is cross out the words you want to get rid of and put your new preferred words in italics. I got my fresh sample by googling CA Health & Safety Code.
Now onto the existing code. It needs some ammending too. It’s in green. Most of the existing code is about an unknown number of documents of unknown privacy provisions that I think should be set aside until we get this record of birth established. So I left most of it alone for now.
102705. All records and information specified in this article, other than the newly issued birth certificate and the original record of birth, shall be available only upon the order of the superior court of the county of residence of the adopted child or the superior court of the county granting the order of adoption. No such order shall be granted by the superior court unless a verified petition setting forth facts showing the necessity of the order has been presented to the court and good and compelling cause is shown for the granting of the order. The clerk of the superior court shall send a copy of the petition to the State Department of Social Services and the department shall send a copy of all records and information it has concerning the adopted person with the name and address of the natural parents removed to the court. The court must review these records before making an order and the order should so state. If the petition is by or on behalf of an adopted child who has attained majority, these facts shall be given great weight, but the granting of any petition is solely within the sound discretion of the court. The name and address of the natural parents shall be given to the petitioner only if he or she can demonstrate that the name and address, or either of them, are necessary to assist him or her in establishing a legal right.
Baby steps. We need to focus on unrestricted access for ALL adults to their own records of birth. One thing at a time, no exceptions.
Let me know what you think.