House Bill 450, sponsored by Rep. Charles Owen, R-Fort Polk, received final passage through the Louisiana Senate on Friday, June 3. The bill will allow adult adoptees ages 24 and oler to to request an uncertified copy of his or her original birth certificate from the state registrar.
Since 1977, Louisiana requires adult adoptees to go through legal processes and show compelling reasons why they should be allowed access to their original birth certificate.
The Senate approved the bill 29-5. Sen. Rick Ward III, R-Port Allen says that this is “important to those who have lived their lives trying to find more about where they came from. It’s completely unjust and unfair for the child that is born 24 years later to have to continue to wonder where they come from. So, I believe there’s a way to do this and thread the needle to where anybody, no matter the circumstances, would have the ability to find out where they came from, who they are, and also be able to do so without having to spend an exorbitant amount of money”.
Sen. Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria said, “There are not any answers, there are not any experts, there’s not any data that tells us we need to vote for sure this way or that way, and that’s what’s made it so difficult”. Luneau wants to hide the names of birth parents and allow birth mothers to remain anonymous despite the adoptees right to their own medical records and history. Thankfully none of the other state representatives agreed to hide adoptee’s information after the age of 24 at least.
President Pro Tempore Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton who is an adoptee herself said, “We’re so busy defending the woman, and you know, as a woman, I appreciate that, but we have this person who’s carrying all the baggage for whatever happened that deserves to know where they came from”. Mizell said that “she never knew her father and supported the bill’s aim to give adopted people the right to learn more about themselves”.
Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state. The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support.