Maryland has two unrestricted adoptee equal rights bills in the Senate and House, each with upcoming public hearings. We need your help, especially if you are a current Maryland resident or an adoptee connected to Maryland by birth or adoption.
While we need your written testimony, you likely need the coalition’s help to get it where it needs to go. If you are ready to pitch in right away without much instruction, hit the button below and you’ll get additional information and guidance. If you want more context about the hearings and how the Maryland hearing process works, keep on reading.
The House bill—HB1039—has a public hearing on February 20, 2020, beginning at 1:00pm. The Senate bill—SB0743–has a public hearing on February 25, 2020, beginning at 12:00pm. If you are able to be physically present at either hearing and wish to provide testimony in person, contact Susie Stricker by email directly to let her know.
Maryland House and Senate rules require that testimony must be in written form or presented in person at the hearings. Committees do not accept email testimony. Written testimony must also be uploaded on a computer kiosk at the Maryland State House at least an hour prior to the hearing. This is where we come in. But you first.
Please write a brief (no more than one page) statement indicating strong support for HB1039 and SB0743. The statement will be given to both committees through Susie Stricker of Maryland Adoptee Rights, a core partner in the Capitol Coalition for Adoptee Rights. She will then arrange to have all written testimony submitted properly to both committees. She will also testify at both hearings, and I will also be with her at the February 25, 2020, hearing to address the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
What to Stress
Here’s what to stress in your testimony:
- Explain who you are, your connection to adoption, and any organization you may represent;
- Explain why you believe adoptees at age 18 should be provided, upon request, a copy of their own original birth certificates;
- Avoid using arguments that stress search and contact with a birth relative or raise health concerns that you may have. Focus on why providing the OBC is a matter of civil rights, dignity, and equality.
- If you have had experience with DNA, explain how that worked, especially if it made information about the adoption much more widespread than simply obtaining a birth record (especially if you were the adoptee or birthparent).
- Respectfully ask that members of the Committees vote Yes on the bills and recommend passage of HB1039 and SB0743.
We’ve made it easy to submit testimony to the committees. Simply click on the button below, fill in your basic contact information, and write your statement in the space we provide (or copy and paste it from your own document). You can also upload a PDF of your statement directly. We’ll make sure the testimony is addressed properly to the committees and is submitted on the day of each hearing. That’s it. Help us out. Let’s make #MarylandNext.
Address to Use for Your Testimony
Use the following for your testimony to the committees:
Delegate Luke Clippinger Chairman, House Judiciary Committee Maryland General Assembly House Office Building, Room 101 Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Senator William C. Smith, Jr. Chairman, Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Maryland General Assembly Miller Senate Office Building, 2 East Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Dear Chairman Clippinger, Chairman Smith, and Members of the Committees: