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Friday, February 10, 2023

Adoptees United (Access to our sealed adoption records and OBC) UPDATE


Our bill watchlist lists all the pending bills that impact adoption or adoptee rights work, whether state or federal. We update the list during legislative sessions, in addition to our core work of tracking priority adoptee rights legislation.

One Gone, Eleven Still Kicking

Virginia’s equal right bill seemed well on the road to House passage and then—poof—it went down, the victim of tight legislative deadlines and a last minute “re-referral” to where it started: in committee. Advocates are working to determine what happened (aides who worked closely on the bill don’t yet seem to know) and how it can be addressed next session. Plans are already underway for 2024—as are plans next year for next-door neighbor Maryland.

That means it’s one state gone with eleven states still kicking, including Texas, which saw a bill filed yesterday, quickly celebrated by the Texas Adoptee Rights Coalition.

New Bills. Minnesota now has an active equal rights bill in the Senate, with a companion bill likely introduced toward the end of the week. It is probably the best opportunity to pass an equal rights bill in Minnesota in at least two decades, led primarily by the Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform.

AB13 in Wisconsin has been filed. It is the companion bill to SB15, which was introduced last week and assigned to a relatively friendly committee.

South Dakota has a bill that would eliminate the court process that is used today to obtain an original birth certificate , and Georgia’s SB64 is awaiting hearing in a committee that is stacked with prominent supporters.

Adoptees United is a national nonprofit organization with an unwavering commitment to equality for all adopted people. More information, including our board, position statements, and programming are on our website at


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Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

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