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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Oregon's new law signed | Minnesota opens records to ADOPTEES in 2024




SF1279/SF2995/HF1778.[ENACTED!] Unrestricted equal rights bill that dismantles Minnesota’s forty-five year history of inequality. These bills are unrestricted equal rights bill that are generally identical to bills filed in the prior two legislative sessions. Sen. Erin Maye Quade, a DFL (Democratic) legislator, is the chief author of the Senate bill, and Rep. Steve Elkins is the chief author of the House bill. The bills constitute a necessary simplification of the law by eliminating Minnesota’s incomprehensibly complicated and discriminatory intermediary system, the first such system in the United States and one that has been in place since 1977. Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform and Minnesota-based Adoptee Rights Law Center are working collaboratively on the bill. The House bill has been assigned to the Health Finance and Policy Committee. The Senate bill was reported out of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee and heard in the Health and Human Services Committee. It is now part of the Senate HHS omnibus appropriations bill (SF2995), which passed the full Senate on April 18. After negotiations, the adoptee birth record provisions in the Senate version of SF2995 were included and approved as part of the the overall HHS omnibus bill. The legislature passed the omnibus bill on May 22, the last day of the regular session, and Governor Tim Walz signed the bill into law on May 24. Minnesota will now become the 15th state in the country to restore equal rights to all adopted people born in the state. The law is fully effective on July 1, 2024.


SB573 [ENACTED!] Allows a biological parent who was omitted or listed incorrectly to be added to an original (pre-adoptive) birth certificate.  This bill has been in the Oregon legislature for about three sessions now, doggedly pursued by an adult adoptee who wants the correct factual information listed on her own original birth certificate. The bill, carried by Senator Sara Gelser Blouin, would allow addition or correction of a birthparent on the OBC if approved through an administrative determination of paternity or parentage.  DNA evidence is required, along with a $100 filing fee.  The first hearing on the bill was January 23, 2023, before the Senate Committee on Human Services, chaired by Senator Gelser Blouin.  The bill was then delayed for consideration to work out issues arising out of the process to approve corrections to the birth record.  It was reported out favorably on March 6 after the bill was simplified to avoid a court process.  It passed the Senate on March 13, on a 28-1 vote and is now in the House, where it was heard on April 24 in the Early Childhood and Human Services Committee and subsequently recommended for passage by the House.  The House passed the bill on May 23, 2023, and Governor Tina Kotek signed it into law on June 6, 2023. It is effective on January 1, 2024.


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