The Maryland House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed HB1039 on March 11, sending the equal rights bill to the Senate for final consideration.
The vote, initially reported as 130-8, became official later at 131-7. Two delegates who are adopted spoke strongly in favor of the bill: Republican April Rose of Carroll County and Delegate Courtney Watson, Democrat of Howard County. HB1039 is sponsored by Republican Michael Malone, and it has now moved to the Senate, where its companion bill is already under consideration in the Judicial Proceedings Committee. Senator Susan Lee is the sponsor of the Senate bill.
“We are pleased that the overall response from our legislators has been positive and very supportive,” said Susie Stricker, the founder of Maryland Adoptee Rights, a member of the Capitol Coalition for Adoptee Rights. “We have cleared a huge hurdle, but need to keep the momentum moving forward by urging our lawmakers to vote for the HB1039 as it is written and keeps it equal.”
“Moving this legislation along has been a dream of mine for over 10 years,” said Peggy Klappenberger, a Maryland adoptee and advocate with Maryland Adoptee Rights. “To be sitting where we are today is surreal, and I know it couldn’t have happened without Susie Stricker and all the hard work she put in to get this bill written and into both chambers. It also wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the adoptee community both nationally and here in Maryland. Everyone has been amazing.”