By Mary Jo Pitzl | The Republic
For more than 50 years birth certificates for adopted Arizonans have listed the adoptive parents, while the names of biological parents were off-limits to adoptees.
That could change if a bill in the state Legislature becomes law, giving adult adoptees unrestricted access to their original birth certificates.
House Bill 2600 is part of a nationwide push by adoptees to access documents that they say are a vital part of their identity. Just last month, New York became the 10th state to open its adoption records.
In Arizona, Rep. Bret Roberts says the argument for the legislation is simple: “I think you have a right to know where you came from.”
The bill would allow anyone age 18 and older to request their original birth certificate and any other documents related to their adoption from state health officials.
“My husband is actually adopted and has already been connected to certain extended biological family members through 23 and Me without even searching. One of the ongoing challenges he faces as a result of the adoption is not having direct access to his family’s medical history.
“From my perspective, the law should be tailored to allow the adoptee to choose whether or not to obtain information about his or her biological family members.
“Rather than focusing on what the biological or adoptive parents prefer, the primary concern should be how having or not having that information affects the adoptee’s well-being and whether or not he or she needs that information for medical reasons or simply to find some sort of closure in his or her life upon reaching adulthood.”