Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Anticipation continues

There has still been no activity in the Governor's office regarding any of the new legislation articles sent to him.  We are learning a lesson in patience. 
We continue to spread the word of the new legislation so that adoptees are aware of the information that will (hopefully) soon be available to them.   Many adoptees who felt they would never know anything since their birth parents are deceased are very excited to hear about the new legislation.  This will be the information they have been wanting.  The feeling to "know" what their name was, to learn the name of their birth mother or birth father, to see it on paper, to learn "the rest of the story," will be a dream come true.  
The challenge will also be to get the notice out to the Courts in Missouri to let them know of the revision in the statute so that they will respond appropriately to adoptees when they inquire about their records.  It still amazes me when folks ask: Why do  adoptees search?  Why the information should be released at all?  Why are we not just letting it alone?  Well, adoptees have a history that goes beyond their moment of adoption.  Their existence didn't start then, it started before.  We want to know many things and it is only right that we should be allowed to ask.  Of course, no one wants to barge in and disrupt anyones life with the knowledge and intrude into the birth parents life, if being "known" would cause a problem.  We respect those birth parents, who for their own reasons, do not want to have this part of their life known to all.  But in most cases, it isn't this extreme. 
The disappointment comes when the adoptee finds out the birth parent is deceased and they are barred from knowing anything more the the non-id.  This will change when the Courts will be allowed to release the names of the birth parents even if they are deceased.  We have been working on this change for a long time.  It has been my frustration, along with the adoptee's, for all the years I have been helping adoptees search.  The right to confidentiality understandably exists while you are alive but ceases when you die.  It should include this situation as well.  With the passage of this legislation, the adoptee or their family will "win the lottery" and be able to know something as simple as a name.
Stay cool everyone!  As soon as I hear anything, you will be the first to know.

Friday, June 3, 2011

On the Governor's desk

SB 351 was delivered to the Gov. on May 26 along with the long list of other HB and SB's that were passed this session.  Looking at his web site, nothing has been done with any of these Bills to date.  So we wait.

Many of us have called the Gov.'s office to express our support of this Bill.  It is not known when he will be in the office to work on legislative things especially with the tornadoes and such that have occurred in the last few weeks.

We are keeping watch and I will post any new updates as soon as they occur.  When the Gov. does sign or after the default deadline of passage has come and gone, it will still be the end of August before the Bill is actually law.  We will also have to give the Courts a reasonable amount of time to even become aware of the new statute, to review it and then to develop the process to handle the influx of requests they will undoubtedly receive. 

Still, it is all very exciting.
Happy Summer!