Bastardette: Yesterday was a celebratory day for the Adoptees Rights Movement. Rhode Island became the 7th state to provide unrestricted access to Original Birth Certificates for ALL adoptees born in the state. S478 Sub AA was signed into law yesterday at noon. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2012.
However, in the donor conception world equal rights are still decades behind.
With the recent appeals upset by the state in Olivia Pratten's groundbreaking court case in British Columbia, she has another battle to fight to gain rights for donor conceived adults in Canada. The good news is, since the appeal will go to the Supreme Court of Canada, IF (and only if) she wins, donor anonymity will be removed in not just BC but every province in Canada!! While the appeal after such a successful win must be devastating to Olivia and her family and her attorneys, if they can convince the SCC of the unconstitutionality of destroying records and denying donor conceived adults from learning the identities of their biological parents, then the ramifications would set in motion a hard precedent for other states and governments to deny.
Here in the good ol' USA, the first tiny baby step in reform is beginning to brew. On the weekend of Independence Day, there is a tiny glimmer of hope, that human rights, children's rights, Americans' rights will prevail over greedy corporations and money.
The Governor of the state of Washington recently signed into law the Uniform Parentage Act that, effective July 22, 2011, demands that anyone who provides sperm or eggs to a fertility clinic must also provide identifying information and a medical history, and that children born from these donated gametes can return to the fertility clinic at age 18 to request this identifying information and medical history.
However, as is the case in many adoptee OBC bills that spring up across the country, there's a catch.
Unfortunately Washington was too scared of the potential loss of donors, so they added a cop-out. Donors can file a disclosure veto that prevents the clinic from revealing identifying information (not medical history) to their biological children.
While I am saddened by the apparent cowardice in giving donor conceived offspring actual human rights against the threats and interests of the infertility industry and the ASRM, this is definitely a step in the right direction.
I hope in the future there will be as many vocal donor conceived adults as adult adoptees, and legislation like this will be discussed and voted upon in many states, and that compromises like disclosure vetos will be fought against.
But in the meantime, baby steps, we're taking baby steps here.