Senator Susan Lee of Montgomery County has reintroduced equal rights legislation in the Maryland legislature. The bill, SB331, is identical to a bill that nearly passed both chambers last session but ultimately died when the legislature adjourned early on account of COVID-19 restrictions. SB331, like its predecessor, would restore the right of all adult adopted people in Maryland to request and obtain their own original birth certificates.
The bill creates genuine contact preference forms for birthparents and adoptees and allows specified “relatives” to request and obtain the OBC in addition to the adult adoptee at age 18. SB331 further sunsets all prior disclosure vetoes (though few are likely on file). Previously filed disclosure vetoes will at that date be converted into contact preferences that indicate no contact is preferred. Maryland Adoptee Rights, a member of the Capitol Coalition for Adoptee Rights, sought the bill.
Maryland instituted its current system in 2000. It provides for the release of the OBC without a court order, but applies to adoptees 21 years of age or older who were adopted on or after January 1, 2000. Current law also provides for birth parent and adoptee disclosure vetoes. The bill eliminates this discriminatory framework and provides for the unrestricted right to request and obtain the OBC. It has been referred to the Judiciary Proceedings Committee.
The official text of the bill is not yet available. A hearing in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is already set for Tuesday, January 26, 2021, at 1:00pm.