By Joyce Bahr, President of unsealedinitiative.org
For Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Dear Brooklyn Eagle,
Members of our organization want to thank Senator Montgomery for prime sponsoring our legislation, the Bill of Adoptee Rights in 2010, and for her continued support since Senator Andrew Lanza became the prime sponsor in 2012.
Our legislation is modeled after recent laws in Alabama, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Rhode Island.
Adoptees would prefer such a direct access law as Alaska and Kansas have, but are compromising for a law giving birth parents the option of whether or not and how they want to be contacted.
Although birth parents like myself have the need to reconcile and heal an old wound, we are in the same boat as many adoptees, because we have no right to obtain any identifying information about the child we surrendered many years ago. This is also a women's issue, and is one that has been swept under the carpet in the U. S., while in other countries mothers and adoptees have received liberties years ago. Our website, www.unsealedinitiative.org, has an informative Issues of Mothers page.
Because unwed mothers receive little information, options and support, we want those considering adoption – whether open or closed – to be informed.
We are continuing the fight to change the old law signed by Governor Lehman in 1938. Times and social norms have changed, and the old law serves to harm too many who have no other recourse than to hire a paid searcher.
Joyce Bahr – Reunited Mother,
President, New York Statewide Adoption Reform's Unsealed Initiative
Founder, Manhattan Birth Parent's Support Group