The Texas Senate took up debate this week on two bills aimed at enhancing the rights of adoptees. Senate Bill 329 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) would allow adult adoptees easier access to their birth certificates and medical history by removing the requirement of a court order to obtain such information. "(Adult adoptees) are the only class of Texans right now that have no access to their birth certificate," says Creighton. "It's important for that adoptee to have that ability to protect themselves and their children and future generations by knowing very important medical history."
Creighton tells KTRH his bill is about balancing the rights of adoptees with the rights of biological parents. "There comes a time when the right of the adult adoptee should also be acknowledged and respected, and right now Texas just does not do that," he says. "This bill allows us to give adoptees, as adults, the rights they deserve."
But critics of Creighton's bill say it would violate the privacy rights of biological parents who have chosen to remain anonymous through so-called "closed adoptions." "SB 329 puts the biological parent who wants to remain anonymous in a very uncomfortable position, because it reveals their identity at age 18," says Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels).
Campbell has introduced her own bill, SB 1362, which directs the state to inform adoptees and their biological parents about the Texas Central Adoption Registry, which works to reunite adult adoptees with their biological parents. "Let's make that registry known to everybody, but let's maintain the privacy of the biological parents, if that's the choice they made at the time of the adoption," she says.
Both SB 329 and SB 1362 are still pending in the State Affairs Committee.