Wednesday, Indiana’s adult adoptees cleared a major hurdle in their quest to obtain sealed birth records. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-0 in favor of Senate Bill 91, which if passed would give adult adoptees from Indiana’s “closed records” period access to their original birth certificate and adoption records.
Advocates from Hoosiers for Equal Access to Records (HEAR), a non-profit formed to push for adult adoptee access legislation in Indiana, praised the interim study committee for hearing the concerns of adoptees.
“We are thrilled that with this vote the Senate Judiciary Committee recognized the importance of making access to personal information equal for all adoptees,” said Pam Kroskie, president of HEAR.
Under current law, Hoosiers adopted after 1994 have access to their records. Those adopted between 1941 and 1993 during Indiana’s “closed records” period are forced to use a difficult and expensive intermediary system for getting their records—causing many to quit their search in frustration, or never start. The new law will equalize access to information for all adoptees.
“Senate Bill 91 will allow adoptees to access their adoption files and original birth certificate, and will help them find closure, complete family medical history and eliminate paperwork complications that come from having an amended birth certificate,” Kroskie said.
To keep a direct line of communication open with the public and legislators, HEAR has created a website that offers updates on the bill and an interface for easily writing legislators with messages of support. Visit the website athttp://www.indianahear.org.
Hoosiers for Equal Access to Records, Inc. (HEAR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to removing the shame and secrecy surrounding Indiana’s closed adoptions period. It calls on adoptees, birth/first mothers, adoptive parents and adoption placement professionals to band together to improve adoption education, and promote adult adoptees’ access to their original birth certificates.