Maryland again has an unrestricted adoptee equal rights bill in the Senate, with a House bill soon to be announced.We need your help on the Senate side right away, 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 will 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 Senate bill—SB0331—has a public hearing on January 26, 2021. The House bill hearing has not yet been scheduled or announced. Because COVID-19 restrictions and time constraints will limit virtual testimony this session, written testimony will be key.
Maryland House and Senate rules generally 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 through the legislature’s online portal 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 SB0331. The statement will be given to the Senate Judicial Proceedings committee through Susie Stricker and Peggy Klappenberger of Maryland Adoptee Rights, a core partner in the Capitol Coalition for Adoptee Rights. They will arrange to have all written testimony submitted properly to the 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 bill and recommend passage of SB0331.
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 Senate Judicial Proceedings committee:
Senator William C. Smith, Jr.
Chairman, Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee
Maryland General Assembly
Miller Senate Office Building, 2 East
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Dear Chairman Smith and Members of the Committee: