Earlier this week, Rep. Barry Russell, a Democrat from Broward County, filed a clean OBC access bill with a genuine contact preference form (HB821). We are obviously supportive of clean bills. We are, however, cautiously moving forward with support of HB821 at this time. It appears certain that the new bill was filed at the request or direction of Representative Richard Stark, the sponsor of the bill that we currently oppose. With the recent history of two widely different New York OBC access bills being simultaneously introduced and sponsored by the same legislator---with disastrous results for adoptees---we are concerned that the new bill in Florida is not genuine and is instead being used solely to obtain a hearing on Representative Stark’s bill. Representative Stark has represented that at least one committee assigned to his bill will not approve it without adding redaction provisions.
For this reason, we have expressed guarded support for the new bill. At the same time, we are working with Florida constituents to determine whether the current sponsor of the clean bill is committed to the bill and to adoptee rights generally. We will specifically ask him if he is willing to work with supporters in assuring passage of HB821 without discriminatory amendments.
The new bill, which does not have a required senate sponsor, can be found here. We will let you know more details once we talk with Representative Russell.
As always, thanks for your support!
Adoptee Rights Campaign
Adoption Rights Alliance (Ireland)/The Philomena Project
American Adoption Congress
Banished Babies of Ireland
Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization
Concerned United Birthparents
The Donaldson Adoption Institute
National Center on Adoption and Permanency
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
Saving Our Sisters
Trace L. Hentz, author, Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects series
Access Rhode Island
Equal Access Oklahoma
Florida Adoption Initiative for Reform
Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform
New York State Adoptee Equality
Post-Adoption Center for Education and Resources (PACER)